February 2015
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards celebration on Thursday, January 29. More than 100 people gathered at the Best Western to review the Chamber's 2014 accomplishments, learn about what is ahead in 2015, network with fellow members and honor the deserving nominees who make our community a better place to live, work and play. We appreciate all of you who attended the dinner; thanks for sharing the evening with us.

As we begin the next 85 years of our existence, we wanted to let you know that the Chamber is capitalizing on current trends in social media to help us get the word about our great members and the products and services you provide. We have started a Facebook page( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Portage-Area-Chamber-of-Commerce/209252050785?ref=ts)  and encourage you to not only share our page with others, but contribute your own experiences in Portage with us. We will soon be starting to blog our experiences with others. Our Instagram page is just beginning and you can look for us at "PortageChamberWI" --stay tuned as we develop it more...

During the evening we did recognize Chamber-related organizations and people who went above and beyond investing in Portage and inspiring others to do the same. Here is one final look at the 2015 nominees (winners appear in italics):
Jim & Jon Crawford
Crawford Oil & Propane

Business Excellence Award (20+ employees)
Columbia Energy Center Alliant Energy
Pierce's Market Place
Crawford Oil & Propane
Portage Daily Register
Summit Credit Union

Business Excellence Award (less than 20 employees)
Blau Chiropractic
Kevin Blau & Blau Chiropractic staff
Don-Rick Insurance

Rising Star Award
205 Vino
Le Croissant
The Artisan Foodie

Community Service Award
Portage Center for the Arts
River Haven Homeless Shelter
Rotary Club of Portage
Tricia Pionke & Jessica Asch
205 Vino

Educator Commitment Award
Mr. Ed Carlson - Portage High School
Mrs. Carol Austin - St. Mary's School

First Impression Award
Smart Woman/Fancy Pants/Smart Woman Accessories
Trecek Automotive of Portage
Wilz Drug & Home Health
Portage Furniture 

Tourism Award
Indian Trails Campground
Janis Nowak for Portage Rotary
Cascade Mountain
Pine Trail Golf Course & The Rock Bar & Grill
Best Western Resort & Conference Center

Chamber Ambassador of the Year - Darlene Curtis 

Sharon & Dennis Trecek - Trecek
Automotive of Portage


Darlene Curtis - 
Ambassador of the Year
Ed Carlson - Portage High
Randy Axelson- 
Cascade Mountain

Thanks to the Best Western for hosting us and B & B Hitching Post for providing a great meal. Thank you also to the following 2015 Annual Dinner Sponsors:
                                   Gold Level Sponsors:
   arbor green logo  culvers logo  
Silver Level Sponsor:                            
     remedy intelligent staffing

Bronze Level Sponsors:              
    miller brussel  



Welcome New Members

Amalgam, LLC

PO BOX 45; Portage, WI 53901

Josh Ciolkosz at 608-620-8870

A local web design and development company specializing 

in logo, branding, website development and hosting.

Hamilton Park Place
2525 Hamilton St.; Portage, WI 53901
Jon Ekhoff at 608-742-7888
Community based residential facility (CBRF) providing assisted living.

Business Profile
Blau Family Chiropractic and 

Integrated Wellness

Founded by Kevin Blau in 1995 as a chiropractor's office, Blau Family Chiropractic has expanded over the last twenty years into the wellness force it is today. This year as they celebrate 20 years serving Portage and surrounding communities, they are reintroducing themselves not only with beautiful updated facilities and enhanced care processes, but also with a new name to reflect the variety of services available to clients. Blau Family Chiropractic & Integrated Wellness proudly offers an effective, progressive approach to care by professionals in the fields of chiropractic, naturopathy, integrated medicine, exercise therapy, and massage.


The expanded staff includes chiropractors Dr. Kevin Blau and Dr. Brian Heeren, and with the addition of Dr. Jessica Tulachka in January, chiropractic services are even more accessible.   Blau Family Chiropractic and Integrated Wellness also includes certified Naturopath and Lifestyle Educator Rachel Seltzner, certified core trainer and Exercise Therapist Mike Krueger, Physician Gayl Hamilton M.D., and Rowena Thoms, licensed Massage Therapist.


Dr. Blau's vision was to create a complete wellness environment, integrating multiple expert care providers to produce the best health results possible.  The goal is to help clients achieve the maximum level of health and pain reduction through the safest effective methods available with the team of committed professionals he has brought together.


After receiving care at Blau Family Chiropractic and Integrated Wellness, clients report that they are welcomed and treated like family, and that they enjoy a better quality of life and understanding of their body's needs, thanks to reduced or eliminated symptoms and excellent education.  The staff takes extra time with clients to ensure that they are properly diagnosed and understand and feel comfortable with treatment. Through advanced testing and follow-up methods, clients are actually able to measure their body's health improvement.


The entire staff at Blau Family Chiropractic and Integrated Wellness is also committed to improving the lives of the people in the community by participating in a number of outreach events throughout the year.  They coordinate an annual Kids' Day, present free classes, host food drives and a variety of other charitable efforts they organize and engage the community with.  This year, being their 20th anniversary, they will have even more fun events and outreach opportunities!  Visit their website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for the latest updates and details.  www.blauchiropractic.com.

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.
madison college Madison College Spring Leadership Conference
Sign up now for the April 2015 Leadership Conference hosted by Madison College at their West Campus, 302 S. Gammon Rd., in Madison on Thursday, April 23.

Find out more details and for registration, click here for the brochure.

Portage Chamber February Meeting and Events 

3     Business Luncheon at Pizza Ranch   11:30am
4     Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank of Portage   8am

4     Ribbon Cutting for Northwoods Cafe and Catering   9am

11   Business After 5 at Seubert Family Dentistry      4:30pm-6:30pm

Business After 5 (Starting at 4:30pm)
Our next Business After 5 event will be held at Seubert Family Dentistry, 260 W. Cook St., on Wednesday, February 11 from 4:30m to 6:30pm. Join fellow members for conversation and refreshments. Remember to bring some business cards to pass around.

Chamber Business Luncheon

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is offering another way to network with your fellow Chamber members and make those important connections that can help you in your business or career. Bring your business cards, brochures, or anything you wish to share with other members.


Luncheon Information

Come listen to Janet Wiegel of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance talk about the efforts Portage is taking to become a dementia friendly community.  Here is your chance to look at your business and do what you can to be more dementia friendly.  

There are a number of benefits to being a dementia friendly business or organization. It is an excellent way for you to give back to the community, and increase your business recognition, while providing a valuable service to a growing number of customers.  

Where: Portage Pizza Ranch

Date: Tuesday, February 3

Time:  Lunch at 11:30am, Presentation at Noon
Cost: Pay directly for your lunch to the cashier at Pizza Ranch.

Register by replying to this email or click on the link.

Ribbon Cuttings 

A ribbon cutting was held at Blau Family Chiropractic and Integrated Wellness Spa, 641 Latton Lane, to celebrate their n
ew remodel with expanded services! Founded
by Kevin Blau in 1995, the business has expanded over two decades
into the wellness force it is today.
Whether you need chiropractic care, exercise therapy, medical intervention, naturopathy, massage, diet insights or
a combination thereof, they will provide the guidance and expertise you need to achieve your goals. Welcome Jessica Tulachka DC to the team of chiropractors!  Call 608-742-1300.

A ribbon cutting was held at the Portage Chamber for Amalgam, LLC to welcome this new business to Portage. Josh and Kim Ciolkosz recently opened this web and design company. 

Amalgam is based in Portage and offers such services as website development, e-commerce, graphic design, and more. Check out their website at amalgamize.com or call 608- 620-8870 for more information.


Hamilton Park Place, Assisted Living, 2525 Hamilton St., is committed to providing seniors individualized and dignified care in a family setting where they can be strengthened and encouraged to live purpose filled lives.

For more information, call 608-742-7888.
Ribbon cutting for Northwoods Cafe 
Northwoods Bakery and Sandwich Makery is changing its name to Northwoods Café and Catering. They have added a new, inside seating area for customers to enjoy breakfast and lunch. Their menu includes homemade soups, hot sandwiches, wraps, fresh baked desserts, coffee and more.  They also offer daily catering and delivery to businesses.

The Chamber will be holding a ribbon cutting at their location, N6510 US Highway 51 South, on February 4 at 9am at Northwoods. Call 608-742-7114 for more information about Northwoods.


Merlot Melodies: A Love Story in Six Rounds
Come and celebrate the love this Valentine's Day weekend with a free show at 205 Vino. The PACT cast will share their talent and their voices with you in this fun-filled musical romp. The show is scheduled for Feb. 13 and 14 at 7pm. Admission is free, although a donation to Portage Area Community Theater is encouraged. For more information, contact Jess Asch at 205 Vino, 608-742-2058, or visit http://205vino.com.

Rhyme celebrating 70 years of serving you!

Rhyme would like to thank all of their clients for another great year as they mark their 70-year anniversary of serving loyal customers. Throughout the year they will be celebrating in a number of different ways. Rhyme will be hosting numerous open houses and technology shows at each of their eight offices. These events will be packed with great information and some fantastic prizes too, so keep your eye out for the dates!

To celebrate the eight different decades Rhyme has been in business (1940s-2010s) they will be donating new office equipment to eight different non-profits - one for each office! If you know of a non-profit in need of new equipment, nominate them. If you are a non-profit, nominate yourself!

Click here to fill out the online form


portage center for the arts

Happenings at Portage Center for the Arts
Art From the Back Forty: Plants and Animals From Rural Wisconsin

Join us for refreshments, music & friends during the Opening Reception for original prints by CathyJean Clark and sculpture by Gene Reineking is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 6 from 4pm to 6pm. The show, free and open to the public, runs through February.


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 on these events and more, call Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E. Cook St., 608-742-5655 or visit  www.portagecenterforthearts.com

A word about SCORE...

The Madison SCORE Chapter 145 serves entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofits in Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland and Sauk counties. Their free face-to-face counseling and mentoring services are provided by nearly 50 volunteers who have started, owned or managed businesses and nonprofits.


This fact sheet gives more information about how SCORE can help your members and/or their clients. This link will let you know when they are conducting seminars and educational programs that might be of interest to you.


For more information on how SCORE can help you, contact Gene Kroupa, SCORE consultant, at 608-238-3571.


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.
shelly cibulka ad sept 2013
summit credit union

Summit Credit Union offering continuing education scholarships

High school and college students are invited to apply for Summit Credit Union's continuing education scholarships.  The three $1,500 tuition scholarships will be awarded this April.

To apply for the Summit Board of Directors scholarships, students must:

  • Be members of Summit for one year or more as of Jan. 1, 2015
  • Provide a transcript for the December 2014 semester and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Complete an application and explain in an essay how a credit union's cooperative structure benefits its members and the communities it serves

Scholarship recipients will be chosen based on grade point averages, extracurricular and community activities, employment experience and the essay. Applications must be completed by Feb. 28, 2015.  Students should visit:  https://www.summitcreditunion.com/board-of-directors-scholarship-nomination-form.html to review the full eligibility requirements and complete the application.

Applications will be reviewed in March and applicants will be notified of the status of their nomination by phone or mail in April. Winners will be honored at Summit's Member Fest on May 31 in Madison.

Business Day in Madison

Business Day in Madison is a premier event that brings politics and business together. Join the more than 1,000 attendees in Madison this March.


The event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4 from 7:30am to 4pm at the Monona Terrace. Register here.  

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

1       Bingo at the VFW
3       Chamber Business Luncheon at Pizza Ranch 
6       Art from the Back Forty: Plants & Animals from Rural Wisconsin, Opening Reception 
11     Business After 5 at Seubert Family Dentistry
13     Brian Grilli at The Ball Room
13-14   Merlot Melodies: A Love Story in Six Rounds
14     Portage Family Skate Park Fundraiser
14     Play Day at Tivoli
14     PCA Performing Arts Concert Series- Gail Becker
15     Bingo at the VFW
19     The Art of Wine at PCA
20-22   Alumni Basketball Tournament 
20     Musical Performance by Shawndell Marks at 205 Vino
21     Musical Performance by The No Look Loners
22     Durward's Glenn Chili Supper
26     PCA Brown Bag Lunch Series

For more information about these and other events, go to www.portagewi.com. 

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. 

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.