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Chamber NewsBreak - November 2012

   First mural complete, new mural paint strokes begin
Local artist Chris Dreyer put the finishing touches on the first mural of the Portage Mural Project late this month. The mural, "Crossroads of History," is located on the east wall of the DAAR Engineering building across from Portage Center for the Arts along Cook Street. Thank you to the City of Portage Tourism committee, Portage Lumber, H & M Contracting, David Carlson, and Chris Dreyer for bringing the first mural to reality.
With that mural now complete, it is time to focus on a couple new ones. Due to the onset of the cold weather, these murals will be completed indoors, then installed at a later date. The Chamber website and Facebook page will provide updated photos of how each work is progressing. Charles Bradley is set to begin one based upon an original work of his--the colorful Portage water tower hovers like a giant balloon over familiar Portage structures in a mass collage. And Chris Dreyer is back on board for an original work that serves as a tribute to Sgt. Daniel Thompson and the military to be located at Riley's Bar & Grill. A donation jar has been set up at Riley's for this mural. 
Portage Lumber has again graciously donated the paint required for these two new works. 
The Portage Chamber is continuing the quest to seek building owners interested in offering their buildings as potential sites for murals. The long range plan for the project is to create a mural tour around Portage, one more way to encourage tourism and provide another attraction for visitors. 
Funding is needed to continue the mural project. If you are interested in donating or would like your building to serve as a location of a mural, please call Brad at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, 608-742-6242.
   Welcome New Chamber Members   
Studio K Hair Design
226 W. Wisconsin St.  Portage, WI  53901
Katie Blankenheim at 608-697-9828
A hair salon located in downtown Portage that specializes in the latest trends.  

Bob Viking Entertainment and Viking Party Store
533 W. Conant St. Portage, WI 53901
Bob Viking at 472-3009
Offering music, game show trivia, party supplies such as glow necklaces, Mardi Gras beads, light up & flashing 'fun stuff'.

Wauona Trails Manor, LLC
601 Wauona Tr., Lot 96   Portage, WI 53901
Karen Wehrmann at 608-742-3259
Manufactured home community. We sell-buy new and used homes. Financing available.

   Chamber Member Profile: River Haven    
River Haven Homeless Shelter has been open since early 2007. It can house four families, one per room for a thirty-day stay. The families have different goals due to the make-up of their family. Concerns they address may be child care, legal issues, educational limitations, medical concerns, disability issues or unemployment. River Haven relies on volunteers to support and encourage these families during the evening hours, from 4pm to 6pm. Our organization has trained more than 180 volunteers, both men and women throughout the last six years.
River Haven has opened an evening men's shelter from 6pm to 8am. It will also be a 30-day stay program and not a warming shelter. Case management will be provided and expectations will parallel the present women's shelter/family shelter. Some of our homeless residents may be from foster care or military service. Gentlemen, please consider volunteering to help the men who choose to improve themselves or their situation, to become successful members of our community. What a great opportunity to list River Haven as a volunteer site when writing your resume' especially if that job requires dealing with the public.
For the men's shelter River Haven is considering an "In Kind" exchange for evening coverage. This means a free room and no household bills for shared coverage by two/three individuals. These individuals would live at the shelter and each supervise 2 or 3 evenings during the week. River Haven is also looking for volunteers from the community to help cover some evenings. Doors will only be opened if supervision is available. To the community at large, River Haven asks for your support in this effort to help those who are homeless and willing to make a positive change in their lives.
Please contact Jenny at River Haven, 742-7687, if you have any questions or are willing to volunteer. The River Haven staff would like to extend a huge thank you to all who have faithfully and continually supported our efforts. 
   Culver's Breakfast with Santa tickets available Nov. 1   
culvers logo

Tickets are available at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, 104 W. Cook St., beginning Thursday, November 1 for Culver's Breakfast with Santa. The event is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 at Culver's Restaurant, 2733 New Pinery Rd., with options of two breakfast serving times, 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Admission is free with a non-perishable food donation for St. Vincent's food pantry. Adults must be accompanied by children. For more information, call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.

   Madison College President named CEO of the Year         
madison college

Madison College President Bettsey Barhorst was honored with the national Chief Executive of the Year Award at the Association of Community College Trustees' annual conference in Boston.
Dr. Barhorst was one of five finalists for the award, which the ACCT says recognizes the tremendous services of and contributions made by community college chief executive officers.  


"President Barhorst's lifelong passion for education, her visionary leadership, and her unflagging commitment to making decisions that place the interests of students first qualify her to receive this prestigious honor," says Madison College Board Chair Frances Huntley-Cooper. Her steady focus and can-do spirit, Huntley-Cooper says, led to the passage of a $134 million building referendum in the midst of the nation's greatest recession. Passed in 2010, the referendum is the largest in Wisconsin history.  

Barhorst, a 40-year veteran of higher education, has served as president at Madison College since November 2004.

   Markent Solutions launches Online Learning classes   
markent solutions logo Markent Solutions, 121 E. Conant St., is proud to announce the introduction of a wide range of online training classes. These include official Microsoft training classes, official CIMA online training classes plus many more. For Home, Office or IT Professionals we provide a library of over 2,000 courses, with prices starting at around $10 per class. For Management Accountants we offer a range of classes leading to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) & Chartered Global Management Accountant certification (CGMA). For Business Owners we provide over 150 business skills and personal development training courses.

Why choose Online Learning? There are many reasons to select Online Learning or e-Learning, here are just a few to consider: Convenience - Cost - Selection. Courses are accessible on your schedule, not ours. Online learning does not require your physical attendance. You can study whenever you wish - courses are available 24/7. You study at your pace - go as slow or as fast as you choose.
You can study wherever you wish - at home, at work, or on the road. You determine what classes are best suited to your needs - certification, updating, self improvement, career enhancement. There are no travel costs involved, no time wasting journeys - you study at your location. You can select individual courses or a group aimed at a specific objective. There are a wide range of prices to fit your budget. You can skip over material you already know and focus on those topics that you need to learn. Because you choose the courses most suited to your needs studies show that retention is frequently better than in a traditional classroom. Courses are continuously updated so you can be certain that you are always receiving the most current training available.

Full details are available on our website at
For more information contact Alec Parsons at (608) 742-7300 ext 314.
   Chuck Miller retires; welcome new agents            

Congratulations to Chuck Miller on his recent retirement from his American Family Insurance Agency, 240 W. Cook St., in downtown Portage. Chuck has been a great friend and supporter of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce for many years. Kari Tracey, licensed sales representative for American Family Insurance, is one of the agents taking over the agency effective November 1. 


Kari would be happy to answer all your questions and handle all your insurance needs. For more information, contact her at 608-742-3888. 



ed don rick ad

   Portage Center for the Arts welcomes Jan Wheaton   
portage center for the arts The Portage Center for the Arts hosts "Jan Wheaton and Friends...Just Jazz!" on Saturday, November 3 at 7:30 as part of its Performing Arts Series. Adults tickets are $15 and student tickets are $5. Sponsored by Pat Halasz and Crawford Oil. For more information, contact the Portage Center for the Arts at 742-5655 or visit
   Know watercolor with Chris Dreyer
Let local artist Chris Dreyer teach the basics and make you comfortable painting the complex medium of watercolor in this beginners class, 'Getting to know Watercolor with Chris Dreyer.' The three hour class is held from 1pm-4pm at the artist's studio, N4360 Allan Rd., in Portage on Saturday, November 17. To register call, 608-742-1453, but hurry, the maximum number allowed in the class is only six. The cost is only $25.


For more information, email or visit 

miller brussel open house

   Get your tickets for the Draw-Down HoeDown
Grab your cowboy boots, a bandana, slip on your denim blue jeans and you'll be all set for this hoedown! Have other western wear? Y'all better bring that too, but leave the shotgun at home. The Portage Rotary Club of Portage is sponsoring the Draw-Down HoeDown 2012 on Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 5pm - 9:30pm at St. Mary's Gymnasium. The social starts at 5pm, Dinner at 6pm and Draw-Down at 7pm.

Tickets are $100 (includes dinner, 2 drinks and unlimited fun). Guest/Spouse Ticket is $30 (includes dinner, 2 drinks and unlimited fun). Tickets are available at Josh Vehring Edward Jones office, 2901 New Pinery Rd., 608-742-5408.
The Draw-Down consists of 102 numbered balls in a box--101 will be drawn out. Every tenth ball drawn wins $100. The last ball in the box leaves with $2000! Proceeds go toward Rotary Scholarships and other Rotary projects. Winner is responsible for any applicable sales tax.

This is a Portage Rotary General Fundraiser. The money raised supports local causes, such as scholarships, community projects (i.e, Portage Splash Pad, Indian Agency House Garden).
   Portage holiday event listing     
The holiday season in Portage is a special time that begins in November with many event happenings, which are listed below. For your convenience, you may print a holiday event guide by clicking here. Be sure to place it where it is visible as an easy reminder. For more information about a particular event, visit or call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.

November 23-24  Portage Theatres Free Kid's Movie

November 23  Santa Fly-in at Portage Airport. New this year: 
Divine Savior Healthcare, along with the Dean and UW Clinics, is pleased to launch Leaps Toward Literacy program with Santa Claus upon his arrival.  Santa will deliver books to the first 100 children. S
tarting December 1st, each child age 0-12 will receive a book at any well-child, Urgent Care, Emergency Room or Inpatient Surgery visit at Divine Savior Healthcare and the Dean and UW Clinics. This program is being funded by the Medical Staff.   

November 23 Happy Holidays Lighted Parade and Portage Presbyterian Chili Dump

November 24 Small Business Saturday

November 24 Santa's Living Reindeer

   Friends and Family Day at Kmart   
Come into Kmart, 2935 New Pinery Road, on Sunday, November 4 and pick up your coupon to save 10% off all sale, regular and clearance merchandise with the store coupon. Rewards members receive 5% in points with purchases on your Sears card (Excludes Buy One Get One Events).

   Recreate a masterpiece of famed artists 
We invite you to join us for a new, fun and social class where you can explore your creative side.  This fun and unique painting class is taught by local art professional Peg Napralla.  She will guide you step by step to recreate a masterpiece.  No painting experience is necessary and all the needed materials are provided.
Sign up for one or all of the classes.
Nov. 1 Pollock and Pinot- Have you ever wanted to paint abstract work of art?  This is your chance to explore the color, texture and design of abstraction.
Feb. 21 VanGogh and Vino - We will recreate a famous "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh.
April 11 Seurat and Shiraz - We will create a painting entirely from dots of color.

Each session is from 6pm-9pm and is $45 per person per session. Call St Mary's at 742-4998 and talk with the school principal to enroll.
   Sign up to be a Salvation Army bell ringer   
The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to ring bells at their bucket locations throughout Portage. Ringers are needed Fridays and Saturdays, November 16 through December 22 for one-hour shifts, preferably longer, if you desire. To volunteer, call Bekky at 608-567-9060. 
   Rogers Gifts & Gallery closing sale      
Rogers Gifts & Gallery Business Closing now through December 1. Take 20% off store wide. Inventory, displays and fixtures must go! Custom framing available through Nov. 19 (framing excluded from sale, repairs will no longer be done).

Visit for more information.
   AmericanWay presents communication course    
americanway 2 logo
Do you ever struggle with certain people and have a natural connection with others? Ever wonder why? There is a good chance you are connecting with those who have the same or complementary communication styles to yours, and those you struggle with are likely opposite of your communication style. Would you agree being able to communicate effectively is vitally important to your success, and can also be one of the most challenging things to do well? Understanding our communication style and that of others we interact with can greatly increase your ability to have meaningful communication.

AmericanWay University, 602 E. Albert St., Suite 1, presents 'T.E.A.M. - Talk, Communicating With Style' on Monday, November 5, 2012 from 8:30am - 10:30am. In this class you will learn your primary communication style in comparison to other styles. You will leave being able to appreciate the value in styles that differ, and gain practical tools to help you communicate more effectively with all styles of communication.

To register call (608) 566-1500. The cost is just $29 per person.
   Culver's donation night to benefit River Haven     
Eat at Culver's, 2733 New Pinery Road, on Monday, November 5 from 4pm to 8pm and help support River Haven Homeless Shelters. The more you eat the higher the percentage return toward the shelters! For sales up to $1000, River Haven will receive 10 percent. For sales to $2000, River Haven will receive 15 percent. For sales up to $3000 River Haven will receive 20 percent!!
   Upcoming Business After 5

Business After 5 - Free Spirit Travel

Tuesday, November 13th from 5pm-7pm

Join fellow Chamber members for networking, conversation and refreshments at our monthly Business After Five. Hosted by Free Spirit Travel.  There will be door prizes, contests and great food!  There will be a slideshow presentation of fun destinations for anytime of the year with places the staff has visited.


December Business After 5 - Prairie Flower Beads

January Business After 5 - Days Inn

February Business After 5 - Markent Solutions

March Business After 5 - United Country Hamele Auction Services

April - Magnum Broadcasting

May - St. Mary's School


Reserve a month in 2014 for your business before they're taken!!

     Showcase your services at 'All Things Senior Expo'   
The All Things Senior Expo & Tradeshow will provide a one-stop-shop for those looking to connect with valuable local resources. The expo, sponsored by KSMS Our House Senior Living, is scheduled for Wednesday, November 7 at Ho-Chunk Casino!


This event will feature exhibitors and seminars providing a wide range of information about products, services, programs and other great resources for Sauk, Adams, Marquette and Columbia County's 50+ community. If you provide information about senior housing, recreation and wellness opportunities, transportation resources, retirement planning, long-term health care insurance, or health and wellness then All Things Senior Expo & Tradeshow is for you!


The Senior Expo is an opportunity for you to market to the exploding senior demographic. KSMS Our House Senior Living invites you to participate at this one day event and meet meet hundreds of local seniors. This event will provide high traffic to promote your products or services to the largest and fastest growing demographic. 

Registration will be $100.00. Please reserve your booth early by contacting KSMS Our House Senior Living at 608-697-2626.

   Partners of Divine Savior    
ds healthcare
The Partners of Divine Savior are holding their annual Holiday Sale on Wednesday through Friday, November 7-9 beginning at 9am at Divine Savior Healthcare, Cafe A/B, 2817 New Pinery Road. The Holiday Sale features great Holiday Gift Ideas. Take 20% off holiday items!
For more information, contact Nancy Madden at 608-745-5166.
   Register now for Chamber Business Breakfast   

Join us for our Business Breakfast to network and make those important connections with Chamber members that can help you in your business or career. This month we present "10 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work for You!" on Tuesday, November 20 at B&B Hitching Post. Breakfast is at 7:30am and speaker to follow at 8am. The cost is $10, cash or check please.

Register online by clicking here.

Are you on LinkedIn, but unsure how to use it to build your business? The key is to start with an effective profile that lets viewers know who you are and what you can do for them.

During this presentation Cathy will share with you how to:
 Engage with people through your Professional Headline
 Use Keywords to increase searchability
 Maximize your Call to Action
 Build your Recommendations
 Show off your Skill set
 Connect with professionals you know
 Join Groups to achieve your goals

You'll leave this webinar with a list of action items, that once implemented, will increase the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile.

About our Presenter:
Cathy Yerges, Founder and CEO of Peak Profits LLC, has more than 25 years of experience in customer service, retail, small business management, financial services, email marketing and social media marketing. She has launched a division within her company, Linked for Business Growth, that specifically focuses on helping small business owners optimize their use of LinkedIn to maximize the time and energy invested in social networking. To learn more, visit  
We encourage Chamber members to attend this business breakfast.
Bring extra cash for the 50/50 Raffle!


   Remedy Intelligent Staffing Open House  
Remedy Intelligent Staffing is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, November 27 from 5pm - 7pm. Join us at 5pm for a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the new location for Remedy Intelligent Staffing at 104 West Cook Street, Suite 103 (on the DeWitt St. side of the Phoenix building) in Downtown Portage.

Stay for an Open House and join fellow Chamber members for networking, conversation and refreshments.

Community Events

   November Chamber Meeting & Event Dates
7th     Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank  8am
13th   Business After 5 at Free Spirit Travel   5pm-7pm
14th   Youth Leadership at Cardinal FG   8:30am
14th   Ribbon Cutting at Miller, Brussell, Ebben & Glaeske   1pm
20th   Business Breakfast at B&B Hitching Post     7:30am
22&23 Chamber office closed for Thanksgiving
27th    Ribbon Cutting at Remedy Intelligent Staffing  5pm
   Ribbon Cuttings
mercantile ribbon cutting
A ribbon cutting was held at the Mercantile, 117 W. Cook St., to celebrate the opening of three new businesses inside the store: Bowls by the Woodchuck, Interlacing Threads, and Halcyon Studio. For more information, call the Mercantile at 608-745-5768.
Professional HomeCare Plus rc A ribbon cutting was held at Professional HomeCare Plus, 107 W. Cook St., to celebrate the opening of this new business in Portage. They provide care for those in need that wish to remain in their home. A few services offered are light housekeeping, shopping, personal care, and much more. Their caregivers are committed to highest standards of integrity, reliability, and quality. They don't simply care for families, they become part of them. For more information, call 608-742-2273. 
brightstar rc A ribbon cutting was held at BrightStar Care, 507 Linn St., Baraboo, to welcome this business now offering their services in the Portage area. BrightStar is a dependable, trustworthy source of private duty in-home care, childcare, and healthcare staffing services, serving Columbia and Sauk counties and surrounding areas. Their homecare services are provided by Certified Nursing Assistants who are supervised by a Registered Nurse. These services include companion care, respite, home chore, transportation, medication reminders, meal preparation, and hands on personal care to people of any age. Services are available twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.
For more information, call 608-355-5015.


   Give Portage Green Gift Certificates!  
Portage Green Gift Certificates make an excellent gift. Used just like cash, the certificates can be purchased from the Portage Chamber in $5 and $10 increments. Recipients of the Portage Green may redeem them at these participating Chamber member businesses. By buying Portage Green Gift Certificates, you are helping to boost local business by keeping thousands of dollars right here in Portage. Don't get worked up over figuring out what to get someone; make it easy on yourself and give them Portage Green Gift Certificates! For more information, call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.


The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is providing leadership for
 building a healthy economy and a high quality of life in the Portage Area.
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NEWS BREAK is a monthly publication of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce.  Please contact the Chamber if you have news about your business that you would like to include in the next issue. 
 Our deadline is the 20th of the month.  Email your news to