SEASIDE - Richard Homer is enjoying himself as president of the Seaside Chamber of Commerce.
"There's not a lot of big egos," he said. "We're all working towards a common good, and it's not just the good of a business, it's the good of the community."
Homer said much of Seaside's economy relies on tourism, and other businesses like plumbers and grocery stores depend on the tourism-based businesses. "Businesses that are healthy have a trickle-down to a healthy community," he said.
Therefore, the actions of the chamber to bring events to Seaside, support businesses, assist with workforce development, beautify the town and other activities have benefits to all the residents, Homer said. The Art Walk, which the chamber has recently taken over, helps young artists by giving them a chance to display their work, he said. The chamber is looking at bringing a carnival to Seaside.
He works to promote the individual businesses that are chamber members. "I want to promote an air of pride in your business," he said.
Homer and his wife Stephanie Homer own the Seaside Coffee Roasting Co. Their coffee is served at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and they donated to the recent rodeo and cat show. Homer said many Seaside businesses give generously to a variety of causes. "We're all a community and we all help each other and Seaside is a very friendly place where we're all neighbors," he said.
Homer is finishing the term of Bob Ewing, who resigned unexpectedly. He may be elected to the position when the term is finished in September. He has been volunteering with the chamber for two years.
Homer praised Chamber Executive Director Al Smiles' work on the new Web site. He said it promotes what Seaside can be great at, such as weddings. "Al has done an outstanding job," Homer said. "He is the leader we've been looking for." Smiles is assisted by volunteer Event Coordinator Doug Barker.
Homer enjoys the safe feeling of Seaside, although the drug problem concerns him. But he said local teenagers are unusually civic-minded, crediting that to Sunset Park programs and community activities for children. He would like to see more activities for teenagers, however.
Homer belongs to Rotary and the Rainland Flycasters, a conservation and fishing group. He golfs if he has time.
Two of the most important people in his life are his daughters Toriana, 9, and Clarice, 8. The girls are assistant roasters, helping to package coffee, run the cash register and educate customers about the coffee and tea.
He enjoys taking them fishing, to the arcade or to fly kites. "I make sure I take out time from my week to spend with my daughters," he said.