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Tualatin chamber is top growing in region


The Tualatin Chamber of Commerce has seen some encouraging growth over the past year: 50 members, to be exact.

'We started at 300 this year,' said Tualatin Chamber of Commerce CEO Linda Moholt. 'We are now at 350, and I think we got a couple more coming in this afternoon. This has been our best year ever. We are at a record all-time high.'

In fact, according to a regional study conducted by the Portland Business Journal, the Tualatin chamber is No. 1 in growth this year among chamber organizations in the region that spans from Vancouver all the way down to Salem.

Moholt's goal for the new year is to add another 50 members.

'It's wonderful to have growth, but it's even better to keep (members),' she said. 'That's what I'm most proud of; our retention rate is exceptionally high.'

The chamber has hired a new administrative assistant, Jodie Krivens, and added a full-time member services director, Valerie MacQuarrie.

The addition of a full-time staff member brings the chamber's paid staff up to three people. Moholt said she feels as though the lean team is better equipped to serve Tualatin.

'Before, if one of us was away and the other was sick, we'd have to close the office,' Moholt said. 'With three of us, we can keep those doors open every day, which I'm really excited about. Our community can rely on us.'

MacQuarrie's role is to act as a liaison between the chamber and its members, as well as to take on marketing and event-coordinating responsibilities.

'Recruiting is important, but we want to connect with existing members,' MacQuarrie said. 'I feel like it's really important to go to each member, be able to let them know we're here for them, ask how we can help. We want to hear what they have to say.'

MacQuarrie believes that with an extra team member, the chamber will have the opportunity to do more in the community.

'We want to see it grow, take it to the next level, address all the opportunities that have been untapped because they were too busy,' MacQuarrie said.

One example she gave was getting the word out about the Crawfish Festival.

'We need to get the word out,' she said. 'There are people in the surrounding area who have never heard of the festival. I'm all about asking how can we make it better.'

Moholt attributes this year's growth to chamber members' support of each other.

'Robert Knight, our 2011 president, would always open up every meeting by asking, 'How many of you shopped at a local business this week?' We were all focused on taking care of each other,' Moholt said.