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Woodburn's new economic development specialist, Amanda Setzer, hit the ground running with Fiesta Mexicana

Getting immersed in your work right out of the gate can either be a formidable experience or an invigorating one.

For the city of Woodburn's newest economic development team member, Amanda Setzer, it proved to be the latter.

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Amanda Setzer

"We told her she was being baptized by Fiesta," Economic Development Director Jamie Johnk jested.

One of the biggest events of the year in town occurs the first weekend in August, Fiesta Mexicana, and Amanda was thrown into the mix working throughout the event.

"It was really fun; I love events," said Setzer, the city's new economic development specialist.

Setzer moves into the position formerly held by Maricela Guerrero prior to her promotion to community relations manager. Upon starting in Woodburn, Setzer was still finishing up tasks were her job at the YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties. So she becomes officially a full-time Woodburn employee on Aug. 19.

She beams with energy at the opportunity and the town it will unfold in.

Setzer has some familial roots with the city: her mother, Wendy (Lund) Setzer, grew up in the area and graduated from Woodburn High School. She and Guy Stetzer, Amanda's father, currently live in West Salem.

Amanda Setzer roots are varied.

"I don't really know where to say I'm from," she explained. "I've lived in so many places for about the same amount of time: I was born in Salem and lived there about 7 ½ years; 7 ½ years in Denver; 8 years in Kentucky."

A 2014 graduate of Western Kentucky University, Amanda Setzer studied Spanish, sociology and nonprofit administration. She spent a year in a small Costa Rican town teaching. She also spent time studying abroad in Chile. Those experiences served as acute tools for sharpening her Spanish.

"You don't really have a choice if you want to eat or get somewhere or have any kind of a friendship -- you better learn it," Stetzer said.

It's a skill that should continue to serve her well in her new role in Woodburn, where she will be charged with a wide-variety of tasks.

"A primary element (to the position) is tourism, where there's a big opportunity for Woodburn; it's an (inviting) place to visit and shop here," Johnk said. "This position will take a lead in promoting that."

Setzer will monitor and update the Travel Woodburn website as Guerrero did previously.

Johnk said other principal duties include downtown business outreach, which includes beautification and restoration of the facades with the active urban renewal programs currently underway; helping to develop and provide support in the city's industrial district, and hosting events.

"We (economic development) went from having a support staff to having versatile staff with considerable project management skills," Johnk said, referencing Stetzer's hire and Guerrero's promotion.

Setzer welcomes the charge.

"I like being in Woodburn and being involved with something; it's an opportunity to have a hands-on role in the community and be a player in the community and not just living there," she said. "I look forward to making changes, in a good way; making changes in whatever way that may be, business and tourism."


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