Chamber Director's Blog

Going Forward

The first month of 2017 is almost over, meaning that 1/12 of 2017 is almost done!  For most of us, January is a time of taking stock of the year past and making plans for what is yet to unfold.  To that end, the Ironwood and Bessemer Chambers of Commerce held their joint annual awards dinner on 18 January at the Bessemer VFW hall.  Over 80 Chamber members and guests attended, with Jerry Wuorenmaa of the Western U.P. Planning and Development region giving the evening presentation.  Bessemer gave out the following awards:  Dustin Filippini-Rising Star; Gogebic Range Master Gardeners-Organization of the Year; Bessemer-Stempiar BP--Business of the Year; and Grace Maki--Volunteer of the Year.  Ironwood gave the following awards:  Peter Sturgul--Volunteer of the Year; Lindquist Electric--Business of the Year;  DOVE Inc.--Organization of the Year;  Gus Swanson Education/Community Award--WatchD.O.G.S.    In just a few short weeks, the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Michigan WORKS and Gogebic Community College will be hosting a Carrer Exploration and College Preview day for high school students grades 8 and 11.   The Ironwood Chamber of Commerce is making this year of 2017 one in which much greater cooperation between businesses and schools can be developed.  Awakening in the minds of the young all the many ways of earning a successfuly livelihood here in the U.P. is crucial to not only replacing retiring folks, but fostering innovative development and the opening of brand new enterprises.   

Welcome to 2017!

Today is the last Friday of 2016--not a moment too soon!  Saturday brings the end of a truly historic year.  It is quite possible that 2017 will be equally historic as well, and if so, we all hope that it is in the postive rather than the negative way.  Your Ironwood Chamber of Commerce has some very useful events coming up in January:  5 January, join us for a "Morning Brew" at Contrast Coffee, downtown Ironwood, from 8:00-9:00 am--meet other chamber members and Contrast Coffee Co. owner Adam Holroyd; 18 January is the annual Ironwood/Bessemer Chambers of Commerce Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Bessemer VFW, starting with a social hour at 5:00pm [get your registration form from the Ironwood Chamber or the Bessemer Chamber offices]; and the very next day, 19 January, will see the gathering of the Western U.P. Chamber Alliance at the new Cold Iron Brewing Co., corner of Lowell and Ayer Street, downtown Ironwood.  Chamber members are welcome to attend this meeting and enjoy the operational tour and special samples while meeting other Chamber members from around the Western Upper Peninsula.  

2016 Jack Frost Festival Has Begun

The tree has been plugged in (go to the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce Facebook page to see!) and the 2016 Jack Frost Festival of Lights has now begun the countdown to the Festival of Lights Parade, Friday, 2 December, at 6:00 in downtown Ironwood.   If you go to the top of our home page here, you can click on "events" and then click on "Jack Frost."   There you will find the full calendar of events plus registration forms for the parade.   CHAMBER RAFFLE TICKETS are available now.  The Chamber office will be open Saturday, November 17 and 24th from 9 until 2pm.  Stop by and get your ticket!  Only 200 tickets printed.  Nine cash prizes 5K, 2K, 1K, 2 for $500, and 4 for $250.   Each ticket costs $100 and GROUP PURCHASES ARE WELCOME (last year we had 3 group winners!).  This raffle is the main fundraiser for the Chamber's community organizational support program.  Let's see if this year we can actually sell ALL the tickets!    Tickets also available at Jon Parker State Farm, Hitt's Fine Furniture, Brookside Insurance, Stem's Flower Shop.   

New U.P. Job Board    is a new U.P. job board created by Stang Decision Systems of Marquette and the Upper Peninsula Marketing Department of Houghton.  This is an online job board designed to connect U.P employers with job seekers from the U.P. and beyond.  This website will be heavily advertised within the region and targeted to people across the country.  allows job seekers to view and apply for an unlimited number of openings.  Employers may also post as many job listings as they wish for free.   Check this out!  I have shared this press release on the Chamber FB page today (10/27/16).

Chamber Jack Frost Raffle

Yesterday 10/25) was our first real frost--and I did find my ice scraper!   It was also the day when I picked up the 2016 Jack Frost Festival Chamber of Commerce $10,000 Raffle tickets from the printer.   Jack Frost Festival time has arrived, and the Chamber $10K raffle is an important part of the entire Festival.  At the drawing on 2 December, 9 cash prizes will be awarded:  1st = $5,000; 2nd = $2,000, 3rd = $1,000; 4th = $500; 5th = $500; 6th = $250; 7th = $250; 8th = $250; and 9th = $250.   ONLY TWO HUNDRED TICKETS ARE PRINTED!!   Each ticket costs $100, and folks are encouraged to go together as a group and purchase a ticket.  Last year we had 3 group winners!   Proceeds from this raffle are donanted to a wide range of community activities, and this raffle is the Chamber's principal fund-raiser for these contributions.   Watch this space for a listing of local businesses who will be selling the tickets.  If you want to buy your ticket today--stop by the Chamber office at 150 N. Lowell (the Historic Ironwood Depot) and I will be glad to sell you one!