By Andrea H. Reay
President/CEO of the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce
A Year in Review
2019 marked my third year serving as President/CEO at Seattle Southside Chamber. As I look forward to 2020 and my “senior” year, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of our past accomplishments as well as look ahead to the many more great things to come for 2020.
First, our organization updated our strategic plan, which was passed in 2018. Chiefly, we updated our vision, mission, and values:
Our Vision: Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce is the leading business membership organization in the South Puget Sound region and a guiding voice for our business community and the communities we serve.
Our new vision statement serves not only as a roadmap to guide internal decision making, but also as a source of aspiration. From now on, we will always lead with our vision first, as that is where our organization is heading.
Our Mission: Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce creates success for our members; advances our region; and maintains a strong economic environment in Southwest King County through support, service, and advocacy at all levels of government and by connecting our members to our community.
Our mission is who we are and what we do now. It helps explain what we do and why we do it, our raison d’être.
Our Values: Service, trust, collaboration, innovation, and excellence.
Our values also help guide our decision making and set expectations. Of course, we still have our founding principle, that is now over 31 years old — “Better and stronger together” — and we believe that this new set of values better aligns with this. Building the collaborative culture of our region is no small task, but one we know is achievable when we all work together. We are grateful for our members who have been with us since the beginning and continue to support us. Thank you.
Second, we more closely aligned our strategic goals with our vision, mission, and values.
Membership & Membership Benefits: As always, we will continue to grow both membership and the benefits of membership. In 2019, we added health insurance to help small businesses stay competitive with attracting and retaining employees. In 2020, we are going to track the number of referrals we give out to our members as well as continue to offer our Universal Membership program, a cost-free introduction to our organization for small businesses.
Summit Series: In 2019, we began to host larger signature events, called summits, where we leverage our partnerships for greater collective impact in our community. In 2020, we will co-host an Economic Equity Summit on January 17th in partnership with the Renton Chamber. We are also planning an Education and Workforce Summit in collaboration with over 10 school districts, a Sustainability Summit with our environmental partners, and an Industry Summit. Additionally, we are planning to bring back our Retail Summit that was received with great success in 2019.
Education & Workforce Development: In 2019, our Success Foundation team brought together students to compete in the NASA ANGLeS Challenge as well as explore post-high school opportunities during our Window into Work Program. In 2020, we will continue to inspire a greater culture of philanthropy with our members to support education and workforce programs. We will bring back our Southside Argonauts team to compete in another NASA challenge and continue to provide a Window Into Work program to allow our youth to not only hear about, but experience and see the varied pathways to successful careers right here in our community. We will also work to maintain committees that serve and are responsive to the needs of our community.
Third, we will continue to grow and advance the leadership on our board so that our board continues to reflect the needs, values, and diversity of our membership. As a membership organization, there is no greater call to service than serving on our board. Thank you to all who have served and who continue to serve.
New board members will be welcomed at our annual meeting and Holiday Luncheon on December 13th. We hope you can join us to say thank you to our outgoing members and welcome to our incoming members. Details regarding the Holiday Luncheon can be found here: https://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com/events/details/annual-holiday-luncheon-2919?calendarMonth=2019-12-01. Thank you to our sponsors: Wells Fargo, BECU, Alaska Airlines, Louise Strander, Crain Photography, and South King Media.
Finally, thank you. Thank you for allowing us to serve you, for being part of our success, and for helping us create a community and a vibrant economy that works for all.
This article was written by Andrea H. Reay, the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila since 1988. For more information about the Chamber, including a full list of member benefits and resources, please visit their website at www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com