Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 12, 2001

C&C changes name to Winsted Chamber of Commerce

By Ryan Gueningsman

The Winsted Civic and Commerce Association announced recently that it has officially changed its name to the Winsted Chamber of Commerce.

The members of the Winsted C&C decided to go ahead with the name change, following tossing the idea around for several years, to better promote and put more effort into what the C&C has already done.

"It's something that we've talked about doing for a couple of years," current Vice President, and incoming president for 2002, Jill Hess-Kollasch said. "We thought that it (the name change) was a good way to add value to the activities we've done as a C&C.

In the past, the C&C has focused mainly on fundraising events, like the Winter Festival, and Brat Busters.

Now, it will also focus on taking a more active role in helping to shape development in the city, and work more with the city directly, Hess-Kollasch said.

There are five main goals that the Chamber hopes to accomplish for the next year.

"The first is to have a downtown development committee, which works to make the downtown area a focal point for Winsted," she said.

They also want to have an industrial council, which would include members of local industry working with the chamber to support and retain the businesses Winsted already has.

The chamber will also have a marketing committee, which will look at publicizing tourist type things that occur in Winsted.

An improved communication between the City of Winsted and the chamber is also hoped for.

"We're going to be working more directly with the city council, rather than separately," said Hess-Kollasch.

The last major goal the new chamber of commerce hopes to accomplish is looking more at what kind of events they want to sponsor as a chamber.

"It may be the same, or it may be different things. We've talked about a lot of new ideas," said Hess-Kollasch.

There will be several changes taking place right away.

Members will notice there will not be an annual banquet as in the past.

The meeting calendar will now not only have noon meetings, but some evening meetings also to better accommodate all business owners in the community.

The next meeting for the chamber will be Thursday, Nov. 15, at the BlueNote at noon.

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