Chris Sorenson is the new president of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce.
By Judy Bushy
The Happy Camp Chamber Of Commerce elected a new board of directors in March. The new board will take office in April and serve until March 31, 2008.
The new President of the Chamber is Chris Sorenson of Mosaic Press. Chris and Beth Buchanan moved to Happy Camp several years ago. For Chris, it was a new experience, but Beth grew up in Happy Camp. They bought the printing part of Naturegraph publishing, and began Mosaic Press.
Vice President is Jon Grunbaum who works in fisheries in the Happy Camp District of the Klamath National Forest.
Instead of one secretary the job will be shared by two co-secretaries, Roberta Arneson and Rita Manley King. Roberta served as secretary when Bob Schmalzbach was Chamber President and helps her husband, Ray the Painter in his sign painting business. Rita is with Jade Springs Development, which is headquartered at the Happy Camp Mini-Mall on Davis Road.
Treasurer is Lehel Garami who, with Laura, manages the Evans Mercantile. Evans is the oldest continuously operating business in Happy Camp but Lehel and Laura have added hardware and expanded the gardening and feed parts of the business.
Roberta Collum of Elk Creek Campground and Montine Blevins of the New 49ers’ Prospecting Club are also on the new Chamber board of directors.
When the new board recently met they gave a word of appreciation for the previous board of the Chamber. James Buchner was a great president and his leadership in the advertising and promotion of the area was greatly appreciated. He also attended sports shows to widen the contacts with potential customers. Roberta Collum was a good Vice President and took over in the chair when James was unable to be in town. Montine assisted her in preparing great meals for Chamber events and planning the Community Tree Lighting in December. Rosemary Boren took over the treasurer position a few years ago after a lapse in treasurer postion left the accounts in unprecedented array. Rosemary got them entered on her computer and got organized with top efficiency for several years now. Judy Bushy served as Secretary since Janeen Snopl resigned except for the years Jean Dulong, Joe and Becca and Roberta Arneson volunteered for the job. Eugene Kravis and Lehel Garami filled out the membership of the board of the Happy Camp Chamber.
The Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce was started twenty-one years ago at the Elk Creek Campground. Jim Jones, Merilee Adamson, Ben Roeser, Gini Hyde and Howard Garthwait were some of the first presidents. Howard Garthwait was called into service several times through the years, Rick Huston; Liz Ramos Cochran was the President from 1994 to 1995. Harvey Shinar, Debbie Wilkinson, Eddie Davenport, Cheryl Wainwright, Bob Schmalzbach, and James Buchner have been in the presidency in the last decade.
As James Buchner stated, the job of the Chamber is â€œto promote and encourage business, commerce and quality of life for the citizens of Happy Camp and the Highway 96/Klamath River Corridor.” In order to do this the Chamber has often entertained town meetings with political candidates or elected officials of the county and state. The Chamber of Commerce started the Neighborhood Watch on the recommendation of Charlie Byrd and Kay Bryan when there was a great deal of burglary and theft every night. This action turned the situation around and the crime rate plummeted when the Watch became active.
Over the years the Chamber has hosted St. Patrickâ€™s Day dinner, Show & Shine auto events and Worldâ€™s Sweetest Bike Rally Fourth of July weekend at the River Park.
In all these ways the Chamber has promoted and enhanced life in Happy Camp and along the beautiful wild Klamath River.