LO Chamber digs in at new location

by: CLIFF NEWELL Jerry Wheeler will have a great, wide view of Lake Oswego in the new office of the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce on 459 Third St. The chamber is back in full swing, preparing for meetings and big events.

The Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce is ready for business at its new office at 459 S.W. Third St. After several intense weeks of moving boxes and installing phones, the chamber is back to doing what it does best - improving the commerce of Lake Oswego.

'We're certainly open for business,' said executive director Jerry Wheeler. 'We're letting the dust settle and there are lots of little things to do. But the phones are working and we're ready to go.'

It helped that the moving distance was so short from the old home on B Avenue.

'We didn't need any big trucks,' Wheeler said. 'Mainly, we just rolled everything down the alley. We get to stay in the downtown core and saved ourselves some money.

'We were able to stay open throughout the process.'

The new main office will give the chamber some key advantages, such as keeping its location in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, reduced space (now 1,600 feet) and reduced rent to better meet challenging economic times, and being better located for foot traffic.

Wheeler also had high praise for Paul and Teri Graham, owners of Graham's Stationary and Books.

'The good thing is working with Paul and Teri,' Wheeler said. 'They're great landlords.'

Now that Wheeler and his staff have settled in, they can get down to lots of business. There is a group called Young Professionals of Lake Oswego, which will be holding a major event on April 28. Continuing programs include the FORGE education lunches and leadership groups are going strong.

Today the 'Amazing Race' will be held, which will highlight the new chamber location. Highlights will include lunch at El Ranchito, an exploration of downtown businesses by the lake, and finishing out the day at the chamber office.

On the horizon is one of the biggest LOCC events, the golf outing on July 18.