MINUTES – February 12th, 2020


The Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 6:00pm at The Coldwater American Legion.


The meeting was called to order by Janel Schulte, President, with the following trustees present: Janel Schulte, Brad Niekamp, Keith Selhorst, Keith Kessen, Leah Koesters, Brittany Uhlenhake, Gina Hess, Megan Stull, Amber Evers, Jack Schwegman, Jason Wood, and Nathan Burtch. Also present was Eric Thomas, Village Manager, and Mayor Doug Bertke.


The evening began with a cocktail and social hour. At 6:32 p.m., Janel Shulte gave a short opening with acknowledgments to the areas elected officials including Mercer County Commissioners, Jerry Laffin, Greg Homan & Rick Muhlenkamp. Mercer County Auditor, Randy Grapner. Mercer County Treasurer, Dave Wolters. Mercer County Recorder, Angie King. Current Coldwater Mayor Doug Bertke. Former Coldwater Mayors Mauri Cron and Joe Knapschaefer. Coldwater City Council members Tim Buschur and Charmaine Bettinger. Coldwater Village Finance Director, Jason Eyink, and Village Administrator, Eric Thomas.


Following the acknowledgments to the local elected officials, Janel recognized and thanked The Coldwater American Legion for hosting the banquet, Romers Catering for catering the delicious meal, The Calico Café for donating the delicious cake, Coldwater Flowers for the beautiful centerpieces, and Mercer Color for printing the invites & programs, After concluding these recognitions, Schulte introduced Brad Niekamp, who gave the invocation. The business meeting followed a dinner.


The business meeting began with president, Janel Schulte introducing the 2019 officers and trustees, Vice President Brad Niekamp with WCSM, Secretary Keith Kessen with Kessen Design, Treasurer Keith Selhorst with The Peoples Bank, Trustees Jason Wood with The Coldwater Schools, Brittany Uhlenhake with Community Sports & Therapy, Amber Evers with Simply Natural Aromatherapy, Nate Burtch with Mercer Health, Jack Schwegman with The Village of Coldwater, Leah Koesters with Tomorrows Technology Today, Gina Hess with Preferred Insurance, and Megan Stull with State of the Heart Care.


Following the introductions Janel introduced Keith Selhorst, Chamber Treasurer, who gave the treasury report.


Selhorst’s treasury report provided information on the three biggest sources of revenue for the chamber including; 1) the gift certificate program which brought in $11,080.00 this past year, 2) dues from members which totaled $10,844.42, and 3) aluminum collection which totaled $1,189.20.  Selhorst also provided information on the Chamber’s biggest expenses including capital expenses. The regular checking account balance as of December 31, 2019 was $24,457.97.  Jason Wood motioned to approve the treasurers report and a second by Jack Schwegmen.


Janel Schulte then introduced Keith Kessen, who gave the annual secretary’s report. Kessen informed the Chamber members that in 2019 the Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce consisted of 153 paid Chamber members. 16 new members joined the Chamber in 2019. Kessen also stated that all regular minutes of the Coldwater Chamber meetings are posted on the website at www.coldwaterchamberofcommerce.com and minutes from last year’s annual meeting were provided at the tables.  Nate Burtch made a motion to approve the secretary’s report; Leah Koesters seconded.


Next, Janel introduced newly elected Coldwater Mayor Doug Bertke. Bertke made his first Chamber speech as Mayor and he provided his annual address to the chamber. Doug mentioned a few notable projects for the upcoming 2020 year including A Park 4 All Abilities, New Lights on Diamond #4 at the Park, Water Line replacement at NW area of park, and Terrace Lift Station, among others.  Upon his completion, Janel Schulte provided a 2019-year in review.  Highlights of the 2019-year include:


  • 7th Taste of the Town was a wonderful event with beautiful weather. Ongoing support for the community allows this to be a success for both the community and the businesses, despite the local farmers being in the fields due to the late April showers that lingered. In 2019, we continued to give away free tickets through the Chambers Facebook promotion for the event. In addition, we had several new members join as vendors including McDonalds, Hazelnut Coffee, and Crumpler Concessions.
  • The Pla Mor Lanes hosted a spring Chamber After Hours Bowling Night. The lanes were full and over 10 local businesses had teams. Twenty Nine Technologies won.
  • The chamber also was involved in activities such as Lemonade Stand at the Community Picnic, co-sponsoring free dermascan screenings with the Mercer Health, and attending the Grand Opening Celebrations including McDonalds, and Performance Physical Therapy.
  • The Annual Hometown Christmas celebration continued this year, but to add more traffic to the local businesses, we added a Santa Express event. We had 10 local businesses as stops on the Santa Express ticket. Donations were received from many numerous businesses and all completed passports were entered to win amazing gifts!
  • Regarding social media, Chamber chatter has continued. This year we started sending out new members’ information though this avenue as well as on our Facebook page, featuring #MemberMondays. I encourage all Chamber members to be more active by submitting spotlights or events. We are always happy to help pass on any information, such as upcoming events, press releases, or new employee spotlights. You may sign up for this weekly newsletter on our website.
  • Just this month, with the help of my Chamber Trustees, we have begun the “Where’s Charlie” scavenger hunt campaign. Each month, Charlie is on display at a different local business for the entire month. The first 10 people who spot Charlie at the restaurant, based upon clues on Facebook and visually spotting Charlie, can let the staff know. From there, they’ll get a special prize from the business, as well as be entered to win a Coldwater Chamber gift card. Have you found where Charlie is this month? Stay tuned to our Facebook page to see Charlie’s whereabouts.


President Janel Schulte then gave a great closing speech about what makes Coldwater Great and mentioned several area businesses as the centerpiece of town. Following the closing Presidents address, Janel welcomed Megan Stull to begin the annual awards presentation by introducing the Community Improvement of the year award. Presenting other awards for Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year , Volunteer of the Year , and the Youth in Action were Janel Shulte, Keith Selhorst, Brad Niekamp, and Jason Wood.


Receiving the Awards:


Community Improvement Awards: Perforamnce Therapy and Wellness


Business of the Year: McDonalds


Volunteer of the Year: Jordan Osterfeld


Citizen of the Year: Jack Hartings


Youth in Action: Austin Ebbing



After the award presentation, Janel Schulte announced the 2020 chamber new trustee nominees: Lindsey Meyer, McDonalds Scott Gels, Community Sports and Therapy and, Ryan Douglas, Briarwood Village.  Schulte then introduced the roles for this coming year which include officers: Brad Niekamp, President; Keith Kessen, Vice President; Secretary is to be Lindsey Meyer; and Keith Selhorst, Treasurer.


Janel Schulte introduced, Incoming President, Brad Niekamp. Niekamp started by thanking the outgoing trustees, Janel Schulte, Brittany Uhlenhake, & Amber Evers. Niekamp stated the next big event for the chamber would be the Taste of the Town, scheduled for June 9th, 2020. Next door prizes and 50/50 winners were announced; a motion to adjourn was made by Jason Wood with a second by Jack Schwegman