New PBA leaders look to Pendleton’s future

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Pendleton - The new president of the Pendleton Business Association said he wants to broaden the group’s perspective to include a greater emphasis on the community at large.

“One of the things that is a critical component of the role of the PBA is to realize that we’re about more than just helping business turn a profit,” Chris Denny said. “That’s part of it, yes. But people need to understand that when the businesses win, everyone wins.

“Successful businesses raise all other boats, meaning there are more jobs and better schools and higher property values. It’s important to equip our local businesses so they can be the best they can be.”

To reach his goal, he said he’s hoping to adjust the group’s course to capitalize on long-standing community traditions while increasing the organization’s relevancy to its members.

 Denny, 37, has been the pastor at Catalyst Church for five years and a member of the PBA for about a year.

 “The church became a member about a year ago,” Denny said. “I was actually invited by another member to see what was going on and I thought it was a great opportunity to make another connection in the community.”

He said he’s spent the past year learning the ropes and getting his bearings and that he’s hoping a slightly different approach will help the organization grow.

“I think there is a huge value that the PBA brings to the business of Pendleton,” Denny said. “I sensed a growing need for additional components that would add value to members. It wasn’t that those components were missing, and I don’t want it to imply what was being done wasn’t being done well, I just wanted to help bring some additional resources to local business. The association should strive to serve and add value to the local business. Our goal should be to add value to every member and help them reach their full potential.”

He said he hopes to capitalize on the “already great” festivals hosted by the PBA, which include The Highway 38 Sale, The Pendleton Fall Festival and Christmas in Pendleton.

“We believe that the festivals are an integral part of what the PBA has shared with the community and we’re not going to walk away from those,” Denny said. “Festivals are still going to be a big part of what we do.”

In addition to festivals, Denny said changes have been made to the group’s gatherings.

“We’ve already started making changes,” Denny said. “We’ve reformatted the monthly meeting. We also just want to morph into an organization … that really does meet the needs of the community and enhances the capacity of local business.”

He said meetings now are broken into two components: a business meeting side where festivals and ongoing responsibilities are discussed and an “added value gathering” with a focus on either training, celebration, teaching, coaching or networking aspects.

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