By Tim Pierick
Chamber of Commerce
The only constant in life is change; you can expend your energy resisting it or you can unleash the energy by being a willing catalyst.
After getting laid off in 2005 from the company that I had poured my heart and soul into for 14 years, my mom sent me a card and a little magnet that says, “Sometimes a change in direction makes life more interesting.” How true that is; that little punch in the gut turned into a great opportunity to start a business in my third career as a home inspector. Finally I have a boss I can get along with.
The same could be said right now for the Chamber of Commerce. We have made many changes in the last few months but instead of fearing change we choose to embrace it. When the former executive director and the rest of the staff resigned suddenly we were forced to look at what the chamber was doing well and what it wasn’t doing at all. In the last six months we have tried to change the dynamic of the chamber. We have hired Tracey McCallum as executive director and Teresa Luedeke as executive assistant. Along with the community and board of directors’ efforts we have been able to host a successful yearly fundraising auction, cosponsored the annual Fourth of July parade, are working with the city and Mount Rainier Independent Business Alliance on developing a downtown park, preparing for our annual golf tournament and our monthly business breakfasts and business after hours. Tracey initiated a new weekly TNT (the explosive power of) networking meeting where local business people can get together and exchange ideas whether they are in the chamber or not.
In our spare time we decided to remodel the chamber office/visitor center. There used to be a wall that separated the front lobby area from the actual business of the chamber; it was all so claustrophobic and, to me, symbolic of the disconnect between the chamber and some of the local business community. That wall came down June 13, with demolition work provided by Steve and Tim. New carpet and vinyl were by Plateau Floors to Go, electrical work by EC Electric, data com by Skynet and drywall by AJ’s Home Repairs – all chamber members.
The staff has done the majority of the repanting with help from several board members. We invited the community to stop by the office July 1 for a grand reopening of the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center. We are not only opening up the office, we are also opening up to the whole community in using change as a catalyst to benefit all of us here in Enumclaw. We are committed to working with the city of Enumclaw, MRIBA, Rotary and innumerable other civic institutions to drive creativity, tourism and measured growth to our city.
On the 1st we unveiled our Enumclaw merchandise – T-shirts, caps, other apparel, coffee and travel mugs, etc., with designs created by Transmogrify and selected by the board. We are excited by the opportunity to drive foot traffic to the Visitor Center where we can help travelers by giving them free maps and directions to local businesses. You have to stop down and check them out; I really like the biker design, but that’s just me.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank former Board President Bev Olson for her dedication to the chamber during the last several years. She was instrumental in initiating the changes that have come to pass. Her tireless efforts will be missed.
As we embark on our new vision of the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce we are actively seeking more board members to represent the diversity of the local business community; perhaps a member of the downtown business core or someone in an agricultural business. We are always looking for new energy, creativity and different view points.
We will not be making changes for change sake, only if it increases the vitality of the local business community, drives tourism to town and continues to reinforce the “buy local” mentality.
Timothy Pierick is owner of Pierick’s Precision Home Inspection and Blessed Be Alpaca Ranch.