New executive director appointed for Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce

By Gwen Roley

Liz Thornton started as executive director of the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce on February 20.

Before coming to the Birch Bay chamber, Thornton was the support services coordinator at the Sean Humphrey House, a nonprofit which offers assistance to individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Bellingham. She lives in Birch Bay with her family and said she hopes to use her experience in planning in her new position.

“I’m looking forward to keeping the relationships we have established and helping Birch Bay succeed and grow,” Thornton said.

It is the executive director’s responsibility to create a professional environment and oversee operations at the Birch Bay Visitor Information Center on Birch Bay Drive. Thornton will also be tasked with supervising chamber staff and maintaining a positive relationship with other county contacts and neighboring chambers.

“She worked to get volunteers at her old job at Sean Humphrey House and we have a need for volunteers right now,” said board director Doralee Booth.

Executive director is a part-time position and Thornton said her responsibilities increase during the summer when there are more chamber events.

“Right now, we’re getting excited for the Kite Festival in May, which is our big kick-off for the summer,” Thornton said.

The Kite Festival will take place over the weekend of May 25 and 26 at Birch Bay Park. After this event, the Birch Bay chamber will also be hosting the Sand Sculpture Competition over the weekend of July 20 and 21, which will be combined with the Rollback Car Show.

The next Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce board of directors meeting is on March 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the visitor information center. The chamber will be hosting its next luncheon on March 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and participants can RSVP by emailing


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