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September 2013 
E-Currents Newsletter
In This Issue
Economic Development Specialist
Candidate Forum
Human Society of Kodiak
Magpie Publishing & Production
Crab Fest Poster Contest
Thank You Members
Quick Links
Important Dates to Remember

Kodiak Chamber of Commerce Board Meeting

Monday, September 23rd at noon

Business After Hours

Candidates Forum

September 24th at 6:00 pm
Borough Assembly Chambers

Chamber Board

Board Officers
President Greg Deal- Wells Fargo
Vice President Rick Vahl- AK Waste
Secretary/Treasurer Darlene Williamson- Alaska 1 Realty
Past President Lindsay Knight- Kodiak Athletic Club

Board Members 
Cheryl Blondin- Credit Union 1 
Julie Bonney- Alaska Ground Fish 
Bob Brodie- Associated Island Brokers  
Bub Cassidy- Borough Manager 
Aimee Kniaziowski- City Manager 
Rick Kniaziowski- Horizon Lines 
Charlie Powers-Parks & Rec. 
Tyler Randolph- State Farm 
Chastity Starrett-Discover Kodiak 
Darron Scott- Kodiak Electric Association 
Capt. Melissa Rivera- USCG Air Station 
Capt. Jerald Woloszynski - USCG Base Support Unit  
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Pull Tabs at Henry's

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Message from the President

Chamber Member,


I hope everyone enjoyed their summer. 
The holiday season is approaching and we have many events to look forward to including our Annual Coast Guard Appreciation Event this October 19th.  The Chamber has been honoring our Coast Guard for many years.  We would like to thank the Coast Guard for all that they do for our community.

 I would like to welcome our new Economic Development Specialist, Rebecca Skinner to the chamber. With Rebecca's background, she will be a wonderful asset to the chamber. Rebecca is originally from Kodiak and she is glad to be back and working with Kodiak's community. 


 Tuesday, September 24th is our Candidate Forum held at the Borough Assembly Chambers starting at 6:00 pm. This forum will include candidates for City Mayor, City Council, Borough Mayor, Borough Assembly, and School Board. KMXT will be broadcasting live from the forum. This is a great opportunity to hear from the candidates that will be running our city and borough government. Please come by, or listen in, to hear from your candidates.  


Also stop by Henry's for their awesome cuisine, refreshments and, don't forget to try your luck at the pull tab games.  You may be a lucky winner and the proceeds do help to support your Chamber of Commerce.


Lastly I would like to welcome some of our newest Chamber Members.  Penny Lane Family Salon, Golden Alaska Excavating LLC, 3K3 Computers, Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association, and Kodiak Party Home Consultants.




Greg Deal



Chamber Welcomes the New Economic Development Specialist 

Rebecca Skinner is the new Economic Development Specialist.  She has over 15 years of experience in strategy and organization development, corporate finance, and law with non-profits, government and public corporations.


Prior to joining the Chamber, Rebecca worked at Humana, Inc., in Louisville, Kentucky, leading the finance team responsible for all corporate real estate across the country.  Rebecca played a key role with integrating medical clinic acquisitions into existing corporate financial systems and analyzing impacts associated with integrating real estate operations.

Prior to attending business school in 2007 Rebecca worked with the Sun'aq Tribe of Kodiak environmental and tribal court programs, and practiced law with Cole and Razo, LLC, in Kodiak.

Rebecca Skinners holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native American Studies and Psychology from Dartmouth College, a J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and an M.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  Rebecca is excited to be working with the Chamber in the area of Economic Development and to be back home in Kodiak. 


Candidate Forum

 The Kodiak Chamber of Commerce and KMXT will present a Candidate Forum on Tuesday, September 24th at 6:00 pm in the Borough Assembly Chambers for City Council, City Mayor, Borough Mayor, Borough Assembly, and School Board Candidates.  More information to follow.
Human Society of Kodiak

Magpie Publishing & Production
By: Maggie Wall

Things to know before you get your first business website


So you've decided to get your business a website. Good for you!


Here are some steps to take to get the most out of your new web site.

1.     Decide what you want your site to do...why are you making one? To sell something, to maintain better connections with your customers? To simply have the most basic site online so people can find your hours of operation and phone number using their cell phones?


While I'd argue that you need a website, you don't need a fancy, expensive one. A good starter site is fine. Especially if it is a WordPress site since you can easily update and add to a WP site. That means your basic beginner site will grow with your business.

2.    Who is your target customer, who will be using your site? Develop a "persona" of that person thinking in terms of what they would be looking for when they use your site, is that person young or old? This will give you important information for what to include on your site.
3.    Think of a good URL. That's the "dot com" that goes with your site. Catchy is fine, but remember that it needs to be simple and memorable or people will have trouble typing it in or finding it.


Your business name is usually a good choice, but don't be afraid to consider other possibilities.

Also consider adding "Kodiak" to the name as that will make it local friendly.


    4.    You'll need a "host" for your site. Basically, that's the place "out there" where your site is parked. I use Blue Host for all my sites and recommend it for the sites I build for others.


Be real careful about those inexpensive hosting plans you hear promoted on TV and see in ads on the Internet. For the most part I don't recommend dealing with any of those businesses. Too risky for a lot of reasons.


5.    Decide what you want to include in your website. Make a list. Draw pictures. Look at sites for similar businesses online.


 6.    What do you want your site to look like? WordPress sites work on a system of "themes," which are designs that you pick and then tailor and tweak to look and do just what you want them to.


You can Google website themes and get lots of samples. More than you can imagine. This will give you an idea of what you like, color combinations that fit your business, and ideas about what's possible for a website.


I have to warn you, though, about using "freebie" themes or free site building systems like  Some free themes contain bad links that hijack your business and your sales. Most free sites are not updated and can cause problems as time goes on.


Wix and similar sites can build really cool websites, but you do not own them. You will be bound to their rules and will likely have trouble getting access to your photos and materials when you decide to move your site to a different service.


7.    Ask a friend or another local business about their website. Who built it? How does it work? What would they recommend?

8.    Now that you've done your homework, you can contact someone to build a site for you. Or if you're gutsy and good with computers, you can build your own site. One of the reasons I recommend WordPress sites is that if you can handle Word or Xcel, you can handle the basics of WordPress and maintain your own site.



Even if you set up your own site, I recommend you have someone who knows websites and Internet marketing to give it a once over. They will likely offer you a lot of good ideas for making your site better and will point out obvious problems with your site.


Deciding to get your first business website can be exciting and scary, but with a bit of research, some thought on your part your site can become one of your best business assets.

You're always welcome to ask me questions. No charge; but I'm likely to talk your ear off since I'm so jazzed about helping businesses get online.


    Maggie Wall has a master's degree in Internet Marketing. Her business Magpie Publishing & Production ( designs websites and coaches people how to get their business online and to attract online customers (487-4040). She also produces The LegHead Report located at



Crab Fest Poster Contest

Coast Guard Appreciation Dinner

Thank You to New and Renewing Members

New Members

Silvia Gridley

Renewing Members

Lynette Ponte
Kelly & Angie Huffaker 
Daniel Williams
Jeff Steele 
Dave Ostlund 


Joyce Gregory,
Assistant VP 
Robert Polasky  
Barbara Bolson 
Mike Munsey

Amy Kniaziowski

Nicole Carver
Tiffany Brunson    
Greg Deal, Community
Bank President
Liz Naughten
April Eads

Charlie Pudish
Bud Cassidy
Mary Heckerman