Just like that, another outstanding year at the chamber has come to a close with 92 members, including 21 new members. 2019 was an exciting year for our chamber and we are very grateful to all who have become engaged in our programs. Your participation produces success and we want our community to know and see the difference that the chamber and our dedicated members have made.
We sponsored many successful and well-attended events including Bite of Blaine, the Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration, the Drayton Harbor Maritime Festival and Holiday Harbor Lights, resulting in increased sales and positive exposure for local businesses. The chamber also partnered with several local organizations in support of many other events held in Blaine this year.
Our board members in 2019 were Ray Maxon, Michael Ebert (Fortiphi Insurance), Carroll Solomon (Blaine Welcome Center), James Danger (Banner Bank), Bob Boule (Smuggler’s Inn), Louise Mugar (The Northern Light), Kathy Sitker (Blaine Senior Center), Julia Mullenix (Peace Arch Real Estate) and Heidi Holmes (Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2).
Our visibility has continued to grow, with an enhanced presence on social media and our new, updated website. We hired our first employee, Donna Raimey, program and events coordinator, who brings passion for the role, dedication to our cause and more than 15 years of professional experience in nonprofit management, committee leadership, marketing and fundraising and nonprofit and corporate event planning and coordination.
As 2020 approaches, we will continue the rebranding effort that brought our chamber a new look, new programs and more collaborations to help us better serve our members. Our leadership has re-organized, focusing on education and growing our programs to increase engagement and extend our reach in the community through leadership. We are working diligently to identify new innovative learning programs and strategic networking opportunities where experts and professionals share information about important and timely issues that affect businesses and the community as a whole.
We would like to say thank you to all of our members and volunteers for your tremendous work, as your efforts paid off in an outstanding chamber year. We look forward to the continued success of our programs and events, as well as education and advocacy efforts in another all-around great year ahead.