August 3, 2023
This Issues Topics:
2023 • Business Connections • Experience Chehalis • July • MacKenzie McGee

Photo Submitted by the Centralia Downtown Association.

Executive Director MacKenzie McGee and Experience Chehalis Executive Director Annalee Tobey pose for a photo at The Economic Alliance of Lewis County’s annual banquet auction in February.

By Emily Fitzgerald

Experience Chehalis works to cultivate relationships and celebrate community with the goal of building a prosperous, vibrant and inclusive community.

The organization, originally called the Chehalis Community Renaissance Team, started in 2009 after Chehalis City Council approved a strategic plan including projects and initiatives focused on community building, economic development, quality design, traffic, parking and downtown development, according to its website.

After going through a comprehensive rebranding process, the Chehalis Community Renaissance Team changed its name to Experience Chehalis in March 2022.

The change, which was part of a new strategic plan for 2020-2025, brought a new logo and name for the organization but did not change its goals of promoting small business economic development, community beautification, promotion and downtown development.

Other goals outlined in the strategic plan include enhancing programs and services, diversifying funding sources to be less reliant on B&O tax revenue, and cultivating civic pride, according to Experience Chehalis.

“Collaboration will be vital to the success of this plan,” Experience Chehalis states on its website. “Initiatives were developed through a community visioning process and executing them will require a community effort.”

The plan can be read in full online at https:// business/strategic-plan/.

Experience Chehalis stays busy year-round with cleanup and beautification efforts, business promotion, grant programs and activity planning intended to get people engaged in downtown Chehalis.

Coming up, Experience Chehalis is hosting the annual summer celebration, ChehalisFest, on July 29. Information about that event can be found online at www.