Community Award Nominees: Citizen of the Year
By Justin Aufdermauer
It’s finally time to introduce the nominees for our last remaining category: Citizen of the Year. For a look back at our other category nominees you can visit the blog on our website, www.tillamookchamber.org. While you’re there you can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up-to-date with everything the Chamber and our members are doing, and be sure to follow us on social media for even more updates and timely information.
Now, with that shameless plug aside, I give you the nominees for Citizen of the Year:
Blaise Bennet and Nathan Bentham: Blaise and Nathan volunteered a major amount of time and energy offering their expertise to the Tillamook Youth Football Program where they coached third through sixth graders. They spent countless hours coaching and mentoring over 80 kids and established the Mike Gardener Gamechanger Award.
Chris and Patsy Weber: Chris and Patsy share their talents and passions for service with several organizations in Tillamook County including the TBCC Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook, The Tillamook Beekeepers Association and much more.
Laura Adkins: Laura has been a community pillar for decades as the operator of Pacific Coast Appraisals where she stayed committed to making Tillamook County a better place to live and work.
Brian Bertrand: Usually a trip to the DMV is a dreaded activity, but thanks to Brian’s extensive knowledge, friendly attitude, and impeccable customer service a trip to the DMV is almost always a joy here in Tillamook County.
Amy Braden: Amy has works tirelessly serving the youth of Tillamook County through her previous long-time position at Oregon Youth Authority, as a class advisor for Charity Drive, and volunteering for Tillamook SAFE.
Laurie Wandell: Laurie has worked hard in her efforts to attain the prestigious Coast Guard City designation for Garibaldi and has executed several ceremonial events including Coast Guard Appreciation Day and Pat Patterson Day and several other community-focused events.
That is quite a lineup of amazing people in our community, and it always brings me great joy to see these people recognized for their love and commitment to Tillamook County. Our lives are better because every one of them chooses to give back in their own special way.
We want to take a moment to recognize that there was a Citizen of the Year nomination that upon further review is more in line with Program of the Year. Without further a due we would like to recognize:
Nazarene Church Wilson School Ministry: Each month during the school year a group of Nazarene women lead by Jan Bush, welcome all students and staff at Wilson School into the fellowship hall for activities and free, delicious meals – including a traditional Thanksgiving dinner each November.
Again, thank you to everyone who made a nomination, and congratulations to our outstanding group of nominees! We will be announcing the winners at our Annual Banquet and Auction on Jan. 28 at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds and will also announce the winners here in this column.
Community Award Nominees: Business & Small Business of the Year
By Justin Aufdermauer
Last week we had the pleasure of announcing our award nominees in the categories of Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. This week, I am excited to share with you two more categories: Small Business of the Year and Business of the Year. These lists are long so let’s jump right in.
For Business of the Year, the nominees are…
TLC, A Division of Fibre Federal Credit Union: TLC is always investing in our community organizations and nonprofits by giving back to help keep life in Tillamook County happy, healthy and financially stable. Each year TLC supports our local schools, events, hospital and other outstanding causes.
TP Freight Lines: TP Freight Lines has been serving Tillamook County for 100 years and keeps our county moving by providing shipping for both large industries and residential customers. They continue to sponsor and donate to several events each year and are avid supports of our high school students and programs.
S-C Paving Co.: With more than 50 years of experience, S-C Paving provides both ODOT and Tillamook County with asphalt to fix our roads and highways and keep them drivable and safe for both visitors and residents.
Garibaldi Portside Bistro: Ranked in the top 10% of restaurants in the world by Trip Advisor for 2022, The Garibaldi Portside Bistro continues to provide outstanding food and drink, an event space, a portable food cart, and they are continually committed to helping with community events.
CARE: For over 30 years CARE has been at the center of serving the most vulnerable in our community including families, youth, seniors, new parents, and more. One in five people in Tillamook County has been served by CARE in one way or another in the last three decades.
The Fern Cafe: The Fern Cafe provides a friendly atmosphere, quality food and even a local bakery. They continue to be open daily and hire locally, providing a reliable place for anyone looking for a great bite to eat.
For Small Business of the Year, the nominees are…
Cabin Coffee Co.: Offering delicious food, yummy drinks and a friendly service, Cabin Coffee CO. is also an avid supporter of Tillamook SAFE and Charity Drive.
Likely Finds Antiques: Likely Finds Antiques storefront brings a warm and positive vibe to the downtown shopping experience. Owner/operator Chris has expressed her commitment to downtown by recently relocating to a larger, more visible storefront on Main Street.
Tillamook Meat: Exceptional customer service and attention to community needs are just two ways to describe the family-run business known as Tillamook Meat. They supply quality meat at great prices to everyone who crosses their threshold, and continually support community needs.
JAndy Oyster Co. @ Hidden Acres: With 50 acres of growing ground on Netarts Bay, a processing facility, and a stunning sit-down restaurant featuring locally-grown oysters and seafood nestled in a beautiful garden space, Todd and Tamra Perman have built a sought-after destination location for locals and visitors from across the globe.
Outpost on the River: The Outpost on the River provides food and beverages to some of the more remote areas of Tillamook County and source many of their ingredients locally.
Chris Wilks Construction: For more than 23 years Chris Wilks has gone the extra mile for locals and businesses offering quality construction services and a reputation that speaks for itself. Chris generously supports community charities and events and graciously gives people who need a second chance a job.
Alice’s Country House: For more than 43 years Alice’s Country House has been a staple in Tillamook County and even kept the meals coming during Covid. She also donates all the proceeds from her Thanksgiving meals to charity every year.
Simply Charming: With locations in both Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi, Simply Charming provides a quality shopping experience and hosts a variety of community events each year, including a Children’s Christmas Celebration that is unparalleled.
Perseverance Martial Arts: In addition to physical skills, Perseverance Martial Arts also teaches students about responsibility, being a leader, anti-bullying and more. Recently, they saw a need for after school care for youth and developed a program that was affordable and met the needs of the community.
Josi Farms: Josi Farms has become a staple for fresh, locally grown produce both at their farmstand that is restocked several times a day and at the Tillamook Farmers Market during the summer. With plans to expand their greenhouses, Josi Farms has showcased their commitment to providing quality meat, eggs, and produce to everyone in Tillamook County.
Thank to everyone who made a nomination, and congratulations to our nominees! We’ll be back again soon with the rest of our nominees in the Citizen of the year category, so tune in next week!
And the Nominees Are… Part 1
By Justin Aufdermauer
No, it’s not the Oscars. It is the Community Awards brought to you by the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce.
Every January during our annual Banquet and Auction we also hand out Community Awards in five categories: Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year. The community makes nominations for each category based on who they think is most deserving and by answering three questions.
All the nominees are honored at the annual Banquet, held next year at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds on January 28. The winner in each category is selected by a nomination committee composed of past winners and community members (not Chamber staff or board members. I have to reiterate that every year, so here is your annual reminder.)
This year we accepted nominations until Dec. 23, and then the nominees are notified by mail. Because those notifications went out last week we can announce the category nominees here for all to see!
For Development Project of the Year, the nominees are…
Starbucks: This internationally recognized brand brings a standard to Tillamook that is expected by tourists and those relocating. This full-service location on Highway 101 has showcased their commitment to Tillamook by undertaking a full remodel, hiring locally, and offering full benefits to their employees.
Rockaway Roastery: This brand-new coffee shop/wine bar brings a vibe to Rockaway Beach that has been missing, giving both locals and tourists a space to hang out, get something delicious to eat, and providing a space for live music, games, and speaking events. The remodel was extensive and done incredibly well!
Koch’s Drug Store Building: The Koch’s Drug Store property or what was most recently known as “the pet store” was turned in to another gorgeous storefront in downtown Tillamook and the new home to West Elliott Boutique. Taking arguably the most blighted of properties and turning it into a sparkling gem.
For Program of the Year, the nominees are…
Tillamook County Fairgrounds: In the last few years the Tillamook County Fairgrounds has demonstrated a new level of involvement in the community by providing a safe haven for those in need during emergencies, including weather events and large-scale disruptions to everyday living. The fairgrounds have also opened their doors for emergency services to practice drills and do hands-on training and education.
Tillamook Swiss Centennial: This event was spearheaded by the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association to celebrate and honor our Swiss heritage in Tillamook County. The day was jam packed with traditional Swiss activities, food, dancing, and displays and both brought together local partnerships, the community and even attracted people from out of the area.
TBCC Welding Program: The Welding Program at Tillamook Bay Community College helps build a skilled workforce and gives community members access to high-quality instruction. Through this program, locals can level up their skills and gain access to high-paying jobs, and industries are able to hire locally. The welding program also partners with other organizations to help with projects, including fabricating the rendering of the K-Class blimp that now sits above Long Prairie Road and Hwy 101.
Thank to everyone who made a nomination, and congratulations to our nominees! We’ll be back again soon with the rest of our nominees in the Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year categories, so keep your eye on the Chamber Chatter in the coming weeks!
Submit your Community Awards Nominations by Dec. 23
By Justin Aufdermauer
If you’ve been thinking about submitting a nomination for the 2023 Community Awards but haven’t yet – don’t wait too much longer. There are only two more weeks left to get your nomination in. We will close the submission form at 5 p.m. on Dec. 23.
Not sure how to make a nomination? It’s simple. Just visit tillamookchamber.org/nominate and answer the three questions in the online form. Your answers will help our nomination committee pick the most qualified winner, so give us as much detail as you can about how your nominee shows up for our community, and who benefits from their commitment to making Tillamook County better. You can also upload a letter of support or other documents that show how your nominee makes a difference in the Tillamook Community.
You may be thinking that making a nomination doesn’t make that big of a difference, but I am telling you that every year we hear from nominees about how much it meant to them that someone recognized their hard work and wanted to say thank you. It’s a small gesture that takes very little time but makes a lasting impact on the people of our community who are working tirelessly and often thanklessly to enrich our lives with their business, program, or just volunteer spirit.
Once again, this year we are handing out five awards at our annual banquet in January for: Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year. Each nominee in those categories comes from community members (we are not hand-picking who gets nominated), and all nominees are honored at the banquet – not just the winners.
Speaking of the banquet, it is set for January 28 at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. If you would like an invitation, you can request one on that same online form at tillamookchamber.org/nominate or just call our office at 503.842.7525 and we will send you one. Everyone’s favorite part of our banquet is, of course, getting together to honor these incredible businesses, programs, and people who enrich all of our lives, but it also serves as a fundraising event for the Chamber so we can keep serving our members and our community. Every year tickets to the banquet sell faster and faster so if you would like to be on the list don’t hesitate to reach out.
So, all that being said, don’t forget to make your community awards nominations before Dec. 23 at tillamookchamber.org/nominate. We will be announcing the nominees over the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Travel to Iceland Next Summer with the Tillamook Chamber
By Justin Aufdermauer
Next August the Tillamook Chamber is excited to host a 6-day trip to Iceland to explore the rugged scenery full of glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and mountains painted with striking color patterns. If you’ve heard Iceland is “other worldly” then now is your chance to see it for yourself!
During our trip we will enjoy four nights in hand-picked hotels, and four sightseeing tours with expert, local tour guides. We will spend our first full day in historic Reykjavik, often called “the greenest city on Earth” and visit its Old Town Center, Parliament House, and modern City Hall among other stops.
Then, after getting a feel for city life we will head out to the Golden Circle, a ring of some of Iceland’s most magnificent natural wonders – including one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. During our second day exploring the natural beauty of the area we will also be treated to lunch at Fridheimar Farm, where fresh produce is grown in a greenhouse heated by geothermal energy.
If that wasn’t enough, the third day we will embark on an excursion to the South Coast to enjoy views of lush farmland, striking waterfalls, beaches, glaciers, and picturesque villages. We will have the opportunity to stand behind the impressive Seljalandsfoss waterfall, view the majestic Eyjafjallajökull volcano, marvel at the beauty of the Sólheimajökull glacier, and walk on the black sands of the South Coast.
There is a lot to cover in only six days, but we have had several requests from community members for a shorter trip and Iceland was the perfect-sized destination to accommodate those requests. We also aimed for late summer so that parents and school staff who are normally so busy have an opportunity to join us for the first time. Not to mention the weather in August is supposed to be the best all year round!
If you’re ready to go, you can receive $100 off your trip when you book in the next 30 days. You can book online at www.grouptoursite.com/tours/icelandchamber or by calling 1-800-438-7672 and using our tour reference number: 70131970.
Or, if you still need to talk it over come see me at the Chamber HQ and we can go over the details together. We will also be hosting an informational meeting at the Chamber on December 20th at 5:30 pm for interested travelers.
Community Foundation On The Move
By Brooke Johnston
As we head into the holiday season something I am extremely thankful for is to see a long-time dream of the Chamber become a reality. The Chamber had kicked around the idea of a Community Foundation for many years and I am so pleased to see it finally come to fruition.
Our Foundation board and staff team have been working hard to create a strategic plan that incorporates the feedback we received from several community input sessions held over the summer. While we are still fleshing out the programs, we know there are three main areas of focus for the next year: Being a community catalyst; leadership and convening, and bridging opportunities.
As a community catalyst, the Foundation will create cross-sector investments in order to build opportunities for innovation of programs and services in Tillamook. This could mean being able to take donations for people in times of crisis, or hosting long-term projects such as downtown beautification, revitalization, and place making. The possibilities, while not entirely endless, are much broader than what we can focus on as a Chamber because we can bring together the business community, nonprofit organizations, and individuals for projects that fall outside the scope of the Chamber’s mission. A good example of this is the Foundation recently agreed to be the fiscal agent for the Tillamook Junior High School’s trip to Washington DC because they didn’t have a way to process donations. Those are the kinds of connections – both big and small – that we are excited to create and be able to make a difference in the lives of our community members.
The Foundation will also focus on building relationships across the business and nonprofit and individuals in Tillamook so we can strategize and streamline efforts for anyone wanting to do a project or start a program.
Our third area of focus is on bridging opportunities. We have been doing a lot of work in this area recently with the Young Pros and will continue to build up the young workforce in Tillamook and prepare them to take on leadership roles and improve their professional lives. Another action item for this focus is to work on ways to make Tillamook more welcoming to people who are new to the area and offer networking opportunities.
I am excited to see where this goes as over the next 60 days, we will be applying for over $220,000 in grant funds from outside of our community to build this foundation to support the community. Anytime our community can get further ahead by pairing local investment with outside sources, we consider that a win.
If the community is your passion, please consider a year end tax-deducible donation to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation. Donations can be sent to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation at 208 Main Avenue, Tillamook, OR 97141. If you would like to know more about the foundation, give a call at 503-842-7525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Won’t Want to Miss Small Business Saturday
(And that’s Gnome Joke)
By Justin Aufdermauer
This year Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26 – the Saturday after Thanksgiving. While we know those Black Friday deals can be a tempting way to jump start your holiday shopping, Small Business Saturday was created to remind you how important it is to spend some of that holiday budget locally.
Did you know that for every dollar you spend locally nearly 70 cents is reinvested back into the community? That means when you come out and support local businesses you are also supporting our kids, our seniors, and making Tillamook a more vibrant place to live, work and play. That feels good right?
Because we want to reward you for participating in Small Business Saturday, we are once again offering unlimited entries into our Shop Small Sweepstakes on Nov. 26 only. The Sweepstakes has been running since October and will continue through the end of the year as our way to encourage people to think local all season long. Every day of the Sweepstakes you can enter to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of $1,000 just by turning in your receipts from locally owned businesses.
In addition to unlimited Sweepstakes entries, the Chamber HQ will also be hosting a free hot cocoa bar between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. sponsored by Dutch Brothers. Pop in and grab yourself a warm, delicious drink before you head out and shop. We will also have free goodie bags for the first 60 kids who come see us!
If you participated last year during Small Business Saturday, you may recall several businesses were handing out cookie cutters with purchase. This year, we are partnering with 12 of our member businesses in downtown Tillamook to pass out holiday gnome ornaments. We will have a list of the participating businesses at the Chamber, and the first 20 paying customers will get a free gnome. Each business has a different gnome and if you shop at all 12 you will have a full set!
The best part is that with each gnome you receive you can enter to win a large Christmas basket. Just bring your gnome (or gnomes) back to the Chamber (we will give you until 4 p.m. on Monday) and be entered into the raffle for the Christmas basket. We will draw for a winner on Tuesday November 29th.
We look forward to seeing everyone who comes out to shop that day, and hope that together we can show our small business community how much we care about them and value what they do.
Nominations Are Open for the Annual Community Awards
by Justin Aufdermauer
While others prepare for the holidays by planning their meals, or by putting up decorations, the Chamber team prepares by opening nominations for our Community Awards. Now that we are ready, ‘tis the season indeed!
Every year around this time, we open our online nomination form to recognize our community’s businesses, projects, and people in five different categories. Those nominations serve as the basis for the honorees at our annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January.
We have five categories: Business of the Year (10 employees or more); Small Business of the Year; Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible to be nominated.
Nominations can be made online at tillamookchamber.org/nominate. There is no limit to how many nominations you can submit, so you’re able to spread the love to all your favorite people, business, projects, and events. These nominations honor the who and what that make Tillamook a place worth living, by contributing to its longevity and growth, and are all greatly appreciated by the community.
Nominating a local restaurant, a thoughtful shop owner, a first responder, a beloved community event, or even a memorable community program is a great way to show the people involved in those businesses, projects, and programs how much you appreciate them. This is a great way to return the favor to anyone or any business that made you smile this last year. Though it might seem like a small gesture, your nomination acts as a huge “thank you” to your fellow community members who work tirelessly to provide us with goods, services, and events that enrich our lives and sustain our economy.
Nominations are due by December 9, so we have time for the selection committee to review applications and make their decisions. Our selection committee is made up of past years’ honorees and other community members, so we as the Chamber staff don’t choose the new award recipients. This truly is a chance for the community to recognize and honor the community!
You can choose to remain anonymous as a nominator if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation. And fortunately, because the banquet is scheduled after the holidays wrap up, we can all come together to celebrate our community as one!
Join us for the Downtown Trick or Treat
by Justin Aufdermauer
Goblins and ghouls, princesses and witches, parents and friends, are you ready for the annual Downtown Trick or Treat? There’s something special about bags full of candy, businesses decorating their window displays, and a community that celebrates together. That’s exactly what the Downtown Trick or Treat is for.
Last year, the Chamber successfully held its annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat with some minor modifications for state COVID regulations at the time. It was a highlight for the year, and we enjoyed seeing all the creative costumes the kiddos wore. This year, we’ll be in full swing with the downtown district’s participation as well as other key stops like Tillamook Bay Community College and City Hall.
Here’s how it will work: You’ll know which businesses are open for the event by checking their window for our flyer. Participating businesses will also set up a table or other means of handing out candy in front of their building. As you walk by, you can stop at each storefront to trick-or-treating and show off your costumes.
If your claws or ghostly feet don’t feel up for walking, or if you want to make sure that you make the most of your Halloween stops, the Tillamook County Transportation District will have its Halloween Trolley running from 3-6 p.m. They’ll be picking up at Tillamook PUD, the Pioneer Museum, and the YMCA. So, if those kiddos (or you) get tired, feel free to hop on board!
And don’t forget about the Monster Mash Bash at the Second Street Plaza. Courtesy of the Tillamook Revitalization Association, the Mash Bash will run from 3 – 8 p.m. and will feature a costume contest for both kiddos and parents, pumpkin carving, bowling, local vendors, and more! Stop while you trick or treat downtown, or pop in after.
We ask that all monsters, fairies, and parents who come out for treats practice patience while waiting to get their candy and don’t crowd any tables or businesses. There will be lots of kids out and about, so you may have to wait occasionally. I recommend using that time to admire other costumes, look at the window decorations from businesses, or practice saying “trick-or-treat” in the most frightening ways!
Trick-or-treating starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. rain, shine, or anything in between. Please note that not every business downtown will be participating, so just remember to look for our flyers in businesses’ windows and candy stations outside.
Of course, the Chamber will be participating as well! So don’t forget to stop by the Chamber HQ to see Brooke and grab some candy. Bring your monsters, princesses, goblins, and witches down to our annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat from 3 – 5 p.m. on October 31 for an evening full of fright and fun.
See you there… If you dare!