Chamber Minutes

A weekly update from our Executive Director, Timm Slater…

The Chamber Minute 03/16/19

When I entered the work “initiative” into my computer, I got a definition. When I typed “finishiative” into it, I’m told it isn’t a word. But it should be. The two words are defined as follows, initiative: the first step, the act of setting a process in motion, the ability or willingness to take the lead. Finishiative: the last step, the act of completing, the willingness to take a project or mission to its logical conclusion in optimum time. Both of these are essential to character, to growth and success in an individual, and for successful community development. Too often, folks aimlessly wander through life and end up with a load of guilt and regrets because of the many things they wanted to do but never got around to start. Others wind up with the same guilt and regrets because they had dreams, with some initiative, started many projects but never finished most of what they began.

This community can grow if our leaders will genuinely take the lead, exercise wisdom and initiative in getting work underway; if citizens involve themselves willingly to accomplish it and if all will focus on finishiative. While there are many ways to promote your community, let me suggest you look at your Chamber. Are you interested in economic development, education, tourism, developing leaders, promoting local business or improving transportation to Oregon’s Bay Area? Your Chamber has people, your friends and neighbors, working on these and more. So grab the issue important to you and come on down and join us. In the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, we are all willing to “Step UP” and make a difference.

The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.

The Chamber Minute 03/09/19

Top 10 reasons to join the Chamber: Number 3, Create networking opportunities.

As a business person one of the most important things you do is to get the word out about what you produce, its excellent value, your great staff and where you can be found. In today’s world they call that networking. Here are just a few of the great networking opportunities your Chamber provides.

Business after Hours takes place the last Thursday of each month from 5 to 7 pm. It’s an opportunity for you to showcase your business, your staff and your products using an open house format with food and drink. Our Ambassadors welcome your guests. There’s a short formal presentation, supplemented with tours of your operations by your staff. With turn outs which range from 40 to over 100, what a great way to connect your business to the community.

The Wednesday Business Connection is held every Wednesday from September through May at the Mill Casino. Each week has a sponsor which is featured in all the event advertising during that week. The sponsor also gives a short Business Spotlight about their operations.  Generally, before the featured speaker we have an open mic enabling you to announce special sales, products new staff members or events. Lastly, we end the session each week with the drawing of business cards to door prizes provided by member businesses who are recognized for the contribution.

How about our events for networking, like the Economic Outlook Forum, the Annual Chamber Awards Banquet, the Highway 101 Clean Up Brigade, the Bowling Party or the Golf tournament?

Why not get serious about networking? Come take advantage of your Chamber opportunities.

The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. Remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.

The Chamber Minute 03/02/19

With March we welcome in the beginning of Spring, tons of daffodils and more visitors showing up on the South Coast. Already this month you hosted the 3A Basketball State Championships at Marshfield and North Bend high schools. So what’s next?

Coming up March 8, 9 & 10 is the 30th annual South Coast Clambake Music festival at the Mill Casino-Hotel. Listen and dance to the likes of Barn Door Slammers, Bay City Swing, The Young Bucs, Gator Nation and more. See the festival website,, for information about the event and how to get tickets.

How about a little walking, talking and sipping with your friends, old and new? March 15th, from 5 to 7 pm is the quarterly Sip & Stroll in downtown North Bend. With program and wine or beer glass in hand, guests will stroll from location to location in the charming downtown sampling wine or beer, with all the money raised will benefit a pinning ceremony for the Southwestern Oregon Community College nursing class of 2019. The event starts at Engles Furniture at 5 pm. Why don’t you check out the local restaurants for their specials and make a night of it.

Now is also the time to get ready for that mass of summer visitors we can expect. Saturday March 23rd, SOLV sponsors its spring time Great Ocean Beach Cleanup from 10 am to 1 pm, on many of our local beaches. Over the past decade, SOLV volunteers have kept more than 4,000 tons of debris from entering Oregon waterways and the Pacific Ocean. So, shake off those soggy winter memories and let’s get ready for company along our beautiful coast!

Remember Our Business is helping your Business. And like us on Facebook.

The Chamber Minute 02/23/19

Country singer Aaron Tippin had a song a several years ago entitled, “You got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”. Our Legislative Action Team (LAT) takes that to heart. It’s important for your Chamber to promote those things which give us a positive economic climate to grow your business and create a healthy community for your family.

The LAT has actively participated in every legislative session since 2011. In the 2018 short session, they tracked and worked the bills in support of the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) Legislative Agenda. While we have not been successful in every fight, the Chambers of Commerce in Oregon, are having an impact in Salem.  The LAT, over the past few years, has developed a strong relationship with our legislators through the OSCC Chamber Day at the capitol, twice monthly teleconferences with them which we sponsor with the college, and direct contact with their offices. During the session, our Team meets as many times as necessary, each month, to be timely and effective. The 2019 long session at the legislature has already been filled with challenges for Oregon businesses and communities which the LAT, joining with other Oregon Chambers, has worked to try to resolve favorably for you.   Additionally, your LAT is actively participating in many other local issues, to make a difference for you.

Too often we think if we had more time, assets or help, we could really get something done. I am reminded of an old hymn which says “To the many duties ever near you now be true. Brighten the corner where you are”. So, Chamber member if you want to have an impact give us a call and join the LAT.

Remember “our business is helping your business”. And like us on Facebook

The Chamber Minute. 02/16/19

Customer service is key to the vitality of our community. Businesses strive every day to not only meet, but exceed their customer’s needs. Have you had an outstanding customer service experience at a local store or restaurant that made you want to tell everyone about it? It’s that kind of service the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce honors each quarter with its 5 Star Customer Service Awards. The nominations will be evaluated by the Chamber’s Executive committee. Quarterly awards will be given at our weekly Wednesday Business Connection luncheon. A yearly award for outstanding customer service will be chosen from the year’s winners and given at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet. There is no guarantee, however, that there will be an award for each quarter without your nominations.


Selection criteria include, but are not limited to:

  1. A commitment to customer service. A consistent commitment to customer service. With demonstrable pride in, and ownership of, that organizational culture by all employees.
  2. Customer follow up and product satisfaction. The organization should consistently request and listen to feedback from its customers. With that information they strive to improve their service and the experience for the customer.
  3. Additional Insights. There is always a prompt response to customer requests and keeping to agreed-upon timelines, combined with consistent delivery and quality. Information is always available by all appropriate channels for customers, by understanding how they want to receive that material and providing it. Other key areas of consideration can include: professionalism, knowledge, dependability, attentiveness and innovation.


Nomination forms can be found on the Chamber website, , or stop by the BACC office in Coos Bay. They are simple to fill out, being only a single page.  So, thank you for taking the time to help recognize and celebrate great businesses in our area.

Remember our business is helping your business and like us on Facebook.


The Chamber Minute 02/09/19

Top 10 reasons to join the Chamber: Number 2, Increase your visibility in the community.

As a business person one of the most important things you do is to get the word out about what you produce, its excellent value, your great staff and where you can be found. In today’s world they call that being visible.

As a member, your contact information is in our annual business directory. We produce 5,000 copies each year which are well distributed locally and regionally. Additionally, you are listed on our website, available to those who are seeking your products or services. We also regularly post your announcements to our Facebook page.

Why not be the focus of an evening by holding a Business after Hours at your operation, with two hours to acquaint everyone with what makes you special? Also, our Wednesday Business Connection luncheon gives you many opportunities to promote yourself. Whether it’s the open mic you can use to introduce new staff or products, door prizes provided for drawings at the end of the session or giving a business spotlight.

Visibility comes through sponsorships too. Sponsorships are highlighted in all our activity advertising. Weekly sponsorships are available for WBC. The Economic Outlook forum has numerous spots available, as does our BACC Awards banquet in January. Or maybe you would like to be a participant, bringing your team to our bowling party or golf tourney or the Highway 101 clean up.

How about becoming active in one of our committees like Tourism, Education or Business Development? Not only are you visible in the community, but you are making it a better place to live.

So, come on down and join the team today, for a better tomorrow.

Remember our business is helping your business, and like us on Facebook.

Chamber Minute-02/02/19

Wow, did we have a great evening this past Saturday with the Bay Area Chamber Awards Banquet—Step UP! Wonderful food, unique entertainment featuring a return of the Chamber Pots, and a variety of awards and recognitions which truly make this a community celebration.

Citizen of the year is an honor given to a member of our community who, by consistently giving of their time, energy and resources, has made Oregon’s Bay Area a better place to live. For 2018 that award was given to Jennifer Groth. Besides serving 8 years on the Coos Bay City Council, she actively stepped in many other tough issues important to the community, which included the gas tax increase proposal, the Community Enhancement Plan and county wide tourism. Jennifer has made volunteer service a way of life.

The Business of the Year award is given to a business that has exhibited excellence in products and customer service; contributed time, manpower and resources to community improvement projects; and excelled in employee relations and training. The 2018 award went to 7 Devils Brewing Company, honoring their excellence in business and strong commitment to the community.

Chamber Member of the Year is given to that member, who through their efforts, has carried us to a new level of community service and impact. In 2018 This honor went to Deena Gisholt. She has been a red coated Ambassador, on the Leadership Coos steering committee, an active Membership team organizer, part of the Chamber Board of Directors and an officer for several years. A strong supporter of the Chamber, Deena also encourages her staff to be involved.


Additionally, Nicole Ault, a first-grade teacher at Blossom Gulch Elementary School, was recognized as Educator of the Year. The City Councils of Coos Bay and North Bend received the Community Award as a dedicated group of volunteers doing difficult and sometimes thankless work to keep local government on track for their citizens.

What a great evening! See you at next year’s Banquet on the last Saturday of January.

Remember, our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.


The Chamber Minute. 1/26/19

For the past several months we have talked about the various teams, activities and opportunities the Chamber is involved in. But why be a Chamber member? Periodically, I ask that question of our directors, who are your friends and neighbors. Here’s a little of what they had to say

  • I am active with the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce because I feel strongly that the business community supports one another and works to encourage the growth of our region.  We must get back on a sustainable foundation where we are better able to provide for ourselves.
  • I belong to the Chamber because I like the forward movement I am seeing.  We have moved from a quaint networking group to building a business advocacy powerhouse.  I feel we are making a difference in our area.  Our voice is being heard and we are actively representing our 550 members. We are building connections with key people and businesses to help move this area forward.  We are doing this all while we continue to build our membership providing those key networking opportunities that strengthen our team.
  • I am a chamber member because: 1) I like to stay connected to my peers and important community issues. It makes me feel like I have a voice and can help not only my community, but also my own business. 2) I appreciate the networking and reciprocity that occurs between chamber members. 3) I enjoy participating in community events (social outlet). Being involved allows me to be aware of all the events and participate as I am able.
  • I believe that as a business owner, I have a responsibility to invest my time and money back into the community that supports me and my family. As the community flourishes, so will my business.
  • It is simple.  We are stronger, have more influence and clout when we work together.  We will each be successful when we are all successful.

So, if you want to make a difference for your business and your community, join us today.

Remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.


The Chamber Minute. 01/19/19

A momentous movie, to some of my generation, was Smokey and the Bandit. It introduced us to the Pontiac Trans Am. For over 25 years following that movie, I  collected articles, pictures and books on the TA. I watched its styles and horsepower change. Finally, I found a late model in perfect shape, low miles and a great price. To everyone’s surprise, I brought it.  At long last, a dream realized.

Over the years, your Chamber has been the source of many dreams realized. The Tourism committee began with a focus to extend the seasons people come to visit us. They also believed tourism could become a significant part of our local economy. Their success has proved them right. Leadership Coos was formed to educate community members to the many facets of our area. It also had a goal to help produce the next set of community leaders. Today you find its graduates leading local business, government and agencies. The Wednesday Business Connection Team (WBC) stages a weekly business or community related forum, which draws over 45 participants each week, from September through May. This provides folks networking opportunities, current issue information and political insights. Besides regularly updating the program offerings to be timely and important for you, last year the team redesigned the sponsorship opportunity from monthly to weekly to enable more businesses to have the chance to promote their operations.

So, who will be the next “Wednesday Business Connection”, the new dream realized, of this Chamber year? Our community has many needs and opportunities that you, as a chamber member, can make happen. Come on down and we will find the Team for you.

Remember our business is helping your Business. And like us on facebook.