Tillamook Community Calendar a resource for events goers and throwers

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

For the first time in what feels like a very long time, my calendar is booked up.

This weekend I will attend the first living showing of a TAPA performance, and I’ve blocked out the second week of August for Tillamook County Fair (it’ll be my first Pig ‘n’ Ford experience!). My scheduled also includes a full slate of Chamber sponsored events for the fall, including regular Sip + Shops, Mornings on Main Street meetings and Cork & Brew (more on that soon!)

You might be wondering how I manage to keep such a full schedule, especially considering that we just now started transitioning back into in-person gatherings and events. My secret is the Tillamook Community Calendar.

You can access the calendar directly at TillamookLiving.com, but it also appears online in several places, including the Chamber website, the Headlight Herald website and the City of Tillamook website. It’s the largest, most widespread and most comprehensive listing of events in Tillamook County.

The community calendar is where I hear about weekend entertainment events and learn about the beloved community festivals that make Tillamook so great. It saves me a lot of time, because I don’t have to sift through multiple websites and Facebook pages to find details on various events. They are all in one place on the community calendar!

The calendar took a sort of hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly because there were few in-person community events happening. But now that gatherings are allowed again, more and more listings are appearing on the community calendar.

For me, that means my personal schedule has started to fill up again. The same is probably true of anyone else who uses the calendar to find something to do. Once you know about it, your days of languishing around the house with nothing to do become a thing of the past!

But the community calendar serves a greater purpose than simply padding our social lives. It also gives you a way to get the word out about your own public events with a single submission that blasts to multiple websites. In short, the calendar is a free and easy marketing tool to reach a lot of people quickly.

Submitting an event to the community calendar is easy: You simply fill out a short online form with the name of your event, the dates and times it’s happening and a brief description of what it is. There’s even an option to upload a photo or flyer to generate even more excitement!

It feels great to be able to gather, attend live events and carry on with social life as usual again, and I’m glad to have the Tillamook Community Calendar to help me find and share events.

Check it out for yourself today at TillamookLiving.com.

A Fresh Set of Eyes: Redesigning the Tillamook Living Magazine

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As one of Tillamook’s newer residents, I get the pleasure of looking at this beautiful dairy town with a fresh set of eyes that makes everything feel new and exciting. That perspective has been especially helpful lately as the Chamber has started the redesign process for our Tillamook Living lifestyle and relocation magazine.

The magazine is intended as a resource that real estate agents, service providers, businesses and other community groups can hand out to new residents as a go-to guide of the town. It’s packed full of information about Tillamook’s local industries, services, retail shops, hikes, community service groups and so much more. It covers everything from hooking up electricity when you first move in, to finding a new doctor or dentist, to attending a community event once you’ve settled in. And it includes the Chamber’s complete membership directory.

The Chamber started publishing Tillamook Living last year. It was a project born out of conversations with business owners and community leaders about how we could recruit and retain new workers. In its simplest form, Tillamook Living is a tool to show off this place we are so lucky to live work and play in – and draw new talent into our ranks.

Tillamook is the type of rural community where you know your mail carrier by name and rally together to help a neighbor in need. But unlike some rural towns, Tillamook also has three big name grocery stores, access to world class seafood and craft beer and ample opportunities to hike, paddle or fish in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country!

Tillamook has all the benefits of small town living without losing any of the big city amenities people want. And that’s a fact we must communicate with potential future residents! We need to show new residents how amazing Tillamook really is, and we believe Tillamook Living is the best way to do that.

Speaking from my own experience, the magazine was a really helpful tool in getting to know the community. My personal copy is dog eared and marked up in many places, and I still refer to it when I’m looking for a particular business or service in town.

But I come to Tillamook from another small town. I already know the value of living in a rural community, and I seek out the special parts of a small town that make it great. I understand when the magazine says Tillamook has many community events, it doesn’t mean just events. It means beloved traditions unlike any event you’ve attended before. It means special moments the entire community looks forward to, so we can gather together and build relationships.

People from larger cities might not be as adept at finding those special things or reading between the lines. So this year we are using a fresh set of eyes to redesign the magazine to better communicate the benefits of living in Tillamook.

We plan to add multiple feature articles that highlight our businesses, our community leaders and our local industries. These articles will show off the personality of Tillamook. But more importantly, they will explicitly share how Tillamook stands out from other rural communities. The articles will answer the “why” in “Why move to Tillamook?”

Once all is said and done, the Tillamook Living magazine will look very different from last year’s edition. But the publication will be even more useful for newcomers than the current edition. Copies will be available later this fall.

And should you come across a copy of Tillamook Living later this year, I hope you’ll flip through and give the articles a read — even if you’re a longtime resident. If we’ve done the redesign right, the magazine will give you a fresh set of eyes to remember why exactly you chose to live, work and play in Tillamook!

Meet the Chamber of Today

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Imagine for a moment the community without the Chamber. This was not far from reality a decade ago, when we were months from the Chamber becoming a completely volunteer-run organization or not existing at all. The budget was unsustainable, our membership roster was short and frankly, at that point in time, the Chamber was a visitor information center that hosted three small community events. Somewhere along the way, the Chamber had lost its way.

Fast forward 10 years, and you’ll find that the Chamber has made a concerted move to embrace its unique role of building a strong community where businesses can thrive (not so coincidentally, that is our current mission statement.) Between board leadership and staff vision, it seems that we have turned things around for the better.

Today, the Chamber boasts the largest membership in our history, with members as far north as Manzanita and as far south as Pacific City. We have two full-time, two part-time and two seasonal staff to run our programs, a board of seven directors that governs the organization and five strategic teams dedicated to one of five focus areas.

Our Leadership Team is the guiding force for the Chamber. This team focuses on internal operations and practices to make sure the Chamber is staying relevant, innovative and adaptive. The “jobs” that fall under this team include but are not limited to managing service contracts; strategic planning and aligning the Chamber’s mission with the needs of the community; and creating a positive workplace culture that can be a model for other organizations.

Our Business Growth Team focuses on exactly what its name suggests: supporting businesses as they grow both operationally and financially. More specifically, this team promotes businesses, shares business development opportunities with local businesses, advises business owners, promotes tourism and assists businesses as they apply for grants. Workforce, and lack thereof, has become a major focus of this team recently, and it is contently at the front of our minds.

Our Community Engagement Team plays the role of event host and quality of life improver. This team draws in and retains entrepreneurs and workforce members by making Tillamook and the greater county a great place to live, work and play. This is where events like June Dairy Parade, Cork & Brew Tour, Treats + Sweets, monthly Sip + Shop and the Tillamook Farmers Market come into play. Each one enhances the overall quality of life locally. This team also oversees the beautiful Downtown Planter Program and the production of the Tillamook Living Magazine, a community profile and relocation guide.

Our Connections Team aims to broker connections for our members to customers, other businesses and partner organizations. Even in the age of Google, direct referrals are still a core function of the Chamber. In fact, every day we field dozens of calls and in-person visits from people asking for referrals. The Connections Team also holds monthly Mornings on Main Street meetings for both business and community members to attend and network with each other, as well as membership events, such as the What’s Brewin’ social evening and the Annual Chamber Banquet.

Our Collaborative Advocacy Team is our newest team, and it’s where the Chamber steps into the political realm. This team provides information, opportunities and a voice for initiatives relevant to creating a healthy local economy for our businesses. I always get a kick out of it when people say, “That’s not the Chamber’s job,” because it quite literally is why chambers were created. Also, our membership surveys show that policy engagement and candidate endorsements are a high priority of our members. Our advocacy efforts often focus on land use issues, local codes, downtown safety and beautification and ballot initiatives that benefit local businesses. Housing has also been a major focus area the past couple of years, and we see it remaining so for the foreseeable future.

The Chamber is a unique organization because we have many roles, and people view us in many ways. Some people see us as a visitor information center and tourism promotion organization, while some people view us as the group who puts on community events. Some people think we are the group that only helps businesses, and some view us as a political advocate. Some say we are friend, and some say we are foe.

The thing is, every one of those people is right. The Chamber of today is all of those things. We embrace our varied roles in this community, and we continue to look to the future for ways to keep building a strong community where businesses can thrive.

We’re not the Chamber we were 10 years ago. And that’s a good thing.

June Dairy Parade’s Return to Normal a Smash Hit

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The 64th Annual June Dairy Parade is one I will never forget. It was a whirlwind to put together a traditional parade in just one month, after having planned for another inside out. But we pulled it off! And it was the was the perfect way to ring in the return to normal, not just for the parade, but the state at large. The governor announced the day before the parade that all COVID-19 health restrictions would be lifted by the end of the month.

More than 70 groups signed up an entry into the parade this year. (Don’t be alarmed if that sounds lower than usual. We changed how we count entries this year.) It’s easy to forget how long the parade was after just a year off, but this year’s parade had just as many entries as we did in 2019. Thousands of people showed up to watch. And no one melted, despite the warm weather.

We couldn’t have done it without the help of our volunteers: Chandra Allen, Cami Aufdermauer, Gary Brunmeier, Tom Connaughton, Lou Gonzalez, Bill Hatton, Chris Kittell, Randy Lamkin, Stephen Murphy, Gretchen Power, Ron Rush, John Samagaio, Khayla Sheldon, Chris Weber and Patsy Weber.

These folks direct parade check in entries at one of our three staging areas, direct entries into the right place in the lineup, time the sendoff the entries so there are as few gaps as possible for parade viewers, clean up the staging areas after the parade wraps up and generally help us pull off a successful June Dairy Parade. Many of them are return volunteers who have helped with the parade for multiple years in a row – and some for multiple decades! We are so thankful for them all.

However, the real star of the show is always behind the scenes. Chamber Office Manager Tammy Samagaio holds the reins of the parade year in and year out. She handles all the entries and parade logistics, and she manages all the volunteers and correspondences. This parade does not happen without Tammy, and I am so grateful we have her.

We also want to thank the Tillamook County Creamery Association, Visit Tillamook Coast and the City of Tillamook for putting resources behind the parade. TCCA has been the presenting sponsor for the June Dairy Parade for as long as our records show. This year, Visit Tillamook Coast also stepped in as a sponsor to help us cover last-minute costs associated with the quick turnaround of plans. The City lends us services from the Public Works and Police departments to handle road closures and traffic control during the parade. The financial backing and traffic resources are essential for hosting the parade at all, and we really appreciate all of these groups for their help!

The Tillamook Fairgrounds, Tillamook High School and Tillamook PUD are rock stars for lending us space to organize the lineup. There’s no way we could get the lineup ready to go without our temporarily donated staging areas.

Speaking of staging areas, we are grateful to the late Don Rust. Don was a Tillamook County Pioneer and a mainstay at the fairgrounds for years. He also was the June Dairy Parade volunteer who invented the way our volunteers set up the fairgrounds during the parade. Don’s system is easy and efficient. Even though he’s no longer with us, his positive impact on our community and on the June Dairy Parade specifically will carry on his legacy as an outstanding volunteer.

A big thank you is in order for our parade entries, too. From the young dancers from three local dance school who delivered flawless performances despite the heat, to the mini-Tillamook buses and cheese samples, to dancing horses and rodeo queens and so much more, we had a great variety of entries this year – and all the fan favorites. We know it wasn’t easy to switch plans last minute from a stationary entry to a moving one, but we are so glad they made it work. The entries really are what make this parade. After all, you can’t hold a parade with no one in it!

Last but certainly not least, we want to thank all the community members who braved the heat to celebrate the parade with us! It was so amazing to see the streets lined with familiar, smiling faces not hidden behind masks. We really missed our community traditions over the last 15 months – and our community even more. It’s great to be back to normal and back together again.

Don’t forget about the children’s coloring contest. You can download the printable coloring sheet at JuneDairyParade.com or pick up a copy at the Chamber at 208 N. Main Ave. You have until July 12 to submit your entries to the Chamber.

Chamber News: Grocery Outlet opens new store in Tillamook

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

The long-awaited grand opening day for Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in Tillamook drew more than 100 shoppers ready to score deals that would make them say, “Wow!”

Grocery Outlet, the nation’s fastest-growing, extreme-value grocery retailer, officially opened its new Tillamook location Thursday, June 24. The store is independently owned and operated by Tamara and Stephen Tuttle, who are originally from Nehalem.

“We’ve have been waiting for years to get back home,” Tamara Tuttle said at the grand opening ceremony. “And we know that you’ve been waiting a long time for this store.”

The comment was met with cheers from the crowd; at least one shopper replied with an enthusiastic, “Yes, we have!”

Plans to open a local branch of the California-based grocery retailer date back to 2018. The Tillamook City Planning Commission approved a proposal for the 18,000-square-foot store in October of that year but required the company to meet several conditions, including receiving some state and federal permits.

Over the next three years, the store successfully met those conditions and began to build up the storefront at 2055 N. Main Ave. The store is located right off Highway 101 between Roby’s Furniture and the Coastal Plaza. It employs 30 people.

“We’re here to stay, and we are very much looking forward to building a wonderful place to work for 30 of your neighbors, friends and family,” Tamara said.

Grocery Outlet owner/operators Tamara, left, and Stephen Tuttle, right, present a donation of $1,000 to Tillamook Habitat for Humanity.

Grocery Outlet encourages its owner/operators to get involved in their local communities – and the Tuttles have wasted no time doing just that. The couple has volunteered to help the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce, and on Thursday, they donated $1,000 to Tillamook Habitat for Humanity in the Tillamook store’s honor.

“Thank you to our new friends Stephen and Tamara Tuttle, owners of Grocery Outlet, for donating $1,000 to support Habitats building programs,” said Habitat Executive Director Cami Aufdermauer. “We cannot wait to see the many ways your new adventure will continue to support our community.”

Grocery Outlet offers a full range of products including fresh produce, meat, deli and dairy, along with a wide assortment of natural and organic choices. The store also carries a large selection of beer and wine, health and beauty care and seasonal items.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve received seven whole trucks of groceries, deli, produce. Anything you want to buy, we have it,” Tamara Tuttle said.

Tillamook Grocery Outlet owner/operator Tamara Tuttle, left, greets a shopper and her son on opening day at the store.

Grocery Outlet is an extreme-value grocery retailer based in Emeryville, California, with 400 stores throughout California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Pennsylvania.  Each store is owned by an independent operator from the community they serve.

“My heart is full,” Tamara Tuttle told the crowd at the grand opening. “I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.”

#ShopTillamook Sweepstakes Wraps Up, But Local Shopping Can Continue

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

We pulled the last 10 winners of the #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes on June 24, wrapping up a multi-month campaign to support local retailers across Tillamook County. Congratulations to all the winners – and a huge thank you to everyone who participated!

Over the course of the 10-week campaign, the Chamber received several hundred entries, each of which represented a purchase made at a locally owned retailer. The Chamber also infused the local economy by purchasing all 80 gift cards we awarded in the raffle – a $4,000 value – so local businesses didn’t have to cover the cost.

More than the individual entries and gift cards, though, was the excitement we saw for our local businesses on social media. We released 30 promotional videos featuring local retailers, and those videos received a lot of love online. In total, the videos were seen more than 65,000 times on Facebook and earned well over 125 comments and 1,300 likes.

We loved watching our community support its local businesses on the video posts. One of my favorite things to do during the campaign was read through comments people left on the videos. The comments included positive reviews from loyal shoppers that frequent local retailers, as well as excitement from shoppers who learned about a business they’d never been to before.

Oftentimes, the repeat customers would inspire new shoppers to stop into a business for the first time, either by answering questions about the business or building up the staff and management. Think of it like a good Yelp recommendation, but with more weight because it comes from one of your friends or family members. And that was exactly the type of energy we wanted to build with the sweepstakes!

With all that’s gone on in the last year, it’s easy to forget how fortunate we are to have so many amazing local retailers that persevered through all the ups and downs of the pandemic. Our local retailers continually provide the community with great products and services, and word-of-mouth reviews like we saw in the comments of our #ShopTillamook posts give them a leg up. Not only does it show them how much their loyal customers love them, but also it attracts new shoppers to support the business!

The love doesn’t have to stop now that #ShopTillamook is over. In fact, we hope the community will continue to shop locally, thank its local retailers and share their experiences with friends and family.

Our local shops power our economy, support our community events and sponsor our children’s sports leagues. Even during the pandemic, our local businesses found ways to give back to the community and keep our citizens safe. In exchange, we should continue to Shop Tillamook whenever we can!

Business Growth on the Horizon in Tillamook

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Fostering business growth is an often unnoticed or unseen part of what the Chamber does, but recently more businesses have been seeking out that benefit. So I wanted to take some time to explain what exactly that process looks like.

A lot of people think the Chamber helps businesses grow only through training. As owners and operators learn more about running a business and reinvest that knowledge into their own shop, their businesses expand. While that is true, there is more to the story. Helping with business growth also includes providing “practical advising” on topics like property acquisition, relocation and renovation, operational efficiencies and hiring – and that’s the side that the Chamber focuses on.

I’ll add quickly that we are fortunate to have the training side covered by the Tillamook Small Business Development Center. Their work on academic and technical advising frees up time for the Chamber to direct its attention to helping with the other side of the business growth equation. Plus, the SBDC plays a vital role in educating businesses on the nitty gritty details and requirements of entrepreneurship, so business owners are more prepared to have practical advising conversations with us later down the road.

What do I mean when I say the Chamber provides practical advising for businesses growth?  It can take a few different forms.

When an aspiring entrepreneur first hatches the idea to open a business, the Chamber helps grow that idea by talking through the potential pitfalls they might face. These conversations cover more than what kinds of licenses a business owner needs to open legally. We talk about challenges and opportunities within the industry, sustainability of their business model, how to avoid burnout and how to prepare for future growth now.

We also advise businesses throughout the property acquisition process, whether for a new shop or a relocation. We help business owners navigate general land use and zoning requirements or conditions. (Just because there is a piece of property for sale doesn’t always mean it can be used for business right away). We also talk through how a certain property they are considering best fits their business model.

 You’ve seen our work helping with business growth in the form of storefront renovations. (Think Dutch Mill, Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace and Flavors on First Street, for example). The businesses apply for urban renewal grants and complete the renovation work, but we love to help them formulate the best pitch and design renderings to secure the award.

We’ve even helped businesses grow by providing our shared workspace at Chamber headquarters as a location for hiring interviews. This is especially beneficial for businesses that are just getting started, because they can begin the hiring process well before opening, even if their own location is not quite ready for visitors yet. Really, it’s a major leg up for forming a staff.

After the long year businesses have endured during the pandemic, you might be surprised to hear that business growth advising is taking up a large portion of our time at the Chamber. Our business community is resilient and strong.  Many local business owners are working hard to enrich the community with new services, new products and new opportunities, pandemic or not. I am proud of their work – and more than happy to help them along in the process.

And while I can’t talk specifically about some of the ideas brewing in our business community, I can tell you this: There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon. So keep your eyes open to see how our local businesses grow!

Tillamook is Looking Beautiful — Thanks to Our Community!

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Let me take a moment to brag about how beautiful Downtown Tillamook looks right now.

Just last week, more than 50 large planters burst to life with flowers and foliage. The Chamber contracts local plant experts to run our Downtown Planter Program, which places large flower planters throughout the downtown district. The Chamber began this program in 2013, and the planters add a decorative element to the city.

We maintain the planters year-round with appropriate plants for the season, including hardy winter plants in the colder months. The arrangements are revamped semi-annually, and I love to see what new and unique designs is planted in them. But it seems the planters always look so amazing in the summer. It must be something about seeing those bright florals after a long winter of gray skies…

Of course, we couldn’t run the program without the help of our contracted expert green thumbs Cindy and Melissa, who plant and care for the flowers all season long. We also contract with the City of Tillamook crew, which waters the plants through the summer, and from the business owners who sponsor the program financially. You’ll know who those sponsors are because they have a planter right outside of their storefront!

And the Downtown Planter Program is just one of the many city beautification efforts happening in Tillamook right now. Maybe you noticed that city crews have recently ramped up efforts to clean out and weed the bioswales along Main and Pacific avenues.

For whatever reason, those bioswales seem to be the perfect habitat for weeds to flourish, and we get a lot of comments about how we can make them more appealing and less overgrown. So we are very encouraged to see the city tackling that task. They are listening to our community and problem solving right alongside us!

City crews also hung flower baskets throughout town. I think they pair perfectly with our larger planters on the ground. Having hanging baskets and sidewalk planters really ties together the walkways!

And don’t forget that all this work comes just about a month after our Downtown Tillamook Cleanup. More than a dozen volunteers lent a hand in May to clean between brick pavers, blow away old leaves, pick up garbage and wash off signs. We are so grateful to our cleanup volunteers – and to all of the community members who find little ways to make a big difference for our city.

It can be as simple as picking up a piece of trash you see where it shouldn’t be or applying a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of your home or business. We see these beautification acts happening every day in Tillamook, and altogether it amplifies the beauty of the place where we live, work and play!

Welcome Brooke Reibach to Her Tillamook Chamber Internship

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The Chamber is trying something a little new with our staff this summer: a summer internship program for Tillamook’s very own Brooke Reibach. Join us in welcoming Brooke to our team!

Brooke’s internship will focus on nonprofit organization, management and event planning. She also will help us with a special project to formulate the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation charitable organization. (More on that later.) Her official title will be our Operations Assistant Intern.

“This will be my initial experience working with a nonprofit, so I really want to see how that’s different from working for a for profit company, and what it looks like to be a mission-focused organization. I’m also excited to be involved in starting the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation,” Brooke said.

Brooke was born and raised in Tillamook, and she graduated from Tillamook High School in 2019. In fact, she has spent all her life here, except for nine months she attended the University of Oregon at the Eugene campus before the pandemic opened up remote options for her.

At UO, Brooke is majoring in nonprofit management with a minor in religious studies. She said she hopes her education will create career opportunities to make a positive difference in the world.

“I picked this major because it actually teaches you about the world and how you can improve communities,” she said. “It seems like a ‘doing’ major, where other majors felt frustrating because you are just being told what’s wrong but not being told how to fix it.”

Part of her degree requires Brooke to get an internship with a nonprofit. She reached out to the Chamber to see if we might be able to help her, and we found a way to add a summertime role to fit her needs.

“I think it’s really special to intern in my hometown. Tillamook is a really great place to grow up, and I feel like sometimes people take that for granted. So I think it’s important to now have my chance to give back to this community that has been there for me my whole life,” Brooke said.

The Chamber has hired an intern before, though that internship looked a little bit different than Brooke’s will. It was highly specific because it was funded through an outside grant and university program with detailed terms, while Brooke’s is more general and adaptable. Hers will also be the first single-semester internship we’ve ever offered, and the first filled by a Tillamook local.

We are fortunate Brooke decided to intern in Tillamook and share her talent locally, instead of choosing a different community where she could gain the same skills. We see Brooke’s internship with us as a chance to give her real-world taste of the nonprofit sector – and potentially get her to stay in Tillamook even after she graduates. There is a lot of value in keeping young professionals in the town they grew up in, because they already know and care about the community.

Brooke’s first day at the Chamber will be June 21. She will work with us until her fall classes start in early September. Please come by the Chamber office to introduce yourself to Brooke when you have time!

Tillamook Farmers Market Returns June 12

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The return of longer, warmer days can only mean one thing: It is almost farmers market season!

The Tillamook Farmers Market will return for its 21st season on June 12 and run through Sept. 24. As always, you will find the market on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday.

While many of our COVID-19 restrictions from last year will still be in place, we will slowly (and safely) be phasing in some of our regularly scheduled programming. We have received confirmation from the Oregon Farmers Market Association that we can bring back live music, and I am working on scheduling some of our local, talented musicians for the months of July and August when the weather is particularly nice, and everyone can properly spread out.

We will also be bringing back our SNAP service and Double Up Food Bucks incentive program. If you or anyone in your household has an Oregon Trail Card, they can come to the Farmers Market HQ trailer, and we will not only process their EBT card so they can spend SNAP dollars at the Market, we also will match the first $10 they spend with an additional $10 for fruits and vegetables.

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, we have added a few extra farms this year that I am very excited about. Z’s Fresh Microgreens will be joining us for the entire season, and if you haven’t tried their microgreens yet you are missing out! They are great as a nutritious, flavor-packed snack or the perfect topping for salads and sandwiches. Josi Farms also will be joining us this season selling not only their produce, but also farm-raised beef. Of course, all your favorites, like Pitch n Plow, Brickyard Farms, the Berry Patch Girls, MC Family Farms (the one with all the beautiful flowers), Mountains to Rivers Ranch, and Fawcett Creek Farms will all be back this year, as well.

You also will find Oregon Coast Honey, Three Sisters Kettle Corn, Pacific Roots Coffee, Nestucca Bay Creamery, Sweet Treats by George, Bewley Creek Woodworking and many of your other favorite vendors returning this year, as well as plenty of new faces to come check out. We are also planning another seafood stock up event toward the end of the season, when you can find fresh, canned and frozen tuna and other locally sourced seafood to stock up on before summer ends.

If you were hoping to get in as a vendor, you may have noticed that our online application has closed, but we are still taking your information in case there is an opening. Because we are still spacing vendors six feet apart, we are limited on the number of booths we can accommodate. Please feel free to email me at sayde@tillamookchamber.org if you have any questions or would like to get on the waiting list.

We look forward to seeing everyone on June 12!

Chamber has free PPE for small businesses

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The Chamber recently received a third shipment of Personal Protective Equipment from Business Oregon, and with our in-house storage space stocked with masks, gloves, and sanitizer, it feels like a good time to recap the free PPE program we’ve been helping manage.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s economic development agency Business Oregon has provided Chambers like ours with PPE to distribute at no cost to local small businesses. The shipments include a wide variety of supplies, including face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers, sanitizer wipes and spray, and thermometers. Pretty much anything a business might need to follow state guidelines.

The program saves money for businesses, who don’t have to personally incur the expense of buying PPE. In Tillamook County the program has provided more than $100,000 worth of PPE.

The only requirement for a business to receive PPE through this program is that it qualifies as a “small business” under state definitions. That means any local business with 500 or fewer employees can call the Chamber to order PPE at no-cost to their business. You don’t even need to be a Chamber member, (though we recommend joining, because members also get the added benefit of reminder emails and regular updates explaining state data and guidelines as they change).

So far, we’ve distributed well over 200 orders to local businesses all across Tillamook County. Orders have gone to businesses as far north as Manzanita and as far south as Neskowin. (We’ve got to give a special shoutout to Dan Haag, who helped us reach dozens of businesses up in North County!)

The most recent bunch of supplies should be the last full shipment we will receive from Business Oregon, though we expect to get a special restock of hand sanitizer refills for the no-touch dispensers later that should last through the end of the year.

We distribute on a first come, first serve basis, and we will continue to hand the supplies until we run out. Although we are low on some items – sanitizer spray seems to be most popular – our stock should be enough to meet business needs for the next several months. We simply ask that businesses don’t call in for a restock just to amass back stock at this time.

Businesses can reserve new stock or request a restock of PPE by calling Tammy at 503-842-7525. Orders are customizable, so feel free to ask for just one or two items if that’s all you need for now. We are happy to help however we can!

New Ways to Enter #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Hello … is there anybody out there??

As we near the end of the first few weeks of the #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes, we have just TWO entries. We are giving away $4,000 in gift certificates over the course of the campaign. So where is everybody at?

Maybe we weren’t clear that there is $4,000 in prizes up for grabs. Eighty gift cards worth $50 each. And we are drawing winners in a raffle style each week, which means you could very well win one gift card every week of the campaign. That’s a possible total of $400 per person, if you enter each week and luck is with you! But you can’t win even a single gift card if you don’t enter.

Maybe we poorly explained that any and all purchases made at a locally owned retailer are eligible. And by “local,” we mean Tillamook County. You can shop at small businesses in Manzanita to Neskowin and still have a chance to win!

Whatever the reason for the slow kickoff of #ShopTillamook, we’ve decided to extend the sweepstakes though mid-June. And we’ve added two new ways to enter to make it easier for everyone to participate. Now, in addition to positing a photo of an item you purchased from a locally owned retailer, you can also text a photo to 503-389-0631 or bring your receipt into Chamber Headquarters at 208 Main Ave.

There is no limit to how many times you can enter, so the more you shop and the more items you buy, the more likely you are to win. And potentially win again and again each week! We randomly select up to 10 winners weekly, but it’s up to you to improve your odds of being drawn.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, now is a great time to #ShopTillamook for local gifts. Show your mom how much you appreciate her, while also supporting local retailers who have continued to serve this community despite all the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents. You can even keep your gift secret with our new ways to enter, which won’t accidentally alert your mom of her Mother’s Day gift.

You can also participate by revamping your summer wardrobe and showing it off on social media. Or by purchasing new toys for your kids to play with during summer vacation – and new gadgets to boost your backyard barbecue game (I’m looking at you, Green Mountain Grill).

So let’s recap: Our #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes is still underway with two new ways to enter. You can – and should – participate by purchasing something from a locally owned retailer and:

  • Posting a photo of the item on social media with #ShopTillamook
  • Texting a photo of the item to 503-389-0631
  • Bringing your receipt into Chamber HQ

We saw the energy this community has for supporting its local businesses during the #TillamookTakeout campaign. Help us show our local retailers the same love and excitement as you did our restaurants – and win a gift card while you’re at it!

Redesigned Chamber HQ a COVID Safe Workspace

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I’m a strong believer that people work best when their surrounding environment is comfortable. Go ahead and kick back on the couch! While it might sound counterintuitive, it often leads to greater inspiration and productivity.

That’s why our shared workspace here in Chamber Headquarters focuses on creating a comfortable yet productive atmosphere. And we recently redesigned the space to further enhance the experience.

Take, for example, our new seating arrangement near the picture windows looking out to Main Street. With a loveseat and two comfy armchairs all nestled around a coffee table, it looks a little like a living room. Pair that with free WiFi for guests and courtesy coffee or tea, and it comes alive as a productive workspace. It’s not unusual for us to find someone typing away on their next big project while curled up in one of the chairs.

We also added collapsible tables with wheels to replace the traditional tables that used to fill our upstairs area. The new tables allow for easy rearranging, so you can reconfigure them however best meets your needs. They also make social distancing simple: Just wheel your workspace six feet from any other people that might be sharing the space!

State guidelines for COVID-19 led us to reduce the overall number of tables available in HQ to meet capacity and social distancing requirements. The change opened up the space, adding light and brightness. You won’t feel that work-from-home claustrophobia here because we’ve got ample room!

The state guidelines also inspired us to purchase a Keurig machine for our coffee bar. Now we can offer individual serving sizes, instead of a sharing a single pot of coffee among many people. The even better benefit is that everyone can brew the beverage of their choice, guilt-free of wasting coffee that’s been on the burner all day.

All told, the redesign amplifies the atmosphere, making Chamber HQ the natural choice for a productive place to work. Our shared workspace is open to the public, and we are happy to host people who are working remotely or who need a space to safely meet with clients in-person.

You can reserve a portion of the space by calling Tammy at the office 503-824-7525. Walk-ins are also welcome, and we encourage you to drop in to check out the new furniture and try out the new couches, rolling tables or Keurig for yourself! Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to boost your workflow.

Save the Date for June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Clear your calendar and rev your engines for June 26: The 64th annual June Dairy Parade is a-go, though it will once again be inside out. The parade theme will be “As the World Churns.” (Fitting, we think, for how our community keeps trekking along despite any of last year’s obstacles.)

We looked at every angle possible for hosting a traditional parade, but based on current state guidelines and OSHA enforcement, there’s simply no way to line our streets with the some-20,000 parade spectators that usually show up to watch. So instead, entries will stage along a parade route, and spectators will drive through to enjoy the floats, dancers, and other festivities.

Although we are eager for the days when we can return to a traditional parade style, we’ve found that the inside out model is a good temporary substitute. Last year more than 400 cars showed up to drive through the parade route, which consisted of approximately 50 entries staged for nearly a mile. As cars drove through, parade entries passed out candy, cheese, jerky and other goodies from a safe distance, so none of the snacks or swag you’re used to was missing!

Both participants and entries had a great time. And as a testament to our success, a handful of other cities in the region reached out to us for tips on hosting their own inside out parade. We’ve become an example for how to hold fun and safe community celebrations during the pandemic!

Of course, we are always looking for ways to improve. This year we will start the parade at 10 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, to avoid the increased traffic on Pacific and Main that caused some delays last year. We’re planning to block additional roads along the route to ensure that vehicles can get through the parade in a timely fashion, as well as adding measures to reduce the wait-time at the fairgrounds. We’ll have more on the specifics as June 26 gets closer.

We also hope to grow the number of entries and participants this year to make the inside out parade bigger and better than before. So break out your globes or butter-making equipment, get creative, and help us celebrate all things dairy! After all, the dairy industry is a big deal here in Tillamook.

If you would like to be a staged entry in the 2021 June Dairy Parade, please submit your application by May 31 at junedairyparade.com. And keep your eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates and additional information.

#ShopTillamook Launches This Week

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Did you know you can purchase high-quality farm and garden supplies, homemade bath bombs, hand-painted vintage furniture and mouthwatering smoked meats all right here in Tillamook County?

Sometimes it feels easy to forget how fortunate we are to have so many amazing local retailers in our community. More than saving a long drive into Portland, these local shops power our economy, support beloved community events and our children’s sports leagues, and care about our hometown just as much as we do.

So we’re launching the #ShopTillamook campaign to remind everyone about all of our great retailers and show our local shops how much we appreciate them!

#ShopTillamook is an idea gleaned off the success of our past events promoting local businesses. Think #TillamookTakeout meets Shop Small Sweepstakes. In many ways, #ShopTillamook combines those two events to show off all the great retail options available in our community – and give you a reason to buy that special shirt or fancy new tool you’ve been eyeing for a while. After all, it pays to shop when every purchase makes you eligible to win one of 80, $50 gift cards!

The rules are simple: Every time you purchase an item from a locally owned retailer between April 4 and May 31, snap a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram using #ShopTillamook. Each post automatically enters you to win gift cards to local stores. There is no limit to how many times you can enter, so the more you shop, the more likely you are to win!

Each week we will randomly select 10 winners to receive a gift card to a local business. We’ll also share videos of several local businesses to give you an opportunity to scope out your next purchase and learn a little bit more about retailers throughout the county. Between our videos and your pictures, we will flood social media with hundreds of reasons to visit local shops. Let’s encourage each other to buy locally!

Shopping locally helps our community thrive. It supports your neighbors, your friends, and your family. It keeps our community vibrant and unique. And it shows local business owners – the same ones who support FFA, youth sports and local nonprofits  – that we appreciate all they do for our community! They took a risk to open a business and provide you with great products and services just down the street. Participating in the #ShopTillamook campaign is a great way to say thank you.

The Tillamook community showed up for our local restaurants big-time with #TillamookTakeout, and we hope you’ll all do the same for #ShopTillamook. What better way to do that than to treat yourself to a new shirt, a nice piece of furniture or a new gadget. And, of course, enter yourself for the opportunity to win a gift card!

Welcoming Kristin Holleran to the Chamber Board of Directors

Kristin Holleran

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you are a regular reader of this column you might notice a theme lately: We have a lot of new faces (and new energy) here at the Chamber. I am excited to introduce you to our other new board member, Kristin Holleran.

Kristin HolleranOriginally from Spokane, Wash., Kristin is the Director of Plant Operations at the Tillamook County Creamery Association, where she has worked for the last five and a half years. She oversees all the manufacturing, cheese making, packaging, ice cream and whey products. She joined the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors as a way to get out in the community, meet new people, and start giving back.

“The Chamber is involved in almost every major event in the community,” she added about why she applied to the board of directors. “I am looking forward to being to help with the Tillamook County fair booth, the Cork & Brew Tour, and to help bring up and foster the Young Professionals.”

Kristin has been a part of the TCCA scholarship committee for the last several years and said she has seen first-hand how talented and driven the youth in our community can be, and she looks forward to opportunities to mentor young professionals as they build their careers.

Kristin added that she is passionate about chambers because they have an opportunity to be a real influence in the communities they serve. “They are a source for networking, a wealth of educational information, and an advocate for local businesses,” she said. “That has really shown through this last year with COVID in the multiple ways that our chamber advocated for our small business community.”

It’s clear Kristin understands and values the work that the chamber does, and we are excited to involve her in our many events, projects, and programs going forward.

Welcoming Shannon Cahoon to the Chamber Board of Directors

Shannon Cahoon

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am thrilled to welcome Shannon Cahoon to the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors. Shannon CahoonShannon recently relocated to Tillamook after frequent visits caused her to fall in love with the area. She said she was motivated to join the Chamber Board of Directors because she believes Chambers are vital in each community.

She added that she is especially proud of and impressed by the work the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce continues to do throughout the county.

“I’m immensely proud to be a part of the organization and hope I can add to its positive impact and growth during my time on the board,” she said.

Of all the programs the Chamber currently operates, Shannon said one of her personal favorites has been Tillamook Takeout. “We can never say enough about what it did and does for our local restaurants and families who depend on those jobs for their livelihood,” she said.

Shannon is also excited to be a part of the advocacy work the Chamber does to help bring a united Tillamook voice to Salem when it needs to be heard.

“A good Chamber plays a vital role between creating a favorable operating environment for local businesses and advocating on their behalf,” Shannon said. “A Chamber that is operating to its full potential has positive impacts on the local business community, as well as the residents by ensuring that local needs can be met locally and that residents have access to good quality of life.”

We are so pleased to have Shannon’s positive energy and passion for our area on the board. We are lucky to have her, not only as the Chamber, but as a community. While she may not have been born here, Shannon is planting roots here and said she hopes to make a positive impact. (I would argue that she already has.)

I hope the next time you see Shannon out and about doing good work that you congratulate her on her new board position.

Mallory Gruben Joins the Chamber Team!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am pleased to welcome Mallory Gruben to the Tillamook Chamber team as our new Communications Manager. You may have met Mallory at a recent Mornings on Main Street, which she has been regularly attending with her partner Jaykob Wood.

Mallory and Jaykob moved to Tillamook when he was hired as the Executive Director of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Previous to that, Mallory was working for a newspaper in Longview, Wash. where she covered both business and environmental issues. She has a degree in journalism from Hastings College in Nebraska.

Mallory said she really enjoyed her job with the newspaper because she got to learn the ins and outs of the business community, both before and during the pandemic.  “It was really cool to get to tell the stories of groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the SBDC that were finding a way against all odds to make sure the business community survived,” she said. “[This job with the Chamber] is an exciting opportunity to get to continue to highlight those stories and work more in depth with the business community.”

Mallory is originally from a small town in Colorado, and she had dreams of living on the Oregon Coast when she finished college. Landing in Tillamook has been a great fit so far, and we are excited to have her expertise as a writer and journalist here at the Chamber. She is also from an agricultural community, and said she loves seeing all the cows and dairy farms because it feels like home.

“I love this type of community where everyone knows everyone, and people want to pitch in and volunteer to see the best for the community,” she said.

About her new role at the Chamber, Mallory said, “It is a really exciting opportunity and a great way to be involved in the community. I look forward to working with the Chamber and helping with the great work they already do to continue to make downtown attractive; encourage people to visit here and live here; and to make sure that our businesses are thriving.”

Mallory brings her curiosity and strong communication skills as a journalist with her to the Chamber, two incredibly valuable skills for the success of what we do.

Please come by the Chamber office and introduce yourself to Mallory when you have time. When she’s not writing, she and Jaykob have two pet rats and are learning to make cheese in their spare time.

Thanks for a Great Night, Tillamook

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If I’ve said it once, I say it every year: the night of the annual Chamber Community Awards Banquet and Auction is my favorite night of the year. Not my birthday. Not Christmas Eve; that particular night tops it for me every year.

When we had to go virtual this year because of Covid, I knew it wasn’t going to be the same in all the ways I loved. What I wasn’t expecting though, was the amazing way the Tillamook community stepped up to support the Chamber. The business community supported us through their donations and sponsorships like I’ve never seen. You guys killed it.

Our silent auction brought in a record-breaking $20,315! Just to put that in perspective, our auction in 2020 was also a record-breaking year, bringing in just over $7,000. The silent auction and oral auction combine raised $36,185 for the Chamber and our programs. I am honestly without words on that one.

While we didn’t have the in-person camaraderie that we all enjoy and, quite frankly, miss at this point, we still had fun chatting with everyone virtually and sharing the great work that the Chamber has been able to accomplish amidst a global pandemic. A point of pride for the banquet each year is the buffet that consists of food from over 15 local restaurants, but in true let’s-figure-it-out fashion we once again offered event sponsorship in the form of Virtual Dinner Tables that came with 10 dinner vouchers good at over 15 restaurants. And boy, was our business community ready to support our restaurants and Chamber. We had 23 virtual dinner tables sponsored, raising another $17,250!

It was this same let’s-figure-it-out attitude that permeated the Chamber in 2020. Overall,as soon as the shut downs started happening our philosophy was to try and keep things as normal as possible. We went into it thinking: if we can just keep the community engaged, keep businesses open and moving, and a sense of normality, then we are doing our jobs. Instead of canceling events, we asked ourselves, how can we do this differently? And, apart from the Cork & Brew Tour, we were able to keep all our regular events and programs up and running in some form or another. We wanted to be clear that we had not abandoned the community, and that we were here for them every step of the way.

Which is why we sent out emails weekly, sometimes even daily, breaking down the new regulations, offering information about funding and how to apply, and where businesses could get PPE.

It was this same can-do mentality that launched Tillamook Takeout less than 24 hours after restaurants were shut down to in-person dining – the first time. And let me tell you, it’s all worth it when you hear stories from Jen Malcom, the owner of Downie’s Cafe in Bay City, saying that Tillamook Takeout may as well have saved her business and now she can’t make cinnamon rolls fast enough to keep up with demand. Yeah, we can take credit for coming up with the idea, but we as a community made it happen and made sure our restaurants stayed afloat during one of the toughest times they’ve ever seen. Thank you, Tillamook. You are awesome.

I would be remiss if I didn’t again thank my co-host Brett Hurliman, and my team: Ashley Christensen, Ashley Rushing and Tammy Samagio for their hard work on this event. And a special thank you to Kaylan Sisco, who came in at the last minute to pinch hit on the technical live feed aide and hit it out of the park. Also thank you to our sponsors, and everyone who donated an item to our silent and live auction.

Be sure you go check out the Community Impact Awards video that debuted the night of our virtual auction (posted to our Facebook page and on our website) and have fun remembering all the wonderful things that happened in 2020 – because yes, there were plenty of opportunities to smile through it all.

Join us this Saturday for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction

By Ashley Christenson
Programs & Events Manager

It’s hard to believe that the Community Impact Celebration and Auction is this Saturday! If you haven’t checked out our silent auction yet, there is still time to get your bids in at communityimpactauction.com. Or, if you haven’t looked in awhile, you might be pleasantly surprised by new items we’ve added as we get closer to our live event.

Speaking of the live event, that will take place (virtually of course) on Feb. 20th at 6 p.m. The event will be co-hosted by Justin Aufdermauer and Brett Hurliman! The celebration will consist of a short Chamber update, live auction and the Community Impact Awards presentation.

Unlike past years where we have selected a single award winner in multiple categories, we have decided to recognize over 30 businesses, people, projects, and programs that made a positive impact in Tillamook County this past year. These award recipients were nominated by the community and we are really excited to recognize them through a presentation video.

Some of our live auction items include a year’s worth of flowers from Sunflower Flats; a multi-course meal prepared by Chef Phil of Pacific Restaurant; a private kayak tour for eight; eight hours of professional yard work; and much more. You will also be able to bid on silent auction items right up until the end, so be sure to tune in and make sure you don’t get out bid.

Like any non-profit in our county, we really are unable to do the things we do without the community’s support. Typically our in-person banquet serves as our main fundraiser, which allows the Chamber to fulfill its mission. This includes being an advocate for small business owners; creating community events that positively impact livability, like the June Dairy Parade and the Tillamook Farmers Market; offering networking opportunities that support businesses and professionals; and much more. If you have attended the monthly Mornings on Main Street meetings, or enjoyed a Cork & Brew Tour, then you’ve directly benefited from the programs and services offered by the Chamber. All of these things help us fulfill our mission, which is to remove barriers and make connections for businesses to grow and thrive, and help increase the quality of life for our community.

So I hope you will join us THIS Saturday at 6 p.m. at communityimpactauction.com.
A huge thank you to all those who made a donation to our auction, or who have already made bids on items, for your continued support of the Chamber. We couldn’t do this without you. I look forward to the day we can gather together in person, but until then, we hope you will gather with us virtually and continue to support the great work being done in our community.

Apply now for the 2021 Tillamook Farmers Market

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The Tillamook Farmers Market is returning for its 21st season June 12 – Sept. 24.

If you would like to join us this year as a vendor, you can fill out an application on our website, tillamookfarmersmarket.com. We are always looking for new farmers, producers, hobbyists, artists, bakers and just all-around-fun people to come hang out with us. If you’re not sure if your idea or product would qualify, that’s ok! Reach out to me and I will be happy to see if it meets Market standards. Typically we are looking for homemade, handmade, and homegrown items – but there are a few exceptions.

As per usual, the Market will run every Saturday from June 12 – Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street. When it comes to COVID and safety guidelines, we are following the requirements from the Oregon Farmers Market Association. That means, just like last year, all vendors will be in masks, they will be properly spaced out, there will be hand sanitizer available, and shoppers will be required to wear masks and maintain distance.

We are hoping to bring back hot, prepared food this year, but of course that depends on who applies! Again, if you have a delicious idea for a food item you would like to serve to shoppers email me so we can talk about it. Anything for consumption on the premise also has to go through the health department so it can take a few extra weeks to get approved. In other words, don’t wait until the last minute to apply!

As soon as we are able to, we will bring back things like live music, kids activities, demonstrations, and all that fun interactive stuff. Until then, we appreciate everyone who makes the effort to shop small and support our vendors. Having a neighborhood farmers market is a privilege, and it takes all of us supporting it to keep it going.

Be sure to follow Tillamook Farmers Market on Facebook for more updates as we get closer to the season opening. And to learn more about the Market, email me at sayde@tillamookchamber.org.

Travel to Italy and Greece with the Chamber in 2022

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Let me be the first to admit it: I have the travel bug. After basically 12 months of staying home, I am ready to get out and go on an adventure. While our Chamber travel trip was planned for May of this year, sadly COVID-19 has halted global travel for now.

What that means for folks who have already signed up is that we will be waiting until May of 2022 to travel to Italy and Greece, after vaccines are widely distributed.

And, if you didn’t originally sign up for the trip, now you have an extra year to plan! I image there are a lot of us who will be dying to get out of the country and explore other cultures come Spring 2022.

As a reminder, this trip will take us to the warm Mediterranean region of Greece and Italy. We will explore the Seven Wonders of the World, visit the ancient Gymnasium (where the first Olympic Games took place) and peek inside the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

Oh, and did I mention that’s all just one day? Now picture 12 days of exploring not only Greece but Italy as well. Discover historic churches, winding canals, and picture-perfect piazzas; step inside the iconic St. Mark’s Square; view the legendary Florence Cathedra; enter the massive Colosseum in Rome; and visit the Temple of Apollo where, according to legend, the gods once communicated with mortals.

If Venice, Rome, Florence, Athens, Delphi and Olympia are on your travel bucket list then you will want to join us for our next Chamber Travel Adventure. The trip includes 12 nights in handpicked hotels, breakfast each morning, guided sightseeing tours with local experts and a private deluxe motor coach. A few of the trip highlights include Temple of Apollo, Ruins of Olympia, and the Archaeological sites of Mycenae, Acropolis, Parthenon. There are also free days to explore Rome and Florence at your leisure.

If you’re ready for more information about the itinerary, pricing, or just group travel in general then please email me at justin@tillamookchamber.org. Final payments won’t be due until February of 2022. Let’s make this the trip of a lifetime!

It is Time

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As we near the one-year anniversary of the very first state-wide shut down due to the global pandemic, the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce is looking to ensure the voice of the business community is heard. In short: business need to be allowed to open immediately within CDC recommended guidelines.

Our small business community is a vital component of Tillamook County. It is the very backbone of our culture, and it is what makes Tillamook such a unique place to live, work, and visit. Yet it is the small business community that has been unfairly targeted by regulations and closures from the Governor’s office over the last 11 months. Nearly every small business was forced to close at one time or another, and many have had to react on a moment-by-moment notice of whether they can operate or not. While our small business owners are resilient, and have done a remarkable job of holding on and rolling with the punches, many Tillamook County businesses are on the verge of letting go.

Those that have been able to continue operations have been extremely responsible and responsive to the COVID-19 guidelines coming from the state. The recent adoption of the Oregon OSHA Covid-19 Standard further means that Oregon workplaces are some of the safest and most sanitary places for customers and employees to be. And yet, public health officials have been clear that Covid-19 is spreading in Oregon for reasons unrelated to businesses being open. Locally, as of January 15, 2021, we have seen 357 positive and presumptive cases and two (2) deaths in all of Tillamook County since March 2020, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Tillamook County has remained as the third lowest rate per 100,000 for several weeks, only behind Wheeler and Wallowa counties. Something has to give.

The Tillamook Chamber, in accordance with the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, believe all local businesses should be open in some capacity. Currently 26 counties sit under the Extreme Risk category which prohibits operation of indoor fitness (dance studios, YMCA, etc.) and entertainment (theater, museums, etc.) and any indoor dining at restaurants. This is a problem for all of rural Oregon, but especially here on the Oregon Coast where small business owners already face unique challenges that they must overcome to be successful during much of the year.

Last week, the Chamber submitted a letter to Mayor Burris and the Tillamook City Council asking them to collectively support the opening of businesses within the recommended CDC recommendations and submit public support to the Governor’s office, stating that small businesses should be allowed to reopen with the same considerations being granted the school districts; allow businesses to re-open in a manner that requires masks and physical distancing measures and frequent hand washing; and allow our small businesses to tackle the safety measures with the same spirit they used to carve out their niche in private enterprise.

The Tillamook Area Chamber Board of Directors and the City Council of Tillamook stand united in our commitment to continuing to do our part, within our authority, on behalf of safety and small businesses by encouraging every member of our community to follow the health and safety guidelines established by the CDC, OHA, and Tillamook County. We are in no way advocating for the disregard of State mandates – we are requesting a change to reduce the Extreme Risk levels mandates to those of the High Risk category, which will allow all businesses to open in one form or another.

At the time this is published, Tillamook County may have received word that it will move down to the High Risk category, and while this is welcome news, this creates a lot of market volatility for small businesses as they have to be prepared to shut down as soon as two weeks later due to single digit positive case increases as we have seen recently in Clatsop County.

Our business community has made unparalleled sacrifices over the last 11 months to help the state fight the novel coronavirus. The continued, seemingly never-ending, addition of more restrictions and closures from the Governor’s office on their shoulders is too great a burden for anyone to bear. The weight of this pandemic cannot unnecessarily rest on a limited number of businesses.

Please continue to support Tillamook County businesses, now is the time to not only shop local, but to offer encouragement and let them know how much you appreciate their presence in our community. Your kind words may be the encouragement some of these businesses need to keep holding on.

Recap: 2020 Wasn’t All Bad

I’m sure many of us would rather just put 2020 behind us by now as, ultimately, an epic fail. And, in many ways it was. But for the Chamber it was perhaps busier than ever, and while things were canceled left and right, people were sent home to work, and schools were closed, we were able to take a bad situation and make an incredibly positive impact on our community.

Here’s some of the highlights we accomplished in 2020:

Tillamook Farmers Market: 2020 was actually a banner year for the Tillamook Farmers Market, as it was the 20th anniversary. We didn’t get to properly acknowledge this milestone thanks to the pandemic, but we still had a successful season. Sales were up significantly for our farmers especially as people focused on planting victory gardens and found the outdoor shopping experience safer than the grocery store. We had to adapt to COVID regulations but overall the market resembled some normalcy for people, which was greatly appreciated.

Covid Business Resources: From March on, it seemed like things were changing by the day, if not by the minute. We’ve worked diligently to stay on top of the information as it comes from the state and feds and filter it to our business community in a way that clearly showcases what impacts them and their business. Additionally, we distributed over $30,000 in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) at no-cost to local small businesses.

June Dairy Parade: Inside Out: In the midst of closures our team rallied around a vision to keep the June Dairy Parade alive, and instead offer it in a way that would be safe for the community and safe for the parade participants. We came up with the Inside Out Parade, where parade “floats” stayed stationary and the audience drove through the route. It was a logistical nightmare, but we knew if we pulled it off it could be a great event for our community during a summer where things were being canceled left and right. While I hope we never have to do it again, I heard from many people who thoroughly enjoyed the parade in this new format and asked that we do it again next year. It was a glimmer of hope during an otherwise bleak summer.

Tillamook Takeout: Probably one of my personal favorite accomplishments of 2020 was the Tillamook Takeout campaign. We started this in early March just as restaurants were being shut down by the Governor’s Executive Order. The goal was simple: get people to support our restaurants by ordering takeout. We threw together a quick plan and received immediate funding from Visit Tillamook Coast to offer weekly giveaways to folks who got take-out and used #TillamookTakeout on their social media. We created a Facebook group to track takeout entries, that has more than 4,200 members and is still actively supporting restaurants. Fast forward to the second shutdown this December, we knew we had to make another run at and hit it hard, and thanks to sponsorship from the Tillamook County Creamery Association we were able to do just that. We knew from the get go that Tillamook Takeout had the ability to be successful, but we were overwhelmed by the impact this had on our restaurant community with more than $3 million dollars generated through takeout orders.

We hired new staff: In 2020 we brought on a new Programs & Events Manager, Ashley Christenson, and a new Communications Manager, Ashley Rushing. Yes, it does get complicated around here with two Ashleys, but we are really benefiting from their fresh eyes, positive attitudes, and artistic perspectives on our projects and programs. Together they have revamped Sip + Shop and turned it into a cohesive downtown event, even through COVID, and launched a new family-friendly downtown event: Treats + Sweets.

#WereStillOpen: Through some grant dollars from Visit Tillamook Coast, we were able to produce a video for our downtown retail community reminding residents – and visitors – that we were still open for business. Stay tuned as we expand on this idea for 2021.

Shop Small Sweepstakes: For one final blow to 2020’s efforts to ruin everything we ended the year with the Shop Small Sweepstakes. This year we expanded the sweepstakes to all locally-owned businesses in Tillamook County and for community safety we added an extremely popular text entry option. With video highlights of businesses and many more entries, we ended 2020 with an extremely successful sweepstakes sponsored by US Bank.

It was a stressful year – no question about that – but overall, I was incredibly thankful for my board, staff, and our Chamber members for their willingness to fight for our business community. We will come out of this stronger, and I am just blessed to be a part of it. So take that, 2020.

Nominations Due for the Community Impact Awards

By Justin Aufdermauer

Let’s think positive for a minute. This past year has thrown an enormous amount of curveballs at our community and it’s easy to get discouraged, especially as we adjust once again to shut downs and limitations. Instead of focusing on the negative, I am encouraging everyone reading this to think back on the last year and ask yourself: who (or what) has made a positive impact in my life?

I ask because we at the Chamber want to start the New Year by recognizing those people, businesses, development projects and programs that have gone the extra mile in 2020 and made a positive impact. We are now taking submissions for the Community Impact Awards over on our website, tillamookchamber.org/nominate. The form is very simple this year: just tell us who you are nominating and why. We will take the list of nominations and compile the majority of them into a Community Impact video that we will share out on our social media channels and other digital platforms.

This is your chance to say “thank you” to a local restaurant, a thoughtful shop owner, a first responder, an event or program that you enjoyed, a development project that made your life better, or a dedicated volunteer. Who took the time to make you smile, or meet a need that you had? The 10 most impactful submissions in each category – person, business, development project, or program – will be given highlighted in this year’s Community Impact video.

Traditionally we have always announced the winners of the Community Awards at our annual banquet, which has always been a highlight of the evening. We love being able to start the year off by recognizing the best of Tillamook County and celebrating the people behind the projects, the passion behind the business, the sweat and tears of development projects and the heart of our citizens. We don’t want to lose that celebration, even if we can’t gather together for a formal banquet quite yet. We believe it’s more important than ever that this year we don’t focus on a winner, but more so the positive things that have happened in Tillamook County during 2020.

There is no limit to the number of nominations a person can submit. Just visit our website, tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the form before December 31, 2020. I think it will do us all a lot of good to focus on the positive impacts of 2020 and recognize those who made a difference in our lives. Let’s end the year on a high note and give a big (virtual) hug to those in our community who need it most.

There is Still Time to Shop Small – and Win $1,000

Shop Small Sweepstakes Tillamook

By Ashley Christensen

Programs and Events Manager

 

There is still three weeks left of 2020, and while that in itself is something to celebrate, it also means there is still plenty of time left to shop small and enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes! While you’re out finalizing your holiday shopping, remember that every receipt you collect from a locally-owned business could be your ticket to winning $1,000!

You can enter once per day, every day. All entries throughout the entire sweepstakes are entered into the grand prize drawing of $1,000 Shop Local Dollars, redeemable at any locally-owned business in Tillamook County. The grand prize is graciously sponsored by US Bank.

While there might be only one grand prize winner, we also draw for weekly prizes as well. These gifts are sponsored by our local businesses. For the remainder of the contest we will have weekly prizes from Salty Raven, Tangled Yarns, West Elliot Boutique, Lucky Beach Soap Co., the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce and Recurrent. There are still plenty of chances to win so keep shopping and keep entering your receipts!

To enter your receipts, bring them into the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. during business hours (Monday-Friday from 9-5) or you can text in a picture of your receipt and your full name to 503-389-0631.

Shopping small is the best way to support our local business community, but there are also other ways you can help them without spending any money. If you’re on social media, like their Facebook and Instagram pages, and share their posts. Comment on things you like; it can help them gain exposure. When you find something you like at a specific shop – tell someone about it! Word of mouth goes a long way in a community like ours.

A lot of our downtown shops are still offering curbside pick up, or can arrange special shopping times for you if you like to do your shopping without other people in the store. Some even have online options and can ship directly to your house, so you can still support local with the convenience and safety of online shopping. And, chances are they can get you your items quicker.

There are so many great reasons to support local businesses. Don’t forget to enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes while you do, and there might just be a fun prize in there for you as well!

Support Small Businesses this Small Business Saturday

By Ashley Christensen

Programs & Events Manager

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow? That also means Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28. Always the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is an important “holiday” to help draw attention to the importance of shopping small.

Even when we aren’t in the middle of a global pandemic, shopping small is the cornerstone for a thriving community. Did you know that 92% of small business owners personally donate to charities and non-profit organizations, according to a study by Community Business Finance. Small business owners are also more likely to encourage their employees to volunteer their time and support local causes. And, $68 of every $100 spent at a local independent store is reinvested in the community, versus only $43 with a larger retailer.

 

Local small businesses also use the goods and services of other local businesses, creating both social and economic relationships and helping the entire community thrive. I think it goes without saying that they are pretty important, and these businesses deserve our help now more than ever. COVID has been hard on us all, but small businesses have been thrown through the ringer this year and hit with unexpected rules, regulations, shut downs, and restrictions. It has been hard to keep up with all the changes, and it’s enough for anyone who owns a business to want to throw in the towel.

So, while you’re celebrating Thanksgiving – with or without family or whatever that might look like for you this year – and contemplating your holiday shopping, I encourage you to make Small Business Saturday another holiday tradition. Look local first for those things on your Christmas list, and make a point to visit as many businesses as you can. Several of our small businesses will be open offering great deals and sales to satisfy every style and every need.

The Chamber office will be open on Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a pre-packaged hot cocoa bar so you can come in and grab a warm treat either before you start shopping, or if you just need a pick-me-up.  Or hey, use it as a bargaining chip for the kiddos and reward them with something yummy after you get your shopping done. Our hot cocoa bar is graciously sponsored this year by Umpqua Bank.

We are also offering unlimited entries into the Shop Small Sweepstakes that day, so everywhere you shop you can text in your receipt or bring it by the Chamber HQ or text your name receipt photo to 503-389-0631 to be validated and be entered to win the grand prize drawing.

We look forward to seeing everyone who comes out to shop that day, and hope that together we can show our small business community how much we care about them and value what they do. Of course, we ask that everyone follow all safety guidelines while they are indoors shopping. Masks are required, and social distancing is a must.

Tillamook Takeout 2.0

by Justin Aufdermauer | Executive Director

Last Friday, Governor Kate Brown held a press conference that outlined statewide guidance changes for a two week period starting Nov. 18 – Dec. 2.

There were several key takeaways from this two-week pause:
· Restaurants and bars will be takeout only; no indoor or outdoor service.
· Retail stores (indoor and outdoor) will have a limited capacity of 75%*.
· Venues that host indoor or outdoor events are closed.
· All gyms and fitness organizations are closed.
· All indoor and outdoor recreation facilities are closed.
· Social gatherings (indoor and outdoor) are restricted to no more than 6 people, with a maximum of two households.
· Churches are limited to a capacity of 25 people indoors OR 50 people outdoors.

The freeze does not affect current protocols for personal services like barbershops, hair salons or non-medical massage therapy. It also does not change protocol for lodging providers, homeless sheltering, outdoor recreation and sports, youth programs, childcare, K-12 schools, K-12 sports currently allowed, and higher education. All will continue to follow previous guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority.

I’ll just be real with you: it’s a bummer that we’re back here and the State got this call wrong. You have done a great job through Covid-19, Tillamook County, and there is bo reason for us to bare the brunt of other regions problems. Yet as I sit write this frustrated and disappointed by this move, i am reminded that we have done it before and survived, and we will do it again.

To help, we are bringing back the #TillamookTakeout challenge for this two week period of Nov. 18 – Dec. 2. The rules are the same: every time you get take out from a local restaurant, snap a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram using #TillamookTakeout. Just posting the photo with the hashtag will automatically enter you to win gift cards to local restaurants. There is no limit to how many times you can enter; the more you eat out, the more likely you are to win!

We had immense success with this campaign earlier this year and were able to show our restaurants and eateries how much they mean to us. And, I think some of us loved the excuse to not cook every now and then. So I am calling on each and every one of you reading this to channel that same energy and let’s show the rest of the state what Tillamook County is made of. We are hopeful that this latest shut down will not last more than two weeks and even more hopeful that we can use this time to make an impact on the businesses most affected. So grab some take out, get a picture, and use #TillamookTakeout. Be sure to follow along in our Facebook group Tillamook Coast Takeout + Delivery as well, for up-to-date menus and other information.

We can do this, Tillamook!

Nominations Open – 2020 Community Impact Awards

By Justin Aufdermauer | President/CEO

 

Drum roll please… Many have been waiting patiently to hear our plans for the annual Chamber Banquet and Community Awards Ceremony. Well, it’s no surprise at this point that our banquet will look different than it has in past years. With a limited capacity on crowds at the state level, we are reimagining how to host a meaningful banquet for folks, fundraise for Chamber programs, and recognize our business community, organizations, and individuals.

One way we are doing that this year is by modifying the awards to honor as many of the businesses, people, organizations and programs that we can who have made a positive impact in 2020. Take a look at the last 10 months and ask yourself: who made a difference for me? Who went above and beyond to be there for their community, and make the most of a tough situation? Yes, it’s been a weird year to say the least, and we’ve all had to make changes and sacrifices that we haven’t liked. But now it’ .s time to take a look at the basket of lemons and ask ourselves: while we were busy being frustrated, who was making lemonade?

Let me get you started with few to get your thoughts flowing: When the YMCA was shut down, they refocused their efforts to collecting food and other essential items and delivering it to people in need. Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace and the Tillamook Liquor Store property have undergone beautiful transformations, while Pelican Brewing Co. added a completely new brewhouse in their Tillamook location. Pacific Restaurant and Blue Heron French Cheese Co. started offering family-sized take-out meals on their menu to give working families a week-night break. Instead of canceling, the Tillamook County Fair organized a walking tour of fair exhibits. During the Pike Road Fire, several local restaurants, businesses and individuals donated food and essentials to those on the frontlines. (And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the phenomenal dessert auction organized by PNW Fire Relief that raised thousands of dollars in a few hours.)

We have seen immense challenges this year, but we have also seen incredible generosity and positivity. Where COVID brought new regulations, it also brought innovation. We saw curbside pick-up and people choosing to support and shop local over other options. Let’s take some time to focus on the good and nominate a person, organization, business or program for a 2020 Community Impact Award.

To make your nomination, text “iNominate” to 56525 or visit tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the online form. At least the top ten nominees in each category will be recognized and celebrated in the community and at the 2021 Chamber Banquet and . And don’t worry, we will be revealing more details about the banquet in the upcoming weeks. Until then, go make your nomination. There is no limit to how many nominations a person can make. I think it will make us all feel good to recognize the good work being done by those in our community.

Shop Small Nov. 9 through Jan. 4

By Ashley Christensen  |  Programs and Events Manager

It’s hard not to be cheerful around the holiday season, and even though we just passed Halloween, we are feeling the holiday spirit around here. Probably because we are gearing up for the Shop Small Sweepstakes that kicks off November 9th. 

For the last several years we have organized the Downtown Sweepstakes to encourage people to shop small in downtown Tillamook the last few months of the year. Shoppers who validate their receipts are entered to win weekly prizes and a grand prize drawing at the end of the Sweepstakes. You might recall, the Chamber started this endeavor during the Hwy 6/101 redesign when getting downtown and finding parking was challenging. Sidewalks were torn up, signage was down, windows were boarded and businesses were hurting. At the time, it felt like one of the most challenging things we had been through as a community. 

Then 2020 hit. So this year we are revamping the sweepstakes to take on the new challenges facing our business community and continue to encourage people to shop small. The rules this year are similar, but I’ll go over them anyway:

  • Anyone who shops at a locally-owned business in Tillamook County from Nov. 9 through Jan. 4 is eligible to enter the Sweepstakes. 
  • Shoppers can enter once per day during the duration of the Sweepstakes.
  • To enter, bring your receipts to the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce during business hours (M-F, 9-5) or feel free to text a picture of your receipt to 503.389.0631 along with your full name.  
  • Each week receipts turned in that week will be entered to win a weekly prize sponsored by a local business and entered into the grand prize of $1,000 sponsored by US Bank. 
  • Weekly drawings will take place each Tuesday, and the grand prize drawing will take place early in January.
  • Remember to check out our ongoing Facebook event for weekly drawing sponsoring businesses and winners.  

So while you’re starting to think about holiday gifts, remember that shopping locally helps our community thrive. It supports your neighbors, your friends, and your family. It keeps our community vibrant and unique. And, when you enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes there is something in it for you, too. Join us in supporting our local businesses as they strive to recover from this last year. Let’s show them how much they mean to us.

We will be updating everyone soon on our Small Business Saturday plans, so stay tuned for that. 

 

Thank you for supporting the Tillamook Farmers Market

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The 2020 Tillamook Farmers Market was one for the books. Granted, not a book I ever want to read again, but still one for the books.
When the Chamber took over the Market three years ago, we wanted to bring back some of that old-fashioned farmers market fun that had been missing for so many years. We brought in upscale, talented musicians. We did an enormous amount of vendor recruiting. We added kids’ games and activities to encourage families to come down and spend the afternoon with us.
And people responded. Our foot traffic increased exponentially, we had new vendors wanting in, sales were up, and better yet morale was up.
Then COVID hit. All our grandiose plans for our third year managing the market were shot. Yet while farmers markets all around us were canceling their in-person events, we decided to strip the market to the bare bones and hold it anyway.
It wasn’t ideal, but it worked. The old adage “build it and they will come” kind of rang true. Every Saturday we set up, and every Saturday the shoppers came. Maybe not in the large crowds that we had grown accustomed to, but they still came. They bought plant starts for their gardens. They bought fresh produce to feed their families. They bought soap, and outdoor furniture (like, so much furniture) and honey and bonsai trees.
During a pandemic it becomes incredibly important to shop small first and they don’t come much smaller than vendors at a farmers market. Our community met the challenge and supported these farmers, producers, artists, beekeepers and crafters. To that, we say thank you.
I would be remiss without thanking my vendors as well, who had to endure not only new rules and regulations due to the pandemic but also windy, rainy weather for the majority of the season. They still showed up with a smile and kept me company every single Saturday with their warm, caring attitudes. Being a farmers market manager is not a thankless job. Hard work, yes, but I have the most amazing vendors who consistently let me know how much they appreciate and care about me and the feeling is mutual.
Again, thank you to everyone who came out amidst COVID and bad weather to support our vendors. Thank you for shopping small. We can’t wait to see everyone next year, and hopefully we can see more than everyone’s eyes this time!

Our Newest Chamber Teammate

We are excited to introduce our newest team member to the community: Ashley Rushing is joining us as our Communications Manager.

Ashley is originally from Woodland, Wash. and moved to Tillamook six years ago. She and her husband own their own construction business, AR Northwest, and you may also know Ashley from her other roles as the talent behind Ashley Rushing Photography or as a youth cheerleading coach.

We hired Ashley because of her passion for the community and her ability to fit into the culture of the Chamber. She is an excellent photographer and will play an integral role in helping tell our story and visually represent both the brand and the mission of the Chamber along with our membership. She is also very detail-oriented and will be able to support our other team members with her knowledge and kind disposition.

When asked why she was interested in this role, Ashley told us that she applied because there was an opportunity for creativity and structure. “I’m excited about enhancing the member experience, and also being a part of work that is making Tillamook an even greater place to live and work,” she said. “I want people to be proud to live here like I am. This is where we are raising our children and where we have started our own business and I want it to be the best place it can be for my family, my neighbors, my fellow business owners and everyone in between. I see the Chamber as a key player in making that happen and so that’s where I want to focus my time and energy and use my talents for the good of the community.”

As the Chamber continues to grow in membership and community engagement, we have been working to build the right team to grow with us, and fine-tuning the work that we want to accomplish over the next year. It is important to have the right team to be successful and I am confident that Ashley is the right choice for our organization.

Ashley will be implementing our communications plan, which will include growing the Chamber’s social media channels, creating our weekly e-newsletter, keeping the website updated, design work and utilizing communication strategies to keep telling the Chamber’s and local businesses story.

Ashley will be working Tuesday – Thursday from 9-2 if you would like to come meet her and welcome her in person. You can also reach her by email at ashleyr@tillamookchamber.org.

Reminder: June Dairy Parade June 27

Line up at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds starting at 10:30 a.m. to travel the parade route

The June Dairy Parade is returning to downtown Tillamook on June 27th. While this event typically draws thousands of people who show up before sunrise to mark their seats along the parade route – this year will be a bit different.

Instead, load up your family in your vehicle and drive to the Tillamook County Fairgrounds where groups of 30 cars will be escorted through the parade route, every five minutes, starting at 10:30 a.m. The last group will leave the fairgrounds at 1:30 p.m.

“Vehicles driving though the parade should expect about a 30 minute drive with parade entries on both sides of the road for approximately ¾ of a mile one you hit the route,” said Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer.

Each group of vehicles will be led through the route where parade entries will be carefully staged with social distancing in mind. Parade goers will still be able to see all their favorite dancers, bands, and colorfully decorated entries that will be passing out candy and other parade goodies to cars as they go by.

“Normally we release the parade route by now so that people can plan where to sit,” Aufdermauer added, “but this year we are keeping it under wraps the best we can to do our best to limit traffic impacts. So, you will just have to show up at the fairgrounds to find out.”

Aufdermauer also said that for those who are feeling festive there will be a new award category this year for the best decorated participation vehicle. Other award categories include the Mayor’s Choice Award and People’s Choice Awards.

Looking for something else to do with the family after the parade? Be sure to check out the Tillamook Farmers Market on Saturdays between 9-2 on Laurel between 1st and 3rd St.

Inside Out: June Dairy Parade Gets Creative for 63rd Anniversary

It can’t rain on our parade.

For 63 years the June Dairy Parade has graced the streets of downtown Tillamook, drawing thousands of people outside to watch this old-fashioned event that honors the dairy industry and its impact on our community.

For over six decades this Tillamook tradition has marked the beginning of summer and a chance for our community to come together and celebrate. And while events are being canceled left and right in Oregon due to mandated orders from the state – the June Dairy Parade isn’t one of them.

No, they aren’t breaking the law. They’re just going inside out this year.

“We are flipping it on its head,” said Justin Aufdermauer, Executive Director of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, which manages the June Dairy Parade each year. “We will be operating under the restrictions of Phase 1; each entry will be staged along the parade route with enough space to hold up to 25 people, while maintaining a physical distance of six feet. Spectators will then be able to drive through the route to enjoy the floats from the safety of their vehicles.”

As the parade entries stage at their designated locations, parade goers will gather at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds parking area, remain in their vehicles, and be released in piloted groups of 20-50 vehicles. Parade processionals will begin at 10:30 a.m. from the Tillamook County Fairgrounds with the last one being at 1:30 p.m.

“For those who are feeling festive there will be a new award category this year for the best decorated participation vehicle,” Aufdermauer said – so get your window paint, balloons and streamers out and have some fun.

And, fear not! The traditional snacks and swag will still be handed out at the parade – just safely by masked individuals who may have to throw it into your vehicle to have some fun with the physical distancing requirements.

“Many of the details are still being worked out,” Aufdermauer said, “but what we do know is that we are aiming for safe fun. The Tillamook June Dairy Parade is an important part of our community and the Chamber is committed to keeping our community’s spirits up during this challenging social and economic time.”

If you would like to be a staged entry in the 2020 June Dairy Parade, please submit your application by May 31 at Junedairyparade.com.

And be sure to mark June 27, 2020 on your calendars for the 63rd annual June Dairy Parade and the first ever Inside Out June Dairy Parade.

#WereStillOpen

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been over a month now since the Governor released her Stay Home Save Lives order for the state, that required many types of businesses to close their doors to the public and has put a lot of people out of work. We’ve all been living with this “new normal” and trying to adapt our work and home lives to something that they’ve never been before.

But, I want to let you in on a cool little “life hack.” Ready?

Many of our businesses in Tillamook County are still open. In fact, most of them are. We have had a very small percentage of businesses have to close following the executive order – due in part to the fact that we are a smaller, rural community and we don’t have arcades, aquariums, or malls in our community. Our shops and stores are already small, and were already providing a safe space to shop.

Now, to adapt to these never-before-seen times, our business community is doing even more to keep their shoppers safe and keep their doors open. Things like curbside pickup, online ordering, local delivery, and even allowing shoppers to make appointments so they can be the only one inside the store while shopping.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. We just launched a new video campaign #WereStillOpen to help showcase just how easy it is to shop small and support local businesses who are still open – in some cases, without even having to leave your home. Just a few great examples that we featured in the video include Salty Raven with their online ordering and shipping right to your door; Anderson Florists with their easy-to-use website and delivery services; Food Roots is taking call-in orders and curbside pickup; Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace is offering appointments for shoppers and posting their sale items to Facebook for easy, virtual shopping. Lot 35 Homes + The Shoppe also has an online shopping option.

We have seen how incredibly well the community has rallied around our restaurants and cafes through the #TillamookTakeout initiative but let’s not forget that we have many other businesses in our community that need our help, and we would be lying if we said we didn’t need them too. Because when we come out of this pandemic, we are going to want those small businesses to still be around, to still be open, and to still be thriving. To make that happen we need to support them now as best we can.

Head over to the Chamber’s Facebook page to check out the video and share it with your friends. Let’s help remind each other that our local businesses are still open and still serving their community in big ways. I encourage you to use #WereStillOpen to share your shop local photos with us.

 

 

Not Canceled: The Tillamook Farmers Market

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

Let’s share some good news: The Tillamook Farmers Market is returning in 2020, with a new opening date of June 13. Per Gov. Brown’s Executive Order, farmers markets are still allowed to operate.

Why? Because they offer communities the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally-grown foods that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise and support farmers who are making a living by feeding their communities.

However, it won’t be the Market that you’ve come to expect from us the last two years. And that’s OK. We are all making adaptation to normal life, and the Market will be no different. Here is what you can expect to find at the Market this year:

Many of your favorite vendors selling produce, plant starts, craft, baked goods, hand-made soaps and lotions, flowers and more. They will just be spaced out more to allow each vendor enough space to keep them safe.

New signs welcoming you to the Market and reminding you to utilize the hand sanitizer and hand washing stations, maintain social distancing with other customers and vendors, and only touch what you’re going to buy.

SNAP customers will still be able to spend those dollars on food, and receive a match for fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms and nuts via the Double Up Food Bucks program.

You won’t find live music, kids games and activities, or tables and chairs to hang out with friends at. This isn’t the time to be hanging out, lingering, or meeting up with friends. We all want to be there again someday (maybe even before the season end) but in order to do that we have to make some sacrifices now in the interim.

My hope is that the community will continue to come out and support these farmers and small business owners who rely on the Market to help sustain their businesses. We know traditionally our Market attracts a lot of out-of-town visitors who won’t be able to patronize our vendors this year, so we need our local community to be intentional about buying their produce, berries, bread, and other goodies from our vendors. Now is the time to shop small and shop local as often as possible to ensure that all of our businesses – including farmers market vendors – make it to the other side of this pandemic. It is these small businesses that make our community vibrant, fun, and full of soul and losing them would be devastating. So many of them give back to the community in abundance year after year and now it’s our turn to give back to them.

So shop small, shop local, and come June shop the Tillamook Farmers Market.

If you’re interested in being a vendor this year, you can find a link to the application at tillamookchamber.org. Our season opens June 13, and we are still accepting new vendors up until the season starts. You can also help support the Market and its vendors by becoming a sponsor. For sponsorship details, please email me at sayde@tillamookchamber.org.

Keeping up with Morale

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

There is no getting around it: Times are challenging right now. Everyone is feeling the weight and the stress of staying at home; home schooling and distance learning for the rest of the academic year; going to work when you know you’re putting yourself and your family at risk; and on it goes. No one is immune to the restrictions, changes, and challenging of life right now – not even the Chamber. It’s no longer “business as usual” as we also have had to adjust to all the changes and shift our focus on what we would “normally” be doing to what is needed.

One thing we need right now more than ever is positivity. It is so easy to get caught up in the bad news, the curves, and the projections. It’s easy to get frustrated by the inconveniences, or, on the other side of that coin, it’s easy to be frustrated by people who aren’t sheltering at home the same way you are. We get it.

Here is the thing though: We are all in this together. Most people most of the time are doing the best they can. One of the best things we can all do right now is focus on the silver linings. That’s our goal at the Chamber, and we hope you will follow along with us. Every week we are posting tips and “Quarantine Life Hacks” on our Facebook page to remind our community not to sweat the small stuff. There are good things happening too, and they are worth celebrating.

We’ve been able to quickly implement some of the good things here at the Chamber – things like our #TillamookTakeout challenge, which is helping our restaurants and bars get through this tough time, and giving our community something to do and look forward to every week. We’re seeing such positive conversation happening in our Facebook group: Tillamook Coast Takeout + Delivery as people are stepping up to the challenge. More restaurants are offering delivery than before (another positive), and recently were awarded a $7,500 grant from Northwest Oregon Works to enhance those services for some local restaurants.

Thanks to our amazing partnership with the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association not only are we able to host weekly giveaways totaling over $2,500, we’ve also created some other “challenges” on our Facebook group (because let’s face it, the time we’re all spending on social media these days is off the charts) with giveaways that support some of our essential organizations like Senior Meals on Wheels, CARE, and Oregon Food Bank. Go check it out if you haven’t already, and help us give away $500 in gift certificates to this program that is taking care of our seniors during this challenging time.

And, feel free to share our posts with your own friends and followers because we need to be taking care of each other right now more than ever. We may be isolated, but we can still check in, and social media is a perfect way to do that.

As always, if you have any questions for the Chamber of Commerce, you can email me directly at justin@tillamookchamber.org or call our office at 503.842.7535. Our offices are open from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.,  Monday – Friday, and we are available by phone and email from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Travel to Italy and Greece with the Chamber in 2021

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Picture this: you’re basking in the warm Mediterranean sunshine. Before you, the Temple of Zeus towers above you, claiming its space as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Temple, as you know from the informative tour guide, was built in the second quarter of the fifth century BCE on the ancient religious site at Olympia and dedicated to the god Zeus.

It’s not every day you get to explore one of the Seven Wonders of the World – but that’s not all you’ll do that day. You will also visit the ancient Gymnasium and site where the first Olympic Games took place, and peek inside the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

Oh, and did I mention that’s just one day? Now picture 12 days of exploring not only Greece but Italy as well. Discover historic churches, winding canals, and picture-perfect piazzas; step inside the iconic St. Mark’s Square; view the legendary Florence Cathedra; enter the massive Colosseum in Rome; and visit the Temple of Apollo where, according to legend, the gods once communicated with mortals.

If Venice, Rome, Florence, Athens, Delphi and Olympia are on your travel bucket list then you will want to join us for our next Chamber Travel Adventure in May of 2021. The trip includes 12 nights in handpicked hotels, breakfast each morning, guided sightseeing tours with local experts and a private deluxe motor coach. A few of the trip highlights include Temple of Apollo, Ruins of Olympia, and the Archaeological sites of Mycenae, Acropolis, Parthenon. There are also free days to explore Rome and Florence at your leisure.

Sounds intriguing, right? If you’re ready for more information about the itinerary, pricing, or just group travel in general then please join us on March 19th at 5:30 p.m. at the Chamber Headquarters (208 Main Ave.) for an informational travel meeting. This is just an informal meet and greet with snacks and an opportunity to have your questions answered. (Yes, we will be discussing coronavirus and what that might mean for international travel.) If you plan on attending, please call our office at 503.842.7525 so we can get a headcount.

So far we have already pre-registered about 14 people for the trip, so we are about half way there. That means if you have traveled with us before or have been sitting on the fence for awhile there is still plenty of room for you on this trip exploring some of the greatest historical ruins in the world and partaking in their fresh cuisine, dynamic cultures and stunning views.

If you can’t make the meeting on March 19th but would still like more information, reach out to me via email at justin@tillamookchamber.org or call the office at 503.842.7525. We would love to have you join us next spring.

Welcome Lisa Greiner and Adam Schwend to the Chamber Board of Directors

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been awhile since we have introduced our Board of Directors to the community, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit about our newest board members: Lisa Greiner and Adam Schwend.

Lisa came on board a few months ago and was recently elected as Vice Chair. She is the owner at Oregon Coast Dance Center and currently teaches ballet, tap, jazz, and tumbling in two locations in Tillamook County. She is also the voice of Tillamook Today on the local radio stations and serves on many other boards including the Tillamook Futures Council, and the Tillamook County Arts Network.

When asked why she wanted to join the Chamber Board of Directors Lisa said, “Tillamook County is a small, but mighty, community, and I am passionate about being involved and helping where I can. As a Chamber member, I saw that same passion from the Chamber and felt that the board and organization’s values aligned well with mine.”

She added, “Every summer I travel to various parts of the US for studio owner/dance teacher training, and often get into conversations with individuals from other states who are flabbergasted by what our Chamber does. It makes me proud to be a part of an organization that is actively striving to improve our economy and supports our local businesses.”

Lisa said she is excited to be involved in the Young Professionals of Tillamook and to see more trainings and leadership opportunities available for young professionals in our area. Lisa has experience as a small business owner as well as working for a multi-billion dollar corporation and we are excited to have her business-savvy expertise serving on our board. She has also played an instrumental role in helping proofread and format Chamber publications.

Our newest Board Member is Adam Schwend, Principal broker at Coast Real Estate Professionals. Adam is also the Director of Cultural Events for the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook and has been in that role for the last five years.

Adam said he wanted to join the Chamber board because, “I think we as a community – especially a business community – are stronger when we work together. I wanted to be able to give back to a community that’s done so much for me and the Chamber has been a big part of making the community what it is.”

Adam said that during his time serving on the Tillamook City Council he was able to work closely with the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce to make sure the City maintained a business-friendly environment and he looks forward to keeping that relationship going, now from the other side of the table.

Adam added that, “We as business owners are running businesses and don’t always have time to go to a City Council or Planning Commission meeting, and can feel good about the fact that even though we can’t be there as individuals we know the Chamber is stepping up and advocating for us and for a pro-business climate here in Tillamook.”

If you would like more information regarding the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors, visit our website tillamookchamber.org.

Chamber Board of Directors sends Letter in Opposition to SB 1530

Below is a letter that was sent on behalf of the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors to the members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means in opposition to SB 1530:

RE: Opposition to SB 1530 with amendment comments

Dear Honorable Members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means,

On behalf of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, I wish to express our opposition to SB 1530. If passed, SB 1530 will have significant adverse impacts not just on our local businesses, but families in Tillamook County.

In addition to the opposition to SB 1530 in its entirety, we wish to specifically address proposed amendments to SB 1530 and political posturing currently before the legislature. The Tillamook Chamber:

Supports amendment A52, which removes the emergency clause from the bill.

Supports amendment A43, which refers the entire bill to the people for a vote.

Opposes amendment A41, which removes the ability for utility companies to pass through rate increases to citizens to offset the cost of Cap and Trade projects.

Opposes amendment A 51, which is the fiscal allocation of an estimated $20 million to SB 1530.

• Additionally, the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is strongly opposed to any changes to the sitting members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means during this session. Any changes of committee positions at this point in the session is clearly be identified as a deliberate attempt to rig votes and, while legal, will be viewed as highly unethical.

I plead to your integrity and respectfully request you support local businesses and the citizens in our state and oppose SB 1530. Oregonians, particularly, those of us in rural Oregon, cannot afford to bear the burden of this legislation. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully Submitted,

Natalie Rieger
Board President

Downloadable Version: SB1530_TillamookChamberOpposition

Tillamook Farmers Market opening Memorial Day Weekend

Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

If you’re dreaming of sunnier days and fresh, locally-grown produce you buy directly from the farmer, well, you’re not alone. And you’re in luck, because the Tillamook Farmers Market is returning three weeks earlier this year; our opening day is May 23 – Memorial Day Weekend.

While it’s still a little early to get all your produce in May, you will be able to purchase plant starts for your own garden as well as peruse our many other talented vendors. So far you can expect to find Brickyard Farms; Bewley Creek Woodworking; Pacific Roots Coffee; Pitch n Plow Farm; Bea Shea’s natural skin care products and many more on opening day!

And, if you’d like to join us as a vendor this year, we are now accepting applications from both new and returning vendors. You can fill out the form on our website, tillamookfarmersmarket.com. If you have a secret hobby, a crafty passion or grow something in your back yard you’d like to share with the world the Farmers Market is a great place to start.

We do have a list of requirements you have to meet in order to be eligible (sorry, no multi-level marking products). The items for sale must be hand-made, produced or grown by you the vendor. Some exceptions do apply, but our first priority is always to vendors who are also producing what they sell. We would especially love to have more farmers apply and more prepared food vendors. (I have it under pretty good authority there will be waffles made to order this year.) Our Market averages more than 1,500 visitors on any given Saturday, and that number is much higher during the warmer months of summer, holiday weekends, or special events.

If you have any questions or would just like to talk over your options, feel free to reach out to me via email at sayde@tillamookchamber.org. Food vendors also have to apply through the health department, which can take up to two weeks to be approved, so if you’re on the fence just be sure to give yourself enough time to get through the application and approval process.

As always we will have live music each day from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., hands-on kids activities and games, and are putting together some fun and educational demonstrations for market-goers. The Tillamook County Master Gardeners will be on hand again throughout the season to help answer your gardening questions.

If you are involved with a community organization that would like to participate in our Community Table, please reach out to me and I will get you scheduled. This table is offered to local non-profit organizations free of charge and is a great way to get in front of thousands of people to spread awareness about your mission, recruit volunteers, or fundraise.

I hope everyone will come down this summer and support the Tillamook Farmers Market and its 50 plus vendors!

Get Walking… Downtown

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Spring is only four weeks away (or less if you follow the Groundhog) and with it comes better weather; weather perfect for walking and enjoying our downtown.

Just in time for spring, we have revamped and relaunched our Downtown Walking Map which highlights the downtown Main Street District. It had been a few years since the map had been given any fresh life, and we felt it was time to shake it up a bit. The new map is larger, easier to read, and conveniently folds up to travel with you. The map highlights many downtown events and has been refreshed with new photography that showcases the places, people, and events that make Tillamook special.

The purpose of the Downtown Walking Map has always been to encourage visitors and others shopping downtown to see what else is around them. Once you’ve parked the car to take a closer look at something you saw in the window of Madeline’s Vintage Market Place, you might be encouraged to keep shopping if you are aware of what else lies within a few blocks. Vintage clothing store? You got it! Fresh flower arrangements? Of course! A bite to eat? Take your pick!

To further support the downtown Main Street District, we are also launching a new quarterly rack card that highlights what’s happening downtown each quarter. This quarter’s card just arrived last week and highlights dates and times of things like Art Walk, Mornings on Main Street, Sip + Shop, and our other regular downtown events. As the year progresses, we will include things like the Tillamook Farmers Market, Second on Second Street events, Small Business Saturday, Moonlight Madness and more.

I challenge you, locals, to pick these items up at a downtown store or at the Chamber Visitor Center and take a look. Get downtown, support your local businesses and I bet you even find a few businesses that surprise you once you walk in! Grab the quarterly event calendar and hit up some downtown events. Actually, grab a few while you’re at it and give it to the next person that says “there is nothing to do.” Things are happening; you just have to join in. Steffen Aalykke joined in this winter and came away $1,000 richer after winning our Downtown Sweepstakes!

The Tillamook Main Street District is an important part of our local economy and we focus a lot of our efforts within this district as an affiliate. If you are a downtown business, please help us stay abreast of what community events are happening downtown by emailing sayde@tillamookchamber.org. You can also email her to request cards and maps for your business.

We love downtown, but there is so much more to the area. I still encourage folks to visit tillamookchamber.com/events to look for things happening in their area. And if you are hosting a meeting, event, speaker series, or anything open to the public you can submit your event for free. This calendar is used on over a dozen websites in the County and is sure to build traction around your event. I also have it under good authority that it is the only calendar that our local radio stations use for their newscasts, so if you want the added publicity it is a great way to get more traction around your event.

Tillamook Living Magazine

We are excited to announce the arrival of our newest publication: Tillamook Living Magazine. This publication premiered at the Chamber Banquet, and serves as a lifestyle and relocation guide for the Tillamook area. This project was born out of conversations the Chamber has had with employers, real estate agents, and other organizations that need a way to recruit people to the area, and a resource for those who have just landed.
The magazine is packed full of information about the industries in the area, local services, where to shop, where to hike, how to get involved in the community and so much more. If you would like a stack for your office, please call the Chamber office at 503.842.7525 or stop by the office at 208 Main Avenue.

Tillamook PUD Community Support Grant Applications Open

Tillamook PUD is once again offering a Community Support Grant program to local non-profit organizations for their community projects in 2020.

Organizations interested in applying must complete and submit an application by February 27, 2020. Grant applications and procedures are available at the Tillamook PUD main office, or online at www.tpud.org/news-community/community-supportgrants/.

Applications are evaluated and selected by the PUD Board of Directors in mid-March. During evaluation, the Board considers each project and its potential for economic development, community outreach and financial need.

Individual grant awards will not exceed $10,000 and will not be awarded to the same entity more than twice in a five-year period. Additionally, projects must be completed by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Some examples of past projects that have received Community Support Grant funding include lighting and electrical upgrades at various civic organizations, purchasing updated energy efficient appliances for community facilities, and supporting improvement projects at local organizations utilized by the community.

Visit Tillamook Coast awards over $100,000 in Grant Funding to Local Organizations

Each year, the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association (Visit Tillamook Coast) provides $100,000 in grant funding for tourism-related projects. This year, the organization received 23 applications totaling nearly $180,000. The applications were carefully reviewed, scored and ranked by the board of directors of Tillamook Coast Visitors Association. Thirteen of the applicants received full or partial funding, for a total of $100,299.

Recipients include Food Roots, North County Recreation District, Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership Explore Nature Series, Tillamook History Alliance, Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, Garibaldi Maritime Museum, Friends of Netarts Bay (WEBS), Lower Nehalem Community Trust, Kiawanda Community Center, Tillamook Bay Community College Foundation, Art Accelerated and Three Arch Inn.

“Grant submissions included a wide variety of projects, and with so many submissions — more than ever for a single grant round — much discussion took place in the decisions to award funding,” said Nan Devlin, executive director of Tillamook Coast Visitors Association. “We would liked to have given every applicant funding to do their projects; however, we are encouraging organizations to re-apply when the 2021 grant round opens later this year.”

Since 2015, Tillamook Coast Visitors Association has awarded more than $500,000 in funding to county businesses and organizations

2020 Community Award Winners

What a night! Thank you to everyone who joined us for the annual Community Awards Banquet. It is always such a rewarding evening to see everyone and celebrate our award winners.

So without further adieu, help us congratulate our winners:
Salty Raven for Small Business of the Year
Zwald Transport, Inc. for Business of the Year
Garibaldi Portside Bistro for Development Project of the Year
Ultimook Running Camp for Program of the Year
and Ron Smith for Citizen of the Year

Thank you to everyone who attended, who made a nomination, who donated an auction item or prepared a food dish. We call this the Community Awards Banquet because it takes the entire community to make it possible.

Chamber Member Recognition

Throughout the month of December we were able to recognize a few of our Chamber members who are really excelling at making our community a better place to live and work. In case you missed our Facebook posts, help us thank Sheltered Nook on Tillamook Bay for their remarkable customer service and unique cabins; The Schooner Restaurant & Lounge for installing a wind turbine, and also raised more than $25,000 for the Oregon Food Bank Tillamook County Services during their annual Thanksgiving dinner; and Les Schwab Tire Center for their successful Holiday Toy Drive, which also raised $1,050 to fully fund the Adventist Health Tillamook’s Reach Out and Read Program for 2020.

Our business community is awesome!

And the Nominees Are…

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a person, business, project or program for the community awards. It is always so exciting to honor and recognize those who are making a difference in our community at the annual Community Awards Banquet.
In case you missed our video announcement on Facebook last week, here is the list of nominees, in alphabetical order:
Business of the Year
• Les Schwab Tire Center
• Tillamook Coliseum Theater
• Tillamook Early Learning
 Center
• Zwald Transport, Inc.
Small Business of the Year
• Salty Raven
• SaraSotas
• Shear Bliss
• Tillamook Headlight Herald
• Tillamook Meat
Development Project of the Year
• Garibaldi Portside Bistro
• Lot 35 Homes
• Tillamook PUD Operations Center
Program of the Year
• Art Accelerated
• Food Roots Farmtable
• Ramps & Rails
• Tillamook Coast Derby Dames
• Ultimook Running Club
Citizen on the Year
• Cami Aufdermauer
• Erin Skaar
• Nan Devlin
• Ron Smith
Congratulations to all the nominees! If you’d like to attend the banquet, sure to reserve your tickets by calling the Chamber at 503-842-7525.

Oregon Mess Hall Grand Opening: Jan. 3

You’ve probably seen the lights on inside the former Blue Moon Cafe. The newest tenant on the Second Street Plaza is the Oregon Mess Hall. They are serving up coffee, internet, and a safe place to hang out. Fifty percent of all proceeds are donated to Veteran programs. On January 3rd they will be hosting a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony.

Advertise in the 2020 Tillamook Coast Visitor Guide

The 2020 Tillamook Coast Visitor Guide will hit shelves all over the state of Oregon next Spring. A total of 60,000 copies are printed and distributed at all Oregon Welcome Centers, including PDX, Pioneer Square, and the Tillamook Creamery – as well as more than 50 local stands and dozens of local businesses. The guide is also available online.
For an ad rate sheet, click here. There is a special discount for Chamber members.
If you’re interested in placing an ad, reach out to Justin by email: justin@tillamookchamber.org.

City of Tillamook Christmas Lighting & Decorating Contest

The City of Tillamook is once again hosting their annual decorating contest for both businesses and residents living within Tillamook City Limits. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners. The deadline to apply is Dec. 16 by 4 p.m., and application forms are available at city hall. Judging will take place between Dec. 18 – 19 so please leave your lights on from 4:30-8 p.m. those days. Winners will be announced on Friday, Dec. 20 via the City’s Facebook page and website.

And, the community is invited to the 17th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festivities on Dec. 7th on the Second Street Plaza. The fun will start at 3:30 p.m. with yummy snacks and treats, cookie decorating, a coloring contest, Christmas entertainment and photos with Santa. The tree lighting is at 5:30 p.m. The Holiday Light Parade will immediately follow the tree lighting ceremony.

Downtown Holiday Lights Available

The holidays are upon us, and we know you’re feeling festive over there 😉 That’s why we are continuing our downtown holiday lights program this year to encourage our downtown businesses to deck out their businesses and storefronts.
We hope as many businesses as possible will light up our downtown area for the upcoming holiday celebrations such as the City’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Holiday Light Parade, Small Business Saturday, the New Years Eve Celebration, and more.
We have just over 50 strands of white lights 25 feet long. Check out as many strands as you need for your business, while supplies last. Please go see Tammy at the front desk for the check out form and she will get you your lights! We simply ask that you return the lights by Jan. 10, 2020.

Nominations Open for Annual Community Awards 

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I always enjoy this time of year; there is a bit of a pause between summer ending and the start of the school year before we head full force into the holidays. It’s brief, but it’s a chance to catch your breath a little and settle into new routines – like grabbing a jacket before you leave work each morning.

This is also the time of year we start requesting the community to make nominations for our annual community awards. There’s a reason we always do it this time of year; the busy season is over and we are nearing the end of the calendar year. It’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on all the growth we’ve seen over the last year, and what (or whom) we are thankful for. 

A great way to let members in our community know that you appreciate them is by nominating them for a community award. We have five categories: Business of the Year (10 employees or more); Small Business of the Year; Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. 

Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible, and nominees will be honored at the annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January. To make your nominations, visit tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the online form. Those nominations are due by the middle of December so we have time for the selection committee, comprised of prior year’s award recipients, to review applications and make their decisions. We as the Chamber staff don’t choose the winners, or make nominations, but rather this is a community effort.  

The nomination is 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. 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. 

We will announce the nominees in December – so until then, go over to www.tillamookchamber.org/nominate and fill out the form. There is no limit to how many businesses, projects, and people you can nominate. And as always, thank you for your help in making this another successful Chamber event. We literally could not do this part without you. 

YPT First Annual Banquet Oct. 19

The Young Professionals of Tillamook is pleased to announce their first Annual Banquet. This year’s banquet will be hosted at Garibaldi PortSide Bistro’s brand new location from 6 – 9 p.m.  and includes a fun evening of networking, food, drinks, music and a silent auction.

This is a ticketed event and space is limited. On-going details and sneak peeks will be posted on the Facebook event page.

Find tickets here.

Health Plan Options for Chamber Members

Chamber members have a unique opportunity to partner with the Bend Chamber of Commerce and Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to access a new association health plan option in Tillamook County. This is a new avenue of accessing health care which we haven’t had in Tillamook and is only available through your Chamber membership.
We know 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. 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.
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.
For more information, reach out to Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to learn more and see if it is a good fit for your business.

Oregon Main Street Conference Coming to Tillamook Oct. 2-4

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We are excited and honored to tell you that the annual Oregon Main Street conference is landing in Tillamook this year, and we at the Chamber are the hosts. 

Tillamook has been part of the Oregon Main Street Program for many years and it wasn’t until early 2015 that it became a part of the Chamber. The Tillamook Main Street Program is part of a nation-wide program that works with communities to develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character, and heritage.

They chose Tillamook this year because the vibrancy of downtown is quickly being realized by both residents and visitors enjoying their time and patronizing local businesses, and Tillamook has recently underwent a tremendous amount of revitalization with new streetscapes, food-trucks, breweries, restaurants, and parks in a short amount of time.

This year’s conference will focus on techniques participants can use to forge deeper connections in their community and be inspired to take their Main Street efforts to the next level by connecting to resources, connecting to their place, and connecting to partners to help them get work done in their downtown.The events kick-off with Keynote Speaker, author Melody Warnick, discussing place attachment and how to lead longtime residents and newcomers alike to commit to a more passionate relationship with their community.

The conference will welcome 150-200 people from outside the area to our downtown for three days of learning, engaging and of course patronizing our local restaurants, hotels and businesses. We are arranging three walking tours that participants can join in on focusing on the heavy lifting we’ve seen in the last few years to revitalize downtown. Yes, that includes the highway project. While I’m sure many of us would rather leave those memories far behind us, other communities are facing similar challenges and see Tillamook as an integral learning opportunity to understand how and why we kept communication at the forefront of the conversation, advocated for businesses and worked as a liaison with ODOT. 

The walking tours will also focus on the Tillamook Urban Revitalization Association and the work they’ve been able to accomplish within the downtown district to eliminate blight and stimulate economic growth. 

Above all, we are excited to show off our downtown area and will be utilizing several spots downtown during the course of the conference, including the Tillamook Coliseum Theater, Pacific Restaurant, Flavors on First, and the Tillamook County Library. We’ve been able to make this happen thanks to several local sponsors, including US Bank, Pelican Brewing Co., Visit Tillamook Coast, the Tillamook Creamery, Werner Beef & Brew, Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, Jacobsen Salt Co., TURA, Zwald Transport and the Tillamook County Library and Tillamook Coliseum Theater. 

Be sure to visit the Oregon Main Street Conference website here for information on the schedule of events and on sessions. And if you would like to attend, you can register here.

Downtown Sweepstakes is Returning; Just Three Weeks Away

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

With the kids back in school and the days getting shorter, it is inevitable that fall is on the way – followed shortly by the holidays. With this transition also means it’s time to revamp the annual Downtown Sweepstakes.

The official kick off date is October 1, and as always the Sweepstakes runs until the end of December. 

For those who don’t remember the rules, it’s simple: 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 one receipt per 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 each 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.

Our kick off week business sponsor is Salty Raven, and we have other great weekly prizes from Pacific Restaurant, the Tillamook Coliseum, Sunflower Flats, Recurrent and more. We will post the weekly winner to the Chamber’s Facebook page, along with special shout outs for our sponsor businesses.

We’re also going to try something new this year: We are creating a Facebook group specifically for the Downtown Sweepstakes. (Go check it out; Tillamook Downtown Sweepstakes.) This group will give shoppers a chance to post their own photos, our business community an opportunity to showcase what they have going on each week (sales, specials, promotions, etc.) and help connect merchants with their customers during the Sweepstakes. We will also keep a full list of the rules there, and offer special incentives to group members only. This could be extra receipt entries on specific days, or surprise giveaways exclusive to members of the group. So if you’re planning on participating this year and have a Facebook account be sure to go join that group so you’re not missing out on more downtown fun. 

If you have questions about the sweepstakes or wish to become a sponsor, contact Britta Lawrence at 503-842-7525 or britta@tillamookchamber.org.

Back to School Sale!

For a limited time, all youth sweatshirts at our Visitor Center are only $10! Come grab one while supplies last and make sure your children go back to school in style. We have a variety of colors and sizes for youth still available, and are open from 9-5 Monday – Friday.

Let’s Talk Downtown

Join the Chamber for a series of informational meetings regarding downtown
As summer starts to wind down we are gearing up for several downtown events and opportunities for business owners to get involved in and stay connected. On the horizon is:
  • The Oregon Main Street Conference ( Oct. 2nd – 4th)
  • Downtown Sweepstakes (October – December)
  • Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30th)
  • Other downtown events
We are hosting several informational meetings for business owners to come learn more about these opportunities, meet our Programs & Events Manager, Britta (if you haven’t already) and discuss your involvement in one or all of these events.
Join us here at the Chamber HQ on one of these dates and times:
Aug. 26 at 4 p.m.
Aug. 27 at 12 p.m.
Aug. 28 at 9 a.m.
Email Britta for more details. We hope to see you there!

Saying goodbye to Alex, saying hello to housing solutions

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the last nine months the Chamber has been fortunate to play a role in helping tackle the housing crisis within the City of Tillamook. We applied for and were accepted into the RARE program (a division of AmeriCorps) and with that came our newest staff member, Alexander Jonas. 

Alex came to us as a recent graduate from Florida State where he studied political science and international affairs with a focus on economics. He was relocated to Tillamook to serve as our Housing Policy & Development Coordinator. 

In this role, having Alex in this role at the Chamber has allowed us to make a housing impact greater than we could ever imagine. When we set out with this program our goal was to help make various policy changes to assist developers, but we have done so much more and Alex will have a mark on Tillamook for many years to come.

Alex was able to make great strides to help the City improve their development process. He collaborated closely with the city to put together what is essentially a System Development Charges (SDC) financing plan, which they adopted earlier this summer. This plan allows developers to finance their SDCs instead of paying them all up front. SDCs can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for multi-family housing developments and are typically paid in full before a building is even occupied. By deferring these costs a few years (but not waving them), this would alleviate the financial frontload for the developer without undercutting the needed long-term funds for the City. And, since the City may collect interest during the deferral period, it would theoretically equate to more long-term revenue than had the SDCs been charged upfront. 

Garibaldi has had success with a similar model, as well as other Oregon cities that Alex was able to pull data from in helping draft the policy for the City of Tillamook.

To put his stake in the ground, Alex drafted a $200,000 Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant to build four market-rate apartments above Lisa Griener’s Oregon Coast Dance Studio. This is a competitive statewide grant awarded to downtown areas in Oregon in need of economic development, and Lisa’s project was awarded the grant. The current project timeline estimates that the renovation will begin next Summer, with a targeted end date around the beginning of 2021.

As if that wasn’t enough – having this housing program in the Chamber and its connection to the Tillamook County Board of REALTORS – we were asked to assist in finding available property for a Oregon developer looking to build 50-100 market-rate units within the City. Through grinding to find property and with the City’s help with a rezone – always hate to count my blessings too early – but as of a phone call received just last week it looks like Tillamook should be getting another 73 unit apartment complex within the next year. 

Needless to say, Alex’s time has been well spent here at the Chamber. What you can be sure of is that because of the willingness of the Chamber Board of Directors to venture into our economic crisis of housing – the funding put forward by the Tillamook County Board of REALTORS, Pacific Seafood and other generous donors – Coupled with Alex’s hard work – Tillamook will have a much different housing landscape in a very short amount of time. Alex is about to transition from a Seminole to a Duck as he has decided to stay in Oregon to pursue his Masters Degree at the University of Oregon – that’s a big deal that college football fans everywhere will understand. Be sure to stop in to the Chamber HQ and wish him well before he goes. 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Aug. 7th

Last year, Marlene Putman, administrator, Tillamook County Community Health Centers, had a glint in her eye and a very big idea. This idea was fueled by the vision of the patient-driven Community Health Council and their a passion for improving patient access. Today, she is proud to announce a new member of the team that arrived by special delivery earlier this month.

“We are so proud to announce our new team member, which has yet to be named. But she came in at a whopping 22,000 lbs. She is 39 feet long and 12 ½ feet tall,” said Putman. “And she’s a real beauty. I know that everyone who meets her will really love her.”

“We are very proud to announce the arrival of our new mobile community health center,” said Putman. “We can’t wait to get her ready to start delivering dental, physical and behavioral health care to Tillamook County,” said Putman.

Please join the Tillamook County Community Health Centers to meet their newest family member at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony from 2 – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at Tillamook Bay Community College, 4301 Third St., Tillamook.

Please RSVP to Donna Gigoux at dgigoux@co.tillamook.or.us.

Iconic Tillamook Movie Theater for Sale

When the Tillamook Coliseum Theater first came up for sale in 2014, Shiela Zerngast was immediately intrigued.

“I grew up watching movies in this theater,” she recalled. “I remember standing up in the balcony and throwing popcorn on my sister down below. When it first went up for sale, I instantly wanted to purchase it.”

After watching it sit vacant, Shiela convinced her husband Matthew to go look at it with her.

“I basically told him to tell me no so I could stop obsessing, or come look at it with me. Either way, he had to put me out of my misery.”

What she wasn’t expecting was for her husband to fall in love with the building as much as she did. The couple made an offer, and officially closed on the theater on their 22 wedding anniversary.

They went to work the very next day.

“I had big plans,” Shiela said. “I wanted to clean it, fix it up and give everyone the experience of watching a movie that I feel every time I enter a good theater: my heart races, and I get giddy at the thought of getting to watch a good movie. I believe this experience comes with good customer service, and a love of people, movies and the area.”

For the first 10 weeks, friends, family and complete strangers showed up every day to help the Zerngasts remodel and get the theater ready for opening day on November 1, 2014

“Contractors fit us into their schedule, and community organizations came to lend a hand,” Shiela said. “It was like an amazing episode of Extreme Makeover.”

Since 2014, the Zerngasts have poured their heart and soul into the remodel of the Coliseum, which was originally built in 1923. They remodeled the concession and lobby rea; installed original light shades from the 1920s; installed black and white deco-style tile in the lobby; added new carpet and paint throughout and refurbished the vintage neon sign. Among other massive upgrades, they also expanded the concession selections to include local food, beer and wine items. We sell Tillamook ice cream, Tillamook Cheese, Tillamook Country Smoker jerky, Fat Dog Pizza, Pelican Beer, and other food items

“We see it as the theater for the whole community, not just ours alone,” Shiela explained.

And now, Shiela and her family are ready to hand over the reins of their successful theater to the next set of owners who will keep the legacy alive and continue to integrate the Coliseum into the revitalization of downtown Tillamook.

“We are choosing to sell now, because we feel that we have taken it through the downtown construction and revitalized it be a thriving business,” she explained. “Now someone that is looking for a fun, exciting business can jump right in and continue on with the amazing foundation we have established.”

The Coliseum, which shows first-run movies, is approximately 6,000 square feet with a 245-seat theater and an unfinished balcony.

“We have the movie, projector and concession relationships and support team to assist whoever takes it over to step into,” said Shiela. “We have established a great system of support companies, that help us navigate seamlessly through the cinema magic business.”

The theater also enjoys a lucrative on-screen advertising business with very little overhead.

The Coliseum still has many historical elements including both original projectors, the original light dimmer, phone and electrical boxes, projection room, pulleys and curtains behind the screen, along with many other items that are character building from the original theater. The original decorative emblem is still on the ceiling theater.

“We love the Coliseum,” Shiela said. “It’s hard to think about selling something that feels like part of your family, but we really feel like we saved the theater, and a historical piece of our community, and now it’s ready for someone else to step in and keep the momentum going. The heavy lifting is finished, and while there is still potential to grow the theater, it’s now a thriving business again that’s ready for someone to step in and take over.”

Shiela noted that they would be holding out for the right owners, and the theater will continue to operate as usual until the business sells.

For more information contact Shiela Zerngast at 503-812-9647 or email Shiela@tillamookcoliseum.com.

 

 

The Place to be on a Saturday 

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

July 6th was a record breaking day for us at the Tillamook Farmers Market. More than 3,000 people visited the market over the course of the day – probably even more than that. It was a holiday weekend and there were ample people in town enjoying the 4th of July activities and record low tides, and a good portion of them also stopped by the Farmers Market to patronize our local, small business owners and area farmers. 

Statistics show that a high percentage of people who travel will visit a local farmers market while they’re traveling. Having a thriving, interesting and lively market in a community is a great way to draw in travelers and visitors and give them a reason to stop and enjoy our area. It’s also a great spot for locals, and here are just a few reasons why you should consider stopping by the Farmers Market on Saturdays:

  • Live Music. Many of our musicians playing this season would require some sort of cover charge to see in any other venue. This is your chance to enjoy these talented folks for free from 12 – 1 every Saturday. 
  • Kids Activities. We’ve expanded the kids section this year to include more than just corn hole and Connect Four. Every Saturday you can find some kind of free, hands-on activity for kids – from rock painting, seed plating, veggie stamping and paint a pot. To find out what’s happening on any given Saturday follow the Tillamook Farmers Market on Facebook. Kids activities can be found near the HQ Trailer – usually near the center of Market or tucked back next to the trailer under a tent if it’s rainy. 
  • Food Hero Program. The Food Hero program offered by OSU Extension is back and this time they’re sticking around for the full season. You can find them under the blue tent offering all kinds of food experiments and tastings for kids. Those who participate get a $2 ‘Kids Buck’ to purchase fruits, vegetables or honey. These Kids Bucks are sponsored by TLC Fibre Credit Union. 
  • More than 50 unique vendors. We’ve really worked hard on growing the number of vendors at the Market this year and if you haven’t been in awhile I think you’ll be surprised by the amount of unique, hand-made and artistic items you can find on any given Saturday. We have fresh produce, plant starts for your garden, baked goods, hand-crafted furniture, fresh cut flowers, honey, tie dye, and everything in between. Come for lunch, enjoy the music and grab some one-of-a-kind gifts. 

The Market runs every Saturday from 9 – 2 in front of the Tillamook County Courthouse until Sept. 28. Be sure to like Tillamook Farmers Market on Facebook for all the latest news and activities. And, a big thank you to this year’s sponsors including TLC Fibre Credit Union, Bizeau Dentistry, the Tillamook Revitalization Association, Sheltered Nook on Tillamook Bay, Guild Mortgage and Food Roots. 

 

We’re Hiring! Come Join the Chamber Team

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Now that our main summer events are behind us and we’re starting to get back into a somewhat normal routine here at the Chamber, I wanted to let you know that we’re looking to add to our team.  We are currently hiring for a Program & Events Manager.

This position will be responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing programs and events of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce. This includes the management of existing and the development of new programs and events that align with our mission.

In a nutshell, this position will manage the Tillamook Main Street Program, in affiliation with the Oregon Main Street Program, as well as plan, organize and direct events both initiated and co-hosted by the Chamber. Things like our annual Chamber Banquet and Awards Dinner, quarterly What’s Brewin’ socials and semi-annual How It’s Done series, to name a few. This position will also oversee development seminars, ribbon cuttings, and our downtown planter program, coordinate our monthly Mornings on Main Street gatherings, and handle logistics surrounding the Chamber’s travel abroad programs, the Cork & Brew Tour, June Dairy Festival and Small Business Saturday. All of these programs are well established however they have room to grow and expand under the right person’s leadership.

This job is perfect for someone who likes to multi-task, can meet deadlines, and wants an avenue to pursue creativity inside a supportive environment. If you like to problem solve, make connections and facilitate a cooperative climate between businesses, community organizations and local government then this job might be a great fit for you. We’re open to both part-time and full-time job seekers.

Who is the right person, you might be asking? Someone self-motivated who can work independently but also collaborate in a group setting, manage multiple projects and set priorities, has exceptional organizational skills and the ability to think critically, and is excited to support and grow our downtown businesses.
So if you have experience managing a significant variety of community events, can manage volunteers and committees, and above all are excited about the work the Chamber is doing in the community and the potential to grow our impact then we would love for you to apply for this job.

A full job description is available on our website, tillamookchamber.org – just click the job posting on the front page. To apply for this position, send cover letter and resume outlining your interest and qualifications to:

Tillamook Chamber of Commerce
Attn: Justin Aufdermauer
208 Main Ave.
Tillamook, OR 97141

This position will be open until filled. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me and we can talk about it more.

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

June Dairy Parade Route

For the first time in years, the June Dairy Parade is returning to downtown Tillamook. No really, this year the parade will officially go all the way through downtown.

The parade begins at 11th and Main by the Tillamook PUD office, heads down Main to First Street and then rounds the corner at the Rodeo Steakhouse to Pacific. It will then travel up Pacific to Third Street and officially end at Goodspeed Park. The parade route is marked in blue on the map:

Grab your seat early – and don’t forget to stop by the Tillamook Farmers Market while you’re out.

Mornings on Main Street: Meet with Ruth Miles, Small Business Advocate

Have you ever had a question or concern about government that you couldn’t resolve? You’re not alone. Simple or complex, we don’t know what we don’t know – and that can cost money or cause trouble when government is involved. You can relax, though. If you can’t resolve the issue, turn to the Small Business Advocacy Team at Secretary of State. They provide free, confidential help to small businesses and nonprofits. Got a federal issue? The Advocates can connect you.
At our next Mornings on Main Street gathering, come meet Ruth Miles, the Chief Small Business Advocate. She’s excited to meet you in person; and she’ll be spending a few extra hours with us. If you have a burning issue to discuss, she’s there for you.
Please remember that you are encouraged to come and go as your schedule allows; even if it means 5 minutes for coffee and a quick hello. No shame in coming late or dashing out. There will be coffee and light snacks, of course and time to introduce yourself and share what is happening in your world.
See you at 208 Main Avenue on June 18th at 8 a.m.! 

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 corkandbrewtour.com. 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 junedairyparade.com 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 info@tillamookchamber.org. 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 junedairparade.com 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 junedairyparade.com, 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 corkandbrewtour.com. 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.

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 Eventbrite.com (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.

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: tpud.org.

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: Sierra@tillamookchamber.org. Hope to see you soon!

Tillamook Futures Council Invites the Public to Discuss the Future of Tourism-Related Facility Improvements

Tillamook County citizens are invited to attend Community Engagement sessions to discuss the future of tourism-related facility investments.  These sessions will be held March 19-22, as a follow up to the Think Tank workshop held on February 15th.

The 2-hour sessions are being offered at a variety of times and locations throughout the County to encourage citizens to attend and give input:

  • Tuesday, March 19—5:30-7:30 pm (Pacific City—Kiawanda Community Center)
  • Wednesday, March 20—8:30-10:30 am (Tillamook—Tillamook Chamber of Commerce)
  • Wednesday, March 20—1:30-3:30 pm (Rockaway Beach—Community Center)
  • Wednesday, March 20—5:30-7:30 pm (Nehalem—North Coast Recreation Center)
  • Thursday, March 21—8:30-10:30 am (Manzanita—Pine Grove Community Hall)
  • Thursday, March 21—1:30-3:30 pm (Hebo/Neskowin—Hebo Fire Station)
  • Thursday, March 21—5:30-7:30 pm (Tillamook—Tillamook Bay Community College)
  • Friday, March 22—8:30-10:30 am (Netarts/Oceanside—Netarts Community Club)

These sessions will give County residents and stakeholder a chance to:

The sessions will be highly interactive, with an opportunity for citizens to have direct input into shaping future investment priorities in the County.  The workshops will also include a short survey, where citizens can record their individual perspectives.  Citizens are encouraged to attend and may attend multiple workshops.

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 www.tillamookchamber.org.

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 TillamookFarmersMarket.com. 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 sayde@tilamookchamber.org 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 grouptoursite.com/tours/alpineeuropewithtillamook.

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@tillamookchamber.org. 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 youngpros@tillamookchamber.org. They also have their own Facebook page, and you can follow what the YPT is doing there. Just go to Facebook.com/youngprostillamook.

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.

Tillamook PUD Offers Community Grants in 2019

TILLAMOOK, OR – January 22, 2019- Tillamook PUD is offering a Community Support Grant program to local non-profit organizations with projects promoting economic growth and community livability in Tillamook County.

Organizations interested in applying for a grant must complete and submit an application by February 22, 2019. Applications are evaluated by the PUD Board of Directors, with final project selection in mid-March.

During evaluation, the Board considers each project and its potential for economic development, outreach into the community, and financial need. Projects must be completed by the end of the 2019 calendar year.

Individual grant awards will not exceed $10,000 and will not be awarded to the same entity more than twice in a five-year period. Some examples of past projects that have received grant funds include lighting and electrical upgrades at various civic organizations, purchasing updated energy efficient appliances for community facilities, and supporting improvement projects at local organizations utilized by the community.

Grant applications and procedures are available from Tillamook PUD or on its website at www.tpud.org/news-community/community-support-grants/.