Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce welcomes Burton as new chairperson
January 31, 2011 · 11:35 AM
With former director Dale Amundsen of Evergreen-Washelli at Bothell having served as many terms as allowable by chamber by-laws, the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce has a new chairperson in the form of Laurene Burton, administrative director for government and community affairs at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center.
Burton oversaw her first general chamber meeting as chair Jan. 27 when officials gave their annual state-of-the-chamber presentation in the Northshore Senior Center.
Vice-chair under Amundsen, Burton said she has no immediate plans for any major changes in chamber operations, but simply hopes to continue "working with the vibrant community we already have."
"It's a very, very solid chamber," she said. "We are moving forward in a great direction."
Burton had nothing but praise for Amundsen, who will continue to serve the chamber in some sort of outreach capacity.
"Of course, we all hated to see Dale go, he's been such a great chair," Burton said.
Speaking on the state of the chamber, Director of Operations Brittany Caldwell painted the chamber as growing and moving in the right directions.
Caldwell noted Bothell's chamber launched in 2004 with about 25 members.
"We're still a young chamber," Caldwell said. But she added that young chamber now has about 250 members from Bothell and the surrounding area.
According to Caldwell, some notable happenings involving the chamber in the last year include:
• The chamber took steps to broaden its visibility with a regular column in the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter and enhancement of its Web site. Members also can take advantage of free announcements in the chamber's newsletter.
• The chamber helped sponsor 10 grand openings last year, though not all of the events were for new businesses. Five Point Financial Group and the Hilton Garden Inn were among the businesses to hold openings. Caldwell said grand openings, complete with publicity, city officials and ribbon cuttings can be held for expansions and relocations, as well as the actual opening of new businesses. She said grand openings are excuses to celebrate, and draw some attention — and customers — to a business
"We all like a reason to celebrate," Caldwell said.
• The chamber has six standing committees, ranging from chamber ambassadors to an economic development group. Economic development Chairman Dick Paylor said his committee sponsored a candidate forum for the last round of City Council elections and will do so again this year. The committee also engages in legislative advocacy for the chamber and Paylor said he'd like to think the chamber had a hand in gaining state dollars for the major redevelopment of downtown Bothell and surrounding areas.
• The chamber last year helped raise $1,900 for the Northshore Senior Center, a donation which was presented in check form to center Director Gary Kingsbury.
Caldwell said the goals for next year include continuing the chamber's public events, such as its annual summer picnic and holiday auction. She said the chamber's after-hours socials are popular enough that there is a waiting list to sponsor an event; all the regular spots for this year are filled.