Chamber presents honors, goals

Members say they want to improve service

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Tears welled in the eyes of Craig resident Delia Eisenhauer as she received a standing ovation from Craig's business community.

"I'm shocked and surprised," said Eisenhauer, whom the Chamber of Commerce honored with its community service-oriented Sunshine Award. "And what a surprise it was. I didn't know they were going to do anything like that."

She was recognized during the Chamber's annual meeting Tuesday at the Holiday Inn.

Executive Director Christina Currie said the award is reserved for someone who routinely goes "above and beyond" their duties and "really makes a difference" in the community, which she said perfectly describes Eisenhauer.

"There's no other person in Moffat County whose commitment to the Craig Chamber of Commerce exceeds Delia's," Currie said. "Her depth of knowledge about the Chamber and the area is invaluable. I've worked with volunteers in several capacities and have never met one as dedicated as Delia. She's definitely someone the Chamber can, and does, depend on."

Eisenhauer spent 17 years working at the Chamber of Com--merce; she volunteers at the office each Friday and works as a greeter at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

Her award will have a special spot at home, Eisenhauer said.

"I'll probably put it on top of my TV," she said. "That way I can look at it all the time."

Eisenhauer wasn't the only one recognized Tuesday. The Chamber also awarded Chap--man's Automotive its Business of the Year honor. Currie said Chapman's is the first business to be given the honor.

Of the businesses nominated for the award, the family-owned Chapman's stood out as the "epitome of a small business," Currie said.

"I think Chapman's Automot--ive really exemplifies the qualities that you'd like all small businesses to have," she said. "They're supportive and encouraging of their employees, they've developed an innovative way to support the community, and their customer service is outstanding. ... That continuity truly makes it a business that reflects the value of a small town."

Owner J.B. Chapman said the honor was earned through teamwork.

"It's a full-team effort," said Chapman, who, along with his wife, Paula, has owned the service center since 1985. "In order for any business to succeed, it's never about one person.

"I'm sure we'll have a celebration with (the employees)."

The Chamber has undergone a host of changes throughout the past year, board members said. Despite the transition, the organization has been able to accomplish several goals.

"We have truly come together in a time of trial and transition," said Stacey Mathers, a member of the board of directors.

Pam Thompson, the board's vice president, said goals accomplished in 2005 included collaborating with other groups to provide better services and answering questions from members and prospective new businesses. The Chamber will continue to work closely with the public and business community, she said.

"It's very important we all work together to promote Moffat County to get new businesses here," she said.

Mathers said the board of directors evaluated its operation from last year and has recommitted itself to improving communication, encouraging economic development and being an advocate for businesses and members.

She encouraged members to stay involved with the Chamber.

"Your investment is what allows us to continue to grow and improve our services to you, which, in turn, work to help your business grow," she said. "We're excited to continue this circle into 2006 and beyond."

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