A note from WCCE Chair

Surprise! When one accepts the position of Vice-Anything, it is with the knowledge of the possibility of needing to step into the role of THE-Whatever. The biggest ask is usually to step in and run a meeting. But there exists the possibility of filling in on a more permanent basis. Yep, surprise!

I would like to thank Lora for her years of service to WCCE and her chamber. We wish her well in her new endeavors. As your newly minted Board Chair of WCCE, I will do my best to carry the torch from Lora and the multitudes of other amazing leaders who have served our organization. Now the bad news; as the presumed board chair next year, this means that I will be serving an 18-month term. My apologies in advance. And since I will be filling this role for a while ...

With every great chamber meeting, we have the opportunity for connection, networking, and introductions. For those who do not know me, my name is Guy Occhiogrosso. I have had the pleasure of being in this industry for almost 16 years serving two chambers in the far corner of Northwest Washington. I started my career in 2006 with the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Director, and for the past 8+ years I have been the President/CEO of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. Typically, I am the obnoxious one in our meetings - and yes, In our zoom calls, Bob loves to call on me as he knows I have no shortage of things to say - valuable or not. At least he and I will have some fun over the 18 months.

Our upcoming conference will be a great opportunity to learn and network. It is my hope that you will attend and spend some time taking back some valuable information and quality tools to your chamber and community. So much work has been done to ensure this conference experience is great. Thanks again to Lora as well as Andrea, and the entire committee who is working on it.

My promise to you: we will continue to lean into providing valuable content, best practices, and a safe place for those of us in this industry. Both your input and participation matter. As generally the "only one of us" in each of our communities, it is important that we continue to support each other and better the "Chamber of Commerce" name across the state. With your help, we can continue to do that. As our industry continues to move faster in this post-pandemic world, it is my hope that we can continue to be the strong force for each of our communities - and sometimes, more importantly, each other.

Thank you for your service to your community and WCCE. I look forward to working with you and Bob to make our shared organization of WCCE even more valuable.

Guy Signature



Guy Occihiogrosso

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