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Port of Oly Terminal perspective by Thurston EDC’s Michael Cade –
Yelm Chamber Exec. Dir. Wortberg returns to Thurston EDC

Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC)
Executive Director Michael Cade.
Photo credit: Thurston EDC

– Editor’s Note:
Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC) Executive Director Michael Cade penned this thought-provoking Op-Ed, published in The Olympian. Yelm area voters should take an interest in Port of Olympia news because we pay taxes and vote on Port Commission candidates.

– “Port’s terminal plays vital role in local economy”
* Suggestions that the Port of Olympia give up its working waterfront are short sighted
* State law gives public ports a mission to stimulate economic development
* Successful organizations look at longer trends

My decades of economic development experience have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of a working waterfront. Land-locked communities covet a port like ours; they’d be shocked that anyone would even consider willingly surrendering such a competitive advantage and strategic asset.

State law gives public ports a mission to stimulate economic development and provide a catalyst for economic activity and job growth. The Port of Olympia is doing that: A recent study found that port operations generate nearly 4,400 local jobs and $287 million in business revenue. Of those totals, the marine terminal drives more than 560 jobs and $33 million in business revenue.

Thurston EDC partners with cities throughout Thurston County to diversify our job base and build a sustainable local economy for our future.”
Read more

– Yelm Chamber Executive Director Wortberg returns to Thurston EDC
On Thursday, June 9, 2016, the Nisquully Valley News reported Yelm Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wortberg resigned to accept a position at the Thurston EDC, from where she came prior to Yelm, as their Executive Director of the Asset Building Coalition. Wortberg was introduced as the new Executive Director at the Chamber Forum September 8, 2015, and came from Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB) providing training and counseling to women-owned businesses and operating under the umbrella of the Thurston EDC’s Business Resource Center.

Since Cecelia Jenkins retirement as Chamber Executive Director in 2014 after a stellar career, the Yelm Chamber has had two Executive Directors since December 2014, in addition to several Board changes. The turmoil at the Chamber among the Board of Directors and revolving door of Executive Directors, in addition to the changes in mission and direction of the organization, needs to be frankly addressed with the public and chamber members, and soon.

– UPDATE: June 13, 2016, 3:20pm
Kudos to Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Denise Hibbeln for e-mailing Chamber members about the Executive Director changes. Hopefully the Chamber will post this letter on their website so the public-at-large can have this information, too. This would go a long way towards building confidence for members and non-members alike.

– UPDATE: June 14, 2015
Kudos to Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Denise Hibbeln for posting her letter on the Yelm Chamber website platform today, for the public to read and understand: “Letter from the President.”
Read more

The Yelm Community blog is a Yelm Chamber member.

Posted by Steve on June 13, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. I could not agree more Steve about the need for some sort of C of C discussion about the revolving door. Two ED’s, total staff loss is 3-4 (Line, Trish, Myra), plus loss on the Board. What is going on. They also asked for nominations for new Board members in February but no action has been taken to get the nominees seated. (I am one of them) It would seem that the Board is not being transparent nor communicative to its members. Is is appropriate to bring this up at lunch this week?


    Comment by Bill Wyman on June 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm

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