185 NE 10th St.

Prineville, OR 97754

541.447.6304

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Trying To Stay Busy


Ramona McCallister Central Oregonian

For those who know Gary and Ramona Romine, they also know that whenever you see one, you will also see the other.

During their years in Prineville as the owners of Erickson’s Department Store, and the years since they retired their store—the couple has been an integral part of the Prineville community.

Gary and Ramona Romine closed their Department store approximately 25 years ago. They decided that once they closed the store, they would stay busy.

Gary pointed out some advice that he gives to people who are getting ready to retire.

“One thing we’ve always believed in anyway, is to stay busy and have an activity for every day,” said Gary.

“I always give them just a little advice. Have a project every day. You have got to stay busy, even if it only lasts a couple of hours. Do something. It’s so easy to find things to do in our community and volunteer work is always out there.”

He added that there are lots of clubs, including Kiwanis and other service clubs. Gary and Ramona get a lot of happiness in seeing new people getting involved in the community. He pointed out projects like Christmas in the Pines and the fairgrounds activities.

Gary has been in Kiwanis for almost 60 years.

“It’s a great organization. I just can’t say enough about what Kiwanis does for our community in so many different ways, and helping our young people throughout the community.”

Currently, Gary is really excited about the Splash Pad project. Initially, it seemed too big for the group to do alone, but two grants were forthcoming and the support just kept coming.

“There have been untold businesses and individuals who have jumped in to help finance and make the project move forward,” said Gary.

The Romines have always valued community and family above everything else. In addition, they have been a team for the past 65 years. Although Ramona isn’t a member of Kiwanis, she is always by Gary’s side.

“I couldn’t get by without him. We just do things together,” Ramona emphasized. “We just work together and do whatever needs to be done. Our kids come and we just enjoy everybody coming.”

Gary and Ramona have also stayed active in the Chamber of Commerce, before and after retirement.

“I have always felt the Chamber is a very important part of our community,” added Gary.

Recently, the Romines had the after Chamber After Hours party at their residence. They have attended the Chamber After Hours whenever possible, and this particular evening fell on their 65th wedding anniversary.

Kim Daniels, Executive Director for the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, surprised them with an anniversary cake, complete with their favorite photo taken together.

“For those that know the Romines well, hosting gatherings, and being surrounded by people is in their DNA,” indicated Daniels. 

“When they chose to have the Chamber After Hours event at their home this June, I knew it would be a success and a reunion for the many who have frequented their happy hours and get-togethers in the past.  Nearly 75 people showed up, and stayed late into the evening.  If you were to ask the Romines, their common response is that they are blessed to have a home to host events and friends to gather around.  In reality, it is those who have shared moments with Gary and Ramona that are the blessed ones.”

All the years that the Romines had the Erickson’s Department Store, they hired many young people in their store.

“We had at least one girl and boy who worked after schools hours and weekends. For many, it was the first job they had,” indicated Gary.

He said that they have run into several of these people who are now adults, who worked for them over the years.

“I run into so many young people who had worked for us in the past, and to see the success they have enjoyed over their lives. It’s so thrilling, so many of them can relate something that happened at the store—–how they learned work ethics, how to be on time, and how to be friendly to people.”

Gary and Ramona also worked with the youth who worked for them to correctly count back change. Ramona added that other little things stayed with these young people, like wrapping gifts.

Gary’s recounted the many things he enjoys and loves about the community that he has called home his entire life.

“It’s such a great place to live, it’s a nice, small community. We have so many great parks and amenities that are so great for families and young people to enjoy. That is a wonderful thing.”

He also emphasized that the pioneer spirit is still prevalent in the community.

“By that I mean that if something needs to be done, such a project or undertaking or somebody needs special help, the community jumps in to help that come to a happy conclusion. There are so many examples that have happened over the years.”

Gary gave the examples of the Pioneer Memorial Hospital, the football stadium, and the current splash park.

Ramona also elaborated on her response to people who are new or visiting the community.

“When we meet new people, they always say that ‘we are so happy to come to Prineville. It’s a beautiful place to be and there is lots to do in the parks.’ We are just grateful to have them, and we do what we can to help them.”‘

She referred to a recent encounter with someone they met in Bend, who said Prineville is a wonderful place and they like to visit.

“That makes you feel good. You come down the viewpoint and you see this place and it’s wonderful,” added Ramona. “You never get tired of it.”

Gary shared an important lesson he learned during his military career. His Battalion Commander gave him some important advice.

“Lieutenant, sometimes best interests are served by not winning.”

“I remembered that all these years,” recalled Gary. “It’s good advice to husbands and wives. Sometimes best interests are served by not winning.”

NANCY
NENNIG

Board Member

Meet NANCY.

Prineville Lions Club

My husband and I have lived in Prineville for 17 years. I retired from the Banking Industry after 18 years, most recently working for Oregonians Credit Union. I enjoy the trails and camping in the Crook County
area.

In addition to that, I have volunteered for the Crooked River roundup for 15 years, am the current President of the Prineville Lions, a member of the Prineville Elks and a Member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

I was an active member of the Chamber Ambassador Committee for 15 years and supported all the Prineville-Crook County Chamber events and projects.

The Prineville Chamber represents all of Crook County and its individuals, organizations and business and I feel with my volunteering and networking I am able to support the Vision and Mission of the
organization.

Duane Porter

President

Meet Duane.

Financial Advisor, DFP Financial and Consulting

I grew up on a small cattle ranch in rural Southern Oregon which taught me the values of hard work, family, and a rural way of life.  I made the move to Central Oregon in 1993 for all of its beauty and activities.  Over the last 3 decades in Central Oregon, I have seen and experienced the incredible growth and expansion of this wonderful area.  In 2018 my wife and I decided to return to a rural lifestyle in Crook County.  With its diverse community, wide variety, and ever-expanding industry, the area has maintained a small-town rural feel and culture.


In 2019 after 25 years in Insurance and Investments, my wife and I decided to open DFP Financial & Consulting, a Private Wealth Management, Planning, and Consulting Firm.   We completely enjoy the people, community and all Crook County has to offer.  Being part of the Prineville Chamber is an important focus for us to give back to and help the business of the community.


In our spare time we enjoy our family and grandchildren; camping, riding horses and doing all that Central Oregon and Crook County offers, and fly fishing the Crooked River as often as possible.

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Andrea weaver

Secretary

Meet Andrea.

Recreation Coordinator, Crook County Parks & Recreation

I grew up on the North Oregon Coast in a small tight knit community. About 18 years ago my husband and I started traveling to Central Oregon a few times a year to escape the rain. We always talked about wanting to move to the Prineville area. We enjoyed the small town feel as well as the ranching lifestyle the area offers. In the fall of 2020 we made the move with our  three teenage daughters and we are so glad we did!

In the spring of 2021 I started with Crook County Parks & Recreation. A few months after that I took the Recreation Coordinator position. I love  working with Parks & Rec. I have met so many wonderful people in Prineville which has helped with adjusting to a new environment.

I got involved with the Chamber to learn more about the community and to grow relationships.

In my spare time I love working with my family on our ranch as well as watching my girls play sports and show livestock.

Casie Allen

board member

Meet Casie.

Owner - Bayberry Lane

My family has called Prineville home for several generations. Being born and raised in this amazing community, I have always felt so incredibly blessed. I strive to be an active part of the community and volunteer regularly. I am deeply involved in 4H, several youth sports programs, and have served on many other local boards and committees. 

My mom and I own a small downtown boutique called Bayberry Lane. Our motto is local people supporting local people. We enjoy being able to give back and strive to love the people of Prineville well. 

Being on the Chamber Board has allowed me to not only serve and express my opinions as a business owner, but also as a local who wants to foster a community that is able to adapt to change while holding on to their core values.

SHEENA
YORK

Treasurer

Meet SHEENA.

Signet Realty

I am the Owner & Lead Coordinator at Firefly Events and I have been planning and coordinating events for over a decade.   I also recently took on a role as a local real estate broker here in Crook County. 

I grew up around southern Oregon. I made a road trip to Prineville with a cousin, on that trip I was introduced to a handsome young Prineville man that later became my husband. I love Prineville and although I wasn’t raised here over the last 16 years it truly has come to feel like my hometown.

I was working for a business that was a Chamber member and I was looking for opportunities to get involved in the community. After several years of attending Chamber functions I was encouraged to join the Ambassador team and then the Board. It has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun to be part of the Chamber both as a member and on the Board.

I love the weather in Prineville. After growing up in the valley with so many days of rain, I truly appreciated having (mostly) defined seasons. Summertime in Prineville is definitely my all-time favorite! We enjoy paddle boarding at Ochoco reservoir, swimming at the Prineville reservoir, floating the refreshing Crooked River, hiking the Barnes Butte or Chimney Rock trails and riding our ATV’s on the many OHV trails.

Alexandra Greenberg

Vice President

Meet Alexandra

Chiropractor, Slater Chiropractic

I was born and raised in Prineville where I graduated from Crook County High School in 2009.  After that, I moved to Portland where I attended both Pacific University and the University of Western States for Chiropractic School. 

After ten years, I returned to Prineville and am now an Associate Chiropractor at Slater Chiropractic.

Since moving back, I have enjoyed how close this community is and realized how much I missed all that Crook County has to offer compared to the big city.  I started attending Chamber events to become more involved in our community and am excited to continue working with the Chamber as Vice President of the board.

I love spending my free time with friends and family, and enjoy getting out to explore all of Central Oregon.  I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, camping, kayaking and many other outdoor activities available in this beautiful area I get to call home.