Chamber gets new director

The Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Executive Board named Vicki Graham as its new executive director on July 15.

Graham previously worked for four years as the chamber’s events coordinator. She was named interim director after former director Miranda Hoppock resigned in June.

Graham said her plan to take on the economic effects of COVID-19 is to promote and back local business.

“We’re gonna make it through this,” she said. “That doesn’t mean we’re not going to take care of our members off island.”

One of the biggest challenges was getting used to working from home, she said.

In past summers, she said the chamber was knee-deep in facilitating events, parades and carnivals, but most events are canceled this year.

“Trying to get used to no events has been a little challenging,” she said.

“We’ve turned it around and started sinking everything into the Island recovery, the CARES Act, anything we can do to keep our businesses up and running.”

For example, the chamber posted a Facebook video promoting “shop local.” She said the chamber is now organizing a bingo game with local businesses on the cards.

Once a shopper gets “bingo,” they can submit their card into a raffle for a $75 visa card.

“They can put that money back into the community as well,” she said.

The chamber is also partnering with the Main Street Association to host open air Thursdays starting Aug. 6.

Restaurants would offer seating outside in the parking lots.

The chamber is monitoring pandemic instructions from the governor’s office and Island County meetings to ensure it has up-to-date information on COVID-19 guidelines.

The chamber was approved for $10,000 in CARES funding by the Oak Harbor City Council.

More in News

Man arrested at Walmart in Oak Harbor with stolen truck

An Anacortes business owner reported the truck as stolen. It was found at the Oak Harbor Walmart.

Court day delayed due to psychosis

The woman was arrested on suspicion of assault in the first degree, a domestic violence crime.

Washington’s vaccination schedule draws criticism from Island County

Island County commissioners are upset about where certain groups fall in the vaccination phases.

Public comment sought for Navy’s parks proposal

Those with comments must register by 5 p.m. on Jan. 20 on the state parks’ website.

Capital projects includes funds for big projects to sewer, parks

Several notable projects are planned for this year and next.

Co-sponsored by Muzzall, bill would speed up state reopening

The bill would allow indoor dining, gyms and social gatherings to resume, all with safety protocols

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Carol Johnston has watched this Pacific madrone grow for the past 14 years. It is slated to be removed during McDonald’s upcoming renovation in early February.
Madrona to make way for bigger McDonald’s

An Oak Harbor woman hoped to save the large tree that is to be cut down for an upcoming renovation.

Lt. j.g. William McIlvaine, left, celebrates after graduating from flight school. He was killed in a training accident in March 2013. His uncle, Phelps McIlvaine, donated a monument to Oak Harbor in honor of all service members who died while serving in Prowler squadrons. Photo courtesy Phelps McIlvaine
Prowler aircraft monument still in works years later

The Oak Harbor Park Board learned the donated monument will probably be installed this year.

Most Read