I bet you’re expecting I’m going to write an article on setting goals, or a resolution, or something new. But, I think that’s been overdone.

Instead, how about an update? So far I’ve completed 43 conversations on the Listening Tour. The experience has been great. I’ve heard some fantastic insights and I’ve heard some tough input. But, no matter the conversation I’ve been greatly pleased with the level of honesty and openness. The conversations have covered a plethora of topics, yet there are a few that have surfaced more than others so I thought I would address them briefly here:

1. What does the Chamber do?: This is actually a common question around the nation and one that every Chamber of Commerce is working on answering. Our answer right now is, “What do you need?” We are still working on being the best support system for you we can be. We can provide contacts, insight, advocacy, education…you name it. But it is not until a members says, “I have an idea…” or “Do you do…” that we are made aware of the wants and needs of members. So help us answer this question by telling us what you need.

2. How do I get involved?: There is a strong sense that if you can’t attend events, then you can’t do any good for the chamber and the chamber won’t do you much
good. This is so very far from the truth. I asked my mentor

once, when I had been asked to serve on a board of a non-profit, what I should do and how I should choose. He said, “Choose to be involved with what you are passionate for, because when the schedule gets full you will find it easier to be present at something you care deeply about.” The same is true for your involvement in the Chamber. We have committees and groups that are involved in a LOT of stuff around this area like: Turkey Rama, Marketing, Scavenger Hunt, Fall Festival workgroup, Leadership McMinnville, Business and Education Partnership, Programs and Events, 4th of July Task Force, Tourism Development and Promotion, etc… If you ever find yourself wondering about a nagging issue, or thinking something needs to happen in town, then call and share it with us. We probably know which group of ours is involved, or what group in the area is tackling the issue, or best of all we will find out for you! It’s like one stop shopping!

3. The MDA and the Chamber need to work together better: I’ve heard this a lot. Consider it done. I’ve had fantastic meetings with Cassie Sollars who is an amazing woman and leader. She has graciously gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome and to share her insights. I think what you will see coming from the partnership with MDA and the Chamber in the future will be an amazing example of two groups working in harmony to produce outstanding products.

Those are three brief takeaways from my conversations so far. There will be more as I have more fantastic conversations. If we haven’t spoken in person yet then I would really like to meet with you. Please email me at and we will set up a meeting.

Best Regards,

McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce – President/CEO, Nathan Knottingham