Meet Our Professional Staff
Jason is the chief executive officer of the Salem Chamber. Jason has a passion for creating community vision and supporting our region's leaders, which makes him perfect for the job. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Communication from Pacific Lutheran University. He also received Post Graduate Certification in Nonprofit Organizational Management from the United States Chamber of Commerce Institute Program. Jason's professional and community involvement include being immediate past president of Salem Leadership Foundation.
While not a native Oregonian, he has made it home with his wife, Natalie, and daughters, Mya and Kyra.
Chandra is the Chamber's database administrator and coordinator of IT projects. She was born and raised in the rural Willamette Valley and loves the Chamber because it’s an interesting job with great people. She has a B.A. in philosophy and enjoys gardening, writing, hiking and the outdoors.
Jessica is the director of communications for the Salem Chamber. She spends the bulk of her time writing and designing Chamber publications, from Business Voice to the SalemChamber.org. Jessica got her start with the Chamber during college when she spent two years as an intern. After earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Oregon State University, she spent three years in Sacramento, California working in marketing and advertising before returning to Salem to work for the Chamber.
Jessica is a graduate of the Western Association of Chamber Executive Academy program for chamber management, where she is now an instructor.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing and has several of her poems published. She is also a classically trained pianist, an amateur photographer and loves hanging out with friends and family.
Grace Geddes is the Workforce Development Specialist. She grew up in Woodburn and moved to Salem to attend Willamette University. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts, Grace continued on at Willamette to get her Master of Arts in teaching. Grace worked with the YMCA as a kindergarten teacher for three years before moving on to teach first grade for the Salem-Keizer School District. She is now excited to use her experience with the school district to connect the expertise of Salem area professionals with the eager minds of Salem-Keizer students.
Grace lives in Keizer with her husband, Harris and their English Mastiff, Juno. She enjoys camping, hiking, reading, spending time with her friends and family, cheering for the Seahawks and snuggling with her dog.
Kim is the Director of Member Services; she grew up in Salem, then relocated with work to CA and AZ, but knew that she ultimately wanted to raise her family in Salem, which brought her back in 2003.
As the Director of Member Services, Kim is responsible for all details pertaining to memberships within the Chamber. She works with existing members as well as businesses who are not members in the valley to give them a better understanding of the Chamber and how they can best benefit from being a member.
She previously worked for SEDCOR which works closely with the Salem Chamber and also spent 14 years in retail management, which has allowed her to make some great connections in the community; she is also involved in the North and West Salem Business Associations.
She is equally passionate about her family. She loves being a mom and likes to spend time outdoors with her husband, Ronn, and two daughters, Addison and Faith. She has been named "KimPossible" because "Anything is Possible!" She enjoys making things possible for the business professionals that she comes in contact with as well as being a superhero mom and wife.
Marla is the director of events and programs. She has an AAS Hospitality Management and Certificate in Event Management from Chemeketa Community College, and spent two years there as an event coordinator. She spent three years as a Catering Manager at a luxury destination resort in Oregon Wine Country. Prior to that, she spent a year and a half in event sales for a premier event planning, design and rental company servicing the west coast.
Marla loves spending time exploring and camping all around the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Phil, and step-daughter, Isabella. She also enjoys mountain biking, organic gardening, and a good latte.
Kathy is the director of leadership and workforce development. She was introduced to the Chamber in 2000 when her business joined as a member. It was through her volunteerism with the Chamber that she discovered how rewarding it is to work with youth and working towards making a difference in the lives of others. In 2005, she started with the Chamber part time and in 2007 transitioned to full time.
Kathy currently serves on the Enrichment Academy's Afterschool Alliance Committee, the Comprehensive Guidance & Counseling Steering Committee, Crystal Apple Awards, Chemeketa's Business Management Advisory Committee, teaches a Careers class for a Summer transition program, is a Classroom Mentor at North Salem High, and volunteers at Family Building Blocks in the classroom.
She is also an award winning professional photographer and owner of Crystal Image Photography with husband, Gary. Together, they have a blended family of eight children and six grandchildren.
In her spare time she loves spending time with family and friends, camping, fishing, volleyball, scrapbooking, reading, traveling, volunteering and of course, photography.
Madeline Nowell is the Chamber’s Forum Lunch Series Manager and executive assistant to the CEO. She grew up in Salem, spending many long summer nights playing ultimate Frisbee and making weekend trips to ski in the winter. However, she only learned of her true love for Salem when she moved to Los Angeles to attend Biola University, where she earned a degree in Fine Arts.
After graduating from college, Madeline got married and lived in the small town of Apple Valley, California, where she spent many hours in her art studio and volunteered at a local gallery. It took her nearly six years, but she has finally made it back from California and is honored to be working someplace that strives to better its community every day. Madeline enjoys cooking, leisurely bicycle rides, learning new words and watching the clouds.
Chris Phipps is a customer service specialist. Her professional career actually began at the Salem Chamber of Commerce as it was her first job out of high school. She worked for about three years and then moved to Hillsboro where she began her banking career. After 24 years with Washington Federal, she retired in November 2012. She soon discovered that she missed the business world and came back to the Salem Chamber.
Chris lives in Keizer with her husband, Jim. Her greatest joy is to spend time with her four children and six grandchildren. She and her husband love to go fishing, camping and spend time at the beach together.
JD Shinn is the Business Liaison for businesses seeking to invest into the future workforce through training and work opportunities. JD grew up in Dallas, and shortly after high school, he ventured to North Carolina where he interned in a youth ministry and worked at a golf course. It was there that he discovered his love for the Northwest, he returned in 2001.
JD is enrolled at George Fox University to finish his bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Leadership. Settled in Salem, JD and his wife have four children. He enjoys time with friends and family, good coffee, laughter, a good theological discussion and has a passion to see people grow.
Tristin Sornson - Events & Programs Administrative Assistant, x313
Tristin Sornson is the Events & Programs Administrative Assistant at the Salem Chamber. She has an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree and is currently attending Chemeketa to get a Certificate in Event Management. She has past experience in retail and banking. She is native to Salem and loves living here because of its central location. She is very excited to work for the Chamber so that she can help better the community and make Salem awesome. In her spare time, Tristin likes to spend time with her friends, family, and cat Chloe, hike, swim, and dance.
As a fourth generation Oregonian, Nick has come to appreciate Salem for its geographic and economic advantages - as well as its unique challenges - and is excited to be positioned within the Chamber as the Public Policy / Membership Manager to assist individuals and entities on their individual pathways to success as they define it.
The father of two young girls, much of his spare time has been relegated to school plays, recitals, sporting events, and helping with homework. He is a fan of Duck football and anything that can be done along the banks of the North Santiam River - such as hiking, fishing, and rock skipping.
MAILING ADDRESS: 1110 Commercial St. N.E., Salem, OR 97301
LOCATION: Corner of Market and Commercial Streets Map
HOURS: Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
The office is closed the 2nd Monday of the month (September through June) from 11:10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. so all staff can attend the annual Business of the Year Awards Luncheon in September, monthly Forum Speaker Series (October - May), and Annual Chamber Luncheon in June. Holiday closures are New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.