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Depoe Bay Chamber Gets New Director

The Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the hiring of their first Executive Director, Laura Furgurson. In an effort to expand and enhance Depoe Bay’s marketing and tourism efforts, this part-time position is funded by a three-year grant from the Lincoln County Commissioners. In this new leadership position, Ms. Furgurson’s focus will be tourism marketing, membership support and volunteer recruiting.

Laura has over 30 years of experience launching and leading both for-profit and non-profit organizations. She joins the Chamber with an extensive background in marketing, branding, market research, volunteer management, organizational development, tourism and hospitality. Ms. Furgurson teaches marketing courses through the local Small Business Development Center, is a certified leadership coach and a long-time business advisor. Chamber Board President Bill Johnson says “the board is delighted to have found someone locally with such a broad and diverse background in both the business and non-profit arena.

Laura’s wealth of experience will be a wonderful asset in promoting the Depoe Bay area. It was a unanimous decision to bring Laura on board and we’re looking forward to her leadership in promoting the businesses and tourism to the Whale Capital of Oregon.” Laura Furgurson is excited for this new opportunity. “I am thrilled to be able to help visitors discover what I’ve experienced and loved since childhood.

Depoe Bay is a unique, beautiful and fun place to share with family and friends,” Furgurson said. She’s also eager to support local businesses and expand volunteer opportunities within the community. Patti Eisler, Chamber Board Member who led the hiring effort said “We are super excited to have Laura, on our team. She's already hit the ground running by supporting volunteer efforts for our upcoming Crab Feed and Wooden Boat Show. Laura has an extensive background in both marketing and tourism, we feel extremely lucky to have found her.”

Additional Background: Similar grant funds for hiring staff were also received by the Toledo and Walport Chambers through a joint proposal submitted by the mayors of all three cities. A bit of background from the original funding proposal to the Lincoln County Commissioners. Lincoln County’s room tax dollars were originally distributed to a consortium of the Chambers of Commerce.

These funds were diverted to COCA to promote tourism throughout the County. Because these revenues are no longer being consigned to COCA, we are proposing that a portion be assigned to our small Chambers of Commerce. The need for this support is crucial, as our small chambers, with only volunteers, inadequately struggle to build our tourism economy because we lack any staffing funds.

Our Goals: 1. Increase our effectiveness to promote tourism locally and throughout Lincoln County, 2. Strengthen the presence of our three small towns in the statewide tourism market. 3. Vitalize and build our local Chambers of Commerce and improve services to their members, 4. Organize and promote quality events to further enliven our communities and bring more tourists to Lincoln County, and 5. Strengthen connections between our chambers and local businesses, government entities, and organizations.

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