SMOKEY POINT — The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce installed its new Board of Directors during its winter holiday luncheon on Dec. 10, which included a mix of familiar faces and newcomers to the Board.
Kristen Granroth, of the Granroth Insurance Agency, and Julie Morse, of Opus Bank, retained their respective roles as president and vice president of the Chamber, while Michelle Heue, of Shiraz Specialty Pharmacy, went from being the Chamber's interim secretary to its full-term secretary. Chamber Board member Fritz Fittinger, of the Arlington Walmart, became the Chamber's new treasurer, while new Chamber Board members Vanessa Pawley, of Union Bank, and Steve Peiffle, of Bailey, Duskin & Peiffle, joined returning Board member Sid Logan, of the Arlington School District. Board members who were not up for election this year included Jean Simpson, of Village Community Services; Carrie Byrum, of Avon; James Eubanks, of AFLAC; Michael Mack, of the Lakewood School District; and Nola Smith, of Pacific Learning Solutions.
"New to the Board this year are Victoria and Steve, although Steve served on the former Arlington Chamber Board," Granroth said. "Our strengths lie in the diversity of businesses and backgrounds that we come from, which gives us the diverse toolbox that I've mentioned before. Victoria brings another banker on board, in addition to Julie, and Steve is a local attorney and business owner. We have small business owners, large business managers, school employees, local business employees and a nonprofit employee on our Board now. I would hope that, with the addition of our new members, we're bringing logical minds and passionate hearts to the Board."
Just as Granroth hopes that all the Chamber members can work together toward the betterment of their Chamber and business community, so too did she promise changes to the Chamber in 2014 that should render its operations more smooth and productive.
"I'm excited to see our numbers grow, even above the record membership we saw in 2013, and for our members to see even more value from their Chamber," said Granroth, who invited Chamber members and non-members alike to the Chamber's Business After Hours at Arlington Rehab Partners, located at 328 S. Stillaguamish Ave., from 5:30-7 p.m. on Dec. 19. "Our Business After Hours meetings are a prime example of what the Chamber is and does, by uniting large and small businesses, so they can help each other grow."
Those who bring door prizes to the Business After Hours meetings are afforded additional opportunities to promote their businesses. For more information, call Michele Wiley at 360-722-2802.
Because the Arlington Walmart sponsored the Chamber's Dec. 10 luncheon, Fittinger was given 10 minutes to promote his own business, although he only used six minutes, even including the unsolicited endorsements that he received from several fellow Chamber members, who touted the Arlington Walmart's hassle-free "Black Friday" shopping and its hiring of an adult with developmental disabilities from Village Community Services.
"I'm proud to be part of this business community," Fittinger said. "It's been a lot of fun these past three years, and I appreciate all the support we've received in our goal of making this store your local Arlington Walmart. We have 285 associates, 80 percent of whom live within 10 minutes of the store, and they're happy to work closer to home and their children."
Fittinger likewise deemed the Arlington Walmart's focus on supporting local charities, such as the Arlington Community Food Bank, as among its responsibilities as "a good corporate citizen of the community."
"There's a lot we could not have done without Walmart's support," said Granroth, who reiterated her invitation to all businesses, old and new alike, to either join the Chamber for the first time, or rejoin it if they've been away for a while. "At the end of this year, we'll be conducting another member survey that I would encourage all of our members to take part in, given that we'll use the information gathered to help direct our operations in 2014, to make sure we do an even better job of giving our members what they need and want from their Chamber."