503. Magazine: Summer 2024

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the salem chamber’s magazine

First Citizen Awards

Uplifting the Salem Community with Servant Leader Spirit

Summer 2024

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Extreme Ownership

How Leaders Can Transform Business Culture with Radical Responsibility

Simply put, my favorite read is Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. My dear friend, Jim Sparkman, handed me a copy in 2019 and my mindset changed shortly thereafter, in a healthy and disciplined way. Jocko Willink explains that extreme ownership is more than a strategy; it’s a mindset shift that changes how we see leadership.

Willink, a highly decorated former Navy SEAL officer and bestselling author, recounts a harrowing incident from Ramadi, Iraq in his 2017 TED Talk. The incident involved a tragic case of friendly fire, where allied forces mistakenly engaged each other. Despite several factors being beyond his control, Willink, as the SEAL team commander, assumed full responsibility for the tragedy. He leverages this experience as a powerful metaphor to underscore the critical importance of leaders embracing complete accountability for their team’s failures and successes alike.

Surprisingly, this approach significantly enhances respect among team members and fosters a culture of effective problemsolving that is unattainable when leaders shy away from ownership. Ultimately, Willink demonstrates that these military skills can be adapted for business to tackle challenges, make bold decisions, and lead with confidence.

Accountability Boosts Trust

The extreme ownership philosophy centers on the belief that true leaders own up to both their failures and successes. Willink,

who supports this idea, says real leaders don’t shift blame or avoid responsibility. They fully accept their mistakes, use them as chances to learn, and build on these lessons for future wins. Leaders who embrace this approach show their true character and strength, creating a trustworthy and accountable atmosphere.

This mindset leads to better communication within teams and fosters a culture aimed at constant improvement. Such an environment not only pushes individuals to excel but also helps the whole organization reach its goals more effectively. High-performing leaders demonstrate a growth mindset, understanding that failure is a part of development. When leaders own their mistakes, they show their humanity and willingness to learn from errors.

How to Role Model High Standards

The concept of extreme ownership is all about setting high standards and leading by example. It means expecting the best from your team

and showing them how it’s done through your actions. Leaders who adopt these principles create an environment that values problemsolving and a strong commitment to achieving goals with precision and excellence.

This kind of leadership pushes teams to exceed their preconceived limits, making sure everyone knows their role and works hard for collective success. In the fast-paced world of operating a business and managing employees, leaders can overlook their own development. The kind of accountability Willink promotes comes from leaders who are highly self-aware. Professional leadership development, in addition to personal practices such as a disciplined morning routine or time off, ensures leaders are rested and ready to lead.

The Takeaway

Switching to extreme ownership can greatly enhance team and business performance. It requires leaders to be more proactive, accountable, and committed to truly developing and empowering their team members. This approach is hands-on, with leaders setting the pace and encouraging their teams to reach high. Extreme ownership also means building trust and transparency, treating mistakes as lessons, and finding success together. It is an honor to partner with our 25-person volunteer Board of Directors team, alongside our skilled professional staff team. 503.

Summer 2024 3


4 SalemChamber.org President’s Message............... 6 Directors & Staff ......................... 8 Spotlight: Chuck E. Cheese ... 10 73rd First Citizen Awards Provides Optimistic Vision for Salem................................... 12 Spotlight: Rose City Balloons.... ........................................................... 16 Spotlight: Heritage Grove Federal Credit Union ............ 17 2024 (So Far) Event Photo Gallery .......................... 20 Ambassador of the Quarter... 22 @salemchamber salem_chamber @salemchamber 401 Oak St., Silverton, OR 97381 P.O. Box 927, Mount Angel, OR 97362 503.845.9499 www.mtangelpub.com 503. is published quarterly by Mt. Angel Publishing, Inc., proud Chamber member. Publisher: Paula Mabry Project Manager: Tavis Bettoli-Lotten Advertising Graphics: Steve Beckner To advertise in the next issue, contact Advertising Executive: Jerry Stevens 541.944.2820 • jerry.s@mtangelpub.com 16 1110 Commercial St. NE Salem OR 97301 503.581.1466 www.salemchamber.org
This stacked logo is the tertiary logo option for the Salem Chamber. Utilize this option for instances where the space available is more fitting for a square orientation. the salem chamber’s magazine
Above: Rose City Balloons Owner Betsy Vega and family. Cover: Awardees of the 73rd Annual First Citizen Awards Banquet: Conrad Venti, Sam Skillern, Kathy Gordon, and Barry Nelson.
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Welcome Newest Chamber Members Feb.

360 Events NW

American Red Cross, The Anthem Wealth Strategies

B’s Plate

Cal’s Moving & Storage

Checkpoint 221

Clutch Industries

Contract Interiors, LLC

Crush Wine Tours

Don’t Lose Hope Screen Print, LLC

Grindstone Pizza Co., LLC (dba Domino’s Pizza)

Havenrose Real Estate


Heritage Grove Federal Credit Union

Inside 9 Golf, LLC


Little Bird Advising Co.

Magoo’s Sports Bar

Managing Wellness of Salem – South

McCulloughs’ Moving and More

Mortgage Marketplace, LLC

Olson Insurance Group

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Onward Health & Wellness, LLC

Parkside Nutrition

PNW Pizza, LLC

Punx with Purpose

RiverCity Rock Star Academy, LLC

Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. (dba Campbell’s Snacks) (Kettle Brand – Salem)

To The Ceiling Entertainment

Tradesmen International

West Hills Vineyards

Interested in joining the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce?

For more information, contact Membership Manager Michelle Terzenbach at michelle@salemchamber.org

When you join the team at Salem Health, you become part of something bigger than yourself. We change lives every day with our commitment to Care with Respect.

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Top In-Demand Skills in 2024

What job skills are crucial to navigate the challenges of 2024? Bernard Marr, a best-selling author, esteemed futurist, and Forbes contributor, asserts that possessing the right skills within your team is critical for employers. He highlights the importance of skills that adapt to the ever-evolving demands of our time, emphasizing their value in staying relevant and successful.


AI Challenge & Opportunity

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) brings both significant challenges and exciting opportunities for businesses of all kinds. On one side, incorporating AI into business operations requires substantial investments in technology and training, while also navigating complex ethical and privacy considerations. On the flip side, AI unlocks incredible potential for innovation, empowering businesses to analyze vast datasets for informed decision-making. It can also automate daily tasks for greater efficiency and personalize customer experiences on a large scale. Thus, while AI presents challenges that need careful handling, its capabilities pave the way for reshaping business practices and reaching new heights of success.

Project Management in the Age of Technology

In the era of AI, project management becomes a key skill, holding things together to ensure tech works well for businesses. Good project managers not only launch AI solutions but also get the human-tech connection. They

play a vital role in making AI tools boost human interactions, keeping tech and human skills in sync at work. Leading teams, strategy execution, and clear communication are crucial as companies blend AI without losing the human touch that sparks innovation, creativity, and client satisfaction.

Communication Remains a Top Skill

In today’s rapidly changing economy, communication skills are becoming increasingly vital for employees in all industries. As AI technologies integrate and the need for collaborative and adaptive work settings grows, the importance of effective communication rises. Clear and concise communication not only improves team dynamics and technology integration but also bridges gaps between diverse working groups and global clients. Moreover, with remote work and digital platforms prevailing, the demand for strong virtual communication skills is more critical than ever, emphasizing adaptability and emotional intelligence for productivity and innovation.


IQ is a Company Asset

Networking is a crucial business skill that goes beyond industries and job roles. It lays the groundwork for successful careers and companies, letting professionals forge relationships that open doors to career growth and a vast pool of resources and knowledge. Effective networking fosters collaboration and innovation by facilitating idea exchange, mentorship, and staying updated on industry trends. Those skilled in networking often navigate

negotiations, influence decisions, and build trust with ease among colleagues and clients, highlighting its importance in the modern business landscape.

Cybersecurity for Small Business

For small businesses, cybersecurity is crucial, especially in today’s digital age. Smaller enterprises, often seen as prime targets by cybercriminals, must focus on safeguarding their digital assets to protect their reputation, finances, and customer trust. Outsourcing cybersecurity services can be a smart choice, granting access to expert knowledge, advanced tech, and continuous monitoring. By partnering with cybersecurity professionals, small businesses can bolster their defenses while staying focused on growth, turning cybersecurity challenges into opportunities to strengthen their market position.

The Takeaway

As we move forward into an increasingly digital era, the blend of technology and essential human skills is becoming the foundation of thriving in the modern workplace. Skills such as effective communication, project management, and a robust social IQ, coupled with a comprehensive understanding of AI and cybersecurity, are becoming indispensable assets for individuals and businesses alike. By fostering these skills, both employers and job seekers can compete and excel in a dynamic job market that values innovation, adaptability, and human-centric technology integration. 503.

6 SalemChamber.org
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Your Chamber





WillScot Mobile Mini



VIP’s Industries

Past President


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Vice President –Membership


First Commercial Real Estate



Chief Executive Officer



Operations Director

Vice President – Advocacy



Castro Monroy Group

Vice President – Events & Programming

KATYA MENDEZ Northwestern Mutual


STEPHEN JOYE Fischer, Hayes, Joye & Allen, LLC

Secretary BRANDON BLAIR Summit Wealth Management


Marketing & Communications Manager


Administrative Professional

Member Services



Willamette Valley Bank


Rich Duncan Construction

JEFF DUNN Lineage Logistics


State Farm Insurance


South Town Glass



Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant

DAN M c DOWELL Pioneer Trust Bank


Coldwell Banker Commercial

TYSON PRUETT DPW Certified Public Accountants



ROBERTSON Q’s Corner Barbershop


McLaran Leadership Foundation Program Director



Let’s celebrate! Ribbon Cuttings are a complimentary service the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce provides to members at the Connector level and above that have just started a new business, have moved to a new location, or recently undergone a remodel. As the business owner, you have the option of making this event as simple or as elaborate as you wish.

Be sure to fill out a request form at salemchamber.org/ ribboncuttingform to book your date now!

RANDALL SUTTON Saalfeld Griggs, P.C.


JIM VU Core Solutions Consulting

ANGELA WILLIAMS Huggins Insurance Services, Inc.


CHRIS THOMPSON Workforce Development Specialist



Greeters is the largest and most active business networking opportunity in the Salem area. Greeters is available to all Salem Area Chamber of Commerce members (and their employees). Applications are due a week from booking your date. Requests are taken on a first-come basis. Members will be put on a wait list once the calendar year is full. Members can host Greeters once in a calendar year. salemchamber.org/host-greeters-application

8 SalemChamber.org
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Chuck E. Cheese

Instantly recognizable to children and families of almost any generation, Chuck E. Cheese has become one of the country’s most well-known and beloved restaurant franchises since being founded in 1977. Today, Chuck E. Cheese remains a top destination for children’s entertainment, birthday parties, gaming, and family fun, while also evoking nostalgia from local adults who formed lasting memories as kids at their favorite Chuck E. Cheese location.

For families in Salem, the Chuck E. Cheese at 3240 Lancaster Drive NE has been a primary source of fun times and memorable moments since 1983. Founded by the local Meinert family, this family-owned Salem franchise is now operated by the husband-and-wife team of Ian and Vicky Meinert

With a deep passion for serving the Salem community, the current owners have proudly represented the Chuck E. Cheese brand and the Meinert family since purchasing the business in 2017, following Ian’s father’s passing. For the Meinerts, continuing their family’s remarkable legacy of service — to both the community and its loyal employees — makes running the business a special endeavor.

“I think our Chuck E. Cheese is unique in the fact that it’s been operated by a local family for 40 years,” said Ian Meinert. “We promote from within and have very little turnover.”

For Ian, the business has been an integral part of his life since the age of 14 when he began washing dishes and making pizzas as his first job. A few years later, he began learning all of the areas inside the business, and in 2005, took on the role of General Manager and had the opportunity to work even more closely with his

father. As the business’s co-owner today, Ian has a deeper appreciation for that time, which shaped him as a leader.

“I learned a lot from my dad regarding the business operations,” he said. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with him and help grow the business.”

The business’s recent growth can also be largely attributed to Ian’s wife and business partner, Vicky, who still works part-time as a nurse at Salem Health while handling all of the marketing and event coordination of the business. She and Ian first met while working at Chuck E. Cheese together and their strong partnership has created a warm and welcoming environment, not only for customer families, but their own family too, as several of Vicky's siblings, nieces, and nephews have come to work at the restaurant over the years.

“I love working with our team to help make positive memories for kids when they come to CEC,” Ian said about his staff, which includes 35-50 employees (depending on the season). “I take a lot of pride in what we do and understand that there are many people out there that are big fans of Chuck E. Cheese.”

As longtime residents of Salem themselves, Ian and Vicky have always held a deep appreciation for the community support they have received — especially amidst the challenges that the COVID-19 Pandemic presented — and love nothing more than to pay it forward at every opportunity by hosting fundraising events and by supporting other local organizations.

“We work hard to bring schools in for fundraisers,” Ian said. “A fun night out with students and staff ultimately results in funds back to the schools.

In the 2023-2024 school year, we will have given back $35,000 to SalemKeizer Public Schools. Also, we support Hoopla, Capital Fútbol Club (CFC), the Salem Capitals, the YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Salem Public Library.”

The Meinerts say the Chamber has helped them make more connections and get even more involved in the community. They were quick to credit Greeters Co-Chair Zak Stone of Zak Stone Photography for encouraging them to join. They say their favorite part of being a member is getting to meet people they otherwise would not have.

With the business always looking forward, Ian says his Chuck E. Cheese play area is adding new attractions just in time for the busy summer months, including trampolines and new arcade games. And of course, the food and fun atmosphere will continue to be draws for both kids and adults.

“We look forward to continuing to improve our business and providing our employees with opportunities to learn and grow,” he said.

Visit chuckecheese.com and select the Salem location to see all of the business’s summer offers, fun events, online store, and more. 503.

10 SalemChamber.org
The Meinert family having fun in the Chuck E. Cheese ticket blaster.
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73rd Annual First Citizen Awards

Uplifting the Salem Community with Hope, Optimism, and Servant Leader Spirit

On April 13, 2024, the annual celebration of servant leadership honored four esteemed Salem leaders while providing a prevailing message of hope, a positive sense of community camaraderie, and a powerful reminder of Salem’s strengths.

During an election year when it’s not difficult to find the community issues and points of view that differentiate us, the 73rd Annual First Citizen Awards Banquet, presented by the Mountain West Center for Community Excellence and Pioneer Trust Bank, provided a welcome beacon of light and a reminder of what Salem can accomplish when leaders build bridges to connect us and create positive change.

One could not deny the palpable feelings of unified joy and pride that circulated the Willamette River Room at the Salem Convention Center on the evening of April 13. There, nearly 500 community members gathered to celebrate the tradition of the prestigious awards, but more importantly, the selfless leaders who had earned them and the community strengthened by those leaders’ decades of service to Salem.

Featuring live music by the Manny Martinez Jazz Quartet, a record-worthy rendition of the National Anthem by Jessica Peterson (Be-BLAC Foundation), and heartwarming video surpsrises, the entertaining and inspiring event honored commercial real estate broker and downtown restaurateur Conrad Venti, local wealth advisor and Salem Rotary Amphitheater project lead Barry Nelson, longtime CPA and McLaran Leadership Foundation Board President Kathy Gordon, and retiring Salem Leadership Foundation Executive Director

Sam Skillern. In between the profound moments of gratitude, community synergy, and messages of hope expressed by the awardees, the charismatic duo of Alex Casebeer and Rich Schultz (each a past Outstanding Young Professional award recipient) also brought levity and sincere heart to the crowd as the event’s masters of ceremonies.

Conrad Venti Named Outstanding Young Professional After recognizing the past Outstanding Young Professionals in the room (including emcees Casebeer and Schultz), First Commercial Real Estate’s Conrad Venti was named the 2024 Outstanding Young Professional and joined a proud fraternity of under-40

12 SalemChamber.org
Rich Schultz and Alex Casebeer host the evening. Photos by Zak Stone Photography.

leaders who have made a significant impact with their philanthropic and volunteer efforts.

Known to many locals for his restaurant ventures (including Basil & Board), which have added vibrancy and infused economic stability to downtown Salem, Venti was recognized for his many community advocacy activities and non-profit board service. Many of his award nominators and supporters in the room expressed admiration, not only for his ability to serve Salem in so many capacities (teaching financial literacy at the Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry and serving the Isaac’s Room Board) but that he has been able to do so while being a devoted father to five children and a mentor to many others.

“Don’t take on more than you can do well,” Venti said, recounting some of his life lessons. “Keep your promises and carry out your day and tasks with integrity. People don’t need something flashy, they need someone who will show up for them and truly do their best. Serve those around you, not just people with position, but those with needs. Share your resources and help them make connections with people in our community who can partner with them. Our city does this really well.”

Barry Nelson Recognized with Distinguished Service Award

Having served as the event’s emcee just a year ago, Capital Financial Planners Co-Owner Barry Nelson felt the gratitude and honor exuding from last year’s awardees while standing alongside them on the stage. This year, he had the opportunity to experience those feelings himself as he received a Distinguished Service Award for helping catalyze the

Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater project and for his service to the youth sports community as a respected and nationallyrecognized baseball umpire.

“I have always believed that one should endeavor to leave this world better than they found it,” Nelson said. “I’ve also generally found that most projects, be they business, home improvement, or community engagement activities, are achievable. But the hardest part is starting.”

“Dare to dream big, take action, and start,” Nelson said in his closing remarks after thanking and crediting many of our community’s nonprofits and advocates for doing just that.

Kathy Gordon Honored with Distinguished Service Award Having participated in the selection and recognition process for many other First Citizen awardees over the years as a Salem Chamber Board member and Past President, Kathy Gordon also fully understood the meaning and significance of the honor, which is why she was humbled to receive that recognition herself.

Foundation, and her leadership of the McLaran Leadership Foundation, among others.

“It is the collective effort of everyone in this room tonight, whether you cook a meal for someone in need, you are a board member, you head up a non-profit organization, or you take a risk to be a business owner,” Gordon said. “We all contribute our time, talents, and treasure to make Salem an amazing community each and every day.”

Sam Skillern Named Salem’s First Citizen

Following an inspiring tribute video, which included highlights from his extraordinary career and interviews with colleagues, family, and friends, Sam Skillern accepted the night’s highest honor as Salem’s First Citizen.

As a partner with Aldrich CPAs + Advisors for more than 30 years and in her current role as a CPA with RP Smith CPA PC, Gordon has spent her career serving small businesses and individuals with expert tax strategies and planning. However, the award shone an even brighter spotlight on her volunteer roles, which include board service for children’s advocacy non-profit Liberty House, the Salem Health

As the Executive Director of the Salem Leadership Foundation since the organization’s inception in 1996, Skillern was recognized for a career of service to Salem, during which he’s helped build collaborative bridges between the city’s faith, education, business, and government institutions to address community issues.

The sheer volume of programs and community initiatives that SLF has started or participated in during Skillern’s tenure was simply overwhelming, as was the raucous response from the crowd as Skillern took the stage. He then engaged the audience with his unwavering belief that Salem could become a true city of peace and prosperity, a city he has always referred to as “The City of Shalom.”

“This room is full of people of faith and people of goodwill,” Skillern said. “Imagine what we can do together if we put down our differences and engage in relationships.

Summer 2024 13

If we build bridges instead of tearing the other side down, and if we show

and stick with it, Salem-Keizer will become the healthiest community in Oregon, truly a city of Shalom. I believe, and join me!”

The Salem Community is Stronger Together

All of this year’s First Citizen Awards recipients exemplified the power of working together and the incredible impact a collaborative community approach can have in creating positive change. Join us in congratulating them for inspiring us to believe in a better Salem and thank you to everyone who joined us at the 73rd Annual First Citizen Awards Banquet!

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Rose City Balloons

Driven by passionate energy and built by a creative spirit, Rose City Balloons is truly one of its kind in our business community, specializing in custom balloon displays, structures, garlands, arches, and more for any and all types of celebrations.

That creative spirit at the center is founder and owner Betsy Vega, whose vision and natural talent for design led to an original business idea.

“I have always been a creative person,” Vega said. “My forte was sewing and knitting my own clothes when I was a teenager. When I became a mom, I began decorating my kids’ parties and then my coworker’s cubicles and church events, until one day, a coworker said, ‘Hey, you could make money doing this.’”

With encouragement and support from friends and family, Vega started B.R. Konexion LLC in 2015 from her home with a mission to “create smiles one balloon at a time by enhancing the parties of those we touch.” While Vega rebranded the business to Rose City Balloons

in 2021 to develop a more linear association with the business’s services, that mission has remained the same over Vega’s nine years in business in Salem.

Although Vega acknowledges there are others in the area creating do-ityourself balloon displays, she says her business sets itself apart with its commitment to using sustainable products and its specific attention to the client’s needs. But what makes Rose City Balloons all the more special is Vega’s artistic ability to create any custom design a client can dream up.

“I love the impact balloons have on people and I love to see them smile when they see a beautiful creation,” Vega said about what she enjoys most. “I feel responsible when I deliver an installation, as I feel it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event because those pictures last forever. Therefore, I make sure that it is the best possible display."

Shortly after rebranding the business, Vega opened a brick-and-mortar store inside the 45th Parallel building in Northeast Salem and has since relocated her shop to 160 Chemawa Road in Keizer, where she will continue to make dream celebrations a reality for customers in the area.

“I am looking forward to continuing serving our community as a unique international balloon artist and by providing professionalgrade biodegradable products to anyone who loves to decorate with balloons!” Vega said.

Learn more about Rose City Balloons, see more of its incredible creations, and place online orders by visiting rosecityballoonsusa.com 503.

16 SalemChamber.org BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Check out our expanded online services at www.cityofsalem.net Building permit applications Submit a police report Municipal Court forms Land use applications Utility bills • Salem Public Library Center 50+ and more. ONLINE SERVICES
Rose City Balloons Owner Betsy Vega.

Heritage Grove

As a community financial institution with each member’s unique needs squarely in its focus, Heritage Grove Federal Credit Union understands that a “one-size-fits-all approach to saving, lending, and investing just doesn’t work.” Instead, Heritage Grove takes an individualized approach to banking in communities that appreciate, but more importantly, require a more personal touch.

By putting its members first, the institution has grown its business from $40,000 in founding member assets to over $150 million since it was originally chartered as Oregon Employees Federal Credit Union in 1964. While it has proudly served state employees in Salem since its founding, Heritage Grove’s more recent growth has allowed it to expand its services

Federal Credit Union

Heritage Grove Federal Credit Union team outside of the branch.

to residents of Benton, Clackamas, Marion, Polk, Washington, Multnomah, and Yamhill Counties.

“We love providing innovative financial

services to help members achieve their financial dreams,” said Vice President of Marketing Kirsten Conway. “It could be a member’s first debit/ checking account or savings account, financing a loan, helping with financial education, or developing a plan to help resolve a financial issue.”

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Despite increased interest rates presenting some challenges in lending, Heritage Grove’s membercentered approach and commitment to exceptional service provide it with the agility to find opportunities to save members money — including through refinancing current loans. For Heritage Grove and its 31 employees at its Salem branch (located at 631 Winter Street NE), the work is driven by Heritage Grove’s mission: “Standing tall to deliver value and innovative financial solutions to our community, one member at a time.”

Heritage Grove is fulfilling that mission every day by building and growing each member relationship based on its core values, which include “Confidence, Dedication,

Improvement, Respect, Integrity, and Inclusion.” By leading with these values for decades, Heritage Grove has earned the loyalty and trust of, not only its members, but also of local residents, like-minded organizations, and community partners.

“The Salem community has supported Heritage Grove throughout the past 60 years,” said Community Relations Officer Sam Parra. “We are forever grateful for our local communities’ support! We support a variety of local non-profits, including Marion Polk Food Share, State Forests Trust of Oregon, and local grade-school events.”

As Heritage Grove continues to make powerful connections within

the community — including with fellow Salem Chamber members at weekly Greeters meetings — it looks forward to serving even more Oregonians in the future by providing access to its impressive suite of digital tools, mobile banking app, and budgeting and financial education resources.

“We know that, for many people, banking is a chore,” said President & CEO Jim Mau. “At Heritage Grove Credit Union, we understand that our members’ time is valuable and strive to make banking fast, easy, and as enjoyable as possible.”

Learn more about Heritage Grove Federal Credit Union and its services by visiting ourgrovecu.com 503.

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Summer 2024 19 For more than fifty years, Aldrich has helped Oregon businesses and individuals meet their financial goals. We’ll help you find the way Copyright © 2024 Aldrich Services LLP. All rights reserved. aldrichadvisors.com Tax, Accounting, + Audit Capital + Transactions Wealth Management Corporate Retirement Scan to learn more about Aldrich’s services Go with a name you know. Many of you know us, we’re Chris McLaran, T.J. Sullivan, and Chad Neal. We have been involved in the Salem area for years. You can expect the same care and concern that we bring to improving and protecting the Salem community is the same care and concern we will bring to protecting your household and your business. We know the Willamette Valley and are best suited to help you with all your insurance needs. Call us at 503.344.1300 or visit us at HaganHamilton.com
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TheYearSoFar 2024

We thank our incredible Salem Chamber Members for coming out to the many events we’ve hosted so far in 2024. Thank you for supporting the business community and your fellow members!

Visit salemchamber.org to see the Event Calendar, which shows you when and where you can join us this year!

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CHris Jones Scott Ryan Robert Bierma Gary Weston Shadya JOnes David Schacher Mindy Kaur Reuben Worster Shelley George Jeff Miller Kelsi Sands Pam Rushing Alex Rhoten Melissa ROdriguez BEN MORRIS
Summer 2024 21 MAKE A DIFFERENCE 50+ Programs | Online & On Campus | Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees Salem, OR | www.corban.edu Events pictured include: Greeters, Chamber Business Women, Forum Speaker Series, First Citizen Awards Banquet, and SAIF Agri-Business Banquet.


Greyson Mathews Eames

Personable, outgoing, and enthusiastic, Greyson Mathews Eames has all the ideal personality traits of a Salem Chamber Ambassador, a role that he proudly moved into about two years ago after serving as a Greeters Co-Chair for several years prior. Although Greyson is a natural connector and talented networker, his ability to relate to and welcome Chamber newcomers is what truly makes him a great Ambassador.

“My favorite part [of being an Ambassador] is meeting new people at Greeters and introducing them to the concept that is Greeters and the Chamber as a whole,” Greyson said. “Most folks have the same look in their eyes that I did at my first 100-plusperson networking meeting, and it can be really daunting. I enjoy grabbing them by the shirt collar and introducing them to as many people as I can and getting them started.”

Like many of our most active and engaged businesspeople, Greyson’s own introduction to Salem’s networking scene was born from a series of learning and personal growth experiences. Greyson first moved to Salem to attend Willamette University in 2008 as he pursued a career as a music educator, and although he found out it wasn’t ultimately the right path for him, the experience marked a starting point in his own journey of self-discovery.

“I learned that it’s much better to take what you can from each chapter of your life and find a way to apply it differently,” Greyson said. “I don’t have a degree, but I

still have four years of education and working with students. Too many times, I’ve observed that there’s not much difference between talking to teenagers and adults. We’re all still learning how to walk in some ways.”

Greyson’s openness and life-long learner approach have served him well in building relationships in Salem while also opening doors to new and exciting opportunities, which Greyson has grabbed hold of by building off each past experience. While he has worked in several different fields and industries, Greyson’s various client and customer-facing positions at The Sassy Onion, New York Life Insurance, Solid Roofing NW, and now, Dominguez Accounting, have all provided him with new professional tools and ways to engage with the community.

"Much of what I’ve taken from one position has led heavily into the next, and mostly it’s how you treat people, and most of that is how I’ve been treated,” Greyson said. “I can’t say much of who I am now is terribly original. I’ve just taken my favorite parts of my mentors and done my best to incorporate them wherever I go. One may be surprised how successful you can be by just building people up. I’ve been lucky enough at this point to work for employers who value that as well and have built me up.”

Greyson credits his employers, such as former Sassy Onion owner Dave Boyles, current Sassy Onion Owner Kevin Boyles, and Dominguez Accounting Owner Connie Dominguez with allowing him to play to his strengths and

encouraging him to get more involved. In his Ambassador role, he feels fortunate that he gets to impart those same values and messages to Chamber members at every function and community gathering.

“The Salem Chamber is such a fascinating organization because I haven’t found anything that really replicates the sensation of being involved the way that it does,” Greyson said. “There really is a community built on its foundation.”

Being the true community connector and builder he is, Greyson is involved in a multitude of organizations outside of the Chamber, including as the Event Lead of the Salem branch of the American Cancer Society, as the Past President of Salem Business Builders, and as a member of the World Beat Dragon Boat Race team for children’s advocacy non-profit Liberty House

When not volunteering or serving the community, Greyson enjoys singing karaoke, recharging at home with his family, and grabbing a cup of coffee with friends. On that note, Greyson says, “If you’re reading this and we haven’t gotten coffee yet, or it’s been a while, then we need to!” 503.

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