Lake County Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors last week announced longtime Summer Lake resident Tallulah Chiono as the Chamber’s new executive director.
Chiono assumes the leadership role at the Chamber, replacing Audrey Henry who left in early December to pursue a position as an economic development specialist with the South Central Oregon Economic Development District (SCOEDD).
Chiono has called Lake County home most of her life, along with brief stints in Modoc County and the Willamette Valley. Ultimately, she has always loved the quiet, rural lifestyle of Lake County and said she is proud to call it home.
Among the positives of living in the county is the entrepreneurial spirit of the residents of Lake County’s varied communities, Chiono said, and she sees her new position as an opportunity to further interact at that level.
Chiono said she saw the position as an opportunity to give back to the very supportive community in which she and husband Dale had raised their family.
Both of their two children – son Anton, 2002, and daughter Jenna, 2009 – graduated from Paisley High School, and were very active in athletics.
“It was a great place to raise our kids,” she said. “(This position) looked like an opportunity to serve as an ambassador to the community, and I wanted to give back.”
The Chionos have owned and operated the Summer Lake Store for the past 19 years. Prior to that, Dale had worked for Safeway in Lakeview for five years. He had the opportunity to advance to the corporate level, and so the Chiono family relocated to Canby for about five years, returning to Lake County in 1993.
Dale serves on the Lake County ESD and Paisley School boards, while she served on the Paisley Site Council and the Paisley Charter Council. She is also actively involved with the Lake County Youth Mentor Program and the Ducks Unlimited organization.
With both of their children grown and starting their own lives – Anton graduated from Willamette University in 2006 and Jenna is currently finishing her senior year there – Chiono said she now has the time available to dedicate to the Chamber in this leadership role.
“I know it’s going to take a lot of time, but I have that time to give, now,” she said.
As for priorities, Chiono said that she wants to meet with every business and organization in the county and learn what is needed for their success.
Chiono also expressed an interest in helping to strengthen the local economy, and also find opportunities to help local businesses.
Reflecting on the increasing Internet-driven world, she also believes that online presence is important, particularly in promoting the availability of local services.
“I want to help and encourage our businesses to tout themselves on the internet,” Chiono said. “It’s the way the world is going, and we need to be a player to let the world know we are here.”