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 if you have any questions or would like to get on the waiting list.

We look forward to seeing everyone on June 12!

Chamber News: Aufdermauer Celebrates 10 Years as Chamber Director

Justin Aufdermauer

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

The Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce of a decade ago may well be unrecognizable to its modern-day self.

With a more accessible headquarters, more members and a stronger reputation within the community, the organization has changed significantly since 2011. Past and present Chamber board members say that Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer is the mastermind behind those changes.Justin Aufdermauer

“When he started, the Chamber wasn’t doing very well,” said Whitey Forsman, a former Chamber board member who worked with Aufdermauer for 8 years. “Justin put a strategic plan together and followed it. And it proved successful.”

Last month marked Aufdermauer’s 10th year in the Chamber’s top leadership position. In that time, he has moved the Chamber headquarters, built stronger relationships with business and community partners, and provided a face for Tillamook County on regional and state boards.

“I think people now see the Chamber as informed and educational. They appreciate what the Chamber does for our businesses and for our community. Justin has been the one that’s driving all of that. He has elevated the Chamber in that way,” said Lisa Greiner, president of the Chamber board of directors.

When Aufdermauer started at the Chamber, the organization’s headquarters was based in the Tillamook County Creamery Association parking lot as a visitor center. The Chamber had significantly fewer members, and it focused more on tourism and visitor relations than the community, he said.

A car salesman with Tillamook Ford who was serving in a number of community leadership roles at the time, Aufdermauer applied for the job because he saw it as an opportunity “spend my career” doing something he loved: positively influencing his hometown by being involved in the community.

Tillamook Chamber Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer ‘walks the walk’ by volunteering for the 2021 Downtown Tillamook Cleanup and other community events throughout the year.

Forsman said the new director added “credibility” to the Chamber. He was a life-long local resident who knew the community well and truly cared about it.

“Justin walks the walk and talks the talk,” Forsman said.

Aufdermauer brought his community connections from groups like Kiwanis and the Tillamook Revitalization Association to the Chamber with him. He built upon those relationships to grow partnerships with the Creamery, the City of Tillamook and others, Forsman said.

Those partnerships eventually led the Chamber to grow its membership to more than 300 businesses and individuals, and to move Chamber headquarters to a more prominent spot in Downtown Tillamook.

“The Creamery approached us as they were expanding and worked closely with us to relocate. It was really a great opportunity for us to find a downtown location that afforded us an opportunity to still accommodate visitors while becoming more engaged with a broader part of the community,” Aufdermauer said.

In his early years at the Chamber, Aufdermauer caught some flak for being a “free spirit” who was direct about what he wanted, Forsman said. But as he grew into the role – and was mentored by Forsman and other board members – Aufdermauer learned to use that quality to his benefit.

“What really makes the difference with Justin is that he doesn’t mind confronting issues, but he doesn’t carry any ill feeling around,” Forsman said.

Greiner added that Aufdermauer is “direct, but not mean about it.”

“Sometimes when you’re too soft with people, the message gets lost. So I appreciate Justin’s bluntness,” she said. “He also has an energy that is infectious and gets people excited for things that are happening. His passion and excitement rub off on other people.”

Tillamook Chamber Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer, left, celebrates the local business community by hosting the Chamber’s annual Community Awards Banquet.

Greiner said she see the Chamber as the “rising tide that floats all of the community.” Aufdermauer’s talents and competitive nature fuel daily improvements that benefit Chamber members and the community at large, she said.

“Justin wants the Chamber to be the best it can be for the community, to always be better than it was yesterday,” she said. “He thinks about problems from 360 degrees. He has an organizational thought process, and he understands that there is a need for the people to be involved and informed. He just gets what the Chamber is here to do: build community.”

Since starting at the Chamber, Aufdermauer has shifted his board service from local organizations to state and regional groups. He serves on boards for the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Destination Association and Oregon Coast Visitors Association, among other boards. Those positions allow Aufdermauer to represent Tillamook at the regional and state levels, which have not historically featured a local voice for the community.

“He’s well-respected in the state and on state boards,” Forsman said. “He really is the go-to guy for politicians to get a pulse of what’s going on in our community.”

Aufdermauer joked that his greatest accomplishment over the last decade has been adding to the membership roster businesses that had long avoided joining the Chamber.

“One of my favorite accomplishments was getting Tom (Connaughton) at Diamond Art and Cindy (Gardner) at Sunflower Flats to join the Chamber,” Aufdermauer said. “Those were two anchor stores I grew up with as a local, but they were not members of the Chamber. When they finally joined, I felt like I could cross that off my bucket list.”

In his first decade as the Tillamook Chamber’s Executive Director, Justin Aufdermauer, right, led the Chamber in adding members, moving to more prominent location and expanding community engagement.

On a more serious note, Aufdermauer noted that adding longstanding Tillamook businesses as Chamber members indicated that the organization was operating in the way it was originally intended. Many businesses that had not seen the value of a membership before changed their minds as they saw the Chamber grow.

As businesses started to see the value of a membership, Aufdermauer took it as a sign that the Chamber was making an impact in the community and meeting its mission to build a strong community where businesses can thrive. For him, that is the true pinnacle of his work so far.

“Ten years ago, the Chamber had reached a point where it wasn’t supporting businesses and building community like it should. Me, the board and my staff have been able to fill that void successfully,” he said. “That is my greatest accomplishment: knowing that in the past 10 years, we’ve had a positive impact on building a stronger community.”


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 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.

Member News: West Elliott Boutique and Studios Turn One

West Elliott Ribbon Cutting

Earlier this month West Elliott Boutique and West Elliott Studios celebrated their one-year anniversary — and their persistence through the COVID-19 pandemic — with a special Chamber ribbon cutting ceremony. Built up of a boutique, esthetics, photos and florals, the downtown Tillamook shop is a collection of dreamers looking to bring happiness to others.

West Elliott Ribbon Cutting
Michelle Dooher, Kait Dooher, Natalie Travis, Candace Martin, Kim Martin Travis, Hailey Travis and Leilani Martin.

“So many people are repeat customers who come in and support us,” said boutique owner Kim Martin. “They could go to Portland or shop online, but they still got all of their Christmas gifts at our shop. They still think about us for birthdays or baby showers. I really want to thank the community, because without them coming in every week to support us, I don’t know if we would have made it.”

West Elliott started as a studio space for photographer Natalie Travis and makeup artist Kait Dooher.

Kait has been a staple makeup artist in Oregon for more than six years. She went to Aveda Salon in Portland right after high school, and she’s spent time on the East Coast. Eventually she made her way back to Tillamook, driven by her passion of making women look and feel their best.

Natalie has been doing photography on the Oregon Coast for four years now. She was a barista for six years before finding her passion in life. She especially enjoys photographing all things related to love: couples, weddings, engagements, motherhood, newborns, families, self-love and more.

The women started the business while brainstorming places for rent in their hometown. The space at 112 Main Ave. was perfect for what they needed. Natalie could use a portion of the space as a photography studio, while Kait could reserve an area for a spa room and makeup lounge.

In a nod to the building’s long history in Tillamook, Natalie and Kait decided to name their studio after “Mr. Elliott,” the building’s owner during the early 1900s. They added the word “West” to represent their Pacific Northwest geography.

Renovations started in January 2020. Soon afterward, Natalie and Kait realized that they had more space than they knew what to do with, so they started thinking about the possibility of opening a storefront. Natalie’s mom, Kim Martin Travis, has always wanted her own little boutique, and with this new journey, the women wanted to make that dream a reality.

Kim joined the girls in business in March, opening West Elliott Boutique. The COVID-19 pandemic took hold no more than a week later.

“We were really worried. It felt like we had put all our time and resources into this business, and all of the sudden we didn’t know what would happen,” Kim said.

But the women persevered, finding ways to continue doing business even while their storefront was closed by state mandates.

“I would post online whenever I got new items in, and people would comment on social media. Then, they could meet me down at the shop, and I could hand it to them,” Kim said. “We also did contactless payments using Venmo.”

In some ways, the pandemic inspired growth at the business by allowing other family members to start their own lines of products for stock in the boutique. Natalie and her sister, Hailey, partnered together to open the Iron Threads earring and accessory business while working from home. And Kim’s mother, Candace Martin, launched a line of bath and skincare products called Love & Lather.

Kim’s cousin, Lelani Martin, also joined in on the fun by partnering her business with the boutique. She offers Riverside Floral flower subscriptions, fresh floral arrangements and wedding floral services, which can be ordered through West Elliott.

“It’s all family,” Kim said.

By summer, as businesses began reopening, the women of West Elliott realized that their shop could and would make it through the challenge of a pandemic.

“It just all came together. Everybody is pitching in and making it work,” said Kim, noting that the boutique is able to keep overhead costs low because family members donate their time to run the cashier and other daily operations at the shop.

Chamber events also helped generate foot traffic after months without during the quarantine. Kim said the Chamber’s Sip & Shop has been particularly successful for West Elliott, which nearly sells out on the Friday evenings when customers stop in to enjoy a glass of wine and browse the racks.Sip + Shop

The boutique re-invests its profits into buying new products and expanding its offerings, Kim said.

“The shop used to be about a quarter of the size, and my daughter had the other side for her photography. But we just kept growing,” she said. “Now it’s a full, thriving shop.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony this month, the family was “just about in tears” as they reflected on and celebrated their first year in business.

“It was really emotional. We were like, ‘We couldn’t believe we’ve made it,’ ” Kim said.  “But we are still here, and it’s better than we all expected.”

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 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
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, 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

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 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.

Join the Chamber and Guests for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction Feb. 20

By Ashley Christensen
Programs & Events Manager

*** Register now at ***

Typically in mid-January the Chamber is hosting its annual Community Awards Banquet. It’s an exciting and elegant night that I know many of you have attended in the past. The food is divine, the atmosphere is charming, and the company is the best.

Of course we are saddened that we can’t host this lovely in-person event for our community right now, but we aren’t going to do nothing; that wouldn’t be right, and it certainly wouldn’t be on brand with the Chamber! We’re all about making the most out of a less-than-desirable situation.

So this year, I am excited to invite you all to the Community Impact Celebration and Auction on Feb. 20th. You can join us virtually by heading to where all the fun will start at 6 p.m.

But you don’t have to wait til Feb. 20th to participate! We have more than 100 items in our silent auction, that will premier on that same website on Feb. 6.

From your phone, computer or tablet you’ll be able to visit and bid on incredible items from all over our community. Things like guided fishing trips, vacation packages, an incredible leather couch from Roby’s Furniture, a custom-built bike from the Tillamook Rental Center, and the most amazing gift baskets you’ve ever seen.

While the silent auction opens on Feb. 6th, we will be releasing new items each day leading up to the 20th so be sure to keep checking back and making your bids on these fabulous gifts. Whether you’ve participated in the Chamber’s annual silent auction before or not, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount and scope of items up for bid. We were so jazzed to have an incredible outpour of support from our local community, and you will definitely want to check it out for yourself.

We are also seeking sponsors for the event that will not only help support the auction but also sponsor the Community Impact Awards video that will be released in early spring and will highlight the businesses, organizations, programs, and people who have made a positive and lasting impact on the community even through the pandemic. All of our sponsors will also be recognized in this video – but that’s not all! Sponsors also receive 10 gift cards redeemable at any local restaurant that they can use the night of the Community Impact Celebration and Auction to buy dinner for their family, friends, or even employees and co-workers.
One of the things that makes the annual Chamber Banquet so unique is that it is catered by a variety of local restaurants in and around Tillamook. We wanted to bring that same flare to our virtual event, so we are giving out gift cards to those who choose to sponsor that can be redeemed at the restaurants of their choice. It’s a fun way to bring home your own taste of Tillamook while you settle in for the live auction.

Speaking of which: the live auction portion will be co-hosted by Justin Aufdermauer and Brett Hurliman, who is always a blast to have at any event! And while the two of them are entertaining as it is, we will have special guests popping in throughout the evening so even if you aren’t planning on bidding on any of the big-ticket items, it will still be an entertaining way to spend your Saturday night!

So mark your calendars and don’t forget to join us on Feb. 20th for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction at Silent auction items go live Feb. 6th! If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, call our office at 503.842.7525.

A huge thank you to all those who made a donation for your continued support of the Chamber. We couldn’t do this without you.

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, 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, 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!

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 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.

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

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.

Chamber Member Recognition: Dutch Mill Diner

We have to give a shout out to Chamber member, The Dutch Mill Diner, for their most recent building upgrade. The new neon lights on the back side of the building are elevating the entire parking lot area and are quite eye catching at night! Congratulations to the Dutch Mill Diner Team and thank you for your continued investment in our downtown.

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

Winter Planters Receive Refresh

Earlier this month our downtown planters received a facelift. They have been restocked with winter-hardy plants to get through the rest of the cold weather to keep them looking full and eye-catching. Thank you to the talented Cindy Gardner for her hard work on this and attention to detail! Each planter is unique and adds a decorative element to our downtown.
These downtown planters are a program of the Chamber and we handle their planting and placement around downtown. If you would like to have one in front of your storefront or office, reach out to our office at Planter “parents” pay an annual fee that keeps the planter in front of their business. We handle the cleaning and semi-annual planting to make sure they look their best so all you have to do is enjoy them.

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

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
• 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.

Annual Chamber Banquet

What: A Night in the Swiss Alps

When: Jan. 18, 2020, 5 p.m.

Where: Tillamook County Fairgrounds

Tickets: Get yours at the Tillamook Chamber HQ, located at 208 Main Ave in downtown Tillamook.

TOY DRIVE: Now through Dec. 16

For the month of December the Young Pros of Tillamook are collecting toys that will be delivered to Les Schwab Tire Center for their annual toy collection event. All donated toys are distributed to families in need at Tillamook Regional Medical Center. You are welcome to bring your new, unwrapped toys or cash donations to the Chamber HQ through Dec. 15, and join the Young Pros on Dec. 16 at 12 p.m. to deliver the toys to Les Schwab. Also – Les Schwab will be matching ALL cash donations, so it’s a great way to give back this holiday season.

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:

Small Business Saturday Nov. 30th

The Thanksgiving holiday is officially here, and that means amidst travel plans and cooking dinner you are probably thinking about your Christmas and holiday shopping. While Friday is, of course, Black Friday, Saturday is Small Business Saturday – a day dedicated to supporting the local, small businesses that make our community vibrant and unique.
To celebrate, we have compiled a list of festive events and specials happening all over downtown on Saturday:
  • Complimentary hot cocoa bar at the Tillamook Chamber & $5 off sale
  • Pop up Market at Chamber office featuring Donuts 24:7
  • Wreath Fundraiser for TELC at Chamber office
  • Ornament Making and Tiered Sales at Re:Current
  • Gingerbread House Building Competition at Yo Time Frozen Yogurt
  • Photos with the Nutcracker at Oregon Coast Dance
  • Brunch with the Grinch and Photos with Santa at Pacific Restaurant
  • Letters to Santa at the Dutch Mill Diner
  • Art Card Workshop at the Art Accelerated Gallery
  • Mystery Goodie Bags for the first 20 shoppers at Lot 35 Homes + The Shoppe
  • Bucket Sale at Kimmels Hardware
  • 15-20% off Sale at Salty Raven
  • 20% off Sale at Sunflower Flats
  • 20% Off Sale at Kristi Lombard Pottery
  • Movie Gift Card Special at Tillamook Coliseum Theater
We will also have postcards and maps available at the Chamber office to help guide you through each sale and activity. What’s more – we will have UNLIMITED entries to the Downtown Sweepstakes all day on Small Business Saturday. So everywhere you shop you can be entered to win our weekly drawing as well as the grand prize of $1,000 Downtown Dollars sponsored by US Bank.

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.

New Salary Threshold for Overtime Rule Finalized

brought to you by Cascade Employers Association 

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new salary threshold that increases the minimum annual salary for exempt positions from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $35,568 ($684 per week). According to the DOL, this threshold is estimated to make 1.3 million American workers eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A similar change was supposed to take effect in 2016, but the rule was enjoined at the last minute before the effective date.

As we saw with the 2016 rule, employers can include up to 10% of an employee’s salary from non-discretionary bonuses, incentives and commissions in meeting the salary threshold. These payments must be paid at least annually. There will be no changes made to the FLSA’s “duties test.” This rule will take effect January 1, 2020.

Employers should start reviewing their compensation structures for the impact this will have. Employers may need to increase employee salaries, move some employees from exempt to nonexempt and consider any overtime they may now accrue, look at incentive options, restructure work to eliminate or minimize overtime, or a combination of these actions.

Employers should also watch out for wage compression which can occur if employers increase employee pay and salary range minimums, similar to what happened when Oregon changed its minimum wage law.

If your organization needs to evaluate its salary structure for the new overtime rules, Cascade is here to help. We offer extensive compensation services to ensure your organization is competitive and compliant.

$100,000 in tourism marketing and promotions grants now available for Tillamook County non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses

Tillamook Coast Visitors Association (dba Visit Tillamook Coast), the destination marketing organization for Tillamook County, announced today the availability of $100,000 in tourism marketing and promotions grant funding for 2020 calendar year.

Application forms can be downloaded at The deadline for submission is December 2, 2019. Those organizations and businesses awarded grant funding will be notified in mid-January, 2020.

Non-profit and not-for-profit organizations, as well as for-profit businesses involved in tourism activities, are eligible for the grants. Up to $10,000 can be awarded for a tourism marketing and promotion project or event. Applicants focusing on shoulder season activities (late September through late May) are given priority in scoring of their application.

Non-profits and not-for-profits are awarded 50% after approval of the project, and receive the remaining 50% after satisfactory completion of the project and fulfilling grant reporting requirements.

For-profits must first get approval of the project, then are eligible for 50% reimbursement after satisfactory completion of the project and fulfilling grant reporting requirements.

The grant applications are first reviewed for completeness and eligibility by the tourism executive director and tourism grants administrator. If eligibility is questionable, legal counsel is consulted. Eligible applications are then reviewed and scored according to the grant criteria (found in the grant application), and then ranked and approved by the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association 11-member board.

This is the fifth year in a row that $100,000 in grant funding has been made available to community organizations and businesses involved in tourism. Visit Tillamook Coast has awarded a total of $420,000 to date in grants. Projects range from digital marketing campaigns, rack cards, websites and videos to walking maps, event marketing, tradeshow needs, media campaigns and print advertising.

For more information, contact grants administrator Amy Blackburn at 503 842-2672 or

The People’s Coast Summit Returns Oct. 7-8

The People’s Coast Summit is returning to the Old Mill Marina in Garibaldi on Oct. 7-8.

Hosted by the Oregon Coast Visitors Association, this annual summit is an end-of-season industry gathering where participants can gather to decompress from the busy season, share experiences with colleagues and make new contacts.

Guest speakers provide opportunities for big picture thinking about our industry, and workshops offer nuts and bolts skills which business owners can return home and apply immediately.

Register here.



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.

Join the Chamber Board of Directors

Chamber members are invited to apply for a vacant position on the Chamber Board of Directors. Terms are for three years. To apply, fill out an application and return it to the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. in Tillamook or email a copy to

The application can be downloaded here: Board Application_Chamber

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.

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!

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

Celebrate Tillamook Bay at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum Aug. 3 – Sept. 28

Twenty five years ago, Tillamook Bay was just one of many estuaries in the country. An integral piece of the North Oregon Coast’s economy, a few grassroots volunteers felt Tillamook Bay deserved to be protected for generations to come.

It was around that time that Tillamook Bay was designated as a “Bay of National Significance” by the Environmental Protection Agency. This designation secured Tillamook Bay’s spot in the National Estuaries Program, which works to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of 28 estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Coasts and Puerto Rico.

With this new designation came the birth of the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP).

“Even all those years ago, marking Tillamook Bay as significant was about promoting clean water, abundant wildlife and a vibrant way of life,” said Kristi Foster, TEP’s Executive Director. “It’s about conserving America’s iconic estuaries, and Tillamook Bay is special enough to be one of them.”

To celebrate, TEP is collaborating with the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum on a new art exhibit to highlight the beauty of Tillamook County’s estuaries and TEP’s vital role in keeping them vibrant and productive.

Titled ‘Discover the Bounty of the Bays’ the new exhibit opens August 3rd and runs through September 28th and features the history of Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, information about TEP’s work and programs, and artwork from local artists featuring the natural landscapes, wildlife, and communities TEP works to enhance.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate local artists and learn more about the work that TEP has accomplished over the last two and a half decades, and the work still left to be done,” Foster said.

“Within the national estuary program we’re probably the only one that can still fix all of our problems,” she continued. “We still have salmon; we still have oysters; we still have the ability to clean our water; it’s very exciting.”

And, a healthy estuary is at the heart of the community, noted Claudine Rehn, Deputy Director. “Without clean water, we’re not going to have a healthy economy or a healthy community… Having these five estuaries that we are lucky enough to have, they are the touchstone for everyone who lives here. In some way, we are all impacted by the health of our estuaries and we want to raise awareness of what that means for everyone involved – farmers, fishermen, foresters; we are all in this together.”

The gallery opens August 3rd, and TEP will also be present at the Tillamook Farmers Market that day from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Stop by their booth to help create an estuary inspired window mural made from marine debris with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program’s Trash Talk Project. This is a great opportunity to meet TEP’s staff, Board Members and volunteers, and learn more about TEP’s programs while creating a beautiful piece of artwork.

Other celebratory events are planned throughout the summer including guided walks and hikes of conservation areas such as Kilchis Point Reserve and Hoquourton Slough. These events are part of the Explore Nature program and will provide an opportunity to Discover Tillamook County’s estuaries in person. .

For more information, follow the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership on Facebook or visit their website

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



OHA Grant to help Tillamook County Wellness Partners Improve Patient Health Outcomes

Tillamook County Community Health Centers, our local public health authority, has been awarded a Sustainable Relationships for Community Health (SRCH) grant from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The one-year grant will provide added staff capacity and technical assistance to address chronic disease prevention and management in Tillamook County. Funds from the grant will be used to hire a coordinator who will manage the project in conjunction with the Tillamook County Wellness Health Screening committee.

The OHA SRCH initiative is very aligned to the mission of Tillamook County Wellness, a collective of community partner organizations working together to reduce chronic disease rates, especially type 2 diabetes, by addressing the Social Determinants of Health. SRCH funds are intended to foster collaboration, reduce health disparities and healthcare costs and improve population health outcomes. This includes optimization of community and clinic-based health screenings, program referrals and reimbursement pathways.

Local healthcare partners, including the Tillamook County Community Health Centers (TCCHC), Adventist Health – Tillamook, Columbia Pacific CCO and Rinehart Clinic each play a key role in the Tillamook County Wellness Health Screening committee, with representatives from each organization serving on a core leadership team charged with fulfilling the grant requirements. Additionally, several community-based organizations such as the YMCA, NCRD, OSU Extension and Northwest Senior & Disability Services, among others, will participate in the project.

Together, committee members will:

  • Assess existing health screening practices in clinical as well as community-based settings, including workplaces.
  • Identify current chronic disease prevention and self-management programs and services to which people are being referred.
  • Co-design recommendations for ways to modify or enhance screening and referral practices.
  • Generate agreements for implementing improvements to systems processes and program access.
  • Track and analyze screening, referral and program participation data to determine impact on health outcomes and identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop recommendations for supporting programs and processes that are most effective for reducing chronic disease rates and improving individual health.

“With 90% of all healthcare costs being spent on the treatment of chronic and mental health conditions, it is imperative that we connect people with the resources they need to get and stay healthy,” states Marlene Putman, Tillamook County Public Health Administrator and Tillamook Community Health Centers Director. “There are so many great programs already in place here – the Diabetes Prevention Program, CHIP, cooking classes and fitness programs through the YMCA, NCRD and OSU Extension. We know these programs work. We have data that shows how people who take advantage of these programs improve their health. We just need to be more intentional about how we connect people, programs and processes so that everyone wins.” Putman adds that increasing access to programs by reducing cost and transportation barriers are among the strategies being explored. One of the goals of the project is to better understand the factors that lead to increased program participation and adherence, as well as where people are experiencing barriers. These considerations can then be built into the design of community and clinic-based support networks to optimize system workflows, program delivery and population health outcomes.

To learn more, visit at or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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.! 

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.

Food Innovation Center comes to Tillamook County to conduct Recipe to Market workshops

January 11, 2019. Tillamook County, Oregon. Got an idea for a food product? Sign-up for Recipe-to-Market workshops.

Tillamook County is home to several national and regional food brands: Tillamook Cheese, Tillamook Country Smoker, Werners, Pacific Seafoods, Pelican Brewing, deGarde Brewing and Jacobsen Salt. There is room for more, and one way to get a food idea to market is through the newly revamped Recipe to Market program, which will be held in Tillamook County Feb. 20, 21 and 22, 2019. In addition, OSU Extension will hold a free Farm-Direct class on Feb. 2.

“Local foods are a big draw; more and more visitors are seeking out food experiences when in Tillamook County and on the Oregon Coast,” said Nan Devlin, tourism director for Visit Tillamook Coast. “Not only do guests want to taste, catch, harvest, sip and cook local specialties while here, but they want to buy food as gifts, and order more once they get back home.”

Partners for Rural Innovation has collaborated on restarting the Recipe to Market program. With assistance from a Business Oregon Rural Opportunity Initiative grant, workshops on Farm-Direct essentials, food safety and production, business development and marketing will be held in Tillamook County at a substantially reduced cost.

In the past, this program has cost $400; however, because of the grant from Business Oregon the two-day program is just $50, and the Farm-Direct Essentials workshop is free. Register at

Food entrepreneurs throughout the Oregon Coast are welcome to take part.

“If you are thinking about developing a food product, have one underway, or already have afood product and want to learn more or update your skills, this is a good time to sign-up forRecipe to Market,” said Devlin. “At just $50, it’s very affordable.”

On Feb. 2, Kelly Streit, of OSU Extension Service in Clackamas County, will lead a Farm Direct “Field to Market” essentials workshop for small farmers wanting to create products for onsite sales. It will be held at the Partners for Rural Innovation Building, 4506 Third Street, Tillamook, from 10am to 2pm. Lunch will be served.

On Feb. 20 and 21, Sarah Masoni, known as the woman with the “million-dollar palate,” will bring her renowned Food Safety and Preparation program to Tillamook. This important class is usually held at Portland’s Food Innovation Center, but instead, Masoni will hold the one-day workshop on Feb. 20, and repeated on Feb. 21, at the 4-H building at Tillamook County Fairgrounds. Participants can sign up for either day.

On Feb. 22, the second part of the Recipe to Market program will be held at the Partners forRural Innovation building at 4506 Third Street, right across the street from the 4-H center. This one-day workshop will include information and assistance with business planning and marketing, as well as a panel discussion with locals who have brought a food product to market.

Each one-day Food Safety and Production workshop from the Food Innovation Center is limited to 20 people, for a total of 40. The business and marketing workshop will bring everyone together in an interactive session.

Business planning will be facilitated by Arlene Soto, director of the Small Business Development Center, and marketing will be taught by the staff of Visit Tillamook Coast. There will also be information shared about financing and loan opportunities. In addition, a Spanish-language version of the Recipe to Market program will be offered in early spring if there is interest in the community.

Register at:

For more information, call or email Nan Devlin at 503 842-2672 or


Another Successful Downtown Sweepstakes has Wrapped Up

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

We officially drew the Grand Prize winner for the Downtown Sweepstakes, and I wrestled the Chamber Chatter away from Justin this week so I could share some of the awesome news about the program. For those of you unfamiliar with the Downtown Sweepstakes, 2018 was our second year hosting it. The 12-week program starts the first week of October and runs through the last day of December, with weekly drawings hosted by various downtown businesses and a GRAND PRIZE of ONE THOUSAND Downtown Dollars sponsored by US Bank.

All it takes to enter is a quick shop downtown; our Tillamook Downtown District spreads from Front to Fifth Streets and Laurel to Stillwell Avenue, and a receipt from any business in that district to the Chamber office was good for an entry (one per day) throughout the Sweepstakes period. We asked entrants to share where they shopped and how much they spent just for fun, and when we drew weekly prizes not only did the shopper win (whether it was a gift certificate to Sarasota’s or tickets to Oregon Coast Dance Center’s Nutcracker event), a matching prize was gifted to the business they shopped at!

We added the line asking how much was spent on each entry so we could get a better sense of how much money people are spending per transaction. Obviously, this is not scientific and in no way reflects even a tenth of the shopping that was done downtown during the Sweepstakes period, but what we can report is that of the approximately 900 entries we received, more than $40,000 was spent in association with those entries! Again, there is no science to this and it is only a small piece of the picture, but it’s fun to see those numbers and since we know US Bank has committed to a 2019 Downtown Sweepstakes it will be exciting to see how they compare with future years.

While the Sweepstakes season is behind us for now, I have to tell you that downtown is not taking the winter off! In talking with businesses, they are leaping into 2019 with a full calendar: SIP + SHOP events scheduled all year on the second Friday of each month, ArtWalks scheduled on the fourth Saturday of each month, great sales, special menus and hot new movies; it’s a great time to take advantage of the front row parking and brand new sidewalks and visit with your retail neighbors. Special events continue to pop up including the Tillamook Rotary Club’s Winter in the Alps Party at the Pelican Brewery on January 26th, and the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership has moved their Bounty on the Bay event to Pacific Restaurant and tickets are on sale now.

If you have any questions about the Downtown Sweepstakes or other downtown events, feel free to  contact me at the Chamber office any time; stop by headquarter at 208 Main Ave, call (503) 842-7525 or send me an email: I love to talk Tillamook.

Chamber’s Response to Proposed Plastic Bag Ban

Recently the Chamber conducted a membership survey and poll of downtown businesses requesting their input on a ban of single-use plastic bags within the City of Tillamook. The survey resulted in 83 responses from all types of organizations and businesses, with just over 50% of them providing bags for their customers.
Of the full 83 responses, 55.4% of them supported a ban, however of those who would be directly impacted (ie provide bags to their customers), only 47.6% supported it.
Based n these results, the Board has decided not to advocate in favor or opposition of any ordinance related to the ban of single use plastic bags, but will advocate for direct and proper language with exceptions to be considered if the City decides to move forward.
You can read the Board’s full decision here: Chamber_BagBan_Final

A ‘Fairly’ Fun August

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Happy August everyone! Can you believe that next week the Tillamook County Fair will be upon us? And then shortly after that kids will be going back to school and we’ll start settling into a new fall routine at both work and home.

We’ve been enjoying summer quite a bit around here – and hope you are too. Between the major headway happening along the highway, the Tillamook Farmers Market, new food carts and businesses opening downtown, and of course fun, family-friendly events happening every few weeks –  it’s been a full and busy summer.

We will of course be at the fair all week so be sure to come by and see us while you’re there. We will be debuting some brand new apparel for adults and youth, and I am confident they’ll be popular and go quickly – so don’t hesitate; come see us and pick out a new sweat shirt, t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt. We’ve really enjoyed this tradition of restocking our apparel in time for the fair and revealing our new designs to both visitors and residents – and seeing you guys rock them all year long is pretty cool too.

August is also the time we usually talk about the Tillamook Bay Run and start recruiting for participants and runners for that event. This year, the Tillamook Family YMCA has taken over management of the Bay Run and we’re excited to see them run with it.

Kaylan Sisco, the YMCA Executive Director, is on our Board and both Kaylan and the rest of the Board felt like it was a good fit to move the annual run to the YMCA, which is dedicated to helping community members stay healthy and active. The Chamber was honored to get that event started, which brings people from all over the Northwest region to our area and highlights the beauty of the Tillamook Coast, but we feel like it’s an appropriate time to hand over the reigns to an organization where fitness a nd wellness are at the core of the mission.

If you’d like more information about the Bay Run or to register (or volunteer), reach out to the YMCA or find the event on Facebook. It’s a fun and challenging 5k or 10k trail run/walk along both the beach and the narrow trails of Bayocean before ending along the Tillamook Bay-side of the spit.

There’s always a lot going on in August, including Moonlight Madness which will take over downtown Tillamook on Friday from 4 – 9 p.m. This event is sponsored and organized by the Tillamook Revitalization Association and several downtown merchants will have great sales and specials during those hours – as well as live music, swing dancing, a 1950s sock hop and a mini drive in movie. The Chamber Visitor Center will be open late, and it might be your last chance to snag one of “last year’s” hoodies or t-shirts.

Bring the whole family and spend yet another evening in downtown Tillamook with neighbors, friends, and family as we enjoy one more day of summer fun and celebration.


Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Striping Set for Nights Starting Monday

Sticky Stomps got us through the busy Fourth of July week, and it is time for the permanent striping to go down in the newly paved portion of the project! There will be a more thorough update after the 10th, but I wanted to be sure to get it on your radar that striping crews will be active starting at 7PM on Monday, July 9th. There should be minimal lane closures for this and no detours necessary, but striping can slow traffic and be a bit of a surprise, so be alert. The work will all be done in the evening, and is expected to go fairly quickly. The new traffic pattern will be in place (including the “sharrows”), and perhaps will be most noticeable on southbound Main at the First St. intersection. The goal is for the new traffic signals to go live in tandem with the striping, although there is a plan for temporary signage if necessary.
Although not part of the Highway Project, I also wanted to call your attention to the construction work taking place on Fifth St between Main and Stillwell and on First and Ivy to Front St. Both projects are City of Tillamook projects. The Fifth St work is part of an infrastructure investment that replaces and protects the sewer laterals on that stretch of Fifth St, many of which were heavily damaged and failing. The nature of the work requires complete closure of the street at times, with some local access. Please be sure to call Rawe Autobody (503.842.4773) to schedule with them and get updates on access to their shop while this project wraps up.
On Ivy between Front and First, and then on First between Ivy and Stillwell, is another City of Tillamook project that was funded through the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency. This project implements portions of the Hoquarton Waterfront Plan, upgrading the sidewalk in the area to match the blocks on either side and add street lighting. It also includes all new stretches of sidewalk down Ivy, creating safe pedestrian continuity from the businesses and parking along First down to the almost-open Sue H. Elmore park. Detours are common in this area with the regular closure of Ivy between First and Front, so be cautious and patient and prepared to use Stillwell as an alternate.
Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday week last week! Look forward to another project update with more details about sidewalk scheduling and progress in the near future.

The ‘Main’ Reason I love Downtown Tillamook

by Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

Happy Fourth of July! Hopefully your celebrations include enough hot dogs, watermelon, BBQ sauce, and happy, tired, sticky kids that there is not too much time for reflecting during the course of the day. However, if you do find yourself thinking about the whys and hows of July 4th, perhaps your thoughts will turn to your own sense of patriotism and sense of place in this country.

I love Tillamook. Sometimes I am frustrated, sometimes I am disappointed, sometimes I worry, but on any given day I am flooded with reasons that this community and this place are special and wonderful and worth investing in. It is my great pleasure to lead the Main Street Program as one of my duties at the Tillamook Chamber. “Main Street” is a program that is present across the US, and, while organized differently within each state and affiliate community, the principals and structure remain consistent: that “downtowns” are the essence of Americana, providing a physical hub for communities that remains essential and fundamental to our culture and community identities. The Main Street Program emphasizes revitalization strategies that combine activities and events with (re)development strategies that honor the authentic or historic components of a place.

Despite what feels like the longest construction project in any downtown’s history, we have seen incredible progress in the revitalization of our downtown in the past couple of years. A combination of large and small investments have created new cornerstones in downtown, all significant and cumulatively a signal that downtown is not a dying notion. Lines are returning to the Pelican Brewing Tap Room, as locals and visitors alike flock to the outdoor seating and comfortable pub atmosphere. Meanwhile, in the heart of downtown, Pacific Restaurant serves us world class food and drink from a textbook revitalization project: a modern, open concept, trendy, locally sourced restaurant in a space where the historic bones of the building are woven in to the current design. Around the corner, a non-profit art association with ZERO paid staff has recently repainted and updated the façade of their gallery, where local artists, writers, and musicians collaborate to present a series of workshops, classes, open mic nights and art walks, so that regardless of whether you’re looking to find your own muse or just revel in the efforts of others, there is an activity for you.

If you missed the last few weekends full of Cork & Brew, the opening of the Famers Market, and June Dairy Parade, have no fear- there is still so much to do downtown this summer and throughout the year. July 13th is another SIP + SHOP: an unticketed opportunity to explore many of the downtown retail businesses after hours and taste some of their favorite evening beverages. On July 28th, the monthly Art Walk takes place, with ten local artists showing their work in a variety of locations throughout downtown. Farmers Market season is just hitting its stride and is open each Saturday from 9-2. Moonlight Madness returns this year, on August 3rd, and downtown will be “Rockin to the 50’s” with live music, activities, and late night specials geared to make the all-ages event a blast.

For more information about any of these events, or to learn more about the Tillamook Chamber or the Main Street Program, feel free to call Chamber Headquarters at (503) 842-7525, or email me at We are in the office Monday through Friday from 9-5, and we also have our Visitor’s Center open on Saturdays for the season from 11-3. Saturday shifts are brought to you by volunteers, and if you are interested in volunteering, we are interested in having you!

Activities in Downtown continue to flourish and entertain

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

This last Saturday the 80’s were alive in downtown Tillamook. The Rotary Club hosted its Annual Casino Night Fundraiser at the Elks, and the glitter is still swirling. The event was not a Chamber event, but it was one of the many events that we are excited to see blossom and succeed and overflow into the neighboring businesses in our downtown district. While my desk is covered in notes and details about Cork & Brew, June Dairy Parade, ArtWalk, a Downtown District Property Tour that we’re hoping to host this summer, I am thrilled to look up at my calendar and see weekends packed with activities that do not originate here in this office.

This last Saturday, as I headed to the final soccer game of the spring season, we passed the Show and Shine Car Show that Tillawheels hosted on Laurel Ave. Beautiful classic cars lined the road where just a few short weeks from now, Farmers Market vendors will be set up for the sixteen-week season that kicks off on June 16th. Rumors here at the Chamber indicate that there will be fifteen new vendors popping in this season in addition to a large returning group of anchor vendors. If you (like me) are just now starting to accept that summer is more than just a myth, and are thinking you might like to learn more about being a vendor, having your organization represented at the Community Table, or have a musical act that you would like to share one Saturday this market season, don’t be shy! Email for more information about the market.

Saturday afternoon, as I searched for exactly the right leg warmers for the evening, the rest of my household ventured to the South Prairie Carnival, where bouncy houses and a huge range of activities had them nodding off on the couch as I headed out to Yo Time for a little pre-volunteering treat. The third Saturday of every month, Art Accelerated hosts an Open Mic Night at Yo Time, and while I popped in for my favorite fruit yogurt, I listened to poetry from Susan Kuchinskas (a popular sci-fi writer who hosted a workshop earlier in the day), an acoustic set of serious songs by warbling Joe Wrabeck (who announced his upcoming Streaming Test Concert in preparation for the Oregon Coast Songwriters Competition that is coming up soon), and reflections and poetry from a few other local writers/thinkers. I could not stay long, as I had to get to my volunteer shift at the Rotary event, but I find I am always entertained by both the company and the presentations at these monthly events.

Monthly events are a new theme in the Tillamook Downtown District. In the last year or so, we suddenly have several reoccurring monthly opportunities. In addition to the family-friendly Open Mic Night, there is also an ArtWalk on the fourth Saturday of each month from 1-3 that is a fun all ages exploration in downtown, and the monthly Sip + Shop event, where retail businesses offer tastes of their fav beverages (often adult beverages) during later hours, offering a festive way for folks to explore our boutique retail stores after traditional office hours. Sip + Shop is scheduled for the second Friday of the month, except this June, where retailers are substituting the night out with the Chamber’s popular Cork & Brew Tour.

Cork & Brew is in it’s fifth year, and tickets sell out annually- grab yours before they’re gone! On sale in person at Chamber Headquarters, Sunflower Flats, or the Pelican Tap Room, the self-guided tasting tour of downtown features amazing catering by local restaurants paired with wine and beer tastes at a series of stops. Scheduled for the Friday of Father’s Day weekend (June 15th, this year), it is a very fun adult evening on the town- no costumes (80’s theme or otherwise) required!

If you would like to talk more about downtown events, or have questions on how to participate (as a business or individual) please feel free to reach out to me at 503-842-7525 or email

Focus on North Main and a Quick Vocabulary Lesson

You may have noticed flagging near Rosenbergs this week as Just Bucket Excavating zips large trucks, heavy equipment, and lots of rock around the area just north of the bridge. Work is heavily concentrated there as the road grading and drainage work continues in preparation for the opening of the new bridge and the return to multi-lane traffic in both directions (scheduled for June). The flagging should not be causing much of an impediment, as traffic is only paused to allow safe movement in and out of the staging area and work zone.
If anything, you may notice that traffic in general is moving significantly more quickly through the area north of First, as Front Street has been opened to one lane headed westbound. This means that any traffic coming over the bridge with the intent to head west can turn off on Front and avoid the light at First Street. There are still some final touches on Front Street to take place (including a top lift of asphalt and striping), as well as a streetscape project that the City of Tillamook will be starting shortly. The speed limit on Front Street is only 20, so if you are taking that route please resist the temptation to make the most of the wide open road there.
While the road bed itself is the focus of the work, you may also notice some continued concrete detail work on the bridge. There is a pour scheduled for Friday that will cure over the long weekend, and then it’s just clean up work and getting ready for the asphalt when that is available. The contentious orange railing is being manufactured, and will likely be delivered and installed after the bridge is open, in late June.
Here I will share with you my vocabulary lesson for the week: Gore Point. The gore point is the triangular tip that sits between two lanes of traffic. This can occur between two-way traffic, as we see in the area that that is being formed up and poured at the north end of the old Shell Station property, or between two merging lanes of traffic (like when you are entering a highway from an on-ramp). There is some urban legend history around the term “Gore” being the last name of a highway patrolman who was killed in one of these marked triangular divides, but the term “gore” actually has a much longer history as a word used to describe a triangular piece of land. The gore point I wanted to update you on this week is that triangular stretch there that is the new northern tip of the old Shell property, where the curb and gutter work is underway this week. In addition to that street-shaping work, there will also be electrical work taking place, as two lampposts are set to be installed there mid-week.
Downtown continues to see bursts of progress. The demolition of the block between Third and Second now stretches from the corner of Third St. up to the Dutch Mill. The vault in front of the Dutch Mill is open, and the property owner is taking advantage of the access to work on a few plumbing upgrades. Access to the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce is now only viable from the rear parking lot entrance. If you have any questions about parking or access for the Chamber, feel free to call the office at (503) 842-7525.
Next week, it looks like the sidewalk team will return to downtown, and we should start to see the formation of the bioswale on the corner of Main and Third.
A quick reminder that this is a holiday weekend, and the weather appears to be encouraging for folks looking to venture out to the coast. Be prepared to implement your best stress-reducing strategies and use caution.

Come by the Visitor Center and see what we have to offer

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We have SWAG!

If you’ve been dying to get your hands on some Chamber t-shirts or sweatshirts, you’ll be happy to know that our apparel will be restocked on April 30. So if you’ve popped in and were bummed that we didn’t have your size, please come see us again soon because all sizes and styles will be in stock – while they last, of course. These tend to go fast, and we’ve had trouble keeping them on the shelves, so don’t waste any time getting here.

Of course, apparel is only one reason to stop in at the Visitors Center. We are also selling tickets for so many community events happening all over town that we feel like an old school box office. If you still need to get your tickets to the Father Daughter Masquerade and Ball on April 28th; the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook’s concert featuring Six Guitars on April 30th; the Farmers Market Cinco de Mayo Party on May 5th; or the Cork & Brew Tour on June 15th, you can swing by the Visitor Center and get those during regular business hours: Monday – Friday from 9 – 5. You can park in the back parking lot, directly across from the Headlight Herald, and even use our back door. It’s that convenient.

Being a central downtown location has made it quite opportune for us to help with these community events, and we love it when new people walk through the door who have never been before and get to discover all the things we offer at the Visitor Center.

For example, if you have a lodging place – or like to just AirB&B your extra room or cabin space while you’re not using it – stop by and pick up brochures and other marketing materials for a variety of “hot spots” around town. Your guests will love being able to find great places to eat, hike, kayak and more. We have walking maps of downtown, ATV maps, brochures for all the area museums. You’ll find information on crabbing in Oregon, deep sea fishing trips, Farmers Markets, local theater, and different ways to enjoy the historic Port of Tillamook Bay railroad. The brand new North Coast Food Trial brochures are in, as well as the hot-off-the-press Visitors Guide – a comprehensive guide to all the attractions along the Tillamook Coast.

We proudly feature chamber members in our Visitor Center, along with statewide tourism materials. If you run a business or activity in the Tillamook area and would like us to display your brochures, rack cards, marketing materials,or  sell tickets to an event please contact the office and we can get you all set up. We are here to help build the community and we love the opportunities we get to do that.



Sunflower Flats Looking for new Owners

The owners of Sunflower Flats in downtown Tillamook have announced their intentions to sell the business.

“We have built a solid, successful business with a strong customer base locally as well as world-wide via our e-commerce website,” said Natalie Rieger, who co-owns the shop with her mother, Cindy Gardner.

Natalie and Cindy opened up shop 17 years ago, transforming a dilapidated corner store front into a charming, small-town floral shop with a variety of hand-made and locally-made gifts.

“Our story is really that perfect business success story,” Natalie recalled. “My mom was invited to share a booth at the very first Tillamook Farmers Market in 2001, and so she sold flowers that she had been growing in her yard.”

People kept telling Cindy that she should do more with her flowers.

“We already had our eye on the shop on the corner,” Natalie said. The shop had been vacant for some time, and the mother-daughter duo saw the potential to combine Cindy’s green thumb with Natalie’s business knowledge.

Three months later, Natalie moved from Portland to help open Sunflower Flats.

“This business allows personal connection with so many as we navigate triumphs and tragedies through flowers,” Natalie said. “New babies whom we delivered flowers to in the Fall of 2001 when we opened, are now attending the Junior/Senior Prom and we are designing their wristlets and boutonnieres.”

However, Natalie said she and her mom know it’s time to move on.

“No one wants to work forever and my mom is ready to retire and spend time doing things that she has waited on for a long time now,” she said. Cindy had officially retired prior to starting Sunflower Flats, and she is looking forward to trying out a more traditional definition of retirement; one that includes more leisure time in the garden, adventuring with her grandchildren, foreign and domestic travel, and time for her writing.

Natalie’s life is also changing, as her administrative role in her other business, Rieger Logging, has grown into more of a full-time position.

“I always knew from day one of Sunflower Flats that I’d never be interested in continuing the business without my mom,” she said. During those first years, Natalie worked part-time at the shop while holding an 8-5 job with the county, before having her children and needing a more flexible schedule.

“I’ve appreciated a very flexible schedule, working from home much of the time, and being able to bring the kids with me to the shop,” she said. “But it just wouldn’t be the same for me without her, and I’m ready to move forward with other opportunities. They say you have an average of seven careers in a lifetime, so I need to get busy!”

Rather than viewing this changing season as an end, Natalie said this is really the beginning of a great opportunity for someone who wants to own a thriving business downtown. Sunflower Flats employs an average of eight people and deliver 15-20 arrangements every day between Manzanita and Neskowin. While the downtown construction has decreased their foot traffic, deliveries have never ceased.

“It’s only going to get better from here,” Natalie said. “We have weathered the storm and now we’re starting to see the spring and summer tourist traffic pick up, we have brand new sidewalks that are beautiful, we have Pacific Restaurant open on our block and the Second Street Plaza space; as the highway project comes to a close this is truly an amazing opportunity for someone to come in and take over and flourish and really make it their own.”

Along with the new highway, the climate of downtown has changed a lot in 17 years that Natalie and Cindy have operated Sunflower Flats.

“It kind of started with the Cork & Brew Tour and Small Business Saturday as these great seed events that got business owners thinking about how to work together to create a really fun atmosphere downtown,” she said. “And now with Art Walk and Sip + Shop, we’re seeing consistent monthly activities that are drawing people to downtown, and making shopping and socializing part of people’s regular life.”

Sunflower Flats will be operating business as usual while they look for the right buyer. They will be booking weddings and events through 2018, and the gift shop will remain open.

If you are interested in this turn-key business opportunity, you can contact Natalie directly at or 503.812.2316.


June Dairy Parade Entry Forms are Here

June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

On June 23rd, get ready to ‘Party in the Pasture’ for the 61st annual June Dairy Parade. You might remember last year we changed the parade route and started on 11th Street and ended at Good Speed Park. This seemed to work well during downtown construction and for our local law enforcement who have to keep the highway closed while the parade floats go by, so we are using this same route again this year.
And, for the first time in 61 years, entry forms for the June Dairy Parade are available online in a fillable form. Head to to fill out the entry form before the May 31st deadline. It’s a quick and painless process and if nothing else, it will save you a stamp.
If you don’t have access to a computer and prefer to have a paper version, you can either pick one up at the Chamber headquarters or email and we will mail you one.
Also available at is the application for the Grand Marshal of the June Dairy Parade. The Grand Marshal gets to ride at the front of the parade each year, and we supply the car, driver and banner with their name on it. They are also honored at a luncheon with the June Dairy Parade Committee, and are invited to the breakfast with the Rosarians the morning of the parade. The Rosarians plant a rose every year on parade day in front of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, and dignitaries are invited to attend that ceremony, including the Grand Marshal.
To qualify, an application should have a strong connection to the dairy industry and a history of community involvement and volunteerism. If you’d like to nominate someone for this honor, try to be as specific as possible about their community involvement. Those applications are due by May 18th, so that our committee has time to review and choose an official Grand Marshal. Our hope is that by making this application available online, more people will feel inclined to make a nomination.
We tried this technique for the first time last year by putting applications for our annual Chamber Business Awards online. It appeared to make a difference, as we received more nominations than any previous year – a good indication that our community is ready and willing to get with the 21st century-way of doing things.
And don’t forget, we are also accepting vendor applications for the Tillamook Farmers Market. Yes, this is also available online at under the Vendor tab. If you have any questions, you can email Vendors have until May 1 to get their applications in for the 2018 season, which starts June 16 and runs through September 29.
It’s going to be an eventful summer as always, and we hope you will join us either as a parade participant or at least come out and watch all the fun.

Downtown Continues to Grow and Entertain

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development 

The benchmarks of February are behind us now, and the Tillamook Main Street District is ready for spring. Businesses are taking the love down out of their windows and weighing the options: lucky green shamrocks or skip ahead to pastels and bunnies? I’m hoping for plenty of luck in the next few weeks and fine with being surrounded by leprechauns – particularly if they are willing to wear orange vests and assist with the downtown construction. 

Amidst all of the commotion, some great things are taking shape downtown. Food Roots, a nonprofit organization you all may be familiar with for their work in supporting small farms and local agriculture, has recently moved their office to the storefront at 113 Main Street. They continue to offer an incredible variety of services and programs to assist folks who are interested in knowing more about where their food is sourced, and additionally have begun to offer products from many of the farms that they work with. Stop by and check out their selection- they have great meat, local eggs, salt, tea, and all kinds of interesting treats. Their inventory will continue to grow (pun intended) as the seasons change. Worth noting- construction is underway on the Food Roots block, so if you are planning to stop by and visit there, Sunset Tans, or the Local Dog House, you may find it most convenient to park either on Pacific and cross the Plaza, or along Second and cross the street and approach from the south end of the block.  

There are also new regular events going on downtown! Art Accelerated has coordinated a monthly Art Walk, which is held on the fourth Saturday of each month and pairs local artists with downtown merchants for the afternoon. For more information about which artists and shops are participating, visit Art Accelerated’s This is a great family friendly way to spend an afternoon, and the next date is set for March 24th. 

If you’re looking for more of an adult evening out, there is also a new option for that: Sip + Shop!!! On the second Friday of the month (mark your calendar for March 9th), several downtown merchants are offering wine tasting and snacks from 5pm to 7pm. This free event is not ticketed, and there is not check-in or check-out, all you need to do is come on down and wander around and enjoy yourself. While the participating businesses are a little different every time, on March 9th, Sip + Shop is hosted by Art Accelerated, Food Roots, Homelife Furniture, Lucky Bear Soap Co, Madeline’s Vintage Furniture, Pacific Restaurant, Phoenix Exchange, Sarasota’s, Sunflower Flats, So Chic Boutique, and Yo Time. Guests from the January event raved about the fun evening- many enjoyed visiting a few of their favorite shops before a movie or sitting down to a nice dinner out.  

Construction continues to move along throughout the project, and businesses downtown have been very flexible and accommodating as crews have moved as quickly as possible to replace sidewalks and maintain access to businesses. While we are all looking forward to seeing the project wrap up in the fall, in the meantime we are growing and adapting and are excited to see new businesses and activities taking shape. If you have any questions about downtown, whether it’s parking, activities, future events or plain ole gossip, feel free to drop by the Chamber Headquarters or give me a call. I’m always happy to chat. 


Tillamook Farmers Market: Market Advisory Committee Application

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

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

Tillamook Farmers Market Updates

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Is it too early to be planning for summer? That’s definitely what we’re doing here at the Chamber as we start amping up for our first season managing the Tillamook Farmers Market. We are honored and excited to be taking on this endeavor that is a summer staple and a valuable tool for attracting visitors and circulating them through our downtown.

The Market has been a Tillamook tradition since 2000, and since its inception has changed hands a number of times. It was started by the Tillamook Revitalization Association before becoming its own 501(c)6 non-profit organization. As you may have heard, the Chamber Board agreed to adopt the duties of running the Market late last year. While the market will go on with business as usual, we are anticipating some change in the behind-the-scenes structure to make things easier and more productive for farmers, vendors, and the community.

One of our first steps will be establishing a Market Advisory Committee in the next couple of weeks. The committee will be comprised of vendors, community members and one Chamber Board Member. The committee will meet a hand full of times each year to review policies, procedures and give input on vendor applications. They’ll be a sounding board for our staff and will offer insight and valuable information to ensure that we make informed decisions that are best for the Market. An advisory committee is different than the former Board of Directors in that it isn’t burdened with administrative responsibility, but rather helps advise Chamber staff and steer the Market in a positive direction through brainstorming and recommendations.

If you’re interested in serving on this Committee and would like an application, email or find a copy on our website The committee will have its first meeting in early March to finalize a set of policy changes we are looking to make so that we can begin vendor recruitment.

While in the past the Tillamook Farmers Market has always had a titled “Market Manager,” the majority of this work will be handled by our new Director of Communications, Sayde Moser-Walker. Sayde will work closely with the Market Advisory Committee to facilitate an extensive marketing plan, find sponsorship opportunities, schedule Market activities, and of course handle the day-to-day organization of running the Market. She will be available to Vendors Monday-Friday by email and in the Chamber office from 9-2 on Mondays and Fridays (and of course at the Markets on Saturdays throughout the season.)

Sayde has an extensive background in communications and marketing, and has spent the last five years living in Tillamook building relationships with community members. While Sayde is also in charge of the Chamber’s communications and marketing, it seemed like a reasonable fit to bring her in as the point person for the Farmers Market. You can reach her directly at or

I hope you’re as excited as we are for this new adventure. The Farmers Market is an essential tool for small businesses and farmers to connect with their customers, and is also a significant way to draw people into downtown so that our other business owners can benefit from these shoppers. Because the Chamber is all about growing businesses and building community, it’s a great fit for us.

Market Advisory Committee Application

Team Spirit – The Chamber Board of Directors Pt 4

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Things are moving along nicely into the new year, and I wanted to pause and introduce you to two more of our seasoned board members.

Mary Faith Bell

Mary Faith Bell. Mary Faith is the Director of Communications and Marketing for Tillamook Regional Medical Center. She has been on the Chamber Board for nearly five years, and has served a variety of roles, including the Board President, Vice President and Past President.

When Mary Faith joined our board, she was excited to support local businesses. “Good things were happening at the Chamber, the organization was changing and growing and I was happy to get involved,” she recalled.

Mary Faith represents the hospital, which employs 545 people and is one of the bigger employers in Tillamook County. “I think it’s important to have representation on the board from local businesses of all sizes, from big to small,” she said.

Those of you who know Mary Faith know she  is highly skilled in communications, public relations, and building relationships – which is key to getting things done.  “It is my pleasure to be an ambassador for the Chamber in the community and outside the community, I love representing our culture wherever I go,” she said.

Mary Faith said she’s very proud of the new Chamber office. “It reflects us as an organization and represents our community to visitors in the best possible light.”

“I’m also proud of the work we’re doing downtown both to help mitigate the challenges of the Highway 6/101 construction project and to revitalize downtown, to make it the heart of our community, the place we gather and celebrate and shop and do business,” she added. “I am proud of the downtown business owners who are working so hard to survive the winter season, which is hard on the coast under the best of circumstances, coupled with construction and parking issues which are impacting everyone. I’m excited about the long view: to see downtown Tillamook five and ten years from now. I think we will be amazed at what we’ve accomplished.”

Looking ahead, Mary Faith is excited about the Chamber’s new role as the Tillamook Farmers Market manager: “That is a great fit and a terrific partnership,” she said. “The Farmers Market is already wonderful and I believe it will just keep getting better. In a small town, many of us wear multiple hats and as individuals and organizations. Partnering and combining efforts makes us all stronger.”

As one of our longest-serving Board members, Mary Faith has been an integral part of the Chamber’s continued growth. “In other communities, Chambers are shrinking and dying of attrition. The Tillamook Area Chamber has practically reinvented itself ,” she said.  “I want the community to know that you have every reason to be proud of your Chamber and to have confidence in us. The Chamber board is very dynamic, it’s a young board with great energy, innovative ideas and a heart to serve the community.”

Adrienne Allen

Adrienne Allen:  Adrienne and her husband run Victor Dairy, a 500-cow dairy farm. Born and raised in Tillamook, Adrienne is a firm believer in staying involved with her community, which spurred her decision to join the Chamber Board.

“We always make an effort to shop local, we are raising our five children here, and I wanted to help make a difference,” she said.

Adrienne brings a plethora of background and experience to the Board; she has her Bachelor’s Degree in business, is a former small-business owner, and a former employee of the Women’s Resource Center. “I’ve seen a lot of different aspects of our community through the years and how they are directly connected,” she said.

On top of that, she also used to work for the Tillamook County Creamery Association where she learned first hand how dairy is integrally incorporated into our community.

Above all, Adrienne likes to be a voice for families and advocate for family-friendly events.

“The small gatherings downtown have made a huge difference,” she said. “Both the community- and family-oriented events have been well attended and show how much we need those types of activities in our community.”

Adrienne said she’s excited to see ways to incorporate more downtown events to attract both local families and those traveling through the area. “I’ve been really impressed with the small businesses that are getting involved and having an online presence,” she said. “We’ve tried to attend each and every one of them and I’m excited to see more things that will bring families downtown.”

Team Spirit – The Chamber Board of Directors Pt 3

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

In case you haven’t caught on by now, the Chamber Board of Directors is a large group of diverse people with an abundance of skills and abilities. The Chamber of Commerce is who it is, and the staff is able to do the work they do, because of these dedicated individuals. This week, I am excited to introduce you to two more Board members who are integral to the work we do.

Natalie Rieger

Natalie Rieger. For 16 years, Natalie and her mom have co-owned Sunflower Flats in downtown Tillamook, which last year was awarded Small Business of the Year at the Chamber of Commerce’s Community Awards Banquet. As a small business owner, Natalie is responsible for the accounting, marketing, scheduling, and ordering – as well as making deliveries and sweeping floors. In other words, she understands that small business owners have to master a myriad of tasks and responsibilities.

On top of all that, Natalie has spent the last year serving on the Chamber Board of Directors. She is a life-long Tillamook resident and as someone who understands the intricacies of retail, she felt that she could lend a “shopkeeper’s perspective” to the Chamber Board.  

“Sunflower Flats has been in business on the corner of 3rd and Main for 16 years and we have seen the progression of the Chamber becoming extremely relevant and involved in what’s going on with businesses in the county,” she said. “I was happy to be asked to be a part of that.”

Natalie is excited to find ways for the Chamber office to be open on Saturdays during the high-volume tourist season, as well as fostering new business placement as the downtown construction project looks to completion.

“The growth downtown has been exciting to see,” she said. “The successful Farmers Market, Second Street Plaza, Pacific Restaurant, de Garde Brewery just to mention a few. We are on the cusp of a really thriving and beautiful downtown core.”

Natalie added, “The Chamber is a constant hub of networking businesses and people. They are working to create business-to-business relationships such as the Tuesdays Together meetings, and business-to-public relationships  like the Cork & Brew Tour, and people-to-people opportunities like the Chamber-sponsored excursion to China. Plus, the new space downtown is welcoming to business professionals and travelers. I like that entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily have a storefront can use their facilities to meet with clients.”

In conclusion, Natalie said the Chamber is working hard to listen to its members’ needs and feedback. “[The staff] is very organized, thoughtful and are creative leaders,” she said. “My fellow board members are progressive thinking, smart and level-headed human beings.”

Sarah Absher

Sarah Absher:  Sarah is the Owner/Principal Instructor of Dance Zone and  the Director of the Tillamook County Department of Community Development. She has served on the Chamber Board for one year.

As a small business owner herself with a strong development background, Sarah understands the needs and challenges of coastal businesses and recognizes the importance of making sure these business owners have local support. Her professional background in land-use planning and development and her knowledge and relationships with the local community and state agency partners helps support the Chamber and facilitate discussions related to development and community projects.

“Networking with local community and state agency partners to help facilitate discussions with community members, as well as providing information when needed to help small businesses maneuver through local development review processes is extremely important and I see my role as a Chamber Board member as being the person who can assist in these efforts,” she said. “The Chamber has made strong efforts to connect with the community in various ways, especially during the Highway 6/101 project, and including the downtown improvement projects; the staff has done a great job in making sure community members are regularly updated as the construction schedule moves forward.”

Sarah also views  her role as a Board Member as a great way to help her community.

Community is so important,” she emphasised. “Tillamook County is my home and where I grew up. My family consists of small business owners, commercial fishermen and loggers. We must help support one another in ensuring the economic sustainability and vitality of our small coastal communities.”

“Tillamook is changing/evolving at a rapid rate and I look forward to seeing what the next ten years brings,” she added. “My hope is that the Chamber continues to be a strong partner, advocate and resource for local businesses and remains actively engaged in helping with downtown revitalization efforts.”

The Chamber, and our entire business community, is grateful for the time, energy and passion that Natalie and Sarah bring to the team.


Team Spirit – The Chamber Board of Directors Pt 2

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last month, I introduced you to our Board Chair Whitey Forsman and Vice Board Chair Kayla Seaholm. These two individuals are part of an 11-member Board of Directors that  keeps the Chamber’s work  relevant and our business community strong.  Today I am eager to introduce you to another two of our talented and passionate Board members.

Sheila Zerngast. Sheila and her husband own the Tillamook Coliseum Theater, which was recently named Business of the Year by the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County.  The Zerngasts also own P & L Heating and Sheet Metal, and Sheila is  the program manager for the Tillamook County Community Developmental Disabilities Program at Tillamook Family Counseling Center. For the last two years, Sheila has been offering her services on the Chamber Board of Directors.

She joined our Board because, quite frankly, she loves Tillamook. (You would have to love it here to own two successful businesses, right?).

I love the community, and I love the people,” she said. “[Being on the Chamber Board] is a great way to be more connected to other businesses in Tillamook, and to get to know what is happening in our town and community.”

Sheila is our die-hard volunteer. She has years of experience working with different agencies and organizations, and enjoys planning events and working with volunteers. Her day job requires an ability to find resources for individuals and she has been able to apply this skill to our Board.

“I also think almost anything is possible if you work hard enough and do your homework,” she said. “So, I don’t take no very easily, and I am never afraid to ask the question.”

In particular, Sheila said she is most proud of how the Chamber has become an essential component  in the downtown reconstruction and rejuvenation. “I firmly believe big things are coming for Tillamook, and I think the Chamber is a key player in bringing those great things,” she said. “I am so excited we are downtown now, and right in the thick of things. It has opened so many doors for events, partnering, and spearheading projects. It keeps us on the front lines of what is happening in the city along with what is going on in the community and makes us an integral part of the daily workings of Tillamook.

“We have an amazing board, director and staff that are all committed to making the businesses in our community, and the community as a whole as successful as possible,” she added. “I am excited to see how each month we are able to put that energy and mission into practice.”

Kaylan Sisco:  Kaylan is one of our newer Board members with a year and a half under his belt. Many people in our community have heard and know of Kaylan by his coined radio introduction “Hey, this is Kaylan from the Y!” He’s a lifeguard, custodian, tour guide, game player, and life changer. In short, he is the Executive Director of the Tillamook YMCA.

Kaylan joined our Board because he’s the type of person who can’t just live in a community; he has to be involved. And we are lucky to have his 18 years of nonprofit experience helping to guide the Chamber’s direction.

Like Sheila, he is excited about our new location downtown.

“I don’t say it’s the ‘Chamber Office’ because it is so much more than that,” he said. “The fact that we have created a community space with resources for our businesses is a huge step in a new direction of support.”

Kaylan is an advocate for small businesses and finding support and resources on a larger scale through statewide and national partnerships.

“The Chamber is here for the benefit of the community,” he said.

We would not be able to do the work we are doing without support from Sheila and Kaylan. They are an essential part of our team and each are a valuable asset to our community and the Chamber.


Small Business Saturday 2017 was a Smashing Success

Sierra Lauder

by Sierra Lauder

Small Business Saturday. Wow. Downtown was packed! I was able to spend the day at the Chamber validating receipts for the #constructdowntown Sweepstakes, and we were busy all day! Well over 250 receipts were submitted for the drawing, and we chose three lucky winners on Saturday evening. The Sweepstakes continues through the end of the year, so if you didn’t make it in Saturday, don’t despair- you have plenty of time to enter between now and December 29th. Locals and visitors alike took advantage of many of the great sales our downtown merchants were offering, and many Christmas presents were purchased. If you are struggling with a few of the names on your list this year and need inspiration, I would invite you to park along Pacific or off of Ivy and stroll through downtown- the variety of fun, creative, unique and affordable options is inspiring. Hard to shop for kids that don’t need any more toys? Stop at Art Accelerated and pick up a gift certificate for their children’s art classes. Mother-in-law that you need to find a gift for but aren’t speaking to after “Stuffing Battle 2017”? Sunflower Flats has got you covered. Teenage daughter who hates everything? Madeline’s has jewelry you’ll be happy to steal back after it gets left on the bathroom counter, or Phoenix Bucks from the Phoenix Exchange so she can choose her own poison.  

It was great fun to see how many families were out enjoying the nicer weather, and gathering at the fun events that were happening throughout downtown. Cupcake decorating at Sarasota’s bakery seemed especially popular this year, with many happy kids devouring their masterpieces almost immediately upon completion. Yo Time hosted a Gingerbread House Building Competition, and five families put on an impressive display of team work. Some of the smaller builders seemed to be eating almost as quickly as others were creating, but that didn’t slow anyone down, and in the end it was very hard to pick a winner. By a close margin, Team Herder took First Prize with a sweet little chalet-style cottage- congratulations to Chella, Christian and Jude, and thanks to all of the teams who donated their entry fees of cash and tarps to CARE, who helps provide resources to those without shelter this holiday season.

Small Business Saturday 2017 is really the kick-off of the holiday season downtown, so if you missed the fun last Saturday: don’t despair! Many businesses are continuing fun specials and sales throughout the season. The Phoenix Exchange is hosting a few Pop-Up Vendors through the end of December, and Diamond Art Jewelers and So Chic Boutique are offering gift wrapping (a favorite courtesy in my book). Be sure that wherever you shop downtown, you visit the Chamber after with your receipt, so we can get you entered in the Sweepstakes! The weekly drawings continue, with Diamond Art, So Chic Boutique, Yo Time, Tillamook Coliseum Theater, Sheldon Oil and Fat Dog Pizza each sponsoring one of the remaining weekly prizes before the grand finale: $1000 of Downtown Cash sponsored by US Bank.

This coming Saturday is the City’s Tree Lighting Festival in front of City Hall, followed by the Tillamook Holiday Light Parade! This year’s parade is shaping up to be bigger and brighter than ever, so you will not want to miss it! Santa is doing double duty this Saturday, making appearances both at City Hall and at Hanger B, so if you missed him at Homelife last weekend, it’s not too late! For more information about these and other upcoming holiday season events, don’t forget to check out the Tillamook Living Calendar, or feel free to call the Chamber office, and we’ll help you find details: (503) 842-7525.

Come Volunteer with the Chamber!

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Sometimes you throw an idea out there and have no idea how well it will grow and blossom. That was what we did with the #ConstructDowntown Sweepstakes, which began last month and runs through the end of December. It was a brainchild of ours that began as a simple conversation, and we’ve been overwhelmed at the response. Participation every week has been phenomenal!

However it has identified a bit of a problem: People want the Chamber office open on the weekends; well, at least on Saturdays. We used to always be open on Saturdays between Memorial Day and Labor dat at our old location, and still had plans to do that at our new location . Yet it seems that with the relocation to downtown and the popularity of the sweepstakes, a paradigm shift has occurred in terms of what our community wants from the Chamber as a central hub.

Naturally, we would love to be open seven days a week to serve our community members and visitors with an inviting gathering place, quality information, and fun merchandise. But here is the dilemma: We aren’t able to cover those extra hours within our current budget and staff capacity. In order to see the Chamber office open more than five days a week, we need help from our community members and loyal readership. Basically, we need volunteers. We need folks who love the Tillamook area as much as we do and want to share that enthusiasm and knowledge with everyone who walks through the front door.

So if you are interested in spending a few hours each month in what some say is the coziest downtown location, helping visitors discover new facets of our town, and lifting up our business and tourism community, then we want you!

You don’t need to be an expert in the area, or know the answers to all the questions that might get thrown at you. You just need to have a positive and professional attitude, dress appropriately, and follow a short list of guidelines regarding how we want to welcome people and refer them to local businesses. Don’t worry – we’ll train you. It’s a fun way to meet new people, share your passions and expertise, and bring a smile to someone’s day. It’s a great opportunity for the right high school student who needs some volunteer experience, and we often heard from our volunteers at the old office how rewarding it was to spend their day educating visitors about the many things to do, places to eat, and sites to see in our area.

If you would like to volunteer at the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce visitor center in downtown Tillamook please contact us by calling (503) 842-7525 or emailing


ODOT Highway Update – October

Justin Aufdermauer


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s almost hard to believe that it’s October, because things have not slowed down in the slightest it seems. A few weeks ago  you read about our #constructdowntown sweepstakes that runs until Dec. 29, and this week I thought we should bring you a quick brief of the downtown construction project.

Main Street is, of course, still in the depths of construction – literally. The vaults along the corner of Main and Third are garnering the most attention because of their massive impact, and the workload has been delayed slightly by the recent bouts of rain we’ve been experiencing. Over the course of just a few weeks we saw the sidewalks demolished and the footings and walls formed and poured  in front of Sunflower Flats, which set the stage for the concrete fill. The next two vaults are located just north of that large one – in front of Everything Pets and Tangled Yarns, where the entire process has to be repeated on a smaller scale.

Then, of course, comes the sidewalk building! While requiring extra effort from customers, business access to Sunflower Flats, Annie’s Country Sportswear, Everything Pets, Tangled Yarns, and the now open Pacific Restaurant will be maintained, despite all the construction.

I would like to pause here to highlight that in the midst of all this construction, Pacific Restaurant officially opened their doors and has been at capacity every day for lunch. In a time that could be catastrophic for a business owner, with the end of the tourism season, the return of the rains, and the bustling of construction, Pacific Restaurant is proof that people will walk a block or two to get to something they want to. Even though there is no parking directly outside of their restaurant, people are happily parking on Pacific and cross the Plaza, or over on Ivy and crossing Main.

In just over a week, PUD will be shutting off the street lights in the construction area along Main while they transition to the new light poles. This means that during the evening as we lose daylight, the storefronts along Main will be the only things lighting the way. If you are walking downtown during this time, take extra precautions to watch your step.

Over on Pacific in the northwest corner of the Pioneer Museum, we are starting to see the formation of what will be a unique outdoor area. With the traffic from Hwy 6 now veering off to the north by the Post Office, it has created a nice-sized footprint of creative space. The Pioneer Museum will be inheriting this area, and it’s exciting to think of the ways they will use it. The decorative concrete will be poured soon to enhance the look and feel of the new outdoor gathering spot.

Meanwhile over on the bridge, the shuttle service is still being implemented to get people across. Northbound pedestrians can catch the shuttle at the Post Office, and southbound travelers can hop on just north of Rosenberg Builders Supply. The shuttle will be available from approximately 7:30 a.m. until approximately 6:30 p.m. You are greatly encouraged to use it. If you need to get across during the off-hours, Dial-A-Ride is a back up. While we all understand that circumstances arise sometimes on a short notice, please do your best to plan ahead – for your own safety. Pedestrian access will likely reopen by the end of the month, so just hold tight a little longer and take advantage of the shuttle options.

Speaking of the bridge, the City and the Tillamook Urban Revitalization Association are partnering to try and salvage the railings on the remaining old bridge and relocate them to Sue H. Elmore Park, where they could be integrated as a decorative piece. It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to how much of the original railing will be recoverable, but the City is hopeful that it will be a nice historical addition to the park.

We continue to offer a weekly highway project update by email, and if you would like to sign up or learn more about it, please visit or contact the Chamber office at (503) 842-7525.