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Moving Forward Together

Author: Christine Tevini
April, 2013 Issue

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The Windsor Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center has been working hard for local business since 1965. We’re the trusted voice for business and are committed to strengthening the local economy by promoting the community, providing networking opportunities and representing the interests of business.
 
Our chamber and Visitors Center is located in the Windsor Depot, where we provide many resources for business owners, tourists, locals and those looking to relocate their residence and/or business to Windsor. The Town of Windsor is a huge supporter of the Visitors Center as well as the Sonoma County Transit Authority. We give back by selling bus passes, keeping transit riders informed of the many schedules and by staying open seven days per week.
 
You can see signs of an improving economy in Windsor on a daily basis. Private construction projects currently underway include the renovation and reopening of a gas station, the building of a new wine storage facility and substantial renovations to an AT&T facility. The Town recently invested $4.5 million to improve Shiloh Road in an effort to support the manufacturing areas of Windsor. New businesses are opening around the Town Green and everyone is talking about the news that Oliver’s Market has signed a lease to come to the new Bell Village project in the heart of downtown.
 
Last year, a 100-room hotel was approved and is awaiting construction and, this month, the Planning Commission will be reviewing a new industrial building off Conde Lane near Tractor Supply. Residential builders are preparing applications for review to create additional multifamily housing opportunities for employees and customers alike in the downtown area and on Old Redwood Highway. These are all signs that private business, the chamber, and the Town of Windsor are all working together to help create a vibrant and healthy local economy.
 
To be of even more assistance, the chamber has recently taken the lead of the Windsor Economic Development Task Force, chaired by Tom Lawrence. This task force is made up of stakeholders that include individuals from the Town of Windsor and community business leaders who volunteer their time, meeting monthly at the chamber office to design and implement a plan to enhance the economic environment. The first phase of the task force’s plan is to identify what Windsor has to offer to new businesses; the second phase will be to determine what the town really needs now and in the future.
 
Another town, chamber and community project is just underway to fix and update the Welcome to Windsor freeway signs that were erected back in 1982 and, unfortunately, weren’t properly maintained. This collaborative effort will move this project forward and soon we’ll have beautiful new signs that will let Highway 101 travelers know where they are with a heartfelt, “Welcome!”
 
Annually, the chamber presents the community with a business expo. It’s our way of making sure our community knows what businesses are here. Some have said that this is the best expo in the county! We also annually recognize our chamber members with our Business Success Awards. This is an opportunity to honor local businesses who are leading the local community—and economy—with exceptional business practices. It also serves as an incentive to other businesses to get more involved as they see and hear the accomplishments of these award recipients.
 
The chamber awards its Entrepreneurial Wings Scholarships each April. New this year, the awards will directly benefit the families of Windsor chamber members and their employees. Eligible graduating seniors from Windsor High School and Windsor Oaks Academy must have one parent or guardian that owns or is employed by a Windsor Chamber member business. This year, the scope has been expanded to include graduating seniors who wish to work in a trade or profession (such as auto mechanic, chiropractor, contractor, nurse) and/or pursue a career in business. The scholarships may assist with participation in four or two-year college programs, coursework in basic business skills, trades or technical training programs, or certification and licensing programs. The Entrepreneurial Wings Scholarship is supported by the Pacific Coast Air Museum’s Wings Over Wine Country Airshow, the sale of Windsor Brandz t-shirts and fund-raising efforts of the chamber’s ambassador team.
 
We’re looking forward to 2013 and leading the way with the Town of Windsor and our community to make Windsor shine as a leader in Sonoma County. All are welcome to join us as we move forward together.
 
 
Christine Tevini is president and CEO of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. The Windsor Chamber represents nearly 300 area business members. A Sonoma County native, she’s resided in Windsor since 1997. You can reach her at info@windsorchamber.com.

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