Looking forward to 50

Post Falls chamber celebrates 2013, looks forward to 2014

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POST FALLS - The Post Falls Chamber of Commerce turns 50 in 2014.

And the initiatives of the nonprofit will be "mission-driven, member-focused."

The chamber on Tuesday celebrated its successes of 2013 and took a peek ahead at what will be its 50th year during its annual membership luncheon at Red Lion Templin's Hotel.

"Each business is unique and your needs can change," said incoming Chairman Danny Klocko, Kootenai Health's vice president of human resources. "Our chamber is here to help."

Creating job opportunities, assisting firms with their online presence, supporting business-friendly legislation and marketing Post Falls' quality of life and business environment will be among the chamber's initiatives in 2014, Klocko told luncheon attendees.

"I look forward to leading this organization in its 50th year," Klocko said.

Outgoing Chairwoman Eve Knudtsen of Knudtsen Chevrolet said the chamber has a lot of momentum from 2013 to carry it forward into the new year.

Among the highlights of this year:

* Selling out at the business fair for the fifth straight year with more than 100 business vendors and more than 700 guests attending;

* Welcoming 55 new members and hosting more than a dozen ribbon-cutting ceremonies;

* Hosting 230 high school seniors for the reverse job fair and providing $6,000 worth of scholarships during the event;

* Refinancing the chamber office building to save $6,000 per year;

* Raising $50,000 during the golf tournament and Tapas and Tailgating fundraisers;

* Welcoming more than 3,000 guests to the visitor center; and

* Managing a $74,000 marketing and advertising campaign for "Visit Post Falls."

"I got to serve with some incredible people," Knudtsen said. "What a fantastic year it has been."

In addition to Klocko, the chamber's new board of directors includes: Tami Martinez, Mallaurcott Design, chair elect; Randy Oaks, 3 Acorn Insurance, treasurer; Ryan Davis, Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County, vice chair; and Brett Seright, ACE Hardware, secretary.

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