The Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce has been connecting area businesses for more than a decade after it’s inception in 2004, and during that time it has been headed by Lori Cadwell. But in a few weeks, she will be stepping down as executive director, and passing the torch to Brittany Caldwell.
Caldwell is a 31-year-old graduate of the University of Washington Bothell’s business administration program whose been working at the Chamber since before she graduated in 2007.
“I feel like I have a lot of history under my belt,” she said. “I have a lot of the relationships, so hopefully it’s an easy transition for all the members.”
Caldwell started working part time for both the Chamber and Country Village, but was quickly brought on as the marketing manager, eventually becoming the director of operations and ultimately began working even more closely with Cadwell.
“When Lori went part time, I started taking on some of the roles,” Caldwell said.
During her eight years with the Chamber, Caldwell launched their social media sites and was heavily involved in community and business outreach, she said.
She said the Chamber has been working in the business community, particularly in Kenmore, to bring in new members, as well as increasing their base in Bothell.
“Both city managers are at our meetings giving updates,” she said.
On Jan. 13, the Chamber sponsored a Bothell ‘State of the City’ luncheon where city manager Bob Stowe addressed members. An equivalent Kenmore event is also scheduled later this spring.
Rapid area growth is key to Caldwell’s future plans.
“That’s the exciting piece, and also the challenging piece,” she said. “It’s going to be a goal of ours to keep up with growth.”
Two Chamber positions were recently filled, with Maurita Colburn beginning to handle member – community relations, and Elizabeth Tackett hired on as the office manager.
Caldwell hopes to continue sponsoring events like the Wine Walk, Bothell Beer Festival and hopes to work with UW Bothell on their upcoming spring Block Party.
“I have such an allegiance and love for that university that it’s fun to continue to work with them,” she said.
She also holds a deep respect for Cadwell, whom she considers a friend and mentor.
“It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with her,” Caldwell said. “The passion is just incredible, she really cares about the businesses.”
Caldwell said she sees a welcoming business and social atmosphere in the Bothell area, and looks forward to stepping into her new role.
“This community is so friendly, welcoming and supportive,” she said.
The Chamber was formed from the Greater Bothell Association, a downtown merchant group. Today, it boasts nearly 300 members, and expects that number to keep climbing.
Membership provides businesses with access to the Chamber’s newsletter, events, networking and professional development sessions.
“The more connected all our businesses are in the community, the better off we are,” said Caldwell.
Lori Cadwell retired from the Chamber on Dec. 31, a retirement party will be held Feb. 3 at Alexa’s Cafe, beginning at 5 p.m.