Cindy Vosburg was on a sabbatical from work, taking time to travel with her husband, when an opportunity arose that she couldn’t resist — to become executive director of the Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce.
“It was exactly two years that I had been off, and it was time for me to go back to work,” Vosburg said.
A resident of Crescent City since 2007, Vosburg jumped into chamber activities on June 20, one of the organization’s busiest times of the year, to replace Sarah Caron, who was moving on to run her own business full time.
“I came just in time to help the team with the largest event in Crescent City, the Fourth of July (celebration),” said Vosburg. “It was a wonderful time to start and I was able to jump right in, helping to coordinate the parade.”
She brought with her a long history of involvement in the chamber, having filled every position on the executive committee in her five years.
In addition, she had chaired the Visitor Bureau Committee, a position that focused on introducing more people to the community while networking with neighboring counties such as Curry, Humboldt and Mendocino.
Vosburg said she had long believed in supporting the Chamber of Commerce wherever she was living, including serving on the Manteca Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and its Convention and Visitor Bureau Board when she worked at The Manteca Bulletin.
“I strongly believe that the chamber is the best business networking group available in any community,” Vosburg said.
“In addition to being the executive director for the chamber, I am also the director for the Visitor Bureau. This is a very important position, as I believe the future of our business community lies in building the tourism dollars spent here.
“It has become the foundation of our local economy as, sadly, timber and fishing have declined.”
Years ago, Vosburg’s family would travel to Crescent City each summer from the San Francisco Bay Area to visit her Aunt Eva. She described those visits as some of the happiest times of her childhood, swimming on the Smith River, finding banana slugs on the trails in Hiouchi, riding bikes through the lumber yard in Smith River.
“My cousins Craig and Teresa Lawless were my best friends. And now, I am so proud to have their kids here and be able to call them family.
“I love the weather, the ocean, the wildlife, the air and the trees. What is there not to love here?
“People are here because we want to be here, not because we have to be. As Mitzi Travis from Bayside Realty once told me, ‘It’s bumper-to-bumper beauty.’”
Vosburg subsequently settled locally to work in advertising for The Triplicate and its sister enterprise, the Curry Coastal Pilot in Brookings, eventually being named publisher of both properties.
She likens her new position to her days at the newspapers. “I have helped hundreds of business owners grow their brands and succeed. This is something I am really good at and enjoy.
“As (Chamber) director, I get to talk to a lot of people, which I absolutely love, and help people solve problems and see their success.”
Vosberg said her immediate goals are to continue reaching out to chamber members to help them succeed with their businesses, including ensuring they know about the chamber’s many member benefits and how to best utilize them.
Meanwhile, “We have started working on the next event, “Sea Cruise,” the coolest car show in the world,” Vosburg said. “Very few car shows are on grass and that is what ours is, located right in Front Street Park on the grass.”
And she already is mapping out future challenges facing the chamber here. “Longer term, as with every business, it’s a challenge to generate enough revenue to fund the enterprise,” said Vosburg, “so that is another priority for my position.
“I am looking for new ways to generate revenue and keep the chamber healthy and strong. And I want to be a good advocate for new businesses in our community, both small and large.
“I believe our biggest challenge is to keep moving forward with business development and growing tourism. We have some very wonderful local businesses and restaurants, motels and retail shops. But some months of the year, we suffer from low visitor counts.
“Much of our economy is now based on tourism, so we need to work on keeping those tourists coming year-round. The healthier our business economy is, the stronger our chamber can be.”