Incoming chamber president hopes to collaborate
A desire to be involved in the Estacada community led Brent Dodrill to the Estacada City Council and eventually the mayor's seat. Now, he will lead the Estacada Chamber of Commerce as the organization's president.
"I want to be helpful in any way I can," said Dodrill, who is also pastor at Estacada First Baptist Church.
Dodrill joined the chamber's board of directors approximately six months ago when a spot opened up. He was unanimously elected president at the group's December meeting and succeeds Bennett Johnson of Fearless Brewing Company, who had been president for two years.
"Bennett did an amazing job of moving things in the right direction. The Chamber is in a very good place, and there aren't a lot of problems to be fixed," Dodrill said. "I hope to move things in the same good direction."
As chamber president, Dodrill hopes to continue promoting member businesses and increase collaboration with other local groups. He added that there are many opportunities for "good collaboration."
"With the changes to the EDA, there's a period of reorganization," he said, referencing the Estacada Development Association's switch to the Downtown Estacada Commission. "That allows the Chamber to step in and see how we can work with the new commission."
Dodrill also noted that the Chamber's board of directors hopes to see the number of members increase from 150 to 180 in the next year.
"I think that's doable with the growth in the community," he said, adding that he would like to work with home-based businesses in addition to traditional ones. "I would love to see (the home-based businesses) more economically viable. There are a lot of cottage industries — artists, and all kinds of different people. I want to support them in taking their businesses to the next level."
Additionally, Dodrill hopes to strengthen communication with Chamber members.
"(We want to know) how better to assist them," he said, noting that more ways for members to communicate to Chamber leadership could be valuable.
Dodrill added that the Chamber of Commerce will continue to host events such as the Spring Gala, the Trade Fair and Community Recognition Ceremony. Another continued focus will be encouraging residents to shop local.
"As a bedroom community, the challenge we face is people spend spend a lot of time traveling to Portland," he said. "The challenge is, how do we make buying things in Estacada a good thing for residents? We have great businesses."
One potential future project for the Chamber that Dodrill is excited about television advertisements to market the city of Estacada and all of the businesses it offers.
"We've gotten grants for radio ads the past few years, and we want to see about getting grants for television ads," he said.
Dodrill added that Estacada's growth makes it an exciting time to be involved with the Chamber.
"With the (increasing) population, I would love to see the Chamber members be able to marketed," he said.