Chamber Job Posting

Program & Events Manager Job Description

The Program & Events Manager is responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing programs and events of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. This includes the management of existing, and the development of new, programs and events that align with the mission of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Tillamook Main Street Program of the Chamber will be managed by the Program & Events Manager, in affiliation with the Oregon Main Street Program.

The Program & Events Manager is open for those seeking a part-time or full-time position. Part-time position can range from 20 to 30 hours-a-week, with additional hours required in correlation with significant events.

Find the full Job Description here:  Programs-Events-Job-Description

Don’t be Fooled, Summer is Coming

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This bout of rainy, overcast weather might have you feeling the blues but summer is almost here. I can tell because of the organized frenzy we are all feeling around the office as we gear up for our major summer events.

First on the docket is the 2019 Cork & Brew Tour on June 14th. This is the 7th year of this Chamber event that started as a way to engage the downtown businesses and community members with a “pub-crawl.” The idea is simple: each participating downtown business serves a tasting of wine, beer and locally-prepared appetizers. Folks get their passport and tasting glass at the launch party – hosted again this year by Pelican Brewing Co. – and after enjoying some complimentary drinks, food and live music get to meander through downtown visiting the different stops. You can stop at all or some, it’s a totally customizable evening.

Tickets are $45 each and must be purchased in advance. You can get yours either at the Chamber HQ or online at Some of our featured breweries this year include Werner Brewing Co., Reach Break Brewing, Fort George Brewing, and Buoy Brewing Co. We’re also excited to have Werner Beef & Brew, SaraSotas, the Blue Heron French Cheese Co., The Rendezvous, Debbie D’s Sausages, and Pacific Seafood serving appetizers.

Then, the very next morning (June 15) at 9 a.m. sharp is the season opening of the Tillamook Farmers Market. Laurel Street from First to Third will be shut down for the largest Farmers Market in the county. We saw a lot of growth and excitement around the Market last year, and this year that is already continuing as we have even more vendors and exciting things to see and do. Be sure to come down between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and see what the Market has to offer. It’s a great spot to get your produce for the week, connect with local artisans and crafts people, grab lunch and enjoy some live music. Again this year we are offering a SNAP match at the Market HQ Trailer, so if you are an Oregon Trail Card customer, you can spend those dollars at the Market and we will match you $1 for $1 up to the first $10 you spend.

But that’s not it yet for June events. The June Dairy Parade returns on June 22 and promises to be “Udderly A-Moo-Sing.” If you want to participate in the parade, get those entry forms in ASAP as May 31st is the cut off. You can find the form at or on the homepage of the Chamber website. This is going to be a parade of epic proportions now that our downtown corridor is free of construction. For the first time, the parade will begin on 11th and Main, head down Main all the way to First Street, wind around the Tillamook Rodeo and head back up Pacific to Third – officially taking back our downtown. Come out and cheer them on!

Because summer is such a busy time around here, we are looking to add a new person to our Chamber team. We’re looking for a Visitor Services Associate to help assist visitors to our area on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The position would begin June 15th and run through October 12th. This team member would work in our Visitor Center and provide general tourism information for the Tillamook region and Oregon Coast. To apply, send us your resume to Before June 3rd.


June Dairy Parade Returns to Downtown June 22

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This is the year, folks. Construction in downtown is over, and our beloved annual parade will be returning to encompass our entire downtown for the first time in years. The route will begin at Tillamook PUD and head down Main Avenue before turning onto First, in front of the Rodeo, heading south on Pacific and back up Third Street to its end at Good Speed Park. So let’s be sure to fill downtown from 11th to first with smiling faces and really show what this parade is all about: the community coming together to celebrate such a huge piece of our heritage.

This year’s theme is ‘Udderly A-Moo-Sing’ and our entry forms are available online at or at the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. Those are due by May 31st, and if you have a motorized entry form you will want to leave enough time to collect insurance information and get that to Tammy, our office manager. In other words, don’t wait til the last minute to enter.

Our kids coloring contest is also in full swing, and again you can pick up those forms at either the Chamber HQ or YoTime Frozen Yogurt. If you return your completed coloring form to YoTime you will receive a $1 off an 8-ounce yogurt. We’ll display the entries in the windows of Oregon Coast Dance Center for everyone to enjoy.

And, I should mention that the Grand Marshal nomination form is also available online at, and those are due by May 31st. Each year we pick a Grand Marshal to lead the parade, and should be someone with ties to the dairy community and a history as a community leader. So please, take some time to consider making a nomination for someone you think deserves this honor and meets the criteria.

Of course our other summer activities are also right around the corner, including the Tillamook Farmers Market that opens June 15th, and the Cork & Brew Tour on June 14th. Tickets are on sale for the latter at We are highlighting some new stops in downtown this year to switch things up a bit, and will be sharing more of that information in the near future. But as always, you can expect wine, beer and locally-prepared foods at each stop to keep you tasting and sipping your way through the self-guided tour.

Waterfront Walk: Celebrating An End & A Beginning

Sierra Lauder

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

Two weeks ago, I found myself in Bend with crowds of people waiting eagerly on the sidelines of their “Marathon and a Half” event, where Bryan was laying it all out there- sharing the fellowship of the course with hundreds of runners who, like him, are training and practicing to grow in to their personal best. On the rail, I shared my own fellowship- looking left and right at hundreds more friends and family who crowded in on a rainy, cool morning to cheer our people, waving signs and secretly hoping that there would be enough extra burritos that excited onlookers might also partake…

There is little that can dull a burrito craving, but I like to believe that serious overthinking can dull just about anything, and as I clapped and cheered and watched the runners, I reflected on how much we all crave (even more than burritos) moments and opportunities for fellowship and human connection.

Here at home, we have recently run our own race and crossed our own finish line. While the traffic impacts of construction downtown wrapped up about six months ago, the weather is turning promising just as the paperwork comes to a close on the highway project. We could let the moment pass with a declaration or a simple ribbon cutting, but why?  The highway project is complete, and now it’s time to celebrate. This was one race that we all ran – whether we wanted to or not – and it seems like the perfect opportunity to gather (no running required) and share the potential of what we have created.

Waterfront Walk is happening on May 4th, and I want to personally invite you down to a lovely, reclaimed section of our city to officially cut the ribbon on the highway project and take some time enjoying our new community space.

The event begins at 11am, and activities stretch out from Sue H Elmore Park on the west where City and ODOT officials will be hosting a ribbon cutting at 11:30. Pelican Brewing Co. will be serving their house made root beer, there will be live marimba music, and Pacific Restaurant is supplying the cake. (Because seriously, it’s not a real party without cake.)

Folks are encouraged to walk the new ADA accessible path that winds across Hwy 101 and along the historic Hoquarten Slough before heading over Hwy 6 and tying into the northeast end of Goodspeed Park. This half mile stroll is officially the first completed segment of the Salmonberry Trail, and on the day of May 4th the entire path will be hosting several activities, booths, friendly faces and even shuttles for folks who want to walk to one end and be shuttled back. Werner Beef & Brew is getting in on the fun at the eastern end with an outdoor stage featuring Tillamook School of Dance performers and music. Come see just how easy it is to walk from downtown to Werner Beef & Brew!

There’s going to be so much going on it’s almost too much to list here, but some highlights are the Tillamook County Historical Society who will be on hand discussing the progress on the Hoquarton Interpretive House. Together with the Tillamook Bay Watershed Council, they’ve been spearheading a lot of the Hoquarten Slough clean up work parties, and have uncovered some long-forgotten reminders underneath all the brush that this Slough was once a bustling port and industrial zone. The Tillamook Family YMCA and Tillamook County Wellness will also be on the trail with family-friendly activities; Oregon Coast Railriders will be giving short demos at Goodspeed Park; The Tillamook Bay Watershed Council will have a driftwood boat building station; The Tillamook Estuaries Partnership will also be hosting family activities and highlighting their TIllamook County Water Trail Guides and the Explore Nature Series as well as their restoration and water quality programs; and Tillamook PUD will be giving demos of their electric vehicles. Art Accelerated will host a “fish print” station where artists of all ages can leave with a fun print in hand.

This event is an embodiment of the highlights of the Main Street model. It brings together all kinds of partners to create a sense of place and a time to connect. The timing couldn’t be more poignant to me as it marks my transition out of my role at the Chamber. One of the highlights of my time here has been the Highway Liaison work, and I’m incredibly proud of that work and the way our government, businesses, city police, contractors and community all have evolved through this effort. I would love to share and celebrate with you on Saturday, and hope you’re able to make it out for the day.


Celebrate Cinco De Mayo at Pacific Restaurant and support the Tillamook Farmers Market

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Summer is fast approaching and that means our busy season with events like the June Dairy Parade, Cork & Brew and of course the Tillamook Farmers Market every Saturday starting June 15th.

To kick off the beginning of the market season, we are again partnering with Pacific Restaurant to host a family-friendly Cinco De Mayo party with live music, an authentic Mexican buffet prepared by the master chefs of Pacific Restaurant, raffle prizes and even some cool games.

Tickets are only $20 and kids under 12 get in free. All proceeds will benefit the programs offered at the Tillamook Farmers Market, including our SNAP match, an expanded kids activities section this year, the community table for local non-profits and of course the great lineup of live music.

Speaking of live music, Dante Zapata will be performing for Cinco De Mayo, and if you had a chance to catch him at the Tillamook Farmers Market last year you know you’re in for a real treat. Dante is a real crowd pleaser and we’re excited to have him back for both the Cinco De Mayo celebration and performing at the Market later in the season.

Tickets for our Cinco De Mayo party are $20 per person over the age of 12, and can be purchased on (you can find the link on the Chamber’s Facebook page). We are limiting the number of tickets to 200 people, so get yours early as we might not have any left to sell at the door.

We’re very excited to grow the programs offered at the Market this year, and continue to build on the concept of creating a community gathering space where people come on a Saturday for produce, shopping, and entertainment. Our music line up is bringing back several favorites from last year, including the Buffalo Kitty Band, MetalMantra, Bryan Nichols of ZuhG and Jazzatti-tude. We offer live music from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day in the Market center.

We’re also expanding our SNAP match program this year to offer more choices for shoppers with an Oregon Trail Card. Look for signs at Market booths indicating where those dollars can be spent, and as always come to the Market Trailer HQ to ask questions and exchange your SNAP dollars for tokens you can spend with eligible vendors.

Again this year we are bringing back the Food Hero Program, a partnership with OSU Extension where kids can try a new fruit or veggie and participate in an educational, health-focused activity. Kids who participate each week will receive a $2 “Kid’s Buck” voucher, courtesy of TLC Fibre Credit Union that they can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with from our local vendors.  In addition to food tastings, children also get to participate in fun activities like scavenger hunts in collaboration with OSU Master Gardeners and local farmers, and the ever-popular blender bike.

We are also creating an additional space specifically for kids with fun activities like rock painting, fruit and vegetable stamping, seed planting, scavenger hunts and more. Each Saturday this will be a spot where kids can stay entertained and find hands-on things to do and take something home with them.

And of course, the Master Recyclers will be on hand once a month demonstrating how to make reusable grocery bags out of on-hand materials like chicken feed bags. The Master Gardeners will also be back several times throughout the season offering gardening advice and answering questions.

We hope to see you at the Market this year, and consider joining us on May 5th to help support our Market program during a night of great food and entertainment at Pacific Restuarnat.

The Chamber and Tourism

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We haven’t talked in a while about the tourism work we do at the Chamber. A common misconception is that all tourism promotion entails is advertising here and there, and efforts to bring more people to our area, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. So much of what local tourism agencies like the Chamber do is manage tourism growth and provide services to create a better experience. Let me touch on a couple key services that are often overlooked.

If you haven’t been inside our visitor information center downtown you need to stop by! Yes, again, contrary to popular opinion, visitors still find a place to park and come visit us. But, we do a lot more than just keep our visitor information center stocked with brochures, maps and rack cards highlighting our area’s restaurants, lodging, and activities.

For example, we just finished putting together the 2019 Tillamook Coast Visitor Guide. This was our third year contracting with Visit Tillamook Coast to create and print this publication that is distributed not only all over Tillamook County, but all over the state. This publication is almost like a one-stop-shop for anything you might be looking for. Each year we pick several new places to highlight and feature. I personally love putting this publication together because you really start to see how much the county has expanded, diversified and blossomed since the Transient Lodging Tax was adopted. We have brand new restaurants featuring locally-caught and grown ingredients, new shopping experiences, restoration work happening of our historic buildings, and better awareness and marketing of the businesses that have been here all along.

In our continuing effort to help give our visitors a better experience, we are knee-deep into redesigning our website,, to be more user friendly and give a more comprehensive, visual look at all the attractions based specifically around the City of Tillamook and outlying areas. While working with our web developer to create the specific “stops” along this virtual road-map, I’ve again been humbled by all the things to do in Tillamook – from farm tours, to clamming, crabbing, kayaking, touring the Quilt Trail, and everything in between. For those who say there is nothing to do around here, they haven’t stepped outside in a while. Sometimes we get caught up in focusing on our downtown and all the work that’s been put into its revitalization over the last few years, but there really are great things happening in every direction you look. I look forward to sharing this new website release with all of you soon, so stay tuned.

Then of course we have our downtown walking map. The goal of this map (which the Chamber prints and distributes semi-annually) is increased destination spending within downtown. The map highlights our membership businesses focused in the downtown area and is intended to entice further shopping. We will be reprinting those maps later this spring, and if you’d like to know how to get your business on there, call our office at 503-842-7525 or just stop by 208 Main Avenue.

Of course there are several others ways that the Chamber is influencing the tourism industry in our area –  such as the upcoming June Dairy Parade on June 22, the Cork & Brew Tour which returns on June 14th, and the Tillamook Farmers Market, which opens for the season on June 15th. There is a lot of energy around farmers markets in the state and how they attract and draw people into a community. In fact, one study showed that more people look for a local farmers market when traveling than any other type of local event. With our newly-renovated downtown district and plenty of available parking, I think we’re going to see a huge uptick in visitors to the market this year.

And, before I forget, the Chamber and Visit Tillamook Coast are also providing locals and Tillamook County businesses with tide books, adjusted for our Tillamook Coast beaches. If you want a couple (or a handful) for yourself and friends or are a Tillamook County business that would like to hand them out to your customers (we offer the first 100 free) head over to our office at 208 Main Avenue.



Housing Policy Updates

By Alex Jonas
Housing Policy & Development Coordinator; RARE

If you’re keeping up with Chamber-related news, you may have heard of me. I am the Housing Policy & Development Coordinator for the Chamber, and came to Tillamook through the RARE Program. After spending a few months getting acclimated to the housing situation in Tillamook, I feel like we are finally hitting our strides in the race to mitigate the local housing crisis.

We recently submitted a grant application for $200,000, which would be utilized to remodel the Oregon Coast Dance Center’s second floor (historically known as the Jones-Knudson Building) in downtown. The grant in question is the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant, a competitive statewide grant awarded to Oregonian downtowns in need of economic development. If awarded, this grant would turn the unused space above the dance studio into four market-rate apartments. The current project timeline estimates that the renovation will begin this summer, with a targeted end-date around the beginning of 2021. While we won’t know until May 3rd if our grant application was accepted, the Chamber staff feels confident in the application’s strength, with a solid foundation of project quality, private investment, and Chamber reputation. This is exactly the type of project that the state is looking to fund, and our working relationship with Lisa Greiner, the building owner, has been strong.

In addition to that grant, I am in the process of drafting a System Development Charges (SDC) Deferral Policy – looking closely at similar policies in other areas of Oregon like Bend, Ashland and even Garibaldi, whose SDC Deferral Policy was instrumental in the construction of the Garibaldi Village Apartments. While I won’t go into the complexities of the potential policy here, SDCs can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for multi-family housing developments, that are typically paid before a building is even occupied. By deferring these costs a few years (but not waiving them), this would alleviate the financial frontload for the developer without undercutting the needed long-term funds for the municipality. And, since the municipality may collect interest during the deferral period, it would theoretically equate to more long-term revenue than had the SDCs been charged upfront.

The other policy that the Chamber is looking at is for the deferral of permit fees, a policy that would run parallel to SDC deferrals to help mitigate the financial burden from the early stages of housing development. Permit fees don’t hold a candle to SDCs in terms of the cost, so it’s likely we will propose a much shorter deferment period. Stakeholders have identified that all efforts to shift up-front costs are beneficial due to the way many financing and investment systems are set up.

These deferment policies would eventually be presented to the City of Tillamook for consideration. In the meantime, Justin and I are currently working with a developer who is ready to build, and have been successful in opening doors to help provide potential building locations to them. This is the type of on-the-ground work that is going to change the housing landscape in the City of Tillamook, and we are excited to help catalyze this development.

I still have several months left here in Tillamook, and depending on how the rest of this year’s work goes, the Chamber will have the opportunity to apply for a second year through RARE to keep this momentum moving forward. If you have any questions regarding housing policy or know of properties available in the City of Tillamook, please stop by our office at 208 Main Avenue and we will be happy to address your inquiry.

Behind the Scenes: ‘How it’s Done’

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

I’m breaking out of my usual downtown role to share some Chamber news about an event series that is especially close to my heart, the “How It’s Done” series. The Chamber Board cooked this up during the 2018 strategic planning session, and we have now held two events in the series; one last fall at Pacific Seafood in Bay City, and one earlier this month at the Port of Tillamook Bay. The goal of the How It’s Done series is to provide a space to talk about different facets of the realities of economic vitality in an on-the-ground forum through the lens of a particular industry.

Sound esoteric, lofty, idealistic, and hard to imagine?

I’ll break it down: we get a behind the scenes tour and talk real talk about what it means to do that business – including the hard stuff. At Pacific Seafood, we talked at length about how tough it is to get and keep employees, and the variety of experiments that have been tried (some with more success than others) to keep things going in Bay City. We also learned that Pacific Seafood is more than seafood harvesting and yummy oyster platter; they have a huge distribution operation that includes all kinds of meat – not just seafood.

The operation in Bay City is only the smallest glimpse of their corporation, and from their Portland roots they have expanded into 41 states with more than 3,000 employees. The jobs that are available in the Tillamook location are diverse, requiring a variety of skill levels and schedules, and as an employer they recognize that housing and transportation are often major barriers to finding and retaining employees year round. During our tour of Pacific Seafood, we heard from other employers in other industries as well as representatives from the employment department and the robust discussion led to shared ideas and collaboration. Problem not solved, but new relationships were forged and we are confident that solutions are built out of teamwork.

At the Port of Tillamook Bay, an entirely different conversation was had. POTB hosts the majority of the industrially-zoned land in the county, has more than 250 tenants, and, in addition to being a successful business incubator, is a critical piece of the resiliency planning effort. Additionally, there is a commercial airport located at the Port where an estimated 3,500 flights take off and land each year.

There is a new lease in place on the digester out at the Port, and the Tillamook PUD has a purchase agreement in place to purchase the power created there and distribute it over the local grid. This new “Green Power” program that is available through the PUD is an opt-in option and PUD customers have the ability to buy varying percentages of their residential or commercial power as “Green Power.” The digester is run by processing local dairy waste, creating a huge opportunity for farmers to process that waste more efficiently; a significant benefit for another local industry. The company who has leased the digester and resumed operations is called BioGas, and they are looking at expanding the DEQ permitting, which would allow for additional compostable materials to be processed through the digester for power conversion; the possibilities are great. The Chamber is joining the TCCA and the Port of Tillamook Bay as purchasers of Green Power, and if you are interested in learning more about the options, you can call the PUD at (503) 842-2535 or visit their website:

We love these conversations; our business is business after all. Currently we are scheduling How It’s Done tours just a couple of times each year, and (due to limited space) we offer reservations to Chamber members and potential members first. If you have an idea for How It’s Done or would like to learn more about the series, we welcome you to pop by Chamber Headquarters, give us a call at (503) 842-7525, or send me an email: Hope to see you soon!

Chamber Exclusive Employer Health Plans

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

What’s one question we get asked at the Chamber regularly – I might even say daily: “What do I get out of a Chamber membership?”

There are a number of ways to answer this question. First referrals, networking opportunities, access to trainings, an advocate with local and state government, and the list goes on and on. (If you’re interested in seeing a full list, stop by our office and I’ll give you a copy of our Membership Guidebook that we just produced.)

One “benefit” that we haven’t talked openly about quite yet is a huge one: health insurance plans.

We have partnered with the Bend Chamber of Commerce and Corey Bush with Hudson Insurance to bring Bend’s health insurance program to Tillamook. Here’s how it works: as a good-standing member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, you also become an associate member of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, which allows them to offer their rates and insurance plans right here in Tillamook. They are working with Corey as the local agent, so you have someone in town who can walk you through the process.

What I find most exciting about this new benefit is that health insurance is not one size fits all, and with the plans offered by PacificSource (six in total) you can customize what plans you’re able to offer to your employees. Employees appreciate having choices, especially when it comes to their healthcare. You can give your employees the opportunity to choose a plan that best suits their needs, with competitive rates that might be less than what you’re paying now. Or, if you’ve been unable to offer employee health benefits, it might now be an affordable option for your business. Plus, if you have a group of 10 or more enrolled employees, you may be eligible for a five percent wellness discount during your first year.

While I won’t get into the specifics of each plan here, all of the health plans through PacificSource cover essential health benefits, no-cost preventive care, calendar-year benefits and all member out-of-pocket costs for covered services apply toward the annual out-of-pocket limit. PacificSource is a great network both in Tillamook and throughout the state of Oregon.

The main takeaway here is that this is a new avenue of accessing health care which we haven’t had in Tillamook, and is only available through a Chamber membership. We’ve already had a handful of members sign up because they are able to offer better coverage to their employees at less cost to them.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I encourage you to reach out to Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to learn more and see if it is a good fit for your business. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And for information on Chamber membership (which is step one of accessing these competitive health plans), call our office at 503-842-7525 or visit

Tillamook Farmers Market – Now Taking Vendor Applications

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

If you’re like me, rainy days are best spent inside. They call for a second (or third) cup of coffee, a book, Netflix playing in the background and a fire in the fireplace. I love the rain just as much as the next #PNWnative, but I also can’t wait for longer, sunnier days.

Summer time of course means the start of the Tillamook Farmers Market, and thus my favorite of all my job titles. This year’s season opens June 15th and, per usual, will run each Saturday through the end of September from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street.

With only four months out, that means it’s time to start recruiting vendors. Our application is again online, and can be found on both the Tillamook Chamber website and You can also find the link on both Facebook pages as well.

This year we are specifically looking for more prepared food vendors to give people shopping (and vendors) more choices for lunch. You can find our policies and vendor requirements online as well, or just email me and I can send those to you  if you have any questions about whether or not your products meet the standard for a farmers market.

I am also out and about looking for sponsorships for the 2019 season; sponsors are recognized throughout the year in various ways depending on the level.. We have all kinds of programs you can choose to sponsor – such as our music tent. I can’t say enough how incredible our music line up is this year. So many favorites from last year returning (Buffalo Kitty, ZuhG, Dante Zapato), and a few brand new acts as well. To bring in a high caliber of musicians, we have to be sure to compensate them and sponsors can help offset these costs.

Another great sponsorship opportunity are our Kids Bucks program, which works in conjunction with the OSU Extension Food Hero booth. Kids under 12 who visit the booth and participate in some kind of food related activity receive a $2 voucher that they can spend at the Tillamook Farmers Market. Those that participate each week can get even more fun prizes.

We are also raising money for the Double Up Food Bucks program, which is returning in 2019. Folks who have an Oregon Trail Card can spend their SNAP dollars with eligible vendors at the Market, and receive a dollar for-dollar match up to $10 to buy extra fruits, vegetables, nuts and more. Just bring your EBT card to the Market trailer during the season and we will run your card and give you the match. Last year our Market did just over $3,800 in SNAP and SNAP match sales. However there is no funding for the match, so we take it upon ourselves and the support we get from Food Roots to keep this program going.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the TIllamook Farmers Market, you can email me at or call the office at 503-842-7535. And be sure to fill out an application online if you want to join us as a vendor. It’s going to be a great season!

Switzerland – here we come!

Well Tillamook, you told us that you wanted to go to Switzerland and we listened. In case you haven’t heard the official word yet: we will be leaving this fall for a “Highlights of Alpine Europe” tour, and we’d love for you to join us!

The 14-day trip commences October 5th and includes 12 nights in handpicked hotels with breakfast, guided sightseeing tours by local and expert guides, a private motor coach and we’ll even be treated to a scenic train ride through the stunning countryside.

We’ll journey from Switzerland’s mountain-lined Lake Lucerne to France’s Lake Annecy (with a chance to see the Annecy open-air market, much like a Farmers Market), take in the picturesque Chamonix Valley and stroll along Italy’s Lake Como. In Como, a local guide will lead us through the medieval quarter, including a 12th-century defense tower that overlooked the old city and a stroll through the gardens at Villa Carlotta, a palace completed in 1960. Then we’ll cross Liechtenstein and hit the winter wonderland of Innsbruck (the site of two winter Olympic Games) before heading to Munich. While we’ll spend a day getting to know the Bavarian capital on a guided tour, we also get a free day in Munich to go and explore whatever you wish before we head home.

During these 14 days, we’ll  see the Chapel Bridge – a 17th century covered footbridge, Nymphenburg Palace, Mont Blanc, the Baroque Cathedral of St. James, Glockenspiel and enjoy the Bernina Express train ride to a Swiss resort town and popular hub of wintertime sports.

As always, we are able to offer an early registration discount. Anyone who registers in the month of February gets $100 off their trip. You can register online at

If you have questions about the itinerary or how you can customize your trip, feel free to reach out to Sierra at 503-842-7525 or email Sierra, of course, will be leaving for Portugal with 15 people on March 15th, so she won’t be in the office to answer questions through the final weeks of March, but will be available through email and happy to talk travel while traveling. You can also call Go Ahead directly and ask for Nicole at 617-619-1170 or call Kait at 617-619-1191. Tell them you’re interested in traveling with the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce on the Highlights of Alpine Europe trip.

We don’t usually offer two trips in a single year, but this was too good of a deal to pass up, and the more people we can take on these trips the more we can build on what community means to us when we return home. Each country we visit represents its own unique culture, customs, problems and solutions and it’s an eye-opening way to learn about the world and bring some of that education and appreciation back home. We never get tired of hearing about how much people enjoy these trips and the friendships that they make along the way. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

Young Pros of Tillamook hosts Successful Kick-Off

Last week we hosted the first ever kick-off social for the Young Professionals of Tillamook. Roughly 80 people showed up, without knowing much about what the evening was going to entail or how they would fit in.

It was outstanding to see such a fantastic turn out, and my my hat is off to Chamber Board Member Beau Pulliam for spear heding this new group that I believe will have a substantial impact on the future of Tillamook County. Creating a young professionals group has been a goal that the Chamber has been working toward for several years as a way to connect and empower people in the community who might not yet consider themselves leaders.

So what is a Young Professional? A young professional is an individual that is or at the very least  feels young in spirit, is employed, and has time, energy, and knowledge to collaborate with like-minded individuals.

As a group, Young Professionals of Tillamook seeks to provide the solution to the question: How do you provide a supportive environment for both young professionals and small business owners in Tillamook? One of YPT’s  biggest goals is to highlight the aspects that many of us love about living and working in Tillamook County and engage the young people of Tillamook in a way that will encourage them to stay and build a career here.

By focusing on their four core pillars: leadership development, social engagement, community service and business revitalization, the YPT can help foster a community of young professionals and leaders that will carry the local businesses to the next level of success.  Being a member of the YPT means being a member of a community of professionals with a vision of empowering their members to be leaders in business and in the local community. It means accessing leadership learning opportunities to expand your career, connecting with local projects and non-profit entities that need volunteers, and providing mentorship, insight and assistance to businesses that are in need of a youthful outlook.

The intent of the YPTis to provide an outlet for social, civil, and professional development. Throughout the year, they will host events that are focused on social engagement and leadership development, and that of course, provide an opportunity to have an all-out good time. (I think we all saw that was true last week.)

If one, or all of these aspects interest you then a membership to the YPT might be for you. Consider it a chance to grow your skills, professional contacts,  and leadership abilities in the community, while simultaneously giving back and serving in ways that interest you and are valuable to others.

If you didn’t make it last week, but would like to learn more (or already know that you want to join and be a part of this quickly-growing group), you can email They also have their own Facebook page, and you can follow what the YPT is doing there. Just go to

Thank you to Pacific Restaurant for catering, and Pelican Brewing Co. for donating beer. Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks also donated the raffle gift basket.

Welcome Joanna Stelzig (and Join us Jan. 30th for the Young Professionals Kick-Off Social)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of introducing one of our newest Chamber Board members, Beau Pulliam, who hails from Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks and is spearheading our Young Professionals of Tillamook group.

When Beau was recruited for the Chamber Board last year, he was also joined by Joanna Stelzig, the Public Relations Manager at Tillamook PUD. Joanna is responsible for managing the internal and external communications for the PUD – including social media, print media, their website, radio advertisements and customer inquiries. She also coordinates and organizes community engagement opportunities such as job shadowing, the Community Support Grant Program, school presentations and community meetings.

Joanna is no stranger to community service. She has been involved in the community in a number of different capacities over the years, which lead her to the Tillamook Chamber.

“I like the mission of the Chamber and what the Chamber does for our businesses and the community,” she said. “I love that the Chamber is involved in a wide variety of endeavors throughout the community and that I will get to be a part of this.”

Joanna brings her communication expertise and extensive volunteer experience to the Board, and has already dove in head first. She was instrumental in helping plan and set up our annual Community Awards Banquet, and even showed up the day after morning to help us clean up. What’s more, she always has a positive attitude and is willing to help until the job is done.

Joanna said she’s most excited about being involved in our Chamber events – such as the June Dairy Parade, What’s Brewin’, the Tillamook Farmers Market and the brand new Young Professionals group (more on that below.)

“I’m excited to help with Chamber events that highlight our great businesses, connect our community, and bring people to our town,” she said. “I am thrilled to be a part of the Tillamook Chamber team and can’t wait to do fun and great things!”

OK – speaking of Young Professionals, the Chamber is hosting an informational gathering on Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. for folks who want to learn more about the opportunities available through a new Chamber program; the Young Professionals of Tillamook (YPT). We’ll have light appetizers, drinks, and a group of people who want to further the mission of YPT: to foster relationship-building, career development, entrepreneurial endeavors and civic involvement among other young professionals.

This is a community of professionals in their 20s to mid-40s across Tillamook County, with a like-minded vision to encourage their members to be leaders in business and local communities and empower young professionals to freely determine the direction of their lives, pursue happiness and strive for professional success.

If you are a Young Professional, or know of someone who might be interested, please join us on Jan. 30 at the Chamber HQ (208 Main Avenue) to learn more.

Thank You for Celebrating with Us

Photo by Tillamook County Pioneer

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Saturday was our annual Community Awards Banquet and fundraiser at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. It was a packed house as more than 400 people came out to celebrate with us and all of our Community Award nominees.

Each year it feels like this event gets more and more recognition from the community and we look forward to seeing everyone and enjoying a phenomenal meal prepared by over a dozen of our most recognized restaurants, and all coordinated by Chef Nelia Seratista of Pacific Restaurant. Nelia was gracious enough to work the evening in the kitchen all while being nominated for Citizen of the Year.

We also had a robust silent auction with donations from 75 local businesses, and it was exciting to watch as folks tried to outbid each other on their favorite items. Overall we had one of our most successful oral auctions, and I can’t thank Brett Hurliman enough for once again being our auctioneer and crowd pleaser. I must also thank our dedicated team of volunteers who pulled the whole thing off; this wasn’t just an effort by our Board and staff, and together we easily put in a couple hundred hours. Thank you to local Boy Scout Troop 582 for being our floor service and tear down crew for the eventing; and to Bridgett Kinne, Ken Phillips and Emily Critelli for being spectacular bartenders.

The entire evening was one of high emotions. We were sadly aware of Tommy Flood’s passing and had a moment of silence in his honor. The Schooner crew honored him well by carrying out a flawless paella in what I dub as “Tommy’s insanely large paella pans.”

We also handed out our first ever Program of the Year award to the Shop with a Cop program, which received a resounding standing ovation from the crowd. This program is in its 15th year in Tillamook and has helped more than 650 children have a merry Christmas by taking them shopping with a police officer. The community pride for this program was electric, and it was a well-deserved win.

Ken Werner was awarded Citizen of the Year out of a lengthy list of 10 nominees. Ken delivered a heartfelt speech thanking his community for taking a chance on him all those years ago and helping him build his legacy. Both Werners Beef & Brew and Werner Brewing Co. received nominations in other categories, and I think we can all agree that we wouldn’t be enjoying either of these businesses without the foundation that Ken Werner has laid.

Our other winners included the Blue Heron French Cheese Co. for Business of the Year. Not only do they provide a world-class visitor experience, their community spirit is tangible. The love and support that the Pastegas have bestowed on Tillamook County is a testament to their long term commitment to both our visitors and our citizens.

Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace took home Small Business of the Year, due in part to their resilient and positive attitude when faced with both the highway construction project and then a building remodel that forced them to relocate for the summer. These ladies provide impeccable customer service and create a storefront that sets a high bar for the rest of our downtown retailers.

And finally, Development Project of the Year went to the Highway 6/101 Realignment project. In the end, I think we can all understand and agree that despite the hardships of the last three years the investment in our city was well worth it, and the economic stimulation is already positively impacting our business owners. While there are still kinks to be worked out in the project, I hope in the upcoming year we can lay down our negativity and embrace the worthwhile improvements.

Thank you for celebrating with us! We look forward to another tremendous year.



New Year, New Board Members

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been awhile since I’ve introduced our Chamber Board members here. We’ve been blessed with committed board members who go the distance for our organization. They are involved in projects and aren’t afraid to roll their sleeves up and work.

At our last board meeting of the year we appointed our executive committee and are thrilled to have Kaylan Sisco serving as our Board Chair and Natalie Rieger as our Vice Chair. AS you probably know, Kaylan is the CEO at the Tillamook Family YMCA, and Natalie has just started a new career as the store manager at Roby’s Furniture in Tillamook. Kayla Seaholm is our past Board Chair and Jeff Simpson is serving again as Treasurer and Secretary. This is Jeff’s second year on our board, making him one of our newer members. Jeff is a Tillamook native and works as an accountant at Simpson & Rosener CPA.

We’ve also added two new board members just in the last couple of months giving us a full roster.

Beau Pullium is the Director of Quality Assurance for Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks, where he oversees food safety and quality of the plant and products produced there. Beau grew up in Tillamook before leaving for several years, and upon returning wanted to find a way to give back to the community that gave so much to him.

When asked why he joined the Chamber Board he said, “I really wanted to be a part of something that makes a difference in the community… It seemed like the natural thing was to get involved with an organization that provides opportunity to have my hands in many different services.” Beau added that he gets to be on a team that cares for the community and really makes a difference.

Beau has served on staff for the Oregon Association of Student Councils for 11 years, which provides the methods for youth in the state to sharpen their leadership skills. He has also been a volunteer for Tillamook Outdoor School for several years, and teaches food science to 6th graders. Beau brings patience, humor, leadership and strong community roots as well as an eagerness to participate and learn to our Board of Directors.

His introduction to the Chamber began when he approached us to see if we would have interest in starting a Young Professionals group in Tillamook. This has been part of our vision for some time and we are excited that he has stepped up to spearhead one of the Chamber’s newest programs: the Young Professionals of Tillamook.

“I think that it is so important for professionals especially those that are younger and new to a professional position to have an outlet to socialize and give to the communities in which they live,” he said. “ Historically Tillamook has not been a place for younger professional people to reside. With this group I intend to change that.”

Beau is on our Community Engagement Team at the Chamber and said he is looking forward to finding ways to help keep everyone excited about living in Tillamook. We are thrilled to have Beau on our Board and all the energy and professionalism he brings to the table!

We’ve also added Joanna Stelzig to our board, and I am excited to introduce her and her goals for the Chamber next month. Stay tuned.

And the Nominees Are (Pt. 3)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the last two weeks we have introduced the nominees for Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. Our final category for the Community Awards is a big one – Citizen of the Year. We received the most nominations for this category and the group of nominees showcase a diverse background and continued commitment to Tillamook County. We are fortunate to have every single one of these people living in our community and making it a better place.

For Citizen of the Year, the nominees are:

Brooklyn Bush: Brooklyn teaches agriculture at Tillamook High School and heads the Tillamook Chapter of the FFA. She was nominated for helping shape the people who will live and work here and fostering the agriculture heritage in Tillamook County through teaching, community events and her continued service.

Tim Carpenter: Tim, who serves as the Fire Chief at Oceanside-Netarts Rural Fire Protection District, was nominated for his ongoing leadership and commitment to rescue efforts in Tillamook County, and his hospitality toward local efforts and events by opening up the Netarts Fire Hall as a community space.

Tom Connaughton: Tom has been a key player in downtown Tillamook for more than 30 years. He was nominated for the example he sets for other business owners, his positive attitude, and his ability to keep the best interest for Tillamook at the heart of everything he does.

Wayne Cook: Wayne started his business Cook Land Surveying in 1978 and since that time has raised five children, supported the Tillamook School District and Tillamook Athletic Department and been involved in other community organizations such as the Oregon Hunters Association and the Tillamook Gun Club.

Andrea Goss: Andrea is a volunteer at heart, and has served as coordinator and helper for several programs in our community including but not limited to the CARE warming center, Master Gardeners, CASA, the OSU Extension and the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook. She was nominated for continuing to give and enrich our community through her leadership, participation, coordination and passion.

Nelia Seratista: Nelia, co-proprietor of Pacific Restaurant in downtown Tillamook, was nominated because of the support she lends to all kinds of nonprofits and organizations by hosting their events and offering her expertise. She has also been an instrumental partner in the success of the food cart court, Flavors on First.

Kimberly Theobold: Kimberly works for Adult Protective Services and was nominated for going above and beyond to serve the aged and at-risk population of Tillamook County. She works tirelessly to meet the needs of the vulnerable and always looks out for the family of her clients.

Jon Wehage: A forester for the last 22 years in Tillamook County, Jon was nominated for the many hats that he wears in the community, including his role on the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative, 4H youth programs and the Junior Livestock Auction Committee, and as a board member for the Tillamook County Fairgrounds.

Ken Werner: Co-owner of Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks Inc., Ken was nominated for his generosity and commitment to supporting local. Under Ken’s direction, Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks donates an extraordinary amount annually to local charities, events, schools and non profit organizations. He also offers a fundraising program that benefits the schools, and on Veteran’s Day offered free meals to veterans at Werners Beef & Brew.

Ed Wortman: The former Chief of Police in Rockaway Beach, Ed was nominated not only for his time spent with the police department where he increased the number of officers on duty, orchestrated the purchase and remodel of the police station, and created the Volunteers in Police, but also for opening the International Police Museum as a way to create a sense of mutual respect between officers and citizens.

Tickets for this event are selling rapidly, and I encourage anyone who wants to attend not to hesitate in purchasing tickets. For more information, please call our office at 503-842-7525 or email


And the Nominees Are (Pt.1)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The annual Community Awards Banquet is just a few weeks away, and tickets are already selling fast. Every year we hear how much people enjoy the food, entertainment and wide array of auction items to bid on – but we all know that the real story is the award winners.

Our nominees started getting their announcements in the mail last week, so it’s finally safe to announce them here in the paper. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination- we had even more come in than last year and I think our Awards Committee definitely has their work cut out for them. Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out, which is what the Awards Committee uses to determine a winner for each category. I never envy the committee the task of selecting a winner, and as I introduce the nominees I will share some of the background that was submitted for each one:

For Business of the Year, the nominees are:

Blue Heron French Cheese Co.: For more than 40 years the Pastega family has been running Blue Heron French Cheese Co. and adding a personal touch to Tillamook County that leaves a positive impression with both visitors and residents. They provide everything from free samples, free overnight RV parking, a large Northwest wine selection, to unique gifts, plus they are known t0 treat their employees like family.

Stimson Lumber: Few businesses can say they’ve been around 162 years, but Stimson is one of them. They are committed to the environment through active management of more than 93,000 acres of land in Tillamook County and employee 120 people- many of whom actively serve in a variety of leadership roles throughout the community, such as the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative, teaching classes at Tillamook Bay Community College and Tillamook High School, serving on the Fair Board, coaching sports, and so much more.

Zwald Transport, Inc.: Zwald Transport employs more than 30 people and has grown  tremendously in the last three years. They were instrumental in starting the truck driving program at Tillamook Bay Community College – including providing an instructor, helping secure equipment, and marketing the program. They are a family-run business and want their employees to feel like part of the family.

For Small Business of the Year (10 employees or less) the nominees are:

Social House & Market Place: Located in the former Blue Moon Cafe, The Social House & Marketplace is owned and operated by three women who strive to give customers more than just a meal. By hosting unique vendors in their space, they are lifting up other small businesses and entrepreneurs, and they regularly offer fun, family-friendly events.

Salty Raven: One of the newer Second Street businesses, Salty Raven offers unique, Oregon- and Oregon Coast-based artwork on everything from t-shirts to patches to coffee mugs. Their studio is open regularly and they are actively involved in all kinds of community functions and events such as the Farmers Market, monthly Sip + Shop, and participate in the Tillamook Revitalization Association.

Werner Brewing Co.: In Tillamook, we love beer nearly as much as we love cheese. Werner Brewing Co. continues to bring new and trendy craft beer flavors to the Tillamook Coast, elevating our status as a food and beer lovers destination. Coupled with their new taproom/restaurant and generous community spirit, Werner Brewing Co. is making waves.

Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace: Downtown Tillamook has been benefiting from this wonderful vintage shop for five years now. With all kinds of one-of-a-kind treasures, a friendly staff and more-often-than-not some kind of delicious treat to snack on while you shop, Madeline’s is so committed to its customers that they set up a temporary location all summer while their building was being renovated. And they never forget to participate in downtown events such as Sip + Shop, Cork & Brew and more.

Kristy Lombard Pottery: Our newest downtown business is the result of Kristy Lombard taking a chance and moving her studio from her garage to a storefront, where she regularly creates stunning pottery while people can shop for things like butter dishes, decorative pieces, coffee cups and more. Her art is helping bring high-end and quality customer goods to downtown.

Tune in next week as we announce the nominees for Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. And be sure to watch our Facebook page for more exciting announcements.

And the Nominees Are (Pt. 2)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last week I was excited to introduce to you the nominees for Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year. If you missed those announcements, check out the blog on our website or find the Tillamook Chamber on Facebook.

Today I am sharing the nominees for Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. Program of the Year was a new category we added this year to try and capture some of the organizations, projects, events and other work being done in our county that doesn’t really fall into a traditional business category. Since these are the Community Awards, we wanted to do our best to represent the community as a whole. Development Project of the Year is for those projects that were completed in 2018.

For Program of the Year, the nominees are:

Tillamook County Pioneer: Keeping the community informed about local news, issues and events in an open format, and providing a venue for communication and public awareness for the betterment of our community has secured the Pioneer’s nomination for Program of the Year.  

‘Shop with a Cop’: A Tillamook tradition since 2004, ‘Shop with a Cop’ has helped more than 650 children in our community buy gifts for their family and themselves, all while helping enhance the image of police officers with children.

Explore Nature Series: In 2018, the Explore Nature Series hosted more than 60 free events all over Tillamook County including beach clean ups, hikes, gardening days, Shop at the Dock in Garibaldi and more. Their events highlight the bounty of our area and encourage participants to be good stewards when they’re outside enjoying our natural resources.

Tillamook County Library: Last fiscal year, the Tillamook County Library offered 1,145 programs and more than 18,000 people attended. These programs are catered to infants, toddlers, teens, adults and everyone in between. All programs are free and open to the public.

Truck Driving Program: Offered through Tillamook Bay Community College, the brand new truck driving program is made possible through several community partners including Zwald Transport, Inc. who was instrumental in the development of the program when they saw the industry need in our community, going so far as to provide a driver for the instructor, helping acquire equipment and getting the information about the program out to the community.

Tillamook Working Lands & Waters Cooperative: Comprised of individuals who make their living in forestry, farming and fishing, their mission is to increase awareness of working forests, farms and fisheries and the importance of providing sustainable, locally-grown and harvested products with a commitment to responsible stewardship of the county’s natural resources.

For Development Project of the Year the nominees are:

Flavors on First: Adding all kinds of variety to food choices downtown and creating an inviting public space with a great atmosphere for events and year round were just two of the reasons Flavors on First (also known as Kimmel’s Food Cart) received a nomination this year.

Werners Beef & Brew: Another investment from the family that continually raises the bar for quality and experience throughout the region, Werners Beef & Brew focuses on using and selling local products and creating an entirely unique spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner – or just a place to grab your favorite Tillamook-made snacks from their marketplace and deli.

Hwy 6/101 Realignment Project: Driving through Tillamook it’s hard to not see the benefits  of this lengthy highway realignment project. With the enhanced walkability and atmosphere downtown is only just starting to see the domino effect of other private investments and revitalization efforts triggered from what was one of the single largest investments made by ODOT in the City of Tillamook.

Tillamook Creamery Visitor Center: Even before their remodel, the Creamery was bringing more people to our part of the world than any other man-made establishment. This volume of traffic to our area helps support other retail and restaurant establishments and this multi-million dollar project shows a long term investment into our community.

Dutch Bros – Tillamook: In addition to raising thousands of dollars for local programs such as the needy child fund at Tillamook High School, Dutch Bros employees 3-6 people at any given time and owner Jared Nunnemaker has chosen to invest a huge chunk of time and money in developing this location, bringing this  household-name coffee to Tillamook.


Next week we will announce the nominees for Citizen of the Year. As always, if you’d like to reserve your tickets for the Chamber Community Awards Banquet happening on Jan. 19, 2019 please call our office at 503-842-7525 or email


Keep Making Those Nominations

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Saturday was the deadline for the Community Awards nominations, and you guys really outdid yourselves! We had a record-breaking number of nominations come in this year! It appears the simplicity of the online form is doing the trick.

However it seems like the most seemingly visible category got forgotten: Development Project of the Year. We have received one strong nomination in that category, but there is so much more development that has happened in the last 12 months that deserves recognition. Remember – this is a county-wide award and not limited to Chamber members or those projects within the City of Tillamook.

Now, I know that at the end of the year it can be hard to remember exactly what all has happened this year because some things feel like they’ve been a part of our lives forever. Here is a little refresher:

The Tillamook Creamery’s new visitor center officially opened to the public. While this establishment has been a part of our county for decades, the newer – and bigger – facility has an expanded viewing section, interactive farm displays for both adults and children, an expanded menu featuring local ingredients, an outdoor seating area and so much more.

The Flavors on First Food Cart Court had its grand opening. I know it’s hard to believe that this was once an empty parking lot, but that goes to show you what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. This food cart court has grown to five food carts and a covered seating area and is giving downtown so many more options for lunch, dinner or just a snack.

The downtown highway project wrapped up in October, complete with new sidewalks, paving, landscaping, street lights, parking, a more visually-appealing Hoquarton Slough walking path and an eye-catching Second Street Plaza right in the center of downtown. Yes it was a trying time for all of us, but downtown has never looked better and I think we’re all enjoying the new aesthetics and better traffic flow.

Food Roots opened their FarmTable storefront this year, and is selling locally-grown foods and other products made right here in Tillamook. Now shoppers have a place to go year-round that supports local farmers and artisans and strengthens the local economy. We also got our very own Dutch Bros this year, Tora Sushi Lounge took up a vacant space in downtown, Sand Creek Dental built a beautiful new building and even the Tillamook Family YMCA is getting a facelift for the first time in years. And we can’t forget the latest restaurant & tap room to hit the scene from a family who has won awards in the past: Werners Beef & Brew officially opened in 2018 and if you haven’t been yet, they’re serving both delicious food and craft beer on tap and also have all your favorite local snack products for sale.

As you can see, we’ve had our fair share of development in the last 12 months, and we would love to be able to recognize these amazing projects during our Community Banquet. Please take the time to go online and nominate your favorite 2018 development you have seen within Tillamook County! We will leave the form open until Dec. 14th. 

Last week we started sending out invitations to the Banquet, which will take place on January 19, 2019. This year’s theme is ‘A Night in Portugal’ and our entire staff is busy with the planning – including collecting auction items, finding volunteers, creating decorations and ensuring that – as always – this Community Banquet is one of the best events of the year. If you would like tickets, or have a donation item in mind for the auction, please contact our office at 503-842-7525.


Join us Downtown for Small Business Saturday

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day planned to enjoy all there is to be grateful for. In my house that definitely means enjoying a turkey dinner and spending quality time with family.

We have another tradition here in Tillamook that happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving called Small Business Saturday. This nationwide movement encourages folks on the day after Black Friday to shop small when doing their Christmas shopping. Our downtown district has really taken this concept and run with it, and all over town on Saturday you’ll find great deals and a full day of family friendly events.

The Chamber has helped coordinate and market these events to encourage participation. Here is a quick rundown of events taking place this Saturday:

Gingerbread House Building Competition at YoTime: Join Yo Time and friends this Small Business Saturday for the second annual Gingerbread House Building Competition! This was so fun last year that YoTime is more than excited to be hosting it again. Teams of four-ish (more or less, no big deal) are invited to register for the competition ahead of time. Each team is asked to bring $10 or a gently used sleeping bag, tent or tarp as an entry fee, which will be donated to CARE to assist folks in need this winter. Basic gingerbread house building supplies will be provided, but teams are encouraged to be creative and are welcome to bring their own supplies for personal touches. Teams are asked to arrive at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the contest will kick off at 1:15. The building window will last 45 minutes, at which point a winner will be determined by audience applause.

Cooking Decorating at the Social House Cafe: The Social House Cafe has been under a renaissance of late, and this is an opportunity to check out the new direction of the familiar restaurant if you haven’t already. The cookie decorating will be happening all day, and promises to be fun  – and delicious – for the entire family.

Letters to Santa at The Dutch Mill: The only thing better than getting your requests in to the Big Guy before the Big Day is getting a complimentary ice cream cone! Children are invited all day to come write and mail their letters to Santa (The Dutch Mill will have a mailbox on hand that ships directly to the North Pole) and they’ll get a free ice cream cone for participating. Plus, rumor has it they’ll have some food specials that day as well so this might make a good stop for lunch.

Holiday Pop Up Market on Third and Main: The Tillamook Revitalization Association is hosting a holiday pop-up market inside the Beals Building on the corner of Third and Main from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. They will have vendors (some of which you haven’t seen since the Tillamook Farmers Market) selling all kinds of hand-made, locally crafted goods that make perfect Christmas gifts for family, friends or yourself.

Wreath Fundraiser on  Second Street Plaza: Tillamook Early Learning Center is having their second annual wreath sale fundraiser, and is teaming up with Small Business Saturday! Pre-order your local handcrafted wreath ahead of time for pick up by contacting TELC Board CHair Julie Hurliman at (503) 913-3869 or There will be a limited number of these beauties for sale on SBS, but you’ll want to stop by and scoop yours up early if you don’t get a chance to pre-order.

Brunch and Bloody Mary Bar at Pacific Restaurant: Chefs Nelia and Phil have begun plotting what will be guaranteed to be a memorable meal – just what you need to gear up for a lovely day in downtown Tillamook! Reservations are not required; stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m  for a world class buffet and a tour of the Bloody Mary Bar. Pacific Restaurant will also be offering an all day special on gift cards: purchase a $100 gift card for only $80 (not valid to use on Small Business Saturday).

We hope you’ll come downtown and join us downtown to support these establishments and start the Christmas shopping season off right. It’s also the perfect opportunity to enjoy our new sidewalks, parking spaces, landscaping and wonderful new curb appeal of downtown.

To make sure you are in shape for a full day of shopping after the big feast, be sure to join Tillamook Motor Company at the corner of Fifth & Main for the annual Tillamook Ford Turkey Trot on Friday the 23rd ! Walkers will travel down 5th to Carnahan Park and back. The trot starts at 9 a.m. with an entry fee of one can of food (or more) that will benefit the Tillamook County Food Bank.

These events and more information about activities, specials and sales on Small Business Saturday are available on the Tillamook County Small Business Saturday Facebook page, or contact our Downtown Event Coordinator, Sierra, at


Welcome to Tillamook; Enjoy our Tide Books

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Throughout the year there are always times when it seems like there are so many projects in the air and none of them are wrapping up. This has been one of those months; however in this past week it seems like we are starting to see that shift a bit. Two projects that we’ve been working on at the Chamber wrapped up in that kind of way that makes you sigh a sense of accomplished relief. One of these projects you’ve no doubt noticed by now: the brand new City of Tillamook Wayfinding signs that have been installed at each entrance to town.

These signs were made possible thanks to a partnership with the City of Tillamook and funding through the Visit TIllamook Coast transient lodging tax dollars. We managed the project from start to finish, including planning, design, placement and installation. It was exciting to see them being installed in conjunction with the completion of the majority of the downtown highway project. These signs add a nice uniformity to both our downtown and all four corners of the City of Tillamook, utilizing our Dairylands branding strategy that gives both residents and visitors a sense of place while they enjoy our town. We couldn’t be more proud of how they turned out and tip our hats to the partner agencies that helped bring it about.

The second project that just wrapped up is the Tillamook Coast Tide Books. For years now the Tillamook Chamber has bulk ordered custom tidebooks at Coast Printing for our business community so they can hand them out affordably. In fact, we’ve done it long enough that most people had no idea the Chamber was the one responsible for the tide book in their pocket. This time we decided to switch it up a bit. Thanks again to another partnership with Visit Tillamook Coast, we are now able to offer all businesses the first 100 tide books free of charge, and any additional at only $10 per hundred. This partnership fits perfectly as Visit Tillamook Coast continues to manage tourism by informing and educating visitors as they come to enjoy our slice of the Oregon Coast.

Tide books won’t be here until January, but we are taking orders if your business would like to stock up! While the design and printing is a service we offer as the Chamber of Commerce, we do not limit their distribution to Chamber members. So please feel free to contact out office at 503-842-7525 or if you’d like to reserve a bundle.

As always, these tide books are adjusted for our Tillamook Coast beaches, which comes in handy for our fishermen, crabbers, clam diggers and tide poolers.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to remind folks to make their nominations for the 2019 Community Awards banquet. The form has been simplified even more this year, and is available online at The four categories are Business of the Year (10 or more employees); Small Business of the Year (10 or less employees); Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. These awards are another project that we manage at the Chamber, but we do not make the nominations nor select a winner. These awards depend on the community taking a little time out of their day to nominate a business, project or person that they feel goes above and beyond for Tillamook County and deserves a pat on the back. I believe if we all take a moment, we can pretty easily come up with an idea or two for each category.

Each nomination will receive a personal invitation to the Community Awards Banquet on Jan. 19 at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. We would also love for you to join us there, so please call our offices at 503-842-7525 to inquire about tickets.

Cutting the Ribbon on the Hwy Project

Sierra Lauder

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events & Downtown Promotions

Last week, we gathered on a rainy afternoon on the Second Street Plaza with Sen. Betsy Johnson, Congressman Kurt Schrader, Mayor Weber and a variety of other community leaders and cut the ribbon on the highway project completion. It was a celebration of how far we’ve come as a downtown –  but before you call my office pointing out all the things still not finished with this project, let me offer you a metaphor:

Last Sunday morning I laid out the single biggest threat in my parenting toolbox: clean rooms by 4 p.m. or we’re shutting off the internet. Because my boys know that I am an inhuman robot with zero empathy for their Fortnite fascination they scramble. As we approach 4 o’clock they start to indicate that they’ve successfully finished their job. Some might even say they are “substantially complete” with their project.

Even if you don’t have kids, you have been a kid and you likely remember that the first “I’m done” of room cleaning is simply the beginning of the end. There is still a variety of inspections and things that were missed in the initial pass though, plus some negotiating about tasks that were implied but perhaps not clearly outlined…

This is really the perfect metaphor. The original project completion date that was projected as October 16th was pushed back to the end of October. The problem with the term “completion date” is that it implies a certain finality- almost as if a person could expect that the project was, in fact, complete.

The reality is that the project completion date is only the date that all of the items within the contract have been submitted for consideration. This is when my boys call me up to examine the room for the first time. There will still be another hour of pointing out missed socks under the bed and the water glass on the nightstand, (plus whatever is beside that water glass that may or may not have once been an apple core…)

That’s where we are now. There is a variety of details and finish work that are still underway that will continue past the completion date. Why have a completion date if it isn’t completed, you ask? The completion date sets the clock on the warranty. Once the project is agreed upon as “complete,” the contractor is still responsible for things like the maintence and life of the plants for one year from that date. While we will still see work after completion, it will mostly be repair or touch up work. Because there are so many contractors and jurisdictions involved, even the task of completing the “punch list” that captures where the dirty dishes are tucked and the cracks must be repaired is time consuming.

Some might still be skeptical of a ribbon cutting prior to completion, but as the rain sets in and the days grow shorter, I say “Let’s Celebrate!” The ribbon cutting last week doesn’t absolve anyone of cleaning up those last stinky socks, but it does give the community a chance to celebrate our beautiful new sidewalks and embrace the fact that downtown is open for business this holiday season.

Thank you to everyone who came out for this ceremonial act of cutting the ribbon. I hope that, even though the rains have returned with full force, you still get out  downtown and enjoy what we’ve all been waiting so long for!

The Many Roles of the Chamber

On any given day, there are certain things you can count on here at the Chamber. You can count on people calling our office looking for referrals – everything from a place to vacation with their dog to finding the right tax accountant. You can count on visitors coming in looking for information on what to do in the area, and you can even bet that at some point someone will be asking for directions to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

These are somewhat traditional roles that chambers have played for years. We have the information, access and tools you might need and are happy to share those with you.

At our Chamber, there’s always a million other little things going on as well. The things that happen a little bit below the surface and aren’t always directly associated with the Chamber. For two days last week, myself and two of our staff members attended a two-day conference for the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce. We got to hear from other Chamber leaders across the state on issues such as member retention, statewide legislation that may impact local businesses, cyber security and creative ways to help tell our story – which is also your story.

During our stay, we were also finding time in between breakout sessions to help plan several ribbon cutting ceremonies happening this week, finalizing plans for November’s Mornings on Mainstreet, redesigning the cover for the 2019 Tide Books and keeping several other projects moving forward. (Projects like redesigning the Chamber website, planning the 2019 Community Awards Banquet, following up with people about our Portugal trip next Spring, creating Facebook events to keep people engaged with what’s happening in town, and more.)

At the Chamber, this is just another day on the job. As a staff of five, we all have areas of expertise and different skill sets, as well as different things we’re passionate about. All of our work – community engagement, advocacy, and connecting members to resources and potential customers just to name a few – helps meet our mission of building a strong community where businesses can thrive. We do this work because we love it, and we want to make a difference.

When you’re traveling across Oregon, I encourage you to stop in at the local Chamber office. See the ways they’re involved in their communities, and how they’re impacting change. We all face different and unique problems, but when we come together we can learn so much from each other. I know that Sierra, Sayde and I are all excited to take the information we learned from last week’s conference and find ways to implement it in our own community to help our mission.

Speaking of which, don’t forget that this Friday at 12 p.m. is the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new Habitat for Humanity ReStore location across from the Creamery. Then, at 4 p.m., we will be taking our giant scissors over to Sunflower Flats to welcome new owners Paige Robertson and Maddie McRae. They’ll be giving out free sunflowers, and customers can even enjoy a free drink courtesy of Pacific Restaurant. While you’re out, also pop into Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace on the corner of Pacific and Third. They had a brief hiatus from their space, but are back and can’t wait to show off the newly-remodeled storefront to their customers. Join us just after 4 on Thursday to welcome them home.

Make your Nominations for the Annual Community Awards

Tillamook Chamber Recent News

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Take a look around; what do you see? It might depend on where you are standing, but from our front window at the Chamber I see new sidewalks, brand new parking spaces and – most recently – new trees and landscaping gracing nearly every corner of our new downtown. Take a quick walk and you’ll see new businesses selling everything from farm-fresh produce to unique t-shirts and even pottery. Walk even farther and you might stumble upon the nearly-complete Flavors on First food cart court with its new covered pavilion, or the beautifully-renovated Sue H Elmore park overlooking Hoquarten Slough.

And that’s just downtown.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the brand new Dutch Bros. north of town, or Sand Creek Dental office at the south end.

I always like to take a moment this time of year and remind our readers about the growth we’ve experienced in the last 12 months, and all the reasons why we love living here. And while I can’t mention everything in this column, I hope it spurs a discussion amongst yourselves about the changes and improvements you’ve witnessed in 2018, and encourages you to pick your favorites and nominate them for our annual Community Awards.

We’ve made the nomination process much more simple this year; just go online to, pick a nomination category, a recipient, and tell us why. It could be a single sentence, or a well thought out essay about why a business or person made an impact on your life and the community in 2018.

The categories this year are Business of the Year (eleven or more employees); Small Business of the Year (ten or less employees); Developmental Project of the Year; Citizen of the Year – and new this year Program of the Year. A lot of amazing work happening in the county that doesn’t quite fit into the other categories but deserves recognition. That’s where Program of the Year comes in to play; maybe it’s a program from a local non-profit, a specific event, or a volunteer that makes a large impact through a single initiative.

All nominations are due by Dec. 1 so we have time for the selection committee, comprised of prior year’s award recipients, to review applications and make their decisions.  Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible, and nominees will be honored at the annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January. You can remain anonymous as the person nominating if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation on the online form.

There is no limit to how many businesses, projects, and people you can nominate. Tell us everything great you see happening all around you in Tillamook County!

Get Ready: Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0 begins Oct. 1

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

After a marvelous summer, fall is finally here. I think the change in weather is welcomed by many of us, as well as the new routine of taking kids to school and grabbing an extra jacket before leaving the house.

Fall also means its time to launch Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0.

Last year was our first time trying this new shopping incentive to encourage people to come downtown and spend a little time and  hopefully a little money. It started as a way to mitigate the effects of construction that many of our downtown business owners were feeling, and worked similarly to an old-fashioned cash mob but extended the shopping period over several months.

When we had this hair-brained idea last year, we had no idea how well it was going to take off, or how many people it would bring downtown. Over the course of the sweepstakes last year we had 1,493 entries; this year we’re hoping to see more 2,000.

And while the construction project is on track to wrap up this fall, we still want to encourage people to enjoy our newly remodeled downtown area, so we’re launching Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0.

The rules are simple, and similar to last year: Whenever you shop downtown between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, bring in your receipts to the TIllamook Chamber to be entered into a weekly drawing. You can enter once a day. Each week a downtown business will sponsor a giveaway and we will draw from that week’s tickets to pick a winner. Then, every ticket will be entered into a grand prize drawing of $1,000 shopping spree in downtown Tillamook, sponsored again this year by US Bank. The more you shop, the better your odds are of winning the grand prize. It’s that simple, and it’s that fun.

So if you go out to breakfast at The Rendezvous, gift shopping at Sunflower Flats, or pamper yourself with a pedicure at Shear Bliss, bring us your receipts. The possibilities are endless but each time you shop – for special occasions or the things we do on a regular basis – you could be entered to win all kinds of amazing prices right in time for the holidays. Then, after the holiday rush has passed and we start settling into a new year and a new routine, one lucky winner will have $1,000 extra dollars to enjoy in our downtown.

Let’s celebrate the end of the construction and the beautifully remodeled downtown by spending time here and enjoying the new sidewalks, the newly planted trees and foliage, the renovated Sue H Elmore Park and walking trail through Hoquarten Slough, and reminding our downtown business owners why we love it here. You can follow along with the sweepstakes and all of the weekly drawings by following the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce facebook page.

Tackling the Housing Crisis

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last week our newest employee Alexander Jonas arrived from Tallahassee, Fla. He traded in 88-degrees, sunshine and restaurants where alligator is a common menu item, for the Tillamook Coast where he will serve as our Housing Policy and Development Coordinator.

Alexander is a recent graduate from Florida State where he studied political science and international affairs with a focus on economics. During his last year, he was introduced to the RARE program and decided to jump on board as a way to fine tune the skills and expertise he learned in college, and help a community in need.

RARE is an AmeriCorps program administered through the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, which assists Oregon communities by providing planning and technical assistance to help solve local issues and improve the quality of life for Oregon residents. Its mission is to increase the capacity of rural communities to improve their economic, social, and environmental conditions, through the assistance of trained graduate-level participants who live and work in communities for 11 months. Participants assist communities and agencies in the development and implementation of plans for achieving a sustainable natural resource base and improving rural economic conditions while gaining community building and leadership skills.

Alexander interviewed with five different rural communities all with unique issues, and was matched with the Tillamook Chamber. We are excited to have him on our team and get started towards finding a solution for workforce housing in the city of Tillamook.

Ironically, Alexander had some trouble finding a place to live while making his travel arrangements, and was able to secure a room just two days before his plane landed. No doubt this is a familiar situation to some of you, when you hire a professional from outside the area but they have to turn the job down due to the lack of housing. Alexander got to experience this first hand – a poetic introduction to his new job as our Housing Policy and Development Coordinator where he will help identify the reasons for the housing crisis and do what he can to help mitigate the effects and eventually put Tillamook in a better position to solve that crisis.

When asked why he decided to participate in the RARE program, Alexander said “It was a good opportunity to gain some work experience and potential successes as well as checking out a beautiful part of the country I had never seen.”

Over the next several weeks I will be introducing Alexander to the community and hope you will help him feel welcome and give him the resources, tools and information he needs to be successful. We will also be sharing more about the specifics of Alexander’s scope of work, and why we at the Chamber and our members felt compelled to offer a helping hand in solving the housing crisis.

Celebrate the Bounty of the Tillamook Coast on Sept. 29

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director


Local food such as Tillamook Creamery dairy products, Werner jerky products, and Pelican microbrews have been a long standing staple of things that Tillamook stands for. What many may not know, however, is that in recent years there has been an incredible shift in the food culture. This shift is made up of chefs, business owners, fishermen and farmers who are passionate about sustainable practices, and sourcing local ingredients. It’s such a huge part of who we are that Visit Tillamook Coast launched the North Coast Food Trail earlier this year to showcase the wide variety of restaurants, farms, breweries, markets and more that are bringing the bounty of Tillamook County and the North Oregon Coast to consumers.

The Tillamook Farmers Market is a stop along this food trail, as our many of our vendors because they are growing and producing food items featured in several of our local restaurants and stores. And at the end of this month, we will be celebrating all things food related at the Crave the Coast foodie festival.

Under the event tent in Garibaldi, some culinary masters  – about 40 to be exact – will gather in one place to showcase the incredible bounty our area produces. From fresh seafood, world-class beer – guests will be entertained by  renowned chefs and local business owners with cooking demos, samples, tastings and be inspired to create their own culinary dishes that support our local producers.

Many years ago you may recall the Taste of Tillamook event – a favorite for many. While Crave the Coast began as a simple conversation to recreate this food festival, it has grown exponentially to include guided tours, live cooking demos, and the largest selection of vendors and producers on the North Oregon Coast. It’s garnered attention from both regional and national media who are showcasing the Tillamook Coast as a premier agritourism destination. We are proud to be a major sponsor of this event, which also inspired us to revitalize the ‘Chef’s Table’ at the Tillamook Farmers Market. From now until the end of the season you can catch local chefs doing what they do best – creating mouth watering masterpieces from ingredients grown and made right here in Tillamook, and available for sale at the Tillamook Farmers Market. So far we’ve enjoyed Nelia with Pacific Restaurant and her homemade mozzarella; and coming up we will have demonstrations from The Offshore Grill in Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi Portside Bistro, as well as LaNicia from Coastal Soul serving up some classic fried green tomatoes.  Check the Tillamook Farmers Market Facebook page for dates, times and more information about these cooking demonstrations, sponsored by Visit Tillamook Coast and Crave the Coast.

To wrap up, if you don’t have your tickets yet, visit and purchase them today. It’s only $30 to get inside and gain access to some of the best chefs the west coast has to offer, and opportunities to learn and get to know those who are cultivating and nurturing the abundance of harvest our area has to offer.

Spend the Remainder of Summer in Downtown Tillamook

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director  

The recent bouts of rain have been a nice relief from the wildfires of summer, and sure make it easier to start picturing the cozy, inside gatherings of fall and winter next to a fireplace or wrapped in a warm sweater. While I am also looking forward to kids going back to school and the fast-pace of summer slowing down just a bit, I can assure you there is still a lot happening in our town before summer officially parts ways.

This Saturday from 9 am- 3 pm is the city-wide downtown garage sale, hosted by the Tillamook Revitalization Association and the Tillamook Headlight Herald. Second Street between Main and Ivy will be closed to traffic so those interested can bring in tables and items they’d like to sell. It’s a great way to either clean out some much needed space before the rainy season hits, pick up a few new things to redecorate with, or even find unique pieces that will make great holiday gifts. From clothing, to furniture, to fabrics and decor pieces, it’s a one-stop-shop garage sale.

If you’d like to rent a table space, reach out to either the Tillamook Headlight Herald or Sky at Lucky Bear Soap Co. Each 10×12 space is only $15.

The Tillamook Farmers Market is still underway on Laurel Avenue between First and Third every Saturday from 9am- 2pm. The last day of the season is Sept. 29, so there is still plenty of time to find your favorite produce (tomatoes are in season, btw) and enjoy the plethora of talented artists, crafters, designers and producers that we have here in Tillamook County. There’s also some really fun and talented musical acts coming up this month, including the always-popular Buffalo Kitty, ZuhG with an encore acoustic performance on Sept. 1, and local favorite Eric Sappington with his soulful tunes. Hopefully your calendar will lend itself to a leisurely Saturday on Laurel, where there is plenty of great food and music to wile away a few hours and enjoy the company – making stocking your produce drawer as much about the experience as the exceptional local produce.   

While you’re checking your calendar, make a note about the upcoming Third Annual Oktoberfest in the Dairylands on the Second Street Plaza from noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 8. Pacific Restaurant will again cater this year’s event with authentic German-style cuisine, and participants will be entertained with local and professional polka bands and dancers. New this year is the artist celebration of Route 6 brought to you by Art Accelerated, so there will also be artist booths and exhibits to enjoy. Because this event is a fundraiser for the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook, every penny raised goes to supporting local music scholarships as well as bringing professional concerts to Tillamook multiple times per year. Tickets to Oktoberfest in the Dairylands are available at the gate or at the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook’s Facebook Page.  The cost for entry is $10 and includes a commemorative mug for adults, admission for those under 21 are free. The combination of authentic Swiss and German music and dance make this a fun and entertaining family friendly event.

And of course, Sip + Shop and Art Walk will resume later in September, making sure there is plenty to do for both locals and tourists while the sunshine is still upon us.


Registration is Open for the Chamber’s Portugal Trip

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Just seven months from now, the Chamber will be taking a few dozen people to explore the beauty and culture of Portugal. And we’d love for you to join us.

Registration for our third international trip opened on Friday, and those who register within the first 30 days will receive $100 off their trip. You can register at or by calling 617-619-1170 and either mentioning my name or our tour number: 70131970.

There is a $450 deposit due at registration to secure your spot, and you’ll find several payment options available  to make it easy and affordable. You can even set up a monthly automatic payment plan to conclude before we depart on our trip. The total cost for the excursion starts at right around $3,500 with airfare, however there are options to extend your trip for an additional cost or purchase the travel package without airfare.

The 10 day trip includes hand picked hotels, guided tours from local experts and plenty of time to explore on your own in each of the four cities we will be traveling to. We’ll arrive in Porto and after getting settled into your hotel, you can take some time to venture out on your own before that night’s welcome dinner.

The next day we’ll venture on a sightseeing tour of Porto with a local guide – including the medieval Old World Ribeira District and the picturesque Douro Riverfront. We’ll get to see first hand the city’s many iconic architectural structures including the Baroque-style Clerigos Tower.

After you’ve experienced the local guided trip, our next day in Porto is yours to do with as you wish; go explore new areas or go back and spend more time in a spot that piqued your interest the day before. Try a new restaurant or enjoy a glass of wine (or port) on the Riverfront.

On our fifth day in Portugal, we’ll head south to explore Coimbra on a guided walking tour of the city’s chapel and the country’s very first university. Then you’ll have an evening to yourself to explore Evora. The next day will include a sightseeing tour of Evora, one of Europe’s oldest inhabited cities. We’ll pass by the remains of a Roman temple, take a tour of a cork factory and take a stroll through the Chapel of Bones.

As the tour progresses, we will stop by the seafaring towns of Lagos and Sagres and enjoy the white-sanded beaches and stunning views of the sea from the Sagrass Fortress. We will also tour Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, with several stops along the way including museums and monasteries that honor and depict the city’s maritime heritage. There’s actually so much to see and do in Lisbon that we’ve built in an entire day to go exploring by yourself before we head home.

If you hadn’t noticed, this trip is built with a lot of time to explore by yourself, creating a balance of guided tours and exploration days so you can spend time on your own without feeling like you’re missing out on another aspect of the trip. As always, there are options to add additional excursions for an extra cost – like dinner and a show in Lisbon, or or a float along the third longest river on the Iberian Peninsula that passes underneath some of the most iconic Old-World bridges in existence.

We’ll also be hosting an informational gathering to provide travel details and answer questions later this month. Stay tuned and we’ll announce the time and location of that meeting when it’s locked down.

If you have questions, we’d love to talk to you more about this trip and send you some additional information. Call the Chamber office at 503-842-7525.

Introducing the Chamber Teams

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s fair week! I know that means I will be seeing a lot of you over the next few days as we all indulge in a little too much ice cream and carnival food, and marvel over the wonderful work our 4H community has been up to this year, and enjoy some exhilarating horse racing and fun concerts.

The fair is a Tillamook tradition, and one we all look forward to each year. When you’re a kid, the fair marks the last summer hoorah before it’s time to go back to school. It’s one of the last weeks you get to stay out late with your friends and not have to worry about what the morning brings.

We’ve been having a great summer at the Chamber. We’ve seen a massive amount of progress on the highway project, and got to experience along with the rest of you what it’s like to lose your sidewalks and then get brand new ones. We played host to some of our favorite summertime events this year, including the June Dairy Parade and the Cork & Brew Tour, and watched as downtown partnerships formed to create other monthly events that have kept the foot traffic flowing through the construction. We also took over the management of the Tillamook Farmers Market and have worked hard to grow that weekly event with new vendors, lively music and fun activities for the kids. To say we’ve been busy this summer would be an understatement.

And yet amongst all the summer fun, we’ve still been attending to “business as usual” and as fall approaches we are excited to settle in and get back to work with everyone else.  At the beginning of each year our Board and Staff meet for a planning retreat that outlines what the Chamber will focus on the following year. However this year was different; we’ve grown and created so many new partnerships over the past couple years that it was time to hit the reset button on how the Chamber is organized and functions as a group. Why does this matter to the businesses and the community? Because, being more efficient with our time, talents and resources will have a much greater ability to build a strong community where businesses can thrive (that’s our mission.)

Our new structure went into effect at the beginning of July and lends itself to five teams: Leadership, Connections, Growth, Community Engagement, and Advocacy. Each team addresses a different aspect of work that the Chamber does – from growing our membership base to advocating for a healthy economy though aligning local business and government.  

As these teams start ramping up their project lists, we will be sharing their progress and the new, exciting things coming out of the Chamber. Things like workforce housing initiatives, public policy development, website redesigns, a new focus on directing tourists through Tillamook, grant assistance, educational materials for business owners, retail-focused workshops and in some cases simply recognizing individuals and businesses who make our area a better place to live, work, and play.

Stay tuned because just because summer is drawing to a close doesn’t mean we will be sitting on our laurels and hibernating for the winter. There is a lot to do and we are excited to get started!

The Chamber is Going to Portugal!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Drum roll please… It’s official: The Chamber is headed to Portugal on March 15, 2019. And we’d love for you to come with us!

The 10 day trip includes hand picked hotels, guided tours from local experts and plenty of time to explore on your own in each of the four cities we will be traveling to. We’ll arrive in Porto and after getting settled into your hotel, you can take some time to venture out on your own before that night’s welcome dinner.

Then the next day we’ll venture on a sightseeing tour of Porto with a local guide – including the medieval Old World Ribeira District and the picturesque Douro Riverfront. We’ll get to see first hand the city’s many iconic architectural structures including the Baroque-style Clerigos Tower.

After you’ve experienced the local guided trip, our next day in Porto is yours to do with as you wish; go explore new areas or go back and spend more time in a spot that piqued your interest the day before. Try a new restaurant or enjoy a glass of wine (or port) on the Riverfront.

On our fifth day in Portugal, we’ll head south to explore Coimbra on a guided walking tour of the city’s chapel and the country’s very first university. Then you’ll have an evening to yourself to explore Evora. The next day will include a sightseeing tour of Evora, one of Europe’s oldest inhabited cities. We’ll pass by the remains of a Roman temple, take a tour of a cork factory and take a stroll through the Chapel of Bones.

As the tour progresses, we will stop by the seafaring towns of Lagos and Sagres and enjoy the white-sanded beaches and stunning views of the sea from the Sagrass Fortress. We will also tour Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, with several stops along the way including museums and monasteries that honor and depict the city’s maritime heritage. There’s actually so much to see and do in Lisbon that we’ve built in an entire day to go exploring by yourself before we head home.

If you hadn’t noticed, this trip is built with a lot of time to explore by yourself, creating a balance of guided tours and exploration days so you can spend time on your own without feeling like you’re missing out on another aspect of the trip. As always, there are options to add additional excursions for an extra cost – like dinner and a show in Lisbon, or or a float along the third longest river on the Iberian Peninsula that passes underneath some of the most iconic Old-World bridges in existence.

On August 10th registration will officially open for the Portugal trip. If you register within the first 30 days, you’ll get a $100 early registration discount. There is a $450 deposit to hold your spot on the trip, and you can even set up a payment plan with the travel company to break up the total cost of the trip between August 10th and the departure date.

We’ll also be hosting an informational gathering to provide travel details and answer questions around mid-August. Stay tuned and we’ll announce the time and location of that meeting when it’s locked down.

We’re limiting the size of this trip to less-than 40 people so we are really encouraging folks to register early so they don’t miss out on this opportunity. If you have questions, we’d love to talk to you more about this trip and send you some additional information. Call the Chamber office at 503-842-7525.

Spend an Afternoon at the Tillamook Farmers Market

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Saturdays are bustling in downtown Tillamook, and if you’re in the mood for something fun (and family-friendly) to do, try checking out the Tillamook Farmers Market from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. With live music, fun games, delicious food and nearly 50 unique vendors, it’s a good way to spend an afternoon. You never know what you might find from week-to-week, or what fun activity is taking place.

This Saturday, Art Accelerated is hosting a sketch crawl with Dennis Worrel. What’s a sketch crawl? It’s when artists gather in a single place with their art supplies and sketch what’s happening around them. Art Accelerated will also host the Community Table to meet people and talk more about their program. Every week we feature a different non-profit or organization that does good work in the community at our Community Table. It’s free for them to use the space, and provides a chance to raise awareness about their work and reach new people. If you’re interested in hosting the Community Table before the season is over, email or visit to see what dates are available.

The July 21st market wraps up the Food Hero program, hosted by OSU Extension and sponsored in part by TLC Fibre Credit Union. Each week they’ve been engaging youth in fun activities and games that promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and in turn those who participate get a free $2 voucher to spend at the market. On average, we’ve seen 50 or more kids each Saturday – both new and returning – to take part in this program and get their $2 Kids Bucks.

While the six-week Food Hero program is coming to a close, we will still be offering fun activities for kids and incentives to keep them eating healthy while at the Market. Just go see River and Sayde at the Market HQ Trailer to learn more.

And while you’re over on that end of the market, check out the Corn Hole board and giant Connect Four game we have set up each week. We’ll be adding more fun games as the season progresses – sos tay tuned.

This week we’re also starting to sell Tillamook Farmers Market travel coffee mugs. They come in two different colors and we’ll even fill it up with a piping hot cup of coffee courtesy of Five Rivers Coffee Roasters. Bring it back in the following weeks and enjoy a free refill at the HQ Trailer.

We are also excited to bring back the Chef’s Table, starting July 28th. This interactive booth will feature local chefs and live demonstrations as they utilize market products to create culinary masterpieces. There will be free samples, opportunities to participate for both kids and adults, and you’ll discover great new ways to take the products you buy at Market and turn them into delicious meals or snacks for the whole family. Be sure to watch our website and the Tillamook Farmers Market Facebook page for further announcements about dates, times and which of our area chef’s will be participating.

The Chef’s Table is graciously sponsored by Crave the Coast, happening on Sept. 29 in Garibaldi. Crave the Coast is a coast-to-tale food festival that celebrates the region’s natural and plentiful bounty and the talented individuals who utilize local ingredients to create amazing cuisine and unique products.

There’s always something new to check out at the Tillamook Farmers Market. (I haven’t even mentioned the wide array of live music we’ve enjoyed so far – with more talented musical acts headed our way as the season progresses.) Be sure to follow us on Facebook, and better yet, head downtown on Saturdays form 9 – 2 and support local farmers and small business owners.

The Six Month Stretch

Sierra Lauder

by Sierra Lauder
Executive Director

Less than six months from now, the Highway Project will be all wrapped up! Last week, the night paving efforts gave us a huge boost toward that finish line, with passes of base layers and a final top layer that brings us to grade throughout the northern portion of the project. It takes a few weeks for that new asphalt to be ready for permanent striping, so we will be navigating in to mid-July with the “sticky stomps” guiding us through the area.

The bulk of the remaining work is along downtown Main Avenue, between First and Fourth. Work will continue through summer to get new sidewalks constructed and make way for the wider lanes and safer street parking, as well as the bioswales that serve a dual purpose for storm water capture and filtration while creating the required parking buffer at intersections. The planting of the bioswales and street trees will take place this fall. Work in the downtown area will, at times through the summer, require a lane closure that will take southbound Main down to one lane. This will certainly have traffic impacts during our busiest season, but arrangements have been made to concentrate work Monday through Thursday during the early part of the day with a priority to get all lanes open by 3pm, recognizing that congestion peaks during the late afternoons and on weekends.

If you do not get the weekly Highway 101/6 Project Update Newsletter, it is not too late! You can call the Chamber Headquarters at (503) 842-7525 or email me at, and we’ll sign you up. We do our best to use that (mostly) weekly email to send out updates on the timeline and focus of work and try and keep folks up to date on what to expect as the project progresses.

I’ve recently received several inquiries about the old Shell Station property that sits on First between Pacific and Main. ODOT acquired the property after the project had officially started and it became clear that the new highway pattern made negotiation of tanker trucks for fuel delivery on the property unreasonable. As a part of the project, ODOT has removed the underground tanks, and is currently working with DEQ on some monitoring prior to receiving a “No Further Action” statement on the property. ODOT has a protocol for how these properties are transitioned post-project. Within the agency, the property is assessed and offered to state agencies and then to local municipalities prior to being released for private purchase. This is not a fast process. The ODOT assessment does not begin until the project is completed (this fall), and then it will likely take some time to go through the steps of offering it to other potential owners.

Throughout this time there is unlikely to be any alterations to the property as we see it, meaning that even though ODOT has removed the tanks, they will not be removing the building, canopy, or signage. The City of Tillamook is following the process closely, and the Beautification Committee specifically has made a commitment to keep discussion and updates regarding this property as a standing agenda item. Beautification meets the second Monday of the month at 4:45 at City Hall and is open to the public.

It’s also worth pointing out here that north of the Shell property in the “gore point” (triangle shaped area between the lanes of traffic) a new parcel of property has been created that will be owned and managed by the City of Tillamook. That area has been plumbed to accommodate a fountain, although funding has not been secured yet to build or install a fountain. In artist renditions of the project, that triangular area is often depicted with trees and greenery, and the fountain option and planting are all City goals that can and will likely move forward regardless of the timeline or future of the old Shell property.

‘Party in the Pasture’ on June 23rd

June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s another jam-packed weekend in downtown Tillamook as the 61st annual June Dairy Parade rolls into town. This event needs no introduction, as our community has always been fantastic about getting out early and setting up to watch one of the longest parades in the state. There’s live music, performances by local dancers, creative floats… You never know what you might see.

This year’s theme is ‘Party in the Pasture’ and there will be awards for First, Second and Third prizes in each of the different float categories:

To clear up any confusion about the parade route, it will be exactly the same as last year. I’m sure you recall that we reversed the route last year and started at 11th and Main and ended at Goodspeed Park. That was a trial run to see if the change in direction would help open Highway 101 quicker and get traffic moving. Traffic congestion has been a major issue in years past and what we learned was that we were able to get the highway reopened almost an hour sooner than what we considered “normal.”

We did originally think this year we would have to route the parade up Fourth Street to avoid the open construction zone and the risk of parade watchers in these areas. However, the construction zone is fluid, as we know, and it turns out we will be able to turn on Third Street from Main like last year!

The festivities of the day don’t end with the parade; the Tillamook Farmers Market will be open from 9 – 2 that day on the corner of Laurel and Second Street. If you came out for our opening day last weekend you saw what a renowned success it was! The live music was phenomenal, the vendors all had beautiful displays, and there was a wonderful mix of product. The prepared food and baked goods were out of this world! It’s definitely worth stopping by again this weekend, or come by for the first time if you haven’t been yet, to see what all the fun is about. I hung out for the entire day because there was so much going on and so many people to see that I didn’t want to miss anything. Our farmers and artisan vendors really knocked it out of the park and came prepared for a fantastic opening day.

This Saturday the Market will have a live steel drum band playing at 10 a.m. on the Courthouse lawn, and then Driftwood Combo will be entertaining guests with their jazzy tunes starting at 11.

And, of course, after the parade the Tillamook Revitalization Association is hosting live music that will be fun for the whole family on Second Street in front of Lucky Bear Soap Co. and will have some fun games for kids. Over at Werners Beef n Brew they will be hosting a flag ceremony right after the parade and will be open for lunch.

But wait, there’s more! That evening starting at 4 p.m. the Tillamook County Rodeo is having their first Hooves n Hops events at the Fairgrounds. Several breweries will be offering tastings in the Sue Durrer Dairy Barn during the rodeo, and a ticket to Hooves n Hops will get you in for the tasting and the rodeo – so the fun doesn’t have to stop! Hope to see you at one or all of these fun events on Saturday!

Chamber Events this Weekend Taking over Downtown

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director


It’s a busy weekend coming up for the Chamber, and we couldn’t be more excited for both the Cork & Brew Tour on June 15th and the opening day of the Tillamook Farmers Market the next morning. I hope you’re planning to come out to one – or both – of these Chamber events.

There are still a handful of tickets for the Cork & Brew Tour if you haven’t gotten yours yet. Those are $45 and you must be 21 and over to participate in this event and present a valid ID at check in. We’ll have live music by Zuhg performing at The Pelican Bottling Warehouse on the corner of Front Street and Grove Avenue, brewery games and delicious food and beer on tap to get the night rolling. You’ll get your passport and instructions for heading out on the town to enjoy even more tastings from a variety of breweries and wineries paired with mouth watering foods prepared by local restaurants. Some favorites are coming back this year, and we’ve added some new brews to the lineup including Seaside Brewing Co., Public Coast in Cannon Beach and Wild Ride from Redmond. It’s always a fun way to discover a new favorite drink, or even visit a downtown business that you might not normally patronize.

Art Accelerated will be collecting completed passports and serving water and coffee at their newly-painted gallery on Third Street until 9:30 p.m. Each completed passport will be entered to win a grand prize.

And while there isn’t a Chamber-sponsored after party, Pacific Restaurant will have live music at their establishment i and Rogue Ales is doing a tap take over – just in case you don’t feel like calling it a night yet.

Then, at 9 a.m. Saturday morning the Tillamook Farmers Market opens for the season. While the Market has been a staple in downtown Tillamook for almost 20 years, this is our first year managing the operations of the Market and we think vendors and guests will be excited with our new energy. We hired River Veek as the Market Assistant, and he and Sayde will be rocking the headquarters that morning and greeting guests.

Many of our seasoned vendors are returning again this year, as well as some brand new vendors to offer a blend of fresh produce, unique jewelry, locally-produced honey, hand-made donuts, pottery, roasted nuts and so much more. We’ll have live music and a kids program offered through OSU Extension with fun activities for kids to participate in and get $2 vouchers to spend on fruits and vegetables.

There is something for everyone at the Tillamook Farmers Market, and it’s a great way to support local farmers and artisans.

We’re Getting a Facelift!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director  

I haven’t taken a moment to talk about how much we love our new Headquarters in awhile – Probably because we’ve been here a year now and “new” might not be the right word anymore. I will say that our building has served us and the community well, and individuals and groups of people are continually taking advantage of the casual meeting spaces, hot coffee and plethora of information available to them. We are also serving visitors to our area who are greeted by a warm and welcoming space where they can learn more about the area and discover new things to do, places to eat, and adventures to try. Being downtown has helped draw people into the Visitor Center who might not otherwise have stopped by.

But… If there’s one thing I don’t love about our new building it would be the front façade. Fortunately, we’re getting a facelift! We were just awarded a TLT Facilities Grant from Tillamook County to redo the front façade and bring back some of the historical context of the building. Once the new sidewalks in front of our block are completed (and of course weather permitting), we will remove the awning that has some structural issues and Dave Clooten Masonry will be doing a brick overlay to replace the worn, outdated tile and stucco currently on the front. The vision is that removing the awning will help brighten up the space and better showcase the Visitors Center from the highway, and the brick will bring back that historical downtown look, while helping to match the outside with the industrial farmhouse look we’ve created on the inside.

Now here’s where things really get interesting: our neighbors to the north, the Dutch Mill, also received a grant to redo their front façade. And, we are working with Kitty’s Food and Spirits to get them a similar grant and what that might look like. Then to the south of us, Torra Sushi Lounge is opening soon and have plans in the future update the outside of their building. Ours will be the first revamp that visitors and residents will see, spurring this callous of change across the entire block. I believe these new sidewalks and updated buildings are going to completely change people’s experiences as they drive – or walk – through town.

We are very thankful to the Tourism Advisory Committee that reviewed and selected our application for recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, and of course to the Commissioners for approving the Chamber for this grant. It will go a long way in helping us welcome visitors and provide quality information to everyone who walks through our front door.

The front faced is not the last piece we need to do on the Chamber space, but we’re getting close. Eventually we will redo the rear entrance façade, and we are also planning to add more office space and a private conference room to the upstairs.

Stop in and see us!


Cork & Brew Tour: get your tickets before they sell out

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you’re reading this and you’ve been thinking about attending the 5th annual Cork & Brew Tour happening on June 15 — this is your friendly reminder to get your tickets sooner rather than later. We’ve already sold close to half of the available tickets and more keep walking out the door every day.

Each year this fun downtown event draws in new people and those who have been “touring” with us for the last five years. And while the structure remains the same, there is always something new and different to experience that makes it worth coming back for again and again.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since we put together a downtown “pub crawl” as a way to engage the business community and give community members and tourists something fun to do on a near-summer weekend that was traditionally kind of quiet and underutilized.

We sold 100 tickets our first year, not really sure what the response would be or how well the night would play out. Right away people were telling us, “We want to come back and do this again next year.”

Similar to last year, the tour will begin at 4:30 p.m. at a Launch Party at Pelican Brewing’s Bottling Warehouse on the corner of Front Street and Grove Avenue. The party will feature live music, brewery games, appetizers and beer on tap. Then, “tourists” will leave on a self-guided tour through downtown businesses to enjoy beer and wine tastings paired with food from some of the area’s most renowned restaurants. Be sure to dress for the weather, as it’s been known to sprinkle on us in the past and there is a fair amount of walking involved from business to business. Of course you don’t have to make it to each stop if you don’t feel like it, and are not obligated to have a tasting each time. However those who get their passport signed at each participating stop and turn it in at the end of the night (thank you Art Accelerated for hosting the passport drop off again this year) will be entered into a raffle.

Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased online at or at the Pelican Taproom, Sunflower Flats or the Chamber’s headquarters. This event does sell out, and no tickets will be sold at the door.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this year’s beer and wine line up includes Pelican Brewing Co., Werner Brewing Co., 2 Towns Cider, Fort George Brewing, Blue Heron French Cheese Co., Nehalem Bay Winery, and Provincial Vineyards. Follow our event on Facebook where we will be releasing more wine, beer and food pairings as we get closer to the event.  

And, following the Cork & Brew Tour is the season opener of the Tillamook Farmers Market on June 16 and the June Dairy Parade and Festival on June 23. It’s a busy month here at the Chamber and we hope you’ll come out to one or all of these events and spend time enjoying downtown with us.


New Locations and New Development Popping up all over Tillamook

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Every so often I like to take a moment and reflect on the amount of development taking place all around us. Now seems like as good a time as any, as new businesses are moving in, and favorite businesses are finding new locations to thrive in.

Starting north of town, the construction of the new Dutch Bros is coming along beautifully and made a lot of progress with the nicer weather. This location is a prototype for Dutch Bros that will focus more on creating a pedestrian atmosphere, while maintaining the popular drive through.

Just south of the new Dutch Bros is the brand new location for Recess. It’s great to have them back on the food scene after their unexpected closure several months ago. The new location offers ample parking and a park like setting to enjoy some delicious, home made food. If you haven’t paid them a visit yet, be sure to do so soon and welcome them back.

Speaking of food trucks, have you visited Flavors on First yet? The new food cart court next to Kimmel’s hardware is already home to Nani Pappaa’ Hawaiian, Sab Thai, and The Biscuit Box NW with more on the way. Tons of parking, and on site picnic tables have turned an empty lot into a happening spot, and the great downtown location has made these food carts a walkable journey for anyone working or visiting downtown. We look forward to new food carts moving in to fill out the space and bring a diverse choice of foods to our area.

As we all know, location is an important piece of any business – perhaps one of the most important. Here in the next two months, Madeline’s Vintage Market will be moving – temporarily – to the former Salvation Army building on Fourth Street.

The move is due to a structural issue with the building that the landlord is having addressed. Because it will require building temporary walls in the downstairs portion and boarding up the windows, Madeline’s will have to vacate until the work is completed. Construction is slated to begin the first week of July, and Madelines should be moved into their temporary spot by the end of June. Be sure to help spread the word and let people know where they’ve moved.

And just about the time that Madeline’s is moving to their pop up location, Tora Sushi Lounge Tillamook should be opening for business in the former Pancake House location. Their remodel and the finishing of the new sidewalks should all be wrapping up at the same time and I know plenty of us will be welcoming them to the downtown food scene with open arms. I made sushi at the 2nd Street Public Market for years and even then there has been an outcry for a sushi restaurant in TIllamook, and it’s very exciting to see this endeavor come to fruition (especially since it’s nextdoor to the Chamber Headquarters).

But wait there’s more! Rosenberg’s Building Supply has added a new lumber yard to their location; Sandcreek Dental is building their new building on the corner of 9th and Main Avenue – and it’s coming together quickly; and a new business has opened up in the Masonic Lodge Building on Second Street: Salty Raven sells all original artwork on t-shirts, stickers, coffee mugs and more. You can buy their merchandise across the street at Lucky Bear Soap Co., or visit their store location during special downtown event days (like Moonlight Madness). They will also be vending from time to time at the Tillamook Farmers Market.

Cinco De Mayo Celebration Helped Support Farmers Market Programs

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Thank you to everyone who came out for our Cinco De Mayo party on Saturday! What a great turn out of our community members coming to enjoy food, music and support the Tillamook Farmers Market.

Thank you to Pacific Restaurant for hosting and feeding over 200 people. And thank you to the Tillamook Country Smoker for sponsoring the live music. Los Probadores Di Michoacán brought the house down with their Norteno music. It was definitely a night to remember.

We also had some wonderful raffle prizes donated by our incredibly talented vendors who are returning for the upcoming season. Thanks to these partnerships we were able to raise more than $4,000 to support the Tillamook Farmers Market this year! For our first fundraising-event since we took over, I would say that’s pretty successful.

So what exactly were we fundraising for? This will help support the programs we offer at the Market each year. You may not know, but our Market offers a dollar-for-dollar match of up up $10 per day to SNAP customers. The Market has offered this SNAP match – called Double Up Food Bucks – for the last two years while it was funded by a grant from the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture. However, the program was defunded after the 2017 season and Farmers Markets like ours had to decide if they wanted to continue to offer this match, and how they would fund it.  Last year, more than 200 SNAP customers at Tillamook Farmers Market purchased nearly $4,500 in local produce We’ve been able to partner with Food Roots to keep it going for the 2018 season, thanks to support from grants and local donations.

We also partner with OSU Extension to help educate youth on healthy eating choices. OSU Extension is bringing their Food Hero program to the Market this year, which means food experts, fun games and chances to win prizes – plus handing out $2 vouchers to kids under 12 so they can purchase their own fruits and vegetables each week. We’re hoping this year to reach at least 20 kids per week and keep them coming back each Saturday to get their fruits and vegetables.

Some other benefits of the Farmers Market that we fundraise for include the live entertainment each day, and this year we are bringing back the popular chef demonstrations – where local chefs can show off their skills using ingredients directly from Market vendors. And as the season draws near, we are planning more activities and special days to bring people downtown and support our local farmers and artisans.

If you’d like to get involved, there are a number of ways to help support the Market as a sponsor. We’d love to showcase your business or organization as a partner for healthy food, local farmers, and supporting downtown. We are still accepting sponsors for a variety of activities and incentives, including music and the kids programs. Our sponsorship packages include high quality signage at the Market, your logo on our website, and regular “shout outs” on Facebook. With hundreds of people visiting the market every week, it’s a high volume opportunity to reach a lot of people and showcase your community pride.

If you’re interested in being a Market supporter, reach out to Sayde Walker at

Cork & Brew Tour Returns for its Fifth Year on June 15

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As you’re reading this, Sierra and I have embarked on the Chamber-coordinated trip to Ireland. We’ll be back by the end of April, along with everyone who chose to travel with us to the Emerald Isle.

And while we might only be in the middle of April (happy Tax Day everyone), we are in full-on event planning mode at the Chamber – even while we’re in Ireland.

First on the docket is the fifth annual Cork & Brew Tour: an early-summer event that has become a favorite for businesses and residents alike.

If you’ve never been, consider a night out on the town enjoying coastal beers, Oregon wines and foods prepared by local vendors and chefs. Each stop features a different pairing of wine, beer and food for guests to sample. You don’t have to make every stop; that’s up to you how many you want to enjoy, but every completed passport that’s turned in at the end of the evening is eligible to be entered into a drawing for some great local prizes.

Last year was our first time throwing a more extensive launch party on the Pelican Brewery Bottling Warehouse floor with games, live music and beer and food. We’re excited to be partnering with them again for the launch party, which begins at 4:30 until 6:30. Show up at anytime during that time to get your bracelet, passport and tasting glass.

We’re also partnering again with Art Accelerated, who will be staying open late to collect completed passports and offer water and coffee.

I remember when this was just an idea being tossed around the table about a simple way to get the community downtown, and now here we are five years later and it has grown into not only a town favorite, but also one of the biggest community events we have the pleasure of hosting. The Cork & Brew Tour isn’t a fundraiser for the Chamber; business sponsorships and ticket sales help secure the beverages for each location and help with the expenses of the Launch Party. Our goal with this event is simply to give people something fun to do before the summer really kicks off and that promotes our downtown businesses.

You can get your tickets either online at, or by this Friday we will have tickets available at the Pelican Taproom, Sunflower Flats and the Chamber Headquarters. This event sells out every year, and we do not sell tickets the night of, so if you plan on going you have to buy your tickets ahead of time.

As we get closer to the date we will announce the beer, wine and food line ups as well as our partnering downtown businesses. Plan to come hungry and stay late.

June is also the start of the Tillamook Farmers Market season on June 16, and the 61st annual June Dairy Parade on June 23. We are still taking parade entry forms online at, as well as nominations for this year’s Grand Marshal. Be sure to get those forms in before their deadlines. If you have any questions, you can email Tammy at or call 503-842-7525.


Chamber’s Grant Writing Pays Off

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

You may recall a few months ago we put out a Request for Proposal for a photographer to capture the places, faces and adventures that Tillamook has to offer. Our board agreed to hire Tillamook local and Chamber member/photographer Courtney Beeler with Swiss & Dot Photography for the job. So it is very likely if you own a business in the Tillamook area, you’ll probably see Courtney over the next few months as she begins fulfilling that contract.
This photography project will be a vital asset in marketing the community and business of Tillamook through our social media channels and websites, as well as for visitor guides, brochures, and other collateral pieces. Tillamook has gone through quite the growth spurt since the last time we had a professional photographer capture images of the community, and we want to accurately showcase what a day or a weekend in Tillamook looks like. Photography is a powerful story-teller and the right photos can enhance community pride and also entice visitors to learn more about who we are and discover the many activities and experience we have to offer.
We’re also wrapping up our Share with Others Campaign, and those marketing pieces will be headed to the printer by the end of next week. If your business signed up (or even if they didn’t) we will be delivering a variety of posters and table tents you can use to remind customers to “check in” on social media. The fact is that people are already reviewing and recommending businesses to their followers via a number of social media platforms, but this campaign will also encourage everyone to use the same hashtags so business owners can easily see, share and respond to those candid reviews. This is the first comprehensive social-media marketing endeavour in Tillamook County that spans multiple businesses and cities.
Both of these projects were made possible with grants we received from Visit Tillamook Coast, the recipient of the tourism promotion dollars from the Tillamook County Transient Lodging Tax.
While we are on a roll with those two, we were also awarded a grant from the Tillamook PUD to update the lighting in the Chamber Headquarters, which will only enhance the usability of our space. Those lights are ordered and the work is scheduled for this May!
A lot of the work we are able to do is dependant on community support and grants, and it is excited to share with our readers when those grant applications have been a success and we can move forward with the work that needs to be done.
Just a reminder that on April 15th, Sierra and I are leaving for Ireland with the Chamber tour. We will not be back in the office until the 30th, however Tammy and Sayde will be available if you have any questions. If you’re on Facebook, follow the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, and we will be sure to post pictures of our journey in case you want to follow along – or sign up for our weekly newsletter at

Chamber’s first candidate forum a success

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Monday night the Chamber hosted its first candidate forum – Business TALKS – at Pacific Restaurant. All six county commissioners showed up ready to ask questions, listen to answers, and learn from the experts: you the community.

Thank you to those who showed up and learned with us, and for supporting the Chamber in this inaugural endeavor. There are several more forums planned between now and May, and it was a fun honor to be the first one, and to host it in a place that felt a little less formal, and in a format that was definitely outside the box. This time, candidates gave opening statements and then asked the audience a question or two.  

Why did we do it this way? Earlier in the year we had a stake holders group of small and large business in the county and one of the things they spoke to was the Chamber’s role in advocacy. One of the key ways we get involved in advocacy is by informing the community about issues that may affect them. With six individuals running for county commissioner, one of them will get elected and will be representing us at the county level and making decisions. We felt at the Chamber that we had a responsibility to help voters get the information they needed to make an informed decision – so we concocted this idea to bring a number of questions surrounding economic development to the commissioners and ask them to think on it, and formulate questions for the audience based on those initial summaries we gathered.

This was not only a forum specific to economic vitality in Tillamook county, but an opportunity to assess each candidate’s leadership and communications styles; how they listen and how they engage with others.  Our goal was this opening forum would provide context for voters as they read pamphlets and attend other, more traditional forums.

We didn’t have a lot of talkers in the room – but I think everyone walked away with more information on both the issues and the candidates than we had when we walked in. A number of topics were covered in a quick secession, and all within that umbrella of economic vitality. If anything, we learned that the issues that affect businesses in our county are far and wide – from development, to housing, to communications and preparing for natural disasters. We heard from business owners, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, long-time residents and entrepreneurs who got to share their concerns and their knowledge on issues that the candidates brought forward.

We also saw a lot of different styles, both in personality and knowledge of these extensive issues. We heard about each candidate’s backgrounds and how they reached the decision to run for county commissioner, and the issues they’re passionate about. It was a good listening exercise for both the voters and the candidates.

Thank you to everyone who attended and shared their opinions; thank you to Pacific Restaurant for their support in hosting this event, and to the Tillamook Headlight Herald for their presence. Thank you to the six candidates who not only showed up ready to work, but I also want to thank them for their willingness to serve and grow our community. Public service is not easy work, it’s not often fun work, and soon one of them will take the reigns as Tillamook County Commissioner to help lead our county.


Tillamook Farmers Market Kick-Off Party May 5 at Pacific Restaurant

Looking for something to do on Cinco de Mayo? Why not join the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Restaurant at their Tillamook Farmers Market Kick-off Party.

Tickets are $20 a piece, and will get you inside the door to enjoy an authentic Mexican-style buffet, live music and great company. Drinks will be available for purchase at the bar.

All proceeds from ticket sales will help support the Tillamook Farmers Market.

“This is our first year managing the Market and we want to start the season off in a fun way,” noted Sayde Walker, the Director of Communications for the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce; also serving as the new Market Manager.

While enjoying food, music and drinks, guests will also get an early glimpse of this year’s vendors at the “pop up market” display. Participating vendors include Brickyard Farms, Oregon Coast Lavender and Food Roots. Each will have a sampling of products for sale to help support the Market operations.

“We want to get people excited for the Market season, and what better way to do that then feed them food and show off some of the amazing, high-quality products that you can find for sale every Saturday at the Farmers Market,” said Walker.

The Chamber will also raffle off a gift basket filled with sample products from the Market.

The evening is also a good opportunity to find more literature on some of the programs and incentives the Market offers both youth and adults, and discover ways to help support sustainable, healthy food choices for our community.

More information about the event can be found on the Chamber’s Facebook event page, as well as the Tillamook Farmers Market Facebook page. Tickets are available April 5 at Pacific Restaurant or the TIllamook Chamber of Commerce Headquarters.


Let’s TALK about it

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Are you ready, Tillamook?

The Chamber’s first ever candidate forum is happening April 2 at Pacific Restaurant. By now you’ve probably seen our Facebook event, read the press release, or heard about it on the radio. You are either planning on attending, or you’re still not sure what the fuss is all about. Maybe you’re just confused as to why the Chamber is getting involved in politics.

Well let me first get that last question out of the way: The very top priority of our stakeholder business groups earlier this year was advocacy, both from small and large businesses; they appreciated what we had done so far and want us to continue to focus on relevant issues. A quick Google search on the history or Chambers of Commerce will show that this in line with the purpose of a Chamber since the their inception.

Advocacy often comes with a negative or aggressive connotation; that’s not how we want things to go. Our focus is more on education, engagement, and providing a liaison role that raises awareness on all sides. We mean supplying information so that our membership has what they need to make informed decisions; and we mean speaking up for policies to be balanced to create a healthy economy where businesses can thrive.

The Tillamook Chamber strategy is that relationships and sound logic are key to aligning local business and government to create sound policy. We have found that when two sides lock up there are definitely some hard feelings created and while that can occasionally be inevitable, we want that to be rare.

With that in mind, the Chamber Board thought that it would be beneficial to provide a candidates forum that was focused on topics relevant to the local business community and the economic vitality of the county as a whole. There are several forums put on by different organizations prior to the election and they are all valuable and informative, and I encourage you to go to as many as you can. Our goal is to create a unique forum where the specific issues surrounding economic vitality are addressed, and where business people who have a stake in the game have an opportunity to hear from each of the candidates regarding issues that are relevant to them before the vote.

While the Board and staff all agreed that we wanted a forum that focused on economic issues, we continued to mull over the idea of how to maximize the value of the conversation, and the idea grew to structure the forum completely backwards. We want the candidates to ask questions – valuable questions – and listen to the answers they get, instead of just waiting for their turn to speak.

Prior to the Business TALKS forum, we’ve sent out an email to our membership asking them what questions and issues are most important to them. Once we have a scope of the range of these issues, each candidate will receive a debrief, and will be asked to prepare a short statement that addresses these issues. They will then formulate their questions for the audience based on this information we’ve provided from our membership feedback.

Basically, each candidate will have to come prepared and be on top of their game. This will be a great opportunity to evaluate how well they communicate, the kind of questions they ask, and if their rebuttal is relevant to the issues at hand. Are they asking meaningful questions? Are they receptive to public input or are they simply just ignoring what is said in the answers?

The forum is set for April 2nd at Pacific Restaurant and is open to the public – not just Chamber members. This is the first of several scheduled candidates forums, but it’s the only one doing it in reverse.

Social hour is at 5:30 p.m., and then at 6 p.m. each candidate will have a couple minutes to introduce themselves and address the issues on the table for the night. Then we will start the Q&A portion of the evening, wrapping up with an opportunity for the candidates to address what they heard from the audience.

I’m excited; I hope you’ll join us.

Tillamook Farmers Market – Vendors, Sponsorships, and a Kick-Off Party

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

These last few weeks we’ve made some great strides in prepping for the Tillamook Farmers Market Season. By the time you are reading this, applications for vendors should be available online at, along with the 2018 Vendor Handbook.

If you are a past vendor, or have always wanted to try vending at a Farmers Market, I would encourage you to read over the Vendor Handbook and consider joining us for the summer.

Applications will be available until May 1 so you have a little over a month to submit your application, and any necessary license or certifications.

So what’s different this year? For one, the application is a form you fill out directly on the website. No more printing out and mailing a piece of paper. (However, if you prefer to do it this way or don’t have access to internet, we will have copies available at our office or we can send you a paper application.)

Secondly, we are opening up the capacity for secondary farm vendors – these are vendors who didn’t actually grow or make their product, but purchased it directly from a farmer who did. In previous years, the Tillamook Farmers Market only allowed fruits and vegetables as secondary farm products, but in order to add some diversity to the Market we are opening that up to all farm products.

What’s a farm product?  Fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs (in pots, dried or cut), flowers and plant starts, nursery trees, shrubs and other plants, cheeses, dairy-based foods, seafood, meat, poultry, honey, eggs and grower- or artisan-made value-added/preserved foods and dry or baked goods.

Of course, priority will be given to those vendors who grew or made the product themselves, with even more priority to those grown or made in Tillamook County, but we understand that not all farmers have the ability to spend every Saturday at a booth, so if someone else is able to take on the vending aspect and work out that arrangement with the farmer, we are happy to offer them a booth. All the official guidelines, requirements, and priorities are available online in the Vendor Handbook.

We’ve also updated the sponsorship opportunities for businesses and individuals who like to support the Market through financial donations. There are some fun new ways to get involved and keep the Market vital and inviting for locals and visitors. You can find more about that on the Farmers Market website, or just contact Sayde at She can answer your questions about being a sponsor.

And don’t forget, we are having a Farmers Market Kick-Off party on May 5 at Pacific Restaurant. Chef Nelia will be creating a fantastic Mexican-style buffet, the bar will be serving up their delicious cocktails, and there will be live music to round out the evening. Tickets will go on sale April 1 for $20 a piece, and all proceeds will support the Farmers Market. We may even have some cool Farmers Market Swag to give away to a few lucky raffle winners. Whatever happens, it will be a fun way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and support our downtown Farmers Market. Hope you can make it!


Finding out our ‘why’

‘Never a dull moment’ might be  an over-used adage, but it rings true at the Chamber this week as we once again begin the process of delving  into our strategic framework. This is the type of work that I find particularly exciting, because it’s an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate what services we offer our community and how they meet our mission as an organization.

But this isn’t work that just happens overnight. It’s taken us over a year to get to this point where we can begin to recreate the strategic framework. The prep work had to be done, first.

Originally we met with a group of small and large business stakeholders and asked them how the Chamber might better meet their needs, and if they felt the work we were doing was relevant to the community. These were facilitated discussions and participants were both Chamber members and what we like to call “future members” (non-members). These were basically “listening sessions” and we walked away with a plethora of good information. In a nutshell, some things we do really well, and others might not be worth the energy we throw at them every day.

Out of those meeting we recreated our brand, with a new logo and visual identity that reflected the Chamber’s role in the community better. You’ve probably seen some of our new branding pieces sprinkled here and there; they are no longer outdated and unconnected to the Chamber’s character and work in the community.

Now we get to take the information we learned from our stakeholders meetings and sit down with the Board of Directors for our annual board retreat this Thursday. This is where we align the character of the Chamber with the operations of the Chamber. Annually the Chamber team spends a full day deep diving into the strategic and action plan to assess the relevance of programs and initiatives to make sure we don’t get stuck in the same-ol’-same-ol’ just because that’s what we’ve always done.

This year we are diving a little deeper!  We are creating a new organizational framework, tearing our current plan completely apart and seeing how it fits into our new framework. We want to make sure that we look at why we do specific things before we look at how we will do them. If we can’t figure out our ‘why,’ there will be no ‘what’ or ‘how.’ Time is the most valuable things we all have and make the best use of that is not only important in our personal lives but makes for an effective organization.

Additionally, the Chamber office will be closed on March 8 all day while we complete this work.

Tell us your Story, Tillamook

Tillamook Restaurant Attractions Foodies

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We’re getting ready to roll out a new interactive social media advertising campaign that you’ll start to see at a variety of businesses and attractions around the Tillamook area. We’re calling it ‘Tell Your Story’ and the goal is just that: to encourage locals and visitors to share their stories and experiences via social media platforms.

One thing we know is that many people have a cell phones (duh!), and they probably have one or more social media accounts attached to it. And while they’re eating ice cream at the Cheese Factory, feeding the goats at the Blue Heron, or sitting down to eat a coast-to-table meal at Pacific Restaurant, we want to make sure that they’re sharing their authentic Tillamook experience by tagging our local businesses and places.

Here’s how it works: We will be visiting up to 50 Tillamook-area businesses and providing them with a variety of collateral pieces specifically-branded for this project. Each piece – whether it’s a poster for the window or a table tent – will have the business’s name and location and a unique hashtag associated with that place. That way, when people visit and want to share their experience with their social media followers (we all do it, don’t judge…) they will be reminded to give proper credit to wherever they are at. Research shows that people are more likely to use a specific hashtag if it is presented to them with a call to action.

Chances are, people are already sharing their experiences and stories, but we want to make sure that our business community has the resources and know-how to be able to check these social media “check ins.” They serve as a review almost, and a positive presence on social media can make a difference about whether someone chooses to stop there or not. It’s just as easy to look a business up in Instagram and peruse through photos and reviews as it is to look in up on Google (In fact, 35 percent of users use hashtags to search content). And whereas Google will tell you whether or not a place open and if they have a website, an Instagram post is coming directly from a customer who is offering an unsolicited opinion. That kind of word-of-mouth speaks volumes to a potential customer in this digital age.

What’s more, the research coming out of Visit Tillamook Coast is showing that the people visiting our area are millennials, road trippers, and Gen Xers who are looking for an authentic experience to engage with. They don’t want casinos and carnivals anymore. They want real people, real products, and real adventures and the best way to find them is by seeking them out via social media content. As more people trickle into our area and create this organic social media content, it will spread to people we would never be able to reach on our own.

So how will we track this endeavor? It’s pretty simple.  I would wager that with an intentional message targeted at visitors, we can capture hundreds of thousands of impressions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Capturing these free experiences will bolster current and future visitors’ impression of what an authentic visit to Tillamook looks like, and creates continuity and volume for potential visitors to see. And what they’ll see is that Tillamook is not a ghost town – people have been here and this is what they took pictures of, this is what they said, and this is what they did.

If you want your business to be a part of this ‘Tell your Story’ Campaign, reach out to us at

Get Involved with your Local Chamber of Commerce

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

These are some of my favorite times at the Chamber – when the type and amount of projects we are working on is so extensive we have to step outside ourselves and bring in more professionals to get the job done.

Last week we posted two Request for Proposals to our website and Facebook page seeking individuals and businesses to respond.

The first was for our Downtown Planter Program. The Chamber owns 60 planters located throughout downtown Tillamook that are in place to help beautify our town center. However, in order for these planters to be, well, beautiful, they need someone skilled and experienced in the knowledge of plants and coastal environment to take care of them. We are looking for individuals, businesses and organizations to send in their proposals and budget for a two-year commitment to take care of these planters and ensure they are looking their best at all times for both visitors and residents to enjoy. For a full description of the project and requirements, you can find the RFP at

We also put out a second Request for Proposal last week looking for a professional/semi-professional photographer to help capture the faces, places and attractions of Tillamook. These photos will help us create a photo library to represent Tillamook well through local and visitor marketing. In order to move forward with authentic tourism marketing efforts, it is imperative we have the visual assets that will truly tell our stories and represent our businesses. If you are a photographer, or know one who might be interested, take a look at the RFP at

I also mentioned last week that the TIllamook Farmers Market is in the process of finding people to fill positions on the Market Advisory Committee. So if planting flowers or taking photos doesn’t speak your language, maybe being part of a collaborative round-table discussion that helps propel the Market forward in a positive and sustainable direction is a better fit.

And the work doesn’t stop there. We are still actively looking for volunteers to work on a number of projects, from helping us in the office to stay open on Saturdays for visitors to projects that can be done at home like laying vinyl on our new membership plaques. It’s a fun environment to be a part of, and if you have no experience doing a specific project don’t worry, we offer training and all the resources you need to be successful.

There are lots of ways to get involved right now and help the Chamber continue living its mission to build community and grow opportunities for businesses and individuals. If you’d like to keep up with what the Chamber is doing and be the first to see our announcements, sign up for our brand new e-newsletter at

Tillamook Farmers Market: Market Advisory Committee Application

The Market Advisory Committee will be comprised of Market vendors, community members and one Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Board Member. The Committee will work with Chamber staff to review policies, procedures, and occasionally vendor applications. The Committee will help advise Chamber staff on items such as marketing, fundraising, policies and Market activities. The Committee is not an official decision-making body but rather is in place to offer information and expertise when it comes to Market affairs to help steer the Market’s growth in a sustainable and positive direction.

Click here to learn more and download an official application: Market Advisory Committee Application

Chamber Banquet Recap

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The anticipation that surrounds the annual Chamber Banquet is a little like Christmas. It’s exciting, there is a lot of work to do, and some of the details (or shall we just call them surprises) aren’t worked out until the last minute.

And then, just like Christmas morning, the moment arrives and it is nothing short of magical. Thank you to everyone who chose to spend their evening with us celebrating the businesses and people of Tillamook County that make this a great place to live and work. It was a wonderful evening to enjoy each others company, eat some delicious food, and reflect on how far Tillamook has come in a single year.

With a total of 22 nominees and more than 350 guests, it was one of our most successful awards banquet to date. And as I said at the banquet, I was very relieved that I wasn’t the one who had to decide a winner for each of the four awards categories, because each nominee has enhanced Tillamook in their own way.

Congratulations to Yo Time Frozen Yogurt for taking home the Small Business of the Year Award. This was Yo Time’s second year in a row to receive this nomination, and I think the reasons they walked away with the award speak for themselves. They have created a fun and welcoming space that never ceases to bring people downtown despite the ongoing construction. They’re open late for that special hang-out spot after a local sports game, and they are always eager to partner with their fellow business owners for fun, family-friendly events.

Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks snagged the Business of the Year Award for their continued dedication to Tillamook. Werner’s truly is a poster child for the old adage that with a dream and hard work you can accomplish anything. What started 23 years ago as a one-person operation in a garage has grown to a successful endeavor that employs more than 100 people and ships products all over the United States. Yet the Werners have always stayed loyal to their community and values by supporting local organizations, non profits, and offering free shipping to all Veterans.

The category of Development Project of the Year went to De Garde Brewery. You can’t miss the impact they’ve made on Tillamook County – particularly downtown Tillamook with their extensive remodel of the former Napa building. We can be proud to know that people from all over the world will be traveling to our downtown thanks to De Garde’s wildly-popular sour beers, and the challenge has been raised for the rest of downtown to open their doors and be an active part of this growing audience.

And finally, with eight nominees in the category of Citizen of the Year, the honor went to Sue Cudd. Sue cannot be described in a single word. She’s a scientist; a mentor; a community volunteer; and a business owner. Many of your probably know Sue in one of her many roles, be it the owner of WHiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery or a dedicated Rotarian advocating and fundraising for impoverished communities in Guatemala. Her work with the AFS Intercultural Exchange program has helped connect our high schoolers with hundreds of different countries and cultures, leaving a lasting impact on Tillamook County as these young adults have grown up learning to respect and appreciate other cultures.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our 16 local restaurants who catered the entire event, and Chef Nelia Seratista  of Pacific Restaurant for being the coordinator. A few years ago we had this idea to bring in as many restaurants as we could instead of one single caterer, and it has helped make the Chamber Banquet a really unique event with amazing food.

We hope to see everyone again next year, and thank you for continuing to support the Chamber of Commerce.

Celebrating our Chamber Award Nominees Pt. 2

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Are you following the Chamber of Commerce on Facebook? If not, you should be! We’ve been taking the last week to announce our nominees for the Business Awards and it’s been fun to see our local businesses and citizens post their own announcements and share their excitement over being nominated.

Last week we gave you a sneak peek into the Business and Small Business nominations. This week is a sneak peek into the Development Project and Citizen nominations. Overall the list of nominees is stacked with amazing candidates and I have no idea how the selection committee is going to choose the award winners!

In the category of Development Project of the Year

Five Rivers Coffee Roasters: Our local coffee roaster has always been a source of pride for the community, and their recent remodel of both the interior and the exterior elevates that sense of pride. Travelers on Hwy 101 or visiting the Cheese Factory will be more compelled to try another Tillamook County product, thanks to the impressive industrial farmhouse remodel, and locals have a place to go that is inviting, friendly and appealing.

Partners for Rural Innovation Center: It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that we didn’t have the Partners for Rural Innovation Center. This building is home to OSU Extension and Open Campus, the Small Business Development Center, Visit Tillamook Coast and the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County. It’s a community resource for the small business owner, farmer, and agriculture student and provides an opportunity for these organizations to share ideas and grow together at the benefit of our entire community.

The Headlands Coastal Lodge: This newest Pacific City resort isn’t your typical vacation. With “adventure experts” instead of concierges, and a high-end restaurant that only serves the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients, The Headlands Coastal Lodge aims to attract visitors to our county and then send them out to explore and experience everything we have to offer – from amazing hikes, to great restaurants, local fishing guides and much more.

Netarts Surf Inn: Sky Veek and Nick Peterson took on this dramatic remodel that successfully turned a roadside eyesore into a hip motel that reflects the energy and personality of Netarts. The Netarts Surf Inn helps bring money into our county, and has increased property values in the connecting neighborhoods – not to mention it has helped spur the ongoing revitalization of this little coastal village.

De Garde Brewery: In the course of a few short months, De Garde Brewery transformed an empty building on Second Street into a stunning tasting room and attraction that brings people into our downtown for a taste of their world-famous sour beer. Their investment into downtown Tillamook is helping revitalize Second Street and the surrounding businesses by drawing people off of Hwy 101.

In the category of Citizen of the Year

Derrick Josi: Through his Facebook page Tillamook Dairy Farmer, Derrick Josi is shedding a positive light on the practices of dairy farming. With more than 13,000 followers, he is creating a daily conversation about how our dairy farmers treat their animals and why they are passionate about their work, and casting a regional spotlight on our agriculture community.

Randy Schild: Randy has been the Tillamook School District Superintendent for 16 years, but his involvement in our community spans his entire life. He’s been a student, teacher, administrator and coach. He is both the voice of Tillamook sports and an educational leader at the state level, and has put Tillamook on the map with his leadership and educational programs.

Kaylan Sisco: During his time as CEO of the Tillamook Family YMCA, Kaylan has become a friendly and irreplaceable member of our community. He is an avid volunteer and community supporter and has worked diligently to improve the experience of the YMCA for members and guests. In his role as CEO, the Y has made amazing strides towards financial stability and Kaylan is dedicated to continuing that work.

Chief Terry Wright: As our Chief of Police, Terry Wright helps keep our community safe. Yet his compassionate heart shines through his work as he takes time to take care of people – particularly children. Every year Chief Wright participates in Shop with a Cop and the Tillamook PD Cadet Program to help facilitate positive experiences between children and police officers.

Melissa Carlson-Swanson: Melissa is another one of those people continually working to ensure that our community is taken care of; from her work with the Food Bank, to her efforts on the local Housing Task Force, Melissa is a voice of reason and compassion who is eager to fix problems. She volunteers her time with Food Roots, the United Way, the Tillamook Farmers Market, and at nearly every community event.

Wally & Diane Nelson: Wally and Diane Nelson have been bettering our community one step at a time – from impacting students at Nestucca Valley School District through teaching, to coaching ballroom dancing lessons, to offering their time, talent and support to TAPA’s productions… Wally and Diane don’t know the meaning of holding still. It’s safe to say that TAPA and hundreds of Nestucca students – as well as most of our community – wouldn’t be the same without the Nelsons.

Raymond Block – Leaven No Trace: Driven only by donations, Raymond Block has been single-handedly cleaning up the Oregon Coast, one trash bag at a time. You’ve probably seen his efforts along Hwy 101 between Tillamook and Rockaway Beach, and he has removed hundreds of pounds of trash from our environment and helped raise awareness regarding littering and environmental issues.

Sue Cudd: As the owner of Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, Sue’s work in mentoring the next generation of shellfish farmers and scientists speaks for itself. Sue is also an active Rotarian, and advocates for the aid efforts being made in impoverished Guatemalan countries. She has hosted more than 30 foreign exchange students and through her leadership role has helped foreign exchange students receive scholarship money – which in turn helps connect our community to hundreds of countries and cultures  around the world.

We hope you can join us at the annual Chamber Banquet, where all the nominees will be honored and the winners will be announced. For more information, email us at

Celebrating our Chamber Award Nominees Pt. 1

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As we continue to celebrate the businesses, projects and people who will be honored at our annual Awards Banquet on January 20th, I wanted to share more about each nominee and why they are a worthy nomination.

Business of the Year Nominees:

Tillamook Family YMCA: The YMCA has made great strides this year in tailoring to the needs of its members and our community. A few of their recent accomplishments include increasing their program hours to 100 per week; adding an electric swimsuit dryer; replacing the flooring in the locker rooms; and increasing staff training and qualifications. The Board, staff and Executive Director are diligent in their efforts to remain transparent, fiscally responsible and sustainable for the future. And, it must be working since 2017 saw more people utilizing the YMCA than any other year.

Pacific Restaurant: After an extensive remodel, Pacific Restaurant opened in November, right in the thick of the downtown construction. They’ve offered private events and high quality farm-to-table dining, helping revive the downtown business core during the tough winter months and supporting our local farmers and fisherman. Pacific Restaurant is always eager to help local organizations and nonprofits and have created not only a downtown restaurant but also a usable space for community efforts.

Roby’s Furniture: Roby’s has been a staple in Tillamook for years, but they’ve always been more than a furniture store; they are family. Their employees have a long-standing history with Roby’s Furniture, and each year they give back to the community in big ways through a variety of hands-on projects, including Habitat for Humanity of Tillamook County, Helping Hands Re-Entry Outreach Center, and our local school districts. Best of all, they recently decided to make Tillamook the home of their new flagship store, reinvesting in their commitment to our community.

Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks: Since 1994, Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks have been producing quality wholesale meat snacks right here in Tillamook and employees more than 100 people. Every year Werner’s donates thousands of dollars and products to help better our community. They sponsor a number of fundraising efforts each year, including the Care Bowl-a-Thon, Garibaldi Days, the Tillamook School District Backpack Program, Relay For Life and many more.  And, with an expansion in their future they will be creating more jobs for our community.

Small Business of the Year Nominees:

Yo Time Frozen Yogurt: Yo Time Yogurt has become a staple for families, young adults, and community members of all ages who want a fun place to gather. This last year they have placed an emphasis on hosting family-friendly events – like Family Feud and a Ginger Bread House contest – and providing a regular venue for local artists to perform. They’re more than just a frozen yogurt shop; they are a hub of community activity. And they’ve worked to not only improve their own establishment, but also improve our community.

Visit Tillamook Coast: In this year alone, Visit Tillamook Coast published its first guidebook – 25 Hikes on Oregon’s Tillamook Coast – and began work on an extensive and comprehensive agri-tourism endeavor. Through marketing efforts that utilize new and traditional media, Visit Tillamook Coast highlights local activities and attract visitors who are seeking an authentic experience instead of just another vacation. They awarded $100,000 in grants throughout the county to help promote Tillamook as a haven for people who like to be outdoors, enjoy our natural resources and farm-to-table dining and patronize our local businesses.

Local Dog House: The owners of Local Dog House have shown a continued investment in our community since they began as a booth at the Farmers Market. Even after the Second Street Market closure, Local Dog House has made a comeback, purposefully choosing to stay in downtown Tillamook and offer an affordable, family-friendly lunch option. The Local Dog House is also an avid supporter of our school district, and likes to give teens and young adults work experience.

Two Hats Ranch: For more than three decades, Two Hats Ranch has been a premier facility for nearly everything horse related – from training, boarding, riding lessons, breeding and veterinary care, they are a reliable and knowledgeable resource if you are a horse owner. They offer therapy riding lessons for children with special needs and specialize in educating youth about equine care. Owner Zoe has been an active 4-H participant for 50 years and they continue to support 4-H equine activities and foster a love of horses in children.

De Garde Brewery: Since its inception, De Garde Brewery has been putting TIllamook on the map with its internationally-recognized wild beers that bring people to our area from all over the world. And while the popularity of their beer speaks for itself, owner Linsey Rogers made the intentional decision to renovate an empty downtown building to be the new home of their tasting room, and help the revitalization efforts in our downtown core.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore: The ReStore in Bay City is more than just your average thrift store. It creates livable jobs; offers opportunities for people to job train and learn new skills; and directly supports the programs of Habitat for Humanity of TIllamook County, which offers affordable home ownership to qualified families and individuals. While our county grapples with the housing crisis, the ReStore is doing its part by offering quality furniture, and home supplies at an affordable price and directly supporting Habitat’s home builds that help strengthen and stabilize our community.


Small Business Saturday is coming, and it’s going to be HUGE

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and so many members of our community will be gathering with friends and family far and wide to break bread and celebrate the holiday and tradition of coming together with grateful hearts.

For many, Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday shopping season, which is why Small Business Saturday was created as a way to remind people to shop local and support their local economy when looking for holiday gifts, decorations, Christmas cards, and more.

We celebrate Small Business Saturday every year in Tillamook, and every year we encourage our downtown core to get involved and make it a fun-filled day for shoppers. This year,  they’ve truly outdone themselves with events, contests, sales, and more. Here are just a few of the things going on:

Turkey Trot: This event is on Friday, Nov. 24. And while it’s not on Small Business Saturday, it is sure to get your heart rate up after the big Thanksgiving meal the day before and prepare you for the full day of eating and shopping on Saturday. The fun run/walk starts at Tillamook Ford, 501 Main Avenue at 9am. Bring a can of food for the Tillamook County Food Bank for entry.

Bloody Mary Bar at Rendezvous: Start the day off with a tasty Bloody Mary at the Rendezvous Cabaret, 214 Pacific Avenue. Donna will be serving up this traditional breakfast drink starting at 8 a.m. as well as her tempting breakfast items.

Brunch at Pacific Restaurant: Join chefs Neila and Phil for a world-class brunch experience from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults. And nothing goes better with brunch than mimosas, so come thirsty too.

Cupcake Decorating at Sarasotas: A little hands-on fun for the whole family. Learn the art of decorating cupcakes with our experienced baker and decorator extraordinaire. The fun will begin at 1 p.m. and you can join them until 3 p.m.

Gift Tag Workshop with Art Accelerated: Even if you’re not the type to do homemade gifts, you can still consider homemade gift tags. This mini workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is open to all ages and skill levels and is free to participate. So come visit with the artists, play with the art supplies on hand, and maybe even find some inspiration.

Gingerbread House Building Competition: From 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., YoTime will be hosting a contest for best gingerbread house. Teams of four are asked to register with Sierra before Saturday, and basic gingerbread house building supplies will be provided. The actual contest will kick off at 1:30 p.m. and a winner will be determined by audience applause.

Visit with Santa at Homelife Furniture: Santa will be kicking back in a cozy chair at Homelife Furniture from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and he’s ready to visit with your children and review their Christmas lists. This event is free and parents are welcome to take photos.

As if that isn’t enough to entice to you to spend your day downtown, we are also having a #Contstuctdowntown Sweepstakes promotion! We are lifting the one receipt per day rule for Small Business Saturday. This Saturday only the Chamber office will be open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and will be validating EVERY receipt you have from the day for an entry into both the weekly #Contstructdowntown Sweepstakes and the $1,000 grand prize drawings. The more places you shop on Saturday, the more chances you have of winning Tillamook swag that we will draw for that evening and the $1,000 grand prize drawing around the New Year!

To find out more specifics about each shop’s sales and specials, pick up a pamphlet at any of our local downtown businesses. Sierra started distributing them yesterday and they are a comprehensive guide to help shoppers get the most out of their time downtown.


Chamber Awards nominations due Dec. 1

Tillamook Chamber Annual Awards Banquet

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

There’s an inclination that happens every November where we start to count the things we are thankful for in preparation for Thanksgiving. It’s a time of reflection and gratitude. The bustle of summer is over and the excitement of the holidays is only just starting to permeate throughout everyday lives, and we have time to pause and give thanks.

It’s been quite a year at the Chamber and there is much that I am thankful for. We have a capable and passionate staff, a dedicated board, and members who are engaged and eager to build our community into the best place to live and work on the Oregon Coast. We have watched the construction project from our front window and have kept our readers and newsletter subscribers up to date on what to expect as a way to mitigate any problems or confusion. We’ve planned a trip to Ireland that is almost sold out, and hosted a number of successful community events that brought together people and ideas and celebrated both. We’ve created a fun initiative to shop locally this holiday season, and have watched as our business community has reached across the aisle to support and help one another.

I am hoping that now our readers can channel this wave of gratitude and spend a few moments filling out nominations for our annual Chamber Awards. The nomination form is conveniently located on our website,, where you simply select which award you’re making a nomination, answer four questions and hit submit. You can also upload any letters of support, or drop them off at the Chamber office during business hours.

The categories this year are Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Developmental Project of the Year; and Citizen of the Year. Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible, and nominees will be honored at the annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Jan. 20, 2018.  

Once again, there are dozens of qualified candidates that come to mind for each award. All you have to do is take a walk downtown, or drive down Third Street, to see some of the amazing development and community spirit we have in our great city. It almost seems impossible to pick just one.

However, in order for our awards committee to review the applications and have the plaques printed, we need all nominations and supporting materials submitted by Dec. 1, 2017. That gives you just over three weeks to make a nomination. The form is simple, and it will only take a few minutes of your time to consider who and what you are thankful for this year and let them know. You can remain anonymous as the nominator if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation. It’s a small gesture, but I can assure you it means a lot to those in our community who work tirelessly to provide us with goods and services that enrich our lives and sustain our economy. Just knowing that someone out there appreciates the work they are doing and took the time to say “thank you” is a great blessing this time of year.

We will announce the nominees next month – so until then, go over to and fill out the form. There is no limit to how many businesses, projects, and people you can nominate. They will all receive an invitation to the banquet in January. And as always, thank you for your help in making this another successful Chamber event.

Introducing The Chamber Board of Directors Pt. 1

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the next few months, I am going to be using this space to introduce our readers to the Chamber Board of Directors. Because, believe it or not, it’s not just myself, Sierra and Tammy running the show over here. As a non-profit, we have a hard-working and dedicated Board that brings a plethora of skills, expertise and passion to what we do. These 11 individuals come from all different backgrounds and represent a broad spectrum of our county – and together they understand the value of having a strong, thriving business community that enhances the livability for our residents and encourages visitors to enjoy our area.

Whitey Forsman

Whitey Forsman; Board Chair. Whitey has been serving on the Chamber Board for five years now, and is also the manager of Pacific Seafood in Bay City. Whitey joined our board to encourage an improved quality of life in Tillamook County by maintaining and improving our current businesses and striving to add new ones.

Whitey also brings a passion around partnering with other organizations in both Tillamook proper and the county. Yet perhaps one of the greatest assets that Whitey brings to our team is his ability to understand, project and improve finances. Since he joined the Chamber Board he has been instrumental in our ability to strengthen our financial stability, which increases our value as a community partner.

When asked how he would like to see the Chamber grow, he said “By continuing to strengthen our relationships with our members and adding new businesses.”

“It also gives me a positive outlook to have passionate, community-centered people serve with me on the board,” Whitey added. “We have also had the ability to move to the middle of downtown which gives us a strategic location to be part of the revitalization of our downtown.”

Kayla Seaholm

Kayla Seaholm; Vice Board Chair: This is Kayla’s second year on the Chamber Board. She is also the Commercial Lender for US Bank. When asked why she joined our Board, Kayla said, “I was new to Tillamook and I felt that joining such a reputable organization would be a great opportunity to get to know the community better.”

Kayla brings a great understanding of an emerging population of young professionals. Kayla moved to Tillamook from Newport a few years ago for her career, and has since purchased a home and got married just last month. She has a drive to make Tillamook a fun and desirable place to live and do business – which fits in perfectly with the personality of the Chamber and all of our team.

Kayla is a passionate advocate for Chamber members and continually brings new ideas and ways to build our community to the table. “The purchase of the new chamber office says a lot about the stability of the organization with being able to acquire such a large asset,” she said. “That stability really allows us to concentrate on building our community, rather than how to survive as an organization.”

Whitey and Kayla are two individuals who support the work we do and help keep the Chamber relevant in the community and sustainable for the future.  I look forward to introducing you to the rest of our Board in the coming months.

Admiring our ‘neighborhood’ retail community

Sierra Lauder

by Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

So much of the work as a Main Street Coordinator is behind the scenes, carrying information, attending meetings and sharing what I’ve learned with business owners around town, and bringing their stories forward at other meetings. Sometimes the work is good old-fashioned networking; introducing one person to another because they share an overlapping interest or idea.

The most important aspect of my work with the Chamber is the relationship and partnership-building role, and there is nothing quite as rewarding as watching those connections blossom in to events, products, or collaborations. I got to witness a lot of that this last week.

If you follow Lucky Bear Soap Co. or Sunflower Flats on facebook, you may have seen a video last week of the soap making process for the Lucky Sunflower Soap, a special blend of soap that is a great example of local collaboration. Lucky Bear Soap Co. makes several collaborative soaps with local businesses, including a series of beer soaps that feature seasonal ales from Pelican Brewing Company. If you happen to find yourself at the Pelican Tap Room, you may also notice they now feature desserts from Sarasota’s – the downtown bakery that is hosting this week’s #constructdowntown Sweepstakes drawing. Last week’s hosts, Art Accelerated (the nonprofit art organization that has the gallery on Third St.) is also in cahoots with the Pelican Tap Room; they are co-hosting a Paint Night on December 1st that is already sold out! This first of many future paint nights is a fundraiser, and the proceeds will be divided between Art Accelerated’s after school children’s program and the local food bank.

Art Accelerated also partners with Yo Time each month for an Open Mic Night. Every third Saturday, Yo Time is packed with artists, musicians and writers, who take turns on the mic to tell stories, share poetry and song. Any time you pop in to Yo Time, you’re likely to notice the gorgeous flower arrangements they have on display near the fireplace. I noticed it very closely last night as I rescued it from near catastrophe as one of my boys displayed his best sugar-induced ninja move, and realized that those lovely flowers are from Anderson’s Florists, who will be hosting the sweepstakes in a couple of weeks.

I could go on like this for pages; the “neighborhood” retail community in Tillamook is truly amazing, supportive, and growing increasingly cohesive. Coordinating this #constructdowntown Sweepstakes has really been an exercise in embracing this partnership culture. There are some fascinating studies floating around about small town downtown revitalization and theories for creating vibrant and healthy clusters. Those conversations can quickly get technical and heavy with phrases like “mixed-use” and “creative place-making,” which are valuable pieces, but they don’t give justice to the people and the personalities that truly create the experiences. It’s all of us – business and property owners, local regular customers, local occasional customers, and visitors – who contribute to the culture we have downtown, and as we brave another wet winter and watch the transformation on our physical space that the highway project brings us, it is uplifting to see the continuing investment in our community.

5 Reasons to travel ‘Chamber Style’ to Ireland

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Promotions

Director of Our downtown office has been hopping lately. Amongst the downtown construction, launching our #constructdowntown sweepstakes, and planning the annual Awards Banquet, the Chamber is still busy preparing for our trip to Ireland in April 2018. If you’re on the fence about going, there are still some seats open and we would love for you to join us. This is your chance to spend 11 days in Ireland, immersing yourself in the history, culture, cuisine and diverse landscape.

The tour includes nine nights in handpicked hotels, daily breakfast, a private deluxe motor coach and guided sightseeing by local experts. Travelers will be treated to lush landscapes, historical sites with awe-inspiring architecture, and local pubs filled with fresh pints and friendly locals where it is not uncommon for local musicians to share songs and stories.

Eleven days can’t cover everything that there is to experience in Ireland, and everyone has different interests, which is why we opted for a tour company that can flex to build some options in to suit your travel preferences. You can choose to extend your tour a few days, or for added fees you can customize your experience both on the tour and after. So if a banquet dinner in a 17th-century castle overlooking Galway Bay sounds like your glass of whiskey, you can make that happen. Or, if you want to leave the tour in Dublin and go your own way, Go Ahead can help you plan for that.

Here are just a few reasons to consider joining us in Ireland next Spring:

  1. History and Architecture. Ireland’s landscape has been riddled with intense power struggles, severe climate changes, famines, viking raids and turmoil. Yet through all this, Ireland has prevailed. We will have the opportunity to see much of Ireland’s history up close and personal on our trip, including the inside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the remains of a 6th century church, various historical castles, a Victorian mansion, the iconic Rock of Cashel that dates back to the 12th century, and the Cobh Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre is situated within Cobh’s beautifully restored Victorian railway station, a building with its own historic story.  Because so many people from Ireland’s past travelled through Cobh, which is still one of the world’s finest natural harbours, you can can learn about the stories of these emigrants, as well as other maritime, naval and military history of the area.
  2. Music and Dance.  Irish traditional music has remained vibrant through the 20th and into the 21st century. Irish traditional music includes many kinds of songs, including drinking songs, ballads and laments –  sung unaccompanied or with a variety of instruments.  Traditional dance music includes reels,  hornpipes and jigs, and even the polka.
    Since the 20th century, Irish pubs have become little outposts of Irish culture, and we will have plenty of opportunities to see the inside of these pubs.  Towards the end of our tour in County Kerry, each tourist gets an entire free day to explore on his or her own (or with new friends) and soak in the Irish culture. You even have the option to visit a traditional Irish music and dance show while we’re there.
  3. Food and Drink. At one time, Ireland was the world leader for producing and distributing whiskey – allotting for 90% of the world’s whiskey at the start of the 20th century. Our tour includes an Irish Whiskey tasting at the historic Kilbeggan Distillery – the oldest licenced distillery in Ireland, dating back to 1757. And let’s not forget that the world-famous Guinness originated in Ireland and is proudly served at nearly every pub and restaurant.
    Food and cuisine in Ireland has experienced a recent renaissance based on traditional ingredients that incorporate international influences. This cuisine is centered around fresh vegetables, fish, traditional soda breads and the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are produced across the country. (Try a “Dublin Lawyer” – lobster cooked in whiskey and cream.) Come hungry and find a new favorite meal or recipe idea to bring home.
  4. Environment. The island’s rich vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the nickname the Emerald Isle. Some may say it is similar in climate and landscape to Tillamook with its farmland, forests and coastal habitats. Our particular tour makes a point to travel around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. For a more hands-on experience, take a walk along the coastline of the Cliffs of Moher.
  5. Community Building. Even if Ireland isn’t your dream vacation, traveling “Chamber style” is worth it if only for the intense community building that ensues. Taking the conversation about how to enhance the livability of Tillamook to a new country opens up new avenues of thought, appreciation and problem solving. It gives us a chance to see how other cultures operate and thrive, and we are then able to bring this newfound energy and excitement home with us to implement in exciting ways. Being an active part of this conversation is hugely rewarding.

Intrigued? For more information about Ireland, contact me today at, or call our office at 503-842-7525.


#Constructdowntown Sweepstakes hits downtown Tillamook Oct.4 – Dec. 29


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We all know that construction has had a significant impact on our community, specifically our downtown businesses. Yet we can all constructively support these businesses through the trials they are facing. “Construction” is not shutting businesses down, nor can it. What can potentially shut a business down is us, the people of the community, not supporting them through their temporary hardship because we lose sight of them or because we avoid downtown due to a little inconvenience.

As an incentive this fall, the Chamber has organized a $1,000 downtown shopping spree. It’s kind of like a contest, it definitely supports our downtown businesses during construction, and it’s sure to be fun. We are calling it our #Constructdowntown Sweepstakes.

Here is how it works: anytime that you shop at one of our downtown businesses between Oct. 1, 2017 – and Dec. 29, 2017 you can bring in your receipt to the Chamber office (208 Main Ave.) and have it validated. Once validated, you will receive an entry form that will enter you in both a weekly giveaway and a grand prize drawing. Your receipts don’t have to be validated on the same day that you shop; you can bring them in whenever, but you can only enter once a day until the end of the promotion.

As an additional incentive to come shop downtown, we will have weekly giveaways. Each week a downtown business is sponsoring the giveaway, and at the end of the week a winner will be chosen by a random drawing from that week’s entries. The winner will receive a prize donated by the sponsoring business. You don’t have to be present to win.

All tickets from each week’s drawing will be put into the grand prize drawing for a $1,000 downtown shopping spree. The grand prize winner will be drawn around New Years.

You may be thinking to yourself, why don’t you draw before Christmas so people have Christmas money? We considered that option, but the reality is that whether we like it or not, we all spend more money around the holidays already. By waiting until the New Year we hope that two things happen: First, that you spend money downtown during the holidays to earn more and more entries. Second, that the spending of the $1,000 grand prize will have a greater impact downtown during the slower winter months. Remember, as much as this is about the customer, it is also about helping ensure our local entrepreneurs have a successful season.

You probably recall in the past we have organized cash mobs at specific businesses as a way to boost their sales. These cash mobs have been widely successful and often help raise awareness when a business or service may be on the verge of a closure. So why aren’t we just having a variety of cash mobs this winter? This #constructdowntown promotion covers a much longer period of time and has the ability to positively impact a significant amount of businesses, instead of just one or two. We are hoping that by engaging the community with these weekly giveaways and a grand prize drawing, we will see a boost in the downtown economy for the rest of the year, and not just on a single day.

Remember that anywhere you spend money between First and Fifth and Stillwell and Laurel is eligible for an entry into both the weekly drawing and the grand prize shopping spree. The things you do every day and the special shopping trips you make can all qualify you – just bring your receipts to the Chamber at 208 Main Avenue for validation during regular business hours (Monday-Friday; 9-5pm). You can enter once a day, every day. And be sure to use the hashtag #constructdowntown in your social media posts to raise awareness about this fun, new downtown promotion and customer appreciation recognition.

And for legal purposes: No entry necessary. Official Rules available at

Make your 2017 Chamber Banquet award nominations online

Tillamook Chamber Annual Awards Banquet

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Fall is officially here. And I think we are all a little glad to see the rain, if only for some much-needed relief from the wildfires across the state. The first rain of fall always adds a refreshingly clean look to everything – like our town just took a shower to wash off all the summer dust. The leaves are also starting to change colors before they let go of the branches to make room for new ones next year. It must mean that it’s time to get ready for the next chapter.

Fall is when we always start prepping for our annual Chamber Awards Banquet. Even though the event doesn’t take place until January, our staff, board and volunteers spend a lot of time planning to get things ready. The most important piece leading up to the of the event, of course, is choosing the award winners in each of the four categories. But that can’t be done without your help first.

Each year the community nominates who and what they think deserve to win in each category. The categories are Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Citizen of the Year. A selection committee reviews the nominations and any letters of support, and makes their decision based on some additional criteria – like how the nominee adds to the quality of life in Tillamook, and does the nominee demonstrate future commitments to enhancing this quality of life. We have had some incredible nominations every year and are honored to be able to recognize and celebrate some of the accomplishments and outstanding businesses we have in our area.

This year, to make the nomination process as convenient as possible, we have added the form to our website. Now, instead of printing out the form and returning it to the Chamber office, you can go to, pick in what category you are making a nomination, fill out the criteria and answer four simple questions then hit submit. You can also upload any supporting documents or letters of recommendation right there, or submit them at a later time. And, if you would like an invitation to the awards banquet in January, you can request one on this form. It’s that easy.

All nominations and supporting letters must be submitted by Dec. 1, 2017, to give the committee enough time to review and make their selection and have plaques created for the awards banquet.

Remember, it takes a lot of time, energy, dedication and hard work to have a business in our community, be a leader, or finish a project. They sacrifice a lot so that we can have the best quality of life – and this award ceremony is a chance to tell them thank you. Each nomination will receive an invitation to the banquet and, even if they are not awarded the award, they will know that they are appreciated and that someone took the time to make a thoughtful gesture and say thank you. So please, let’s all take a moment to visit and give your favorite business, citizen, or project a virtual pat on the back.


‘Change is the name of the game’

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Promotions

With the passing of Labor Day, it seems like change is the name of the game. The fall and winter phase of the highway project has brought a new footprint for the traffic pattern, which will continue to shift and adjust as crews focus on different areas downtown. There is a weekly email that we send out to help inform folks about the progress of the construction, and I would encourage you to be in touch if you would like to be added to the email list. You can also sign up for that email or view past emails on our Chamber website: Often people will pop in to the Chamber office to talk about highway project or other matters, and that is one of my favorite ways to interface with people. We are open at 208 Main Ave. (next to the Dutch Mill Diner) Monday through Friday, and you are welcome to park on Ivy and use the rear entrance, especially now that parking on Main is closed.

While we welcome and encourage dropping by anytime, we continue to host the Mornings on Main Street gatherings each month, 8-9 a.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. These events are always casual, and full of representation from many businesses, agencies, and non-profits in the community. It’s a great chance to meet and visit with others. This month, Anna Shapiro from the SBA will be joining us. We’re excited have her and build a connection with the SBA, who offers some really great resources for new and established businesses. Anna sent me this quick description:

“The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides critical support and resources across every state and in every congressional district to help small businesses grow and create jobs. SBA’s core operations are focused around what we call the “Three C’s”: Capital, Contracting and Counseling.

Additionally, SBA plays an increasing role in helping to spur innovation and strengthen the nation’s competitiveness through successful investment and research and development (R&D) focused programs, as well as export and trade assistance. Finally, SBA also serves as one of the leading federal agencies providing assistance to businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters following natural disasters.”

This Saturday, September 16th, the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce will also be at the Tillamook Farmer’s Market! We will of course be happy to talk highway project, Mornings on Main Street, or any business, but what we really expect to be popular is much more light hearted: the second run of our “Umbrella Swag!” We sold out of our new sweatshirt designs at the Fair this year, and local printing company PSI has been working hard to get us another round. Anyone who has pre-ordered will have their order set aside, and if you miss us at Farmer’s Market this Saturday, don’t despair! We will have everything available at our office.

Planning has started for the fall and winter downtown events schedule, and we anticipate many fun activities in the coming months, including Tillamook classics like Downtown Trick-or-Treat, Small Business Saturday, and The City of Tillamook’s Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration. A quick reminder to all to be safe and patient and keep in mind that there is lots of parking available along Ivy.

Get ready, Tillamook – more traffic changes are headed our way quickly

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The number one question that Sierra and I get about the Hwy 101/6 construction project is when will it be finished? I know that at this point it feels like it’s been a part of our daily lives for a lifetime, but the simple answer is that the project will be completed in Fall of 2018. That has been the projected completion date since the beginning and hasn’t changed.

That means we have a little over a year to patiently maneuver around construction crews and carefully pay attention to traffic flow changes so that we all stay safe and get through the next 16-18 months.

First up is you’ve probably noticed that north- and south-bound traffic are now both traveling over the new Hoquarton Slough bridge. The old bridge will be demolished so that the west half of the bridge can be constructed. Duringthe first few months of this phase, the new bridge will be closed to all pedestrian traffic. If you regularly walk across the bridge to get to work or go shopping, you will need to be aware that for your safety you cannot cross the bridge on foot.

Fortunately, ODOT has partnered with the Tillamook County Transit District to provide a few shuttle for pedestrians who need to get across. Northbound pedestrians can catch the shuttle at the Post Office, and southbound travelers can hop on just north of Rosenberg Builders Supply. The shuttle will be available from approximately 7:30 a.m. until approximately 6:30 p.m.

If you need a ride earlier or later than that, you can call 503-457-7009 to be picked up at one of the locations listed. This service will remain in effect until the ADA accessible connection is completed on the east side of the new Hoquarton Slough bridge, scheduled for mid-October.

Along with the bridge completion project, Main Avenue will also be getting a facelift. Wider lanes and brand new sidewalks between First and Fourth are coming to match the work that was done on Pacific.

Work will begin on the east side of the street, replacing the sidewalks one block at a time starting at Second Street, before jumping across the street to the west side. Of course during this time period there will be very limited parking on Main Avenue between First and Fourth Streets, and Third Street might potentially be reduced to one lane again between Main and Pacific.

But before you start groaning, I want to bring to your attention a few reasons why we believe this next section will be much smoother than Pacific:

  • There is significantly more parking available off of Main than there is off of Pacific. If you own a business on Main, or frequent one, you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a place to park nearby.
  • We are also expecting significantly less rain this winter, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, and with any construction project that is impacted by weather this prediction is good news.
  • The sidewalk improvements will begin between Second and Third Streets because of the vaults, and crews want to get those finished before we are in the depths of winter.
  • Many of the things that held up the Pacific side have already been completed and don’t have to be done again. All of the engineering tasks have been checked off and the work along Main should wrap up prior to next summer.

We are also getting new sidewalks on the southern side of First Street, and will see the completion of the cross-town connection path at Goodspeed Park and Hoquarton Slough that will be built over the highway.

As always, we appreciate your patience and our business community appreciates your patronage as we head into another fall and winter impacted by construction.  

If you would like to stay up-to-date on all the highway project news as it happens, sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at


Heading back to school

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It was American author Napoleon Hill who once said “the mind becomes withered, stagnant, narrow and closed unless it searches for new ideas.”

The same can be said for an organization like the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. Unless we are always searching for new and innovative ways to add value to our members and increase the livability of our community, we will become stagnant and irrelevant. 

With this in mind, we recently facilitated a number of meetings with groups of large and small businesses in our area. Our goal was to talk about the Chamber somewhat candidly and learn directly from our stakeholders about what we as an organization are doing well, and what we need to be doing more of. During these meetings, we were able to hear feedback from both members and non-members about our role in the community. We always want to ensure that what we are doing is aligned with what the business community needs, after all they are what sustain the organization – and sometimes the only way to do that is to ask.

It seems as if everyone is heading back to school this fall.

One of the many things we heard from our stakeholders is that they are also wanting new education opportunities – like social media basics, bookkeeping dos and don’ts, creating and maintaining websites, and different types of funding opportunities – the types of things that directly affect small businesses that may only have a handful of employees wearing a multitude of hats. What to do if you can’t afford to hire a professional bookkeeper? Or a social media manager? How can the Chamber help bring some education around these and other topics?

Now we feel as if it is also back to school for us, as we take that information and relearn some of our best practices and methods to meet our stakeholders’ needs. We will be educating ourselves on the most efficient ways to bring these trainings and resources to our small business community, likely relying on local professionals,and hopefully our business owners take it upon themselves to participate and keep working on their “education.”

So, as our teachers prepare for students and the upcoming school year, we will also be preparing to refocus our energy and to meet these types of needs for our smaller businesses. We will be continually searching for new ideas, new opportunities, and new partnerships. Stay tuned for these educational trainings coming in the near future.

If you are interested in future educational opportunities or if you are a local professional that has an area of expertise you would love to share with small businesses, please don’t hesitate to email us. Feel free to contact us anytime at

Head downtown, where summer is still in full swing

by Sierra Lauder

Despite the passing of another spectacular fair and the school registration deadlines last week, summer is still in full swing on Main Street. Our Visitor’s Center is officially open at 208 Main Ave., and the last month has been a flurry of activity as visitors and locals alike have come to see us to talk about eclipse glasses, camping opportunities and upcoming events. We have been blessed with the weather this summer, and I am personally crossing my fingers that luck and sun continue to shine down on us as we look to September.

Construction downtown will begin on Main Street this week, and as a person who is working and living right in the middle of it – I get it. It’s not that fun. I want to share my top-secret insider tip: park off of 101. The lots along Ivy – just one very thin block west of Main – have spaces available all day, every day. Businesses are open and there is so much to do and see all around downtown in the coming weeks.

Saturday, August 26th, at 6:30 in the evening, Art Accelerated is hosting their monthly Open Mic night at Yo Time. If you haven’t made it to one of these I would totally suggest it. Each month new and different performers come and share music, poetry and stories that remind us of all the best things about being human. That night is also movie night! Join your neighbors and friends to see the “Princess Bride” on August 26th at 8:15 p.m. in front of City Hall. This is the last movie of the summer, and it’s a good one. Did you know it’s the 30th anniversary of the Princess Bride this year?

It’s also time to get your tickets for Oktoberfest! The Monday Musical Club of Tillamook presents this celebration of food, drink, music and dancing on the Second Street Plaza in downtown Tillamook, raising money for their annual cultural events series and high school scholarships. Don’t let the name “Oktoberfest” fool you – this event is actually set for Saturday, September 9th, from noon to 6 p.m., and tickets are only $10.

Pelican Brewing Company is also hosting a huge event in September, the “Salmon Run.” Set for Saturday, September 23rd, the 5k/10k run/walk will begin and end at the Tap Room on the corner of 1st and Stillwell, and they have been planning this block party for months! Even if you are not a runner, this event promises to be a blast. We are expecting more than one thousand people to turn out for the fundraiser event. Registration is open all the way up to the day of the big event.

Amid all of these bigger events, individual businesses continue to host their own events and sales. So Chic Boutique is hosting their summer clearance sale, Pacific Restaurant is on the verge of opening any day, and Lucky Bear Soap Co. has some great summer deals. If you need cupcakes for a party, Sarasota’s continues to amaze with both beautiful and delicious treats. Anderson’s Florists and Sunflower Flats are cranking out gorgeous arrangements in the height of wedding season. I regularly pass families taking advantage of the milkshake happy hour at The Dutch Mill, and Fat Dog Pizza and The Local Dog House keep the pups around here well fed. Thank you for supporting these downtown businesses, and I hope you take a moment to pop in to Chamber Headquarters when you’re in the neighborhood.

There is still so much to do this summer

By Justin Aufdermuaer
Executive Director

What a week! The Tillamook County Fair and the Tillamook Bay Run have all come and gone. It was a busy time for our Chamber staff, board and volunteers who all help out at both the fair booth and the Bay Run, making sure that both are successful and fun.

The fair in particular is always a fun and informal time to see people, catch up and eat some delicious food. It’s also traditionally the last hurrah of the summer before the kids pack up and head back to school – no doubt dragging their feet a bit and dreaming of next summer. And while the days are rapidly getting shorter and the nights are cooling off, there is still a lot of summer left in Tillamook, with plenty of things to do for the entire family.

First up is the Old Iron Show at the Blue Heron on Aug. 18 – Aug. 20. This is a fun event each year as hundreds of antique tractors and tools, engines, and old-time farm and logging equipment take over the entire field. Roughly 40 exhibitors from all over the Pacific Northwest travel to Tillamook to display their collections.

Admission is only $3 a day or $5 for all three days to this unique living museum that gives visitors an opportunity to see a bit of working history. Plus, you can enjoy a variety of vendors selling everything from woodcrafts to jewelry and clothing.

Right after the Old Iron Show is, of course, the Total Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21. Don’t forget to pick up your eclipse glasses if you’re planning on watching, and keep them on the entire time to avoid any eye damage. Be extra cautious and patient while driving that day, as we will have a lot of people visiting our area to enjoy this natural phenomena.

And while September might not traditionally be considered “summer,” the nice weather and activities still continue all month. On Sept. 9, the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook is hosting the second annual Oktoberfest at the Second Street Plaza from noon – 6 p.m. Throughout the day, guests will enjoy an authentic celebration of food, drink and music. Local dancers, The Polkatones, and students from Oregon Coast Dance will be entertaining audiences again this year, and the Tirolean Dancers of Oregon, a professional traditional Bavarian dance troupe, will also be performing.

This event is a fundraiser for the club’s cultural event series that brings four professional musical entertainment each year to Tillamook High School. (The first concert of the year is Swing Fever, a swing and jazz band out of San Francisco, on Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. at Tillamook High School.) Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased here at the Chamber office or through the Monday Musical Club’s Facebook page. The first 100 people through the gate will receive a commemorative beer mug.

Also in September is Pelican Brewing Co.’s inaugural Salmon Run 5k & 10K on Sept. 23. The race begins at 10:05 a.m. at the Tap Room on First Street, and runners will be treated to a scenic race course that winds through pastoral Tillamook and ends back at the Tap Room.

Runners receive an official race shirt, pint glass, and those 21 and over will also get a pint of Pelican Brewing Five Fin West Coast Pilsner. Stay for the post-race bash at the Brewery, featuring live music and tours. You can register for the run at A portion of the proceeds benefit the Salmon SuperHwy and help their efforts to restore access to almost 180 miles of blocked habitat.

And of course, we have several more Saturdays to enjoy the Tillamook Farmers Market, which won’t be wrapping up its season until Sept. 24. So come down and enjoy fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and artisan gifts from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Don’t let summer pass you by without enjoying one or all of these family-friendly events headed our way.


Enjoy our new business lounge and meeting spaces

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I love walking into the Chamber’s new building at 208 Main and seeing a group of people gathered around the conference table upstairs engaged in a discussion, or their heads down pouring over materials. This is why we created this space, and it was an integral part of the Chamber Board’s vision from the beginning.

If you’ve come to visit us recently, then you know we have a few nice tables with benches by the front window, some couches and oversized chairs towards the back and a conference table that seats about six. And of course there is also the space upstairs that is a work-in-progress business lounge. We did all of this on purpose to create meeting and workspace for businesses and contractors who need a place to gather with potential clients, or collaborate on projects. We felt that this was a need in our community that the Chamber could easily and efficiently address with our new location and a way to continue to foster downtown activity.

Originally these clusters of meeting spaces were geared toward non brick-and-mortar businesses, and while that is still our primary focus, it’s a useful space for anyone who doesn’t have their own conference room or who needs a quiet, clean location to conduct some business. Just last week a marketing group from Pacific Seafood was upstairs working around the table.

Our Chamber staff is also enjoying the new space and have been able to host meetings and events that would have been impossible at our former location. Mornings on Mainstreet happens here every month, and our last informative meeting regarding the Ireland trip was also held in our office. We helped the Rising Tide host a presentation and recruitment opportunity for new members – and in the future would be willing to potentially partner with other groups who need a functional space for their meeting or event.

For now, both our upstairs lounge and downstairs work spaces are on a first-come, first-serve basis. It’s pretty low key, and we are excited to watch business grow in Tillamook and help stimulate that in any way we can. If you need to reserve the upstairs conference room, we will of course work with you on that. And eventually we will enclose the upstairs portion for added privacy for those groups.

My hope is that you will feel like this is your space and take advantage of it when appropriate – and that our business community will feel taken care of. It might alleviate the stress of not always having a place to meet clients, or provide a place to work for a few hours between projects. I encourage you to come check it out and see how it might be beneficial for your business or group.

For more information, contact the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce at or call 503-842-7525.  


Tillamook Bay Run returns Aug. 12


by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As you plant one foot confidently in front of the other, the ocean breeze sends a refreshing gust of wind that cools your face. A crowd of people have gathered to watch as you cross the finish line. Your eyes linger a moment on the time, but what you’re even more eager for is that filling cup of Schooner clam chowder and cold Pelican brew calling your name.

If you’ve participating in the Tillamook Bay Run before, you know this feeling of satisfying accomplishment for completing one of the most unique trail runs in the state. And if you’ve yet to ever join us, maybe it’s time to mark this one off your bucket list.

The Tillamook Bay Run returns this year on Aug. 12. Registration is currently open at Those who pre-register will receive a complimentary t shirt. You are also welcome to register the day of, however it is likely you won’t receive a runners shirt.

Each year we look at ways to improve the Bay Run, but one thing that has remained consistent is the natural beauty – and challenge – of the trail. Both the 5k and 10k begin on the wet, sandy beaches north of Cape Meares. Runners advance for several kilometers beside the ocean, before being directed inland and cutting through the natural foliage of Bayocean to the bayside of the trail. Runners and walkers will travel over wet sand, dry sand, hop over tree roots and around shrubs, and finally finish on gravel. The trail goes up and down several hills and often narrows to a single lane.

As you may know, Bayocean was once a resort-style dwelling with several homes and large structures like a natatorium, hotels, a movie theater, bowling alley and much more.. However, due to unfortunate geological issues, the integrity of the spit was compromised and buildings were washed away with the erosion. The residents of Bayocean left long before the last building fell into the sea, and much of what remained was looted. Although much of the land is still privately owned, the County oversees itsprimary use as a natural recreation area. The Tillamook Bay Run is a unique opportunity to explore this area that was once considered the Atlantic City of the West.

And of course, at the end of your endeavor, that piping hot bowl of clam chowder courtesy of the Schooner Restaurant in Netarts and cold Pelican Brewing microbrew (21+) will be waiting you!

Scovel Racing will be coordinating and tracking the results of the race again this year. Prizes are handed out by age divisions and include cash, medals and gift baskets courtesy of local businesses.

The race begins at 10 a.m. To register before the race or to learn more, visit

Networking opportunity set for July 18


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Living in a small, rural community like Tillamook, the Chamber of Commerce – along with all our residents and business owners – faces both unique challenges and opportunities. One example is the increasing  number of small businesses and entrepreneurs in our area without a traditional brick and mortar building. We have a surprising number of freelance and independent contractors that offer valuable services while operating sometimes with just one person. These businesses – much like traditional small businesses – don’t always have access to the resources that large companies do, and survive based simply on their talent, the useful services they offer, and of course networking and mutual support from other small business and business owners.

One avenue of support that has sprouted in our community under the guidance of photographer and owner of Imago Dei Photography Xiomara Guard is our local chapter of the Rising Tide Society. This professional group gets together once a month for Tuesdays Together to discuss topics picked by the national organization and to learn from industry experts. Their goal is to emphasis collaboration over competition and encourage education and community support – because a rising tide lifts all boats. The Rising Tide Society believes there is no reason why each of our independent and creative businesses can’t be successful, and that success will come in the way of relationships and collaborations.

At the Chamber, we are partnering with the Rising Tide Society to offer a networking and social gathering on July 18th at 5:30 here at the Chamber office. This evening of learning and connecting is open to all business owners and independent contractors and is a way to learn more about the Rising Tide Society as well as the other services in our community. Come learn if this group is a good fit for you, and discover ways you can partner and grow in conjunction with other small businesses. If you’re already a member of the Rising Tide Society, consider this an opportunity to network and reach out to other businesses about your services and skills to see how you can help each other flourish. And of course since this is a Chamber-hosted event, it will be casual and fun.

That same day is our monthly Mornings on Mainstreet. These morning get togethers are drop in from 8-9 for our Chamber members to stay connected with one another and with the Chamber. It gives us face time to hear from our members and learn how we can continue to serve them and our community in the best way possible. This gathering is always the third Tuesday of every month, and as we’ve continued to host this quasi-membership meeting, we’ve been encouraged to see new members appearing every month to learn what is happening in the business community. Help us spread the word that this monthly resource is here for our members and is a great way to stay involved.

The Chamber has some more networking, educational, and informative ideas coming down the pipe and we would love the business communities feedback on gaps they feel we can fill in regards to formats and topics. You can get in contact with the chamber by emailing or just giving us a call at 503-842-7525.

Why July is the perfect time to register for Ireland


By Justin Aufdermauer

Executive Director

July is a particularly special time along the coast, where we have not one but four incredible firework displays, and equally as many parades and festivals happening all over the county. From Wiener Dog races to the Dory Days Celebration, there is almost always something fun going on.

July is also the perfect month to register for our Ireland trip in April of 2018. If you sign up before the end of July, you can take advantage of our July promotion and receive $100 off your registration costs. We already have 22 people registered and spots are filling up quickly. So if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not you want to come with us, don’t hesitate much longer. My advice would be to find someone who attended our recent China trip and talk to them about their experience. Or just come in and talk to Sierra and myself, because we could go on for hours about what a beneficial trip it was – both as a Chamber fundraiser, but more importantly as a community- and friendship-building excursion. It turns out when you take 65 people from Tillamook to a foreign country, great things can happen. We anticipate our Ireland trip will be no different in terms of the number of people, but what is different is the amount of flexibility built into the trip. You can add additional stops or tours, and even use your frequent flier miles to get there. Or, stay a couple of extra days after the official tour wraps up. It’s an opportunity to travel as a group and still individualize the trip to fit your personal preferences. You will have the option to customize your trip for additional costs, and may decide to visit a traditional Irish music and dance show while we’re in County Kerry, or attend a banquet dinner in a 17th-century castle overlooking Galway Bay.  

Our 11-day tour of Ireland will explore the island’s rich culture by visiting several of its cities and exploring the beautiful landscape.  The tour includes nine nights in handpicked hotels, breakfast served daily, a private deluxe motor coach and guided sightseeing. Travelers will be treated to 40 shades of green in Ireland, local pubs and fresh pints, friendly locals, and historical sites.  

We will begin in historic Dublin, that includes the opportunity to step inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral and view the remains of a 6th century church.Then, the tour group will spend two nights in County Cork. We will see a world-class racehorse farm, and tour the iconic Rock of Cashel that dates back to the 12th century. On the second day, the group will visit the town of Cobh and experience the Cobh Heritage Centre. Then, we’ll make a stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. And while kissing the stone isn’t a requirement, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you can bet a bunch of us will be puckering up.

From there the group will spend two nights in County Kerry, stopping along the way to tour a Victorian mansion. On day seven, we will make our way around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. Next comes a two-night stay in Galway, with more chances to visit historic castles, and a walk along the coastline of the Cliffs of Moher. Here we also get a full free day to explore on our own and soak in the Irish culture.

And finally, the trip concludes in Dublin, stopping at the historic Kilbeggan Distillery for an Irish whisky tasting – because no trip to Ireland is complete without a bit of whiskey.

For more information about Ireland and how to take advantage of our special July promotion, contact Sierra Lauder at, or call our office at 503-842-7525.



Cork & Brew Tour – get your tickets before they sell out


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If the air smells slightly hoppy downtown, that would be thanks to those boxes of beer we are storing in our temporary downstairs office as it awaits its debut on June 16. And before you even ask, no, we haven’t taste tested a single bottle – it’s all for the 2017 Cork & Brew Tour.

This promises to be the best Cork & Brew Tour yet, so whether you’re a regular or a newbie, come Friday evening you are in for a fun treat – literally and figuratively.

All the fun begins at Pelican Brewing Co’s new bottling facility on the corner of Front Street and Grove Avenue, with interactive brewery tours, uncorking contests, a blind taste test, a professional photo booth and friendly games of corn hole and ring toss. We’re excited to announce that Jazzitude will be performing during the launch party! Be prepared to check in to this awesome kickoff at 4:30 p.m. and spend some time enjoying the music and all the fun activities. A huge thank you to our sponsors, Warrenton Kia, Coast Real Estate Professionals in Manzanita, and Werner Meats in Tillamook.

Then, with your passport and complimentary tasting glass in hand, join the official self-guided tour that starts at 6 p.m. Wander through downtown to 12 locations, each with its own beer and wine to sample and delicious, locally-sourced appetizers and finger foods that compliment each beverage.

We are excited to bring back Anderson’s Florist as a tour stop this year, and of course the new Chamber office at 208 Main Avenue. Our other participating stops are Rob Trost Realty, Lucky Bear Soap Co., Sunset Tans, Sunflower Flats, Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace, Homelife Furniture, Diamond Art, YoTime, Remax, and Toth Art Collective.

This year’s beer list includes Pelican Brewing Co., Werner Brewing Co., Reach Break Brewing, Ft. George, Buoy Brewing, Rusty Truck Brewing Co., Two Towns Cider, Rogue Ales & Spirits, Wolves and People Farmhouse Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing Co., and McMenamins. So far, wines will include Provincial Vineyards, Blue Heron, and Renee’s Tasting Room in Rockaway Beach. Thirsty yet?

However, there is more fun on this tour than just wine and beer. The people make the tour, and we love to see friends laughing and talking as they explore all of the downtown shops. June 16th will also be the debut of live music on the Second Street Plaza! The Plaza will be open and ready for action, and we are excited to align the live music downtown with the Cork & Brew evening. If you have not been able to get your feet on the new space yet, this will be a great chance to try it out, and maybe even do a little dancing.

Since we want to be sure you can remember what an awesome evening it is going to be, we’re also coordinating a number of fun “selfie stations” along the tour routeUse #tillamookcork&brew to tag your photos on your favorite social media accounts, and be sure to tag the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets for this event are $35 a piece and can be purchased online at or by visiting the Chamber office, Pelican Brewing Co.’s downtown Tap Room, or Sunflower Flats. The event is expected to sell out again, so be sure to buy your tickets in advance.

For more information, contact the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce at or call 503-842-7525.


Expect a ‘whale of a time’ in Ireland


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The first thing anyone planning a trip to Ireland should do is brush up on his or her Irish phrases. Why? So that you can be sure to converse with locals and have a whale of a time while you’re there.

If you’ve been practicing your Irish phrases for donkey’s years, but still have never made the trip across the sea to visit the Emerald Isle, then you will be excited to know that the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce is planning a trip in April 2018.

We had such a great time visiting China that it seemed like a no brainer to do it again. The amount of relationship building and networking that occurred when 65 people from Tillamook County took a group trip to China was hugely gratifying. We got to know each other better, made new friends, and took the conversation about how to improve the livability of Tillamook to a whole new level – literally and figuratively. The trip, which served as a fundraiser for the Chamber, cemented friendships and provided opportunities for conversations about community, commerce and placemaking, with a new perspective on culture. It was community building extreme edition, and we anticipate a similar number of travelers with a similar experience in Ireland.

In Ireland we will spend 11 days exploring the island’s lush, green landscape, quaint cities, and rich culture. The tour includes nine nights in handpicked hotels, breakfast served daily, a private deluxe motor coach and guided sightseeing. Travelers will be treated to 40 shades of green in Ireland, local pubs and fresh pints, friendly locals, and historical sites.

We will in historic Dublin with a sightseeing tour lead by a local expert, that includes the opportunity to step inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, view the remains of a 6th century church, and journey through County Wicklow into Glendaslough.

Then, the tour group will spend two nights in County Cork, with several stops along the way. See a world-class racehorse farm, and tour the iconic Rock of Cashel that dates back to the 12th century. On the second day, discover the town of Cobh and visit the Cobh Heritage Centre. Then, we’ll make a stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone (only if you want to).

From there the trip spends two nights in County Kerry, stopping along the way to tour a Victorian mansion. On day seven, we will make our way around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers Ireland’s most spectacular scenery.

Next comes a two-night stay in Galway, with more chances to visit historic castles, and a walk along the coastline of the Cliffs of Moher. Here we also get a full free day to explore on our own and soak in the Irish culture.

And finally, the trip concludes in Dublin, stopping at the historic Kilbeggan Distillery for an Irish whisky tasting. From there, travelers have the option of heading home or continuing on to Belfast for a post-tour extension. In fact, there are several options to customize your trip for additional costs. For example, you might decide to visit a traditional Irish music and dance show while we’re in County Kerry, or attend a banquet dinner in a 17th-century castle overlooking Galway Bay.

The entire trip is built with flexibility in mind and a variety of ways to experience Ireland. There are lots of options for this tours and we would love to explain the itinerary and options in full to you! We did a lot of research to make sure we were booking a trip with great value and we feel that we have booked a great trip! The trip will cost $3,225 (including airfare) for registrations in the next 60 days. On May 22 from 6 – 7:30 we are hosting an informative introductory meeting about this trip at Tillamook Bay Community College, room 214/215. Here is your chance to register early, get your questions answered, and talk to some of our recently-returned China travelers about their experience and the benefits of this Chamber-style group traveling.

For more information about Ireland, contact Sierra Lauder at, or call our office at 503-842-7525.




Support our schools and libraries this election

Justin Aufdermauer

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

A lot of things in life may not have a direct impact on you, yet affect you more than you may know. You might not have children in school or ever use the library, but what you don’t realize is that they are still impacting your life. The Chamber believes the stronger our school and library systems are the stronger our community will be. The Chamber Board supports both the Tillamook schools and Tillamook library bonds.

The quality of the local school system is not only important for the student’s health and safety but also for business. A quality district with adequate facilities is often a priority for new hires who are looking to move in the area, or if a local couple is deciding whether or not to stay and raise their family. Recruiting and retaining a skilled and diverse workforce is going to determine the great of our economic growth (it already is). The reward is great and the cost is minimal. Regardless the amount of your property tax statement, the total cost of this bond, after the increase in three extensions, is less than the original Bond passed by voters in 2002 at $0.97 per thousand. This is because of proactive management by the school district to refinance that bond in 2010. Plus, this time the bond comes with a match of up to $4 million.

The library is much more of a community resource than many understand. For the sake of argument, we could forget the community events, Children’s Parade and all the books, and yet it would still have significant value. Did you know there is a vast amount of databases and programs available to local businesses (and everyone) and all you need is a library card? These databases help save businesses such as our local mechanics thousands of dollars every year. Also, a literate workforce is one of the most important and valuable tools. The library serves many people each year in literacy, a basic skill that many of us take for granted.

The Chamber Board is made up of local small business owners and individuals who are passionate about enhancing economic vitality of the Tillamook area and we support the local school and Library bonds.

A new parade route and more fun surprises this June Dairy Parade

Oregon Tillamook June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Check your weather app folks, because summer is finally starting to poke its head through from behind the clouds. So don’t be surprised to hear that we are amping up for the annual June Dairy Parade and Festival. This year’s theme is “60 years on the MOOVE.”

There are a couple of major changes to the parade this year, some of which you may have heard about already and hopefully this will answer any questions you may have. The biggest change is that the parade will be moving in reverse from what it has historically done in the past. In other words, the official starting point will be at Main and 11th, and it will end at Goodspeed Park (see the route map.)

We’re doing this for a variety of reasons but the largest is to help accommodate traffic along Hwy 101, which typically starts to build up by 11:30 a.m. We worked with both the City Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office to brainstorm a solution that would eliminate that annual traffic gridlock. Now we can get the parade entries off of Highway 101 quicker and open it up sooner to traffic.

We also will be turning down Third Street, instead of rounding the corner at Second Street, which has been the tradition. That’s because that section of Second Street (soon to be the plaza) will be the stage for this year’s Dairy Festival. The Festival will begin promptly at 11:45 and go until 4 p.m.

This year’s Festival will again have several fun family activities hosted by local businesses, including live music and a community barbecue co-hosted by Chef Nelia and the Tillamook Fire Department and sponsored by Warrenton Kia. Other fun activities include a Tillawheels car show, the ever-popular Penny Scramble, and a special appearance by Tillamook’s budding roller derby league. Come learn more about this grass roots roller derby movement in Tillamook and meet some of the skaters. We are also working with the Farm Bureau to coordinate a petting zoo for that day as well. Hoping that comes to life, after all it is a dairy festival.

As always, plan to make a day of celebrating The Dairylands in one of our first community event of the summer. If you need a parade float application, you can pick them up at our office, located at 208 Main Street.  Please have your entry returned by May 30th.

We are also seeking nominations for both Grand Marshal and Honorary Grand Marshal. If you have a friend or family member that you think deserves this honor, please submit either the Grand Marshal Application 2017, or the Honorary Grand Marshal Application 2017. Both can be found at

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Mornings on Mainstreet

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Promotion

Last month at the Chamber Headquarters at 208 Main Ave. we had the pleasure of hosting “Mornings on Main Street.” Around 20 people gathered to share coffee, treats and great discussion about all the activity in the downtown area. Lots of the conversation stemmed from the construction along the sidewalks of Pacific and the “Second Street Plaza.” I use quotations around “Second Street Plaza,” because the City of Tillamook’s Beautification Committee is entertaining possible names for the project. They will be narrowing the results at the next Beautification Meeting on April 10th, so if you have an idea to toss in the hat, contact City Hall or let us know at the Chamber and we’ll pass it along. There is some discussion of taking the top four choices and having a public vote. Look forward to that!

Construction projects within buildings were also a big topic of discussion. How could they not be, when the gathering was held within the freshly framed walls of the future offices for the Chamber? The Chamber project is zipping along, with electric and heating work wrapping up this week and sheet rocking kicking off next week. The Visitor’s Center will be fully operational in plenty of time for summer. Art Accelerated Board Chair Neal Lemery shared about the grants that they have been working on for improvements to the Beal’s Building, where they are hoping to start classes and workshops in the near future, as well as open for regular hours for the gallery. After banter about the facelift that is taking place in the old Murphy’s Furniture Building on First St. to accommodate a new T-Mobile store, and a report on the remodeling of the Blue Moon, Phil and Nelia from the Pacific Restaurant invited the entire group across the street and took us through the new restaurant space. Let me just give you this sneak peek: It. Is. Gorgeous.

We very much enjoyed this Mornings on Main Street event. Starting in May, the Chamber will be hosting these gatherings each month, on the third Tuesday of the month. While we invite you to contact us anytime with questions, thoughts or ideas, these member open house opportunities are a really easy way to connect with the projects the Chamber has going on, and a low pressure way to engage with others in the business community.

A quick update on upcoming events: it is Dairy Madness at the Chamber! The June Dairy Parade and Festival is set for June 24th. Entry forms for the June Dairy Parade will be going out early next week, and the coloring contest is OPEN. The parade route will be changing this year, and we will be working hard in the next few months to make sure that the information about the new route is available to everyone. The parade will now be STARTING at the high school, marching north up Main Ave., turning right and heading east on Third St. and disbanding at Goodspeed Park. We will be taking advantage of the open Second Street to host a large family friendly Dairy Festival.

Cork & Brew tickets will go on sale online April 10th! The Cork & Brew Tour takes place on June 16th, the Friday before Father’s Day.

If you have questions about these events or just want to talk Tillamook, feel free to call me at the Chamber (503) 842-7525, or email me at


Cork & Brew Tour this June


By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Promotion

This June 16th marks the fourth annual Cork & Brew Tour coordinated by the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. When we started this downtown wine and beer tasting tour in 2014, I think everyone was a bit skeptical on whether such an event would work in Tillamook. Sure, they did marvelous in larger cities that have more of a “downtown,” but Tillamook had never attempted anything like this before.

And yet here we are four years later, and each year the tour has grown both in attendance and enthusiasm. It has quickly become a summer kick-off event that so many look forward to.

Cork & Brew “Tourists” start the evening at a Launch Party at the Pelican Brewery, which will have some new surprises this year, before being set loose with passports that guide them through destinations throughout the downtown district. Businesses host tour stops, featuring craft beverage tastes and delicious food parings. Tourists receive a stamp in their passport at each stop, and after filling their passport are eligible for a grand prize drawing. Even if you don’t enjoy beer or wine, the deliciously fresh, locally made hors d’oeuvres, live music, and opportunity to visit and catch up with people you know makes it a fun summer evening.

Plus, it gives our community members a chance to congregate in different businesses that they might not normally patronize on a regular basis. The Cork & Brew Tour is really about exploring downtown, enjoying good company, and of course tasting craft brewed beers and Oregon-based wines. You might make new friends, or just discover your new favorite bottle of wine.

I have been eagerly meeting with businesses owners and managers to see who would like to host this year, and we will announce that list a little later. If we haven’t contacted you yet but you know you want to participate, go ahead and give us a call and we will be happy to set something up.

We are also seeking sponsorships for the event. As you all know, events take time and money to do well, and if you are an individual or organization that loves to see the bustle in downtown and wants to help make it another success for our community, there are two great options to sponsor the Cork & Brew Tour:

Tour Sponsor – $200: A Tour Sponsor will receive two tickets for the event; two glassware of your choice (beer or wine), a poster at the event, and an ad in the passport.

Presenting Sponsor – $500: Presenting Sponsors will receive four tickets to the event; glassware for four of your choice; a poster at the event; an ad in the passport; and promotional stage time at the launch party.

Both sponsorships will help secure supplies and entertainment, ensure proper advertising for the event and help cover the crazy amount of necessary permits required to make this event happen.

If you would like to help sponsor the 2017 Cork & Brew Tour, volunteer for the event, or would like to learn more about the event, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 503-842-7525 or email

Coming Soon – Thanks to the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

You’ve no doubt seen in the news recently that the Tillamook County Creamery Association plans to rebuild their visitor center to accommodate more people and enhance the entire experience.

Well, TCCA isn’t the only one in the infancy of a remodel. The Chamber was awarded an $80,000 grant from the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency to remodel and update our current building at 208 Main Street. We estimate that to complete our vision it will take $100,000 and we are committed to making the investment to make this place the best it can be for the community and visitors.

Our goal is to create a first class visitor information center, as well as having staff offices, and work space and a meeting room for our members and community use.

The remodel will include new faux wood flooring, new interior paint, a new roof, HVAC system, office and meeting space addition, ADA restroom remodel, and redoing the front façade. Both inside and out, this new visitor’s center will reflect an industrial farmhouse look and feel to coincide with the authenticity of The Dairylands branding.

This property remodel is possible thanks to TURA, who fortunately saw the importance of creating a downtown visitor and business center that will help brand our community in a professional and inviting way. The generous investment in the new Chamber headquarters will assure that visitors who come to pick up maps, guidebooks and information have a comfortable launching point for their downtown exploration.

Along with our TURA grant, we received a grant through Visit Tillamook Coast to build a reception counter, several industrial style visitor information racks and signage to match our new building. And as you might assume, all the work on our building, as well as the new racks and signage, will be done through local contractors.

The remodel began this Monday with Daniel Werner Construction framing up office walls with lumber donated by Hampton Lumber. We anticipate the full project will be completed by mid-April. You will still be able to reach Sierra, Tammy, or myself at the office working as best we can through the remodel phase, and of course we appreciate your patience and persistence through this process. Just think, by next summer we will have a functioning highway intersection, a Second Street pedestrian plaza, some brand new sidewalks with added curb appeal, a brand new visitor center at the Cheese Factory, and last but not least a fully-functioning Chamber of Commerce office and first class visitor information center. If that isn’t enough to get you excited, I don’t know what will.

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at


Cranes, sidewalks, and walking paths, oh my!


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Does anyone else feel a little like they are in Seattle or Portland? Our skyline is crowded with cranes lately, moving meticulously around traffic as they set the cumbersome bridge supports. Soon they will be hoisting the bridge bearings up one by one and maneuvering the hefty pieces into place. Next on the list is placing the mammoth girders that will span the Hoquarton.

A little north of Hoqurton, large storm drains and beehives are being installed, and on Second Street the tree wells are finally ready to be formed. Once the storm drainage work is complete, the new pedestrian plaza will be ready for its makeover – in other words they will be pouring the colored and multi-patterned concrete. That should be exciting to see and for many of us it will help to visualize the final picture that we’ve been waiting so long for.

Remember that this month the construction zone might feel like it has expanded a bit as the foundations and electrical trenching begin along the new bicycle/pedestrian trail near Goodspeed Park. We will also see the formation of the interior bays and overhang for the pedestrian walkway over the Port of Tillamook Bay’s Hwy 6 railroad bridge.

For those wondering, this bicycle and pedestrian path will eventually lead back to the Hoquarton Landing park near the Hwy 101 bridge. Then it will cross the highway via a traffic island to join Sue H. Elmore Park, which will be renovated later this summer. The City of Tillamook has plans to continue a boardwalk path westward through Front Street towards the walking circuit around Tillamook Regional Medical Center.

Speaking of walking, the new sidewalk pattern that was tested next to Homelife Furniture has been approved and the rest of the sidewalks are scheduled for pouring. This piece of the project is a tad behind schedule after 90 feet of newly-poured sidewalk had to be torn up when it was discovered it didn’t have the correct scoring pattern on it. This pattern will set the tone for the rest of downtown, where more than 2,000 feet of new sidewalks will be added from First Street to Fourth Street and from Main to Pacific.

There is a lot of questions coming in about if the bridge and sidewalks are going to be done by Summer. Due to some recent revisions to the bridge construction we have received word that ODOT is still committed to opening all lanes of traffic by this summer. The sidewalk schedule is currently being revised and all parties are coming to the table to identify the best timeline revisions to make sure that this stays on track for completion by Memorial Day.

You can stay up-to-date on the highway project be visiting and subscribing to our weekly bulletin. If you have any questions regarding the highway project email Jeannell at

The Oregon Legislature needs to hear from you

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Oregon’s legislature is currently in session and is facing some serious issues such as a funding a much-needed statewide transportation package, adjusting for a $1.8 billion-dollar deficit, and simply figuring out how to work together. The legislature is required by law to adopt a balanced two-year budget. It is no easy feat and requires difficult trade-offs between competing programs and services.  This Friday, March 3rd, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Officers Mess Hall at the Port of Tillamook Bay is the Ways and Means Committee Public Forum. This is your opportunity to tell the Legislature what really matters to you.

Here are some facts to consider while researching or testifying about Oregon’s budget:

  • Since the end of the Great Recession, Oregon revenues have grown faster than almost every state in the nation. Oregon’s state tax revenues are at an all-time high.
  • The State actually has $1.2 billion dollars more to spend this budget cycle than it did last budget. The $1.8 billion deficit being discussed is due to government costs that are increasing faster than the additional revenue.
  • One of the biggest cost-drivers for this and future budgets is the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), which diverts money away from Oregon’s classrooms and other services.
  • Oregon is the only state in the country where the public employees pension programs are fully funded by tax dollars and there is no requirement for state employee participation.
  • While PERS pension costs are skyrocketing, the PERS system continues to operate a second, 401K-style retirement savings plan in addition to the pension plan. Taxpayers should not be required to pay for two retirement plans, when the pension plan alone is bankrupting our state.
  • If Oregon taxpayers’ contributions to government employee health plan premiums were at the U.S. average, the state could save hundreds of millions of dollars per budget cycle to invest in schools and other services.

Bottom Line: Before making cuts to education, healthcare and other essential services for Oregonians, or before putting additional tax burden on citizens or business, we must curb Oregon’s rapidly rising Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) costs and high government employee healthcare costs.

Individuals who receive or are currently in the PERS program clearly deserve their benefits; those are the benefits that were agreed to when they started their career. However, PERS reforms is a reality that our state needs to face moving forward if we hope to see any balance of between taxes and services.

I encourage you to take a moment to look through the Ways and Means Committee budget framework. You can find it on our website at by clicking on this story. If you can’t make the meeting and have input for the Ways and Means Committee you can submit testimony via email at or email our State Senator Betsy Johnson directly (who is a Ways and Means Vice Co-Chair) at

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at


February Mainstream Happenings

by Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Promotion

February Frenzy! It’s been wild around the Mainstreet District these past few weeks. Enthusiastic teenagers with fully functioning vocal chords have been sharing street corners with sandwich boards full of activities, and yet there has still been plenty of room for shoppers who have zig zagged around town supporting Charity Drive events and Cash Mobs. There are two more Cash Mobs events on the roster- so keep those calendars out! This Saturday, February 25th, we’ll be at The Rendezvous from 4:30-6. Why so early? So we have plenty of time to walk over to Yo Time for the 6:30 Open Mic night hosted by Art Accelerated. Live music acts have signed up, as well as a handful of writers and poets; if you would like to be included in the roster, give the Chamber a call and we can help connect you to the sign-up sheet. March 5th (make a note- this date has changed) is a brunch Cash Mob at The Blue Moon Café. They are currently closed for some unanticipated remodeling, and are hoping to reopen for regular hours soon. It’s hard not to be in awe of our community this time of year, and the Chamber is both proud and honored to be a partner.

Planning has kicked off hot and heavy for the June Dairy Parade and Festival. The Festivals Committee, which meets year-round, is really starting to dig in to ideas, organization, and delegation. The coloring contest, which debuted last year, is about to go live. Check your local library branch for entry forms. You may recall the Pirate Fest and Penny Scramble that took place after the parade last year- this year we are hoping to grow that festival atmosphere and expand the children’s activities. Clubs, businesses or organizations who are interested in hosting or sponsoring an activity in the festival are invited to attend the Festivals Committee or stop by or call the Chamber.

I also recently had the opportunity to attend the Mainstreet Quarterly Workshop in Cottage Grove. It is so fun to visit another community and see how they tackle some of the same challenges we look at here, and compare ideas and strategies. Mainstreet programs from all over the state were present. We discussed strategies for consolidating sponsorships, working with partners, and grant funding opportunities available through the state for development projects in Mainstreet communities. There are a few different grants available for rehabilitation efforts, and we have visited with a few property owners who might be a match for these funds. If you have property that you are thinking of investing in and want to learn more about Mainstreet and the parameters of the grants that are available, please call or email me at the Chamber: (503) 842-7525,

Improve your bottom line through a five-series workshop at TBCC

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Once again, the Chamber is partnering Tillamook Bay Community College to bring the community a Business Development Series that will focus on reducing costs, decreasing delays and improving the quality of your business.

This five-session series will begin in March and introduces the fundamentals of Lean processing. You may be wondering, ‘what is Lean? How do I know if it’s for me?’

Lean is about increasing your bottom line. If you own or manage a business that could benefit from a more efficient process then you will want a seat at this table. Lean evaluates your current process and finds ways to preserve value through less work.

Each session is two hours and concentrates on an aspect of the Lean process and how to apply it effectively to your own business. While each session builds on knowledge and skills learned at previous sessions, you can choose to attend all five or pick and choose which ones are most relevant to your situation:

Session 1 – Pillars. Principles, & Perspectives (March 3, 2017) This first session will provide an overview of tried and tested Lean methods. Your business will be encouraged to identify how, why and where it could benefit from an improved process and then connect those dots to the Lean methods.

Session 2 – Not all Treasures is Silver and Gold (March 10, 2017) The second session will focus on identifying immediate, easy changes you can be making right away that will help eliminate waste in your process, and developing an orderly and improved process.

Session 3 – Here’s Looking at you Kid (March 24, 2017) Session three will help your business measure future progress and create visual assets to remind your employees of these new, standard procedures.

Session 4 – If you Build it, They Will Come (April 7, 2017) In our fourth session, you will learn how to document processes to ensure that all your employees understand and consistently implement the improved process.

Session 5 – Houston, We have a Bigger Problem (April 21, 2017) Now that you have the basics under your belt, and have implemented Lean processes in some of your basic business practices, we can look at the much larger picture. In session five, we will map out an entire business process to identify future improvements. Remember, Lean is all about continuous improvement so the work is never completely over; there is always room for improvement.

Tom Atchison, the Business Administration Instructor at TBCC will be facilitating the series. Tom is also the Coordinator of Customized Training & Development at TBCC, and has his Doctor of Management.

Register by contacting the Chamber at or calling 503-842-7525. The entire series is $200, or individual sessions are $50 each. Sessions are from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at TBCC’s main campus, in room 214/215.

New sidewalks, fixed potholes, and new paver strips all point to progress


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s amazing the difference one month can make on the downtown construction project. The north end of the sidewalk between Third and Fourth streets is being poured this week, and the south side is scheduled to be poured next week. Wells Fargo’s driveway has even been poured!

I know that for many, last fall felt slow and draining, but from here on out progress should be more visible in nearly every aspect of the highway interchange redesign.

Since the beginning of January we’ve seen significant grading, forming and pouring of our curbs, sidewalks and ADA ramps, and I think everyone agrees it will be nice to have those back in action. The pedestrian access points have been a huge help throughout all of this, but there is something exciting about seeing sidewalks again. Thank you to everyone who has braved the demolition and continued to patronize our businesses.

We also saw the annual pothole cluster near the corner of First and Pacific, which was first filled with cold patch, then covered with the steel plate – both unsuccessful. Kudos are in order to ODOT and the contractor, OSBC, for stepping up and digging out the faulty base and asphalt and doing a thorough repair – even though they will be digging this up again soon. Additional roadway markings were also secured throughout the project area to keep traffic patterns distinct and improving travel lanes – especially at night.

Speaking of potholes, we have brought the need for the seams of the Hoquorton Bridge to be patched and have received favorable feedback from ODOT that this will be handled as soon as they have hot asphalt available.

Second Street is also making headway, although from the surface it might be hard to tell. Bases for light posts have been added, structural supports are being poured, and storm drain lines have been laid in. Next comes the electrical conduits, which will be trenched in over the next few weeks. That will also for the pouring of the tactical paver strips. That all might sound kind of tedious and boring to some, but these paver strips will be the first visible elements of the Second Street Plaza between Main and Pacific. This plaza, which will be the backdrop for many town festivals, will begin to take shape over the next few months. (Remember: This plaza is not being closed to traffic, but instead will be a one-way to match to the rest of Second Street).

Just think, by the end of the highway redesign in 2018, Blue Moon Café, The Phoenix Exchange, and the newly relocated Pacific Restaurant will all have a front-row seat to a wonderful new addition of our downtown. While the end result is exciting, let’s not forget that many of our core businesses in the downtown area are still severely impacted by the construction. They need our loyalty now more than ever. As we mentioned last week, we are planning several “cash mobs” this month to support The Phoenix Exchange; Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace; Blue Moon Café; and The Rendezvous. For more information, visit

Also, don’t forget to swing by our new office at 208 Main Avenue to lend your voice to the Wayfinding Sign discussion. We are seeking input on design, placement, and the types of things the signs should point to. It’s been a robust conversation thus far with many of you, and it is our hope that we can continue to get feedback that will propel the discussion further forward, and develop a complete signage plan that will coincide with the end of the highway project in 2018. If you would like to weigh in on wayfinding via email you can do so by emailing Sierra at

You can stay up-to-date on the highway project be visiting and subscribing to our weekly bulletin. If you have any questions regarding the highway project call Jeannell at (503) 812-8906 or email her at

Chamber Chatter: It’s Time to Rally


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the last few months I have watched wide-eyed as you the community have stepped up to bat for your neighbors. Just last month at the Chamber banquet, dozens of you raised your card for Dean Burdick to help his family with their medical costs. We raised more than $7,000, which was just a drop in the bucket of what the community has raised for this family.

And let’s not forget that in October of last year, more than 100 supportive shoppers checked in at Manzanita for the Cash Mob and helped those business owners know they are cared about and appreciated after they experienced a devastating tornado.

We will continue to see this support and dedication for our neighbors in the upcoming weeks as Charity Drive kicks into full drive. Every year our businesses and individuals go above and beyond to support one of our country’s largest Charity Drives in existence. The students at Tillamook High School go all out, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. It’s this tradition of giving and supporting one another that gets our blood pumping.

This year, let’s keep this momentous charity ball rolling by helping support four local businesses who need our attention and love. Here are four ways you can continue to help after Charity Drive has wrapped up:

February 11: The Chamber is hosting a Cash Mob at Teen Challenge, 4192 Hwy 1010 N. A cash mob, if you’ve never participated in one, is when a group of people assemble at a local business to make purchases. The purpose of these mobs is to support both the local businesses and the overall community. Our local Teen Challenge store has been informed by their corporate office that without a financial turn over, they won’t be able to keep the doors open. This would be a huge loss for those in the community who are in need of affordable clothes, furniture, household items, and more. Not to mention the employees who rely on Teen Challenge for a source of income. Join us on February 11 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. while we “mob” Teen Challenge with financial support.

And in case you don’t remember, this strategy worked wonders for our local Franz Bread Bakery in 2013 when they too were on the verge of shutting down. United States Bakery in Portland had announced they were closing the Tillamook branch, which resulted in a “Save the Store” rally. The store hadn’t been doing well for years, and that coupled with the Third Street construction at the time had apparently sealed its fate. But community members decided to show up and show their dedication to the Tillamook branch, prompting the corporate office to reconsider the closure and keep the store open. We did it once, and we can do it again!

February 18: The Phoenix Exchange and Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace are literally surrounded by the downtown construction, and as such they are feeling the impact. With little parking or useable sidewalks right now, it has made it more difficult to shop these stores. Plan to show up and spend some cash on February 18 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. and help sustain these ladies.

February 25: The Rendezvous is also feeling the effects of major construction, so we are hosting a “dinner mob” from 4:30 – 6:00 followed by open mic night at YoTime at 6:30 (hosted by Art Accelerated). Make an evening of dinner, dessert and entertainment, all while encouraging our downtown businesses.

February 26: Blue Moon Café will have a Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m with guest chef Nelia Seratista of Pacific Restaurant. Stay tuned for the price of the brunch! Proceeds will help support the Blue Moon Cafe, yet another business in the middle of a construction zone.

So enjoy Charity Drive – get out and cheer on your favorite class, but be sure to keep the momentum rolling into the local community as we spread the love and joy to four local businesses who could use an extra boost during the slow season.


Chamber Chatter: It Takes a Village


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been hard to find the right words to explain just how amazing the Chamber Banquet was this year. Maybe it is just me, or maybe the nearly 300 other people who attended feel the same way. Either way, there was a common theme at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday: “It takes a village.”

As Whitey Forsman said when he accepted the award for Pacific Seafood in the category of Large Business of the Year, “Without our village, we could not survive or be able to do the things we do.”

Natalie Reiger, who accepted the award for Sunflower Flats in the category of Small Business of the Year echoed this sentiment and added, “Our family has been the biggest part of our village.”

Perhaps the night was best captured in the words of Paul Daniels, as he accepted the award for Developmental Project of the Year for the Garibaldi Village Apartments:

“We believe in Tillamook County,” he said. “Can you feel the energy? Tillamook County is reviving and coming to life and it is because of all of your people here tonight.”

This idea that it takes all of us participating in order for one of us to be successful couldn’t be more true in a small, rural community like ours. We need to reach out and take care of each other. We need to support, refer, and respect our fellow businesses and neighbors.

It was evident that this sentiment was shared as I stood on stage and watched our community raise money for Dean Burdick and his family. Dean just recently returned home after emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor, and we were blessed that he and his family could join us at the banquet. As a surprise we asked everyone who wanted to help with his medical costs to make a donation of any size. In a room with just under 300 people, we raised $7,585 for the Burdicks. It left me speechless to see that level of love and support for one of our citizens, and yet honored to be a part of a community that takes care of its own the way we do. Thank you.

We were also able to pay tribute to LeeAnn Neal, who passed away last year. LeeAnn was a beacon of journalistic integrity in our community and one who will be severely missed by many of us. If you didn’t know LeeAnn personally, you likely knew of her work with the Tillamook County Pioneer, which has become a go-to place for local and immediate news.

“LeeAnn was my friend, and a friend to so many people in this room,” said Mary Faith Bell, Chamber Board President. “She was the heart and soul of the Tillamook County Pioneer.”

In honor of LeeAnn’s life, we named her the Exceptional Citizen of Tillamook County, and the Chamber has agreed to sponsor a bench in her name at Kilchis Point Reserve. You can look for her bench this Spring.

And last but not least, Connie Green was named Citizen of the Year. Connie has been a personal mentor of mine, and someone our community has turned to time and time again for her wisdom, her generosity, and her passion. She has been a teacher, an optimist, a leader and a shepherd. As Mayor Suzanne Weber said, the benefits of Connie’s actions will sustain us long after her retirement. Connie has been a member of our Chamber Board for many years now and we can’t thank her enough for everything she’s done for our community.

I would also like to especially thank our sponsors of the evening: Pelican Brewing Co.; Visit Tillamook Coast; Pacific Seafood; Hampton Lumber Co.; The Griffin House; US Bank; and the Tillamook County Creamery Association.



New Year, New Board Members and a New Building

Quilt Trail

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Welcome to 2017!

We are eager to announce three new Board members joining the Chamber team. It’s always a pleasure to have new energy, new ideas and new faces around the table and these three new members bring a rejuvenated enthusiasm to the New Year and the Chamber.

Natalie Rieger is a co-owner of Sunflower Flats in downtown Tillamook. For 15 years she has taken care of the family business in several ways, including financially and technologically as well as handling all the marketing and personnel. To say she is business-savvy would be an understatement. Natalie is also incredibly community-minded. She’s always the first to volunteer to help at Chamber events and other functions, and has stepped up to the plate as a Board member with the same enthusiasm and gusto.

Sarah Absher is the studio owner and dance coach of Dance Zone, which has been a roaring success since it opened in 2013. She too is a small business owner and is passionate about growing and supporting the small business community in the Tillamook area. As a land-use planner for Tillamook County, Sarah has an extensive knowledge about the issues that all small business owners must overcome and is an advocate for all small business owners.

Adrienne Allen also joins the Chamber board. Adrienne and her husband own and operate Victor Dairy, a 400-cow grazing dairy and member of the Tillamook County Creamery Association Co-Op. Farming runs deep in Adrienne’s family and we love having that aspect on our Board. However, we are very fortunate to add her because of her dedication to our community and exceptional volunteerism.

Our other returning members are Board President White Forsman with Pacific Seafood; Vice President Kayla Craycraft with US Bank; Past President Mary Faith Bell with Adventist Regional Medical Center; Secretary Lexie Hampton with The Griffin House; Eric Lessor with Computer Support & Services; Carlos Mendez with La Mexicana Restaurant; Kaylan Sisco with the Tillamook County Family YMCA; and Sheila Zerngast with Tillamook Coliseum Theater.

At the end of December we held an all-day Board retreat to get to know one another better and do some goal setting for the New Year. If you want to move mountains in life you have to start one shovel at a time. Fortunately, we had an excavator last year and really got things moving.

In 2016 our Board and staff worked incredibly hard establishing relationships with other organizations and laying the groundwork for several successful projects. It was a lot of “behind the scenes” work that will come to fruition in this year and you will soon see it come to life.

We purchased a building at 208 Main Avenue, thanks to a generous contribution from the Tillamook County Creamery Association, and will be remodeling and building it into a new Visitors Center to open later this year.

Our newest team member, Sierra, has been working with the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency on their application process, and the City of Tillamook on wayfinding parking signs. Both of these projects will be finalized and put into application in 2017.

Our newly remodeled Chamber website,, is up and running. As the year progresses we will continue to make that site a center for communication and information with weekly ODOT reports and updates and Chamber news and events.

Our Tillamook Living Calendar, which was created last year, is starting to increase in engagement and entries. As the year progresses keep looking to to find things to do near you.

We exceeded our expectations on taking travelers to China and will be taking off in April. Sierra and I are working on potentially planning a trip to Ireland as well, so keep your eyes peeled for more information about that in the months to come.

While we are continuing to build on the framework we put in place in 2016, we are also investigating new ideas and new possibilities. At our retreat the Board agreed to move forward this year with the feasibility and planning of a large food event (Let your imagination roam about how cool this could be).

We will also be focusing on intentional outreach to our members and bringing back networking opportunities and membership meetings so that we can all find new ways to grow and learn together as a team and as a community.

And don’t forget to join us on Jan. 14 for the annual Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Chamber at 503-842-7525 or email

Chamber Chatter: And the Nominees Are…

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

First of all, I would like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a business, project, or citizen. We were thrilled with the entries that came in, along with letters of support from all over the community. Our selection committee has their work cut out for them!

And now, without further ado, the nominees are:

In the category of Large Business of the Year:

  1. Pacific Seafood. With 75 years of experience, Pacific Seafood continues to specialize in bringing its customers high-quality seafood, while giving back to the communities it serves in way of jobs, donations, and opportunities.
  2. Zweifel Custom Farming. From hauling manure, to running a dairy cow daycare, to bailing 13,000 round hay bails each summer, Zweifel Custom Farming rents and owns 300 acres and works hard to make things a little easier for our county’s dairy farmers.

In the category of Small Business of the Year:

  1. Tillamook County Pioneer. The brainchild of the late LeeAnn Neal, the Tillamook County Pioneer has become a widely respected and reliable online news source for Tillamook County, bringing us daily news that is free to read.
  2. E&E Auto Body Inc. Family owned and operated, E&E Auto Body Inc. has been providing reliable and high quality automotive and auto body repair services since 1975.
  3. La Tea Da Tea Shop. Since 2001, co-Proprietors Terry Mizée and Suzanne Petty have created a unique experience in the heart of Tillamook, attracting visitors from across the world (as well as many loyal local customers) to experience the “tea life” and enjoy an exquisite gift shop.
  4. Garibaldi Portside Bistro. A newer addition at the Port of Garibaldi, this family restaurant specializes in creating affordable, mouth-watering culinary creations that use locally-sourced products and ingredients.
  5. Sunflower Flats. Family owned for 15 years, Sunflower Flats is a full-service, all-occasion florist that specializes in creating unique wedding and funeral designs and offers county-wide delivery. Their downtown gift shop is well stocked with home décor, garden and gift selections, local artists, candles, cards and much more.
  6. YoTime Frozen Yogurt. It’s hard to believe Yo Time only opened in June, and since then has become a family-friendly gathering place for birthday parties, after-hour school functions, and other community events, all while offering a refreshing treat loved by visitors and locals alike.

In the category of Developmental Project of the Year:

  1. Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers. Active in three other counties, Helping Hands branched into Tillamook County just over a year ago when they bought the Naval Command Center at the Port of Tillamook Bay and renovated it to serve as an emergency shelter. Since last April they have served more than 200 individuals.
  2. Garibaldi Apartments/ Paul Daniels. After selling his commercial fishing business to Pacific Seafood, Paul Daniels decided to reinvest his funds into the community by building the Garibaldi Apartments. This 18-unit apartment complex is the only new affordable-housing development in our county.
  3. Sheltered Nook Tiny Homes. Already an established Bed & Breakfast, Sheltered Nook has evolved into six tiny cabins, creating a unique vacation perfect for those who are looking to explore the tinier side of life. Sheltered Nook is also home to the only Disc Golf course between Newport and Astoria.
  4. Pelican Brewing Co. To meet the growing demand, Pelican Brewing Company constructed a 14,000-square-foot bottling/packaging facility next to the Tillamook Tap Room, allowing them to increase their production from 60 cases an hour to 300 cases an hour – making Pelican the second-fastest growing beer brand in Oregon in retail beer sales.

In the category of Citizen of the Year:

  1. Jerry Dove. Founder and President of the Tillamook Anglers, Jerry Dove has been instrumental in the management of the Whiskey Creek Volunteer Salmon Hatchery, as well as educating youth about the reproduction and care of our local fisheries.
  2. Evelynn Von Feldt. When you reflect on the work that the Tillamook County Master Gardeners has accomplished, it is hard not to think of Evlynn VonFeldt, who has dedicated her time not only to the Master Gardeners, but the Tillamook County Farmers Market, and OSU Extension as well.
  3. Roger Weeks. As the Principal and General Manager of Tillamook Motor Co., Roger has been instrumental in its growth over. Under Roger’s leadership, the dealership has continued to expand both its new and used car lots and has increased the garage’s capacity to serve all manners of cars.
  4. Dee Dee Haliski. Dee Dee is a nurse for Adventist Hospice, where she has provided care and comfort for hundreds of patients and their families. She is a resource for our elderly residents and an advocate for services that improve their quality of life.
  5. Connie Green. President of Tillamook Bay Community College since 2010, Connie Green has been an integral part of our community, serving on a variety of boards, committees, and of course most recently building the Partners for Rural Innovation Center on Third Street as a way to connect more resources in our county.
  6. Nick Troxel. Tillamook Police Detective Nick Troxel continues to be a positive figure in our community, particularly with youth and high school students. He participates each year in Shop with a Cop; is an active Rotarian who helped implement their Flag Program; and is on the Board of Directors for Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers.

The winners of each category will be announced at our annual Chamber Banquet on January 14th. To purchase a ticket, contact the Chamber at 503-842-7525 or email

Stay informed at

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been a pleasure these last several months to bring you weekly updates from the Chamber of Commerce. Based on comments and conversations I’ve had with both Chamber members and the general public, I think everyone is enjoying a chance to learn more about what the Chamber is up to. We’re thankful for this opportunity and partnership with the Headlight Herald and look forward to continuing to bring news, updates, and information your way.

One thing we haven’t touched on yet is our newly re-designed website, This is a fun one, because our intention with the new layout is to be an ongoing and reliable source of information regarding both the Chamber and its members.

This is where you will find the local business directory, the Chamber’s strategic plan and many other informational aspects of the Chamber, all conveniently located right here so you never have to miss a beat. You can meet our staff, contractors and Boar members. It might come as a surprise, but our Board is so much more than just faces and names. These are business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders who have been elected specifically for their skills and abilities to help propel the Chamber forward for the business community.

Every Wednesday we are publishing our Chamber Chatter on the blog. If you miss one in print or need to go back and reference something you heard me say, you can find them all on our website, with new ones every week.

If you didn’t know already, the Chamber participates in weekly meetings with ODOT and the construction crew to get the latest and most accurate information regarding the Highway 101/6 project. These weekly meetings give us an opportunity to present any concerns and help find solutions. Each week we write a bulletin that is posted to our website and emailed to subscribers, ensuring that you are always informed about exactly what is going on and we can eliminate any surprises. At you can directly sign up for the weekly Highway 101/6 bulletin email.

There’s more you can do, too. Sign up for our weekly “Monday Memo” (a soon-to-be revamped email sent out each Monday and comprised of local events and news). Join the Chamber in just a couple of minutes by filling out a simple, online application. And of course, browse our comprehensive calendar to keep afloat on all meetings, events, fundraisers, performances, and even more.

This is not just a stagnant website– it is a fun, engaging and informative point of reference for business owners and community members. And as with all websites, we are still working on getting the photography and some information dialed in, but the functionality is there! A big thanks to Tillamook Design for their work on this project, and for making our vision come to life.


Behind the Scenes

Highway 101 - 2nd Street

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

Some of the aspects of the work I do as Director of Events and Downtown Development are much less glamorous than others. Lucky for me, I adore projects that require lots of policy and program analysis! I thought I’d take a moment this week to bring some of those behind-the-scenes activities that I’ve been working on out in to the public eye.

I currently have the pleasure of serving on not just one, but two ad hoc committees for the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency in which we are reviewing the TURA grant application process and ways to raise community awareness about TURA. TURA is its own entity that operates in tandem with the City of Tillamook- the agency has a unique budget, independent governing board, specific goals and objectives, and exists for a limited amount of time (25 years). The purpose of TURA is to create funding opportunities to assist and incentivize in the revitalization of properties within the Tillamook Urban Renewal District Boundaries. As a community member, you may find yourself surprised at the number of projects that TURA has been involved in, and even more surprised at the potential that exists for future projects.

The Chamber has been invited to partner with TURA staff and board to revise the application process, looking for ways to make the grant and loan funding that is available more approachable for businesses and property owners. Conversations with Chamber members have highlighted that outreach about the TURA programs and a streamlined application process would be welcomed. Through these committee roles, the Chamber is working with TURA to simplify the process to determine if a project is eligible, increase the clarity of the application process, and support strategies to raise awareness about the opportunities TURA has available. We have made some great progress already, and I am hopeful that as we wrap up these committees in the next few months I will have more good news to report.

Another big behind-the-scenes project has been with the City of Tillamook as they review the sign code ordinance and their performance review process. Both of these areas of the city code are extremely relevant to businesses, and the current language can be confusing and hard to interpret. City Council has spent some time in recent workshops considering these and other possible ordinance amendments, ultimately supporting staff in opening a broader discussion as to what the sign ordinance should look like and what criteria might be appropriate to trigger the performance review process. The Chamber has been happy to participate in the discussions and offer perspective from the business community, and is advocating for simple consistent language that reflects the goals of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

The Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce is vested in the vitality of the local economy, and we are diligently cataloging resources and options available for pursuing growth and maximizing stability for entrepreneurs. Sometimes we can point to flashy events and public projects, but sometimes the work is in small committees and the review of big documents. We appreciate the responsiveness of our members, who consistently point out ideas for growth and opportunities to adapt to suit their needs, and are grateful for community partners who keep the door open. If you have questions about these or other projects, feel welcome to give me a call or email any time.

Keeping an Eye on the Oregon Legislature

First, I want to say thank you to those who helped defeat Measure 97 by using their voice and casting a vote. However, the fight is not over. There has been a lot of speculation about what to expect from the Oregon Legislature on the heels of Measure 97’s defeat that will directly affect our local businesses, and I feel a role of the Chamber is to bring awareness of potential issues that may affect our local businesses in the upcoming session:

Tax reform. Senator Mark Hass (Beaverton) has been vocal about his support for a 0.4% Commercial Activities Tax in exchange for eliminating corporate income taxes and lowering personal income taxes. It seems likely that 2017 will be the year that this proposal gains traction.

Property taxes. Senator Hass has also proposed eliminating the 3% annual growth cap on assessed value in exchange for moving to market-value based assessments coupled with a significant homestead exemption. This translates into an increase in business property taxes and would likely be part of a comprehensive tax overhaul proposal in the future.

Corporate Tax Disclosure. For the past several years, the legislature has toyed with the idea of passing legislation requiring C corporations to disclose business and tax information to the Secretary of State to be posted on a public website.  It would not be surprising to see a full-throttle effort to pass this type of legislation next year.

Creative tax increases.  For the past several years, the legislature has utilized a loophole that allows it to both extend existing tax credits (revenue deduction) and raise taxes (revenue increase) in the same legislation, thus allowing it to avoid the 3/5 supermajority requirement for raising taxes. This continues to inflict a significant emerging threat to the business community, and one we will be watching closely.

Supermajority no longer required. The Oregon Supreme Court handed legislative tax-raisers a victory in the past year by ruling that it no longer requires a 3/5 supermajority vote of the legislature to raise revenue through the elimination of tax credits or deductions. For years, certain legislators have eagerly awaited the prospect of scaling back or eliminating tax deductions such as the mortgage interest deduction. Next year will be the first session where this will be possible with a simple majority vote – a huge implication for Oregon businesses.

The Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce does not have a position on these items but we encourage you to take a look at how they may affect your business and let us know if you have a concern. We will do our best to keep you updated and informed as the legislative session approaches.

Thankful for opportunities to serve our community


I hope everyone was able to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday last week, and that somewhere amongst the festivities and food you found a moment to give thanks for the things in your life that help make it special. I know I did. I found myself thinking of not only my home life, but also my work life, and want to share how incredibly thankful I am for our community and the many partnerships that have blossomed for the Chamber.

It was humbling to see how many of our local restaurants and cafes stepped up to the plate to offer Thanksgiving dinners for those in need. Whether a meal by donation at the Schooner Restaurant and Lounge, or a free meal at the Dutch Mill Diner, or to-go turkey care packages from Muddy Waters, everywhere you look we are making an effort to take care of each other. Thank you to those who went the extra mile and opened their businesses and churches so that no one had to be alone on Thanksgiving.

The Chamber mission is to enhance tourism, business, and economic viability in the greater Tillamook area. We strive to be a resource and an advocate for our members, and we find our success relies on partnerships and relationships. The same immeasurable sense of community that fills bellies during the holidays keeps us running all year long – supporting and challenging us to fulfill our mission in new and greater ways.

Reflecting on all of this, I found myself thankful for the Chamber’s recent partnership with the Manzanita Visitor’s Center and the Manzanita business community during the “Cash Mob” event earlier this month. They welcomed us with open arms and were appreciative of the energy and ideas we brought, and our partnership efforts really paid off. Customers turned out in droves; many Manzanita businesses had a huge day! I look forward to future opportunities in all of our coastal communities.

Small Business Saturday, this past weekend, is another testament to the power of partnership. Our team worked closely with the SBDC office planning the day, and together we built some great relationships with small businesses throughout the county, and drew many shoppers to multiple communities. We facilitated a series of activities in the downtown area of Tillamook that were a collaboration with many small business owners. It was so exciting to see shoppers shrugging off the weather to explore what stores have to offer, and early feedback seems to be that this was a record breaking Small Business Saturday for several of the businesses. The Tillamook Revitalization Association was also a partner in this event (donating funding to help with the advertising), as was Art Accelerated, a burgeoning non-profit who put together the Pop-up Art show many were able to enjoy.

Not all of our partnerships are as visible. We were recently invited to participate in the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency’s effort to revamp their application process. TURA is housed in Tillamook City Hall, and is essentially tasked with investing in the revitalization of the district. They offer funding opportunities for certain types of projects within their district, and have included the Chamber in their process to weigh in on how to make their programs more approachable for potential applicants. We are excited to be invited to the table, and are optimistic in where the conversations are heading.

We also have a lot to look forward to. By the end of the year, the Chamber will be in our new location downtown. It’s been a great partnership with the Tillamook County Creamery Association to share their space and their visitors, and we know that our relocation is not the end of our relationship. They have reserved space for visitor information within the new facility, and made a generous financial contribution that was essential in securing the building that is currently Bells Office Supply. The owners of BOS, Scott and Mary were thrilled to sell their building and evolve their business, and the Chamber is equally thrilled to be returning to downtown Tillamook after a 30+ year absence.

Thank you Tillamook for the opportunity to serve you.




Don’t forget to make your nominations

Tillamook Chamber Recent News

Well folks, the holidays are officially upon us. You can practically hear the Christmas music in the air, and you can definitely see the seasonal displays adorning several local businesses.

For many of us, the holidays are a time to honor Christ and celebrate family traditions – from decorating your tree to roasting chestnuts over an open fire to nominating your favorite business for an annual Chamber Award. [Wait what?] If you’re thinking, that’s not one of my traditions, well then this year is a perfect time to start a new one! This is our chance to come together as a community and tell our local businesses how much we appreciate them.

Those nominated will be recognized at our annual banquet in January. But in order to do that we need you to fill out a nomination form. There are five categories: Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Development Project of the Year; Citizen of the Year; and Junior Citizen of the Year (under 20). All nominations are due by December 16th, 2016. That gives you a little over a month to choose a business, project, or citizen that has touched your life in a positive way.

When I stop and think about all of the development and growth we have experienced in the last year it is almost mind-boggling. From new businesses popping up left and right, to a brand new homeless shelter, to buildings being revitalized and a new skate park… The list goes on and on.

Everywhere we look there are people who are working hard to make our lives better here in Tillamook County. Let’s take a few moments to thank them, shall we? It takes time, hard work and commitment to invest in our community and they probably don’t hear “thank you” enough.

Nomination forms are available at or at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. Again, applications must be in by Dec. 16, 2016.

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at




Let’s Mob Manzanita!

On November 12th, the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce is going to release a mob in Manzanita – a cash mob that is!

Why? We know that we have very few Chamber members in the Manzanita area. And it’s a little out of the way of what most would consider our “jurisdiction.” But sometimes you just have to set aside your policies and do what is needed. They are our neighbors to the North and when disaster hits your neighbor we all need to come together and surround them with support.

Even though it’s been weeks since the tornado struck the coastal village, the effects are still being felt by residents and businesses as they try to rebuild and shake the blow caused by the tornado. Nearly all of the businesses have been able to reopen their doors to customers – which is awesome – however, being closed for repairs can have a lasting impact on and we are planning to go up there and give them not only a shot of cash but a much needed morale booster.

This mob will be a little different from the cash mobs we’ve hosted in past years. This time, we are mobbing the entire business community! Sounds pretty exciting, right?

Here’s how it will work: The Cash Mob will run from 11 am to 4pm on November 12th. All open Manzanita businesses are fair game and you are welcome to show up and shop anytime that you please. Myself and others will be meeting first at the Manzanita Visitor’s Center, 31 Laneda Avenue, at 11 am. I encourage you to meet us there and get excited for what we are about to accomplish. Starting out as a large group brings a sense of excitement and collaboration, not only for us but for the businesses owners and employees as well. (Meeting at the Manzanita’s Visitor’s Center together also means we get to leave together and really emphasize the “mob” portion of this event. It’s fun, trust me.)

There are no rules, per say, to how much money you are supposed to spend. We do ask, however, that you spend at least $25. Plus, if you bring $50 or more in receipts back to the Manzanita Visitor’s Center we will give you a ticket for a free entree at one of many participating restaurants good for that day. And did I mention yet that several of the local businesses will be hosting drawings with awesome prizes? Yeah, it’s going to be a pretty fun day showing Manzanita a little extra love.

For more information and to help spread the word, find our Facebook event page: Manzanita Cash Mob.

We are hoping to see our community rally around Manzanita this time, but it doesn’t have to stop there. This could be the start of something awesome where we “mob” each community in Tillamook County. I have a feeling downtown Tillamook will be next – our business owners need it due to the impact of construction. So let’s have some fun, spend some money, support our neighbors, and plan to keep the energy going.




We’re Moving!

Tillamook Chamber of Commerce location

The Tillamook County Creamery Association recently released their plans to build a brand new visitors center, which will be begin next Spring. This is a very exciting development for our community that will enhance the current experience for our visitors and add more capacity for destination spending.

It also means that we have to move. When you look at the plans for their new Visitor’s Center, which will be nearly 50 percent bigger than the current building, it is quite apparent that they will also need to redesign the flow of their parking lot and can no longer accommodate our building. We’ve been blessed with this location for several years now and it has served us well, but we’re excited about the new opportunities both for the Creamery and the Chamber.

Now for the really exciting part! We are moving back to downtown Tillamook!

Thanks to a considerable financial contribution from the Creamery, we were able to obtain financing to purchase the building at 208 Main Avenue, where Bells Office Supply currently resides. The generosity of the Creamery’s leadership and its Board of Directors has been phenomenal, and we wouldn’t have been able to relocate without their help. Even though they had no obligation to help us, they stepped forward in a very generous way and we are so grateful for their support.

We were able to buy the building from its owners, who have operated Bells Office Supply since 2004. Many of you may know Scott and Mary, who were excited to sell the building to the Chamber and are still contemplating where they will relocate. Scott and Mary have a valuable service to the community and we are going to make sure we do what we can to minimize impact on their business.

So what does all this mean for you? Why is it so exciting to have the Chamber back downtown? It means being able to better assist downtown customers; it means better business relations; and it means bringing the positive energy of having a Chamber in the core of downtown.

We have some exciting additions beyond visitor information for the new location, including a small retail space upfront to highlight locally-made products, a large meeting space and a business lounge.

Wait, what’s a business lounge? It’s a comfortable, open area with tall tables and comfortable seating that allows people to come in and meet with colleagues or clients. It’s perfect for those people who find themselves in town for business or in-between meetings and would love to have a landing place to do some work for a bit or get online. It will be especially beneficial for those businesses that don’t have a brick and mortar location, such as photographers, independent contractors, and so forth.

And while we will miss the opportunity to further assist visitors at the Cheese Factory, the Creamery has announced it plans to include a space for mini “visitors’ information center” inside the new facility.

Overall, I believe this is a positive change for our community and we are eagerly awaiting our move-in date this Winter. There will be a remodel phase, but I hope you’ll stop in and say hi.

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at


Chamber Chatter: Vote No on Measure 97

Last week your voter’s pamphlet was delivered to your home. Hopefully you had a chance to flop through it and educate yourself on some of the important issues facing both our country and our state.

One that is getting a lot of attention lately is Measure 97 – the corporate sales tax. Chambers all across the state are urging voters to vote No on this measure, and I’d like to share with you a few of the reasons why.

First of all, advertisements and letters of support for Measure 97 claim that Oregon will be gaining roughly $5 million for schools, seniors, roads, bridges, public safety and healthcare. However, there is absolutely no language written into this measure that allocates the money to these services. In fact, Katherine Driessen, a spokesperson for the group sponsoring Measure 97, was quoted as saying “If the Constitution requires some diversion away from the will of the voters—directing the money to schools, healthcare, and senior services—that’s for the courts to decide.” When push comes to shove, there is nothing stopping the State of Oregon from using this new revenue for whatever it wants.

Propaganda in favor of Measure 97 claims that Oregon already has the lowest corporate taxes in the entire country. This is a lie. Top statutory corporate tax rates in the country range from 4% – 12%. Oregon ranks 7.6%– already on the high end.

Some are also spinning this proposed hidden sales tax into a workforce issue, claiming that our youth need more and better education (which this measure will allegedly fund but remember, that’s not written anywhere) in order to fill jobs when they are older. While it’s true that we do hear from small business owners around the state that one of their largest concern is a lack of workforce, but it is not because the current workforce didn’t receive enough class hours in grade school. Implying that we aren’t able to fill jobs because our children are uneducated is quite absurd. These are two separate issues and need to be addressed as such.

In fact, the Legislative Revenue Office, a non-partisan State office comprised of economists, reported that Measure 97 would inevitable result in a decrease in private-sector jobs. They also reported that the most significantly-impacted population will be low-income families. Now I ask you, how will job loss help our state’s workforce issue?

But possibly the part that worries me the most is when our leaders at the state level admit that Measure 97 has its problems and needs some “fine tuning.” Why would we pass a measure that is admittedly problematic? And based on the recent sessions, do we trust the current legislation to have the political will to fairly fine tune it after it’s passed? We are fortunate to have a few great elected officials, but as a whole Salem is not operating on behalf of its constituents.

In short, voting yes on Measure 97 is the equivalent of setting yourself on fire because you’re cold. It’s extreme. It’s harsh. And it will get the job done, but at what cost?

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at


Chamber Chatter: Welcome to the team, Sierra

It is with great excitement that I announce the addition of a new, full-time employee here at the Chamber. I hope you will all join me in welcoming Sierra Lauder as the Director of Events and Downtown Development.

You may be asking yourself: Why this is such a big deal? I’ll tell you why: for the past five years I have seen what the Chamber has been able to accomplish with just two staff people and our many volunteers, and I can’t help but get excited thinking of what we can accomplish by adding Sierra to our ranks.

Sierra has her Bachelor’s degree is Social Science with an emphasis in Rural Studies and Political Science. For her senior project she wrote a grant, so we are thrilled to have her grant writing experience at the Chamber. She is an avid volunteer and sees the value in community engagement.

Sierra has worked for non-profits, government agencies and small businesses and appreciates the pros and cons of each realm. In her own words she said “I am very excited to tackle this new role that allows for me to indulge my creative energy in event development and implementation while humoring my passion for public process and civic engagement.”

Sierra has lived in Tillamook County for the last 15 years and spent the first 12 in south Tillamook County. She and her kids are often present at many community events and have enjoyed the family-friendly nature of these events. Sierra says, “I am hopeful that, as a team, we are able to continue to grow and expand those events in a sustainable way, utilizing lots of volunteer energy… I look forward to hearing the great ideas circling and finding ways to actualize them in alignment with the goals and strategic plans that exist for the downtown area.”

Sierra’s role will work very closely with the City of Tillamook as she will be managing the Main Street program on a daily basis in downtown Tillamook. If you are a downtown business owner, it is our hope that you will come to know Sierra very well. It is one of her intentions to be accessible and approachable as possible and to be a resource to you. If you are a small business owner you know that securing grant funding and complying with ordinances can be overwhelming sometimes, and one of Sierra’s roles will be to assist in increasing accessibility and providing support for businesses that are looking to grow and/or establish themselves within the community.

“I love the character of our downtown district,” she said, “and I am so looking forward to getting to meet you all in the coming weeks.”

The community is fortunate to have Sierra at the Chamber, and I look forward to seeing her energy and skills be used to make Tillamook a better place to live and do business. Monday, October 3 was her first official day on the job and she already had a to-do list that she put together with little direction from me.

If you would like to get involved in downtown Tillamook events, or just want to welcome Sierra to the team, you can reach her at or call 503-842- 7525.

Join Us in China!

Justin Aufdermauer at Great Wall of China

While we have several important things happening right now in the community, I wanted to give you a brief update on our China trip.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to experience another culture, look no further than the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. We are hosting an all-inclusive trip to China on April 15-24, 2017. And, there is still time to sign up!

This trip is a partnership with Citslinc International and includes stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzou. There will be opportunities to visit historical sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, Tian An Men Square, and more. Not to mention plenty of opportunities to visit with local Chinese industries. An additional tour will take those interested to see the Terra Cotta Warriers.

This trip is perfect for all ages and we already have people signed up who range from six years in age to nearly 80 years old. You’re never too old – or too young – to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

The cost is $2,299 and includes airfare from Seattle, hotel accommodations at 4- and 5-star hotels, three meals a day and professional drivers and tour guides.

I had the pleasure of taking this exact trip several years ago and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the experience. This is by far one of the most affordable ways to experience this unique country and learn more about the Chinese culture.

Citslinc Internationals only offers trips at this rate for Chambers of Commerce,. Myself and several Chamber Directors were treated to this trip so that we could experience it before offering the opportunity to our communities as a way to financially support the Chamber. The Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce wasn’t necessarily intending to offer a trip to China, however several members of our community have asked us for it so we decided to give it a go.

And it has been a great success already. So far, more than 60 people have signed up!  We have room to take a total of 80. There is a $100 discount if the fee is paid in full by cash or check. Otherwise, a $300 deposit is required to hold your spot. The remainder is due by Dec. 15, 2016.

You can find more details on our Facebook page ‘Tillamook Chamber China Trip’ or by contacting the Chamber Visitors Center at 503-842-7525 or emailing

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at


Time to Nominate your Favorite Business

Tillamook Chamber of Commerce location

School is back in session, the days are getting shorter and there is a cold nip in the air. Yes, it must mean that fall is upon us. That time of year when we gather together with our families around our favorite foods, uphold traditions, exchange gifts, and remember what we are thankful for.

It’s also time to pause and reflect on those in the community who have had a positive impact on our lives, and that we would like to say “thank you” to. Tillamook County has had a great deal of change and growth this year, and it’s been exciting to watch and enjoy the benefits of these new additions to our area.

Which is why each year in January, the Chamber recognizes those businesses, organizations, and people who have helped make Tillamook a special place to live. At our annual banquet we hand out awards in five categories: Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Development Project of the Year; Citizen of the Year; and Junior Citizen of the Year (under 20). Our purpose is to say thank you, and to let all those nominated know that we appreciate and value their time, commitment, and investment in our community.

But in order to hand out these awards, we need you – the community – to make your nominations. This is your chance to say thank you to those businesses and organizations that have made a difference in your life. Let’s let them know how much we appreciate their hard work and the efforts they make each and every day to enhance our lives.

If you yourself are a businesses owner you know that compliments and appreciation can sometimes be few and far between, but they go along way. So I’m encouraging everyone – whether you are a business owner, employee, volunteer, or just someone who calls this place home – to take some time and nominate your favorite businesses and those making positive improvements to our area.

Nomination forms are available at or at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. Applications must be in by Dec. 20, 2016.

Downtown walking maps aim to increase visitor spending

Downtown Tillamook Walking Map

Last winter, the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce was fortunate enough to receive a Tourism Promotions Grant from Visit Tillamook Coast to create a downtown walking map. Our goal was to produce a tool that would generate more foot traffic in the heart of Tillamook.

The rational behind these maps is that people shopping downtown – particularly visitors to the area – aren’t aware of how many different types of businesses are just within walking distance.

As you probably, know, our downtown has a lot to offer. From frozen yogurt to gourmet cupcakes, yarn and fabric stores, handmade soaps, florists, and vintage thrift shops… There are all kinds of things to explore and do in an afternoon.

And one thing our downtown business owners continue to be great at is interacting with their customers and making sure they know of other nearby places to visit. Now, thanks to the downtown walking map, they have a convenient tool they can reference and that helps visitors gain a better picture of our downtown.

Jackie Ripley, who co-owns Madeline’s Vintage Market Place on Third Street, said that her customers have responded positively to the new map – particularly those from out of state.

Jackie is one who has always done a great job of recommending her fellow downtown business (such as Sunflower Flats, Blue Moon Café, and the Phoenix Exchange) to her customers depending on what else they’re looking for. Now, she said she can easily show them how to get anywhere in downtown Tillamook.

And, she’s had several people in her shop who found her thanks to the downtown walking map.

Along with a printed version that can be picked up for free at the Chamber Visitor Center and different downtown business, there is also a web-based version available at under the ‘downtown’ menu.

The web-based map utilizes GPS and the location services available on mobile devices to direct mobile users easily throughout the downtown area. Users can enter their location and see exactly how close they are to different downtown businesses. It also lets user search for what type of business they’re looking for. So whether it’s a cup of coffee, a place to eat, a manicure or an ice cream cone, the map lists the different options available, as well as how far away they are, addresses and phone number. Users can click ‘take me there’ which redirects to Google maps with an exact walking route to their destination.

This new downtown walking map is a free service for Chamber members in downtown. Other businesses can have their listing added to the map for a small fee by contacting the Chamber at the email below.

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at

BOLI Supervisor Training Comes to Tillamook

Tillamook Bay Community College

With a variety of recent changes in workplace laws, the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Tillamook Bay Community College to bring a six-part supervisor training series to Tillamook. Trainers from the Bureau of Labor and Industries Technical Assistance Program will conduct the trainings. Each session is held at the TBCC campus.

“There has been a lot of changes in workplace laws in just this year alone,” said Justin Aufdermauer, the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “We wanted to offer an opportunity where supervisors, managers, and business owners could get up to speed on what these new laws are and how they may affect their business and business practices.”

Over the course of three months, the training will focus on the basics of supervision and employment laws. Each session is three hours and addresses a specific aspect of supervision and applicable laws.

Those interested can choose to attend only one session, pick a few, or take the entire series. Sessions build on knowledge skills attained from prior sessions, and useful reference materials and handouts will be provided.

“We want to make sure our business owners and supervisors feel supported as they navigate through these new laws,” Aufdermauer continued, “and that they come away from the series with the knowledge and understanding they need to implement best business practices.”

The first session begins Sept. 23 and the last one wraps up on Nov. 23. Each session is from 9am – 12 pm at the main Tillamook Bay Community College campus.
Attendees are encouraged to register ahead of time by contacting Tammie Samagaio at or by calling (503) 842-7525. Sessions are $60 a piece, or $225 for the full series.


Session 1 – The Basics (9/23: 9am – 12pm)

Discussion of effective supervisory practices; at-will employment and its exceptions; Civil Rights laws and protected classes; and understanding and avoiding workplace harassment.

Session 2 – Hiring Employees (9/30: 9am – 12pm)

Effective and legal hiring practices; starting employees on the right foot; employee orientation; the use of employee handbooks and policies; setting goals and expectations.

Session 3 – Protected Leave (10/14: 9am – 12pm)

Basics of family leave laws including OFLA, FMLA, injured workers and ADA.

Session 4 – Basics of Wage and Hour Laws for Supervisors (10/28: 9am – 12 pm)

Hours worked; overtime; rest and meal periods; timekeeping; and paydays.

Session 5 – Employee Management – Part 1 (11/4: 9am – 12pm)

Setting expectations; position descriptions; performance appraisals; coaching for desired employee performance; and documentation.

Session 6 – Employee Management – Part 2 (11/18: 9am – 12 pm)

Workplace investigations; conducting disciplinary meetings; termination; post-termination issues; and best practices of effective supervisors.

5 Benefits to being a Chamber Member

Tillamook River

Here is a question I hear a lot: “why should I be a member of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce? What’s in it for me?”

It’s a valid question. If you’re spending money on any service, you want to know that it’s working for your business and making a difference. So here are five benefits your business could experience right now by being a member of the Chamber today:

  1. As a Chamber member, we are here to be the best resource possible for you and your business. Admittedly the Chamber cannot help you with everything, however we are positive we can help point you in the right direction. Although we will help anyone and everyone, being a member clearly puts you at the top of our to-do list. We partner with different agencies to bring business development trainings to our area and will be expanding this service over the next year. And, in the near future we will be offering assistance to help member businesses write and obtain local grants. As a member you are the first to know about these programs and will receive discounted registrations, or be able to attend for free in some cases.
  2. Enhanced Livability. The intangible benefit of becoming a Chamber member – yet the most beneficial – is being the financial support that allows the Chamber to continue to do the work in the community that we do for the good of everyone. This includes organizing events such as the Cork & Brew and the June Dairy Parade. It means designing the downtown walking map and new Tillamook Living Calendar. It also means addressing community needs – like working with ODOT on local traffic issues and organizing the downtown cleanup. There are a significant number of things the Chamber is involved in that enhance the livability of our community. A financial contribution in the form of Chamber membership supports all of these things and more. Together we are making our community a better place to both live and spend money.
  3. Having an Advocate. You’re probably too busy to keep up with everything that happens in government – both locally and statewide. And that’s OK. Being a Chamber member means you always have an advocate in local and state-wide government issues. We work to create a balanced dialogue between government and the business community. We always advocate for free enterprise and oppose new taxes and fees that are aimed directly at businesses. You can rest assured that you will have a voice in issues that affect you.
  4. Direct referrals. It may be hard to believe in this Internet age where Google is a household name, but often when people are looking for a particular type of business, product, or service they contact the Chamber. We get calls from people every day inquiring about potential vendors. A primary group we hear from are local businesses asking if anyone in the area provides what they are looking for. We may be a small community, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows everything about the business community and what is available. As a Chamber member, you have more opportunities to gain these valuable referrals, both from the Chamber directly and other Chamber members.
  5. Indirect referrals and visibility. Not to devalue the last point, but membership is relatively inexpensive, averaging from $195 to $330 per year. The amount of visibility you receive online and in print is the best exposure you can spend your advertising dollar on. We say that with confidence! Your business is included in three different online directories, receiving tens of thousands of visits. This helps your own business website retain a higher listing on Google searches. Our membership directory is also printed in 100,000 visitor guides each year, and we have another local publication in the works. And for those who thrive from tourism, don’t forget that Chamber members can display their marketing materials in the Visitor Center. We love knowing that whether you provide a local service or a tourism-related service, we are your best investment dollar for dollar.

Those are just five ways you generate more income for your business by being a Chamber member. I would love to talk to you more about other ways the Chamber can help your business thrive. If you have questions or would like a membership application please email us below.

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at



Welcome to the Dairylands

GoTillamook Dairylands

If you haven’t visited our website,, in awhile, then I encourage you to check it out soon. We just completed a massive, comprehensive redesign that will better serve our community and those visiting the area.

In fact, was redesigned with the visitor in mind. We needed a venue where we could share experiences available in our region. If someone is looking for great fishing, the best place to go for breakfast, a rigorous hike or a unique family adventure, they can find all that information in an easy-to-navigate website. Because the last thing we want to do is make it harder for our visitors to find the information they need. If they’re looking for a hotel number, website, directions or prices we’ve made sure that information is easily accessible.

In addition to being easy to navigate, highlights the lifestyles and attractions of our region in a visually appealing format. We’re showcasing the very best that Tillamook County has to offer with bold, vibrant photos. These are photos of our business owners, our families, our favorite activities, and of course our beautiful scenery. We believe this visual approach tells our story better because visitors will know exactly what to expect when they get here: they can expect friendly faces, plenty of things to do, delicious food, and new friends.

We’ve also added a link on the homepage that links to our Tillamook Living calendar. The Tillamook Living calendar is a one-stop shop for meetings, events, classes, performing arts, and more. It will eventually be fully integrated across the county so that you never miss what is going on in the area.

And finally, last winter we received a Tourism Promotions Grant from Visit Tillamook Coast for a downtown map. There are print versions available at the Visitors Center and local businesses, and a web-based version can be found under the ‘downtown’ menu on The web-based map utilizes GPS and the location services available on mobile devices to direct mobile users easily throughout the downtown area. The goal is to help visitors discover more things to do in our downtown.

As with all websites, is not stagnant. As information and needs change, we will work to continually build and adjust this website to best suit the needs of our visitors.

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at

Tillamook Living Calendar

Tillamook Living Event Calendar

Almost since the day I was hired as Executive Director of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce, members of the community have been asking for a calendar of all events that spans the entire region.

I know what you’re thinking: we already have calendars that do that. True, we have calendars. There are several out there that offer information about local events, meetings, volunteer opportunities, and more. However if you’re not checking all of these calendars then you are missing a lot of great opportunities to explore new things, attend a local government meeting, or learn a new hobby.

What I’ve learned through listening to people and organizations is that we don’t need another calendar – we need an integrated calendar.

That’s where the Chamber’s new, community-wide calendar comes in. Currently located at, this calendar will not only be cohesive, it will also soon integrate with other calendars across the entire region and be available in multiple locations.

What that means is when an event is entered into one of the pre-existing calendars, it can automatically show up on the Tillamook Living calendar. Or, when you submit an event directly to the Chamber’s calendar, it will populate the other calendars across the county. Now, no matter where you go to find information on what is happening in our community, you won’t miss a thing.

The Tillamook Living calendar is a one-stop shop for meetings, events, classes, performing arts, and more. The search function allows you to narrow your results by a specific organization, type of activity, or by date and time. If you’re only interested in family-friendly activities, or live music, you can search specifically for those.  What about a local author reading in the area? Or a photography class? It’s easy to narrow your search to only see what you’re interested in. And, it’s fun and simple to use.

Submitting an event is just as easy as searching for one. All you do is click on the ‘submit an event’ button and fill out the form. You can select more than one category that describes your event so it will show up in the proper searches. You have the option to upload a photo, a link to your website, or a Google map link. If it’s a reoccurring event, fill out the requirements under the ‘reoccurrence rules.’ It’s that simple.

While this calendar is still a work in progress and is not yet fully integrated across the county, you can still visit it at to search for things to do and/or upload your events.

If you want to install this calendar on your website or integrate your current calendar please let us know. The calendar is open for everyone and we look forward to forging lasting partnerships for the betterment of the region.

The Chamber Board and myself value your input and insight. Feel free to contact us anytime at