The Chamber has been gathering feedback on our programs, communications and over all satisfaction through surveys of our members the last few months. The feedback has been great – both interms of member satisfaction and suggestions we have received. We have made changes to what we are including in our newsletters, e-blasts and even changes to our social media and Linked In discussion groups. If you have additional ideas or suggestions, please let us know.
A key issue that everyone is keeping on eye on is the economy. There are many stories about what is impacting the economy – European issues, the upcoming elections in Greece, federal policies, price of gas and more. The Eden Prairie Chamber is very pleased to have our June 21st luncheon focused on the Minnesota’s economy. Our guest speaker is Minnesota Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development Mark Phillips. He will highlight where Minnesota’s economy is going, what trends Minnesota is seeing and what businesses should be planning for. If you haven’t register yet, go to epchamber.org to learn more.
Well, the trip is almost over. Our last full day was in Venice- what an amazing day. We had great weather and amazing sights. It is such a historic city, it is difficult to describe it.
After taking a boat ride to get there we had a guide lead us to some of the most amazing buildings and churches.
What would be a trip to Venice without a Gandola ride? Many of us took the Gandolas through the canals and even were sung to — Volare’ -love that song! Well, its back to the US tomorrow!
We have been having a great trip seeing many amazing cities with great history and shopping as well. We saw the amazing city of San Gimigano with its many towers, fantastic views and historic church. Later we drove to a local vineyard for wine tasting! Always a favorite!
Yesterday we drove to Portofina which many of us thought was the best day yet, it was amazing! We took a short boat ride on a nice, warm sunny day and enjoyed the beautiful shorelines. The small town of Portofina is a must see-breathtaking doesn’t come close to describing it.
Afterwards we went to a marble quarry in Carraro. How large is it? Let’s just say many of us thought it was snow on the mountains only to find out it is some of the marble! Today we are off to Venice and then tomorrow we end our journey and head home.
Our travelers journeyed from Minneapolis to Chicago, then to Frankfurt, Germany and finally to our hotel in Montecatini.
Our group had some free time to explore the city or catch a quick nap before our dinner at the hotel. Some did some shopping at a local grocery store, getting snacks and even some vino.
Our guide, George, gave us an overview of our trip before we enjoyed a four course meal that helped us all get some needed sleep.
The month of February seems to be one of the Chamber’s busiest. We are usually in the midst of planning our major events – Home, Landscape and Garden Expo in March, one of our international trips in March, our first Chamber Challenge 5K, golf tournament in July, gala in November and this year we needed to hire two employees to replace two who left us for greener pastures. But one of the areas of interest amongst our businesses is government – from city, county, state and federal levels and what they will do that will impact area businesses. All levels are looking at their budgets and trying to make revenues and expenses work out – whether this means cuts, tax increases or dipping into raining day funds.
Here at the Chamber we work to stay on top of the top issues our businesses are focused on and one of those issues is light rail. We have been providing input to the county for years on light rail as well as getting our businesses involved in the discussion. We recently had a joint meeting of the Edina and Eden Prairie Chambers’ Government Committee to continue to discuss light rail. For those new to this discussion the draft environmental impact statement is scheduled to be released in the next month or so and this will begin the 45 day comment period. As such, the Chamber is working to eliminate some of the major concerns in our community around the alignment. One of those is the line will have an at grade crossing on technology Drive between Gander Mountain and Rosemount/Emerson, cross Rosemount/Emerson’s driveways, cross Costco’s driveways and continue to the Southwest Station. Traffic is a major issue in this area already and the concern is that light rail will only make this traffic worse by closing the road and driveways when trains come through. Please stay tuned for more information and ideas to help alleviate this problem.
Some of you know that I try and get out and enjoy the outdoors as often as I can – hunting, fishing, hiking etc. Of course with all the snow we have, this hasn’t been as easy as other years. In addition, now is the time of year that many of us, including me, try and make sure we stay on top of our fitness routines. This is never easy because it seems we have so many other events, work, and family activities that prevent us from staying on top of our health.
Health and fitness are tied to our work and jobs. The healthier an employee is, the less sick time they use, the more productive they are and they typically get more work done. That is part of the reason the Chamber is starting an annual 5K event on April 23 with the support of SCHEELS. We are challenging our businesses and local residents to place a greater emphasis on fitness and to join us in recognizing the importance of health. Please register for the event online and share with us any fitness stories you may have.