Tag Archives: chambers of commerce

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.”