You may not have heard of her yet, but you will soon: Danielle Holstine is the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce’s new Executive Director.
Danielle thinks before she speaks so she can make every word count. Her position as Executive Director is new for the Chamber, and the process of understanding exactly what she and the Chamber’s Board of Directors are each responsible for, and how they are to related to each other is still very much in its formative stages. Thus, each sentence carries the weight of shaping not only her future, but the future of business in Deer Park, and ultimately of the community itself.
Holstine’s day to day duties include visiting member businesses, helping each member discover the benefits of being in the Chamber, and getting to know their particular hurdles and business plans. Her organizing presence provides a focus for the potential of the Chamber as they seek to grow both in size and excellence, and she declared that the Chamber has “been the community connection point, but that has changed. We have realized now that we are a mobile force of businesses to bring about economic development and make it possible for more unique businesses to be established here.” Holstine expressed that in her view “we have a beautiful thing here in Deer Park… and we should protect it.”
When asked about her previous work experience, Holstine listed cities in Oregon, California, Louisiana, Kansas, and Alaska, where she had participated in the city or economic development in some form or fashion. She stated that, “Portland is the city that made me the most curious. You had to go exploring to really see the city. The Alphabet District in Portland and the downtown district of Brea, CA are both inspiring to me as I envision the future of Deer Park. Brea’s Main Street is about the same length as Deer Park’s and is thriving with local businesses.”
Though she has worked hard to help other cities thrive, Holstine wants to lead the Chamber to “make Deer Park distinctive”, and doesn’t seem to have any interest in Deer Park becoming a cookie-cutter-city. The future is looking both challenging and bright since, after reading the Spokane Growth Management Act (GMA) and Comprehensive Plan, she is “anticipating, at minimum, a growth of 10,000 citizens to Deer Park in the next ten years”. That is just ten percent of the 100,000 people expected to move into the Spokane area overall, but Holstine’s goal is to maintain the essence of Deer Park’s welcoming, beautiful city, while making space for new friends and neighbors.
One new emphasis the Chamber is currently formulating a strategy for is the implementation of an intern program. Current ideas being discussed are the possibilities of an internship that would involve some time working with, and learning from, Danielle in the Chamber’s office at City Hall, and some time spent working at various local businesses.
The Chamber is very excited to support Deer Park High School DECA students and, according to Holstine, wants to continue “championing our best students and business ideas here. We want the businesses to take risks on our students and the Chamber wants to take on some of that risk.” This program will likely be open to high school juniors and seniors who are participating in some of the business programs at the high school.
Danielle & Her Family
The Holstines moved to Deer Park in June of 2018, bought a 40-acre farm, and are preparing the property to be a working farm as well as the base for their Heroes Homestead non-profit. Hopes for Heroes Homestead are high. the dreams are demanding, and Andrew & Danielle are excited to create their future. You can find out more about the new services for veterans and their families at HeroesHomestead.org and on Facebook at FB.me/HeroesHomestead.
The Holstines are a family of five with Abigail – 8, Ben – 6, and Baron – 2. The older children are enrolled in Deer Park’s Home Link program, and “are really enjoying their classes”, according to Holstine. Danielle also shared that her kids “love their farm, help with the chores, and go sledding almost every day.” Abigail wants to own her own veterinarian clinic in Deer Park someday, and Ben hopes to help build homes.