Baker County Chamber hires new Executive Director

By on Thursday, April 4th, 2024 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

BAKER CITY – The Baker County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau has a new leader to help shape the future vision of the community.

The Chamber’s board of directors hired Christopher Hobson as its new executive director. He replaces Devon Colton, who left the position in February.

Hobson began his new role this week.

“I’m really excited to be here. I keep making the joke that it’s my third Monday, and that’s a good thing,” said Hobson.  “It’s just about having that fresh excitement each day.”

Hobson tells Elkhorn Media Group he moved to Baker in 1988 when he was six. Before starting his new role at the Chamber, he worked in construction, taught at Portland Community College, then worked for a fabrication company that created designs for influential corporations such as Nike and Microsoft.

“Working in fabrication gave me a peek behind the curtain a bit in the marketing and advertising side of it and that really got me interested in that world,” he said.

He and his wife Jessica, who runs Travel Baker County, moved to Baker in 2020 where they started a publishing company.

“When we got to Baker we saw the struggles of a region that really relied on peak tourist season and the visitors that come through the area,” said Hobson.  “So we came in as a support team for social media and e-commerce so that the county had a stronger presence online.”

He says as Executive Director of the Chamber and Visitors Center, he wants to begin by seeking opportunities for Chamber members.

“I want to go and talk to current chamber members and see what things that have been working in the past, what’s something you think could be improved on,” he said.  “And that goes with people who are not members yet. I’ll go in to talk about their needs and see if it’s a good fit.

Hobson says while the Chamber faces funding issues and issues with community needs, he’s ready to tackle those challenges.

“There are many opportunities for innovative solutions and collaborations in Baker County. I would say my approach is just to turn those challenges into stepping stones for growth,” said Hobson. “As long as at the end of the day, people are benefiting from being a chamber member and I have a meaningful impact, that’s where I want to be.”