Hanson named to state Chamber board
The Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Executives association (WCCE), a division of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), welcomed changes and additions to its Board of Directors. 
Marianne Hanson, Executive Director for the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce has been named to the WCCE's board of directors.  She will be advocating for our members at the state level and working with our state chamber, WMC to continue to move Wisconsin forward.
Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Executives is a nonprofit, professional development organization housed within Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). Founded in 1916, with more than 200 dues-paying members, WCCE trains and supports Wisconsin chamber professionals as they promote and enhance the economies of communities around the state. Visit www.wichamberexecs.org for more information.
Discover Wisconsin to highlight Portage
Portage is getting its turn on the silver screen soon. The nation's longest-running tourism TV show, Discover Wisconsin, and its hosts, Mariah Haberman and Jake Zimmermann, are showcasing a handful of communities located along the state's longest river, the Wisconsin River. 

The episode, called "Wisconsin River Communities-Along the River's Edge," premieres Feb. 6-7 and will highlight destinations and recreational opportunities in Portage, Tomahawk, Merrill, the Stevens Point Area, and Adams County. The program airs locally Saturday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. on WKOW TV 27. It may also be streamed online at discoverwisconsin.com.
"At 430 miles, the Wisconsin River is the longest in the state, which means it offers residents and visitors alike ample recreational opportunities," said Haberman. "From its fascinating history to its stunning river views, Portage is a phenomenal spot for a Wisconsin River getaway. Our crew is thrilled to name Portage a 2016 Choice Destination!"

The show comes to a close in Portage, the state's third oldest community.  Haberman partakes in a history tour with Mayor Bill Tierney. The program calls attention to The Tamarack and its popular menu items as well as DW Sports Center, a shop that provides sporting goods, including hunting and fishing supplies. 

"Wisconsin River Communities-Along the River's Edge," produced in partnership with the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, Tomahawk Area Chamber of Commerce, Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce, Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Discover Wisconsin, will reach Discover Wisconsin's broadcast network of 500,000 viewers across the upper Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Illinois, and Upper Michigan. The episode was produced by Maria Petrella.
To learn more, visit discoverwisconsin.com.
First Impression Award
Pflanz, Mantey, Mendrala
Funeral Home
Charlie Mantey
2016 Chamber Annual Awards 
Winners of the 2016 Chamber Annual Awards were revealed at a dinner held at The Ball Room on Wednesday, January 27. Notable among the recipients, Malone's State Farm Insurance Agency won the first-ever Susan Weyh Business Excellence Award (less than twenty employees). 

Kurt Bauer of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce was the featured speaker and discussed the state of the Wisconsin economy, the challenges manufacturers have in attracting skilled labor, and highlighted unemployment figures and other related data. 

Portage Mayor Bill Tierney was also on hand and briefly mentioned the good things happening in Portage, pointing out the opening of Divine Savior Healthcare's La Vita and the Columbia County Administration Building project.

Thank you to those who took the time to nominate
Rising Business Star Award
The Artisan Foodie

Mila Stahl 
businesses and individuals and to those who attended
the dinner to help recognize the nominees.

Susan Weyh Business Excellence Award
Malone's State Farm Insurance Agency
Sean Malone
Community Service Award
Nancy Schaper

Chamber Ambassador of the Year Award
Darlene Curtis, Associated Bank

Business Excellence Award
(More than 20 employees)
Pierce's Marketplace
Eric Erickson & Donna Boehm

Tourism Award
Indian Trails Campground
Dave & Myrna Schneider
Educator Commitment Award
Robin Kvalo, Portage Community Schools

And Thank You sponsors.... culvers logo

arbor green logo
community bank of portage

don rick new logo miller brussell logo
luncheon 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
Steve Sobiek, Director of Business Development and Planning for the City of Portage will be our speaker.  He will be giving us an update on projects, programs and his work toward development in the City of Portage.
Please RSVP to the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Date: Tuesday, March 1
Where: B&B Hitching Post, 2503 W. Wisconsin St.
Time:  Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost:  Pay for your lunch at the restaurant

They will also give us some insight into other projects and ideas for the 2016 year.
Portage High School Career Fair
Portage High School (PHS) and the Columbia County Area Manufacturer's Council would like to invite you to participate in the 3rd PHS Career Fair highlighting local manufacturing, businesses and other industries on October 26, 2016 from 8:30am to 2:30pm inside the PHS gymnasium.

The career fair highlights the variety of career opportunities in your business and informs the students (high schoolers from Portage, Poynette, Pardeeville, Montello and Westfield) of the skills and education needed for positions with in your company. 

Booth size will be 8' wide with a few larger booths available upon request. Set up will be from 7:30am to 8:20am with PHS SKILLS USA and FFA members available to help load and unload.
There is NO COST to have a booth and appear at the event. This is a win-win for your company and for the students.

Please contact Marianne Hanson at 608-742-6242 with any questions or to sign up your business. Thank you for your support of the future leaders in business and manufacturing. Please sign up by September 1, 2016. 
Business Profile - 
Roth Professional Solutions

At A Glance...
Roth Professional Solutions, Inc. (RPS) was established in 2014 by Robert J. Roth, PE, and is a consulting firm specializing in providing technical, responsive and customized solutions in the engineering and consulting industry.  Clients include municipalities (city, village & town government) and private organizations/businesses, many of whom are local but some clients extend to other parts of the State of Wisconsin.
A Good Start....
Mr. Roth's entrepreneurial spirit led him to form RPS and continue to provide client services and focus on meeting client's needs.  It was formed as a private corporation with 100% ownership by Mr. Roth, who remains located in rural Portage.  Like many other start-ups it took a solid effort and level of energy on a daily basis to maintain workflow and meet expectations.  Those qualities, along with many high-quality client relationships that have been built on trust and integrity, have proven to be successful building blocks for RPS.  RPS 'hit the ground running' and expanded in clients and projects in 2015.
Going Forward....
Plans for the business are to continue to provide professional consulting to clients locally and throughout the State of Wisconsin, expanding in service and clientele.  RPS exhibits a strong level of passion for every project and strives to meet client's best interests with every work effort.  The #1 goal without question is the client and the client's objectives.
Involved Locally....
You will find Rob involved in several community activities, most notably the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, where he currently serves on the Board and Executive Committee. Further, Rob maintains a strong level of involvement in youth sports and activities, especially coaching and teaching basketball.  His basketball background provides a strong value to the community as a coach and a leadership mentor.

For more information, please contact Roth Professional Services at 608-697-5857.
Welcome New Chamber Members 
World Finance Corporation
2555 New Pinery Rd.  Portage, WI 53901
Roxanne Betancourt at 608-742-0135
World class loan and tax service. 

Giggles For Kids
117 W. Cook St.    Portage, WI 53901
Joan Indermark at 608-745-5768
Retail store for children's toys and books located inside the Mercantile.

Mayoral Forum 

Save the date for the 2016 City of Portage Mayoral Forum on Wednesday, February 10 at 6:30pm at Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E. Cook St. 

Alderman Rick Dodd, Alderwoman Rita Maass, local businessman John Morauski, and current Mayor Bill Tierney are expected to participate. A primary election will be held on Tuesday, February 16 with the top two candidates advancing to April 5th election.

The public is invited to submit questions for the candidates ahead of the forum to the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242 or pacc@portagewi.com.    
dreyer design web Enjoying Watercolor with Chris Dreyer
With a goal of teaching the basics to beginners and expanding the talent of experienced artists as well, Chris Dreyer will guide you through the techniques and help you develop skills needed to produce beautiful watercolor paintings. He will not only tell you how, but also show you! 

Watercolor classes will be starting on Tuesday, February 16 and meet Tuesday evenings 6pm-8:30pm at the United Methodist Church of Portage. Subsequent dates are Feb. 23, March 1 and 8.
Cost for the 4 classes is only $60. Chris will provide supplies for the first class, hand out a materials list, and let you know in advance the upcoming subject/s.

If interested call or email soon to reserve your place 608-742-1453. For more about Chris and his art visit www.dreyerdesign.com.
Bridal Pond fountain update 
Thank you to Columbia County Health & Human Services and its Denim Dollar fundraiser, encouraging employees to contribute $1 to wear jeans on Fridays. The money raised is then donated toward various causes, the fountain project among the latest recipients.  

Pizza Ranch hosting February benefit
Portage Pizza Ranch is hosting a month long benefit for the Portage Food Pantry inc. Throughout the whole month of February, eat at Pizza Ranch and you will help increase the amount of the donation. Once the month is over, a percentage of the sales will be donated directly to the food pantry. You can help the Columbia County pantry stock up without lifting a single can!

So come out and eat a great meal while helping others do the same! For more information, contact Portage Pizza Ranch, 2905 New Pinery Rd., at 608-566-1750.
Percolator now Two Rivers Coffee Company
The popular location formerly known as The Percolator, 224 W. Wisconsin St., has been renamed the Two Rivers Coffee Company. Expect the same great service. For more information, call for 608-742-7372.
End of Winter Sale at Mercantile, Giggles for Kids
The Mercantile is having an End of Winter Sale on March 5 from 9am to 4pm. The merchants inside the Mercantile invite you to shop for big deals on a variety of unique, quality crafts & products. For example:

Take 30% off all toys and books to make room for new Spring merchandise at Giggles for Kids.

Steps of Change Series at Portage Library
Wisconsin United We CAN (Change Addiction Now) is partnering with the Portage Public Library on a four-part educational series on drugs, addiction, and recovery. Steps of Change: Awareness and Prevention, the first session in the series, will be held on Saturday, February 6. Doors open at 9:30am for the resource fair and speakers start at 10am.

For more information, please contact Sheril Lannoye at www.portagelibrary.us or Lori Cross Schotten, lorics@changeaddictionnow.org.  Wisconsin United We CAN is a state-wide non-profit organization focused on bringing the voice of the family to addiction and recovery, partnering with the Portage Library to provide a free educational series on drugs and addiction. 

This series will cover a different topic each week through educational information and guest speakers. Other dates are February 13, 19 and 27. 
Donna Boehm & Eric Erickson from Pierce's Marketplace present Barb Chesney of the Portage Food Pantry a check for $2,030.
Pierce's Food Pantry Drive results
Pierce's Marketplace recently concluded its annual Food Pantry Drive. During the holiday season, Pierce's has offered customers the chance to donate to local food pantries by purchasing pre-packaged bags of food or pledge cards.

This year, customers came through with more donations than ever, setting a new record of $53,230 donated to local food pantries, with over $18,000 going to the five Food Pantries that the Portage location supports. 

Since 2010, more than $213,000 worth of food has been donated by Pierce's and its customers in the four communities where the stores operate. Pierce's thanks the community for supporting their efforts to help those in our community who need it most.

Looking for a Hot Deal? See our list!   

Check out our Hot Deals webpage for deals our Chamber members are offering. Have a Hot Deal of your own you want others to know about? Post your deals on our webpage and join the Hot Deal brigade! There is no charge for posting a Hot Deal, so post away!  If you have questions, call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 to get started.

Click here to see the specials that are currently running!
SBDC offering classes
If you are starting a business or just need help with business fundamentals, then check out the SBDC's February and March line up of start-up and business planning classes!
Small Business Fundamentals  Experts sharing their advice in the crucial areas of business including: Marketing, Internet, Insurance, Financial Record keeping, Legal, HR and Financing options. Tuesday and Thursday Evenings; February 9 - March 3; $245
(2nd person from same company $199)    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Lean Start - Business Model Canvas Creation  Before you spend an enormous amount of time and money on your business idea; apply lean tools to find out the feasibility of your business idea. You will learn and use the Business Model Canvas to pinpoint customer segments, test assumptions and obtain feedback from potential customers.  Monday Evenings; 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm; March 7 & 9; $85     CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Writing your Business Plan   In this course you'll create a plan for your new or existing business.You will go through each section of the business plan and complete a draft to use as a road map for your business and help you obtain financing.  Monday and Wednesday Evenings; 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm; March 14, 16, 21 & 23;$199    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
For any of the classes you may also Call 608-262-3909 to register.
For any business questions call 608-263-7680.   

Sue Weyh Memorial Bonspiel on February 6 & 7, 2016 at the Portage Curling Club, 107 W. Albert St. 

Donate a prize for the raffle or donate funds! Email hooplabonspiel@gmail.com if you are interested in donating.

Find us on a page on Facebook: Hoopla Bonspiel

For more information, call 608-742-3237.
portage center for the arts
Visual Arts Scholarship available
The Portage Center for the Arts wants to let you know there is a scholarship made possible by a generous gift from Eleanor Drury. The VA Scholarship is dedicated to a visual arts student pursuing an art degree or equivalent after high school. 

Currently enrolled college students and high school seniors from the greater Portage area are eligible and encouraged to apply for this scholarship. An application is required. The deadline is April 15, 2016.

Also, adult artists interested in participating in this year's Art that Blooms exhibit held in June should submit one piece of original art for consideration. Send a digital image via email or CD, along with an application form, available on our website or at the office, by Saturday, February 13.

Portage Center for the Arts is located at 301 E. Cook St. Call 608-742-5655 for more info. 
st. mary logo
Pancake Supper at St. Mary's
St, Mary's 6th grade families are hosting a Pancake Supper on Tuesday, February 9 in the St. Mary School cafeteria. They will be serving from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. 

For more information, call 608-742-4998. 

Portage Chamber February Meeting and Events
4     Governor Walker Luncheon at Best Western
9     Business After 5 at Days Inn    5pm-7pm
10   Ribbon Cutting at Beddy Buyz    9:30am
10   Mayoral Forum at Portage Center for the Arts  6:30pm
17   Ribbon Cutting at Design 1 Apparel   9am

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.

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. 

February Community Events
Spread the word about your events by posting them on our website!
4     Divine Savior Healthcare Scrub Sale
4     Portage Chamber Governor Walker Luncheon
6-7  HoopLa Bonspiel in Memory of Sue Weyh at Portage Curling Club
6     Steps of Change Drug & Awareness Education Series at Portage Public Library
6     Cookin' with Gus at Northwoods Dinner Theatre
6     Oak Street Ramblers - Performing Arts Series at Portage Center for the Arts
9     St. Mary School Pancake Supper
9     Business After 5 at Days Inn
10   Mayoral Forum at Portage Center for the Arts
13   Steps of Change Drug & Awareness Education Series at Portage Public Library
13   Young at Heart Play Day at Tivoli
13   Riesling Rhythms: A Musical Revue by PACT at 205 Vino
13-14   Cookin' with Gus at Northwoods Dinner Theatre
17    Eat & Help Out the Columbia County Humane Society at Pizza Ranch
18    Suicide Prevention Training at Portage Public Library
19-21  Portage Alumni Basketball Tournament
19    Bingo at Our House Senior Living
20    Steps of Change Drug & Awareness Education Series at Portage Public Library
24    Business Day in Madison
27    Steps of Change Drug & Awareness Education Series at Portage Public Library

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

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.