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ATHENA and Young Professional Awards

2014 ATHENA AwardsThe Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its ATHENA Awards recognizing women who demonstrate excellence, their leadership and creativity in their careers, valuable service to the community, and who mentor other women in reaching their full leadership potential.

The 2014 ATHENA Awards will also mark the eighth year that the Flagstaff Chamber recognizes an emerging female leader with the ATHENA Young Professional Award, designed to honor women under the age of 40 who have demonstrated excellence in their careers, contribute to the community, and clearly stand out as role models for young women both professionally and personally.

The ATHENA Award was founded nationally in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz and ATHENA International, a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. The goddess Athena was chosen as the symbol for the program to reflect the qualities the award honors – strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment.

The Athena Leadership Model identifies eight tenets of leadership that reflect women’s unique ways of leading. Infused with the 21st century demands for balance, accountability, and continuous learning, the model is a guide for leadership behavior and emphasizes the tenet’s interdependent relationship to the practice of dynamic leadership. The tenets include the authentic self, relationships, giving back, collaboration, courageous acts, learning, fierce advocacy, celebration and joy.

The 2014 ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professional Awards will be presented during the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting on Friday, February 6, 2014. Profiles of all the candidates will be featured in the Arizona Daily Sun, this newsletter and on the Chamber website.

Nomination Forms:

ATHENA Award Nomination Form

ATHENA Young Professional Award Nomination Form

Nomination deadline: Friday, January 9, 2015 at 12 noon.

Cost of Living Index

The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce collected data for the national Cost of Living Index that was recently released for third quarter. The Council for Community and Economic Research produces the Cost of Living Index based on more than 90,000 prices, which are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and university economic centers in each participating urban area. Flagstaff weighed in with 118.2 or 18.2 % above the national average for a professional/managerial standard of living of all 264 areas in the study. Statewide we ranked the highest cost of living of all eight cities participating.

For over ten years, the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce has conducted the research required to calculate Flagstaff’s Cost of Living Index. The quarterly study measures relative price levels for consumer goods and services. The data requested is set by category and collected by each participating community on exactly the same timeframe nationwide.

This local economy research is provided by the Chamber as a community service. Greater Flagstaff Chamber officials make personal visits to each of the stores that must be visited to collect prices for 60 different items all set ahead of time in six categories. The average for all participating places in each category equals 100, and each participant’s index is read as a percentage of the average for all contributing areas. Categories are then aggregated into a composite index.

The study showed that Flagstaff utility prices are lower than the average price for utilities in the measured areas. Flagstaff numbers for two categories, “Health Care” and “Miscellaneous Goods and Services” were almost equal to the average. The price of grocery items in Flagstaff earned a 116.6 index, while transportation prices were at 112.4. However, a Housing Index of 154.3 was what drove up Flagstaff’s composite index to 118.2.

Among the 264 urban areas that participated in the third quarter 2014 Cost of Living Index, the after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York (Manhattan) NY to almost 20 percent below the national average in McAllen, TX.

The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
in the Cost of Living Index Third Quarter 2014
National Average for 264 Urban Areas = 100

Most Expensive Least Expensive
Ranking Urban Areas COL Index Ranking Urban Areas COL Index
1 New York (Manhattan) NY 214.5 1 McAllen TX 81.5
2 Honolulu HI 171.2 2 Ashland OH 83.4
3 New York (Brooklyn) NY 168.6 3 Harlingen TX 83.5
4 San Francisco CA 165.5 4 Martinsville-Henry County VA 84.6
5 Hilo HI 156.4 5 Richmond IN 84.6

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. Small differences should not be interpreted as showing a measurable difference.

The composite index is based on six component categories – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services.

The quarterly Cost of Living Index is available by subscription for $165 per year. A copy of the report is available to Chamber members for review at the Chamber offices.

Family Adventures at the North Pole Experience

North Pole ExperienceIt took a village to bring North Pole Experience to Flagstaff from Greer three years ago. It entailed a private-public partnership with Coconino County, a partnership with Little America and collaborations with local businesses.

North Pole Experience (NPX) brings a memorable, unique Christmas experience to all ages. It begins with a trolley ride that goes through a magical portal into the North Pole, followed by tours of Santa’s Toy Hall of Fame, Santa’s Workshop where kids help elves build toys, Mrs. Claus’s Bakery, and Santa’s Mail Room. Children also go to Elf University to learn how to be good elves and remain on Santa’s Nice List. The tour ends with a visit with Santa and his sleigh.

019-IMG_8699-2Since 2012, NPX partners exclusively with Little America Hotel, another popular Arizona holiday tradition and premier Flagstaff travel destination, for an “all-inclusive NPX package.” A package includes a lavish dinner buffet, a one-night stay, and breakfast with Santa. Just like a scene out of a favorite holiday movie, the Trolley Launch Station is located on Little America’s 500 acres of beautiful, private forest. Little America is decked out in over a million Christmas lights for the holiday season, making it the perfect backdrop for NPX guests, putting them in the Christmas spirit the moment they arrive. For guests that do not purchase the package, they are able to book the NPX rate at the hotel, or purchase breakfast with Santa the following morning. Little America provides the perfect check-in and gift shop for guests as they are comforted at the hotel before they are whisked off to the forest and taken to the North Pole.

Through its 40-day holiday season, NPX draws over 40,000 attendees from Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii and from around the globe, including Europe and Mexico. With over 85% tourists, NPX collaborates with local hotels, restaurants, and attractions to promote Flagstaff as a winter recreation destination. Some include Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, Arizona Snowbowl, Doubletree Hilton, Courtyard Marriott and many other winter friendly attractions that offer special deals to NPX guests.

North Pole ExperienceOn its third year in Flagstaff, NPX welcomes upgrades to the experience including brand-new, state of the art trolley buses unveiling Santa’s new Aurora Borealis generator power system. The bakery is larger than previous years offering tastier cookies for all, and Elf University was expanded.

Owner and founder Scott Pace notes, “This year is the biggest year yet with day trips starting at 9:00 am and running every 15 minutes until 8:15pm on weekends and from 4:00 pm to 8:15 pm on weekdays. NPX has tens of thousands visit the North Pole Experience, and has grown at least 100% every year since the start of our operation in 2009.” Each Christmas season, NPX employs more than 120 part-time and full time employees, including all the elves.
The North Pole Experience runs until December 27, tickets range from $38 to $55. Give NPX a jingle 480-779-9679 info@northpoleexperience.com http://northpoleexperience.com/

Tourist Home Urban Market Opens for Business

FLAGSTAFF – AZ. For the first time in decades, the Tourist Home will illuminate the neon sign hovering above the San Francisco Street sidewalk in Flagstaff’s Southside, and open its doors to locals and visitors once more. A former boarding house for immigrant Basque sheepherders whose travels through Flagstaff once were widespread, the building has been sitting dormant; boarded up and decaying for the last 40-plus years. It wasn’t until visions for its revitalization and re-purposing were met with strategy and partnerships, did progress begin for the Heinonen cousins and new business partner, Chris Kemmerly of Miramonte Homes.

A natural extension of its sibling restaurant and bar businesses – Tinderbox Kitchen and Annex – Tourist Home Urban Market (THUM) will represent the retail arm of the three. Part storefront, part restaurant, part local hub, THUM provides counter service offering chef-driven foods, pre-packaged or made-to-order. Menu items include hot breakfast items and pastries, gourmet packaged foods, house charcuterie, chef-butchered steaks and chops, domestic cheeses, prepared-to-order sandwiches, plus an assortment of soups and salads. All foods are made on-premises and intentionally kept simple with no more than five ingredients. Drinks include fair-trade coffees, juices, sodas, beer and wine.

“We kept the integrity and style from the Tinderbox and Annex and implemented that quality into the market,” said Dara Wong, general manager, “It allows T-Box fans to access many of the specialty foods, meats, cheeses and wines we have at the restaurant, but in a one-stop- shop fashion, including made-to-order counter-service meals.”

The historic preservation and architectural efforts; local craftsmanship; and artistic vision that aligned to create Tourist Home Urban Market, did so in an unprecedented and synergistic way. The owners and staff are eager to share the building’s story and contribute to the next chapters in its history.

Tourist Home Urban Market, located at 52 S. San Francisco St., will open its doors for business on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 6 a.m. Hours and days of operation are 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., seven days a week. More information at 928-779-2811 or 928-226-8400.

Chamber/Vora Financial Present Northern Lights Holiday Parade

Vora Financial and the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce are proud to present the Annual Holiday Parade of Lights, which will bedeck Historic Downtown in the glow of the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 6 pm.

Bring your hat, mittens and plenty of hot chocolate and enjoy the beautiful sights as dozens of twinkling floats pass by. The parade begins at the corner of Beaver and Elm, proceeds south the Aspen, east past a reviewing stand at Heritage Square to San Francisco and then back up to Elm.

The Chamber encourages you to make a day of it by patronizing local businesses during the day and then enjoying the parade that night.



Northern Lights Holiday Parade Igloo

Deadline Extended for Young Entrepreneurial Scholars (YES) Week Applications

The deadline for applications for the 2nd Annual Young Entrepreneurial Scholars Week – an intensive summer experience to to encourage budding entrepreneurs – has been extended to Friday, June 15.

YES Week offers a limited number of incoming high school sophomores, juniors and seniors the chance to understand entrepreneurship as a career option, generate business ideas, meet and learn from successful business professionals and develop leadership abilities and skills necessary for business success.

The initiative, launched by the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, will be held from July 23-27 this year.

An atmosphere of constant creativity helps students generate business ideas and develop them into viable business plans. As part of YES! Week, business professionals and leaders will be volunteering their time to speak and interact with the participants by sharing their own career and professional experiences.

“The opportunity to meet and learn from successful entrepreneurs will help the students develop their critical thinking, life skills and leadership abilities,” said Chamber President / CEO Julie Pastrick. “We expect that these interactions will engage the students and help shed light on potential new businesses and future career goals.”

To download a YES! Week Application Form, please click here. For recommendation forms, click here.

Mayoral and City Council preference poll

Chamber Logo Blue Knockout
The Flagstaff Chamber has been hard at work this election season. Enclosed are answers to a candidate questionnaire we designed. Their responses should give you a sense of how each candidate would lead.  For your benefit, links to these answers are available on the next page. 

Your Mayor and City Council members make decisions daily that affect the local business environment in our community. From budget priorities to infrastructure, local officials play a crucial role in creating an environment conducive to business and job growth. Your vote in the upcoming election is your opportunity to improve our business climate and enhance our quality of living.

Once you read through these candidate responses, please participate in our confidential poll and rank your choices for City Council and your choice for Mayor. Your responses are kept completely confidential and secure and will aid the chamber in our endorsement process. Please complete only one survey per person.
Thanks for your investment in the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce!

My Best,

Tom Wyatt, IOM
Director, Government Affairs

Please click the “Continue” button below to view the answers submitted by candidates and to indicate your voting preference.



Reserve Today for Annual Meeting

Ken Colburn, CEO/founder of Data Doctors Computer Services and Data Forensic labs, established in 1988, will keynote the 2012 Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting on Friday, January 20, from 11:30 am-1:15 pm in the High County Conference Center.

Colburn’s ability to explain technology to the average user has made him a popular speaker. A featured columnist in The Business Journal, eBay Magazine, and BizAZ magazine, he was voted the Best Computer Help Radio Host in the Country by Tech TV, a 24-hour national cable channel.

You’ll walk away with cutting edge strategies for your 2012 business plan from Colburn, who will discuss the mobile revolution, social media, cloud computing and the latest updates from Facebook and Google.

The Flagstaff Chamber Annual Meeting is a signature business event in our community. It will also feature the awarding of the ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professional Honors. The Chairman’s gavel will be passed from Mike Loven (Loven Contracting) to Greg Sampson (Alliance Bank).

Corporate tables of eight are available at $360, and individual tickets are $50. Register today.

Free Comedy Show Tix for Chamber Members

The Pepsi Amphitheater is looking to show off the facility to Chamber members by providing two free tickets to Chamber members for one of several upcoming comedy shows at the venue. The acts include Pat DeGuire (August 18) and Kathleen Dunbar (September 1), who have both been seen on Comedy Central, as well as Buffet Jackson on September 22.

This is an exclusive offer to Chamber members. For details on obtaining the tickets, please call the Chamber at 928.774.4505.

120 Years, 120 Reasons

The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce celebrates 120 years of serving the business community of Flagstaff this year. Since 1891, when it was the Board of Trade, the Chamber has championed the local economy, promoted the community, given our members networking opportunities and advocated for the business community at all levels of government.

Here are our 120 years 120 reasons  to be a member!

Chamber Cafe – Owning Your Own Business (June 1)

Wednesday, June 1 – 11:30 am – Chamber boardroom. $5 – Chamber members only.

Register today by clicking here.

The raw and fearful facts are 87% of all small business starts fail in the first five years. 40,000 businesses go out of business EVERY single month in America. So, how do the survivors survive? THEY DON’T – they thrive from day one!

Want to learn how to avoid these frustrations? Do you know, really know, what your customers want?

Do you want your business to thrive while working less than 20 hour per week? Look, the only reason to own a business at all is to fulfill your life dreams. So, how is that working out for you?

Owning a small business should add value to your life, not consume you and drive you insane. There are solutions to your frustrations. This Chamber Café will focus on these key frustrations, show you pathways to solve them, and offer REAL tools for your success even in a down economy.

This session of Chamber Cafe is being led by Rick Krug. Rick has worked with Michael Gerber (The E-Myth Revisited) and is on John Maxwell’s Leadership Team (The 360 Leader, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. As a fellow entrepreneur, Rick has walked in your shoes and wants to share many of insights he has learned from not only the top experts in small business success, but the school of Hard Knocks!

Celebrate Independence Day with Pepsi/Chamber Parade

Dress up on your most patriotic duds and plan on attending the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce/Pepsi 4th of July Parade on Independence Day – Monday, July 4.

Flagstaff’s streets will be decked out in red, white and blue as the annual calvacade marches through Historic Downtown starting at 9 am. Now in its 15th year, this event draws thousands of visitors to Flagstaff. It was named an “Arizona Treasure” by former Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2005.

Lesson2Life Offered to Flagstaff Teachers

The Arizona K12 Center and the Flagstaff Chamber are partnering to offer local teachers Lesson2Life, a three-day workshop being held July 11-13, that allows educators to experience the Arizona workplace first-hand and bring that real life relevance to the classroom. Teachers participating in the initiative will learn to maximize their students’ chances for success while earning 18 hours of continuing education credit. 

Through Lesson2Life, teachers will observe first hand how the integration of the Arizona Workplace Skills Standards impacts job performance in actual work environments. In just a few experience-rich days, they’ll gain a unique behind-the-scenes-perspective of various industries. They will also gain insights on how to focus their instruction while creating learning opportunities to best students for a global economy that continues to evolve. Lesson2Life will emphasize businesses and industries relevant to Flagstaff, including hospitality, high tech, finance, non-profit and agriculture .

Educators and employers in Arizona share the same goal, to prepare today’s students as tomorrow’s workforce, yet they seldom have the opportunity to share their visions. Lesson2Life changes that. Lesson2Life reinforces the importance of workplace skills already being taught in schools and will inspire new ways of infusing education with real world relevance. It’s time to get down to business.

APS provides the primary funding and is a valuable supporter of this program.

Cost of the program is $40. To register, please click here.