The new year comes with new digs for the Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber opened their new offices in the Cornerstone Plaza, 1055 S. Highway 395, Suite 111, on Tuesday. There were still some moving boxes to be seen on opening day, but executive director Debbie Pedro said it wasn’t stopping chamber staff from serving customers.
“We’ve already had quite a few people in this morning,” she said.
The chamber had to move out of its offices at the Hermiston Conference Center — now being rebranded as the Hermiston Community Center — by the end of 2017, after the city of Hermiston decided to take over management of the center and move its parks and recreation department into the space. Pedro said the chamber would love to purchase its own building eventually, but for now they are excited they found a space visible to travelers on Highway 395.
Racks of information for visitors, plus pamphlets and business cards from chamber members, line the walls of the reception area of the new office, which used to be a photography studio. There are also individual offices for chamber staff and an open space that will act as a conference room. The chamber is renting storage space elsewhere. Phone numbers will remain the same as before the move.
Pedro said the chamber will continue to do everything it did before — including acting as Hermiston’s visitor center and providing services for members such as educational classes — besides running the conference center. Giving up that duty will free up the chamber to spend even more time focusing on new ways to serve chamber members and the community, Pedro said, and she was excited about some new initiatives that will be announced in the coming months.
The new address has also provided an incentive to start work on updating the chamber’s website and other offerings, and to find new locations outside of the conference center to hold events like the chamber’s Business to Business luncheon, which is being revamped in 2018 to a longer event held quarterly.
“There are a lot of partnerships being formed, and partnerships that have been longstanding that will continue,” Pedro said.
Over at the community center, the parks and recreation office was still in the middle of unpacking on Tuesday morning, but is expected to transition staff over from city hall on Wednesday. Phone numbers for the parks and recreation department will also remain the same despite changing locations.
Contact Jade McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4536.