Freedomfest 2018

Independence Day 2018, also known as Fourth of July, is a federal holiday observed yearly on July fourth. It is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence of the United States of America from Great Britain in 1776.

The history of Independence Day 2018 dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution, 1775-17783. In June 1779, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare independence of the United States from Great Britain. On July 2, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. Two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4 and most have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as it is commonly believed. The holiday remains to be celebrated on the fourth of July. Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.

Dallas will once again be celebrating the Fourth of July in a big way; Freedomfest! We invite you to join us Wednesday for a spectacular day and evening for family fun as we recognize our service men and women with a pickleball tournament, BBQ competition, beer garden, vendors, non-profit hosted games, field games, music, food trucks, bingo, and of course the first-rate fireworks show at dusk. All activities will be held at the Roger Jorden Community Park. Dallas Fire and EMS Department will light off the show from LaCreole Middle School. Citizens are encouraged to grab their chairs, blankets and family for the celebration. Come down early to pick your spot!

The 10 Don’ts of Networking

Don’t dress down. Looks matter, whether you like it or not. Before you can “wow” people with your impressive set of skills, you’ll need to awe them with your appearance and body language.

Don’t dismiss people who don’t look important. “You should behave here like everyone you interact with has the potential… to get you a cover story in The New York Times.” Sometimes it’s the secretary that will get the job done, not the president.

Don’t expect a job. Getting a job might be more about who you know than what you know – but don’t be so obvious about it.

Don’t be uninformed. No card, no contact. Be up to date with what is going on in your field and in the field whose business you are trying to get. It’s okay to learn something new, but if you don’t know something crucial then you have just lost their faith in your abilities.

Don’t collect business cards like candy. “Don’t trick-or-treat for business cards.” Make an honest connection with someone before you start soliciting for business. They are more likely to give it after a positive interaction verses a cold call.

Don’t only think about yourself. “Networking can be described as the process of interacting or engaging in communication with other for mutual assistance or support.”

Don’t be vague. “I want to go back to school… maybe do something in the business world.” Almost everything has something to do with business. Have clear goals in mind.

Don’t reach too high. Having Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet, or John Maxwell on speed dial would be great – for you. But would you really be able to offer them much help? Maybe… but probably not.

Don’t monopolize anyone’s time. This isn’t a phone call or an email exchange, so give people space to mingle. If they are giving hand signals to a partner across the room to help them escape, you’ve lost the opportunity.

Don’t follow up with a sales pitch. Before you ask for a favor, you need to develop the relationship further, Sue Clement writes on Businessknowhow.com. She recommends referencing something you spoke about at the networking event and then offering the person something they can use – whether that is an introduction or a helpful article.

Kurt Van Meter

“Straight up, I should be dead,” Kurt Van Meter once cheerfully told a reporter. At 1:30 pm Friday, November 21, 2009, then police officer Van Meter responded to a call from his sergeant saying that shots had been fired in downtown Hillsboro. When the high-speed car chase through the busiest stretch of Portland’s sprawling suburb ended, Van Meter stood only a few paces from the deranged gunman.

“He jumped out of the Honda with the silver .50 caliber Desert Eagle in one hand and a black .45 caliber Desert Eagle in the other,” Van Meter told a reporter from Police One shortly after the incident. Van Meter remembers the man leveling one of the pistols directly at him before two officers from neighboring Cornelius opened fire and killed the gunman.

Van Meter’s brush with death gave way to a moment of clarity in which he decided to pursue his life-long dream and follow in the footsteps of his country music hero, Garth Brooks.

Van Meter can remember the moment he knew he wanted to be a singer.

“My brother was giving me a ride to school – I think I was a freshman or sophomore – and he put in this CD and told me that I had to hear this song,” Van Meter said. “It was ‘Friends in Low Places’ by Garth Brooks. I was instantly hooked. I was like, I don’t know what this is, but whatever it is, I want to be a part of it.”

But life seemed to take him in every direction but the music. Van Meter played football and became a bull rider at Oregon State University before entering the police force. There, he would sing in the office – but his coworkers didn’t seem to share in the joy.

“My first gig was marine patrol and they give you a partner. He told me one day, ‘Kurt have I ever told you how much I love your singing?’ I said no and he goes, ‘then shut up.’” Van Meter figured maybe he wasn’t that good of a singer, after all. The first person who told him he had a good voice was an ex-girlfriend. But music seemed to be an out-of-reach dream.

The shooting changed all of that and about a year later Van Meter decided to chase his dream. He hoped on Youtube and started to learn how to play the guitar. He also began attending local jam sessions in Hillsboro. The next challenge was finding a way to get his music heard. Van Meter was put in contact with Scott Mahalick and told him, “If you believe in me, I can be the next Garth Brooks.” Van Meter had no songs, no band, and nothing to offer but his voice. Despite that, Garth Brooks and Scott attempted to contact Van Meter. A missed phone call that he still cringes about.

Van Meter’s career took off relatively quickly and he opened for country stars like Montgomery Gentry. In 2013, he committed to music full-time and played the Bi-Mart Country Music Festival in 2014, alongside artists Eric Church and Blake Shelton. When he started, Van Meter said his songs had a couple hundred streams and downloads per month. By 2015, those numbers were up to more than 100,000.

As Van Meter has seen his popularity rise, he’s quick to point to his bandmates as reasons for his success. “When you have a team as strong as this one, it’s in your best interest to get the hell out of the way,” he said. “My role is to not forget the lyrics and not suck.”

Van Meter hopes his kids and others can see his journey and decide to follow their passion and to not be afraid of failure. “Two things are important, one is don’t wait until you’re ready to do something. If you want to do it, just go for it. I didn’t know what I was doing. Sometimes, you just gotta go for it. The second thing is you’re never too old. I was 33 when I learned how to play the guitar.”

Van Meter will be performing tomorrow night at Sounds of Summer kicking off the summer series. Come join us, and enjoy good music, food, and drinks. Vendors will start serving at 6 pm and the fun will begin at 6:30 pm. His CDs will be on sale both at the info booth, as well as after the concert at the Chamber of Commerce.

“Kurt, you are obviously doing something right. Stay with what works.” – Garth Brooks

Wake Up Wednesday

For the last month now Dallas Chamber of Commerce has been participating in Wake Up Wednesday alongside your business neighbors. During this time we are able to connect with local business, share both struggles, and solutions, and grow as a community.

The Wake Up Wednesday today was hosted by Citizens Bank, and Jake shared with us what is new with Citizens Bank. Recently they celebrated their 60th anniversary of the first Citizens Bank opening in Corvallis. There was even a photo available for their grand opening! Jake discussed how Citizens Bank focuses on their customers and not with meeting a sales quota like bigger banks do. If they do not have the best option for you they will send you to someone who does. In this day and age, such banking transparency is appreciated!

West Valley Taphouse kicked off their Discover Dallas Wine Walkabout Series this last Sunday with over 50 participants. The goal is to partner with local business in order to drive tourism in the area. If you attended Sam would love to hear any feedback you might have. If you are interested in participating in the next Wine Walkabout on June 24th you can find out more information or purchase a ticket on their website discoverdallas.wine.

Washington Street Steakhouse and Pub is preparing for Fathers Day! For breakfast dad can look forward to big daddy chicken fried steak and eggs, porterhouse peppered pork chops and eggs, or slow smoked prime rib and eggs. If dad is a late riser then bring him in to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner of big daddy chick fried steak with mashed potatoes, porterhouse peppered pork chops with baked potato, or a slow smoked prime rib with baked potato.

Tuesday on the Square is getting ready to kick off on June 12th. The City of Dallas departments and community partners such as Pacific Power, West Valley Hospital, and many more will be on the courthouse lawn from 4 pm to 7 pm. They will be highlighting their services with plenty of fun for the whole family; good food, bouncy houses, and lots of giveaways.

MV Advancements is growing! While we love to see Dallas businesses grow it’s left them in a tight spot. They are in need of volunteers for two positions. They are looking for business that are in need of help to place their clients, as well as Assessment setters. If you would like to help with either of these positions please contact them for more information.

Last but certainly not least, Turf ground breaking. We pulled together as a community to make it happen and it all kicks off Monday at 4 pm. Ground breaking will take place at Ron August Field and everyone is invited!

If you would like to meet with your fellow business members, and hear firsthand what is going on in our community then contact the Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to seeing you there, and to our community growing!

Why do you do it?

Many questions are asked regarding the big question WHY? What’s interesting is that simple word helps to define so much of what we do in life. If someone asks you why you work where you work or why you do what you do for work, what do you tell them? When kids ask ‘why’ for everything that occurs we have answers, sometimes we have to resort to quantum physics to get the answer but there is an answer to their question of why.

But sometimes, the answer is not so available. The deeper questions of the universe, at times, don’t allow us to know exactly why things are the way they are. We may or may not be able to know the answers to these bigger questions of why. Mysterious isn’t it. So what’s the point? My point is that we can only control our own ‘why’. We can only determine what we determine to do and then be determined to do it. The haunting question behind what we do is why we do it. Martin Luther King Jr. Gave the “I have a dream” speech. He did not give an ‘I have a 7 step plan’ speech.

People join and become a part of great things because of why those things are done. This is because the ‘why’ is an underlying purpose that grips the heart of a person and compels them to gravitate toward something great. This can be something great for themselves, something great for their family, or even something great for all people. The ‘why’ within us drives us to how we will deliver on what we will desire to share or become or do or have.

Start with the question, why. When you know why you can picture what it looks like when you get there. When you can picture what it looks like to get there, you can determine the how. When you have the why and the how, anything is possible.

Winston Churchill Day April 9th

Let’s be honest, life is hard. Sometimes it feels like the odds are stacked against us and we are not sure where to go or what to do next.

Winston Churchill, Britain’s great hero and Prime Minister during World War II, was once asked to give a commencement address at Oxford University. Churchill was a leader admired and loved by the people. He had led Great Britain through a time of defeat, despair, and great loss, but had continued to provide inspiration exactly when it was needed. You can imagine the anticipation of the students, faculty, and family members as Winston Churchill made his way to the platform. Dressed in coattails, he carefully removed his gloves and top hat to deliver these words, “Never give up. Never, never give up” He then turned and went back to his seat. It was perhaps the shortest speech on record but also the most remembered at Oxford University and around the world. It was a message of hope and encouragement.

Without going into a lot of drama and details I will tell you that I recently went through one of those life-changing events. This event should have left me a mess, feeling alone and no idea how to pick myself back up. Instead, I found a community standing behind me, willing to give me a shoulder to cry on or an encouraging hug.

Yes, life is hard. There are always going to be challenges, some greater than others. The nice thing is that we don’t have to surmount them alone. We have people in our lives that want to help us; whether it’s personal or professional. The trick is to reach out and ask for it. We at the Chamber of Commerce would love to help in any way we can. If we can’t help you then we darn will help you find someone who can. Today, in honor of Winston Churchill, we at the Chamber say, “Never give up.”

~Sarah Javins