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Chamber names Byrnes citizen of the year

Arlington High Schools Jazzmine entertains at the Arlington-Smokey Point  Chamber of Commerce banquet auction Saturday, Jan. 26, providing a sneak preview of its upcoming show, Cruisin the Strip, that will be presented in the Byrnes Performing Arts Center for three weekends at the end of February and early March. -
Arlington High Schools Jazzmine entertains at the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce banquet auction Saturday, Jan. 26, providing a sneak preview of its upcoming show, Cruisin the Strip, that will be presented in the Byrnes Performing Arts Center for three weekends at the end of February and early March.
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ARLINGTON Linda Byrnes seemed thoroughly surprised Saturday night, Jan. 26, when David Boulton announced she was the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, just two days after she was honored at a chamber Business After Hours for being named Superintendent of the Year for the state of Washington.
No wonder there are so many school district people here, Byrnes said in retrospect, after now Past President David Boulton listed her accomplishments, not only in the past year, but in the past 12 years.
He acknowledged her successes passing the bond for a new high school that was leveraged into seven new facilities in the district as her first task when she arrived in Arlington, up to the day before the banquet, when she traveled to Olympia to campaign for a UW campus in north Snohomish County.
I am so clueless, she grinned largely when Boulton called her forward to present her as the Citizen of the Year. Byrnes recently announced her intention to retire at the end of this school year and was named Superintendent of the Year for the state of Washington.
School Board President Kay Duskin laughed about the amount of attention Byrnes has been getting lately.
She really hates it when the spotlight is on her, Duskin said.
Each year, the chamber honors a citizen who goes above and beyond the call of duty to make the Arlington community a better place to live.
Linda Byrnes has done so much for our community, said the coordinator of the auction/banquet, Julie Morse, who has been on the chamber board for seven years, auction chair for five years, and now secretary of the board for the year ahead.
She is a fantastic advocate for education. If it wasnt for her, we wouldnt have such a beautiful performing arts center, Morse said.
Byrnes said when she came to Arlington, she thought it would be for just a few years, but now she isnt going anywhere.
I love this community, Byrnes said.
This is definitely Lindas year, Morse said, noting that the banquet raised more than $15,000 with $4,000 designated for a scholarship fund.
Last years scholarship winner, Jennifer Overman, spoke on behalf of the funding the chambers scholarship fun, expressing her appreciation for the assistance, and in a fun twist of fate, last years citizen of the year, Linda Dussault won the raffle for brunch for four at the Arlington River Rock Inn.
Along with many representatives from the school districts board and staff, Cascade Valley Hospital was also well represented at the banquet with administrators and staff in attendance. County Councilman John Koster and his wife, Vicky, attended the shindig, along with about 110 chamber members and friends in attendance.
One big gap at the event was left, however, by the absence of the city of Arlingtons elected officials and management, who were all gone to La Conner for the citys annual planning retreat.
The evening program at the Hawthorn Inn started with two tables of silent auction items, music provided by Post Middle School choir teacher Jeff Swanson, a sit-down dinner and live auction with lots of weekend getaways on the block and a half hour performance by Arlington High Schools Jazzmine offering a sneak preview of the upcoming Cruizin the Strip show to be presented in the new performing arts center for three weekends at the end of February.
The chambers executive director, Jennifer Shaw, said she felt the banquet was perfect.
It was a lot of fun and I am very glad its over, she said.
The retiring president is also very pleased.
We had a great turnout this year and the black and white theme turned out a lot of fun, said David Boulton, who will continue to serve on the board as past president.
The new board of directors met on Jan. 31 for a planning retreat.
At the chamber banquet Carey Waterworth was named as the winner of a contest for art to be featured on the cover of the 2008-2009 chamber telephone directory. A business woman who is executive assistant to her husbands insurance agency in Smokey Point, Waterworth created a painting of a produce market with a barn and Three Fingers Mountain in the background to portray commerce in the Arlington area.


2008 officers:
President Jim Lonneker, North County Bank
Past President David Boulton, Flowers by George
Vice President Paul Graves, Viewpoint Lending
Secretary Julie Morse, Cascade Bank
Treasurer Simona DeVries, Whidbey Island Bank
Board of Directors:
Becky Foster, Bruce & Beckys Interiors
Rick OBrien, Olympic Security Systems
Deb Borgen, Arlington School District
Robin Miller, Favorite Pastime
Annie Dempsey, Harman Eye Clinic
Melissa Quast, Costco
Barbara Tolbert, Arlington Fly-In
Heather Logan, Cascade Valley Hospital
Jesica Stickles, Stickles Press
Norma Jean Syrie, Olympic Escrow
Larry Francois, Lakewood School District
Marv Monty, Edward Jones

Retiring directors:
Mary Ann Monty, Ramo Realty
Steve Peiffle, Bailey, Duskin, Peiffle and Canfield, PS
Sarah Arney, The Arlington Times


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