She came for the healing and stayed for the people she met and opportunities she gained.
And now, she’s working to benefit the community that has blessed her with so much.
Mitzi Hathaway has journeyed many a path to her new job as the event and tourism development coordinator for the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. She’s an arranger. From flower arranging to arranging boats in a harbor, from arranging weddings and memorial services to arranging the affairs of the office in a tech firm, Hathaway comes ready and raring to arrange the Chamber’s major events and further develop business and tourism here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground.
“My heart is in the same place as Bettina’s (Hannigan, the Chamber’s executive director). We both live to make lives better, to bring people together, to make our community better,” says Hathaway.
“Bettina often says, ‘hearts have chambers and our Chamber has a heart’ and that resonates with me,” she adds. “I want to bring locals together, tourists together, and watch them have fun making memories together.” Hathaway has also volunteered and helped organize a number of festivals in Portland.
Hathaway found Florence to be both a fun and healing place. She loves the adventures provided by the forests, dunes, lakes, river, and ocean as much as she does the people.She is an active and vocal advocate for small businesses, local shopping, and the commercial fishing and “boat-to-plate” industries. Hathaway also appreciates Florence for its high-quality local art and food which brings visitors to the area.
“I’ll work hard to help small businesses thrive and build community so Florence itself can thrive,” she says. “I want to get visitors into places they might otherwise not see to meet the beautiful people who live and visit here. I want to see pictures of happy, smiling people in Florence online.”
“Mitzi has an excellent background and valuable experience required to fulfill this job and build tourism’s impact in Florence,” says Hannigan. “She was immediately tossed into the refiner’s fire of finalizing one of the community’s most important events and came out shining.”
Now that she’s overseen one of the Chamber’s biggest annual events, the highly successful Wine & Chowder Trails and Great Glass Float Giveaway Weekend, Hathaway is looking forward to the holiday season. This year the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and Old Town district shops are spreading the holiday cheer over two weekends. The traditional holiday kickoff on Saturday after Thanksgiving will feature a hot cocoa, hot cider, and cookie trail.On Saturday of the following weekend the Chamber willhost the traditional arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, hayrides, choirs,carolers, lighted boats at the marina, and mayor’s Christmas tree lighting at dusk.
To learn more about joining or supporting the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, its events, volunteering in its visitor’s center, or serving on one of its many committees, contact Hannigan at 541-997-3128×3 or info@FlorenceChamber.com.