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Deena Vietzke new Othello Chamber of Commerce manager

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | April 14, 2021 1:00 AM

OTHELLO — Deena Vietzke said she wants the Othello Chamber of Commerce to keep expanding its potential.

Vietzke is the new chamber manager, and while she knew about some of its activities before she took the job, some of them came as a surprise to her, she said.

“It’s really awesome,” she said.

But she wants the chamber to build on its successes and expand its activities even further. Businesses in Othello work well together, Veizke said, but she would like to see them cooperate even more closely. The chamber can promote that cooperation, she said.

“I would like to get the chamber out there,” she said.

For insurance, the chamber sponsors the annual July 4 celebration, offers a scholarship and sponsors the Othello Farmers Market. The COVID-19 pandemic discombobulated plans for the 2020 farmers market, but Veitzke said the plan is to sponsor the farmers market for about a month in 2021.

The office is moving to bigger quarters in the Port of Othello building, 455 E. Hemlock St., a change in the works before the retirement of former manager Sharon Scorick. While the office is moving, the Othello Visitors Center will stay in its location at the Old Hotel Art Gallery, 33 E. Larch St.

The new space will provide some room for chamber members and officers to get together, she said. She’s hoping to set up a space where members can meet informally and learn about other businesses in town.

“We can expand because of this move,” Veitzke said.

Vietzke was born in Othello and is a graduate of Othello High School, she said. Along with her job at the chamber, Vietzke is a commissioner for the Port of Othello.

“I love Othello. I love the small town atmosphere,” she said.

Vietzke spent many years working in the local food processing industry, she said, at McCain Foods and later at Harvest Fresh.

“I recently kind of retired” when Harvest Fresh closed, she said.

But it turned out she wasn’t quite ready to retire.

“After three months my house was so clean and I couldn’t stop baking cookies,” she said.

Her husband suggested she look for a part-time job. When she saw an advertisement for the chamber manager’s job, it seemed like a good fit.

“This is right up my alley,” she said.