2019 August – Something from Mary!

Hands Free, Free Time

As the Hands-Free law goes into place today, August 1st, 2019, I am thinking about the many times, we should put down our phones, not just in the vehicle while we are driving, and not just our phones need to be put down.

Gosh we live in a crazy world in which we now have an attention span that is less than a grass hopper’s. For some reason many of us need to be entertained at every curve… do you turn the channel or pick up your phone and scroll when a TV commercial comes on? Do you even realize you are doing that? Probably not.

How about today, you think intentionally about those moments of boredom-quiet-transitions between shows, waiting in line at the store, waiting for a client, and consider how you could use those fleeting moments to do something more productive…. Return a phone call, start your grocery list, make a work list of items you’d like to tackle, dust something- seriously… you can get a lot of dusting done during TV commercials, just sayin’- don’t judge. Make lunch for tomorrow, walk around the block, drink a glass of water, pick up the office or room you are in.

I say this as I am trying to be more intentional about my time. I run run run….. and then crash. I am trying to RUN less, and crash less, which leaves me with some quiet time. It’s amazing what a person can do when they are intentional about finding time for the things that matter, and removing the time wasters.

I hope you’ll do two things.

One, put your phone down while you are driving. It’s the law and by the way, I like you alive, healthy and not strapped with a heavy fine.

Two, put other distractions down and find the opportunities that you can see in front of you. You never know what great things can come from a little dusting, a quickly made list, or even sitting in your own solitude.

2019 July – Something from Mary!

What a question? What does it mean to thinkLOCAL?

Before you purchase something online, or out of town, do you think about whether you can actually find it here in Hutchinson?
Do you consider the online options for local stores?
Do you ask businesses to donate to this, that, and the other thing?

Here’s food for thought:
You purchase something in Hutchinson for $100.
68% of that stays in Hutchinson. Wages, Services, Taxes, Donations.
Tax Revenue pays for FIRE, POLICE, Park & Rec, water treatment, waste water and so many services we take for granted every single day!

If you purchase that item in another community, you are giving them your money to pay for the same things in their community, not yours.

This applies to every purchase you make.

NOW, take your online ordering and switch it to online ordering for a business that has a brick and mortar in town and have it delivered to pick-up. THAT purchase and your money goes to OUR community to help pay wages, benefits and donations for your friends, family and neighbors HERE in Hutchinson.

Please consider your purchasing tendencies. What can you do to bring back some of what you spend BACK TO HUTCHINSON.

I know we can’t get everything here, but I bet there are many things you can. You can’t buy happiness, but shopping local is almost the same thing!

Join us for Crazy Days, SHOP LOCAL, SPEND LOCAL, have LOCAL FUN, and please thinkLOCAL!

To learn more about thinkLOCAL and the work of our committee, please go to our website. (link to thinkLOCAL page please)

2019 June – Something from Mary!

2019 Hutchinson Leadership Institute ClassWe asked the 30th class of the Hutchinson Leadership Institute what they would tell a future applicant about their experience or what to expect regarding the Hutchinson Leadership Institute.

Here are their answers:

• Do it! Well Worth it: I am amazed how much I am taking away.
• Throw any expectations out the window. The experience is so much more than training.
• Do It! It was an amazing experience where you learn about yourself and about others.
• Perfect way to learn about one’s self and the community, Just do the Class!
• A superb group of people, content and topics. Come in with an open mind and a happy heart and learn more about YOUR town, yourself, and how you can help and use both to help those around you.
• Lots of good lessons.
• Trust the process. Throw yourself into it. No holds barred, just do it. Trust. The. Process.
• Just do it, you will get more out of it than you give.
• Definitely worth it. You have a chance once a month to step back and be purposeful vs always getting caught up in daily chaos.
• Expect to reflect on yourself and who you are. If you dive in and are open to the experience, you will take away significant learning.
• It’s a really good way to learn about Hutchinson, gain friends and understand the community.
• Be open minded and be willing to let your guard down.
• You’ll learn skills that are useful for working with others.
• I would recommend to any one in the community. Learn more about what makes this city, Hutchinson, a community to have passion for.
• You will never regret the decision. You will learn so much about yourself, the community and others!
• Just do it! Expect to get and give a ton.
• Do it! It’s fun, great content, great networking, valuable professional development.
• Soak it all in and let yourself be vulnerable. Learn from those around you and make new friends while continuing to learn.
• It will be amazing, do not hesitate!
• This is a great idea, and you will learn a lot!
• This will help with communication and dives into how you see yourself. It helps you gain and better understanding and appreciation for the community.
• Expect to grow amazing relationships, and grow in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Applications for Leadership Institute and Leadership 2.0 are now available on our Hutchinson Leadership Institute and Leadership 2.0 page.

2019 May – Something from Mary!

Why does the Chamber have a golf tournament?

I am so glad you asked!

Golf is the summer sport taking you to lovely green courses filled with green plants, bringing people together for fun and also aggravates and brings humility to many.

A number of years ago the Chamber started the golf tournament as a fundraiser, which it still is today. Membership dues do not cover the expenses of running the chamber programs and services we provide our members. The board did not and does not want to raise dues significantly, so we fund raise. The golf themes came along shortly after this from suggestions from golfers.

A few years ago we added the “Staffed Hole” Sponsor- WOW! Everyone seems to really enjoy this addition. We have members who will not miss the opportunity to network with every golfer. With an easy $200 investment, most businesses easily justify the cost with the opportunity.

Now this year, mix the Staffed Holes with the theme of Tailgaiting… yes, we plan to have fun while we spend the day on the course, in the sun, light breeze, bev carts out…. Oh, yes, sorry, I was writing an article… back to it.

The amount of networking at our golf tournaments is substantial. See and be seen. Work actually does get done on the golf course. We’ve seen people meet for the first time, businesses have hired people they met, to-do list items get accomplished, and there is a lot to be said for a group of people out on the course on a beautiful day enjoying each other’s company.

So yes, we have fun at the golf tournament, and it is a lot of work to organize and run, but our members benefit from this is multiple ways. Programs and services are funded, networking, and deals are made. And, you all deserve a Monday afternoon off. So there is my added bonus/benefit…. We are so busy in the hustle and bustle of work, it’s great to hear from golfers “I needed this afternoon out of the office.” We all do, so please add July 22 to your calendar and join us at Oakdale Golf Club for a day of fundraising, networking, deal making, and FUN. We’ll have fun for certain; we’re tailgating! Your team can show their team spirit in any way you’d like.

See you in July!

2019 April – Something from Mary

Oh My Gosh!

Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner? I do. I hope you do.

As I write this, we just had the 6th of 8 sessions of Leadership 2.0 with Steve Gasser and Giant WorldWide. How does my mind implode each and every class?

‘How do I not know these things,’ or ‘how do I not recognize these things,’ or ‘HOLY COW, I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT MONTH,’ are all thoughts going through my gray matter when I walk out the door.

This spring we have a couple personal and professional development programs which you can plug in and LEARN more about YOU and YOUR TEAM.

I hope you make the time for yourself and your team to attend one or both I am sharing with you today.

April 12- 100X Leader Summit by Giant WorldWide

  • Crow River Winery
  • Morning event 8am-12pm
  • $49, includes book and light breakfast
  • Video stream, with personal contact and follow-up between sessions to help you take what you’ve heard and make it into an action plan.
  • Host: Steve Gasser, Senior Consultant, Giant WorldWide

May 10- LeaderCast

  • Crow River Winery
  • 8am-4pm
  • $100, includes Lunch and Materials
  • Live Video Stream from Atlanta
  • Emcees; Dr. Joe Hill and Mollie Terlinden

Looking Ahead – September 2019- May 2020

Hutchinson Leadership Institute, 31st year

  • $600, includes almost everything, but not the kitchen sink
  • 10 all-day sessions

Leadership 2.0, 2nd year

  • $600, includes tool kit and materials, light breakfast
  • 8 half day sessions

Something from Mary!


When we publish this article, we will have just hosted the first Business Connection at Ashley HomeStore. As I write this almost 60 people have rsvp’d!

Humans need human connection. I looked up human connection facts and found hundreds of studies done to prove it. However, with the onset of the digital age, more people are becoming disconnected from human contact, which used to be suffered by the elderly, or outcasts.

We’ve seen the digital world change how we interact, but have you also seen what I have observed? People circling back to communicating face to face, picking up the phone to hear a voice, social gathering where phones are put away…. We are realizing what we crave and need is each other.

How to Connect through the Chamber:

  • Business Connection, First Friday of the month, 7-8am. You can also host a business connection, or partner with another business to host.
  • Business After Hours, the second Thursday of each month, Jan- May, Oct-Dec, 4-6pm. This has been scheduled out almost an entire year in advance. We can hook you up.
  • For the Under 40 crowd- PULSE social events scheduled quarterly, and Lunch and Learns are held the second Wednesday 12-1pm Squeakys. Check out their Facebook page. PULSE is Professionals, Under 40, Leading, Socializing, Educating.
  • Hutchinson Leadership Institute and Leadership 2.0 are not only great personal and professional development classes, but great ways to connect on a deeper level, building a network of trusted friends.
  • Events: Golf Tournament, Annual Event, Taste of Hutchinson, and the Arts and Crafts Festival/Taste of Hutchinson bring people from different industries and backgrounds together in a fun, and relaxed atmosphere. Nothing says connect like a tailgating party (2019 golf) or an 80’s prom hair-fest 2019 annual event.)
  • Committees: Agri-Business, thinkLOCAL, Golf, Made in McLeod, PULSE, are opportunities to meet with a common goal or industry.

If you would like more information on any of the above…. Please call us at 587-5252!

Community Connections:

Make a connection today, this week, this month.

“You have the time, if you want to make the time.” Enjoy connecting this month- Mary

*all organizations listed are members of the Hutchinson Chamber

Something from Mary!

What if there was no chamber in Hutchinson?

Sometimes people ask “what does the chamber actually do?”

Let’s think about Hutchinson without the Chamber and Tourism office.

  • Businesses would not have an entity to call their own (and they have since the early 1890’s)
  • Business scams would lay a wider net
  • There would be no business visits by the Ambassadors to welcome new businesses and congratulate expanding businesses
  • No Business After Hours to learn about business services & products
  • Arts and Crafts would be a thing of the past, which would also mean the end to Taste of Hutchinson, and Taste of the Holidays
  • No one to advocate to shop local, think local, play local, eat local, sleep local, spend local
  • No visitors’ guide would be published, and no guides would be mailed out to prospective visitors, nor to visitor centers around the state. Over 1000 guides are mailed each year from requests, and 49 statewide centers display our visitor guides.
  • No business-oriented advocacy for the city, no alerts to new bills or regulations which affect businesses
  • Leadership Institute would be gone. Almost 800 people have gone through the program in 30 years.
  • Many businesses and organizations would have to pay for a meeting location, or jam into cramped quarters for meetings and interview
  • Another avenue of marketing services, products, jobs, and events would be gone
  • Dairy Day and Farm Fatigue would cease to exist
  • Young Professionals would be out of luck, and no group to call their own, like PULSE
  • Resource calls would go unanswered (we are the phone book and google combined)
  • The electronic marquee at Hwys 7 & 15 would go dark
  • The community calendar where people visit over a hundred times a day would be lost
  • Our famous table tents would no longer be printed
  • No advertisements or billboards recruiting people to come to Hutchinson
  • No more #muchinhutch on trucks or campers, products or anywhere

YOU matter to us. Our work is about YOU.

Thank YOU for being part of the Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism organization.

Something from Mary!

Most of use have benefits through our employers.

We try to utilize those employee benefits to make our life better, healthier, balanced and maybe just a little easier. It’s what we do; use those benefits for maximum advantage for ourselves.

Your Chamber Membership comes with benefits also.

Benefits to make your business better, healthier, balanced and maybe just a little easier. See what I did there?

Whether you look at your chamber membership as a buffet, or business muscle builders: we are here to help your business.

Maybe you’re seeing emails from Ashley about your membership benefits, but discard them because you are too busy to look at them right now.

Maybe you see messages about events or programs, and think you’ll go back to those later.

Maybe it’s time you take the time to look at what you are utilizing and what’s being left on the table but could help you market/build/enhance your business.

Form your online portal to your web page on our website which gets many searches daily, to networking programs to get out and “press the flesh,” to educational opportunities to build skills, networks and confidence… the chamber has a lot to offer.

We’re your connection to the source, the answer, the obscure, the odd, and many times, just the right person to help you do what needs to be done.

So as you review your business benefits, let’s review your chamber membership benefits and find the best options to help you be bigger, stronger, faster!

You know what to do; call or email us! 320-587-5252 or email any of us:


Happy New Year from our staff and Board of Directors!

Something from Mary!

As I write this I’m still basking in the fun and excitement of this past week’s Small Business Saturday. (Okay, part of my excitement is that MN beat WI twice this weekend in football.)

Our staff and ThinkLOCAL committee put much time and effort into planning ideas to bring people to, and keep people in, our community for this day. Staff and volunteers spent hours purchasing and collecting gift cards throughout the community for the first SBS ping pong ball drop of prizes and for handing out later in stores.



Let’s ThinkLOCAL more frequently; not just on Small Business Saturday.

Let’s ThinkLOCAL even when there isn’t a ball drop or elves out paying bills.

Even when you are online, there are local options to choose.

  • Amazon offers their Amazon Smile donations… pick a local charity!
  • Most online purchases with store pick-up options keep the purchase local to that store!

Did you know you will never run into friends and old acquaintances while shopping online?

Did you know you can’t touch or feel the fabric or texture of something online?

Do you realize if you don’t understand how to use it, or it comes broken or late there is not a real person to talk to without saying or hitting seven 3,785 times first?

How many times have you received a personal reminder online about that email you may have gotten with more savings and how you can use that coupon with another deal?

NOW…. let’s be real…. I know you shop online, sometimes I have to as well. Let’s just pledge to ThinkLOCAL before we just hop online, and let’s spend more in Hutchinson this year.

ThinkLOCAL… because every dollar spent locally pays for someone’s wages, which pays for food, heat, and clothing. Each dollar can be regenerated again and again.

ThinkLOCAL… because we are the reflection of our choices.

ThinkLOCAL… because you’re cool like that!

Something from Mary!

What’s the big deal?

I can’t keep calm. SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY is coming!

It’s November, the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and we are warming up the red scarves to give away… MONEY!

Wait. What?

Yes, the Chamber is giving away money again.

Here’s how people have a chance at winning money:

  • Shop in Hutchinson on November 24th
  • Attend the ping pong ball drop at 10:00 AM on the north side of Library Square

Super easy right?! YES!

Want in on the fun as a business?

Provide the chamber with gift cards, gift certificates, tokens, or items to give away during the ball drop. It’s a great way to drive traffic into your business.

Follow this link to get the download for the ping pong ball drop information.

The balls will be dropped from a large truck and bucket along Washington Avenue. We’ll have separate ball drops for adults AND kids.

Chamber Board Members will be out paying for people’s bills as well… Why? Because the incentive to bring business to you is VERY important to the board and staff.

The chamber has Small Business Saturday materials for you if you haven’t signed up through ShopSmall.

Give us a jingle and we’ll help you make the most of your Small Business Saturday!