Kitsap Chambers of Commerce Respond (or Not) to Possible Mason Chamber Name Change

I wrote a story today about the North Mason Chamber of Commerce and its board of trustee’s proposal to change the name to Mason-Kitsap Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber has grown since April from 210 members to 398 members at present, with a significant number from Kitsap County.
“It’s hard to ignore the 246,000 people who live north of the Mason County line,” said Mike Boyle, chairman of the board.
Boyle also said the name reflects the chamber’s increasingly regional focus.

The chamber’s membership still has to vote on the name change, but I wanted to know what Kitsap County chamber representatives thought of the idea. I didn’t hear back from Bainbridge Island’s Kevin Dwyer. Here’s what the rest had to say.

The proposed name change has given Coreen Haydock Johnson, executive director of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, a mild case of angst over potential confusion it could create.
“It affects relocation, tourism and membership,” she said. “They’ve been very successful recently, and we applaud that, but we were all really surprised.”
Haddock Johnson doesn’t see the chamber’s claiming of “Kitsap” as being about “turf per se,” because membership in multiple chambers is a common practice.
“Maybe it will be all unfounded. It was just a surprising move, and we’ll see where it goes,” she said.

The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce is reserving comment on the name change until after its Sept. 17 meeting, according to spokeswoman Darci McGuire.

The Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce has taken no official position, said executive director Silvia Klatman.

Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce executive director Adele Heinrich said North Mason is geographically distant enough that the name change makes no difference to her. She praised North Mason’s growth in membership and innovative use of social networking, and she lauded chamber president and CEO Frank Kenny, in the saddle these past three years.
“Frank does such a good job of spreading the wealth. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem at all,” Heinrich said.

Kenny was surprised at the idea some people might not be totally comfortable with North Mason’s claiming “Kitsap” in its name.
“We’re somewhat taken aback that some people feel threatened by this,” said Kenny. “If someone thinks we did this to target their area of influence, that’s just not the case. That never came up in any of the discussions.”

3 thoughts on “Kitsap Chambers of Commerce Respond (or Not) to Possible Mason Chamber Name Change

  1. Good morning everyone,

    It truly is an exciting time for our area and our members in the greater North Mason area. Bids were opened this week on the $40,000,000 Belfair sewer project. The North Mason Chamber was named Chairman of the Chamber Division of the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and given a seat on the Executive Committee. Major local businesses such as Harrison Medical Center and Boxlight have joined the community. Safeway and QFC have done expansions. Our area is going to be the next big thing and we are pretty optimistic about the future of our members.

    If you would like information on some of the exciting things happening in our region, please visit our blog at There is a video there from our Chairman.

    We also have the Facebook fan page at Please join the fan page.

    Our very active member-only social networking site is at We have had over 47,000 page views since February on that site. It is really a fantastic way to network and make new friends 24x7x365.

    Of course, you can follow us on on Twitter too at

    We are committed to our members and the community. In the end, name changed or not, you will find our chamber working to bring jobs and prosperity to the entire surrounding area. It is our pleasure to do so.

    Thank you for your time. Thank you to the Kitsap sun for creating a place to get the word out.


  2. Hi Chris…Just a note to let you know I signed up for your Kindle Amazon download and noticed you are next to, “Summer of Love” while my partner is “Become Slender”…well…winter is coming.
    Sharon O’Hara

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