What do Chamber Ambassadors do?

The Dallas Area Chamber Ambassadors are volunteers from the community that serve as the welcome committee for new members, help with membership campaigns and act as liaisons related to networking/social events sponsored by the Chamber.

As the Chamber’s member touch committee, the Ambassadors perform many important tasks for the Chamber. Most importantly, they help recruit and retain members, assisting the Chamber in meeting its membership goals for the year.

To become a Chamber Ambassador, an individual must be an employee of a Chamber member.

Chamber Ambassadors are active members of the Chamber who enjoy the benefits of the Chamber and have a desire to serve by sharing these benefits with others.

Chamber Ambassadors have the opportunity to participate in high-visibility networking throughout the year and are often recognized at Chamber events.

Chamber Ambassadors receive a Chamber Ambassador badge, which many consider an honor to wear.

Chamber Ambassadors are often the first Chamber members to learn of new programs and events being introduced to the community.

Chamber Ambassadors create business relationships with local businesses while serving the community.

Chamber Ambassadors are expected to attend Ribbon Cuttings, Grand Openings, Business After Hours Mixers and Wake Up Wednesday meetings.

If you have interest in being a part of this group of community catalysts email us at info@dallasoregon.org

West Valley Hospital Member Spotlight

Why wait?  With 24/7 service and lower than average wait times than Salem Hospital, West Valley Hospital Emergency Room is a smart choice for Polk County.

Why choose West Valley Hospital for your imaging needs?

  • The Dallas hospital’s digital imaging capabilities are comparable with what is available in Salem and other larger metro areas, so you won’t need to sacrifice quality for convenience.
  • Other imaging centers in Polk County may not offer direct integration with MyChart, your digital medical record.
  • West Valley Hospital has 14 licensed technologists with more than 250 years of combined experience in medical imaging.
  • Physicians can view images digitally to get the most accurate measurements, assessments and diagnoses.

Salem Health Medical Clinics in Dallas, Monmouth and Independence

Salem Health offers neighborhood clinics where you and your family will find excellent health care and a warm atmosphere. Save time by finding a family-friendly clinic near you.

Services

West Valley Hospital and its affiliates offer services far beyond what you might expect from a small-town hospital. Explore many of our specialties and common services below. Keep in mind that many unlisted services may still be available from us or one of our partners around the Willamette Valley.  See site for details.

To learn more about all that this awesome healthcare resource has for you go to http://www.salemhealth.org/services/salem-health-west-valley

Debbie Butler Windermere Member Spotlight

As an Oregon native and a seasoned real estate professional, Debbie recognizes the value and trust her clients place in her and she strives everyday to exceed their expectations. Most important to her is providing excellent service to buyers and sellers in order to earn their trust, referrals and repeat business.

Debbie is a native Oregonian who enjoys the beautiful outdoors. She celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in 2019 and has three grown boys. Aside from her real estate experience she also has worked in accounting and construction management as well as being a small business owner of a construction company since 1999. Since purchasing her own home at age 20 she has had a strong passion for real estate. Debbie looks forward to assisting you in your home or property transaction.

Serving Dallas, Monmouth, Salem and the Willamette Valley. It would be her distinct pleasure to help you in your next home or property transaction.

To learn more about Debbie’s real estate business and how she can serve you, visit her blog on her website at https://www.debbiebutlerbroker.com/my-blog

5 Common Questions Answered About Chamber of Commerce

What is a Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber of Commerce is a panel of businesses and commercial organizations that typically exist on a variety of levels, ranging from state, county, city, and town. Despite common misconceptions, a Chamber of Commerce is more akin to a fraternal organization; in most cases, a Chamber of Commerce does not receive public or governmental funding – a large majority of Chambers of Commerce is existing today survive as a result of donations and membership dues.
 
What Does a Chamber of Commerce Do?
The role of a local or statewide Chamber of Commerce varies on a case-by-case basis. In certain cases, a Chamber of Commerce will hold meetings in order to discuss current events taking place within the commercial or business community existing within a particular jurisdiction; in other cases, the Chamber of Commerce will create structuring and developmental plans with regard to the establishment of a local commercial and business community.
Although the bulk of Chambers of Commerce of do not retain any legal or civic jurisdiction over the events taking place within their respective locality, a Chamber of Commerce may exist as a ‘grassroots’ organization interested in the upkeep and oversight of locally-owned businesses.
 
 
Where Does a Chamber of Commerce Get its Funding?
Although there exists no uniform standard for a procedure with regard to the funding of a Chamber of Commerce, a bulk of Chambers of Commerce in existence maintain their respective operations as a result of private donations, membership dues, and fundraising; it is not uncommon for a local Chamber of Commerce to sponsor an event within their respective area of residence in order to not only raise funding, but also to raise awareness with regard to the presence of that particular Chamber of Commerce.
Types of Chambers of Commerce
Due to the fact that a Chamber of Commerce will typically operate as a private organization, membership may be limited as per applicable regulations. However, this also allows businesses and commercial operations to convene and organize their own respective Chamber of Commerce. In many cases, members of a particular Chamber of Commerce will share commercial similarities; some examples of various types of Chambers of Commerce are as follows:
A Chamber of Commerce consisting of locally-owned and operated business and commercial operations
A Chamber of Commerce consisting of many service providers existing in a specific location
A Chamber of Commerce interested in raising awareness of local businesses, which may result in petitions to disallow national chains or retail stores from entering a specific location
A Chamber of Commerce may allow for a systematic network of products and service within its individual location; this can include local manufacturers connecting with local retailers in order to localize business and commerce
 
 
What are Some Issues Discussed by a Chamber of Commerce?
Although there exists no set standard for meeting itineraries undertaken by the varying natures of Chambers of Commerce, a specific Chamber of Commerce may address the following concerns:
Reports of commercial profits rendered by local businesses
The formation of subcommittees in order to protect local businesses and commercial markets
The proposal of reforms to local and state governments
The application for grants and funding

Crosscreek Golf Course

Located just 14 miles west of Salem, Cross Creek Golf Course is one of the most innovative in the region. Its unique layout combines traditional and links-style golf, creating a challenging course in the midst of the verdant mid-Willamette Valley.  Cross Creek made top 10 beautiful courses to play in Oregon as listed on theculturetrip.com

Cross Creek is becoming one of the most popular courses in the valley. At 6900 yards the course features a relaxing and pleasurable experience for any caliber of player. Cross Creek has always been known as a friendly family-oriented golf course and is a perfect setting for special events and golf tournaments.

Cross Creek Golf Course is quickly building a reputation as one of the premier, daily fee golf experiences in the Willamette Valley. This is truly a must-play golf course.

You can also go in for lessons.  Featuring Ken Dankenbring United States Golf Teachers Federation “Leaders in the Field of Golf Instruction” Certified Golf Teaching Professional.  Give them a call today. Start by visiting their website.  http://www.crosscreekgc.com/

Craven-Woods Insurance

Craven-Woods Insurance has been serving the Dallas, OR area with four-generations worth of insurance expertise for over 100 years. In addition to a comprehensive range of insurance policies, we provide our clients the freedom of choice so they can see the value in each decision they make.

Unlike large insurance corporations, Craven-Woods Insurance is owned and operated by a family team of agents who cater toward individuals, families, business, and non-profits. We also represent a carefully selected group of financially reliable and reputable companies and place your policy that offers the best optimal coverage at an affordable price.  Craven-Woods Insurance offers a variety of insurance policies that protects all of the critical aspects of your life. Our team of agents wants to get to know you and find an insurance plan that fits around you and your needs, versus the big-named insurance corporations that force you to fit their molds. We believe insurance protection should be about choices and the valued peace of mind that comes with your decision.

Agents at Craven- Woods are committed to helping our community thrive as evidenced by their involvement in youth sports, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Visitors Center Board, City Council and may other facets.  Stop by and see them today.

The Genius of Asking ‘What If?’ Questions

Again we feature a guest writer.  John Hittler, Father of 7, husband, difference maker, transformational business coach, generous, bold. Author of The Motivation Trap (Oct, 2018)  Featured writer for forbes.com

“Ever wonder how leaders change the world? It’s simple, really. They make declarations that do just that. They can sound something like this:

  • “I’m going to get into the best shape of my life this year!”
  • “Our team is building our second product, and it will be twice as profitable as the first.”
  • “We’re going to take the White House and change the course of history!”

Declarations can be pretty dramatic, or they can be simple and straightforward. But one thing is certain: Without them, nothing changes. We simply stick with the current paradigm or the old declaration.

Where, then, do declarations come from? The most effective place is a “what if?” question.

Why Start Things With A Question?

That’s a great question, really.

Questions literally open up (and close) pathways in your brain. Like an itch, questions need to be scratched. When a great question is posed, whether in a team meeting or at a family dinner, our brains race to answer them (or in the case of teenagers, avoid them like the plague).

Consider the relative power of questions that we hear often:

  • “When will you be home from the movies?”
  • “Where are we going on vacation?”
  • “How do we get this project moving forward again?”

With questions such as these, our brain knows pretty much what to do since there are similar precedents and experiences we have from the past. Our brain uses these precedents to find or quickly create an acceptable answer.

So why, then, is a “what if?” question so much different? And why do leaders and visionaries use “what if” questions so fluidly?

The Power Of A “What If?”

With a normal question, your brain quickly and transparently uses previous information, data or situational experiences to concoct an acceptable answer.

With a “what if?” question, your brain usually holds no previous precedent, paradigm or example to rely upon for an acceptable answer, so the answer heads to a different area of the brain. When this happens, we often say out loud, “Great question!”

“What if?” questions force us to imagine or create, often calling forth strong emotions. Consider the structure and possibilities of the following two questions:

  • “Where are we going on vacation this year?”
  • “What if we enjoyed our best vacation ever this year?”

Both deal with the quality and details associated with an annual ritual for many families, a great break designed for fun, relaxation and togetherness.

With the first structure, “Where are we going on vacation this year?” notice how your mind immediately conjures up options that are most likely known entities: perhaps a traditional family meeting spot or a favorite “comfort” vacation like a lake house or cottage.

With the second structure, “What if we enjoyed our best vacation ever this year?” you notice that the structure of the question produces a new mandate: “best ever!” That standard or mandate could certainly be achieved by the structure of the first question, however, it is not required. Hence, the power and the subtle genius of “what if?”!

When SpaceX was founded, which question do you suspect Elon Musk asked: “How do we create private space travel for individuals?” or “What if we create a private space travel company for individuals?”

The second question leads much more easily to a beautiful, powerful act, namely a declaration of a previously impossible (or improbable) outcome.

How To Start

If “what if?” questions are so powerful, when can you utilize them best? The answer is simple: Anytime when a change, large or small, is what you’re after.

Consider these areas/themes to ask great “what if?” questions:

  • Health: “What if I felt energetic, focused and ready to go every morning?”
  • Adventure: “What if I took the most outrageous adventure of my life this year?”
  • Wealth/Investments: “What if I had $5 million in liquid assets invested by 2025?”
  • Learning: “What if I finally learned to paint with watercolors?”
  • Team: “What if we doubled our sales this year?”

The list seems endless. Where the mind can conceive it, the question can be asked and then answered in the form of a powerful, world-changing declaration. Declarations have that power. Simply asking the question and making the declaration to change shifts your entire world and the quality of your life.

What Comes First For You?

If you are going to change the world, or at least your little part of it, start with one theme or category. Pick a simple theme that will pay big dividends. Health is a great one, as everyone can envision a higher version of vitality, energy, weight and strength.

Ask a simple question, like, “What if I were in the best shape of my life?”

You’ll transform your world more so than if you were standing still.”

Member Spotlight – Dallas Best Western Inn & Suites

This cozy Dallas, Oregon hotel is near many wonderful attractions such as several local Oregon vineyards and Western Oregon University.

The oversized rooms of this Best Western offer high-speed Internet access, cable satellite television with HBO®, a single serve coffee maker, a desk, complimentary in-room toiletries and more. While staying at this Dallas, Oregon hotel, guests can also enjoy a guest laundry, valet and an exercise facility.

Guests of this Oregon hotel can get the perfect start to each day with a complimentary hot breakfast. No matter what you or your fellow travelers have a taste for, there are many diverse restaurants within less than a mile of this Dallas, Oregon hotel, including Hong Kong Restaurant, Figaro’s Pizza®, Rio’s Tavern and North Dallas Bar and Grill.

Many guests enjoy seeing if luck is on their side at the nearby Spirit Mountain Casino or partaking in some retail therapy at the Salem Center. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful scenery at the Oregon Gardens and Lincoln City beaches.

Located near the western side of Salem, Oregon, the Best Western Dallas Inn & Suites is only a short drive away from many local Oregon wineries, where the guests of this Dallas, OR hotel can also relax and unwind while taking in the gorgeous scenery.

Many guests of this Dallas, Oregon hotel stay to partake in the area’s wide range of events, such as golf tournaments, Western Oregon University sporting events or the latest local happenings at the Polk County Fairgrounds. Those visiting students and faculty at the Western Oregon University, as well as the Valley Community Hospital and Forest River RV, only have a short commute from this Oregon Best Western.

For a wonderful stay with exceptional service at a delightful hotel in Dallas, Oregon, reserve a stay online at the Best Western Dallas Inn & Suites!

National Get to Know Your Customers Day

In light of today’s national “get to know your customers” day, we’re featuring an article from woocommerce.com author Maria Scarpello, “a classically-trained designer who is passionate about the customer experience, and strives to deepen research practices among designers.” Find her on Twitter at @msdesign21.

“At WordCamp US 2016, Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word outlined a vision for WordPress being design-led. Since then, WooCommerce has doubled down on our efforts to follow suit.

From growing our one-person design team to five (and still hiring!) to talking more to our customers — hearing what’s most important to them, and how eCommerce fits into their lives – we’re just getting started on our journey to make this transition, and we’re learning a lot!

Our hope is that you can take some of the lessons we’re learning and apply them to your business, no matter how big or small.

It’s never too soon or too late to start talking to your customers, understanding who they are, and how they made their way to you today.

  1. Understanding and mapping a customer journey

One key component of the design process is understanding your customer’s experience, often referred to as mapping a customer journey.

This involves examining a customer’s path from the first moment they interact with your brand to the endpoint of that task. For example, purchasing a product, completing a course, or booking a reservation.

These touch points can then be mapped to understand the overall picture.

To understand and apply this to your business, ask yourself:

  • What tasks am I wanting them to complete?
  • Why would someone need or want to complete this task?
  • How easy is it for them to complete the task?
  • What are the blockers?

From here, write out steps for each task.

We use the diagram below to help map each step, ensuring we consider what customers may be thinking and feeling alongside external factors that could interfere.

For example, if there are limitations with their device, connectivity, or environment that prevent them from easily completing a task and leave them feeling confused or frustrated, we note that.

Once every touch point is mapped, you can then vote on which are the most important areas to focus research.

When thinking about tasks, it’s important to consider what stage your customers are in via interactions with your brand and products.

Each stage has its own sets of needs and states of mind. For WooCommerce, we apply the Six Universal Experiences from IBM, which breaks down the customer journey into six distinct phases:

  • Discover, Try, and Buy
  • Getting Started
  • Everyday Use
  • Manage and Upgrade
  • Leverage and Extend
  • Get Support
  1. Talking to customers: smart listening and uncovering insights

One way to examine each of six phases is to talk to customers while they are in each stage. What initially brought them to you? Why did they want get started? How do they use your product or service? What happens next?

When talking to customers, it’s critical to ask the right questions. Rather than having them to talk about what they want, ask customers why they do what they do. Have them show you how they use your product or website, then observe how they go about it. Listen to what they say, but also take notes on what they do.

“To design the best user experience, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behavior. Users do not know what they want.” — Jakob Nielsen

For example, asking our customers what they think of a new WooCommerce feature that we have yet to develop would produce the wrong insights: they’d only be able to speculate on what they think we mean or want to hear. A better approach would be to observe customers complete a related task for the new feature, such as adding a new product.

By observing and talking with customers, we may discover that more control over customizing the product page could be useful because they want to be able to cross-sell a few related items but the theme layout isn’t what they wanted. Asking them what they want would not produce the same result.

As Erika Hall, author of Just Enough Research and co-founder of Mule Design suggests:

“Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It’s something every member of your team can and should do, and which everyone can learn, quickly. And, done well, it will save you time and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation to build the right thing, in the most effective way.” — Erika Hall

Erika is an advocate of good research and knows what it takes to uncover insights that can influence how customers use the products you’re creating.

“To make the best use of your time and truly do just enough research, try to identify your highest-priority questions—your assumptions that carry the biggest risk.” —Erika Hall

  1. Laying down assumptions, building empathy and cultivating curiosity

Anything you think you know about your customers should be considered an assumption that needs to be validated, when diving into research. Build your hypothesis and start exploring. For example, if you were to outline high priority questions for your eCommerce website, you might ask:

  • Can my customers easily make it through checkout?
  • What’s blocking them from making a purchase?
  • What information are they looking for?
  • Can they find the information they need to help make the decision to purchase?

From here it’s a matter of finding customers to talk with, setting a time to meet, and planning for your session. Ideally this can be done in person, but that shouldn’t stop you from talking to your customers in other ways.

There are many tools we use for remote user research. If you’re interested in learning more about various research methods and best practices, Usability.gov is an excellent resource.

In addition to Erika Hall’s Just Enough Research, Steve Portigal’s book, Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights goes in depth on interviewing techniques, tools, and how to analyze results. Both books can be purchased via Rosenfeld Media, which we’re proud to say is powered by WooCommerce!

In conclusion, know thy customers!

Learning more about customers and how your product or service fits (or doesn’t) into their everyday life allows you to relate to who they are on a more personal level.

Building empathy for your customers is key to helping ensure your offering is as useful, desirable, and accessible as possible. It’s important to take time to understand the needs and expectations of your customers as it’s been proven time and time again:

“Across sectors, satisfied customers spend more, exhibit deeper loyalty to companies, and create conditions that allow companies to have lower costs and higher levels of employee engagement.” —The CEO Guide to Customer Experience McKinsey Quarterly, August 2016″

 

Member Highlight – Yolanda Zuger Keller Williams Cornerstone Team

Yolanda and her family have lived in Polk County since 1966. She currently lives on the farm where she grew up, along with her husband Craig and a variety of critters. She has made the Central Willamette Valley a base for her business because of her familiarity with the area and the beauty of this part of the Valley. In the Valley, we are located within an hour of the amazing Oregon Coast, the Oregon Cascade Mountains and downtown Portland.  Yet, the local community of Dallas has a population of just over 15,000. She says, “I can’t think of a better place to live!”

Yolanda is a member of the Polk County Association of Realtors and has held the posts of Executive Officer, President and Director. She was chosen as their Realtor of the Year in 2001 and 2012. She has been a full time licensed Realtor since 1998, and received her “Graduate of the Real Estate Institute” designation in 1999, her “Council of Residential Specialists” in 2003, and her “Accredited Buyer’s Representative” in 2008. She passed her Principal Broker’s License test in 2019. She is also a graduate of the Oregon & Washington Association of Realtors “Leadership Northwest” program. Yolanda is committed to continuing education and the use of technology in her business so that she may be of the highest value to her clients.

With that in mind, she moved her Real Estate License in 2018, to Keller Williams-the largest real estate company in the United States. She is part of the Capital City Branch (Salem) with an office in Dallas, Oregon. Keller Williams’ focus on technology and training has resulted in the best of the best when it comes to agents; she expresses that she is proud to join their ranks, expressing, “I am a graduate of their 7 week BOLD program, which teaches Business Objectives and a Life by Design. The program taught how to respond to changing markets and the best avenues for getting properties sold and further confirmed my belief that buying and selling real estate really is all about you.”

We asked about her mission statement and she shared the following”

“My philosophy is simple: clients come first. I pledge to be in constant communication with my clients, keeping you fully informed throughout the entire buying or selling process. I believe that if you’re not left with an amazing experience, I haven’t done my job. I don’t measure success through achievements or awards, but through the satisfaction of my clients.”

Thanks, Yolanda, for providing excellent service to your clients here in the Dallas Area and beyond.