Chamber, DABA swear in officers, boards for 2014

SMOKEY POINT — The respective boards of directors for the Downtown Arlington Business Association and the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce were officially installed for 2014 on Tuesday, Jan. 14, after Chamber President Kristen Granroth, of the Granroth Insurance Agency, informed attendees of the day's luncheon at the Medallion Hotel of how the Chamber plans to balance its focus between Arlington and Smokey Point.

The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2014. Back row from left

SMOKEY POINT — The respective boards of directors for the Downtown Arlington Business Association and the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce were officially installed for 2014 on Tuesday, Jan. 14, after Chamber President Kristen Granroth, of the Granroth Insurance Agency, informed attendees of the day’s luncheon at the Medallion Hotel of how the Chamber plans to balance its focus between Arlington and Smokey Point.

While local volunteer Marilyn Bullock stepped down from her 2013 position as DABA’s president, she remains on its Board of Directors in 2014 as DABA’s secretary. Mike Britt of Britt Sport Cards will serve as DABA’s president for 2014, while Steve Clariday of Benchmark Jewelry will serve as its vice president. Tami Sauter of Unique Interiors is stepping in as the new DABA treasurer, while Laurie Landis of Skagit State Bank assumes the role of DABA Board Position 1. All the new officers and Board members had already been unanimously voted in, but Clariday and Sauter were unable to attend the Jan. 14 swearing-in.

“These folks have really promoted the voices of our downtown businesses,” said Chamber Vice President Julie Morse of Opus Bank, who swore in the officers and boards for both the Chamber and DABA. “As a group, they’ve been really active in our downtown community.”

While Morse and Granroth retained their offices from last year, 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, who was absent, 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, Michael Mack of the Lakewood School District and James Eubanks of AFLAC, the latter of whom was also unable to attend the day’s swearing-in.

“I’m always excited for this time of year,” Morse said. “Being on the Chamber Board can be very hard work, because the Board helps put on all sorts of special events, as part of upholding our mission to promote the business community.”

Morse not only acknowledged Bullock as she stepped down from the DABA presidency, but also recognized the Chamber’s outgoing Board members this year, including Heather Logan of Cascade Valley Hospital, who served as last year’s Chamber past president, and Nola Smith of Pacific Learning Solutions, whom Morse credited with making possible the annual Hometown Halloween and Hometown Holidays celebrations in Arlington.

“We’ve enjoyed your work over the years and want to thank you all so much for everything that you’ve done,” said Morse, who included outgoing Board member Roger Miller, also absent, in that praise. “I can’t say enough wonderful things about you all.”

Granroth informed the luncheon attendees that the Chamber was partnering with the city of Arlington to relocate the Chamber’s offices from their current location, adjacent to the Arlington Walmart on 172nd Street NE, to the Depot in Legion Park, just south of the Arlington City Hall and west of the city’s municipal parking lot on Olympic Avenue.

“It’s kind of like coming home, because back when Arlington and Smokey Point had two separate chambers, the Arlington Chamber was located almost exactly right in that same spot,” Granroth said. “We’ll still be meeting for our luncheons at the Medallion Hotel, so this will give us the perfect spread between Arlington and Smokey Point. Plus, it’s financially responsible, since it will save us a lot of money.”

“We look forward to a good year of trying to make the right decisions,” Morse said.

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