New East Portland Chamber president reveals plans

Find out what the incoming East Portland Chamber of Commerce leader said about their organization’s future, at their ‘Happy Hour’, held in Lents …

Members and guests of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce come to Zoiglhaus Brewing Company in Lents for their January “Happy Hour” networking meeting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Although known primarily for their weekly early Wednesday morning meetings, the East Portland Chamber of Commerce (EPCC) has, for longer than ten years, also hosted monthly “Happy Hour” events.

> Read about one of their first evening networking events, held in 2014: CLICK HERE.

This year, the EPCC Happy Hour rotates among three locations. The one on January 7 was held at the new brewpub in the Lents neighborhood, Zoiglhaus Brewing Company, on SE 92nd Avenue.

Incoming EPCC President Brent Mason of Go Local NW, Inc. heads in to join others at their monthly “Happy Hour”.

There isn’t a formal agenda; these gatherings are for networking, making new contacts, and deepening friendships with area business people, explained the incoming EPCC President Brent Mason, of Go Local NW, Inc.

Mason told East Portland News of his hopes and aspirations for the organization.

“Over the next year, we’re gong to work hard to grow the Chamber and get new members,” Mason began. “We are particularly focusing on larger companies. Traditionally, many mom-and-pop businesspeople come to our weekly meetings, along with larger-business supporters, such as Adventist Health. What I would like to do is get more large companies involved, especially in discourse with our public officials.”

EPCC Immediate Past President Holly Moss of The Bookkeeping Company talks with a potential new member — ?Estate Planning and Business Attorney Celia Barlow JD.

Expressing enthusiasm about a custom-produced Pamplin Communications product to be called East Portland Magazine, Mason said. “What I really like about this project is that one of my goals, and not just for the chamber, but for all about outer East Portland, is to better facilitate communications between groups this includes neighborhood associations and other organizations. East Portland really is a large geographic area. Communication can actually help close the distance and help create a more close knit community.”

Now more than a decade old, Mason said that as the organization matures, it will continue to gain stature in the eyes of government officials. “As we ‘speak with a unified voice’, we can better advocate with our local elected officials, and those on the state level as well.”

Zoiglhaus Brewing Company Manager on Duty at Michael Cummins talks with Chamber members and guests during the January EPCC “Happy Hour” session.

Finally, another important initiative for the EPCC is to become more involved in neighborhood and business district outreach programs. “We want to help promote and support their events,” Mason said. “The Chamber takes no credit for this, but the Division Midway Alliance Festival of Nations is a great example of a community event to which our organization desires to continue to support.”

The next Chamber Happy Hour takes place on February 4, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. You don’t have to be a member to come, network and join in the fun. This month it’s in the Gateway district at Old Chicago Pizza, 10300 SE Washington Street, 97216. For more information, CLICK HERE to see the Chamber’s website, or call (503) 788-8589.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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