President/CEO Announced at Beaverton Chamber of Commerce

September 24th, 2021

BEAVERTON, Ore. (Sept. 24, 2021)  – Leaders and the Board of Directors of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce unanimously chose Alicia Bermes, M.A. as the Chamber’s new President/CEO. Bermes, a longtime executive with Chamber expertise, is taking over from interim President/CEO Stephen Smelley and stepped in last week.

“After an outpouring of interest, an extensive national search and many interviews with some very talented people, we are excited to welcome Alicia,” said the Chamber’s 2021 Board Chair, Keith Wright, who owns Century 21/Wright & Associates Realty.

Bermes takes the helm from serving as executive director at the Chamber of Commerce in Niles (Illinois), a growing suburb of Chicago. Prior to her work at Niles, Bermes headed up the Frankfort (Illinois) chamber. “At both Chambers, Alicia brought tremendous membership growth and a focus on strategic planning along with execution to deliver member value for her local business communities,” noted Wright.

Bermes-Headshot-sized

“She is an enthusiastic and engaged supporter of Chamber members and wherever she goes, picks her businesses to trade with through local Chamber member lists.”

“This is an extraordinary opportunity here with the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, its staff and leadership,” said Bermes. “Our business community here and around the country has been challenged over the past 18 months, but I believe whenever there is change there is opportunity. We see this as an important time for implementing a strategic change to better serve our members and to grow the local voice of commerce for our regional businesses, organizations and leaders here in the western Washington County community.”

Throughout the past one and a half years, hundreds of businesses were surveyed which showed immediate and serious impacts to firms in and around Beaverton, including current and future revenue impact, staff/coverage concerns, and disquiet to overall operations.

During this time, Chamber leadership and staff have integrated closely with the City of Beaverton economic development team fortify the Chamber’s Impact Beaverton program and launch the local Business Recovery Center.

“We’ve also worked closely with other Chambers in Washington County to help each other and to collaborate so south and west metro area firms and organizations could get the support they needed to stay strong during the pandemic,” added Wright.

Bermes comes to a financially sound and stable organization, with strength in its financial base and loyalty in its membership rolls. Recent membership growth and financials show the Chamber is operating with strong revenue and positive returns.

Local businesses can discover resources and programs for support and success at the Chamber’s Website, https://beaverton.org/. Business can also access the area’s Business Recovery Center at the Chamber at (503) 644-0123 or by emailing the Chamber at info@beaverton.org.

About Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce

The BACC’s 6,363 members and 392 partners represent more 132,000 employees. The chamber is a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers and a champion of our community.  BACC strategically leads business development and retention, advocates sound public policy and provides innovative member services to sustain and enhance our vibrant and diverse community. http://www.Beaverton.org.

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TVF&R Needs OUR Help!

April 10th, 2020

Firefighters and Paramedics Begin Wearing More Sustainable Personal Protective Equipment

As part of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue’s continued efforts to protect first responders and patients from exposure and spread of COVID-19, our crews will begin using more sustainable personal protective equipment (PPE) on the majority of our medical calls, which will help reduce the consumption of PPE supplies that have been challenging to replenish.

When responding to most medical calls, community members may see our firefighter medics and paramedics wearing PPE that includes a ventilator mask, safety goggles, a face shield, gloves, and a Tyvek suit (see attached photo).

We understand that firefighters arriving in this protective equipment may come as a surprise to some, and we appreciate the community’s understanding as we make this transition with sustainability in mind. If you see one of our responders wearing this PPE, rest assure that the person under the gear is still the same caring and professional firefighter medic or paramedic who wants to help you or your loved one get the necessary medical attention they require.

The decision to shift to this PPE comes in response to the uncertainty of medical supply chains and the need to preserve the PPE we wear for the unknown amount of time that this pandemic will continue.

Request for PPE Donations

Due to continued national medical supply shortages, TVF&R is encouraging residents and local businesses to consider donating new, unused PPE.

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our communities, our firefighter medics and paramedics need to wear specific gear on medical calls to help prevent exposure and spread of the highly contagious virus. Replenishing this gear has proven to be challenging, while vendors work as quickly as possible to fill orders but are unable to keep up with the unprecedented high demand.

We are asking the public to please consider donating new, unused PPE that you do not currently need. Items we are looking for include:

  • Surgical masks
  • N95 respirators and filters
  • Other respirators (P100s, PAPRs)
  • Face shields
  • Splash shields
  • Disposable medical gowns
  • Tyvek suits
  • Shoe booties/covers
  • EMS gloves

If you have any of these items that you are able to donate, please email supply@tvfr.com and include a description of what items you have and the quantity. Our Supply staff will then work with you to either schedule a pickup or arrange a delivery.

All donations are tax deductible; receipts can be provided upon request.

In order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, please continue to follow the direction of health officials and Governor Kate Brown’s executive order. Detailed COVID-19 information can be found at the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 website. 

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VillaSport Needs Your Support 4.09 & 4.10

April 8th, 2020

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Hilton Garden Inn Beaverton

April 8th, 2020

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Assistance League 2020 Auction, Fashion Show & Luncheon

February 26th, 2020

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Chamber CEO Testifies at City Council on Charter Review - urges community engagement

January 30th, 2020

January 28, 2020

City Charter

Good evening Mayor, City Councilors – thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak this evening.

My name is Lorraine Clarno, I serve as the President/CEO of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce.

I am here this evening representing our Business Advocacy Council and Board of Directors.

We have been following the Charter Review process embarked on earlier this past fall and have done our best to stay up to speed the past few months on your discussions and ultimately, the recommended Charter changes being presented today in this second public hearing.

Beaverton has changed a great deal since the adopted Charter in 1980 and even since the Urban Renewal Charter Amendment in November of 2008. Beaverton as a community, prides itself on being pro-active and current. Successful business operates in a constant world of change and must be evolving and innovating regularly to remain relevant, efficient and ready for the future. To that end we thank you for doing your research and applaud your study to determine what form of government will be best for Beaverton going forward.

I have talked with many of our members and partners personally over the past weeks and we recently called for a special meeting of our Business Advocacy Council on this topic resulting in some great discussions. At this time we have more questions than answers and are not here tonight to advocate for or against the recommended City Manager/Strong Council form of government. In fact, without naming names here this evening, I was shocked at the number of very engaged business owners and operators that had no knowledge of this work being done.

Beaverton spent 5+ years collecting input and having dialogue with more than 10,000 citizens to develop the Community Visioning plan which has served us so well. When working on the Charter Amendment in 2007 to allow for Urban Renewal I can personally recall a tremendous amount of community outreach and informational sessions many of us participated in to ensure its successful passage. What’s before you this evening is a complete Charter/Constitutional overhaul and this is the second public hearing.

Being fully transparent with you this evening, many of those we’ve spoken with agree that it is time to consider a professional city manager model for Beaverton. What started as a language clean up and look at moving to a PT ceremonial mayor/city manager model has resulted in what is a complex hybrid model of Fulltime Mayor/Strong Council. The timing and rush concerns them. There are significant budgetary implications in the Charter draft if passed and yet no discussion around what that is or could be.

If your intention this evening is to move this forward for the May ballot, we would ask you to reconsider and look at the November 2020 election ballot. It would give more time for us to understand why this is good for business – our primary focus. It would give more time to get voters up to speed and understand any needs for change. And, finally, November would allow for more inclusive conversations and you would have a much more diverse electorate deciding on what is best for Beaverton’s future.

We are here tonight as a partner, to ask for more time to engage the community, get questions answered, and ultimately see a successful campaign that passes the first time to lay the foundation for Beaverton’s future.    

Questions:

What are the benefits to the citizens of Beaverton in making this change?

Will this streamline or make it more difficult for businesses to build businesses and create livable wage jobs for the citizens of Beaverton?

How will this change impact the collaboration required of our Beaverton City Leadership with the various special districts, Washington County, Metro, etc.?

If approved, how would the transition truly work given that we have candidates filed to run for positions that may actually change before they are even elected or take their seat.

What are the costs of this change to the taxpayers? The current version of the City Charter being proposed includes the addition of a new City Councilor, a new City Manager, undefined numbers of support staff as needed for the mayor and the Council while not addressing the compensation expenses directly of all of the moving parts other than to give the Council full authority to set the pay levels of all of the above. 

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IMPACT Beaverton October Newsletter

October 15th, 2019

Great things are happening with IMPACT Beaverton. One on One Consulting, Business Start Up Classes, Referrals and More!

READ Emma’s newsletter with all of the most up to date information on how we can help grow your business!

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Business Plan Basics - English & Spanish Series of 4

October 1st, 2019

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Drive In - Sleep Out

August 13th, 2019


Family Promise of Beaverton’s 3rd Annual
Drive In – Sleep Out – Help Put the Brakes on Homelessness
Saturday, Aug. 24, 5:00 – 10:00 pm to Sunday, Aug. 25, till 9:00 am
 
Beaverton, OR – Family Promise of Beaverton invites the community to enjoy an evening of music, food, and film at Beaverton City Fountain Park (12500 SW 4th St., Beaverton, OR 97005). After all the fun, participants will spend the night sleeping in their vehicles to support the work of Family Promise of Beaverton and to raise awareness that in Beaverton, we have children and families experiencing homeless. Car campers will wake up to a delicious pancake breakfast in the morning. 
 
Child and family homelessness is a problem that cannot be solved alone. Family Promise of Beaverton (FPB) brings the community of neighbors, churches, civic organizations and government together to help stabilize and transform the lives of children and their families experiencing homelessness in the Beaverton area. Many of the families FPB serve have been sleeping in cars or were on the street. Families come to Family Promise for many reasons. It could be the loss of job, a family breakup, no longer can live doubled up (two or more families in a residence), or health reasons for why they lost their housing. Mainly though, the lack of affordable housing is the driving force of why so many families are finding themselves in their current situation. 
 
FPB accepts all definitions of the word “Family” and looks at the family unit as the child sees their family. That could include siblings older than 18, grandparents, extended family, even a family pet. Once families enter the program, they receive extensive case management, an address, a place to shower, and do laundry. FPB works with the families to address the various barriers that are preventing them from getting into housing, whether that is employment, child care, debt management, etc. Once a family graduates from the program and into housing, they receive another year of case management to help make sure that they are able to keep their housing.
 
Recently, a 7 year old boy, during the first night he and his family were in the program, lost a tooth. The tooth fairy now had a place to come! The joy and delight on his face when he discovered that the tooth fairy actually found him was priceless. There are many child and family milestones that are celebrated at FPB, from the birth of child, to a child’s first tooth, a child’s first steps, even the first day of school. These events, and just the day to day life of a family, can be joyous and also tough already, add in experiencing homeless and makes the situation harder for children and their families. Family Promise and their partners join together to give families not a hand out, but a hand up.


The Drive In – Sleep Out is FPB’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Help us keep our promise to homeless families in Beaverton. Register your car for $25, collect pledges or make a donation today at www.FamilyPromiseofBeaverton.org/events 

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We want to help! Redevelopment is challenging. Curiosities Vintage

June 25th, 2019

Beaverton has made the news and front page coverage the past 24 hours regarding the Curiosities Vintage Mall and the City’s notice to terminate their month-to-month lease.

I’ve been asked by multiple Partners and people on social media what the Chamber thinks about this.

Let me start by saying I am very sad we are here today for all involved – especially the 60 artisans and collectors that occupy space at Curiosities Vintage.  I wish we learned of this transition earlier to be able to assist in relocating them more easily prior to the deadline. Our Business Advocacy Council works daily to keep our businesses aware of available resources, new laws and issues that impact business.

Redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Beaverton has been a community conversation since the visioning process which began in 2008. Thousands of residents expressed that establishing a revitalized downtown was the priority.

Our Beaverton Urban Renewal District was formed for this expressed purpose. Land acquisition has been a priority of BURA since its establishment by a vote of the people.  This is a long-term effort that has been underway for years and it will continue as we see the hotel rise on the former Westgate property, the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and public parking garage come to life this fall, and other projects get underway in our city’s core.  The City is contractually obligated to replace 165 parking spaces.

The building in question has been home to multiple businesses over its life span – I think the one we remember most is Ludeman’s which operated for more than 3 decades. Curiosities Vintage came in afterwards in 2013, and since 2016 has operated under a month-to-month lease. This site is not in the Beaverton Downtown Association boundaries nor is it a registered historic building or in the Beaverton Historic District.

The City of Beaverton did not use eminent domain or condemn any properties. They purchased them from willing sellers and in fact, have maintained the month-to-month leases for 18+ months. It is my understanding that the City has continued to engage in conversations with the tenants about the impending transition along the way.  While the lots may be used temporarily for parking or construction staging, that is not the end game.  Transit-oriented, mixed-use, and redevelopment has always been the community’s goal for this property.

Change is always tough. As a business that sits at the front door of what will be the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, the next couple of years are going to be incredibly disruptive to our business. We, as a business, have been anticipating the changes we will have to make during this process to accommodate our work.

We are in this for the long haul. And, the good news is……..Beaverton has a huge array of support services for both Curiosities and all of its vendors. This includes the City’s Economic Development Team which can help with relocation assistance and the Chamber can connect them to some terrific commercial brokers that know the ins and outs of Beaverton.  IMPACT Beaverton – stands ready to provide one-on-one consulting for the artisans and vendors with business licenses. In fact, some of the vendors may be a perfect fit for the Chamber program called T.E.A.M Beaverton for small and homebased businesses. We have and will continue to reach out and hope to keep them growing and thriving in Beaverton.

Lorraine Clarno
President/CEO

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