This is my first Chamber Corner so, as a way of introduction, my name is Katy Bernal. I was recently elected president of the Myrtle Creek~Tri City Area Chamber of Commerce for the 2020-2021 two-year term.

While I am new to the chamber, I am pleased and excited to accept this new challenge. My husband Ari and I have lived in Myrtle Creek for 25 years where we raised four daughters. I am a general manager at a local McDonald’s restaurant and part of the executive leadership team that advises and helps our area manager execute new ideas and innovations.

Last year I got my real estate license and am being mentored and trained by Sony Murray of Sony Murray Realty here in Myrtle Creek.

My first major involvement with our chamber was to help plan, coordinate and present at our 62nd Annual Citizen of the Year Awards banquet on March 7. I will admit I was a little nervous about the presentations I had to make as president but I was supported 110% by an awesome board of directors.

At that banquet we inducted two prominent citizens, Richard “Dick” Chaney and Dolores Hanson, into our Legacy Circle. Laura Hollifield was named our Woman of the Year and Henry Stevens our Man of the Year. Sony Murray (my mentor) received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Grocery Outlet Bargain Market was selected as the 2020 Business of the Year.

Ted Romas, our Secretary/Treasurer, and Henry Stevens, chair of the Bring ‘Em In Committee, were both presented with Presidents Awards by outgoing president Carol Olson.

I have been asked about my plans and goals for our chamber. I have been thinking a lot about that. I do have some goals in mind and will present them to our board and members soon. But, for now, I am as concerned as we all are about the challenges our families, friends, schools and businesses face from the COVID-19 virus.

We do not have an office or a Visitor’s Center to limit hours at or close, but we will be making alternate arrangements for both our board and general membership meetings during March, April and, if necessary, beyond.

My next Chamber Corner is scheduled for June 14. In that column I hope to be able to give you details about all the exciting 2020 summer events scheduled for the Myrtle Creek/Tri City area.

Katy Bernal was recently elected president of the Myrtle Creek~Tri City Area Chamber of Commerce.

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