February 2020 Eureka Chamber Membership News


Six local businesses and one local business leader have been honored by the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce for meaningful contributions in 2019 to the best interests of the community and in furtherance of the mission of the Eureka Chamber. The Chamber membership was polled for nominations and then voted to select the 2019 honorees. The awards were presented on January 31, 2020 at the 129th Eureka Chamber Annual Dinner and Membership Meeting to a full house at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka. 

Chamber honors were presented in the categories of: Customer Service & Hospitality Award, Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Extraordinary Business of the Year, For-profit Positive Community Impact Award, Nonprofit Positive Community Impact Award and the Leadership Impact Award. 

The Customer Service & Hospitality Award was presented to the business that best exemplifies a demonstrated commitment to making its customers feel welcome. The 2019 award was presented to Jitter Bean Coffee Company. This business prides itself on providing an excellent product with high quality service, but also a place where employees align with the company’s culture, enjoy working and are well taken care of. 

The Eureka Small Business of the Year Award goes to a for-profit business with nine or fewer employees, and this year Old Growth Cellars took the win. This business starts with the best grapes California has to offer and handcrafts each varietal in small batches right here in Humboldt County. The owners are noted to have a continued legacy of investing in and celebrating our community. 

The Eureka Large Business of the Year Award was awarded to Premier Financial Group, who’s known for its trust, integrity, continuity, and long-lasting customer relationships. Members stated that they have outstanding community involvement and philanthropic efforts, and that their recent renovation is a gift to Eureka. 

As for the Extraordinary Business of the Year, Papa & Barkley was the first cannabis-based business in the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce history to win one of the coveted awards. This business recognized opportunity in our area, mobilized resources, and created value while proving to be a leader in the marketplace with its game-changing products and services, innovation, and constant pursuit of excellence. 

Pacific Outfitters was selected for the 2019 For-profit Positive Community Impact Award for improving our community in a variety of ways. This business is known throughout Humboldt County and beyond for its commitment to create wide-reaching benefits for its customers, the surrounding community, and the environment - with its PacOut Green Team volunteer cleanup crew. 

The 2019 Nonprofit Community Impact Award went to Food for People, who for 40 years has been committed to making sure no one in our community goes hungry, and now reaches 12,000 individuals a month - including the most underserved and vulnerable populations throughout the county. This organization is known for its stability and fulfilling a complex and vital service to those in need.
The 2019 Leadership Impact Award is given to a person in the business community who welcomes, inspires, encourages, and mentors others while earning a high level of trust and credibility along the way. Jack Rieke of Shafer’s Ace Hardware won the award and was honored for his hard work, work ethic, and natural ability to problem solve and get along with others. Members say he’s been instrumental for improvements in Henderson Center and is always striving to help Humboldt be the best it can be. 

Additionally, the Chamber’s President and CEO Donna Wright recapped the Chamber’s productive and busy 2019 and presented the Chamber’s vision for 2020; the 2019 Ambassadors and Board were highlighted, the new 2020 Board was sworn in by Mayor Susan Seaman, and the 2020 Board Chair Jennifer Budwig was recognized. 

The Chamber Annual Dinner and membership meeting provides an opportunity for the members of the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce to celebrate their collective investment in our community. 

You can see videos, photos, and find out more on the Eureka Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and YouTube channel. 

Jennifer Budwig - Redwood Capital Bank - Chair 
Scott Pesch - Coldwell Banker Commercial - Vice-Chair
Dane Valadeo - ReProp Financial - Treasurer

Elan Firpo - Bragg, Mainzer & Firpo, LLP
Steven Lafferty - Stewart Telecommunications
Matthew Marshall - Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Kathy Miller - Hilfiker Pipe Company
Shelley Nilsen - Express Employment Professionals
Rebecca Rex - Inn at 2nd & C
Kate Witthaus - Northern CA Community Blood Bank
Richard Murphy - Murphy's Market
Linda Wise - Recology Humboldt
Ross Creech - Quality Auto Body
David Gordon - KEET-TV
Chris Hartley - Humboldt County Office of Education
Rob Holmlund - Malex Consulting
Mariellen Jurkovich - Humboldt Patient Resource Center
Christine Silver - Delish on 5th

Chamber Board members serve three year terms and each year six of the 18 member Board complete their service. Those moving off the Board this year and who deserve a hearty thanks and ‘job well done’ are: Mike L Newman of Shaw & Petersen Insurance; Brian Papstein of Eureka Broadcasting; Keith Flamer of College of the Redwoods; Laurie Watson-Stone of St. Joseph Health System; and 2019 Chair of the Board, Becky Reece of Cruise Planners.

The new board were officially sworn in at the Chamber Annual Membership Meeting on January 31, 2020. Members are encouraged to contact the Chamber for more information.
The Class of Leadership Eureka 2020

The Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce launched its first Leadership Eureka class today to a full capacity group of participants. This highly competitive program is designed to offer participants the opportunity to meet and learn from this area’s most prominent champions of the region’s key business sectors. Over the course of six months the program’s 13 classes grant participants exclusive access to many of the most influential businesses and organizations in the Greater Eureka area. Each class focuses on a specific theme and includes educational lectures, site tours, leadership training and team building. The participant’s gain a deeper understanding of themselves while also developing a multifaceted understanding of our community. 

The twenty-two participants are a diverse group of local business people, representing various local industries and entities. Eureka Chamber CEO, Donna Wright is excited about the program and its lasting impact on the Greater Eureka area. “The Chamber is committed to presenting this opportunity to inspire, connect and activate emerging and established leaders,” Wright said. 

Program coordinator Rob Holmlund, of Malex Consulting, will lead the participants through the various sessions, which include tourism, education, housing, government, banking, healthcare and more. Graduation is set for July 2020 and will focus on reflection and planning for the 2021 Program. 

For more information on the Eureka Chamber and the Leadership Eureka Program, visit www.eurekachamber.com

He’s majoring in International Business Administration at Humboldt State University’s School of Business. Kalaukoa says, “I'm really looking forward to working with the Eureka Chamber, and discovering how I can assist the greater Eureka community.”

Kalaukoa possesses a broad set of skills, has a passion for a wide-variety of interests, and wants to travel the world after graduation – starting by teaching English in Vietnam. “I love traveling to explore new landscapes, cultures, and cuisines. Some hobbies of mine include hiking, longboarding, and creating pottery. When I'm not working, studying, at the gym or getting some fresh air, you'll find me in the HSU ceramics studio,” adds Kalaukoa. Plus, “Something that people find interesting is that I hail from a town called Honomu, on the island of Hawaii. Being so far away from home was a shock for me as a Freshman, but living in the area for five years has acclimated me quite well to the Humboldt environment. I love how the beautiful nature of the surrounding area has inspired people, businesses, and institutions like Humboldt State to take steps towards achieving a more sustainable future.”

The Chamber is ecstatic to have Isaiah on our team and look forward to working with him. So if you see him, please give him a warm Eureka welcome!
Thank you.

I would personally like to thank you our membership for your support and engagement in 2019. Here we are in 2020 and we are feeling every part of your enthusiasm for this coming year. Thank you for making our Annual Dinner and Membership meeting another sell out, and providing us with the very positive
feedback about the program and content. Thank you for every member that donated to our Basket of Plenty raffle, live auction and bar and for our volunteers that gave their time to ensure this was the best experience for everyone that attended.

If you were unable to attend, here is my annual report. This in part shares some of our accomplishments
of the last year, and some excit ing new initiatives in 2020 . Click here for video.

Thank you for participating in our performance survey. We value your feedback so that our committees ,
board and staff understand clearly the direction you want us to take. It also ensures that we are
providing you the service that you deserve.

Thank you to every amazing participant, leader and presenter of our recently launched Eureka Chamber
Leadership 2020 class. It is a diverse, enthusiastic and energetic g roup, which has completely engaged in the future of Greater Eureka. We have two sessions completed, our launch and Tourism and everyone is eager for the next 2 sessions of Education and Housing and Site Development. Click here for more info on Leadership Eureka.

We also thank Bear River Casino and Resort in supporting the Chambers programs in such a very
generous way by offering the proceeds of their Annual Charity Golf event to be held July 31st.
It is going to be productive and meaningful year here. The Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce,
because of you our members has a strong vision.

Thank you for your membership and ongoing support. Please don’t be a stranger. We welcome your feedback. Please make suggestions and let us know how we can help you!

We would like to thank all of the businesses that supported the chamber and decorated a table this year:

Bear River Casino | Blue Lake Casino | US Bank | CCCU | RCBank | LACO | Celebration Boulevard | Cruise Planners | Cunningham Malone & Morton | Tri County Independent Living | BNI | Mikki Moves | Annalise Von Borstel | Whitchurch Engineering | HCOE Trades Program | Express Employment Professionals | St. Joseph | Cafe Nooner | Soroptimist Humboldt Bay | Soroptimist Eureka | Advanced Security Systems | CA Cancer Crushers | Annie’s Shoes | Premier Financial | Living Styles | AEDC

You all put in a grand effort to make the tables extra special this year and really raised the bar for future years!

Congratulations to Mikki Moves, our first prize winner!


The Northern California Procurement Technical Assistance Center (Norcal PTAC) and the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center (HBAC) are once again thrilled and at awe at the amazing generosity of the local business community. For these two nonprofit organizations, with a very modest budget for entertaining purposes, co-hosting a successful February Eureka Chamber Mixer required harnessing the goodwill of local businesses to generate an amazing spread and awesome variety of great door prizes. 

Come and enjoy a delicious menu prepared by Eureka Chamber member Six Rivers Brewery, and choose from an array of beer and wine, including varieties from members Trinity River Vineyards and Old Growth Cellars. Don’t forget to bring your business cards for a chance to go home with gifts from members Platinum Studio Salon & Float Spa, Gabriel’s, Holly Yashi, and more. Plus members Dick Taylor Chocolate, Delish on 5th, the North Coast Co-op, HSU Dining Services, and other area businesses contributed door prizes!

The Mixer will take place at the Aquatic Center on February 20 at 5:30. Don’t miss out on the chance to take a tour of the Aquatic Center facility, and hear about your business’s potential in the government marketplace from Norcal PTAC staff. See you at the Mixer!
For existing property owners and investors with a current portfolio of properties, the Humboldt County housing market is trending positively. For those looking to invest in property, because of surprisingly low-interest rates, competition may be stiff. There is a decrease in the vacancy rate – an all-time low of 2.6% in Humboldt, and a slight increase in rental rates which, if historical patterns repeat, generally leads to increases in new home construction, ultimately benefiting Renters.

Ten California Chamber of Commerce job killer bills carried over from last year’s legislative session are dead for the year after missing a key deadline on January 31. Two carryover Assembly job killer bills have advanced to the Senate.
On Friday, January 31, United States District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller issued a ruling halting enforcement of and invalidating in full AB 51, a law that would have banned employers from, as a condition of employment, entering into arbitration agreements for claims brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Labor code.

Coast Central Credit Union announced that the spring 2020 round of its CCCU Dean G. Christensen Community Investment Program is now open. A total of $100,000 is available to support local organizations throughout its tri-county area. Grant amounts generally range from $3,000 to $25,000. The giving program was created in 2008, and since then has awarded a total of over $1.3 million to 130 organizations throughout Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity counties. Recent grant recipients have included Dream Quest Youth Partnership, Del Norte County Emergency Services, and Trinity County Arts Council.  
The Board of the Clarke Historical Museum is pleased to announced that Main Hall Curator Katie Buesch has stepped up to take on the role of Interim Director-Curator at the museum following Ben Brown’s resignation earlier this month. 
BauerFinancial, the Nation’s Premier Bank and Credit Union Rating Firm, is pleased to announce that Compass Community Credit Union has earned another Superior 5-star rating. The credit union has maintained the highest 5-star rating for 39 consecutive quarters. Compass Community Credit Union excels in areas of capital adequacy, profitability and asset quality.
Completing the survey helps your company and other local employers find customized workforce services and improve Humboldt’s competitive edge for state or federal funds.

Please complete the survey and become eligible to win one of three $50 VISA gift cards!

A BIG thanks from the Job Market Employment Services Partners!
The 30th Anniversary Redwood Coast Music Festival will be held May 7-10, 2020. This year’s festival features bands playing New Orleans & Traditional Jazz, Swing, Blues, Zydeco, Americana Roots, Western Swing, Country & Rockabilly music. All Event Early Bird tickets are on sale now through March 1st. Check our website, rcmfest.org for a complete listing on bands, venues and ticket prices.

Humboldt Lifeline
Have you considered hosting a workshop or renting one of our spaces for a meeting?
Here are some upcoming events in our beautiful HQ - Hope to see you there and we look forward to your next event!

The upcoming year will once again be lively for Chamber members who enjoy the social and networking opportunities at the monthly business mixers. The mixers remain a popular event with hundreds of participants engaging in the occasion to not only to enjoy the delicious food, fun and chance to win exciting door prizes; but to also develop new and renewed relationships and business contacts.