January 2014
2014 Annual Dinner & Awards Banquet
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to join us at our Annual Chamber Meeting and Awards Banquet on Thursday, January 30, 2014. Be part of the Business Event of the Year and network and get to know your fellow Chamber members while we recognize some of the activities of exceptional businesses and people whose service or performance positively contributes to the quality of life in the Portage community.

We need your nominations! Please nominate a business or person(s) you feel deserves some recognition for their dedication to the Portage Community by completing and returning the nomination form to our office. Click here for a form. From all the applications submitted, a finalist in each category will be selected and awards given out. 
Networking begins at 5:30pm. Dinner will begin at 6:30pm at Dino's Restaurant with the awards program to follow. Tickets are $30 a person. Be a Gold or Silver level sponsor and receive complimentary tickets with your sponsorship.
Win a trip to Vegas! Get out of the cold. Purchase tickets for your chance to win a little winter getaway with Free Spirit Travel. The drawing will be held during the event at 7pm. Only 1000 tickets will be sold.  
                                   Gold Level Sponsors:
   arbor green logo  
Silver Level Sponsor:                            Bronze Level Sponsors:
                         miller brussel


Don rick web


Cookie Walk
Seventy-five cookie connoisseurs could have cared less about the cold, courageously conquering and continuing the course, collecting cookies from Chamber member businesses during the Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 7. 
One of the first families to arrive at the Chamber office, the Owens could hardly wait for the journey.
Danica Owens, 4, is seen in the foreground posing with her edible trophy, a frosted bell-shaped sugar cookie. Her sister Kylie, 11, and brother Brett, 13, had just enough time to grab their favorite pick and jump in the background before setting out on their morning adventure. 
Participating businesses offered discounts and specials geared to the cookie collectors. Walkers came as far away as Madison's south side and even Normal, Illinois to fill their cookie boxes. Thank you the businesses and participants for keeping a great tradition going!  
6th Annual Culver's Breakfast with Santa

Greeting kids for the sixth consecutive year, Santa took time from his busy schedule to make time for   his Breakfast with Santa event on December 14.
Erika Escobedo, 8 (going on 25), was one of many children to tell Santa exactly what they wanted for Christmas. Some proposals came with bribes attached.
Offering their great location, friendly staff, and extreme generosity, Culver's deserves great credit for making this a wonderful tradition. 

Receiving food due to the generosity of the families attending, St. Vincent DePaul was happy.
Gloves white and clean, Santa handed out candy canes for those who eagerly waited.  
Event tickets for next year will be available in November.
Thanks for six great years, Santa!!
Chamber Member Profile

pampered chef logo   

Jamie Herrman, Independent Consultant 

Being an independent Pampered Chef consultant, I demonstrate delicious recipes that the whole family will enjoy, often times for less than $2 per serving using high quality kitchen tools. I started my business in March 2010 to earn a little extra money when my husband was slow at his full time job. Now I have so much fun meeting new people (the best part of my job) and spending time with their friends and family that I continue offering cooking shows.I also love providing people with quick recipe solutions so they are spending less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends.


My husband and I have lived in Portage since 2003 and really did not know many people until I started my Pampered Chef business. I have made a lot of great contacts since 2010 through cooking shows, being at the Flea Market and Fair and other vendor events in and around Portage.

My most typical client is anybody who eats!  We have something for everybody: the person who loves to cook or bake; the person who hates to cook/bake; or the person who can barely boil an egg. And the best part is I am always available to help out with recipe ideas or any product questions.


When you make a purchase from me versus a store, Pampered Chef has a wonderful warranty on the products and if there are any questions on how to use the product I am available to show or explain over the phone how the product works. Also, I have many recipes for a lot of our products and can give ideas of different recipes that your family and friends will love.


When people think of my business, I hope they think that I am willing to help them limit their time in their kitchen with the use of quality kitchen tools and be a able to spend more time with their family and friends. I hope they feel comfortable calling me with any questions as I would like to continue to show people in the Portage area new recipes and offer the same opportunity I was offered to others.


I also offer fundraisers for school groups, benefits, or any organization looking to raise money for their organization. For more information, contact pcjamieandluke@gmail.com

www.pamperedchef.biz/jamieandluke or call 608-516-8079.


Northwoods asking for your help 

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is considering changing policy language that will limit or eliminate the funding for center based services like those offered at Northwoods. If these services were to be eliminated, over 125 people locally and tens of thousands nationally would be put out of work with few, if any, appropriate options available to them. 


Please sign the petition at the link below to let Congress know that they need to intervene to preserve service options, not eliminate them, for adults with disabilities.

Please go to this site and sign the petition:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/10332795 

Hot times at Cardinal FG

Youth Leadership students met at Cardinal FG for their Manufacturing session on Wednesday, December 18.


After a brief ice breaker, Plant Manager Ernie Curley gave students an introduction to the marvels of glass making and led them on a guided tour of the factory floor where temperatures soar more than 100 degrees. Students saw the process from sand turning to glass in the furnace, to the massive sheet of glass rolling down the conveyor where the sheet is scored and cut to specifications, to the robotic arms picking the glass up from the conveyors for shipping. They also received a sneak peek inside the control room where cameras provide feeds to video screens and computers dictate the action. Mr. Curley stressed how teamwork and cross-training are necessary to a plant that runs 24/7.


Following the tour, the students divided into groups and competed to create the best gingerbread house using graham crackers, frosting and various candy decorations. One house collapsed under the weight of its own expectations while the one pictured above was deemed the winner by a judging panel that included Mr. Curley. We thank Cardinal FG for the use of their space and their time toward Youth Leadership.  


The next session will be held on Wednesday, January 15 and covers government and public service. For more information on the Youth Leadership program, please call our office at 608-742-6242. 


ice-skates-spray.jpg Frozen Fridays - Ice Skating on the Canal 

Bring your own skates and join in an Ice Skating Party on the Portage Canal on Friday, January 3 and Friday, February 7 from 3pm to 7pm.  


Enter the Canal area near the US Bank Drive-Up Parking lot. There will be hot chocolate and a bonfire to roast marshmallows. Brought to you by the Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway and the City of Portage.


big bundle upThe Big Bundle Up ends January 3

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is once again participating with other Chambers and tourism entities in the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Big Bundle Up campaign.


The campaign will run through January 3, 2014. The Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., is a collection site for your warm winter item donations. A local charity will be the recipient of the items.


Stay tuned for the final statewide tally at the end of the campaign!


Why breastfeeding-friendly workplaces matter

Although a majority of women choose to breastfeed their babies after birth, the CDC reports that only 40% of them ultimately reach their breastfeeding goals. One-fifth of mothers who quit do so because of the challenges inherent to working away from home. With more women returning to work after giving birth than ever before, employers are provided an opportunity to not only retain valuable employees but also play a vital role in supporting new mothers.  Click here to read more....

Got News?

What is your business up to? Pass along information and corresponding photos to graphics@portagewi.com and let us help spread the word about the great things your business or organization is doing. The deadline is the 20th of each month. 


Chamber seeking 2014 events

Are you organizing an event you would like others to know about in 2014? The Portage Chamber is encouraging you to submit your 2014 events. Place your event on the Chamber website calendar of events. You may enter your event by clicking here. Please note: Your event submission will take a while to appear as the Chamber office first reviews the submissions before approving them to appear on the web calendar. For more information, please call our office 608-742-6242.


commbank april ad
Get out and enjoy winter at the HIAH grounds!
snowshoe-couple.jpg The Historic Indian Agency House invites the public to explore the Historic Indian Agency House Nature Trail by cross-country skis or snowshoes during our Snow Shoe Days. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, you must stop by the Visitor's Center to sign in before you hit the trail. (This will help us keep track of visitation and help ensure your safety!)  
Event dates include the second and fourth Saturdays of January, February and March 2014. Hours are 9am to 3pm, with event dates dependent upon weather and snow cover. Call 608-742-6362 or email historicindianagencyhouse@gmail.com to make reservations for your family, Scout troop, or yourself.
Due to the generosity of the Great Circle Foundation, HIAH has acquired several sets of beginner's snow shoes--in a range of sizes (including adult, young adult, and children's, ranging from a weight limit of 25 to 250 pounds). Borrowing will be treated on a first-come, first-serve basis--but we will do the best we can to accommodate you!  Snow Shoe Borrowers must report to our Visitor's Center (20 minutes before your reservation time is suggested) for check-in, and for a brief tutorial before heading out.
This opportunity is FREE--whether you utilize our snow shoes or have your own.
Help available to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace
Portage has a couple places offering assistance to those who want to enroll for health insurance. The Madison Enrollment Assistance office is providing assistance at the Portage Public Library from 10am to 3pm on Wednesdays in January through March 26. The January dates include the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th (the library is closed January 1).  Stop in at the front desk or call to make an appointment at 608-826-7309. 
Agents and certified application counselors will also be ready to help on Tuesday, January 7 at the Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Fair, from Noon to 6pm at the Madison College-Portage campus, Room 103, 330 West Collins St. They ask that you bring the following items: ID information for all family members; income for all family members; and information about insurance offered through your job or spouse's job. Applications will be taken on a first come, first served basis. For general questions, please call 608-288-2545.
shelly cibulka ad sept 2013
January Community Events
Spread the word about your event by posting them on our website!! 
1-31 Poetry & Photos in the Foyer, monthly competitions and exhibits at Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E. Cook St. January theme: "Black & White"

2  New Year-New You PartyLite Job Fair and Opportunity Event from 5pm-8pm at the Portage Library Meeting Room. For questions or to schedule an interview please call Amanda at 920-737-7804. 


17  Our House Senior Living Community Bingo, 215 Northridge Drive, 2pm-4pm


18  Who Doesn't Like A Showtune!? Broadway Musicals Through the Years with  Mike Powers and Company at Portage Center for the Arts at 7:30pm. Call 608-742-5655.


18-19  Free Fishing Weekend in Wisconsin


18  Local teen author, Elizabeth Novey, Book Signing at Prairie Flower Beads, 210 W. Cook St., from 1pm-3pm


26  Portage Bridal & Special Events Expo at Portage High School Commons Area, 301 E.  Collins St. from 11am-3pm. Call Ginger or Gail at 608-742-5533 with questions.

For more information about these events and more, click here.
January Chamber Meeting & Event Dates 

1st     Chamber office closed

8th     Ambassador Meeting      Community Bank   8am

15th   Youth Leadership Program at Courthouse
14th   Business After 5 at 205 Vino   5pm-7pm

30th   Annual Chamber Dinner & Awards Banquet
Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at Dixie Law Enforcement Warehouse, 901 E. Wisconsin St., to welcome this new business to Portage.

From rifles, shotguns, handguns to ammo and accessories. Open Tuesday through Saturday.

We are 'Your friendly local machine gun dealer'. 


For more information, call 608-742-3777.



Give Portage Green Gift Certificates As A Gift
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. 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 graphics@portagewi.com.