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Woodburn Chamber of Commerce's new director hits the ground running, having served as interim director since Aug. 1

Woodburn Chamber of Commerce announced that John Zobrist has been named as its executive director.COURTESY OF JOHN ZOBRIST - John Zobrist

Zobrist hits the ground running as he has been serving as the interim director since Aug. 1, following former director Stuart Rogers.

Zobrist said the post comes with a lot of tasks attached to it, some of which have been ongoing, such as business outreaches and getting a pulse on the community's amenability to a business resource center.

"I'm really excited to give back to the business community that has supported me for so many years," Zobrist said.

Raised in Central Oregon, Zobrist has been part of the Woodburn community since 1991 when he moved to town from Wilsonville. He owned and operated a recording studio, published "NW Biker" magazine, worked in business-to-business sales and advertising.

The new director also served on the chamber board, as a chamber ambassador and is a past president of the Woodburn Rotary.

Chamber President Stephanie Wells said Zobrist was selected from a pool of 18 applicants. Chamber officials used a scoring process to whittle the field down to four, then to two. She said it was a necessarily painstaking, transparent process.

"John was vetted more heavily than any of the other candidates," Wells said. "We didn't want somebody to come back to us and (claim cronyism). He was the best candidate for the job."COURTESY OF STEPHANIE WELLS - Woodburn Chamber of Commerce 2020 President Stephanie Wells

Wells feels the current complexion and direction of the chamber is robust, and Zobrist can be a key to maintaining that momentum.

"We have a really strong and thriving board, so we want to capitalize on everybody's strengths," Wells said. "In order to do that, we wanted to move forward with someone who knows us – move forward without stepping backward."

Chamber Awards

In other chamber news, the board presented its Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards on Friday, Jan. 31. During the event, which was hosted by Country Meadows Village, 2019 Chamber President Melinda Avila handed the gavel over to Wells as the 2020 president.

"It's going to be a great year. I'm looking forward to serving your needs as business owners, chamber members, community partners and friends," Wells said.COURTESY OF DAN MILLER - Dr. Dan Miller

Business of the Year- Northwood Health Center

Dr. Dan Miller and his team at Northwood Health Center are very involved throughout the community and truly represent great values of whole health not only for the body but our community as well. Their participation in community events and quiet philanthropy epitomize the culture and character of true selfless desire for others to succeed.

President's Choice- Woodburn School District

Woodburn School district is such an important part of the Woodburn Community. They are an integral partner with the Chamber on the Annual "Flavor d Futbol" soccer tournament and do so much for our community. We honor their commitment to our youth and the livability of Woodburn. PMG FILE PHOTO - Luis Molina

Member of the Year – Pastor Luis Molina

Luis Molina is the Pastor at Woodburn Foursquare Church as well as Chaplain for Woodburn Fire and Woodburn Police Department. He has a passion for people and can be counted on to help at any time. His generosity of time, empathy, emotion and wisdom grace us all.

Ambassador of the Year- Stan Hiller

Stan Hiller serves as Ambassador for the Woodburn Chamber of Commerce and can always be counted on to participate and engage. His energy, commitment and drive are appreciated. His volunteer efforts make our Chamber Greeters Events smoother and more successful. COURTESY OF STAN HILLER - Stan Hiller

Zobrist noted that the chamber's Annual Awards are the first step leading up to the Chamber of Commerce annual "Distinguished Service Alma Awards," which take place on Friday, March 13.

Nominations for Outstanding Youth, Outstanding Educator, Junior First Citizen and Senior First Citizen can be made at woodburnchamber.org/dsaa by 3 p.m. Friday, February 7. Information about the Alma Award ceremony is also available at that website.


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