Monthly Archives: November 2017

Who’s ready for 2018?!?!

I know, I know.  Thanksgiving was just last week and it’s not even December yet, but here at the Chamber we’ve been gearing up for 2018 for a few weeks now.  Hopefully you’ve saved the date for our Annual Banquet (1/19) and Annual Meeting (1/23) – two very important events within the Chamber calendar year.

December is such a busy month for most – Company Christmas parties and/or get-togethers with friends, holiday shopping (locally!) for both food and presents, traveling to or hosting family.  For us at the Chamber, December will be busy, but busy working on things to come in the new year:

  • Awards Banquet: my favorite part of the Chamber world where we honor people in the community for all that they have done, plus enjoy have an evening of entertainment and socializing.
  • Annual Meeting: see what our focus in 2018 will be, some new things, and some classics.
  • Membership Investment: keep an eye out for your 2018 investment in the Chamber.  We depend upon your support to continue to do all that we can for the business community!  We’re so grateful for you!
  • Sponsor guides: Bekka, Laura, Rachel and I have been busy trying to get these out to all our past sponsors. Again, we are so grateful for your support!  Please contact the Chamber if you haven’t gotten one.  We have so many great opportunities all year round!

The Chamber’s tagline “where connections happen” is so fitting.  We have so many ways for you to be involved.  And if you haven’t found one that fits for you or your business – I’d love to hear from you!   Part of my focus is always improving what we offer to our members which includes changing things up and offering new things.  I plan to continue to do that in the new year.  Keep your eye out for those new things.  Additionally, we aim to make our signature events even better!  Plan to Connect, Engage, Grow, and Lead with the Chamber in a new way in the new year.

It has been said, “whether we want them or not, the new year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the new year will bring new opportunities”

May we embrace all the challenges and opportunities that the new year brings.  The Chamber is getting ready, are you?



Behold the glass! Is it half full or half empty?

It’s a question famously used to gauge if someone is an optimist or a pessimist.  Someone who has a heart full of gratitude, however, is just thankful to have a cup!

My mother instilled in (forced!) me at a very young age, to write thank you cards… and I did it (kicking and screaming most times!) so often that now it is a habit I cannot break.  Nor would I want to – it’s getting close to becoming a lost art in our highly digital age.  William Arthur Ward is credited as saying “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”.  What better way to express your gratitude than to ‘snail mail’ something handwritten?  Maybe I am old fashioned, but in my opinion a text or email thank you, while sincere, just doesn’t have the same sparkle.

I try to instill in my kids that same grateful attitude.  Every time I hear them complain, I rephrase it and make them repeat it back to me in a thankful way.  “I wanted pizza!” turns to “thank you, God, that I have food to eat today and a table and chairs at which to sit comfortably and eat!”  They probably hate it.  But they will thank me one day, or at least be thankful the way I am for my mother.  Also, my mother made the best pumpkin pie.  Which leads me to think about Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday.  Not just because you get to eat delicious turkey dinners and pumpkin pie, but because it seems to put everyone in a thankful frame of mind.  When I take time to call to mind my countless blessings, my heart fills with joy!


“It’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy!”

On a cold day like today, it is easy to be thankful for heat.  Likewise, I am thankful for life and breath and my family.  In addition, I am thankful for so many other things:  the countless people in this community that truly care about the future of our area, our businesses, and our citizens; our members banding together to promote the local economy; those in the city and county making important infrastructure changes; and those in the many service clubs (like rotary) across town who constantly serve others.  I am happy to be in a position to help the business community flourish in this ‘history in the making’ time to be living in Western North Dakota.

I am also particularly thankful for the Chamber staff, the Board of Directors, and all our committee volunteers – the Chamber wouldn’t be the same without you!

Thank you and may you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


Top 10 Reasons to Stay In Town and Shop Williston This Holiday Season

Black Friday, the “official” start of the holiday shopping season, is only days away.  The Chamber has kicked off this day with their holiday lights parade for 23 years!

I typically like to start my holiday shopping sooner than Thanksgiving since I find the weeks before Christmas seem to fly by.  In spite of the fewer hours of daylight there seem to be more events and get togethers this time of year.  Some of my favorites include cookie exchanges with my friends.  But as it is typical with the best of intentions, I rarely get any holiday shopping done prior and it’s probably a good thing since the best deals haven’t yet emerged!   This holiday season, take time to remember the buying power you have to continue to make our community stronger.   Need more reasons to stay in town?  See the Chamber’s top ten list:

  1. PARADE on November 24th! The Chamber’s 23rd Annual Holiday Lights parade starts at 6pm at the National Guard Armory and runs down main street ending with the lighting up of Harmon Park. This year’s theme is Winter Wonderland!  Candy is always abundant, and the lighted floats are especially creative – don’t miss Santa at the end on the Fire Truck!
  2. Holiday Lights Drive – at Spring Lake Park between November 25th and December 31st only $5 a car
  3. Send some North Dakota love to other states – Shop Williston to send unique gifts to your out of town family or friends. The Visitors Center makes gift baskets containing ND made products and many shops have their own exclusive brands
  4. It’s the best time to use those Chamber Bucks!
  5. Small Business Saturday – November 25th – find great deals from your local small businesses.
  6. Classes – many stores now offer a great experience – not just shopping for things we may want or need but experiencing the products available to you and allowing fun times with friends.
  7. Shorter Lines/Smaller Crowds – enough said!
  8. Drive time (Save gas!) most stores are accessible within 15 minutes – after shopping you will still have time to eat out at our many local restaurants.
  9. Try things on, test things out – easier returns than online!
  10. Customer Service! – get to know and interact with your friends and neighbors…often allowing you to get to know the shop owners and impact what you can purchase here.

Williston is such a warm community despite the crisp winter weather that is upon us.  Please remember that you have the power to preserve our prosperous, historic, and unique community.  And it’s incredibly simple: Patronize local businesses.

As one local store owner put it “When you support local businesses you support a dream. You help keep quality health care professionals, law enforcement personnel, teachers, and jobs in our community.  Friends don’t let friends shop online. Think local. Buy local. #shopwillistonwide”

Think local – buy local.  Especially this holiday season.  I bet you will be surprised at what you find!


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