by: Photo by Susan Matheny - Holli Van Wert

Former executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Holli Van Wert has been hired to head up the Prineville Chamber of Commerce.
   "The chamber is pleased with the experience and leadership Van Wert brings to the job after five and half years as the executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce," the press release noted.
   Van Wert is taking over after Bill Gowan's resignation earlier in the fall. Joe Becker has served as the interim director for the past two months.
   According to Ed Yoder, Prineville chamber board president, the chamber exists to support local business as well as attract new business and promote tourism.
   "Our goal for the future is not to only increase local business growth, but also drive tourism through multimedia marketing," said Yoder. "With new leadership and fresh board members, the Chamber of Commerce is looking for greater wins and momentum in 2013."
   As the executive director, Van Wert sees herself as a personal advocate for local business owners and looks forward to encouraging and supporting leaders in the community.
   She believes that if existing business owners are thriving and well-supported, it will attract new business to Prineville.
   As for tourism, she commented, "I've played in Prineville and the Ochocos all of my life; we have what so many are dreaming of when it comes to recreation and outdoor entertainment."
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