Chamber unveils new name as big as a valley

ARLINGTON – The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday unveiled its new name – the Stillaguamish Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber officials said the change reflects the organization’s intent to acknowledge that there are many towns and pockets of livelihood and business interests that call the valley home.

“We wanted to be more inclusive to include all communities in the Stilly Valley – Darrington, Oso, Lakewood and Silvana – who may have felt excluded because of the name,” said Jessica Ronhaar, chamber president.

After decades of serving businesses and the community under the old name, the discussion to fly under a new name happened last fall at the chamber retreat, executive director Jennifer Egger said.

“We wanted to have a broader reach and a way to come up with more coordinated plans, but keep the small business boutique flavor to the chamber,” she said after the February membership luncheon hosted at Bonefish Grill in Lakewood.

Egger said the chamber also plans to build on its membership benefits that include networking, event leadership and sponsorship, member discounts and a strong voice advocating on behalf of local businesses.

As part of the makeover, the chamber also has a new logo depicting a city skyline, river swoosh against a backdrop of the valley’s rugged Cascade peaks, along with the slogan, “Where Business and Community Meet.”

The rebranding includes a new website under development, and funded with help from a Snohomish County hotel-motel tourism tax grant. The new site will retain all the benefits and commerce information for business owners, while expanding content to add tourism resources that tout the Stilly Valley region’s opportunities for outdoor recreation.

An online event calendar will continue to keep members and visitors updated on meetings and events such as a health fair with Cascade Valley Hospital set for May 19 at the chamber office. Other chamber events include the Country Charm Walk, Hometown Holiday, 4th of July festival and Farm to Table Dinner.

Egger said the chamber hopes to complete the revamped site and go live before summer.

This is the first name change since the merger of the Smokey Point Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce in 2005.

Egger also said she is pleased with a renewed partnership with the Downtown Arlington Business Association. “It a partnership that is blossoming this year,” she said.

For more contact the chamber at 360-659-5453.

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