Supporting the voice of business in Bend since 1926

The 2017 legislative session was productive in Salem for the Bend Chamber. Our efforts, through the Bend Chamber Legislative Committee, assisted members in having their voices heard by state legislators throughout Oregon, which has allowed our membership to truly make a difference.

Senator Tim Knopp and Representatives Gene Whisnant, Knute Buehler and Mike McLane said letters and testimony from the Bend Chamber and our members made an impact on business-related issues at the State Capitol.

But we have taken it even further by strengthening our advocacy program.

Working with the city, county and state as well as our other local districts and agencies, can be a time-consuming challenge, especially for business owners who are often “busy working his or her business”.  Thus, the Bend Chamber Advocacy Council was formed with a group of 10 diverse leaders to help manage all of our efforts and serve as representation of the membership.

The mission of the Advocacy Council is twofold:

  1. Identify, evaluate and recommend positions to the Bend Chamber Board of Directors on issues and opportunities which may impact the health of the business community and the economic stability of Bend.
  2. Promote community awareness and engagement on issues impacting our community through What’s Brewing? community forums and other resources available through the organization.

The following items fall under this council’s umbrella of responsibility:

  • Review and recommend on all government advocacy issues at the local, state and federal levels
  • Review and recommend on all state legislative action
  • Review and recommend on member and non-member requests for support
  • Advisory on What’s Brewing? Community Forum topic development
  • Manage elected official’s voting record
  • Form ad hoc committees and assign liaisons to task forces / committees as needed (e.g., Legislative Committee)


Here is just a sample of what the Bend Chamber is doing for you while you’re busy working your business:

  • Weighing in on ordinances which could impact businesses, including updating the Sign Code Ordinance so it’s more business friendly, climate action, 90-Day No Cause evictions, etc.
  • Researched and supported businesses who had taken on new “special event” permit fees and policy
  • Supported ODOT, Region 4 Federal Stimulus Project for the Highway 372 Pavement Preservation Project because of its economic value to the community.
  • Supported hydropower portion of the City of Bend Surface Water Project.
  • Supported GO Bond Measure while raising concerns for the community’s future infrastructure.
  • Brought forward concerns on legislation in Salem relating to land use policies, employment, employer’s rights, and unnecessary fees for businesses and consumers to state representatives.
  • Instrumental in the development of the Bend Business Advocate position.
  • Spearheaded city permitting fee reductions for small business relocation within Bend.
  • Manage local elected-official voting record
  • Brought need for process on the fuel tax to the forefront


Current key local opportunities and issue areas being tracked by the Advocacy Council

City of Bend Operations, City Council, General Fund, Taxes & Fees, Infrastructure, Community & Economic Development including:

  • Street Maintenance Funding
  •  UGB
  •  BEDAB
  • Affordable & Workforce Housing
  • Parking Study Task Force
  • Westside Vision Project update
  • Voting record
  • Transient Room Taxes (TRT)
  • Impediments to business expansion
  • Industrial and employment land (e.g., rezoning, jobs)

Schools – public

K-12, COCC, OSU-Cascades

Community issues:

  • Public Transportation
  • Skilled labor and workforce needs and solutions
  • Deschutes County (as needed)
  • Parks & Rec (as needed)
  • Irrigation and water resources (as needed)
  • Local elections and voter turnout
  • Mirror Pond, governance model, highways, hospitals, fairgrounds, airports, water, homelessness


Read letters the Bend Chamber has taken a position on



 Jeff Robberson* – Chair  Robberson Ford Lincoln Mazda

  • Ken Katzaroff* – Co-Chair  Three Rivers Advisors
  • Rob Moore  Arbor Mortgage
  • Scott Ramsay* Sun Mountain Fun Center
  • Gary Kronmiller*  Retired Jones & Roth
  • Kerri Standerwick  Compass Commercial Real Estate
  • Lisa Goodman* St. Charles Health Systems
  • Katie Anderson*  Aperion Management Group LLC
  • Jamie Christman Bend Chamber
  • Katy Brooks  Bend Chamber

(* = Also on Legislative Committee)

Legislative Committee 2017*

  • Scott Wallace  The Wallace Group
  • Rachael van den Berg  Elevate Sport Horses
  • Karna Gustafson   C.O. Builders Assoc.
  • Garrett Chrostek  Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, PC
  • Sandy Stephenson  Bend Chamber
  • Jamie Christman  Bend Chamber,
  • Katy Brooks  Bend Chamber



  • Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, City of Bend, Kerri Standerwick,
  • Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) Advocacy Sub-Committee, Scott Ramsay
  • Storm Water Advisory Committee, City of Bend, Katie Anderson
  • Central Oregon Business Plan (COBP), Ken Katzaroff
  • Bend Planning Commission
  • Bend Budget Committee
  • East Cascades Workforce Investment Board (ECWIB), Kyle Frick
  • OSU-Cascades Community Outreach Task Force, Jamie Christman
  • BEDAB, Jamie Christman (ex officio)
  • EDCO, Jamie Christman (ex officio)
  • Opportunity Knocks, Jamie Christman
  • C.O. Direct Marketing Organizations (DMO’s), Sandy Stephenson
  • C.O. Intergovernmental Council (COIC), Katy Brooks
  • Looking Forward, Katy Brooks




The Bend Chamber is actively supported by these Lead Investors


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