Discover Burien’s New Leader Is Hitting The Ground Running

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Story by Janet Grella
Photos by Scott Schaefer

What do you get when you cross a fireball with a firecracker?

You get Discover Burien’s new Executive Director, Steve Gilbert.

What a rare and unique find for the city of Burien.

BTB sat down with Steve for breakfast last week at one of Burien’s busiest breakfast eateries, 909 Coffee & Wine. At warp speed, we covered everything from his family, past positions and his vision for Burien and Discover Burien.

“Burien is an absolutely spectacular community,” Steve said. “It’s like one of those small town mid-American communities where everyone knows each other and everyone has got your back. It’s really really neat to see the energy in Burien.”

He continued his rah-rah head cheerleader role, continuing: “…with a strong business base, access to parks, the water and the airport – Burien’s got it all!”

With pieces already in place from a business and community standpoint, Steve sees “Burien full-out sprinting” from the recession.

With Steve at the helm, I have no doubt.

In his opinion “Burien is primed to do something great, yet we cannot lose track of where we’ve been.”

Looking forward, Steve sees the very board who hired him as a group of “very enthusiastic individuals who listen to ideas and are all going in a common direction, with a shared vision. When everyone has a single goal, they become an unstoppable force.”

"Burien is an absolutely spectacular community," says Discover Burien's Steve Gilbert.

That unifying vision of direction will be flushed out at the Discover Burien Board retreat on January 13.

I asked him in a nutshell how he would explain to our readers what the Discover Burien Association is; his response:

“Discover Burien is a gathering place for business and community leaders to get together to positively affect change in their own community.”

“Discover Burien presents a real opportunity to people to make a difference to make a difference in the community they live, work and play in,” he concluded. “Participating in Discover Burien is the best investment a business can make.”

Membership to Discover Burien starts at just $25 per year. If you are interested in joining, you can check their website for a membership application, or call the office at 206-433-2882.

What’s next for Steve and Discover Burien?

He plans to bring back the education series held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. The first seminar will be conducted by Devon Rich of the Small Business Development Center on Business Financial Loans on Feb. 24th.  He will also be introducing an Educational Series with a Retail focus.

And really good news – the monthly Discover Burien After Hours for business networking will resume again in January.

When Steve isn’t cheerleading for Burien, he’s living with his family in Issaquah that includes daughter Madison, 11, son Cooper, 8, and his wife Becky, “the love of my life”.

The commute?

“It isn’t bad. I leave the house at 6:20 in the morning and arrive in Burien at 7 am, ready to hit the ground running.”

We don’t doubt that at all.

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5 Responses to “Discover Burien’s New Leader Is Hitting The Ground Running”
  1. Dr T says:

    He lives in Issaquah?

  2. Greg Fox says:

    Just don’t raise the cost of a vendor space at the farmers market.

  3. warrenb says:

    Burien is a spectacular community, he just wouldn’t live there. He lives in Issaquah. He has no vested interest in Burien. One thing Burien has no lack of is carpetbaggers.

  4. Good morning everyone,

    I would like to address the issue of my residence as that seems to be the 800# gorilla. I do live in Issaquah and have been there for the past eight years.

    When I grew up, my father was a project manager in a large international construction company building power plants. His job required that we moved every couple of years or so. Having lived all over the U.S. was a mixed blessing. Although I got to see some really amazing places, it was extremely challenging on our family life.

    When my wife and I decided to raise our family, we agreed that we would do our best to provide a consistent home life for our children — it is in the best interest of our children.

    I take my parental responsibilities very seriously. I also take my business life very seriously which is why it would be inconsistent for me to not give this my best efforts at making a positive difference here in Burien. We talk to our kids about the importance of doing their best in everything they do and taking pride in doing a good job, which is what I look to do with my position here at Discover Burien.

    Burien is an amazing community and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of it. Working here at Discover Burien is not incongruous with my living in Issaquah and providing the stable environment for my children that they have had since they have been in school.

    I invite you to give me a call and set up a time to meet with me so we can talk about Burien’s future. There are a lot of great places here in Burien to meet, grab a coffee, tea, smoothie, water or cola and figure out what else we can do help Burien thrive. I would love to talk with you and anyone else with concerns. Our phone number is (206) 433.2882.

    Be forewarned, I will challenge you to help Discover Burien achieve its mission, “To create and sustain a vibrant business community through promotions and education.”

    Holiday Cheers…Steve Gilbert

  5. Gina B says:

    I am looking forward to all of the exciting things Steve will bring to Burien as a whole. I have worked briefly with him and anyone whom has had the privileged to do so would know that his home address means nothing in regard to his passion for building this community.

    Cheers to you Steve and all you bring to the table.

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