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Summit Chamber poised for change

FRISCO – The Summit Chamber of Commerce is re-evaluating its goals and priorities as it launches into the tenure of new executive director Jack Taylor, who says uncertain economic times call for the move.

“There is no great emergency at the Summit County Chamber. But we need to reassess what we do and what members think they need,” Taylor said at the annual chamber awards luncheon Feb. 14.

Taylor takes over a chamber that saw a rash of staff turnover last year, even as membership reached 850, an all-time high. The 2002 goal was 825, said chamber board president Herb Sumerfield.



Taylor succeeded Lynn Skall, who was chamber executive director for five years. In another key switch, Heidi Burki, a veteran of the telecom industry, is the new membership director, taking over for Karen Siesing.

Another move saw incumbent staff member Christy Glemming assume the marketing and events director role, succeeding Marie Albertson.



The chamber promotes Summit County through joint operation of the Frisco and Silverthorne Visitors Information Centers, governed by a separate board, an Experience the Summit Web site and a magazine also carrying the Experience the Summit brand.

It offers members an extensive benefits packages on a range of services, holds monthly mixers and a number of business-related seminars.

Its Guest Assistance Center operation, run by Deana Metz, acts as a central reservations service for member hotels, motels and lodging companies.

Taylor said everything is up for re-evaluation in a time when the chamber staff is changing and the economy continues to run flat locally and nationally.

“When you look at change, who could have predicted three years ago the economic upheaval we are seeing now,” Taylor said. “We can only hope to go back or do something about it.”

Taylor said the chamber will re-examine the roles of board members, staff and working committees.

“We want to honor the past without dwelling on the past,” he said.

“Each individual has to ask, “What can I do to move this thing in the direction we think it ought to be moving in,'” the Heeney resident said.

In surveying the past year, Sumerfield lauded improved membership communications through the e-mailed piece “Chamber Connections,” which is filled with chamber and community news.

“I think that is one of the best things we ever put together,” Sumerfield said. The e-mail was created by former marketing director Albertson.

Sumerfield, co-owner of Verlo Mattress in Frisco, also cited the branding of Experience the Summit, a grass-roots marketing effort designed to tout all of Summit County as a place to visit and recreate.

The board president noted the increased use of the new Visitors Information Center at the Silverthorne Factory Stores. Factory Stores owner Sam Brown gave the chamber the building and pad site. It replaced a shopping center location farther from the Interstate 70 interchange.

“We need to capitalize on the new site,” Sumerfield said.

Awards announced

At the awards luncheon, Dr. Dean Stjernholm was announced as the prestigious winner of the chamber’s 2002 Ben Fogle Award.

The award is named for the chamber’s first president and is given to a member who exhibits outstanding service over time.

Stjernholm, of Stjernholm Brothers Family Chiropractic in Dillon, has been named volunteer of the year twice and works on the Diplomats and Marketing Committees. His greatest achievement is leading efforts to stage the annual Monte Carlo Night, a major chamber fundraiser.

Other nominees included County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom and Nancy Ewing, owner of Creative Angle in Dillon

The Big Business of the Year award went to Alpine Bank, which has offices in Breckenridge, Copper and Dillon.

The bank was cited for its major support of chamber functions and community events. Quality Quick Print of Frisco won the Small Business of the Year award for its gratis printing of monthly mixer invitations.

Nancy Ewing was named Volunteer of the Year for her work on the chamber’s Diplomats Committee.


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