Since the leadership change at the end of last November, there has been a lot of activity, and progress, at your Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce. Interim Executive Director Ray Giansante has “hit the ground running” and here are some of the things that have been happening:

n The chamber's December wine raffle was a big success. In fact, more wine was donated, and tickets sold, than in past years.

n The chamber has received tremendous community support throughout its history, and that has continued to this day. The chamber wishes to thank all of the community members that have volunteered to work in the front office, and continues to seek volunteers to help out. If you can spend a few hours answering phones in the chamber office, please give us a call.

n The chamber's accounting staff, including CPA Jon Larson and School District Liaison Debby Hunn, have done an excellent job in determining the chamber's tax situation and we are currently working with our taxing authorities on a workable repayment plan. All required tax returns will be filed by the end of February.

n The Friday Flash continues to be a great summary of local happenings and chamber events. Please contact the chamber at 503-357-3006 if you are not receiving this weekly update via email.

n The Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee continues to meet on a weekly basis to enhance communication among chamber leadership.

n Perhaps most importantly at this time, planning for the 26th Annual Spring Dinner and Auction is moving along at a fast pace. Tickets and table sponsorships for this event, to be held on Saturday, March 2 at Pacific University, are selling very well but there are still tickets available. Please call the chamber office or contact a member of the chamber board to purchase tickets, which are $60 each or $120 per couple. We are receiving many wonderful auction prizes and it promises to be a wonderful evening. We look forward to seeing you there.

The chamber has been getting a lot of questions from the community regarding the timeline for hiring a new executive director. The chamber board has decided that this process would begin in earnest sometime after the completion of the auction, as this is the main priority for the chamber at this time. More than likely, it will be several more months before a new executive director is hired. The chamber will notify the community when this process begins.

The chamber wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to the community for its support throughout its history, but especially through the recent leadership transition.

This is but one example of the strength and commitment of the Forest Grove community itself!

Tom Raabe is chairman of the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

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