Chamber, Winter Show consolidate staffs

Valley City Area Chamber of Commerce and North Dakota Winter Show boards have decided to consolidate their staffs and name Winter Show Manager Dawn Riley executive vice president of the Chamber.

The two groups notified members of the agreement in an email message sent late Tuesday morning.

Tuesday Riley said she learned of the decision to consolidate Monday.
According to the email signed by Chamber President Keith Heuser and Winter Show President Tim Ost, “This joint employment agreement affects only the job responsibilities of our staff -- the Chamber and the Winter Show will remain legally separate entities with separate boards, finances, and committee structures.

“We arrived at this agreement after careful consideration and upon recommendation by both Stephanie Mayfield and Dawn Riley. This agreement will benefit both organizations by improving our ability to address the highly seasonal nature of our operations, reduce total costs, and improve service to our members and constituents.”

Mayfield is the former Chamber executive vice president.

Riley said she and Mayfield “discussed this initially and put together a plan” before Mayfield left the Chamber last week. “We decided this all made sense,” Riley said.

Riley said she will not be overworked doing both jobs, adding that was one of the reasons she and Mayfield recommended the consolidation.
“It is really an ideal fit – once the Winter Show is finished for the year, summertime is slow for the Winter Show and busy for the Chamber.”
The consolidation was a better choice than “laying people off for the summer (at the Winter Show).” Riley said two full-time office workers at the Winter Show and full-time facility manager will continue working, and should be able to handle most Winter Show working during the Chamber's busiest months. “I will be available for emergencies,” she said.

Riley said the change will allow the Winter Show and Chamber to better coordinate its events.

According to the email, “All other staff of both organizations will be retained, though responsibilities are being rearranged in order to effectively address the needs of both organizations. Individual salaries are being adjusted to reflect the new responsibilities of the staff; payroll and benefits will be prorated between the Chamber and the Winter Show according to the planned work load."

Said the email, “We will issue a press release announcing this agreement publicly later today, but we wanted to make sure our membership had the opportunity to hear this news directly from us first. If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact us.”

The North Dakota Winter Show is the oldest and longest running agriculture show in the state of North Dakota. The event, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, is held annually in March, attracts exhibitors and visitors from many states and Canada, and provides a great deal of agriculture information to participants of all ages. The organization manages the North Dakota Winter Show Event Center plus other events including the North Star Classic and the PRCA Rodeo. Additional information is available at
The Valley City Area Chamber of Commerce is a member-supported partnership of business, non-profit and government sectors working to ensure our region’s continued prosperity by advancing the commercial, industrial, civic and general interests of Valley City, Barnes County and the general trade area. The Chamber’s committees are active in several areas including promoting commerce, improving the image, beauty, and quality of place for the region, and legislative affairs. Annual events managed by the Chamber include Rally in the Valley, Crazy Days, Christmas in the Valley, and several others. Additional information is available at

Riley said she is moving from her smaller office in the Rosebud Visitors Center to the larger executive vice president's office on the ground floor of the building. “The downstairs office is bigger.”

Riley has managed the Winter Show for one year “come Monday.”

Prior to coming to Valley City she was doing direct mail and marketing work in Elk River, Minn.

“I love the Valley City area,” she said.
Dawn Riley