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Big Game Gala

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing


You’re Invited to Attend for an Exclusive Game Day Experience

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce wants to invite the community and their friends and colleagues to participate in the Big Game Gala presented in partnership with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at the JW Marriott at Mall of America in Bloomington.  The event will be held from 6-10 p.m. and include confirmed featured guests Minnesota Vikings #22 Harrison Smith and Paul Allen of KFAN as well as executives from the Minnesota Vikings!

We know that everyone won’t be able to attend Super Bowl LII, but everyone can participate in the celebration at the Big Game Gala,” excitedly announced Jennifer Gale, President of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce and Progress Plus Economic Development Foundation.  The Big Game Gala’s vision is to foster excitement, engagement, and awareness within the River Heights community of the positive impact the Minnesota Vikings bring to our region by hosting Super Bowl LII and relocating their headquarters and practice facilities to the area.

“We are excited to partner with the Minnesota Vikings to bring this exclusive event to our members and community partners.  At the Big Game Gala, we will hear more about the opening of the new Vikings facility in Eagan and Super Bowl LII being hosted by Minneapolis in 2018.  Our hope is to bring business leaders, their families and employees together for an evening of fun, all while enjoying a “Big Game” dining experience,” shared Michele Hein, Gala Chair, River Heights Chamber Board Member.

At a glance, a ticket gets you into the following evening’s activities:
6:00 p.m. – Pre-Game with Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
7:00 p.m. – Kick-Off Dinner
Half-Time – Features special guests Minnesota Viking Harrison Smith and K-FAN’S Paul Allen, as well as Minnesota Vikings executives providing a sneak peek into Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Post-Game Entertainment by local band Highwood (Jon Erickson, Kelton Glewwe, Steve Snelling, Steve Sorenson and Lee Swenson).

Cocktail or business attire is recommended. Tickets are $150 per person, and discounted reserved tables of 8 and VIP Experience tickets are also available.  RSVP by Monday, November 27, 2017. Payment is due upon registration. Cancellation Policy: No refunds for reservations canceled within 72 hours of event date.

To get your Big Game Gala ticket or to see more details as they unfold, please visit the Chamber’s website at www.riverheights.com/biggamegala or call the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266 extension 1037.

Book your group rate for River Heights Chamber of Commerce Gala

This is a photo of Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team. This image reflects the Minnesota Vikings active roster as of Monday, June 12, 2017. (AP Photo)

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!

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A Consideration for All Business Owners

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Marketing

What Can You Get from a Chamber of Commerce?

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul If you are a small business owner and have a few dollars left to spare as the year wraps up, how do you choose where to invest it?  If you have been on the fence about joining a chamber of commerce, here are some things to consider…

A Chamber of Commerce is a group that is dedicated to protecting and promoting the local business community. Does that mission align with your values when you started your business?  What’s its primary goal? To help business owners network and grow.

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce has a good reputation, and many consumers have positive perceptions of members and their businesses.  In fact, you may be interested to know that according to a 2012 study conducted by the Schapiro Group, 49% of consumers were more likely to think favorably of a local business if it was a member of its local Chamber — and 80% were more likely to purchase a product or service from a Chamber member.

The average cost of membership depends on the size and number of employees your business has. Many small business memberships fall into the $30 per month range.  That’s not a lot, considering the monthly benefits you receive.

If you ask around, you will hear that most members think their membership is worth it, and they will remind you that you get what you put in — that means attending events, volunteering and getting involved.  Overall, most business owners feel a Chamber of Commerce membership is a must-have. There aren’t many cons — it’s an affordable group that will foster immediate connections and promote your business.

Chambers of Commerce are still relevant despite advancements in technology and online networking. The River Heights Chamber members receive numerous promotional perks, exclusive advertising and networking options and additional exposure for their companies or organizations.

The Chamber of Commerce isn’t a magical business solution where you’ll see immediate ROI. No matter what, you’ll have to work hard to get what you want out of it. Yet, if you are a small business owner, you already know that because you take the risk every day.  Thank you to all the business owners in the River Heights region!

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New Educational Leadership Series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Nicole Bengtson
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Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

The Government Affair: New Educational Leadership Series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul – One of the River Heights Chamber’s goals this year was set to educate and Invigorate member involvement in advocacy with social media or an event.  Historically, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce has led the Dakota County Leadership Academy to build community leaders within the local Chamber of Commerce membership, however, the area Chambers have not revived the leadership program since the economic downturn more than 5 years ago, leaving a gap in leadership training through the Chamber.  Staff combined the goals of the Board of Directors with the desire to offer members a training opportunity to become more engaged in the community, in their business and in the Chamber.

The following course was developed with Connolly Kuhl Group in partnership with the Minnesota Retailers Association and approved by the Chamber’s Board of Directors for the Fall of 2017.

“Whether it be at the municipal, state, or federal level, advocacy is a crucial part of influencing how decisions are made. We consistently see businesses wanting to advocate on behalf of issues that will directly affect them, but do not know how to effectively do so. The Government Affair is a great opportunity for companies big and small to not only expand their knowledge of civic affairs, but learn how to actively engage with elected officials to benefit their organization and the business community,” stated Carl Kuhl, Connolly Kuhl Group.

What’s in Store for You…

It’s no secret… This four-part educational series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce will commence this September and is perfect for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of civic affairs. Whether your experience with government is limited to voting for elected officials or you lobby your representatives on a weekly basis, this program will walk you through a comprehensive, non-partisan, grassroots experience at the local, state and federal level. This program will challenge participants to stretch their knowledge on all levels of government while learning from and networking with other business people and influential leaders.

Jennifer Gale, President of the River Heights Chamber noted, “The Government Affair will challenge and motivate course graduates to make a difference in their organization and community by learning about the grassroots process that keep our local communities a good place to do business in.”  Understanding how the process works is critical to influencing decisions being made every day impacting you and your customers. The Government Affair turns observers into power players,” added Bruce Nustad, President, Minnesota Retailers Association.

How Can I Benefit?

  • Individual Benefits: Develop a great network of individuals who play an active role in the business community; become a more effective and influential leader at work by understanding the process of civic affairs, and learn transferable tools for your professional tool box.
  • Employer Benefits: Gain company exposure, and develop a strong employee who understands civic affairs and increases their leadership talent within the organization.
  • Community Benefits: Support active participation in the community, and further engage the local talent in grassroots initiatives on all levels of government.

Meet Me…

This four-part series will meet from 1 p.m.  to 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month from September to December at a location relevant to the topic.  Each class will follow with an optional afterglow at a local establishment.

  • September 19, 2017 – Learn about the local commissions, city council process, development reviews and the role local government plays in sustaining a successful business community. Hear from city staff, elected officials and economic development professionals.
  • October 17, 2017 – Learn about the state legislature, lobbying, passing bills out of committees, how to participate in a grassroots campaign and who the players are. Hear from elected officials, capitol staff and professional lobbyists.
  • November 21, 2017 – Learn about federal government issues that affect Minnesota businesses. Get an inside perspective into Washington D.C. and how legislation impacts our local companies.  Hear from Fortune 100 government affairs professionals, congressional official/staff and a federal agency official.
  • December 19, 2017 – Learn how to influence democracy. Participants will learn how to effectively participate in a grassroots campaign for your company.  Graduation Ceremony to follow – guests are welcome.

 Series Investment: $199
The investment fee covers all course materials and graduation ceremony.  Series sponsorships are available. Contact the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266 or apply online at www.riverheights.com/thegovernmentaffair.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!

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Progress Plus ED Foundation Partners with City of Inver Grove Heights to Plant Your Business Here

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Marketing

The City of Inver Grove Heights is looking to attract new businesses to the area and Progress Plus is here to lend a helping hand.

There’s a place that’s not too far from Minnesota’s metro core. It’s at the heart of where the pulse of business beats strong.

It’s a place where good business and healthy living come together to make more than good sense for anyone looking to start or relocate a business.

This place called River Heights is where opportunity and the spirit of business soar to new heights; bringing prosperity and a higher quality of life to those who come this way.

Why Inver Grove Heights?

Move to a Receptive Climate for Business

Inver Grove Heights is a beautiful community rising gently from the banks of the Mississippi. It has good soil, rolling hills and dense groves of hardwood trees. It holds the promise of being a good place to grow.

Our community is one that suits itself well to fostering a high quality of life. That’s why college, secondary and primary schools, parks, playgrounds and open spaces are a big part of our developing community.

And, like our environment, we value and do all that we can to 
care for our community businesses. We have business assistance programs that can help with site selection, financial assistance and local contractors. People and companies reach new heights of success in a receptive climate that’s open for business.

IGH City Services
Community Development:
651-450-2546
The Community Development Department works to provide Inver Grove Heights with a high-quality living environment and a diverse economic and social base.

Planning & Zoning:
651-450-2545

  • Reviews zoning and site design
  • Helps navigate land use application and 
environmental review process

Assists to ensure development plans are complete, 
concise and concurrent with city codes and policy

Building Inspections:
651-450-2550

The building inspections division is responsible for plan reviews and inspection of all building and remodeling projects to ensure that they comply with state building, plumbing and mechanical codes.

Fire Permits & Inspections:
651-450-3492

The Inver Grove Heights Fire Marshall reviews plans, inspects and tests fire protection systems, fire alarm systems, storage tanks and dispensing systems.

Here are some other local partners businesses you can tap into:

Dakota Scott County Workforce Center

Their workforce and business development representatives can help you find the right workers, publicize jobs and access workforce data. (651) 554-5622

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Economy. Industry. Workforce. Incentives. See why Minnesota is the best place for your business expansion or relocation.  DEED.CustomerService@state.mn.us  (952) 259-7114

South Metro Chapter of SCORE

Provides free and confidential business counseling whether starting a new business, buying or selling a business or managing an existing business.  www.southmetro.score.org  (952) 890-7020

For questions, or if you would like more information on doing business in Inver Grove Heights, please contact Progress Plus Economic Development at 651.451.2266 or visit us online at www.progressplus.org.

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The Government Affair

Nicole Bengtson
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Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

What’s in Store For You…
It’s no secret… This four-part educational series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce will commence this September and is perfect for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of civic affairs. Whether your experience with government is limited to voting for elected officials or you lobby your representatives on a weekly basis, this program will walk you through a comprehensive, non-partisan, grassroots experience at the local, state and federal level. This program will challenge participants to stretch their knowledge on all levels of government while learning from and networking with other business people and influential leaders.
How Can I Benefit?
  • Individual Benefits: Develop a great network of individuals who play an active role in the business community; become a more effective and influential leader at work by understanding the process of civic affairs, and learn transferable tools for your professional tool box.
  • Employer Benefits: Gain company exposure, and develop a strong employee who understands civic affairs and increases their leadership talent within the organization.
  • Community Benefits: Support active participation in the community, and further engage the local talent in grassroots initiatives on all levels of government.
Series Investment: $199

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Annual River Heights Chamber Golf Classic Open to Community

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing, Social Media

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul (June 2017) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce invites the community to golf in the Chamber’s Annual Golf Classic fundraiser on Monday, June 26, 2017 at Southview Country Club at 239 E. Mendota Road in West St. Paul. This year’s tournament is presented by Republic Services.

Southview Country Club is a premier 18-hole course whose sheer aesthetic beauty lies in stark contrast to the challenge it provides to golfers of every skill level. It is the kind of course you never grow tired of playing, and are always proud to bring your guests to.  Today, Southview is noted for its immaculate rolling fairways, mature trees, numerous water hazards featuring fountains and magnificent landscaping.  And of course, the finest greens in this part of the country.

June 26th is promised to be filled with fun including a Bloody Mary bar while you get checked-in and practice your swings, contests on the course, and a ball drop contest and awards dinner following the day’s play.  Registration begins at 10 a.m., with a shot gun start for teams at 11:00 a.m.  An online auction will be sure to please with great items prior to the tournament and closes at 6:00 p.m. on June 26th (click here to check out the Online Auction). If you would like to donate an item, gift card or fun experience to the auction, click here!

“We’re excited to have another great tournament this year and have fun events in-store for this year’s golfers,” says Travis Jensen of Home Federal Savings Bank and Golf Task Force Chair.

Special thanks to these businesses for being major sponsors of the tournament: CHS, Inc., Home Federal Savings Bank, Quality Auto Care Center, Sanimax and Town Square Television.

Golf is $175/golfer after June 1st; a discounted rate of $600 per foursome is available throughout open registration and payments are due upon reservation.  Additional guests may attend the awards dinner only for $35/person to network and socialize.  For more information on the golf tournament or to register to attend, visit us online at www.riverheights.com/golf or call the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Progress Plus ED Foundation and the City of South St. Paul Partner to Attract New Business

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Marketing

Progress Plus ED Foundation and the City of South St. Paul Partner to Attract New Business

The City of South St. Paul is looking to attract new businesses to the area and Progress Plus is here to lend a helping hand.

A Great History…
South St. Paul’s early growth was driven on the hooves of cattle by drovers, ramrods and settlers. Over the years, our community evolved and earned a reputation as home to a proud and prosperous community of dedicated, hard-working innovators.  Rooted in this history, today South St. Paul is home to one of the upper Midwest’s most dynamic and diverse business park environments at “BridgePoint,” home to world-class manufacturing plants, state-of-the-art distribution and warehousing businesses, specialized technical and professional service providers, and much, much more. We invite you to visit and learn how we can help to establish your company as BridgePoint’s next great success story.

…A Greater Tomorrow

Any company that considers South St. Paul soon finds that here they’re never in business alone. Every program we offer, every benefit we provide, has been designed to help businesses succeed and individuals enjoy a better life.  Here you’ll find programs to help businesses with location selection, expansion and relocation services. You’ll discover that we’re more than ready to do everything possible to help you successfully bridge the gap to a greater, more prosperous tomorrow.

The City will work with your business to analyze project requirements including: planning, zoning, finance and marketing. Depending on the nature of the project, the following business assistance resources may be available:

Open to Business – South St. Paul works with MCCD’s “Open to Business” program, which offers free, one-on-one, confidential business consulting to small businesses located or thinking of locating in South St. Paul. Open to business offers a range of technical assistance to businesses and is able to provide financing to qualified business development projects.

South St. Paul Future Inc.  – South St. Paul Future Inc. offers competitive fixed asset financing to qualified firms whose operations are based within the City of South St. Paul. Whether you need financing for new equipment, expansion, startup costs, or acquisitions, Future is here to help you with the next step. www.riverheights.com/sspfuture (651) 451-2266

Here are some other local partners businesses you can tap into:

Dakota Scott County Workforce Center

Their workforce and business development representatives can help you find the right workers, publicize jobs and access workforce data. (651) 554-5622

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Economy. Industry. Workforce. Incentives. See why Minnesota is the best place for your business expansion or relocation.  DEED.CustomerService@state.mn.us  (952) 259-7114

South Metro Chapter of SCORE

Provides free and confidential business counseling whether starting a new business, buying or selling a business or managing an existing business.  www.southmetro.score.org  (952) 890-7020

For questions, or if you would like more information on doing business in South St. Paul, please contact Progress Plus Economic Development at 651.451.2266 or visit us online at www.progressplus.org.

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Congratulations Hardline Concrete & Masonry – 2017 Small Business of the Year!

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Watch Hardline Concrete & Masonry’s Small Business Award video from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce by clicking on the image below…

screenshot-2017-04-25-13-16-36

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Hardline Concrete & Masonry Honored with 2017 Small Business of the Year Award 28th Anniversary of Small Business Award in Local Business Community

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing, Social Media

March 30, 2017

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Hardline Concrete & Masonry of Inver Grove Heights will receive the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Small Business of the Year Award! Jon and Brenda Dietrich, owners, will be accepting the award at the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Small Business Award Luncheon & Trade Show on Thursday, April 13, 2017 from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at enVision Hotel & Conference Center in South St. Paul.

The Small Business of the Year Award acknowledges an organization that has been in business for five years or more, has 20 or fewer employees, has at least two years of membership in the River Heights Chamber, and encompasses a business that has a commitment to the community through its involvement and assistance to community organizations, to its employees, suppliers and customer relationships, in addition to a commitment to excellence in service, business ethics, friendliness and business operations. Chamber member businesses nominated local small businesses and the Chamber’s Recognition Committee selected the award recipient from many deserving applicants.  This year’s recipient, Hardline Concrete & Masonry, excels in all these areas and more.  When Hardline was asked how they feel about receiving this award, Brenda replied, “We feel truly honored to be recognized for the River Heights Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award because being recognized by a group of your peers is a good yardstick to be measured by.  There are so many deserving businesses and we are very humbled to be selected.” 

Hardline Concrete & Masonry started as a sole proprietor in 2005, doing mainly commercial and industrial work. When incorporating in 2009, they shifted business to completing more residential and decorative work. While they are grateful for fundamental commercial work, they feel their true passion lies with being able to help customers create their artistic vision for their yard and home.  Jon and Brenda pride themselves in doing the job correctly the first time and being primarily a referral-based business.  They form relationships with their customers and treat every job as if it was their own when they leave their Hardline logo stamped in the concrete.  When it comes to employee relationships, they realize that being a seasonal employer can be challenging in employee retention.  In the past few years, Hardline has implemented some policies and benefits to let their employees know that they care for them, beyond the scope of a work day.  They faced adversity during the recession of 2009 but because of Hardline’s presence in the community they could continue to work.  Hardline Concrete & Masonry is involved in the community by supporting the local Inver Grove Heights Days, Simley wrestling and football and volunteering at their local church. Jon & Brenda strive to give competitive bids for local projects and have been privileged to work at the Inver Grove Community Center, Simley High School and various concrete projects for the City of Inver Grove Heights. Hardline Concrete & Masonry believes in small businesses succeeding and have recommended five other sole proprietors, LLC’s and corporations to join the River Heights Chamber of Commerce for continued success. Brenda is very active in the River Heights Chamber of Commerce and has served 1 year as an ambassador chair-elect, 1.5 years as an ambassador chair, has been a Board member since 2015 (and is currently Chair-Elect for 2017), served as a delegate for MN at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Summit 2015, received the River Heights Chamber Marshall award during the 2016 membership drive and was a member of the Southmetro Business PAC in 2016.  The River Heights Chamber is proud to have Hardline Concrete & Masonry as a dedicated member of the business community!

This year will be the 28th Anniversary of the River Heights Chamber celebrating this special award with the business community and is sponsored in-part by Town Square Television, Waterous Company and Antonsen Construction.  Community businesses will exhibit in the trade show at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon, award ceremony and keynote speaker, Jill Renslow SVP Business Development and Marketing with Mall of America.

For more details about attending the Small Business Award Luncheon & Trade Show, visit www.riverheights.com, and to learn more about the Chamber’s award winner, Hardline Concrete & Masonry, please watch their video on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber following the event on April 13th.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!

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Welcome New Chamber Board Members!

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Marketing

Each New Year brings a new dynamic to the River Heights Chamber of Commerce with some new Board members, while saying good-bye to a few who have given their time and leadership for a number of years.  At the end of 2016, the Board of Directors said good-bye to Gail Sperlich (OnSITE Drug Testing & Consulting) and Tom Fleury (City Auto Glass).  In 2017, we’re happy to welcome new Chairman, Jon Erickson (Ultimate Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning) and new Board members Joe Gullerud (Bester Brothers Transfer), Michele Hein (Tandem Printing) and Luke Jenkins (Woodlyn Heights Senior Living).

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with these great individuals who govern our organization, uphold its mission and assist the Chamber in supporting our business communities.

Check out all the 2017 River Heights Chamber Board of Directors photos and companies here!

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