East Chamber group continues to find success through education, networking

Can a serious business group’s members, like those in the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, still have a good time? You bet! Check it out …

Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams visits the East Portland Chamber of Commerce – to answer questions, and talk about plans to fix Portland’s roads.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
There are several reasons the East Portland Chamber of Commerce continues to be successful.

Members stay informed and involved with city and county issues; attend weekly networking gatherings – and get together to have a darn good time at “After Hours” events and their annual “Turkey Bowl”. Read on, and learn more about this remarkable group – and about upcoming events you’ll want to attend.

One of the first groups Commissioner Adams approached about his road tax programs was the East Portland Chamber.

Adams pitches road improvement plan
Perhaps you’ve followed our coverage of Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams program to fix Portland’s worst streets, improve traffic flow, and increase vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian safety.

One of the first business groups to whom Adams spoke was the East Portland Chamber.

“I’m also the Sewer Commissioner,” Adams told the group. “When I took over this bureau, they were starving maintenance, to keep rates down. You saw the coverage of the truck disappearing into a sinkhole. We refinanced the debt to increase sewer maintenance. The water system is in better shape than sewers. Sewers are in better shape, by far, than our streets.”

Adams outlined the improvements – and possible taxing plan. Read about it by CLICKING HERE.

By visiting, and holding ribbon cutting ceremonies, for organizations across East Portland, members make new contacts that promote local businesses.

Wide variety of programs
In addition to their “Good Morning East Portland” networking and information meetings, Chamber members are also invited to workshops on topics ranging from accounting to making effective presentations.

Because the Wednesday morning networking meetings are held at various locations around East Portland, members get to learn about new and established businesses by visiting them.

If you know of a new business, the East Portland Chamber Ambassadors conduct Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies, without charge – whether or not they are a member. Contact them to arrange it!

At this Halloween-themed “Chamber after Hours” event, sponsored by East PDX News, 60 members came by to meet, greet, and enjoy dinner at Pizza Baron.

A fun group that means business
Realizing that not everyone can attend their Wednesday morning meetings, the East Portland Chambers also hold “Chamber after Hours” evening events.

Each event’s host decides the program for their affair. Just before Halloween, this publication hosted a pizza feed at Bill Dayton’s PIZZA BARON at SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street. Our event was simple: come after work, socialize, and have fun!

Don’t miss out on December’s events! They’re free and open to both members and guests. See the end of this article!

Having fun at the AMF Lanes on SE 92nd Avenue are members and friends participating in the chamber’s annual Turkey Bowl.

Annual “Turkey Bowl” injures no birds
Lest you have concerns, the chamber’s annual “Turkey Bowl” takes place in a SE Portland bowling alley – and the balls are used to strike down the pins, not fowl.

Agnes Zack, executive secretary of the East Portland Chamber, tells us, “This year, our first-place sponsor was Warren Allen LLP. We also had four team sponsors: Axis Design, Gresham Ford, Stewart & Tunno Insurance Agency and Westside Secretarial Service.”

The event drew 26 players, plus 15 spectators cheering them on.

“Not your ordinary bean-counter”, Kevin Minkoff, aims for another strike.

Some ask if this is a competitive sporting event. We would say not – it seemed some teams were competing to score the highest number of gutter balls. The afternoon of November 10 was filled with laughs, “high-fives”, and pizza.

Additionally, sponsors pitched in with prizes galore! Almost everyone who purchased a raffle ticket went home with a great prize.

Helping score – and handing out dozens of great raffle gifts – are chamber president Greg Zuffrea and Ambassador Holly Moss.

The winners:

Posting the highest score: 192, Richard Sorem, Stewart & Tunno Insurance, accepts his gift from prize donor Pam Olson of Farmer’s Insurance.

John Rupp, Axis Design Group, won the turkey (yes, a real frozen turkey) for rolling the highest number of strikes in a row.

Second highest scoring team is John Rupp, Melinda Peterson, Darcy Shea and Greg Shea with Team Axis Design Group.

The first place team from Stewart & Tunno Insurance are Keith Hendershott, Kevin Minkoff, Barbara Yerke, Ginny Soren, and Rich Sorem.

Doesn’t Gail Kiely of Home Run Graphics look happy? She won the BIG gift basket provided by Gresham Ford!

Upcoming special events
December 6 – Join Scott Nielson, attorney, hosts a fun evening of socializing, mingling, and connecting with business partners in East Portland from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at the Executech Conference Center, 5933 NE Win Sivers Drive (just off Airport Way East).

December 12 – At 7:30 until 9:00 am, come by for a special “Good Morning East Portland Gift Fair”. Members that have gift items, gift certificates, gift ideas, and more for the holidays will have items on display. Bring your checkbook and do your holiday shopping with EPCC members. It’s at Warner Pacific College, 2219 SE 68th Avenue (just off SE Division St.).

For more information, CLICK HERE to visit their website!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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