Federal Way chamber CEO unveils new efforts to attract businesses

Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce CEO Rebecca Martin delivers the state of the chamber address during a luncheon on Wednesday at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club.  - RAECHEL DAWSON, the Mirror
Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce CEO Rebecca Martin delivers the state of the chamber address during a luncheon on Wednesday at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club.
— image credit: RAECHEL DAWSON, the Mirror

At the same time Federal Way officials are exploring ways to bring more economic development to the city, the business community has ideas of their own.

Rebecca Martin, new president and CEO of the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, unveiled the chamber’s new strategic efforts to attract new businesses and retain current ones during her state of the chamber address on Wednesday.

Part of those initiatives include a new Mind Your Own Business series featuring how-to sessions on skills that impact businesses’ bottom line, a Business Summit series with roundtable discussions that will address business issues and a Community Tie-off series of informal briefings by senior military leaders highlighting the impact of the uniformed services on the economic vitality and security of the region.

“Which way do you go to be connected? Where do you turn to get that business edge,” Martin said to a packed room at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club before she unveiled the chamber’s new logo. “The chamber can help with that question. When you don’t know which way to take, you take the Federal Way because that way leads to success.”

The new logo is a “visual representation” of the chamber’s promise that the organization will enable businesses to do and achieve more, she said.

Martin outlined five of the chamber’s new objectives that will help them promote regional economic prosperity in communities along the Seattle-Tacoma business corridor.

Amongst those strategies, she hopes to build on the chamber’s current membership base of 400 businesses, as well as launch a new brand that promotes the Federal Way area as a viable business location.

The chamber will also provide more opportunities for business success and community impact through programs, events and economic initiatives, including the various speaker, roundtable and how-to series. Already scheduled is a small business advisory meeting with Congressman Adam Smith on Aug. 12.

Next May, the chamber will host a Health Care Summit with topics that range from economic impact and workplace trends, to how-to sessions that can help businesses navigate the system. In October, the chamber will kick off its Community Tie-off series with speaker Richard T. Gromlich, commander of the Coast Guard 13th District.

The chamber has also added new marketing products, including an e-calender with upcoming programs and events, a relocation and visitor guide highlighting the South Puget Sound that will launch in September, a MyChamber smartphone application and a biweekly e-newsletter called Moxie featuring member news.

“I think that she’s really going to take us in a great direction,” Mayor Jim Ferrell said of Martin following the chamber luncheon on Wednesday.

He said he speaks with Martin regularly and is excited about her initiatives in the business community.

“She’s got a lot of things going on and what we want to do is have our efforts enhance one another and not get in each other’s way, but really help each other achieve the same goal, which is economic development in our city,” Ferrell said.

The City Council began discussions this month about creating a committee that will help direct an economic summit for Federal Way’s future this fall.

In addition, the mayor named Tim Johnson as the city’s new director of Economic Development this week.

Ferrell said he spoke with Martin to ensure, as the city launches its economic development efforts, “that it works hand in glove with what they’re doing. In fact, we’re going to need her and the chair of the board for the task force that we’re putting together. We need to make sure that we’re all moving in the same direction.”

The mayor commended the chamber board for their efforts in conducting a national search to seek out Martin and her talent that she brings to Federal Way.

“We did the same thing for our economic development director and so the first thing, when Tim gets into town, I’m going to have him go meet Becca — they could be dangerous together,” Ferrell laughed.


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