Discover Burien Holds Annual Members Meeting, Elects Five To Board

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Story & Photos by Scott Schaefer

Discover Burien (we’re members) held its annual Members Meeting Tuesday night (April 26th) at the Burien Community Center, with members voting to elect five of seven candidates for the Board of Directors.

After each candidate gave a brief speech, ballots were gathered and tallied up in the lobby:

From left to right: outgoing board member Janel Stoneback, board member Brian Frederick, and interim Executive Director Nancy Hinthorne tally the votes.

The five newly-elected board members are (in alphabetical order):

  • Sue Bean, Executive Director of the Highline Medical Center Foundation
  • Lynn Coleman, of Seahurst Dental Design
  • Jim Hughes, of Sal’s Deli
  • Doug Moreland, Attorney
  • Lynn Wallace, new Executive Director of the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce

The meeting was run by board President Lori Alden, and the winners were announced by Brian Frederick. Board Members serve three-year terms.

One of the more interesting moments  during the meeting (at least in this Reporter’s opinion) occurred when candidate John Nelson, Organizer of the Cove to Clover Fundraiser Event, gave his speech, which included a jab at the organization, causing a moment of some slight discomfort in the room:

"I originally came to Discover Burien with the Cove to Clover fundraiser idea, but was turned down. I came back here to run for the board because I want to see this organization accept more community events." - John Nelson, who lost in his bid to join the Discover Burien board.

The other unsuccessful candidate was Mike Bishoff, a longtime area resident who works for Microsoft.

Discover Burien is a local, non-profit business organization that was formed in February 2002. It works with the City of Burien, the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce and various local groups and businesses to promote business growth in the community.

According to their website:

“Our members are an eclectic mix of individuals and businesses that want to see Burien thrive. Membership includes large and small businesses from those with a single employee to the Port of Seattle.”

For more information, or to join, click here.

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14 Responses to “Discover Burien Holds Annual Members Meeting, Elects Five To Board”
  1. jane says:

    It looks to me as though there were some wonderful candidates. I regret that John didn’t make it as well…………..we are fortunate in Burien to have the community we have, and the local business/organizations that want to be and are involved as they are.

  2. Chuck says:

    Too bad that John didn’t get in… I don’t understand how someone who is so involved in the community wasn’t selected. Discover Burien? I don’t think so. Cover Burien might be more like it.

  3. Listener says:

    There is more to Discover Burien than events. Mr. Nelson should remain a member and always say what he thinks, but he should involve himself in other business in the city so that more people get to know him. It sounds like he wants to change the way the organization operates because it wouldn’t make his particular event their focus. Our city needs a bit of all kinds of things….not just the Cove to Clover.

  4. My motivation to join the board was not just to promote the Cove to Clover. I think there are some key opportunities the organization is missing and I hoped to help bridge the gap between D.B.’s desire to help businesses and the many non-profits’ enthusiasm and inspiration.

    As an active member. I will attempt to affect small changes that I feel are prescribed and continue to support the many aspects of the organization that are working well. I will help I can make a positive and significant impact.

    Congratulations to the new board members!

    • Business Owner in Burien says:

      Thank you John and Mike for running. We need visionary people who see the big picture during this terrible time in our economy. We need board members who are working for us. I hope that the old board members look at what you guys potentially brought to the table and will be inspired to work harder. Personally, I need to see more to renew my membership. It doesn’t seem like business owners trying to create a vibrant Burien on the Board, it smells like politics to me.

  5. Business owner says:

    Thank you John and Mike for trying to reach out to Discover Burien. Mike would have represented the Highline Schools for Excellence which plays a vital role in the future of our community and kids. And John for all his dillegent work with Cove to clover and the money that goes into the non profit segment of the community that really needs the help. They will still play major roles in bringing our communtiy together as the following they have built. THank you for all you do…

    • Business Owner in Burien says:

      I guess I didn’t realize that Mike was from Highline Schools For Excellence. I recently was told that the school district is the number one employer in Burien. Is this correct, anybody? If so, seems like we need that to that would be a nice fit for a board member.

  6. Burien Proprietor says:

    We need board members and an organization committed to promoting Burien businesses, not the same “good old boy” do-as-little-as-possible board. We need fresh ideas and new perspectives. It is extremely disappointing to hear that highly-qualified, energetic, committed people were passed over for the status quot. Why is the the Southwest King County Chamber allowed a board position? This seems like a conflict of interest…Discover Burien is supposed to act as Burien’s chamber. What does the Southwest King County Chamber do for Burien?

  7. Burientie says:

    Discover Burien’s model for success is seemingly stagnant and their vision is a bit antiquated. The same old events are advocated year after year, and when someone with a new idea comes along (like John Nelson w/Cove 2 Clover), he’s told “no” and pretty-much shut down.

    Cove to Clover and the Brot Trot are two events that have been hugely successful and raised a ton of money for various charities. What exactly has the Strawberry Festival and the Octoberfest done for Burien.

    Great that John and co. were willing to push ahead withouut any involvement from DB, as create something that is fun and truly special.

    Shame on DB for not broadening their horizons and welcoming enthusiastic individuals with new, fun and exciting ideas.

  8. care about Burien says:

    Good to see that Discover Burien is moving forward with it’s board, I look forward to upcoming events and such !! I read John’s speach was terrible, accusing an organization of not supporting him?because he didnt get his way.. then wanting to be a part of it? grow up ! I am glad that he didn’t get voted in !! sounds like nothing but trouble for the board ?? YES I have been following this story in the community for sometime. I hope all the great events continue without winey baby’s….

    • John Nelson says:

      To put the record straight, I generally speak very highly of and am overwhelmingly impressed by what Discover Burien has accomplished to date. All of the people on the board I’ve met are fine people and appear to have the best of intentions. While some may be more comfortable with the status quo than others, I believe they all have their hearts in the right place.

      Like the current board, I also have good intentions. It’s true that I have been outspoken about D.B. needing to be more open to supporting grassroots efforts that might end up greatly benefitting their membership base (if only it were nurtured to fruition). One person’s speaking out is another’s whine.

      I can confirm that my speech was terrible; public speaking is not my strong suit. However, a propensity to hurl spoken stones from the shadows of anonymity is surely not the best personal attribute either.

      –John Nelson

  9. Burien Resident says:

    I have been a Burien resident for five years now during it’s “transformation” from a run down after thought to a city on the rise. So I was disappointed to read the good ol boys club is back in place. We need fresh ideas and colorful people to light up this town. Not soggy eggs and closed minds. This bunch is the antithesis of progress and DIVERSITY but I hope they will prove me wrong.

  10. Steve Gilbert says:

    As the former Discover Burien executive director, I have some a few things to say.

    First off, Discover Burien plays an important role in the economic vitality of Burien. It is not a chamber and it is not a political organization. In my 15 months there we grew membership by 26% to attain a record number of members…all during the worst economy most of us most of us have ever been through.

    We spent a lot of time, energy and effort to work through numerous issues. We developed many programs, networking events and community events. Like most nonprofits there were way more programs that we would have liked to have done but with limited resources, i.e. staff, volunteers and money, we could not do everything.

    John is incredibly passionate and may have proven to be an excellent board member but I know the others also bring a passion to the organization, the businesses and the community.

    Although we were not in a position to help Cove To Clover in the way John and his amazing team of volunteers had wanted, C2C has been and will continue to be a great program for the Burien community.

    While I was at DB, I heard from so many people and businesses…some good and some bad comments. We listened to them all. We looked forward to the challenges of improving those things we did well and changing the things members felt we were doing wrong.

    DB does so many great things and the good comments far outweighed the bad. The board has been passionate about serving the community as best it could. These are board members who left their personal issues at the door and worked in the best interest of the organization and the community.

    If you cannot see the value in what Discover Burien does for business and the community, then don’t be a member. So many others have seen and continue to see a value – this includes businesses, passionate residents, the City and numerous other organizations that make Discover Burien such a great and meaningful organization.

    Although I completely disagree with the way John talks about the organization, I am very glad that he has become an active member.

    To put John and Mike above the value of the other board members that were voted in, is, I believe, short sighted and myopic. Please make an effort to participate in the programs and events Discover Burien puts on rather than sit back and take pot shots.

    Just my thoughts


  11. bignate says:

    If we don’t have a running event in this community we need to get one. The cost is not that great. It can attract hundreds of people to the area. All age-groups can participate from kids under 8-years to the oldest seniors. Walkers, wheel chair competitors, will be willing to pay entry fee for some healthty exsesize. Restaurants and many retail businesses will benefit.

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