I would like to start by congratulating all of the distinguished citizens that were recognized at our Annual Banquet on the evening of January 12th. This year’s honorees include: Paul Skeen, Agriculturist of the Year; Steve Wyborney, Educator of the Year; Dale & Cheryl Cruson with Oregon Trail Hobbies & Gifts, Business of the Year; Julie Van Matre, Woman of the Year; and Cliff Bentz, Man of the Year. It is always very interesting for me to learn how the leaders of our community got their start and to hear about the stories and hard work involved to put them where they are today. They are all very deserving to be recognized and are a treasure to our community.

The Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet was also a great networking opportunity, as it is every year. I would encourage you to take advantage of as many of the networking opportunities that you are able to attend, your Chamber of Commerce has many to offer. Most notable is our weekly forum at the Country Kitchen Wilderness Room, every Monday at noon. Another great event on the horizon is ONTCCY or “Ontario Chamber of Commerce for You”. This is our annual fundraiser and networking event, which will be on Friday, March 16th this year. Mark your calendars and plan to attend. You’ll enjoy a great dinner and a chance to network with others in our community. If you haven’t attended recently, ONTCCY is more of a casual event. Wear your logo shirt, bring a handful of business cards and plan to “Toot Your Own Horn.” It’ll be a perfect chance to build new relationships or to strengthen relationships that you currently have. To top it off, you’ll be able to bid on some great silent and live auctions items throughout the evening.

With ONTCCY just a few weeks away, our board members will be knocking on doors in the next couple of weeks to procure donation items for the auction. If you have your item(s) ready before we arrive, you can always drop it off at the office or call and we’ll be happy to arrange to have it picked up from your office. ONTCCY is always a fun evening and the funds raised go directly to keeping your annual membership dues low, which makes it a win-win for all. I thank you, in advance, for helping to make this another fun-filled and successful evening.

Visit our website regularly for information about events, ribbon cuttings, and other networking opportunities that are approaching.