Oregon Public Broadcasting

Veteran Powell's employee Miriam Sontz is to take over as the CEO of the Portland independent book chain.

She says she doesn't have any big plans to expand, but that the company will continue focusing on the customer.

"Well, you know it is a challenging landscape. And what we offer is something that you can't get online. We have these wonderful gathering places where you're surrounded by a wide range of choices and a wide range of people who are interested in books and reading and the literary culture."

Sontz takes over from Emily Powell, whose grandfather started the store in 1971.

Emily Powell will remain as an owner and will focus on the stewardship of the business.

In the 28 years Sontz has worked at Powell's, she has held many positions -- from manager of the Beaverton store to serving as co-CEO with Emily Powell.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.