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Past and present changes in the Chamber
Among changes in the past three years at the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, the new Executive Director should be on board by Dec. 1
Jamie Wood, Communications Coordinator for the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, arranges brochures and information booklets on Wednesday. Wood is currently the sole employee at the office, in addition to the interim executive director, Joe Becker.
November 08, 2012
Prineville is less than one month away from having a new Executive Director for the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce.
The interview committee has been selected, and includes Steve Forrester, Ken Fahlgren, Greg Lambert, Sally Goodman, and Ed Yoder. Joe Becker, who is the interim executive director for the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, commented that because he is an applicant, he has removed himself from the process to avoid any conflict of interest.
Yoder, who is the current president of the board of directors, said that Greg Lambert of Mid Oregon Personnel was in the process of screening final applications this week.
“We should have the top four to five people that he prescreens as our candidates for an interview, and then we will make a decision off of those,” said Yoder.
He declined to release the names of the final candidates, and noted that the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors should have a decision on the finalist by Thanksgiving. The successful applicant will be announced the first part of December.
“That person is the face of the Chamber,” remarked Yoder of the Executive Director position. “It is very important to our business community. Our events are for community and public.”
Among the need to find a new executive director, the local Chamber of Commerce has undergone several changes in the past two years. In 2010, the office moved from their old location on Fairview to the current location on Northwest Second. In 2011, the office hired two part-time employees when the former Chamber Administrator, Ann Fisher resigned. In September 2012, Bill Gowen, the CEO of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce at the time, resigned his position.
In addition to these changes, the Chamber also saw several internal changes in their bottom line as a result of the move to Second Street. They went from not paying rent for their old building to paying almost double in their maintenance, utilities and added rent. Yoder also confirmed that the retail items that they had for sale in the new building took more time and energy than they were willing to expend.
“It was taking way too much time for very little marketability,” said Yoder. “We were going to have to go to all the events, and trying to sell the products. That wasn’t our focus; our focus is Prineville and Crook County — not selling T-shirts and sweatshirts.”
He added that they will continue to have some of the items available. But they have chosen to not go out and market them.
The Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce averages between $140,000 and $180,000 per year in revenue. Most of their revenue is derived from fundraising events, contributions, gifts, and grants. In the past three years, they have exceeded their revenue with expenses by 8 to 13 percent. According to Yoder, the membership consists of nearly 300 members, and accounts for approximately $40,000 of their revenue.
In the past three years, the Chamber has paid between $82,000 and $106,000 per year in salaries and benefits for employees. The board has advertised the job of Executive Director to be compensated between $45,000 and $55,000, and Gowen drew approximately $48,000 in compensation in 2010.
“(They) Should be feet on the street, getting new membership, and getting back in touch with their old membership,” said Yoder of the new Executive Director. “We want to increase our membership’s visibility out in the community.
“This position is the eyes, ears, and pulse of the business community.”