Julia Olson took over on Dec. 15

By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald
Julia Olson, right, is the new Executive Director at the Harney County Chamber of Commerce. Savannah Swisher, left, is the new office coordinator. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

About two weeks before the start of the new year, Julia Olson began her new endeavor as Executive Director at the Harney County Chamber  of Commerce.

Olson started her new job on Dec. 15 after working the previous nine months as the office coordinator for the chamber. Olson said that by working as the office coordinator, she had the opportunity to meet a lot of business owners as well as learn about the chamber, so it was a fairly easy transition to take over when the previous director Jessica Boone left.

Olson said her parents had purchased property near Andrews about five years ago, and she began visiting the area at that time. “I absolutely fell in love with the country around here,” Olson said. She moved from Amity to her parents’ property in September 2008, but realizing there were no jobs in the south end of the county, she moved to Burns.

Olson said she started putting her resume out around town to find a job and eventually was hired as an assistant track coach at Burns High School. In March 2009, she began her office coordinator position at the chamber.

Olson has been kept busy with the chamber awards banquet coming up on Saturday, Jan. 30, and preparing for the 2010 John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival.

Olson noted that one of her goals as chamber director is to increase membership. “I’d like to get the word out that we’re here to help businesses,” she said. “Another goal would be to bring the chamber more exposure and let the community know what we’re doing for them.”

Although she hasn’t lived in Harney County all that long, her enthusiasm is evident. “The people here have really preserved the history, and that’s what makes this place so special: the country and the people,” she said.


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