Visitors from countries around the world have descended on Camas this week, to attend the CID Bio-Science international distributor meeting.
Nineteen people from 14 countries, including South Africa, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Pakistan and Australia, arrived in town over the weekend for a week-long training and sales development meeting.
CID, a high-tech equipment manufacturer, has been headquartered in Camas for 25 years, but only recently relocated to downtown when the company completed an award-winning renovation of the American Legion Hall for their new company headquarters.
Recently the recipient of a Clark County Community Pride Design Award, the new headquarters was one of the deciding factors in choosing Camas as the host site for the meeting. It is the first time it has been held in the United States.
“We have distributors all over the globe that don’t have the opportunity to meet unless there is a company-wide conference,” said Leonard Felix, president of CID Bio-Science. “In the past we’ve booked distributor meetings in Singapore, Dubai and Sao Paolo. Now, with our new headquarters, we are proud to welcome them to our hometown of Camas.”
The former American Legion building was constructed 80 years ago at 1554 N.E. Third Ave., the once weathered and dilapidated 11,000 square foot structure was purchased by CID in October 2011, and underwent a $1 million renovation. In November 2012, employees moved to the new location from the previous headquarters on Camas Meadows Drive.
While in Camas, the international delegates will “get the red carpet treatment” by local businesses and leaders.
The Camas Hotel is housing most of the guests, selling out the hotel. Local restaurants Harvest, Neustra Mesa, and Caffe Piccolo are supplying catered dinners and lunches for the week-long meeting.
In addition, Camas Mayor Scott Higgins will be presenting at the conference.
“We are excited to welcome world class visitors to Camas,” Higgins said. “We are proud to have CID Bio-Science as part of our community, and look forward to showcasing our wonderful city.”
Also on the agenda are field trips to Mount St. Helens and Multnomah Falls, but Felix notes: “We can give them a taste of the Pacific Northwest just by crossing the street. The Lacamas Lake trail head is directly across from our office, and the Lacamas Creek trail head is only a block away. Our company makes equipment for studying plants and the environment, so the setting here is perfect for demonstrating and training on our instruments.”
Felix said he hopes the visitors leave with a better idea of what small town life is all about.
“The last time our Australian distributor visited Camas, he was struck by the warm ‘Small-town America’ atmosphere here,” says Felix. “He remarked how nice it was to see ‘the real America,’ something he never saw represented on the media at home. So we are especially pleased to be able to bring our international distributors to our community so that they can get a sense of our culture.”