EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a regular column for South King Media, written by Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Andrea Reay:
By Andrea H. Reay 
In 1988 the Tukwila/Sea-Tac Chamber joined with the greater Highline Chamber to form a new Chamber, the Greater Burien/Sea-Tac/Tukwila Chamber of Commerce. Less than a year later, we changed our name to the Southwest King County Chamber. We later added the communities of Des Moines and Normandy Park to our service area, and never looked back. That is, until last year, when the board and leadership agreed to broaden our reach even further with an alliance with our Regional Tourism Authority, rebranding ourselves to do business as Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.
Why Seattle Southside?
Simply put – our region is changing – we need to look out beyond the borders of Southwest King County to best serve our members and our community. This means broadening our focus by forming more strategic partnerships, so that we can leverage our collective impact. It means we are building a larger table for our region, a table where everyone can gather to share ideas and resources to build a stronger economic base. A table where there is a seat for everyone, where expanding our collaborative culture and finding creative solutions to our practical problems will encourage more prosperity in our communities and neighborhoods.
Our alliance with the RTA is the first of what we hope will be many new partnerships that will add value and exposure for our members as we market our region as a center for economic development, and tourism-both for leisure/family activities, and for business, conferences and events. Our region is positioned perfectly to be home base for whatever might bring visitors to the Seattle Metro area. With convenient access to highways and light rail to downtown, it’s easier to get to everything on every must-see list.
Tourism and the hospitality industry also are huge drivers for our local economy-accounting for over 6 Billion in visitor spending in King County in 2013 alone. At our Chamber we are proud to support and celebrate our members dedicated to hospitality and tourism. Many of whom have been part of our organization since the very beginning, and we are proud to have our new partnership with the RTA, ensuring even greater future success for our region.
We look forward to showcasing our partnership with the RTA at our Tourism Luncheon on Friday, April 14th. Attendees will hear from keynote speaker Katherine Kertzman, President/CEO of Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, who will discuss the regional economic impacts on travel and the importance of tourism as part of a “kick-off” to National Travel and Tourism Week, May 7-13, 2017.
This luncheon will also feature a panel discussion and Q&A with the leadership team from the RTA.
Chamber events are open to the public, however-space is limited at the luncheon so don’t forget to register early to reserve your seat. Register online here:
You can also call the office during regular office hours at (206) 575-1633 or email Emma Oglesby, Membership Service Director, at [email protected] .
We hope you can join us for this event and learn even more about our Chamber, our partnership with the RTA and how joining our team can leverage you and your business to take full advantage of all the opportunities our region has to offer.
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Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce – “A voice for business, a leader in the community.”
Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.
For more information about the Chamber, including a full list of events, member benefits and resources, please visit their website at www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com .