April 2014
Wine Walk tickets on sale now!
Looks like winter is losing its grip, which means its time to get outside and have fun! As the large advertisement above proclaims, the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is selling tickets for its second annual Wine Walk to be held on Friday, April 25. Sales are limited to 250 tickets and include a map, glass, and stops at 15 locations, where guests have a sample of a white and red wine. Check out what the business locations have to offer while connecting with friends and tasting delicious wines.  
Tickets are $25 each and are available for purchase at the Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St. Ticket reservations are accepted, but we ask that you pick up tickets within one week. Cash and checks only please. Don't miss out on this event! Call or get your tickets today!! For more information about the walk or to reserve your tickets, please call our office at 608-742-6242.  


Golf Outing tickets on sale April 1
Reserve your spot in the 32nd annual Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing scheduled for Wednesday, June 11 at 11am.
Call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 to reserve your spot beginning Tuesday, April 1. Spend a day away from the office and in the great outdoors with the birdies and fellow Chamber members!
New Chamber Members
UltraCom Wireless Communications, Inc.
2933 New Pinery Rd, Portage
A U.S. Cellular authorized agent offering a wide variety of products and services.


Chamber Member Profile - 
Vibe Salon and Spa 

At Vibe Salon and Spa we strive to make your visit a relaxing and enjoyable experience.  Brenda Klapoetke and Jessica Zimmerman (owners) with Kelly Neuhauser (stylist) offer a full menu of services in both the salon and spa. Haircuts, color, texture service and special occasion styles are available in our salon and we provide manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials and massages in our spa area. We have recently added facials to our services menu with the addition of Bobbie Gurgel, our new aesthetician. We have also recently added Reiki into our salon offered by Jessica Alden.


With trends ever changing, we at Vibe Salon and Spa thrive on continuing our education and always keeping the latest trends in mind. We have attended many classes throughout our years in the industry to always make sure to keep our guests ahead of the latest trends.  


We are a very involved in the community in Portage in many ways. We have been involved with the local Relay for Life for many years and have donated to the library expansion project. Each August we collect school supplies for our local schools and donate them to different area schools. In October we collect non-perishable items for the food pantry. In November into December we have been fortunate enough to be able to collect gifts for multiple families each year that are in need of a happy holiday along with that we have been able to adopt two senior citizens each year. This would not be possible without the support of the guests that visit our salon.


Vibe Salon and Spa just celebrated 5 years in business in March! We started our adventure on Cook Street and two and a half years ago purchased our building located at 218 W. Wisconsin St. We completely renovated the inside to what has become our home away from home. Stop by sometime and be our guest!


For more information, call Vibe Salon and Spa at 608-742-8423.

2014 Portage Business Expo and Job Fair
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce held its 6th annual Business Expo on March 20 at the Best Western. More than 20 Chamber member businesses were represented at the event. 
A job fair was added to the event this year and guests were encouraged to bring their resumes as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development was on hand to help people with their resume skills and answer questions. 
The expo event itself created a ripple effect as event guests patronized nearby restaurant Suzy's Steak and Seafood for dinner and the Portage Cab Company for transportation while the Chamber provided a few special guests attending the event, brand new residents of Portage, relocation packets and information 
about our city. 
Thank you to the Best Western Resort and Conference Center for providing a nice venue for the event, which was made possible by major sponsors Portage Daily Register and General Engineering Company. Frontier Communications and AmericanWay also sponsored the event. Thank you to the Member businesses that participated in the event.
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Youth Leadership wrapped up with 
valuable burger lesson
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce's 2013-2014 Youth Leadership sessions came to a close with none other than Craig Culver addressing the program's high school juniors at the Culver's Headquarters in Prairie du Sac on March 5. 

Culver relayed his own journey from not ever wanting to run his family's restaurant--or having anything to do with the food industry--when he was young to now, ironically, being the head of more than 500 Culver's franchises. He impressed upon the students the importance of hard work and surrounding yourself with genuinely good people who have passion for what they do.

Representatives from the Small Business Development Center also attended the entrepreneurship session, running a simulation that gave the students a chance to run their own small business. The simulation entailed groups of students, each group acting as a small business, to purchase raw materials for the purpose of competing in designing 'hats' and selling them to a buyer.

Thank you to Culver's for their hospitality and the eighteen students and their sponsors from Portage, Pardeeville and Cambria-Friesland high schools for their dedication to this program.

Craft Fair and Bake Sale for the Portage Family Skate Park

Check out more than 20 vendors and purchase some delicious baked goods on Sunday, March 30 from 10am to 4pm at the Best Western, 2701 County Road CX, in Portage. This event will benefit the Portage Family Skate Park project. If you would like to donate baked goods, let us know: Portageskatepark@gmail.com or contact the host Carol Behling, behling3128@hotmail.com
River Haven Homeless Shelter Fundraiser
Bring your family and friends for dinner at Culver's, 2733 New Pinery Rd., on Monday, March 31 from 5:30pm to 10pm.
SCORE Madison

Planning for Success Seminar

Want to grow your small company's sales and increase profits?  Want to improve operations and overall management?  Then you should attend the Madison SCORE Chapter's Planning for Success seminar on April 9, 2014. The hands-on sessions start at 8am and end at noon.  You will learn how to craft a current business plan that directs strategic growth. You will get practical step-by-step advice about how to:

  • Put in simple terms a product or service description,
  • Assess the current competition and market potential,
  • Do a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) for where to invest resources,
  • Lay out an affordable marketing communication and sales plan,
  • Review your operational, management and organization efforts, and
  • Wrap it all up with targeted financials.

You will get plenty of time to have your individual questions answered by the instructors, as well as other SCORE consultants.  These are folks who have retired from successful careers as business founders, owners and managers.  They are part of a network of 40 SCORE mentors who can help you following the seminar with free guidance. Advance registration cost is $20 for the seminar which will be held at the MGE Innovation Building, Room 213, 505 South Rosa Road in Madison. Register online at www.Madison.score.org.


Madison SCORE Chapter 145 is a nationally recognized, SBA sponsored organization of current and former successful business professionals that offers free counseling and mentoring for startups, non-profits and companies considering expansion that are willing and able to undertake the next steps.  SCORE's counselors are volunteers with diverse backgrounds and experience that improve success rates for its clients.


For more information about the seminar, please contact: Gene Kroupa, SCORE Consultant,

gkroupa@tds.net or 608-238-3571.

Sign up for Portage as a Commercial Hub class
Portage has always been about business. It started with the fur traders and continues today with glass and plastic. Learn how our geography has influenced our retail and manufacturing heritage. This class will explore how the location of Portage defined its economic growth in addition to showing how the downtown identified with Portage in the early days-a study of retail and commerce in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Judith A. Eulberg, is the instructor for this course that runs on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm from April 1 to April 22 at the Madison College, Portage Campus. The cost is $41.56. Register by calling 608-745-3104 or madisoncollege.edu and request course 60803639, class #63610.


Don rick web


April Business After 5
Mix and mingle with fellow Chamber members at our April Business After 5 on Tuesday, April 8 from 5pm to 7pm at The Ball Room, 112 E. Cook St.  This is a great opportunity to see one of the newest additions to downtown. Sample one of the delicious dishes from the kitchen or challenge someone to friendly game of pool! 

Responding to a Maturing Workforce: An Employer Summit

As the labor supply continues to age and change, a strategic approach to workforce planning is more important than ever. Participants will work with a systems framework to consider workforce-planning strategies to retain, recruit, and reposition members of the workforce as those workers age. These concepts can help leaders retain, recruit, and reposition older workers as near-term solutions. They can also be used to redefine the way work is structured to alleviate the worker shortage, design succession plans, and create a healthier and more productive work system overall.


Subject-matter experts will show how the entire work system (job, technology, physical and social environment, and organizational policies, procedures and culture) impacts employees, and how leaders can make thoughtful, conscious choices for their own organizations. Specifically, the summit will address healthcare benefits, legal guidelines, what people need from work, ergonomics and safety, and education/skill development, all of which impact employers' ability to attract and retain talent. 


The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin invites high-level executives and human resource professionals to attend Responding to a Maturing Workforce: An Employer Summit on Thursday, April 24 from 7:30am to Noon at the Alliant Energy Center - Exhibition Hall,1919 Alliant Energy Center Way in Madison. (*Optional afternoon session from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM, an in-depth discussion of healthcare benefits.)


There is free admission with food and refreshments provided. Online registration ends April 17. 

Register at http://matureworkforce.eventbrite.com . For more information visit  http://wdbscw.org/mature-workforce or call Erin Bechen, WDBSCW Operations Director at 608-249-9001 x225 or email ebechen@wdbscw.org.


Wine and Microbrew Tasting
Learn about and taste local wines and microbrews, including Fawn Creek, Capital Brewery and Wisconsin Brewing Company at Portage Elks Lodge, 201 W. Conant St., from 5pm to 8pm on Saturday, April 5. 
The cost is $15 with a donation to either the Portage Food Pantry or the Columbia County Humane Society or $20 if you forget a donation. Mike's Meatery will provide nibblers. For more information, call Rosie at 608-697-3829.

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. 


HealthSource organizing a Walking Campaign

Stop in at HealthSource, 306 W. Cook St., and get a pedometer and win prizes by clocking your steps between April 1 and June 30.  Find out more information by calling HealthSource at 608-742-2225. Click on the logo at right to access their website.

PACT 2nd Annual Short Film Competition

Portage Area Community Theatre (PACT) announces the PACT 2nd Annual Short Film Competition.

You are invited to submit a short film, minimum 3 minutes, maximum 10 minutes, live fiction and be based on the theme of "Cheese" and should preferably include scenes in the Portage area. You are invited to use your creative abilities: Cheese could be the subject; it could be a documentary about Cheese making; the history of cheese; or it could be a photographer's instruction to "say cheese". Feel free to let your imagination run wild!! Titles could be "Harri-Cotta", "Gorgon-Cola", "To Brie or not to Brie"???


Short films that are submitted must be the entrant's original work and shall not infringe on any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. Contestants agree that they have obtained all required permissions regarding music, sound and/or images presented in your short film.

Entries may be submitted electronically to pactwivideo@gmail.com or on DVD to - PACT Short Film Competition, P.O. Box 263, Portage, WI 53901. All entries must be received by August 31, 2014.


The winner will receive a cash prize of $250 and a coaching/mentoring session with Mr.Galley. The winning film will have a public showing and will be featured on the PACT website and at future PACT productions at the discretion of the PACT Board. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your script writing, screenplay, camera and directing skills.


For more information, call the Portage Area Community Theatre at 608-561-1738 or visit www.pactwi.orgContestants may find some of the following links useful in producing, editing and submitting completed videos.

Lightworks video editing; NCH VideoPad Video Editor; Serif Movie Plus; EZ Vid Video Maker;www.sendthisfile.com - Allows users to email large files 2GB and larger for free.

shelly cibulka ad sept 2013

OWI Treatment Court in Columbia County

In 2012 the annual economic cost of excessive alcohol use in Columbia County was $86.6 million dollars. Through the OWI Treatment Court, we hope to substantially lower that cost while at the same time making our streets a safer place to drive.


The OWI Treatment Court is a new grant funded program that focuses on 3rd OWI offenders with a blood alcohol content of .20 or more. The overall goals of the program are to reduce recidivism rates of nonviolent OWI offenders, increase public safety, reduce prison and jail populations by diverting offenders to community based interventions and to reduce alcohol abuse. The program is intended to be very intense and last 18-24 months. The participants will be required to remain abstinent from alcohol, meet with the Judge, Parole and myself once a week, attend 2 AODA counseling sessions per week, attend 2 pro-social groups or meetings per week, obtain employment, attend school or find volunteer work and comply with all other program rules. If a participant violates the programs policies, a consequence will be handed out. Depending on the severity of the violation, this consequence could be anything from community service time, more professional counseling or jail time.


I am asking that you as community members and Chamber members, contact me with any community/volunteer services that you are in need of with your business or if you would like more information on the OWI Treatment Court and how we are confident that it will make a difference in our community. I can be reached at 608-742-9681 or Kelly.zuelke@co.columbia.wi.us or stop by my office in the basement of the court house.

ds healthcare Save a Life!

Divine Savior Healthcare, in partnership with BloodCenter of Wisconsin, will be holding a blood drive on Friday, March 28, 2014 from Noon to 5pm in Suite 100 of Divine Savior Healthcare, 2817 New Pinery Rd, Portage. Make an appointment online at  www.bcw.edu/divinesavior or call 608-745-6405. Walk-ins also welcome.

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Home Health United Community Grief Support Group
Grief continues well after loss occurs and each individual experiences it in unique ways. It is not uncommon for grief to come in intense waves, especially within the first year. Many find it helpful to talk with others going through similar experiences. To support you during this time, Home Health United is offering "Spouse/Partner Loss" support groups to anyone in the community who has experienced a loss. The groups are offered at no cost to participants. 
The "Spouse/Partner Loss" support groups take place on Tuesdays, April 8-May 6, from 5:30-7:30pm at the Portage Public Library, 253 W. Edgewater St. This grief support group explores issues specific to this type of loss. Pre-registration is required, and a minimum number must be registered for the group to take place. For more information or to register, please contact Home Health United - Hospice at 877-356-4514 or RUsherwood@hhuvns.org. Home Health United - Hospice provides the care and support needed so patients faced with the end-of-life can spend their final days as comfortable as possible, wherever they call home. Have questions about Home Health United - Hospice or hospice in general? Call 877-356-4514 or visit www.HomeHealthUnited.org.

Beer Pairing at 205 Vino
205 Vino will be pairing up with the Dells Brewery for a beer pairing event on Wednesday, April 16 at 6pm. The Brewmaster herself will be at Vino to present her craft beers to you along with some delicious pairings.  The cost will be $15 a person.  Then enjoy our open mic night following the presentation. Please stop in to reserve your seat! (please provide payment at the time of reservation to ensure yourself a spot). This event will fill up quick, don't miss it! 

portage center for the arts MadHatters coming to Portage Center for the Arts  

The University of Wisconsin MadHatters, the premier men's a cappella group, crooning the songs of decades past to the Top 40 present, are coming to Portage Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 26 at 7:30.


Tickets are available at the PCA, 301 E. Cook St., and are priced $15 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call 608-742-5655.


Hats Off To Spring
Come to downtown Portage and help us welcome in Spring on Saturday, April 12! We invite all men and women to wear your favorite hat while shopping and obtain discounts or specials from participating stores. The day will end at 205 Vino starting at 4pm and the hat contest will begin at 4:30pm.

The Hat categories are Funny, Elegant, Homemade, Size (biggest/smallest) and Vintage. For more information, call Sherry Douglas at 608-617-5409.

Organizing an event or having a sale?

Submit your event or sale to us and have it appear on the Chamber website calendar of events.You may enter your event by clicking here. Please note: Your 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.

April Community Events
Spread the word about your event by posting them on our website!! 

3-6   Beauty and the Beast at PHS Auditorium   T, F, S at 6:30pm; Sun at 2pm.

4  Opening Reception for local high school students artwork at Portage Center for the Arts at     4pm-6m. Works on display in Drury Gallery through April 26. 
11  Wayne Bartels Memorial Senior Citizen Euchre Party at Bartels Middle School 
12  Portage High School Brat Fry at Pierce's Market  10:30am-2:30pm
12  WPPS 9-Ball Tour Final Tournament at The Ball Room
12  Easter Egg Hunt and Coloring Contest at Pierce's Market Place   10am-Noon 
19  Portage Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt,  10am at Woodridge and John Muir Schools
29  Famous People of Portage, 6-8pm, Portage Enterprise Center
30  Portage TRIAD Senior Day, 8:30am-Noon, Portage Municipal Building    

For more information about these events and more, click here.

April Chamber Meeting & Event Dates 

1st       Golf Outing tickets on sale 

2nd      Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank   8am

8th       Business After 5 at The Ball Room    5pm-7pm 

25th     Portage Wine Walk   6pm-9pm     

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, $10 and $25 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.