Back home and open for BUSINESS

By Pat Caldwell
The Malheur Enterprise

VALE – After a long stint away from his hometown, Derek Chamberlain is excited about his new business venture – one he hopes will not only provide a needed service for the community but also be a positive influence.

Derek and wife Claire Chamberlain will be co-owners of the nearly-ready-to-open CAPS, offering auto, truck and agriculture parts at a premium price for the Vale community.

“We are locally owned. The money will stay here (in the community),” Chamberlain said.

Chamberlain’s business will operate out of the current Romans Parts and Machinery at 10 Avenue E. in Vale. Romans Parts and Machinery will move just across the street to a building currently under construction.

Chamberlain isn’t a newcomer to the parts business. For nearly a decade he worked for MHC Kenworth in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area. He began his tenure behind the parts counter and eventually climbed the ladder to be a district manager.

Chamberlain said his time at MHC Kenworth was rewarding.

“The hardest part at MHC Kenworth was turning in my two weeks,” he said.

Yet both Chamberlains – who met when they were interns for Chrysler in Detroit in 2006 – said they feel good about their decision to move back to Vale and open up a business. They were ready to leave the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Claire said.

“Three or four years ago we sat down and decided it (Dallas/Fort Worth) was not really what we wanted,” she said. “The main reason we came up here was to concentrate on family life. It is something we really wanted to do.”

Now the couple live in Willowcreek. At work, Derek will handle the parts piece of the new business Claire said she will do the books.

“He knows the business side and I like numbers,” Claire said.

Derek Chamberlain’s family has deep roots in the Vale community, a fact he believes will help his business.

“Most people walking in already know who I am,” Derek said.

The key, Derek said, to the parts business is working hard for customers to provide the kind of service they not only expect but need.

“Parts is all about who wants to hustle the most. At the end of the day it’s our word,” Derek said.

Derek said one of the best attributes of his new business venture revolves around the fact he will be back in his hometown helping make a difference.

“We are excited to be back in the valley. And we are hoping to make a positive impact in the community,” he said.

Claire said she is also looking forward to offering a solid part’s service to the community. She said her husband exudes a unique outlook and ability regarding parts.

“I’ve seen what he can do. I have faith,” she said.

Derek said there was one other factor that played a role in his decision to start his own business.

“A lot of prayers,” he said.