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Chamber hit with steep cuts
Eller, Mandy.jpg

The McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce has severed its contractual ties with former president Mandy Eller. 

Eller resigned as Chamber president in December to accept a newly created position as executive director for tourism economic development. In that role, she worked under the Chamber and the Tourism Development Board.

The Chamber’s Executive Committee met in a special called session Thursday and voted not to renew Eller’s contract, which expires June 30. 

“We want to keep a strong relationship with the TDB,” said John Chisam, chair-elect. “We want to continue working with them and continue promoting and bringing those outside dollars in. We need to do that.”

The decision was made due to financial constraints. According to numbers presented during the meeting, payment of Chamber of Commerce membership dues are down 30 percent over the last six months. Earlier this month, Chamber VP of Operations Paige Chastain was furloughed until Sept. 1 and Chamber interim president Sarah Cantrell’s hours were cut in half.

Executive Committee chair Dayron Deaton-Owens says Chastain and Cantrell agreed to the changes in their employment and the decision regarding Eller’s contract was business, not personal.  

“Our main goal, we have to take care of the Chamber,” said Deaton-Owens. “We have to take care of our staff. We need them. We need them back. It’s nothing against Mandy, but we have to understand that we have staff that’s not working. The thing is, if we enter into a contract like that, to my understanding, is that we have to pay our contract first. We would have to adhere to that contract before our own employees.”

Members agreed to revisit the Chamber's contract with Eller at a later date.

Eller will remain as an administrator for the Tourism Development Board.