September 2015 President’s Message

01 Sep

Greetings Chamber Members,

What an incredible summer we have had in Columbia Falls and our surrounding communities. Anna Stene and the Visitor Center staff have been weathering the storm of fires, smoke, road closures and media spin with positive messaging while greeting visitors at two Visitor Information Centers this year, both in town and in West Glacier. We are proud of the success of two markets in town that have contributed to more foot traffic, use of town parks, patronage of local restaurants and an overall increase in business in Columbia Falls. Thanks to the Lion’s Club, concerts at Marantette Park have again contributed a sophisticated cultural arts experience for six weeks of programs. The City reports more building than ever before, and some key pieces of property in our business district have begun to sell. This is all good news, despite the smoke!

On August 24t h I was honored to represent the business community on behalf of the Chamber at an event at Blankenship bridge which was hosted by the National Parks Conservation Association. We were celebrating the passing of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act (NFWPA) along with Senator Tester, Senator Daines, Bob Brown and representatives of the Canadian Consulate and of Conoco-Phillips. It is no secret that our local economy is inextricably tied to Glacier National Park and the recreational opportunities there and on surrounding lands. The NFWPA is great news for all of us who have the distinct privilege to raise our families, build our businesses and grow our communities here in the Gateway to Glacier.

Now as we turn our attention to Fall activities, you can expect more great work from your Chamber. You may recall a survey we put out in 2013. We have been working working to address your comments, and especially on adding value to your membership in this Chamber. Special projects such as a Member to Member benefit program are a priority for us as we roll up our sleeves and delve into strategic planning for our organization.

If you are looking for ways to showcase your business and grow your networking circle, you should consider hosting a Business After Hours. These events are a great opportunity to host fellow chamber members, show or tell them about your business and grow awareness of your offerings. Unlike other chambers with similar programs, there is not a fee to host a Business After Hours event. To learn more, please contact Anna Stene at the chamber office, 892-2072, or email her at

I wish you a prosperous Fall, and hope to see you at our first Membership Luncheon on September 8th!

Stacey Schnebel