Elsaesser takes helm at Priest River Chamber of Commerce

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(Photo by JUDD WILSON) The Priest River Chamber of Commerce’s new president Katie Elsaesser hopes to support local businesses and the community’s cherished annual events.

PRIEST RIVER — Building support for time-honored community events and increasing business networking opportunities are new Priest River Chamber of Commerce President Katie Elsaesser’s goals for 2018. The Priest River native joined the chamber in December 2016 on behalf of her employer, local law firm Elsaesser Anderson, Chtd. Her arrival coincided with the end of an era at the chamber, as the entire board of directors made way for new leadership. As one of the chamber’s nine new board members in 2017, Elsaesser has gained experience and hopes that the chamber can add to the number of community members involved in events such as Timber Days, the Fourth of July fireworks, Picker’s Day and Oktoberfest.

“Last year was trying to keep the status quo,” she said. “We want to keep events going and build from that.”

The new chamber president said she hopes that businesses that haven’t been part of the chamber in recent years will consider joining. She said she’s also open to non-chamber members taking part in the annual events organized by the chamber. The bottom line is community involvement, she said.

“These events need help. If the community enjoys them we’re always looking for help in whatever way we can.”

It takes $6,000 to put on the Fourth of July fireworks show and approximately $8,000 to put on Timber Days in addition to a huge amount of volunteer support. Organizations such as the Rotary Club and Asphalt Angels collaborate with the chamber to make Timber Days a success, she said.

Elsaesser said the chamber board is also focused on creating more local business networking opportunities.

She said that she stepped up to serve as board president when outgoing president Barbara Kraber chose not to run again. Elsaesser said the board made a lot of progress over the past year and she wants to keep it from stalling.

Those interested in joining the chamber or otherwise supporting the local events it organizes can go to priestriverchamber.com, drop by 119 Main St., Suite 102 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, or contact the chamber at 208-448-2721 and priestrivercoc@gmail.com.

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