Tag Archives: Chamber

Underpinnings is open; Kaiser takes key Chamber job; holiday sales … off?

31 May

Seems like only yesterday that I had poked my nose inside the space at SE Third and Oak, where Brooke Pauley was knee-deep in build-out for her new lingerie store, Underpinnings. Time flies, and while driving by today, I noticed that she’s open. Haven’t been inside yet, but nice signage. Look for a more detailed tour later …

After a long hiring process, the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce has extended an offer to Tracy Kaiser to take on the role of business services coordinator. In this half-time contract position, Kaiser will support a variety of Chamber functions. Her primary role, however, will be to work with the Downtown Hood River business community, helping it with promotions and events such as First Friday and Hops Fest. Kaiser was formerly vice president of merchandising at The Fruit Company, until the recession put an end to that. In addition, she is launching a business assembling gift packs for wholesale to major retailers. She starts work with the Chamber on Tuesday, taking over from Stu Watson (yours truly), who resigned in February after two years in that position, to focus on helping business with a variety of communications needs. Kaiser is a bright light, and will be a great addition to the Chamber and downtown. Welcome, Tracy. …

Drive-by observation by one downtown merchant on Sunday. Lots of people wandering around downtown, but he had noticed that very few of them were carrying bags (i.e. a sign of having purchased nothing more than lattes to go). After the Memorial Day dust settles, the Buzz will poll the business community to gauge the business pulse — if there is one, that is.

Reminder: If you own or operate a business downtown, or are just interested in what’s going on, you may want to attend the monthly board meeting of the Downtown Business Council. 8 a.m. Wednesday, at the Hood River Library meeting room (its customary meeting spot, but the last time the group will meet there, until further notice). Any and all are welcome.

Chamber members get social media seminar series

9 Jul

Full disclosure: I work half time for the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce. This is not their site, and I say what I want to here.

I want to applaud executive director Mary Closson and marketing coordinator Jamel Badrieh for making good stuff happen — for members. Since Mary arrived, and later brought on Jamel, the Chamber has taken a refreshing turn, with lots of new energy and ideas.

To wit, the forthcoming series of Brown Bag seminars on social media. The topic leaves us with more questions than answers.

Do you Tweet?

How many Friends do you have?

Does your blog have SEO?

Do you care? And should you?

Well, the Chamber thinks you ought to at least know about the subject to make a decision. So, the seminars. They will run from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesdays at Columbia Gorge Community College’s Indian Creek-Hood River Campus. Cost is a mere $5 for members ($10 general admission).


July 22 – John Metta, scientists, programmer, social media savant — and blogger.
Aug. 5 – Topic TBA
Aug. 19 – TBA
Sept. 16 – TBA
Sept. 30 – TBA

Are you a Chamber member? Don’t miss the bus. Call me at 386-8860 and I’ll hook you up.

Hood River County Chamber, Hood River Downtown Business Association agree to merge

14 May

A bit of history occurred today. After more than a year of talks, after 19 years of estrangement, the Hood River Downtown Business Association and Hood River County Chamber of Commerce have reached agreement to merge.

The deal, brokered by Six Rivers Community Mediation in two sessions over the last two weeks, will help both organizations create efficiencies in management and marketing efforts, while sustaining business services that the HRDBA had come to appreciate, and expanding business services to Chamber members.

Boards of both organizations today reviewed a draft memorandum of understanding that came out of the mediation sessions. And each board voted to approve it, with no dissenting votes. A transition committee now will work out details. Among tasks ahead, the two groups will need to blend separate memberships. The Chamber will extend a half-year memberships option to HRDBA members whose memberships expire on June 30. They then would have the option in early 2010 of renewing as Chamber members for a full year.

One benefit of the merger for businesses that previously have held memberships in both groups is that they will now have only one annual membership fee and renewal decision.

“In tough economic times, the chance to get expanded marketing support while reducing membership fees will surely appeal to our member businesses,” said Greg Colt, board president for the HRDBA.

Hood River’s Downtown will gain a voice with a seat on the Visitors Council, and will oversee city-focused programs and events through a separate Hood River Downtown Business Council  — operating on a par with the Visitors Council, Ambassadors and other Chamber committees.

Both bodies have asked yours truly to resume half-time business services and membership development duties relinquished in mid-April because of the funding crunch hitting both groups.

Working through the merger is going to take a lot of work and continued good faith on all parts, but from this perspective, it’s a better thing for all concerned. Congratulations — and thanks — to all involved in making it happen.