The Fennimore Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes you to the City of Fennimore, Wisconsin. The Chamber of Commerce is active in the community, providing information for visitors and residents, promoting special shopping days, and hosting annual community appreciation events throughout the year.
Community Development Manager
Summary: The Community Development Manager supports the City of Fennimore (City), the Fennimore Industrial and Economic Development Corporation, and the Fennimore Area Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) offices.
A complete job description and application for this position is posted on the Career Positions page.
2021 Chamber Member Information
Chamber members include businesses and individuals from the greater Fennimore area. In-home businesses and non-profit organizations are welcome to become members and participate in promotional activities. Chamber membership is an investment in the community.
2021 Fennimore Chamber of Commerce Officers and Board:
President – Holly Straka
Vice President – Lori Barry
Secretary – Ashley Walker
Treasurer – Sheila Ruchti
Board members – Peggy Miles, Heather Fifrick, Amanda Abing, Hayley Bender, Dennis Cooley, Daniel Glass, Candice Wilson, Rhonda Hubbard, and Kara Stewart.
Past President / Advisor – Steve Lendosky
Promotions Coordinator – 850 Lincoln Avenue, Fennimore WI 53809; 608-822-3599; FAX 608-822-6007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
View the Officers and Board contact information Chamber of Commerce Directory
The Chamber Board of Directors holds monthly meetings, generally on the first Thursday of the month. Board meetings are held in the Memorial building City Council Chambers. Two full chamber meetings are held each year in February and October and are a great networking opportunity. Contact the Promotions Coordinator for details.
The Chamber of Commerce sponsors Fennimore promotion events throughout the year.
- Fennimore Bucks
- Wellness Fair at SWTC – February
- Taste of Fennimore – March
- Citywide Garage Sale & Sidewalk Sales – May
- Chamber Golf Outing – June
- Community Awards / Citizen of the Year Recognition – July
- Back to School Business Showcase – August
- Fall Into Savings Promotion – September
- Shop Local – Win Big Promotion – Nov – Dec
- Small Business Saturday and Annual Craft Show – Saturday after Thanksgiving – November
Office staff – Linda Parrish (e-mail)
2017 First Impressions Exchange
Twenty years ago, Fennimore was the first community to participate in a First Impressions exchange. Now two decades later, we completed an exchange with a similar size community.
What is the First Impressions Exchange? It is a program for community assessment & improvement developed by James Schneider and Andrew Lewis in 1990. The University of Wisconsin-Extension often helps communities assess community development opportunities and develop strategies for community improvement. The First Impressions program helps communities learn about existing strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of the first-time visitor and provides a structured opportunity to learn about strengths and weaknesses of similar communities. The results from a First Impressions visit can serve as the basis for community action and as a way to document changes in the community over time.
All communities have difficulties viewing their surroundings through the eyes of customers, visitors, potential residents, and potential businesses. Our views are skewed by over-familiarization, a lack of differing perspectives, expectations, and a reluctance to be completely honest with our neighbors when dealing with difficult issues, such as the appearance of buildings, customer service, and the maintenance of public facilities.
How does it work? Volunteers from two somewhat similar communities in terms of size, location, and county seat, etc., agree to do unannounced visits and then report on their findings. Participants become “secret shoppers” for the day to discover what they can about a similar community or neighborhood. Participants follow procedures and document their visit using a participant guide or an online version of the guide to upload photos and comments. The guide, which ensures that evaluations and reports are thorough and uniform, requires minimal training.
First Impressions print materials and additional training and marketing resources are available on the UW-Extension Learning Store at learningstore.uwex.edu. For more information contact your County Community Development Educator or the Center for Community & Economic Development (CCED); 608-265-8136; TTY: 1-800-947-3529.
Read the First Impressions of Fennimore Report from our Neillsville visitors during July 2017.
2015 Fennimore Business Walk
A “Business Walk” is a day dedicated to learning more about local businesses through interviews with business owners. Fennimore’s second Business Walk was held in August 2015. Business Walk is a business retention project where teams of volunteers (walkers) meet face to face with business owners, managers and leaders of the community. Volunteers interested in serving on the visiting teams are asked to contact the Promotions Coordinator’s office.
The primary goals of the walk are:
- To understand the issues facing your business community.
- To build working relationships between decision makers and local businesses.
- To celebrate and promote your local businesses.
- To provide local businesses with educational resources.
The 2015 Fennimore Business Walk was a collaboration of Fennimore Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fennimore Industrial and Economic Development Corporation, the City of Fennimore and the University of Wisconsin Extension-Grant County. Read the 2015 Business Walks Report.