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New Mexico Gas Co. has awarded the Four Corners Economic Development a $40,000 grant to continue to help economic growth in the Four Corners.

"Four Corners Economic Development is excited that New Mexico Gas Co. has chosen to partner with us in advancing the economic opportunities in San Juan County, New Mexico," said Warren Unsicker, CEO of 4CED. "With a 7.9 percent unemployment rate for November 2016, we are focused on projects and initiatives that will not only grow the job market and increase business activity but also on long-term initiatives that will grow new sectors in our economy for future generations."

The grant from New Mexico Gas Co. was made possible by its parent company, Emera Inc.

As part of its purchase of the New Mexico Gas Co., Emera made a commitment to contribute $5 million in five years to economic development initiatives throughout the state of New Mexico. This is just a small part of that generous commitment.

Welcome Emera and thank you New Mexico Gas!

Aztec Heroes

The definition of a hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities. Heroes have many wonderful qualities. The Aztec community knows that the heroes the chamber seeks are so low-key and humble, they do not even imagine that the title of hero is one they would wear. That is why we need your help.

We need nominations for Educator, Citizen and Business of the Year. Teachers possess a great power to influence, and as studies show, they can clearly shape America’s future. They can impact how much students will earn and prepare the next great mind to change the world.

Residents who work long and selfless hours for others surely don’t seek to make a name for themselves as heroes. What about businesses? We know that our economy and families have been impacted by the decline of the oil and gas and energy industry. Companies are struggling and doing everything in their power to keep their doors open and provide for their employees .

Of the many heroes who work and live in Aztec, who is your hero? Who have you been rooting for? Who places others before himself or herself? The time has come to help them shine.

Go to aztechamber.com to download the nomination form and vote.  All nominees will receive a complimentary ticket to the event, and the heroes in each category will be announced at the banquet.

Chamber member board orientation

As members, when was the last time you used your member benefits? Did you join and then ask yourself, “Now what?”

Look no further. The Aztec Chamber of Commerce will hold one-on-one member orientations, by appointment only, on Wednesday mornings at the Hub, our new business incubator at 119 Chuska Street and Church Avenue.

Group orientations will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesdays. Contact the chamber at 505-334-7646 or email director@aztecchamber.com. Orientations are complimentary.

Logo contest

The chamber is in the process of a rebranding the organization needs a new logo. If  you have artistic talent and are interested in submitting your design, join the chamber's "Who Will It Be" logo contest. The logo will be unveiled at the chamber’s annual banquet on April 29. The winner will receive two complimentary tickets to the dinner, a special plaque and acknowledgement on the chamber’s Facebook page and website for a year.

Submit your jpg logo by March 31 to director@aztecchamber.com. Include "Who Will It Be" in the subject line of your email. The winner will be notified April 3.

New chamber members

Welcome new members Cedar Point Vista LLC and Lil Ole Flower Shop to the Aztec Chamber of Commerce. Jan Williams and her staff of Cedar Point Vista provide cords of firewood to many, and the winter season is not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it is said to be one of the coldest in 2017. Gear up and order your wood now. Contact Jan and her team at 505-334-1765.

The Lil Ole Flower Shop, located on Main Street in downtown Aztec, is prepared to meet all your floral needs. Susan Aguirre, owner and floral designer, is the best at what she does. Pay her a visit or call 505-334-7208 and place your Valentine’s Day order now.

Vangie Garza Neil is the Aztec Chamber of Commerce vice president.

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