January 2015
Chamber Annual Dinner date announced; nominate a business!
It's a brand new year and time to recognize businesses and individuals for outstanding contributions. We invite you to join us at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner and be part of the Business Event of the Year. 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.

This year's dinner will be held at the Best Western Resort & Conference Center and be catered by B & B Hitching Post on Thursday, January 29.  Register for the dinner here.

We also 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.  


Thank you to the following 2015 Annual Dinner Sponsors:
                                   Gold Level Sponsors:
   arbor green logo  
Silver Level Sponsor:                            
     remedy intelligent staffing    

Bronze Level Sponsors:              
    miller brussel  
Portage Chamber Executive Director Marianne Hanson presents the $500 grand prize check to Cindy Seubert.
Holiday Cash Giveaway a success!
As an incentive to shop our local businesses during this holiday season, the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, along with Downtown Portage Inc., and the Business Improvement District, rolled out the Portage Holiday Shopping Cash Giveaway contest to encourage shopping our local businesses.

Thanks to the participating businesses for joining this event. The winners of the two $100 drawings were Vada Moore of Packwaukee and Tom Fisher of Lodi while the grand prize drawing of $500 went to Cindy Seubert. The contest had 203 people participate, producing just shy of $64,000 in receipts.       

Thanks to all the businesses that participated in this holiday event!


Don rick web


Holiday Lights Decorating Contest winners announced 

Let there be lights! For the first time, Portage residents and business owners were encouraged to decorate in holiday lights for the season. The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce wanted to recognize the hard work and effort that go into enhancing homes and businesses for the holiday season. 


Based upon the criteria of creative design, use of lighting and accents, and curbside appeal, Arron Knaack and Seubert Family Dentistry were selected the winners by this year's judge, Mayor Bill Tierney. Each received $100 in Portage Green Gift Certificates. You can see Knaack's work and Suebert's holiday display here along with addresses of the entries.


Citywide Cookie Walk

Nice weather contributed to one of the highest turnouts in Cookie Walk history. Participating Chamber member businesses had 122 cookie collectors checking out the stores and adding a delicious cookie to their box. 

Thanks to the businesses that participated and provided special offers for the event. We look forward to doing it all again next year.   


Culver's Santa Breakfast

The 7th Annual Culver's Breakfast with Santa served 200 kids and adults who enjoyed a great breakfast courtesy of Culver's. As a bonus, children received some valuable time on Santa's lap just before his critical naughty or nice decision-making process. 


More importantly, the local food pantry benefited from the food items donated by those who attended the breakfast. 

Thanks to Culver's for putting on a great meal and welcoming families and Santa once again! 
Tickets for next year's breakfast will go on sale in mid-November.  


At right, Chloe Hibner, 9, had no problem telling Santa what she wanted for Christmas.


Request for 2015 events 

We are looking for your events. Help get the word out about your event!! Submit your 2015 event details and contact information for inclusion on our community calendar and possible inclusion on various media produced throughout the year. Email to pacc@portagewi.com or call our office at 608-742-6242.

Business Profile - Soul Shine Spa 

Soul Shine Spa opened on December 1, 2014 at 228 W. Wisconsin St. offering massage therapy, facials, manicures and pedicures. Owner Christina Stensrud's nine years prior experience as Vogue Nails gave her the platform to begin this venture. She has always enjoyed interacting with people and getting to know them. She takes great pride in knowing she made someone who visited her spa feel good about themselves.


Christina put a lot of effort into applying fresh paint, flooring and adding new décor to her business prior to opening the doors to clients. She believes her efforts will translate to clients thinking of her business as clean, quiet, and friendly with a nice relaxing atmosphere.


To the best of her knowledge, Soul Shine Spa is the only spa in town that offers massage therapy, facials, manicures and pedicures in a quiet environment. Other spas offer some of the same services, but they also do hair, where the noise of the dryers tends to disrupt an otherwise serene atmosphere.


Christina's future goals for her company include wanting to hire two more massage therapists along with another manicurist. She will strive to continue to offer a day of relaxation in a clean, quiet, and friendly atmosphere. For more information, call Christina at 608-697-5520.

Portage Chamber January Meeting and Events 

7    Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank of Portage   8am

7    Ribbon Cutting for Grean Carpet Care     10am

15  Ribbon Cutting and Open House at Blau Chiropractic    5pm 

20  Business After 5 at HealthSource of Portage    5pm-7pm

29  Portage Chamber Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet at Best Western 

Business After 5
Our next Business After 5 event will be held at HealthSource, 306 W. Cook St., and on Tuesday, January 13 from 5pm to 7pm. Join fellow members for conversation and refreshments. Remember to bring some business cards to pass around.
Ribbon Cuttings 

A ribbon cutting was held at Soul Shine Spa, 228 W. Wisconsin St., to welcome this new business to Portage.
Offering massages, facials, manicures and pedicures in a relaxing setting.

For a day of relaxation, call 608-697-5520. 



 ribbon cutting was held at Dunkin' Donuts, located inside Walmart at 2950 New Pinery Rd., to welcome this new business to Portage. 

Baking up deliciousness for over 60 years, nothing pairs with coffee like a donut. Try their muffins, croissants, biscuits, and toasted English muffins. Try their take home products, too.

For more information, call 608-745-5700. 


Pierce's Holiday Food Pantry Drive
Pierce's Market Place would like to thank everyone who helped make the holiday food pantry drive a success. Pierce's set a goal to raise $33,000 through patrons purchasing pre-made food pantry bags and pledge cards donations for five food pantries. A grand total of $37,436 was raised! The Portage store, located at 2915 New Pinery Road, raised $13,541 with Pierce's Baraboo, Madison and Muscoda store locations also contributing to the grand total.


Portage Assistant Store Manager Vicki Voiss was excited to announce the Portage pantry will be receiving a check for $3,405. In addition, she said the five pantries that Pierce's donates to picked up more bags, turkeys and hams than they could handle a few of those weeks.

Historic Indian Agency House seeking director
The Historic Indian Agency House (HIAH) is currently seeking a person who will serve as the seasonal Museum Director. Anne Vravick, HIAH Search Committee Chair, encourages you to print this attachment and post it in an area where potential candidates would find it. Vravick thanks you for your support of the HIAH and small Wisconsin museums.

Support Portage K-9 Unit

After over a year's worth of hard work and dedication, the Portage Police Department was given permission to start a Police K-9 Unit. The city has seen a rise in illegal narcotics use over the past several years, posing a great risk to the community. 


The addition of the K-9 Unit will be a great benefit not only to the Department, but to the community as a whole. Not only will the K-9 Unit help combat the ongoing narcotic issue, but will serve the community in several other ways. A well-trained patrol K-9 will be able to assist in searching for at-risk missing persons and assist with evidentiary searches, suspect searches, building searches, as well as providing educational services to the public. All of these skills help increase the safety of the community and officers working in the community.


Due to the tight budget, the department is not entirely able to fund the K-9 Unit. They are asking the community for help in raising the additional funds needed to get the program up and running. 


If you would like to contribute, click here.


portage center for the arts

Happenings at Portage Center for the Arts
Brown Bag Lunch Series

Jim "JR" Roberts, Madison author, poet, and "Little Free Library" aficionado presents "Authors Who Played Baseball" at noon on Thursday, January 22. Several of Jim's 14 published books will be on sale! 

Guest artists selected for this noontime series offer informal presentations on a variety of topics. Bring your lunch and invite a friend. Add a splash of color to your lunch! Admission is just $5.

Performing Arts Series
The Portage Center for the Arts brings Mike McConnell for a performance on Saturday, January 24 at 7:30pm. This classical guitarist is active as a performer, teacher, and scholar, appearing as soloist and member of various ensembles across the U.S.  Reserved seating $15 adults and $5 for students. 

Visual Arts Scholarship 

Dedicated to a visual arts student pursuing an art degree or equivalent after high school, PCA's scholarship is made possible by a generous gift from Eleanor Drury. High school seniors or currently enrolled college students from the greater Portage area are eligible to apply. An application is required. The deadline is February 28.

For more information, call Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E. Cook St., 608-742-5655. 
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, $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.
About the 2014 Columbia County Fair
Did you know the Columbia County Fair brought 327 junior exhibitors with 3,169 entries; the open/senior citizen division had 148 exhibitors with 1,421 entries; and the school division brought 927 exhibitors with 2,373 entries?

See all the exhibits at the 2015 Columbia County Fair in July! 
summit credit union

Summit Credit Union Wins 2 Awards

Summit Credit Union was recently awarded the prestigious Cooperative Builder Award, as well as the international TOP COOP Award of Merit. The Cooperative Builder Award is the Cooperative Network's highest honor, reserved for individuals who advance the cooperative movement at the local, state, regional or national level. Honorees are members, employees or friends of notable cooperatives. This year, Kim Sponem, CEO/president of Summit Credit Union, won the award in recognition of her work benefitting Summit and the cooperative movement as a whole.


Sponem, who has a nearly 20-year history with Summit, serves on the Wisconsin Credit Union League Governmental Affairs Committee and the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology Board of Visitors. She is also a board member for the Credit Union Executives Society, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Consumer Federation of America. Sponem is an active member of the L15 Group, an international group of credit union CEOs from the US, Canada and Australia who discuss the advancements and challenges in the credit union movement in each country.


Summit Credit Union was also awarded the TOP COOP Award of Merit in the category of Involvement and Mobilization as part of the second annual International Summit of Cooperatives held in Canada. Specifically, this international award recognizes the excellence of Summit's Co-op Connection, the free public event Summit hosts to celebrate cooperatives and their contributions to communities. The event also kicks off National Co-op Month.

"As a builder of credit unions, Kim deserves much credit. But as an innovator who understands that credit unions must do much more for members, and communities, than just provide low-cost, consumer-friendly financial services, she stands out as an effective, visionary leader." said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. Sponem was one of four recipients of the Cooperative Builder Award on Nov. 18 at the Cooperative Network's annual meeting in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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

9-11   Blithe Spirit A Ghostly Comedy  
9-31   Gaia Series exhibit at Portage Center for the Arts
15      Open House and refreshments at Blau Chiropractic
18      Bingo at VFW
20      Business After 5 at HealthSource of Portage 
22      Brown Bag Lunch Series at Portage Center for the Arts
24      Mike McConnell - Performing Arts Concert Series
24      Kathy Griffin show at Ho-Chunk-Wisconsin Dells
26      Portage Historical Society Annual Meeting
29      Chamber Meeting and Annual Awards Banquet
For more information about these and other events, go to www.portagewi.com. 

Walking Campaign

HealthSource of Portage is having a Walking Campaign to start your New Years off right. You could have a chance to win a grand prize just by counting your steps. You will also receive a free Health Risk Assessment to see how your daily living may be the cause for unhealthy lifestyle habits. Call or stop down to the office to join and receive your start up packet.

HealthSource of Portage is located at 306 W. Cook St. Call 608-742-2225 for more information.

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. 

shelly cibulka ad sept 2013

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.

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.