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Viewing posts from: April 2019

River Heights Chamber Celebrates 30 Years of Small Business Success

Nicole Bengtson
Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul (4/4/19) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate with the business community at the Small Business of the Year Award Luncheon & Trade Show on Thursday, April 25 at 11 a.m. at Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights.

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 30th Anniversary of the Small Business Award and it promises to be a great event! Do you know a past recipient? We ask that you encourage them to attend and be recognized! See the history of Small Business Award winners here – if you don’t see your favorite small business, nominate them for next year!

Jake Sedlacek, Chairman of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce noted, “Small business drives our economy – locally and nationally. The Small Business Awards are an opportunity to recognize, celebrate and connect with outstanding small businesses right here in our community.”

How you can participate and benefit from attending:

  • Showcase your company in the Trade Show (and be entered to win a prize in the “Favorite Booth” Contest – NEW this year!)
  • Network with area business and community representatives
  • Meet & support the finalists for the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award and watch LIVE as the 2019 recipient is announced and recognized – Finalists include: Allrounder Remodeling, Point North Networks and Yours Truly Marketing Incentives!
  • Hear from our exceptional keynote speaker, Phil Gwoke, BridgeWorks – be entertained and informed on “When Generations Connect” – Watch a video to get a glimpse of Phil’s presentation here

With all of the outstanding businesses in the community, the River Heights Chamber is excited to honor the following finalists: Allrounder Remodeling, Inc., Point North Networks, Inc., and Yours Truly Marketing Incentives, Inc., each one deserving of the 2019 title! Finalists were nominated their peers, the community participated in an online voting poll and the River Heights Chamber’s Recognition Committee selected the winner. RSVP to attend to find out LIVE who will win the Small Business of the Year Award! 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.






Thank you to our event sponsors, Deerwood Bank, Town Square Television and Velocity Public Affairs. The event is also sponsored in-part by Trade Show sponsor Good Samaritan Society – Inver Grove Heights and contributing sponsors LeVander, Gillen & Miller PA, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham (Inver Grove Heights), Mississippi Pub and Ultimate Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning.

For more details about the Small Business Award Luncheon & Trade Show, visit and register at www.riverheights.com/smallbusiness. To learn more about the finalists and this year’s award recipient announced at the event, please watch for their videos on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page @RiverHeightsChamber and on their YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber following the event on April 25th.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to aggressively promote 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. Driving economic progress and business development is its focus. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members and is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.

Meet the Newest Staff Member: Eric Satre, IGH CVB Tourism Director

Nicole Bengtson

From Eric Satre, Tourism Director of the Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau:

My name is Eric Satre, Tourism Director, with the Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). I’m new to this role but I live in South St. Paul so I’m familiar with the south metro area.

Pop quiz: What Minnesota industry generates $15 billion in gross annual sales, $969 million in state sales taxes, and employs 265,000 workers?

Answer: If you said the leisure and hospitality industry, you are correct!

Within the industry’s travel and tourism sector is the Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB). Cities across the country, and the globe, have a CVB to promote tourism. In large downtown areas, CVBs usually operate independently from a chamber of commerce, while smaller cities such as Inver Grove Heights co-exist with a chamber, in this case, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

The CVB mission is: To market and promote Inver Grove Heights to visitors; to maintain and stimulate the community’s economic vitality.

Quite simply, when visitors stay in a city, visitors spend money and the entire city benefits. When we share our story and invite leisure and group travelers to experience our city, impact on the local economy is able to grow. A CVB is at the forefront of those efforts.

Prior to joining Inver Grove Heights CVB in January, I spent the previous 11+ years at Visit Saint Paul in downtown St. Paul. Working in the sales department, my job was to secure conventions at Saint Paul RiverCentre and hotels. I accepted the position as Tourism Director because I’m invested in the south metro and I see a lot of potential for tourism growth. Our community has a lot to offer, we just have to share it.

In doing so, it’s important to think about our identity as a tourist destination and how we can strategically market our city. What makes us unique? What are our strengths as a visitor destination? Why would someone choose to stay in the south metro versus another area of the Twin Cities?

We have resources available to communicate our message. The VisitIGH.com CVB website is a great resource for all things Inver Grove Heights. I’m also building up our social media presence. Side note: have you liked our Facebook page yet? I’ll be compiling a centralized event listing, from special events at Veterans Memorial Community Center to Inver Grove Heights Days, to serve as a one-stop-shop for things to do.

Another great resource is the CVB visitor guide, which is available in both print and digital format. The visitor guide is a FREE brochure highlighting hotels, attractions, golf courses, restaurants, and things to do. Visit the website to request your copy.

Additionally, the CVB markets the city for group travel whether we’re hosting the event or we’re providing a hotel room block for an event nearby. One example is the Ice Sports Industry (ISI) 2019 Synchronized Championships at Doug Woog Arena on April 12-13. The Inver Grove Heights CVB, Eagan CVB, and City of South St. Paul partnered together to secure this event that will draw 600 competitive skaters from 10 states. Shameless plug—we invite you to check out Saturday’s competition, admission is FREE! Visit www.skateisi.org (National Competitions page) for the event schedule.

Finally, here is my call to action. Engage in local events wherever you live and help tell the story of your community. Take advantage of local options—restaurants, shopping, hotels, attractions, parks and trails, educational events, sporting events, and event facilities (birthdays, reunions, wedding receptions, corporate meetings, etc.). Keep the CVB in mind for resources too and share your experiences with us on social media @VisitIGH.

Inver Grove Heights is a city neighboring the Mississippi River, boasting robust parks and trails, family-friendly activities and events, unique venues and quality hotel accommodations at an affordable price. Just minutes from downtown Saint Paul, Mall of America® and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport, Inver Grove Heights is closer than you think!

Ambassadors of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Nicole Bengtson
Editorials, Marketing

The River Heights Chamber has a number of committees that play an important role in its operations; one of the most visible of these committees is our group of Ambassadors! The Chamber’s Ambassadors are comprised of local business volunteers who are committed to promoting Chamber activities, membership and community events to promote our Chamber and serve area businesses.

The 2019 Chair of the River Heights Ambassador Committee is Heidi Satre, Marketing and Events Manager at Neighbors, Inc. She describes the Ambassadors’ role as, “similar to a hospitality committee – we are responsible for welcoming new members, helping facilitate member-to-member connections and representing the River Heights Chamber in the community.”  The 2019 River Heights Chamber Ambassadors come from all fields: public and private sector, for-profit and not-for-profit, small businesses and large corporations.

This year’s Ambassadors currently join us from the following businesses:

  • Jackie Paul, 360 Communities
  • Ruth Bader, Allrounder Remodeling
  • Angela Liedke, DARTS
  • Karen A. LaBate, Deerwood Bank
  • Steve Doody, Doody Cleaning Service
  • Karin Gott, ECSI System Integrators
  • Kyle Cuppy,  Key Community Bank – Inver Grove Heights
  • Andy Lucking CFP, LWM, LLC
  • Mark Allen Patun, MAP Consulting Agency LLC
  • Josh Keskey, Minuteman Press
  • Heidi Satre, Neighbors, Inc.
  • Darcy Wetzel, Neighbors, Inc.
  • Kaley Lanning, Paychex
  • Brian Martell, Point North Networks, Inc.
  • Bruce Bairaktaris, Quality Auto Care Center
  • Sue Marsden, River Heights Vineyard Church
  • Todd Edholm, Tandem Printing, Inc.
  • Shawn Vougeot, Town Square Television
  • Vern Harmon, Unity One Credit Union
  • Holly Ostertag, Vermillion State Bank
  • Amanda Kissner, Wakota Federal Credit Union

Ambassadors support the activities of area businesses and civic organizations by attending their grand openings and ribbon cuttings, anniversary celebrations, groundbreakings and other commemorative events. They visit with new businesses of all types in the community to welcome them and share benefits of the Chamber, as well as do retention visits to keep members engaged.  Satre elaborates, “Being involved in the Ambassador Committee is a great way to expand your network and it’s a lot of fun to visit a variety of businesses and organizations in our community. I’ve learned a lot about business fields I wasn’t previously familiar with just from our Ambassador visits. It’s a great way to get to know your community!

If you are a new or existing business in the region and would like to schedule a visit from the River Heights Chamber Ambassador group, please contact Colleen Murphy at Colleen@RiverHeights.com or 651 451.2266.