E20: Growing Palisade with the Palisade Chamber of Commerce’s Jessica Burford

Jessica Burford, President & CEO of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, is one of the biggest boosters of Palisade businesses – and not just because it’s her job. In addition to running a few of the biggest events held in town (um, Peach Fest, anyone?!?), Jessica is working to make the Chamber the go-to place for local businesses and the Palisade community and to be the driver of thoughtful growth in our small town.

As the snow streamed down and my old heater clanked, Jessica and I chatted about the biggest challenges facing the Palisade business community, what types of businesses she’d love to see open up here, why the Chamber’s goals always tie back to the town’s heritage, what the Chamber is doing to help fill the town’s vacant properties with productive businesses, and why she will never not answer a question from a resident or visitor, no matter how wild those questions may bee…

Music by Romarecord1973 from Pixabay.  


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Welcome to Postcards from Palisade, the podcast that brings you a snapshot of life in our slice of western Colorado. I’m Lisa McNamara.

Palisade in January is quiet. Restful, hibernating, as snowy and cold as it gets. Some local businesses shut down for a bit to enjoy some time off and prepare for the next busy season. Others take the opportunity to launch while it’s less busy – like the new Artful Cup coffee shop downtown or the Palisade Picnic cafe just west of downtown. But generally, things are pretty quiet around here in January as everyone prepares for the year to come.

One snowy winter morning last December, Jessica Burford, President & CEO of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, strolled over to my office with a mug full of coffee. Jessica is one of the biggest boosters of Palisade businesses, and not just because it’s her job. In addition to running a few of the biggest events held in town (um, Peach Fest, anyone?!?), Jessica is working to make the Chamber the go-to place for local businesses and the Palisade community and to be the driver of thoughtful growth in our small town.

As the snow streamed down and my old heater clanked, Jessica and I chatted about the biggest challenges facing the Palisade business community, what types of businesses she’d love to see open up here, why the Chamber’s goals always tie back to the town’s heritage, what the Chamber is doing to help fill the town’s vacant properties with productive businesses, and why she will never not answer a question from a resident or visitor, no matter how wild those questions may bee.

All that and more, on today’s Postcard from Palisade – Growing Palisade Sustainably.

JB: I’m Jessica Burford with the Palisade Chamber of Commerce president and CEO I joined um as the president and CEO in um June of 2022 so I’ve been there about a year and a half now and very excited to be here thank you for having me

LM: thanks for coming in so I’m catching you a week after the Palisade old-fashioned Christmas do you feel recovered from that at all

JB: we’re not quite a week out we are honestly we very much look forward to that event it’s kind of um a little bit of our redemption we like planning events and and hosting events events um Peach Fest is a lot though it’s a it’s a big animal and old-fashioned Christmas gives us the opportunity to really reconnect with our local community um and our local businesses and so we really love it um and I think it went really really well this year so we’re pretty excited about it

LM: yeah it was nice that it wasn’t actually freezing out it was kind of a reasonable temperature

JB: it was a beautiful day it had snowed in the morning um so it was a little sick out initially but then the sun came out and you could easily walk from space to space and without even a jacket

LM: so tell me how did you get into this career path or how did you get into this role

JB: um I sold heating and air conditioning for 13 years like that I kind of grew up in that industry I um started out at Hercules Industries when I was um I think 20 years old and um yeah worked for them for 11 years and then moved into some bid spec work with another company um and I had a wedding event planning certification I’ve got my nutrition certification and I had a a amazing boss an amazing Mentor retire and it gave me the opportunity to think about maybe what else I wanted to do so I went into Hospitality sales because I always thought I wanted to plan weddings and um quickly learned how rigorous Hospitality sales is but loved it I had it again a great boss a great mentor there um and she really challenged me to do more and then I um went went and did some heart work for a while left there to help Mosaic do fundraising for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and such a rewarding experience I was sitting on the board for the Pali chamber at that time and we just got our notice of our third um director turning in her notice in four years so um Julianne had been here for a long time and then we had another director um that was there for about two years and then another director that was there for only nine months um and I just couldn’t sleep at night so I said maybe maybe this is for me I am very passionate about helping businesses my husband and I have a business on Horizon Drive and I knew how much the Palisade chamber specifically in this community had rewarded us and I wanted to pass that on so I asked the board if I could put in my my hat and they said absolutely and trusted me enough to take on this role and it’s been very challenging and very rewarding all at the same time

LM: I know um it does have a reputation of being a really challenging role and you kind of referred to the history of the last few people who have not been here too long why do you think that is why do you think it’s so challenging

JB: um I think for for a while the chamber hasn’t had a really clear vision so there may have been a lot of like spinning wheels and all kinds of directions throwing things against the wall you know seeing what sticks um I feel like the board that we have now has been extremely supportive and we have very good strategic plan so that’s like my North Star it’s it’s easy when we have a plan easier anyway when we have a plan in place like that so I can constantly refer back to it I don’t know that we were super engaged in Palisade tourism before and that’s fun and rewarding and that’s really our Focus because that is a major driver in our economy um and just having the right team in place it’s really hard if you don’t have the right people with you to go along that Journey with you so I feel like right now we have a really amazing team as well

LM: nice yeah so you really kind of pull all the pieces together and um what is the Strategic Vision or what you know what do you see as the chamber’s role in Palisade

JB: um we want to remain really rooted to our heritage I I think we had we still very much value cross community collaboration but not at the risk of um neglecting our local businesses so we want that to be our first and foremost priority making sure we really understand the needs of our Growers um and then our downtown businesses um and our lodging partners helps us really move forward I feel like in a more sustainable Direction so we’re really excited about you know reconnecting with our roots and making that our constant of Are We being true to Palisade Heritage are we being true to what our Growers need from us are we being true to what our downtown businesses really need from us or are we just trying to grow and at what cost

LM: interesting yeah so kind of balanced growth or thoughtful growth almost

JB: for sure

LM: would you say

JB: I would say it it’s been a process and I do think that we have some work to do in our strategic plan but I think the work that we’ve done the last year and a half has helped us tremendously reconnect where where it matters

LM: yeah yeah I think um it’s you do a lot so not only the big events that everybody knows about but all of the individual member events and networking opportunities and classes and I mean there’s a lot that you organize and offer to members and also that members of the public can join too sometimes so it’s a lot

JB: yeah yeah we try to have a good mix of both we offer public events and then events that add value to our members um we’ve really grown our lunch and learn program that we have monthly um we had a great turnout this last week with um Ryan Robertson came from Palisade or from Powder Horn and um spoke about how we drive that winter business and we had a really it almost became um kind of a work session or um a round table discussion really of some brainstorming ideas of the ways that we can really thrive in the winter months as well so that was very rewarding and then um yeah we have all the community events and then we are also really um engaged again in initiatives that matter to the chamber to Economic Development and policy so we’re sitting on four workforce development committee or boards right now throughout the community um to try to streamline some of the systems and Not Duplicate so much make it easier for employers make it easier for students to get internships and apprenticeships and um make it easier for the community as a whole to really understand how that could work and how they could find Value in um the work that we do and find that develop I guess that homegrown Workforce

LM: yeah so I almost see it as like um to me like from my view as a chamber member um it’s almost like you’re a facilitator for conversations or you know bringing people together that wouldn’t otherwise have that person to do that or that kind of venue to do it like for example over the summer with the bike you know the bike grumbling the bike issues the complaints about uh drunk tourists on bikes that were maybe maybe here every year but maybe a little louder this year um you know I really uh appreciate the fact that you know you guys kind of sprang into action and said we’re going to host a a conversation on this a listening session for the community um to talk about ideas and solutions and what we can do to make it better and I don’t think that there are I can’t think of other than the town which isn’t quite the right venue there really isn’t another venue for that kind of conversation to happen which I appreciate

JB: I really think that’s the chambers role um you mentioned all the events that we do but we really want to move forward and be seen as the catalyst the convener and the champion for you for your business um so convener is one of our priorities how do we connect you with the resources that you need how do we connect you with the right people to have the right conversation so again there’s not that duplication of efforts and I do think that we have our hand on the pulse and we kind of know what’s going on in a really broad umbrella um so we’re able to jump in and be like hey that’s already happening let’s bring them to meet with you and we can figure out a really great solution for our community

LM: so how do you know when you’re successful

JB: oh well um honestly I me success by the people around me um I I like I said I’m very blessed with a a really amazing board who has my back they’re very supportive and I’m have a really great team I have a wonderful husband who is very patient with the fact that I’m gone so much um and I have two amazing children who I love to be around and um have seen I have a 10-year-old and 20-year-old so I’ve seen them kind of grow into their own and that’s really rewarding and I have a really close relationship with my family and friends here in the community very well rooted so really that’s how I measure successes like the the people I’m surrounded with and um how we care for one another

LM: what do you think is maybe from your perspective both either as a person or as the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce what do you think is the biggest challenge to businesses in Palisade or that they’re facing right now

JB: um I I do think that year round business or that winter lull is a major challenge right now um we are brainstorming some I like I said we’re brainstorming ideas of ways that we can make that as it’s snowing or you know dumping snow outside which is very magical in Palisade by the way

LM: yes it’s beautiful

JB: but we’re looking for ways that we can collaborate with other communities even like how do we get visitors to Moab who really have that have figured out that year round business um to come to Palisade how do we partner better with maybe Ouray and Montrose to send visitors here Glenwood so some of those surrounding areas where it’s an easy day trip from wherever they else they might be staying to Palisade and getting them to come here initially and then next time be like I want to oh I want to I’m staying in Palisade next time because then I can drink all the wine or I can hang out at The Distillery longer you know all of those things that we we really love and value here because they come and they see we’re hanging out there we’re having a good time we’re very hospitable and so I think that’s part of the solution is just sharing that culture of Palisade on a little bit broader scale I think there’s a lot of pressure in the community for our businesses and for the chamber um from residents um about what we should be doing and I think we can be better at educating like it’s a long process we can’t make these changes happen and overnight we really want to make sure that it’s a very great space to live and a great space to visit and I know there’s been some friction in the community with um it’s when we have those huge events come in it’s not feels like all of a sudden it’s not a great space to live and they want to leave town or they get frustrated because people are blocking their driveways things like that and we were very aware we we’re really focusing on how can we fix that how can we make it a better solution because we do want it to be a great space for every every one not just our visitors even though we talk a lot about that’s our Focus that’s not our sole Focus we want it to be a great space for our our business members and for our residents so with I think we get a lot of I think businesses hear it a lot from residents and we hear it a lot from residents that those times they’re not happy and that that hurts my heart you know that makes me sad because I want I we really do want a great space for everyone

LM: mhm that’s a tough thing to balance though because you have have thousands of people coming into a community of you know what less than 3,000 people so it’s it it’s going to be friction it’s going to be a balance um personally I love it I love the weekends that are really Lively and then I love how it just quiets down after so personally I like the mix the mix of the two

JB: I really love it too I um obviously I wouldn’t be working at the chamber if I didn’t like the push and the um kind of the constant feeling of what’s something exciting and what’s next um we have no monotony at the chamber that’s for sure it’s different every day um which I love that’s why I love my job so much um and that’s why my employees love their jobs so much too they love that every day is a new challenge um we we do too we love the hustle and bustle with the events we loved like I said this last weekend old fashioned Christmas and the way that we did the layout a little bit differently but the pleasant surprise happened that it did work out the way we kind of anticipated it would and we had tons of business downtown and tons of business at the market I think we have opportunity with other festivals to do kind of a similar thing where we kind of spread it out um to make it maybe a little bit um less of a Major Impact but overall better impact for everyone um but yeah we love the like the drive that comes with these events and then the calm down afterwards um so we can take a little break reset it’s very nice it’s very quiet in Palisade today

LM: yeah

JB: and we’re taking the opportunity to kind of clean up after last weekend um start doing thinking about inventory we did strategic planning with my staff for next year so that they can be on the same page with our board so it allows us to kind of reset and get ready for what’s next

LM: that’s so important and I that kind of leads into a little bit um what’s next so I know one of the things that you’ve been working on is um more of like  Downtown Development district and now I don’t know if and I’ll edit this out if it doesn’t relate but I suspect that it relates to the fact that there are um there’s some frustration with um businesses who want to come downtown being able to find the available space to come downtown and then spaces that are available not actually you know being available for use or being developed um it does it relate to that at all

JB: yeah absolutely 100% um we’re yeah we’re definitely I did a um tour with um GJ Grand Junction economic partnership um a few weeks ago and we just walked downtown and and went through all the vacant buildings and all of the businesses that are up for lease right now or for sale in our downtown area and then we also hit River Road um and looked at that property and um uh so that they could kind of help us come up with a plan but we’re also taking some rural Downtown Development courses so we can look at becoming like an official Main Street um within the state of Colorado we I think might be the only one in Mesa County if we can make it happen

LM: cool

JB: so that would be really exciting for us and then with that we get the tools and the resources available to us to come up with a really great comprehensive plan that helps us um really develop downtown that in a way that’s very sustainable and attractive as well

LM: interesting you know luckily the downtown itself is is pretty full but it’s like as soon as you start getting away a street or two away um there’s so much potential for what could go there

JB: so much potential yeah and I think that bringing all of our stakeholders in to have these constructive conversations several times so we really get an idea of what everyone is wanting what our businesses are wanting what our residents are wanting what the town of Palisade is expecting and needing and wanting um and then the building owners so that’s you know not always the business owner so we need to bring these building owners in as well to say this is our hope and we’re hoping that you’ll work with us on this and um I know over at 305 main we have amazing building owners who are always ready to help Palisade and help us with the next thing um we have a great really relationship with them and we call them often on can we do this what do you think about this they are just even with um holiday like this time of year they’re really committed to like decorating the whole building now and um because they want to brighten things up downtown and make it a very attractive space to come dine in the middle of winter you know it’s dark at 5 o’clock so let’s light it up down here downtown here so it’s more approachable and I like that they’re thinking about those things as well and they’ve given a lot of thought to how they um keep occupancy in that building so it’s half residential and half professional space and um I think it works really really well in that space and um kind of using the model that they have to fill up the rest of the spaces that might not be completely full

LM: interesting yeah so what what what is what would be your vision for a a main Street kind of it’s like a it’s not a certification or what what are they what is it like a designation

JB: yeah I guess yeah a designation would be a great thing to call it

LM: okay so say you get that we get that in town um what does that look like like what would the downtown look like then

JB: honestly it would look like accessibility for everyone um it’s very hard to do in a historical uh area such as ours but I think it’s very possible making sure that sidewalks are clean and level and easily accessible to all is one of my priorities and um I think many of our priorities is making it easy for everyone to come downtown and walk around or roll around whatever they they need to do and um I think that we also have a unique opportunity to really highlight all of our 100 plus year old buildings we just got our official historical plaque and I think we can work towards that for a lot of spaces down here the Packing Shed that sits on the railroad track is on our radar we talk to the Hies often about um like their Vision what what would they want to do with that space and you know it’s complicated it’s going to take a major major renovation to make that a workable space but they’re committed to figuring that out so I’m really happy about that

LM: you’re talking about the like the historic where it says the palisade building what people think was an old train station

JB: they think it’s an old train station and it wasn’t yes yep that’s the space

LM: I love that building I would absolutely love to see something go in there you know my worst nightmare would be that it gets torn down like that would be so sad

JB: no and I know the he don’t want that we certainly don’t want that um and I think we’re trying to take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen there are grant opportunities available for older buildings like that and so we’re looking GJEP is helping us also look at those opportunities so that we can make sure it do does stand and um it is a it’s a really cool unique space inside and we want to highlight that for Palisade it would be a a landmark building for sure

LM: absolutely uh do you have any hints about what they are thinking about doing there that you can share or

JB: no there’s no solid plans right now um it’s just finding the resources so that we can make anything happen

LM: okay okay all right

JB: and they’re I think we’re all open to ideas as long as it’s productive and sustainable

LM: mhm right that makes sense no that’s that’s a hard thing to figure out because it’s going to be a big investment in the building um to probably bring it up to code and put in any sort of you know if you do a restaurant it doesn’t have a kitchen like there’s going to be a lot of work that has to go into it

JB: Millions yeah so a lot of work uh and I think we’ll have to have the right investor or the right grant up for the challenge

LM: yeah yeah but it could be amazing so big part of your role I know is that uh visitors might walk into the chamber and you answer their questions so you probably field a wide range of questions or comments or things 

JB: yeah we joke that we need to start a journal and we joke with the other Chambers as as well that we need to start a journal or some sort of uh running document maybe its own Instagram page or something where we can just put up all these memes of the questions that we get asked it’s it can be quite comical at times

LM: I was going to ask what’s the funniest or most outrageous like complaint that you’ve received or question that you’ve received

JB: we’ve had a lot of questions about um like utilities we get a lot of utility questions um and we’re not we’re not the town we’re not a government entity um

LM: like how do I pay my power bill

JB: yeah how do I pay my power bill um the sidewalk in front of my house or the road in front of my house or the you know the park um things like that so those are fortunately we have a very close relationship with the town and it’s easy to say hey we got this we got this call today and I know you’re working on it but maybe call them back um but we’ve had some people be very insistent or one individual specifically be very insistent that we come remove the bees on their property so um so good thing that we have a great relationship with the insectary and they know who to call and um so again convener right like it’s good thing that we have great connections Community Wide that we can help um when we get some of those interesting phone calls we’ve I’ve also had someone um call or email me I can’t remember asking me to come remove a tree that was the roots were growing up in their Canal or in their pump house I can’t remember the situation for sure so yeah just a lot of questions that we’re like oh my gosh I I I wouldn’t even know how to begin helping you but we always want to help we want to be unreasonably eager to help our community so we always always always try to find the answer

LM: that’s really nice that you don’t just say like sorry that’s not my that’s not my department

JB: I I have a mentality that nothing is not my job and I expect my staff to never if they ever say that’s not my job they’re not in the right place

LM: yeah just just another piece of building that relationship in the community though so that’s really cool um how about like from a tourist is there anything that they’ve walked in and ask for that you’re just like do you know where you are right now

JB: um we actually were talking about this and I don’t think it’s weird at all I actually think it’s something that we as a community could really look at and I have honestly our interns really excited about looking at this right now but um creating kind of a road map of spaces that people can go that don’t include alcohol

LM: oh right

JB: um like I love wine I love The Distillery I love all of those things um but we need to be very conscientious of those that don’t drink and how do we design the perfect day for them as well and so our intern is working on some itineraries right now that are that don’t include liquor alcohol and so I’m really excited to see what he comes up with and I think it’s a very valid question and we get asked quite often um and also it’s often from um older people we have a we just know statistically we have older visitors that come to Palisade and so we see a lot of that foot traffic into the chamber because they are great conversationalists and they want that personal connection and we’re happy to welcome them in um so figuring out things that are not super outdoor recreation either not super active or figuring out Solutions where they can still participate in a lot of our outdoor recreation possibilities um in a way that works for them in their abilities

LM: yeah that makes sense so you’re not just sending everybody down the plunge yeah or anything like that right maybe go to the maybe go to River Bend and kind to bike on that nice paved Trail

JB: yeah

LM: um yeah cool makes sense um yeah so tell me about the other things you’re working on so it sounds like there’s a lot of other things kind of in progress like there’s an app there’s the radio show on um kafm like what other things are you doing JB: yeah we’re about to launch our Pali Community app so we’re pretty excited about that the um adventure Guide that we put out every year that goes to visitors centers all across the state and into um parts of Utah um will also now be digitally available on that app

LM: that makes so much sense

JB: yeah and it’ll be a great space to have a community calendar so people can submit to the chamber calendar will show up on that app it’s a free app nobody has to pay to download it um so we can put QR codes around town and guests can scan it and get the app on their phone and see what’s going on but more importantly our residents can also scan that app get it on their phone and see what’s going on and we’re really excited about that opportunity I think in the past we’ve offered deals and opportunities specifically targeted targeted at visitors and this is we’re hoping that this will be more targeted towards locals

LM: interesting

JB: so we’re excited about that what else did you asked about

LM: uh the radio show

JB: the radio show yeah so Jason Van Hooten with Grand Valley grapes and Grains and I have started a pali and Co um or pali and company radio show on kafm um during the community hour once a month second Wednesdays of the month and it’s going really well we kind of get the opportunity to do this but a little bit quicker 15 minute scale so it’s a quick listen um and we have a lot of fun Jason’s a blast to work with he’s got a great personality so I’m pretty excited that he was kind of his idea and um kafm had been asking me to start a radio show since even before I worked at the chamber and I was really resistant and then when I got to the chamber I certainly didn’t have time initially um so finally they they got me I like to say and it’s been a lot of fun and I’m learning a ton we have the the talbott brothers on our very first show and to see I love the way that they banter back and forth and to see just like their passion and knowledge for all the work that they’re doing was really exciting

LM: that’s cool

JB: I’m so excited to have it and have it running forward so that we can educate the community we are again trying to remain rooted so it’ll be pretty agriculture focused I think um but with that we know that our Growers been like contribute so much to the community so we like to hear how else like other than than growing and focusing on that year round production which it is a year round production people don’t realize it just because they’re not picking peaches right now doesn’t mean they’re not working very hard so helping people understand that and what they’re doing in quote unquote off season and then yeah how they give back to their Community is one of our biggest um focuses of this show

LM: long term like looking back 5 years 10 years from now what would make what would you see in palisade that would make you say okay I did my job I’m happy like I accomplished what I wanted to

JB: honestly we want the chamber to be the trusted resource we want you to come to us when you have a problem and we’ll help you find a solution we may not be able to do it for you but we will help connect you with the right people the right resources to make things happen and I think we talked a little bit about the turnover and the transitions um and it has um not built a strong Foundation of trust with the chamber in the last few years and I think that it’s really my dream and my hope for our community for the chamber to be the trusted resource

LM: just specifically to Palisade businesses what do you think is missing here what would you really like to see in town that we don’t have now

JB: the I kid you not the number one question we get and I know that La Plaza has a similar or some they have a thrift shop over there but we get questions all the time about an antique store or a thrift shop and I think it would like our town lends itself to that so much with all the rich history I would love to see that come in you I can’t even tell you how many times we get asked that throughout the summer

LM: that totally makes sense because when you go to an that’s probably going to pick that up but um yeah not a professional studio here but of course when you go out on a summer drive you’re going out to little towns small towns you want to see what what is they local antique store have yeah what are the interesting things I can find here I can see that

JB: yeah

LM: so all right I’ll go there

JB: I think it would be a great benefit to our to our community honestly and I would also love to see um a space where I’m like I’m sorry I can’t think the heater was a little distracting but I would love to see a um I don’t know how to explain explain this very well um because I only have like examples of names of other businesses like it but um in Cabo Jeff and jody um with spoke and Vine motel and Fidel’s told us to go visit this um working farm there that has a restaurant right in the middle of it and then also has all these boutique stores that kind of line up around it and fresh fried donuts in one little area and you can walk around the gardens and walk around where the where they grow things and you can see where they’re picking your veggies and making your lunch and I would love to see us have a little space like that I think it would be a huge draw to our community and so I’ve been picking on some of our some of our investors some of our Growers to create that space and I’ve even told them where they can do that so

LM: yeah that would be amazing and there’s so many different places that would lend themselves to that sort of function so

JB: I know Talbotts does great job of catering to visitors um they and they have their unique thing with the live music and um football nights and all the things they have going on there Clarkes does an amazing job of that as well with their carriage rides and just their their level of hospitality for both both families is really Beyond none they’re the example we use often but this would be kind of a not a One-Stop shop but a a place where people can see kind of everything that Palisade has to offer in one little space and they can get an amazing meal so that’s the dream right

LM: that sounds lovely that sounds lovely okay so give me the pitch on why a local business should join the chamber

JB: um again we are that convener so the resources that you think you might be lacking maybe we have the way for you to find those and get and get you the information that you need we offer a lot of continuing education monthly as we mentioned we offer great opportunities for you to network and networking in Palisade is the best way to network you cannot beat it we

LM: it’s fun

JB: yeah it’s fun

LM: and productive

JB: we’re the fun one right um we have we have the best people here and I encourage you to join and come out and meet meet our community meet our people because they will help you grow your business I guarantee it if you know them and trust them and vice versa they will help you grow and Thrive so I really encourage you to join the chamber and engage because if you’re not engaging you’re not going to get the benefit for sure

LM: yeah yeah cool okay what else didn’t I ask you that you want to share with people if anything

JB: um I don’t know we talked a lot about tourism and I think we’re very committed and I think I would just mention that I’m taking the Colorado Tourism leadership Journey course right now I sit on our tourism Advisory board so I can be your liaison um I can I can be the voice of local business if you’re ah have an opinion have a a comment have a solution motion um I would love to take it to tab for you um but we also encourage you to come they’re open meetings they are they are part of the town of Palisade so it’s a government meeting they’re open for anyone and anyone can come make public comment so I also encourage you to engage in your community that way um I think that’s what I would say overall is if you are struggling and you have really great ideas and strong feelings about things engage and come see what people what we are working on already um and then maybe it might change your mind about some things I think education is always key like come come engage come see what we’re doing and then please offer your advice because we need we need your we need your input we need your help we need your support so I would just say that I I encourage everyone to get to know their neighbor and engage

LM: that’s a really good point and thank you so much for bringing up tab because it is when I first moved here you know being able to listen in on these things was a really great way to understand what are people working on in the community what what do they care about you know what are their passions and kind of who’s doing what and the great thing about tab I mean the hours are tough I think um but you can always connect by zoom and so you know you can you can be multitasking and working and still listening in if you just want to catch up on what’s Happening like as a resident you can view the meeting on zoom and kind of be doing other things at the same time

JB: I completely agree it’s the only um I think government or town ran meeting that is still available on zoom and I think we um I I didn’t have any say in this but I think that others did kind of push to make that available still on Zoom for that exact reason it is a little bit weird timing weird day of the week um but we want anybody to be able to engage if they they can so we’ve been able to offer that on zoom and you can even do public comment via Zoom

LM: yeah yeah which was different than uh the town meetings you actually would have to go in which makes sense but no I think that flexibility is great because it’s just an acknowledgment that no maybe the time isn’t the best but there still is a way for people to participate and then to make time in the future if you really feel passionately about something you can always go in person but no I’m I’m really glad that you brought up the the tab meetings because um if anybody is wondering what’s happening in town you can find out you know you can call in and find out what are the priorities what are people working on it’s all open for everybody

JB: yeah absolutely and the Chamber we again we’re a nonprofit we’re not a government ran organization but we are a board board ran organization and the same is true there if you have something to say or just want to see what we talk about in our board meetings you’re are welcome to come and observe um and you’re welcome to submit a comment as well so we and honestly I encourage that because we don’t know um unless you tell us

LM: right yeah

JB: we can’t make a change unless we know

LM: right y makes sense well thank you so much for your time I just really appreciate you coming in and chatting with me and I feel like I learned a few things and a couple good reminders too so

JB: I’m geeking out I listen to your podcast all the time so I was really honored that you invited me on thank you so much

LM: aww thanks

JB: to be um sitting here knowing all the guests that you’ve had on so far it’s really humbling so thank you all the Palisade celebrities right

LM: yeah we’re working on it I just unfortunately I don’t have enough time to focus on this like this is all I want to do but

JB: you I can tell you you’re very passionate about it so I’m excited for you and um I think that the work that you’re doing helps the chamber as well because we are the people that you’re interviewing I think are all chamber members we I mean we have a pretty engaged Palisade business community so a lot of our Palisade businesses are members of the chamber and so it helps us kind of educate our community on what our businesses are doing by sharing your podcast so thank you

LM: awesome thank you so much — Jessica has been leading the Chamber for a little over a year and a half, but she has already done so much to grow the local community. What do you think about the Chamber’s goals? What else do you want to see happening in Palisade? Let me know at lisa(at)postcardsfrompalisade.com – we might dive into this more on an upcoming episode. Thanks for listening. With love, from Palisade.  

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