Bingo Flyer - Business Promo

Community “BUSINESS BINGO BLACKOUT” – Grand Prize: Apple iPad

The Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to launch the first ever Business Bingo Blackout Card….a game designed to support local businesses.  After feedback from community and chamber members, the Chamber Board brainstormed ideas on how we could help boost commerce while promoting our local business members….the end result is the Bingo Stamp Card. It will launch this week and run through July 2nd. The rules are simple and everyone in the community is eligible to participate.

The Rules:  Pick up a Chamber Bingo Card at any one of the 12 participating businessBurger Factory, Papa Ray’s, Taco la Herradura, McCary Meats in Basin City, Michael Jay’s, Old Brick Store, Subway, Sunset Theatre, Mei-Lings, Connell Grange Supply, Pizza Station and Kaffrin’s Coffee – and start collecting the color coded stamps by making the qualifying purchase listed on the card at each business. Be sure to present your card at checkout to receive the individualized stamp from the business. One stamp per qualifying purchase. Once your card is filled with all 12 stamps, put your name and contact info on the back and drop your card into the collection box at the Connell Grange Supply to be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE – an Apple iPad. Additionally, there are 10 reserve prizes from local businesses that will be awarded. Multiple entries per person can be entered as long as you have received the stamps from all businesses. Drawn entries will be validated to be deemed eligible prior to being awarded. The final drawing winners will be announced at the 4th of July Fireworks Show in Connell, come and enjoy the Fireworks Show and see if you won, we will also be publishing winners in Graphic the following week and contacting each winner to claim their prize! ImportantNote:Connell Grange Supply is the only collection site for completed entries; participating business will not collect cards.

Shop Small, Support Local Business and You could Win! For more information and list of the prizes please visit connellwa.com. Have fun playing Business Bingo Blackout…..Good Luck!!

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Individual Chamber Members

The Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce sees value in anyone who has an interest in the promotion of our business sector and the betterment of our communities so, in addition to businesses, they welcome individuals to join as members, too. An Individual Membership is for any community member who has an interest in the Chamber of Commerce’s good works in our communities. It is also a good opportunity for individuals who have retired from the business community but want to continue to stay in touch. Currently, there are 7 individual members including Black Blackwell, Burl Booker, Kara Booker, John Lindner, Pam Moon, Representative Joe Schmick, and Gene Stocking.

Blacky Blackwell…..moved to Connell in the spring of 1983 and worked for Hanford, cleaning it up and shutting down plants. During that same time-frame, he also worked for the Feathers Thompson Ranch. Eventually retiring from Hanford, he started work at Paradise Farms as a mechanic where he permanently retired from in 2010. He is a former member of the Connell Community Club and was mayor of Connell from 2014 thru 2017. He fondly remembers the healthy number of businesses that existed in Connell in the 1980’s. He thinks a healthy business economy exists by promoting and supporting local businesses and is important to attracting and bringing in new business to a city. With that mindset, even though his initial membership in the Chamber of Commerce was because of his term of service as mayor for the City of Connell, he has continued his membership as an individual.

Burl Booker….was born and raised in the Mesa and Connell area. Burl graduated from Connell High School in 1977 and after attending college, he returned to the area to farm and raise cattle. Although he has a personal interest in the success of the community as a whole, as a tax payer through real estate investments in the city of Connell, he has a vested interest in the business climate as well and would like to see Connell grow. In addition to being a Chamber of Commerce member, he is an active member in the Connell Community Club, CHS Ag Advisory Board, President of Eagles Nest, Fire Commissioner with Franklin County Fire Dept., and President of Columbia Basin Jr Livestock Show.

Kara Booker….is a 1985 graduate of Connell High School. Kara returned to the Connell area after marrying Burl Booker in 1990. Kara has always had a strong sense of community. While raising their family of 4 daughters, Kara’s community involvement started with volunteering for activities and programs at the NFSD schools. Her volunteer efforts continue still today as a member of the NFSD School Board, Connell Community Club, Columbia Basin Jr Livestock Show, Connell Fall Festival, Connell Community Float, and treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce.

John Lindner….was originally a westsider working with the King County Sheriffs Department for 31 years before “officially” moving to the area 12 years ago. John’s wife, Carol (Colley) though, grew up and graduated from Connell. After moving to Connell, they owned and operated The Old Hardware Store for 10 years before recently selling it to the current owners. Believing that being active and involved in the community is important, John is not only a member of the Chamber of Commerce but can often be seen in the audience of City Council meetings to keep informed and for the fun of it. John is also a member of the Connell Fall Festival committee and an active member of the Connell Community Club taking the lead to coordinate the Political Candidates Meet and Greet Forum and organize the Winterfest Parade. John really enjoys the Connell community and stated, “Life did not get interesting until I moved here”.

Pam Moon….was raised in Connell graduating from Connell High School in 1973 and has lived here ever since with the exception of very few years. Her dad owned and operated a successful fertilizer business, Welch Brothers Corporation, for over 40 years. While working for him, she also opened up her own business, a fitness center called “Let’s Get Physical”. Pam attributes her sense of community to her dad who was a successful independent business owner and her mom who had a heart for volunteerism. Through the years of Pam’s Chamber involvement, she has served as both president and secretary. Pam states, “It’s the people that make this community and surrounding area special”.

Representative Joe Schmick…. is a member of the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 9th District, which includes Asotin, Garfield, Franklin, Adams, Whitman and south Spokane counties, since 2007. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee and on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee as well as is the Ranking Member on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee. Joe is a former second-generation farmer and a small-business owner. He appreciates and supports the work that local Chamber of Commerce’s do for their communities. Joe and his wife, Kim, reside in Colfax, WA.

Gene Stocking….has an extensive history with the Connell Chamber of Commerce. Beginning back in 1983 when he was branch manager of Seattle First National Bank, Gene has continued to remain a member even after retiring from Community First Bank a few years ago, concluding a 36 yr banking career. During his tenure with the Chamber of Commerce, Gene served as president for 6 plus terms, served on various committees of Chamber sponsored events, and was an integral part in getting the Chamber involved with the Community Float. Throughout the years, Gene has served the community as a volunteer in various ways…Boy Scouts, Coyote Ridge Correction Center, Benton Franklin Council of Governments, Connell Parks & Recreation Board, North Franklin Development Board, Connell Community Garden, and Jr Miss Program to name a few.

Franklin County graphic

Franklin County Graphic

The Franklin County Graphic is currently owned by Kathy Valdez. Kathy has owned the Graphic since 2008 but has been working at the Graphic since the early 1980’s. As she recalls, she is the 6th owner to run and operate the Franklin County Graphic – she worked for the previous 4 owners. Kathy has been a typesetter, did newspaper layout, worked in the dark room developing pictures, and many other tasks – she said “I have done everything except the reporting.” The Graphic was first printed in 1955 and has been recording the “history” of the North Franklin communities ever since.

The Franklin County Graphic is the only active and legal-printing paper in Franklin County. It is the one place that “the Legals” are required to be printed in because it’s the only designated paper in the county. The Graphic used to be a paper that people would pay a subscription fee to receive it for the year. That changed when the Graphic became the only paper in the county to publish the Legals. It is now free to approximately 2,700 households that are in and around the area.

In addition to the Legals, the Graphic offers the community direct business advertisements, city news, local school information and sports articles, event information, letters to the editor, and interesting stories about things that are happening within the community as well as birth/wedding announcements, and obituaries (offered at no cost to the family). As the one employed reporter can’t be everywhere to report on everything, they are happy to offer space to publish articles submitted from community members. Currently there are 3 people who work for the Graphic – Kathy Valdez (owner/editor), Katherine Bingham- Trowbridge (reporter), and Becky McGuin (proof-reader). Kathy noted that social media has had a huge impact on not only the Graphic but printed newspapers in general. Not needing to wait for a daily newspaper, or in the Graphics case, weekly, news can now be received in the very moment. The Graphic wants to remain relevant to the local community though by being consistent with the services they are able to provide. Looking forward to retirement at some point in the future, Kathy hopes that someone with the same drive and ambition she had years ago will step up to keep the Graphic in operation, when the time comes.

Throughout the years, the Graphic has been a generous in-kind member of the Chamber of Commerce in advertising the various community events that the Chamber sponsors. In the last seven months, the Graphic has been a great partner in publishing the Chamber of Commerce “highlight” feature articles for our business members…THANK YOU!!

The Graphic office is generally open Mondays 9-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and Thursday 8-12 noon. They are typically closed Friday-Sunday. The Graphic is printed and delivered to the community on Wednesday’s for those who receive their mail by PO Box. Those that live in the rural country receive their Graphic on Thursdays. If you would like to submit an article or ad for print in the Graphic, the deadline is Mondays by 4pm. You can email them to franklincountygraphic@gmail.com The Franklin County Graphic office is located in at 346 S Columbia Ave in Connell. Their phone number is 509-234-3181.

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REH Co

REH Co is a family farm owned and operated by Greg & Julie Hart just a few miles east of Connell. They incorporated in 1973 but their family has been in Connell for over 100 years. They are dryland wheat farmers. As farmers don’t run on “business hours” but rather on “Farmer hours” – so the schedule of the year and weather. Their harvest time is July/August and runs anywhere from 2 ½ to 4 weeks long. They have 2 full time employees who help with daily farming operations and 1 seasonal employee.

REH Co. expanded 2 years ago when Gregg took over farm ground and equipment from his cousin’s farm John Hart. That expansion nearly doubled what they farm yearly. They farm now approximately 6,500 acres a year. As mentioned this is a family farming operation, Gregg made the decision to come back and farm when he was in college and took over from his dad, Richard E Hart in 1987. REH got its name from the initials of Gregg’s dad Richard.

REH Co and Gregg & Julie Hart have always been great supporters of Connell and the community. They have been chamber members and supporters of events, support local businesses as much as they can, support the schools and their church throughout different events and also offer scholarships to juniors/seniors yearly. Gregg encourages his employees to be active in the community and support the community as well – as this community is what makes them enjoy and appreciate living here and he wants to give back, so others will follow the lead and do the same.

Gregg & Julie have raised their 3 kids here in Connell and now have 6 grandkids that they enjoy spending time with both here on the farm and going to visit them. They look forward to spending more time with the grandkids as the years go by.

michael jays

Michael Jay’s Restaurant

Michael Jay’s is owned by David & Casey Hart. They bought the restaurant in 1979 from the John Moon Family when the business had only been running for 5 months. Originally the M&M motel and Michael Jay’s were owned together. David and Casey were in the process of moving to Spokane area and buying a different restaurant when they got the call to purchase Michael Jay’s – this gave them the opportunity to move to Connell and come back home where they both grew up.

Michael Jay’s got its name from the 2 original owners, as their middle names were Michael and Jay – David and Casey never changed it as it had a good ring to it. They are currently the only family dining restaurant and bar in Connell. They have an All-American full menu, have a banquet room for private events and meetings as well as they also do catering for events too on and off site. David & Casey both work at the restaurant and have 14 employees total – 9 of them are full time. The most employees they have had while running the restaurant is 35, but that was many years ago when they also had a band that played on the weekends.

Michael Jay’s offers local jobs as well as family dining and the only bar in town to locals and visitors. They have been huge supporters of chamber events over the years – sponsoring fireworks, Fall Festival, Harvest Festival (Wine & Brew), and the Chamber Banquet. As well as supporting the community in other capacities too. They enjoy their loyal customers and seeing them daily and visiting as well as meeting new people who are stopping by to visit. They aren’t looking to expand Michael Jay’s but rather looking forward to retirement – they do hope that someone young and eager will want to continue with the business and they can sell and enjoy the next part of their lives.

Michael Jay’s is open Tuesday- Thursday 6am – 8pm, Friday/Saturday 6am – 9pm and Sundays 8am – 3pm, Mondays they are Closed. They are located near the south entrance of town at 710 S Columbia Ave. If you want to make reservations for dining or for the banquet room or have questions on catering, the phone number is 234-8841.

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Connell Inn & Suites

Connell Inn & Suites is owned by Valiant Hotels LLC under Jay Patel. They have been in the hotel/motel business since 1970. Jay and his son bought the motel – formerly known as the Tumbleweed Motel from Regina Janosky in April 2016. They are the 3rd owners to run the motel in Connell. When Jay bought it in 2016 they started with renovations to the rooms and exterior of the building as well, doing upgrades and many improvements. The motel is open 24 hours a day. They have rooms that offer 1,2, and 3 beds with amenities; microwave, refrigerator and cooktop.

Connell Inn & Suites has 2 full time employees. While they don’t plan to expand here in Connell – Valiant Hotels LLC does plan to continue in the hotel/motel business across the US. Jay saw that the motel needed to stay open and had a good customer base already and decided it would be a good investment.

The motel was built in 1946 with the front office, living quarters and front rooms by John & Velva Dougherty. The motel and the gas/service station which was originally a Texaco (now the Connell Gas & Food Mart) were operated and owned together by the Dougherty’s. In the 1950’s they built the pool house and then the back set of motel rooms. They sold it to the second owners Harlan & Regina Janosky in 1972. Janosky’s purchased the Annex buildings (across the street) in 1975 which had extra rooms and also housed the laundry/cleaning facility. They ran the motel and gas station until they sold the gas station to Quinton Booker in 1982-83. Then the motel, annex and pool were all sold after 44 years of ownership to the current and 3rd owners Jay & Valiant Hotels LLC in 2006.

Connell Inn & Suites is located at 433 S Columbia Ave. To make reservations you can go online to their website Connellinn.com or by calling 234-2081. They look forward to having new guests and continuing to make the upgrades and improvements to the rooms and motel to enhance every guest stay.

johnson agriprises

Johnson Agriprises

Johnson Agriprises has been a local farming operation for over a century. Since 1906, starting with Arthur Johnson, the farm has been in the family passing from generation to generation over the years.

Johnson Agriprises farms both conventionally and organically. The crops raised conventionally are wheat, potatoes, peas for seed, triticale, grass seed and corn seed plots. Their organic crops include onions, potatoes, asparagus, wheat, triticale and spelt. Johnson Agriprises employs approximately 20 people year-round with many more hired seasonally.

The Johnson Family emigrated from Sweden to California. In Sweden the farming season was relatively short because of how far north Sweden is located. When they moved to Yuba City, California, they had to farm 12 months of the year. Looking for a farming season that was longer than in Sweden but shorter than in California, after harvest in 1906, the James Johnson family loaded up their mules on to a train and moved from California to Eastern Washington. Orman and Gavin Johnson’s father was born here in 1910.
In the mid-1950’s, they received their first water to start irrigating some of their farm. They started growing potatoes in the mid-1960s. Following a few years later, they started growing potatoes for Lamb Weston. Johnson Agriprises continues to grow potatoes for Lamb Weston today. In 1971, the family corporation, Johnson Agriprises, was formed.

In 1999, they expanded into the organic crop market. It was and still is a challenging endeavor. Recently, Johnson Agriprises signed an agreement with Progressive Produce to supply the majority of US Trader Joe’s with organic mini-red, yellow, and purple potatoes for half of every year. Orman stated, “We are in partnership with Brad Bailie for that supply.” One of the biggest challenges they are faced with is the need for a more reliable water supply in the near future with Orman saying, “the Columbia Basin Project water supply is needed to replace our depleting wells.”

In recent years, an addition to their agricultural business was the purchase of Pacific Produce in Bruce. As their business continues to grow, so does their family history. Orman and Gavin Johnson are part of the 3rd generation; Frank and Tami Baxter (Orman’s daughter and son-in-law) and Nick & Kate Johnson (Gavin’s son and daughter-in-law) are a part of the 4th generation; and many grandchildren have established the 5th generation on this family farm. And if you didn’t already know, the Johnson families are big WSU Coug fans – many have stopped to take pictures at their “GO COUGS” potato shed on highway 26 between Othello and HWY 395 on the way to Pullman. Johnson Agriprises is located at 1010 S Johnson Rd Othello, WA.

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Franklin PUD

Although Franklin PUD was organized January 14, 1935 it was not energized until November 7, 1947. Franklin PUD is owned and governed by the people and communities they serve. They are united behind one goal – to provide affordable, reliable, non-profit electricity to their customers. They offer electric service and broadband to their customers. There are 3 elected commissioners – Roger Wright serves as commissioner in District 1, Bill Gordon is commissioner of District 2 and Stuart Nelson is commissioner of District 3. Commissioners serve a 5 year term before they are up for re-election.

Franklin PUD centers around 6 key values: Customer Focus, Respect, Integrity, Personal Responsibility, Teamwork and Forward Focus. Through these values they hope to provide the communities with the best possible service. They will grow and expand as the communities that they serve do, making sure to reach all customers with high satisfaction. Connell and Kahlotus, as well as other surrounding areas, sit within the service boundaries of Franklin PUD.

They currently employ about 100 full time employees. Franklin PUD and its employees continue a long tradition of community involvement – dating all the way back to 1948. Anything from helping put up holiday lights around towns to educating area children and their families about electrical safety. They have a culture of trying to help whenever called upon by those they serve.

Franklin PUD has been a member of the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce for several years. They have continually supported events that the Chamber sponsors as well as supported other community groups and efforts within the community. Most recently, they have worked to provide electrical services to the new information board project being planned at the post office.

Franklin PUD is located at 1411 W Clark St Pasco WA. You can reach their office Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm at 509-547-5591. Visit their website franklinpud.com to access your account and for additional information on services, programs, safety tips and education and more.And a great reminder as we get into outdoor fall projects – remember to CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG!

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Connell Sand & Gravel

Connell Sand & Gravel has been owned by Buzzy & Toni Hille for 28 years. They bought the business from previous owner Ray Carlisle in 1990. When the business was brought up in conversation to buy it, they saw an opportunity and thought it would be a fun and interesting business to venture into and grow. Hilles already had a strong spray business they were operating from their home that they were building outside of Kahlotus at the time. They sprayed in Franklin, Adams and Whitman counties at the time. To date, Buzzy & Toni Hille are the 3rd owners to run and operate Connell Sand & Gravel.

Connell Sand & Gravel offers not only gravel but ready mix concrete, sand/gravel mix, and general construction services. They are a supplier for other businesses that need their products, as well. They have 28 full time employees; many are local to the area. In 2000, they expanded into the Tri-Cities market, offering more products and additional services to grow their business.
Currently, Connell Sand & Gravel is a successful and steady business but if Connell was to grow then they would expand the business further but as it is now, both owners are happy with how the company is doing.

Over the years, Buzzy and Toni have been involved in community events and committees whether in service or offering financial support. They both were EMT’s for Kahlotus for 20 years. Connell Sand & Gravel has been a huge supporter and contributor to the North Franklin School District, the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show, just to name a few. They have enjoyed living here and raising their family in the Columbia Basin community and like being able to support the community by giving back.

Both Buzzy and Toni graduated from Washtucna. Toni attended school in Connell before her family moved to Washtucna. They have 4 kids who all attended and graduated from the Kahlotus School District.

Connell Sand & Gravel is open Monday through Fridays from 7am – 5pm. To find out more about their products and services, call the main office located in Pasco at 509-545-4066.

nutrien ag solutions

Nutrien Ag Solutions

Nutrien Ag Solutions is a unit of Nutrien Ltd. Along with Nutrien Retail, they are the world’s largest agriculture inputs company. Nutrien is comprised of four business units: Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash and Retail. They offer many products and services to our area local farmers; fertilizers, pesticides, application agronomic advice, soil & tissue sampling as well as organic products.

Nutrien Ag Solutions was established in 2018, but predecessor companies began operating as early as 1859. Through advancements in technology it has allowed for more effective growing methods while minimizing environmental impacts. They’ve welcomed more operations into the family and expanded their products and services. The company is global and now Nutrien Ag Solutions is a part of a network retailers that spans three continents. They have never lost sight of the American farmers and the work they do, decade after decade they have continued to provide the best technologies, tools, and products so that farmers can do what they do best – grow.

Nutrien Ag Solutions has gone through many name changes and merges over the years. In 1992, the company was called PureGro, transitioned to Western Farm Service,and then lastly known as Crop Production Services. Robert Oliver is the current manager of the Connell division. Bill Erickson, a Crop Consultant,who has been with the company in Connell since 1992, stated “I have been here through many acquisitions & mergers. The name may have changed but our quality of product, relationships with growers, and high customer services has always remained as the same high standard.”

When it comes to expanding the company – both locally and has a whole company, Bill states “We are always looking for good business opportunities to grow and expand – whether in products or services.” Listening to the growers and customers and what they need and are looking for helps drive and lead those decisions. We like helping farmers make their crops grow. If we do a good job, and the farmer is successful, then hopefully, they keep coming back.” Nutrien Retail continues to grow its international and North American presence. Over the past 5 years, approximately 250 independent retailers have been added to the growing family of Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Nutrien Ag Solutions has 8 full time employees and 1 part time employee at the Connell location. The office is open from 7:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. They often work extended hours working with farmers during the busy spring season. The office is located at 108 N Columbia Ave at the north end of town. For more information you can call the office at 234-3441 or visit their complete website at www.nutrienagsolutions.com