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Over 1,600 Marion & Polk County Businesses Participating in first Best of the Willamette Valley

Voting opened today for the first Best of the Willamette Valley contest produced by Salem, OR based NERUS Strategies, LLC. “We have over 1,600 businesses competing in 191 categories” said Bill Cummings, President of NERUS. “Voting is completely online and can be found at”

“We are excited to be working on our home turf delivering a truly 'Best of' experience that businesses and individuals of the Willamette Valley are sure to grow to love,” said Neil Potter, Vice President of NERUS.

The process began with open nominations in February. Voting is held March 9 – March 27. The contest will culminate with a destination website, winner's magazine and a Best of the Willamette Valley celebration on May 21st at The Yard Food Park. The event will include food sampling from over 15 food trucks, axe throwing, live music and more!

“Best of programs are a great way to show love to those businesses, people and places that we frequent throughout the year,” explained Potter. “Not only do you get to support your favorites, but you also have the opportunity to experience, explore and try new businesses and restaurants that you may not have discovered yet,” concluded Potter.

NERUS is quickly becoming known as the producers of North America’s most successful Best Of programs. Their largest is Best of Las Vegas with over 9 Million votes cast last year. In addition, the company has contests in Arkansas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and New Hampshire. They will be launching a best of program in Montreal, Canada this summer.

“Normally we are brought in to partner with a local media company like a newspaper, radio or television station,” said Cummings. “But for the Willamette Valley, we decided to go it alone. NERUS was founded in the Pacific Northwest. Eighty percent of our staff are from the local area. Producing the Best of the Willamette Valley to engage the community in celebrating the places, restaurants and local businesses we love make sense.”

NERUS will use a combination of media to promote the contest to the Willamette Valley audience, including social media, digital display campaigns, bus side advertising, outdoor advertising, radio, cable television, email, live events and direct mail.

Residents can look for a copy of the Best of Willamette winner's magazine on May 20th at Showbiz, The Mid-Willamette Valley’s premier tradeshow, held at the Oregon State Fair Grounds. Magazines will also be mailed to select households and available at participating winner’s locations.

For complete contest details visit:, email or call 503-584-1627.

Key Upcoming Dates

  • Voting Begins - Monday, March 9th

  • Voting Ends - Friday, March 27th

  • Results Published Web/Mag - Thursday, May 21st



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