By Justin Aufdermauer
Welcome to 2017!
We are eager to announce three new Board members joining the Chamber team. It’s always a pleasure to have new energy, new ideas and new faces around the table and these three new members bring a rejuvenated enthusiasm to the New Year and the Chamber.
Natalie Rieger is a co-owner of Sunflower Flats in downtown Tillamook. For 15 years she has taken care of the family business in several ways, including financially and technologically as well as handling all the marketing and personnel. To say she is business-savvy would be an understatement. Natalie is also incredibly community-minded. She’s always the first to volunteer to help at Chamber events and other functions, and has stepped up to the plate as a Board member with the same enthusiasm and gusto.
Sarah Absher is the studio owner and dance coach of Dance Zone, which has been a roaring success since it opened in 2013. She too is a small business owner and is passionate about growing and supporting the small business community in the Tillamook area. As a land-use planner for Tillamook County, Sarah has an extensive knowledge about the issues that all small business owners must overcome and is an advocate for all small business owners.
Adrienne Allen also joins the Chamber board. Adrienne and her husband own and operate Victor Dairy, a 400-cow grazing dairy and member of the Tillamook County Creamery Association Co-Op. Farming runs deep in Adrienne’s family and we love having that aspect on our Board. However, we are very fortunate to add her because of her dedication to our community and exceptional volunteerism.
Our other returning members are Board President White Forsman with Pacific Seafood; Vice President Kayla Craycraft with US Bank; Past President Mary Faith Bell with Adventist Regional Medical Center; Secretary Lexie Hampton with The Griffin House; Eric Lessor with Computer Support & Services; Carlos Mendez with La Mexicana Restaurant; Kaylan Sisco with the Tillamook County Family YMCA; and Sheila Zerngast with Tillamook Coliseum Theater.
At the end of December we held an all-day Board retreat to get to know one another better and do some goal setting for the New Year. If you want to move mountains in life you have to start one shovel at a time. Fortunately, we had an excavator last year and really got things moving.
In 2016 our Board and staff worked incredibly hard establishing relationships with other organizations and laying the groundwork for several successful projects. It was a lot of “behind the scenes” work that will come to fruition in this year and you will soon see it come to life.
We purchased a building at 208 Main Avenue, thanks to a generous contribution from the Tillamook County Creamery Association, and will be remodeling and building it into a new Visitors Center to open later this year.
Our newest team member, Sierra, has been working with the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency on their application process, and the City of Tillamook on wayfinding parking signs. Both of these projects will be finalized and put into application in 2017.
Our newly remodeled Chamber website, www.tillamookchamber.org, is up and running. As the year progresses we will continue to make that site a center for communication and information with weekly ODOT reports and updates and Chamber news and events.
Our Tillamook Living Calendar, which was created last year, is starting to increase in engagement and entries. As the year progresses keep looking to tillamookliving.com to find things to do near you.
We exceeded our expectations on taking travelers to China and will be taking off in April. Sierra and I are working on potentially planning a trip to Ireland as well, so keep your eyes peeled for more information about that in the months to come.
While we are continuing to build on the framework we put in place in 2016, we are also investigating new ideas and new possibilities. At our retreat the Board agreed to move forward this year with the feasibility and planning of a large food event (Let your imagination roam about how cool this could be).
We will also be focusing on intentional outreach to our members and bringing back networking opportunities and membership meetings so that we can all find new ways to grow and learn together as a team and as a community.
And don’t forget to join us on Jan. 14 for the annual Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Chamber at 503-842-7525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.