The boards of the Grays Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Grays Harbor Economic Development Council have passed non-binding resolutions to create a transition task force that will develop a plan to merge the two organizations by the beginning of next year. The task force will bring their report to the boards later this year.
The resolutions, which were voted on at the EDC’s Thursday meeting and today’s Chamber meeting, seek to create a combined organization with a unified voice that would promote Grays Harbor’s interests in a more efficient and effective manner for its members and the community as a whole.
“We have some amazing talent at the Chamber and the EDC, but we recognize that the way things are now, we duplicate efforts,” said Leonard Barnes, Chair of the Grays Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “We have the opportunity to create a streamlined organization that gives the greater Grays Harbor area the world-class business service and promotion that we deserve, and in a more efficient way.”
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“This is a very exciting opportunity,” said Randy Ross, Chairman of the GH EDC. “I’m looking forward to the next step.”
The transition task force will be made up of board members of both organizations. They will work with staff from the EDC and Chamber to develop the merger plan.
“Our number one goal is to serve our community, not our individual organizations,” said Tami Garrow, Vice Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and a GHEDC board member. “This partnership allows us to grow our services, reduce consumer confusion, lower our overhead and increase our clout. It is a win-win for us as organizations, and for the benefits it will give to Grays Harbor.”
The Chamber and EDC have been gathering feedback from their partners and members since they announced the potential consolidation, and will announce upcoming community forums for the public to further ask questions and contribute input.