The Gorge Owned Business Network and Columbia Gorge Earth Center will each cease to exist as such — but continue their respective missions under a newly truncated, somewhat simpler brand.
Lindsay Miller, who has been guiding the Earth Center, will assume executive directorship of Gorge Owned!
She’ll get communications and membership support from Becky Brun, founder and recent-past director of Gorge Owned Business Network.
It’s all about efficiency and clarity, Brun told us Wednesday.
The Earth Center has been something of a mother hen — incubating and helping nurture and spin off other, kindred organizations such as the Rebuild-It Center and Gorge Grown Food Network. It also had provided a corporate umbrella for the Gorge Owned Business Network since its founding several years ago.
“It became apparent to our boards, in a small community, it makes more sense to collaborate and to strategically work together,” Brun says. “There was good leadership there. Lindsay has a background in social enterprise.”
Brun says GO! will continue to think Gorge-wide, and focus on sustaining locally owned and operated businesses. It doesn’t want to compete with Chambers or branch into tourism marketing.
“We’re trying to narrow our focus, on building awareness of the benefits of supporting locally owned business, and unifying people across county lines rather than polarization.”
She says the new organization hopes to provide a meeting place for businesses and consumers alike.
She says the web site will continue at the same address, with minor modifications to the membership structure. For now, physical offices will remain above At Home on Oak, in the 200 block of Oak Avenue.