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Carbondale Chambers Fall Business Conference

More than 100 local professionals learned how to relate economic forecasts and trends to their business at the 5th annual Fall Business Conference hosted by the Carbondale Community Chamber of Commerce held at the Aspen Glen Clubhouse on Sept. 23.Chamber president Ted Reed encouraged the audience to take advantage of the information presented and compared todays business world to sailing in rough ocean waters.While introducing the keynote speaker, Reed said, Im a small-business man on a small craft. They sail on a larger craft, they sail on higher seas, and they know what to look for.James W. Light, president of Chaffin/Light Associates and former chairman of the Recreational Development Council of the Urban Land Institute, shared why economic forecasting is critical to any business.Light told business owners to focus on keeping three things in balance: Its like a three-legged stool, he said. Businesses should strive to serve communities, work with residents to develop in an environmentally responsible way and help employees grow and prosper.Light said that one of the biggest trends to affect this valley is that people of all ages are choosing place, geography and community over jobs, career and income. In addition, people from other parts of the country are choosing to live in communities like Carbondale.According to Light, communities want to be balanced socially, economically and culturally, as people desire to live in safe and attractive areas. One interesting Roaring Fork Valley trend is upvalley residents migrating downvalley to work, dine and shop.Knowing that, Light offered advice on how to make a business distinct. He urged business owners to understand regional issues, to know the vision for a business and to create an economic strategy. Light also spoke of the necessity for local business to support the non-profits.This made the crew from Mountain Regional Housing happy as they won the nonprofit business of the year from the chamber.Light also challenged everyone to embrace three key ideas that could make their business great. Get the right people on the bus, said Light. Then figure out where to drive it.The second idea is for business owners to know their passion and mission of their business. Third, suggested Light, Look in your own backyard for opportunities or acres of diamonds.Chris and Vicki Peterson are familiar with the ideas as their business, ACE Hardware, won large business of the year award. Promotional Concepts won small business of the year.Light offered one other gem. Love your downtown, he said. Thats your authentic center.

From left, Lauren Kearns, of Carbondale, director of the Carbondale Clay Center; Lynn Kirchner, of Carbondale, owner of Amor Realty; and Kay Philip, of Carbondale, director of communications for the Town of Basalt.

Winners of the large business of the year, Chris and Vicki Peterson, of Carbondale, own ACE Hardware.



From left, Pete Wartell, of Carbondale, general manager at Comfort Inn; Cindy Medina, of Gypsum, works at American National Bank; Jennifer Stroder, of Glenwood, a business student at CMC; and Jennifer Quaco, of Glenwood, is vice-president at American National Bank.

Heather Smith, of Carbondale, left, is administrator at the Carbondale Community Chamber of Commerce; and Deborah Hardaker, of Carbondale, is a part-time employee at the chamber and owner of Altitude Wellness.



From left, Bill McGreevy, of Carbondale, is assistant campus dean at CMC; Leslie Kancilia, of Silt, owns Celerity Corp.; and Rona Fischer, of Carbondale, owns Carbondale Insurance.

From left, Cheryl Hasselbring, of Carbondale, an administrative assistant at Whitsitt & Gross; Yancy Nichol, of Glenwood, who owns Sopris Engineers; and Bruce Hasselbring, of Carbondale, president of Wood Doctor Construction.

Eric Small, of Carbondale, owns Value Trends Appraisals, and Karen Draper, of Carbondale, owns Milagro Massage.


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