Chamber gains new officers

Leaders plan to bring new ideas to the community

— New leaders have taken the helm of the Brewster Chamber of Commerce, after six members – including all four officers – announced their resignations in August.

The new officers and another new member were appointed Oct. 1.

They are President Karl Word, Brewster native and owner of Quik Auto Clinic in Chelan; Vice President Shan Miller, owner of Sweet T’s Man Cave, 400 W. Indian Ave.; Secretary Alex Thomason, owner of Thomason Law and Justice, 201 S. Bridge St.; Treasurer Sabrina O’Connell, owner of Brewster Marketplace, 907 U.S. Highway 97, and board member Greg Austin, Brewster High School’s athletic director.

“The same people have been the chamber officers for 15-30 years, and I found out they were basically going to fold the chamber up because no one was going to step up to be officers,” Word said.

“The old board is just very excited that there were community members and business owners and chamber members that stepped up to the plate and are willing to keep the chamber going and will bring new insight and goals and ideas to the chamber,” outgoing Secretary Rebecca Meadows said.

The new members have replaced Meadows, former President Janet Jordan, Vice President Toni Tretwold, Treasurer Coleen Couch and board members Nell Duck and Becky Smith.

The veteran members who will stay on are Eric Driessen, J.D. Smith, Dan Webster and Pedro DeLaCerda.

“I think it’s really positive,” Webster said. “I’m kind of impressed that people have rallied around when it looked like we were going into a dormant or holding pattern mode.”

The chamber’s Oct. 1 meeting would ordinarily be the last for the year, Meadows said, but the new board plans to meet again soon to discuss the future direction.

“We want to get back to the grassroots of promoting the businesses, and everything else will fall in place,” Word said.

Some new ideas include getting state highway signs to point visitors to some amenities; implementing new programs like Business After Hours, a monthly gathering of local business owners that Word said has been successful in Chelan; and possibly reviving Christmas on the Columbia and Bonanza Days.

Word said he wants the chamber to be fun yet productive, and find new ways to get customers back into the shops.

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