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Connecting you to information and tools is one of the ways we work to help your business succeed. Find recaps of event speakers, fact & data, and business tips and ideas within these blogs.

 

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What a Difference a Year Makes!

Posted By Ashley Clemmer, Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Message from Outgoing Chair David Masin, Selden’s Home Furnishings

When I became Chairman last September, it was my mission to emphasize the positive effects the Bellevue Chamber has on the business community that it serves. As a whole, the Chamber has effected change in ways that cannot be measured. It is truly amazing what can happen within 12 months. In this dynamic, technologically shifting landscape, things never stay the same. The Chamber has shifted from its traditional business model of passing out maps and publishing a member directory, to setting up business deals, negotiating leases, fighting for lower taxes, visiting legislators at the capital and cultivating young talent.

It goes to show how quickly things can change, and how a non-profit organization like the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce can effect change in such a short period of time. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the success and progress of the past year while I served as the organization’s Chairman is to write a poem about it:

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce turned 70 this year, and it was quite a ride,
The staff was busy signing up new members, while exhibiting such pride,

We discovered new technologies, in the fields of medical and tech
Challenges in transportation, have caused us to shuffle the deck

Record attendance at the Eastside Leadership conference garnered much buzz
Amazing guest speakers at lunches, including the chief economist from Zillow, there was.

This past year, we’ve connected billion dollar business with small start-ups,
We’ve learned about VR, AI and 5G, powerful acronyms that will guide us

Many things have happened outside the Chamber this past year,
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Brexit and North Korea, have caused many fears

Seeing the need to navigate the future, we developed a strategic plan,
With new Chairman, Jim Hill, you are all in good hands!

While we live in a world where exchanging Twitter handles has replaced shaking hands, or FaceTime conversations have taken over for face-to-face conversations, the Bellevue Chamber stays relevant knowing relationships matter, people matter and interpersonal relationships are not a thing of the past. While we continue to embrace technology and all that it offers us, we should never forget the power of the handshake.

It has been an absolute pleasure to serve alongside the other members of the Executive Committee, the general Board and the amazing Chamber staff. I am proud of the things that we have accomplished in the past year and look forward to seeing it grows even more in the coming year.

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2017 Bellevue Chamber Foundation Scholarship Awards Presentation

Posted By Sara Garner, Monday, August 7, 2017

To recognize outstanding students the Bellevue Chamber Foundation, with community partners who support education, has awarded $7,500 in scholarships to Bellevue High School District college bound seniors. Check out the Awards Presentation Ceremony officiated by Jimmy Ng, KeyBank at the July Business Lunch. Erika Shinpaugh, Peterson Russell Kelly PLLC and Gail Ryder, Inslee Best also participated in the ceremony acknowledging the achievements of this year's recipients: 

  • Cayla Lee, Interlake High School, Delta Air Lines Scholarship
  • Elizabeth Lin, Newport High School, KeyBank Scholarship
  • Patrick Liu, Interlake High School, M. Gail Ryder Scholarship
  • Christina Li, Interlake High School, Ralph James Family Memorial Scholarship

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The Housing Marketplace with Zillow's Chief Economist

Posted By Sara Garner, Monday, June 19, 2017

We know it’s a hot housing market – but how hot is it? Zillow’s Chief Economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell spoke to members at the June Business Lunch and gave insights into how our area compares across the country and a look at the latest real estate trends in our marketplace. A few highlights: the Seattle/Bellevue area is the hottest market in the country in terms of housing growth and appreciation; the annual rental growth rate is strongest in the Pacific Northwest at a 7% rental appreciation rate; and Millennials, who comprise the largest group of first time home buyers, believe buying a home is the best financial investment they can make.

Click here to view the slide presentation.

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7 Ingredients to High-End Website Experiences

Posted By Sara Garner, Friday, March 10, 2017

We all know first impressions matter. Period. And that customers research you online. In today's digital world, how do you truly create a high-end experience to help attract, engage, convert, and retain customers? No matter your company, for your customers and your employees, it's important to be your best online. At the March Business Lunch, Jeff Dance, CEO of Fresh Consulting helped us discover the 7 key ingredients of a high-end website experience. Check out his full presentation.

 

 

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The Power Behind the Bellevue Chamber

Posted By Sara Garner, Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 9, 2016

A Message from Outgoing Board Chair Tanya Fraioli, Rocketfix

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and fellow members,

Thank you for an amazing year at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce! It’s hard to believe that my year as Chairman of the Board had already finished. I have truly enjoyed serving our community this past year.

I have realized how much our Chamber has grown and changed even in this past year. We still have a lot of important work to do together and can do so with combined leadership and the pursuit of common goals. I appreciate all of you that have shared our vision and worked to achieve our goals to be the leading catalyst for the business community in the areas of developing business growth, transportation issues, and educational goals for both businesses and those that reside on the Eastside.

The Bellevue Chamber has been around for over 70 years and that success is in part due to having a strong community behind us. As I mentioned when I first assumed the position as Chair I stressed the importance of getting involved and being a part of our community. We have seen record attendance at our events and new members walk through our doors with the goal of being something more than just the businesses we run. The power behind the Chamber is just that - all of us working together to better ourselves, our business and our community - and for that I thank you!

I cannot stress enough the importance to keep this work going. In the age where technology has changed the way we communicate there is one thing that can be said…technology isn’t communicating - we are. We must continue to be able to engage with our peers, business associates and community much deeper that a quick text, email or blog. Nothing beats communication real-time with live back and forth discussion. The Bellevue Chamber is the leading organization that provides this platform in addition to all the bells and whistles of cutting edge technology.

I encourage you all to continue to be in front of your community by being involved and then change will continue, relationships will be formed and business will grow. With this in mind I invite you to join me at the Eastside Annual Dinner on October 6 at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue to make great business contacts and celebrate all our business community offers.

May you all find much success for the remainder of 2016 and a prosperous 2017!

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Social Media for Business - A Different World

Posted By Sara Garner, Friday, August 5, 2016

By Valerie Thomas, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Intern 


Social media to me sometimes feels like a whole other world. The beauty of it is that it can be used for many different purposes. As a teenager, my time on social media is spent watching 30 second recipe videos on Facebook, posting Instagram pictures of my latest adventure, or re-tweeting my favorite brands to win a giveaway.

In contrast, as an intern at the Bellevue Chamber this summer, I’ve learned that posting for a business is totally different than posting for my personal account. I’ve noticed that when you’re posting for a business, there’s usually a marketing strategy behind every post. Whether it be attracting more customers to your page, highlighting your customers, or promoting your business/event. I didn’t realize how much thought goes into a business’ posts in comparison to a personal post.

When people post from their personal account, they usually don’t check for grammar mistakes, and don’t always have a motive when they post something. When posting for a business page, the way you type and the things you say can really have an impact on your brand. There’s a motive behind every hashtag and every tag. Companies want their posts to be relevant and they want to be able to engage with their followers. Judging from what I’ve done, and what I see my friends do, hashtags and tags on a personal account are used for comedic purposes or to chime in on a trending topic.

In order to be able to profit from your social media channels, here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Use a Visual: if you attach a picture to any post, your post will receive more engagement.
  • Use tags and hashtags: using tags are great, your post will be viewed more and you are interacting with the community. Don’t overdo it though, and hashtag your entire post.
  • Change up words: posting the same thing on multiple channels can be tricky; you want to make sure you’re switching up the words.
  • Know your audience: when switching up the words between channels; tailor each post for the specific channel you are using. For example: don’t put hashtags on Facebook.

After learning a bit about social media, I’ve noticed a lot of those marketing strategies when I’m scrolling through some of my favorite brands. When reading an article on Forbes, by Sujan Patel, his focus on humanizing social media really stood out to me. When you’re posting for your business, it is really important that you take into account who will be viewing your posts. Patel mentioned “You have to show your followers that you actually care about them and their problems.” If you want more tips on how to use social media for your business, click here

 

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Congratulations to Our 2016 Bellevue Chamber Foundation Scholarship Recipients!

Posted By Sara Garner, Monday, July 25, 2016

By Valerie Thomas, Bellevue Chamber Intern

To help students with ongoing learning opportunities, the Bellevue Chamber has established the Bellevue Chamber Foundation. Funding for our 2016 scholarships is made possible through the generous support of Delta Air Lines, our Presenting Sponsor of our Spirit of Bellevue Run/Walk, and other community partners who support education including KeyBank, offering one named scholarship. This year, $6,000 was awarded to four deserving Bellevue graduating seniors.

 
 

Pictured from left to right: Jimmy Ng, KeyBank; Sara Garner, Bellevue Chamber; Layla Jamil & Elly Connett-Porceddu, 2016 Scholarship Recipients; Erika Shinpaugh, Peterson Russell Kelly PLLC, and David Masin, Bellevue Chamber Board Chair-Elect and Seldens Designer Home Furnishings.


Jimmy Ng, Vice President, Sr. Business Banking Relationship Manager at KeyBank, presented the scholarship awards at the Bellevue Chamber Business Lunch on July 14. “We have amazing students in the Bellevue School District. I know this first-hand by participating in all the interviews this year,” he said. Erika Shinpaugh, Attorney with Peterson Russell Kelly PLLC and Valerie Laird, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Board Member and Director of Sales at ARC Document Solutions joined him on the scholarship committee. “We had a chance to learn a little bit about their hobbies, including finding cures for illnesses in third-world countries and community activism,” Jimmy commented. “My hobbies were playing Nintendo, or in today’s terms Pokémon Go!”

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients!

Elly Connett-Porceddu is a graduate from Sammamish High School, and is awarded the Delta Airlines Scholarship. Elly has selected Western Washington University to further her education in English and Theatre. She also has hopes to pursue either a master’s degree or a post-baccalaureate degree in secondary education. She is an active leader in her school by being a part of the Thespian Society, coaching and mentoring other students in acting and singing, and being a National Student Leadership Conference invitee for two years running. Elly has demonstrated her ability to help and lead others in a positive way.

The KeyBank scholarship has been awarded to Layla Jamil, a graduate of Interlake High School, and will be attending University of Washington in the fall. Layla has shown she is a leader at school by welcoming incoming students, and a Math tutor for her peers. Most importantly, she has a desire to dedicate her life to helping those who struggle with health problems. Her motivation to become a neurologist is driven by her life threatening experience with a brain tumor. Because of this she feels inspired to go to medical school and help other people get the chance she had.

The Ralph James Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Emily Sun, a graduate from Interlake high school. Emily plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley and hopes to study Chemistry and Biology. Emily says her motivation to study science is driven by her desire to “uncover the magic behind our world.” Emily spends a lot of her time on music; she is the Student President of Interlake Music Association and the Concertmaster of the Interlake Orchestra. She was selected to participate in the All-National Symphony Orchestra, Honors Orchestra of America, and the All-State Symphony Orchestra. Along with her achievements in music, Emily has also participated in two varsity sports, Cross country and Track. In addition to sports, she was also accepted into the National Honors Society.

The Bellevue Chamber Foundation STEM Scholarship was awarded to Jennifer McKeon, a graduate from Sammamish High School. She will attend the University of Washington with hopes to become a biomedical engineer. She explains that she “hopes she will be able to improve the quality of life for both developed and emerging communities with my future in biomaterials and bioengineering.” Her sister’s hospital experiences, in third-world countries, have inspired her to develop sustainable and affordable treatment options. In addition to her contribution to multiple clubs, Jennifer organized and coordinated a middle school STEM camp for young girls.

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Sea-Tac Airport Director Highlights Exciting Future for Business Growth

Posted By Sara Garner, Friday, July 22, 2016

By Nathan Han, Bellevue Chamber Intern

 

With tremendous economic growth and expanding commerce around the Puget Sound area, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is poised to be the center of all the action. In fact, Sea-Tac is now the fastest growing airport in the country (aircraft operations increased 12.9% from 2014- 2015).

The Port of Seattle has appointed Lance Lyttle as the new managing director of Sea-Tac Airport. An experienced airport director, Lance has previously held executive positions at the Houston Airport system and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Now, he is applying his experience to implement the Port's Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) to further help serve travelers going through Sea-Tac and to address congestion in the current airport infrastructure. Lance spoke to Chamber members at the Business Lunch on July 14th to talk about upcoming changes to Sea-Tac over the next decade.   

 

The master plan for Sea-Tac includes the following:

  • New baggage system ($325 million)
  • North Satellite Renovation ($615 million), to be completed by 2021
  • International arrivals facility with a brand new skybridge ($608 million), to be completed by 2019
  • 35 additional gates

These expansions will help Sea-Tac serve the projected 66 million passengers that will travel through the airport by 2034, as well as over 540,000 aircraft movements (a takeoff or landing of a plane). Along with these groundbreaking changes, Lance was excited to introduce two new airlines into Seattle: Xiamen Air (the first service to North America by Xiamen Air), which will begin services to Shenzhen on September 26, 2016, and Virgin Atlantic, which will fly to London Heathrow starting March 26th, 2017.

 

On top of the current developments, the Port has made many efforts to give back and make Sea-Tac Airport a responsible organization that contributes to the environment and the community. For example, the Port of Seattle’s Century Agenda includes its mission to create 100,000 jobs with livable wages. To promote sustainability, Sea-Tac has recently started funding biofuel research. Lyttle has also said that Sea-Tac is the first airport to receive “salmon safe certification,” which verifies that Sea-Tac facilities do not affect the salmon wildlife or ecosystem.

All of these initiatives need broad community support to be successful, and with that understanding, the Port seeks input and constructive criticism. If you have input on the SAMP or questions about how you can weigh in contact Bellevue Chamber Government Relations Director Chris Johnson at 425.213.1208.

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The Value of Internships: Our Intern Reflects

Posted By Sara Garner, Friday, March 4, 2016

As we're are preparing to enter the selection process for our next summer intern, I'm thinking about Lucia Dorantes from Ballard High School and Michaela Rutschow from Chief Sealth High School (exciting for me since Sealth is my alma mater - how cool is that?) our stellar interns from the previous two summers. I recall the initial concern that having a high school intern would create more work to manage. I couldn't have been more wrong. While they did require supervision, they added much fun and energy to our office and helped us get more projects done including things that have been in the "parking lot" (you know what I mean).

Michaela's reflection of her time with us is below but before we get to that, I'd like to ask your business to consider hosting a student intern. The Seattle Public Schools Academies Programs: Academy of Finance, and Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, the excellent program that made it possible to have our interns is now accepting applicationsThis is a great opportunity to benefit your organization with a low-cost, high value worker for the summer, and at the same time provide a learning opportunity for a student. To find out how your company can host an intern, contact Joanne Patrick, Academy Coordinator at 206-252-0745 (she's great to work with too!).

Michaela Rutschow, Chief Sealth International High School  

From the moment Lucia [Lucia Dorantes interned with us the previous summer] talked about the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce on a panel, I knew it was something special. She spoke as if it was the best thing that could have happened and I wanted so get a closer look at what she spent her summer doing. I knew that I was going to apply to an internship that the academy provided, I just didn't  know which one. I'm going to be honest; finance isn't my passion. I do love the idea of business ethics and the entrepreneurial side of things, but numbers aren't  my strong suit. When I heard the Chamber was in fact offering an internship and Sealth students were allowed to apply, I was ecstatic! They were looking to hire an intern to continue to revamp their website, work on their social media, and of course other general office tasks. I knew that I had a shot at the internship because I had a brief background in managing web material and working in an office.

When the time came around for the interview I was of course nervous, but I was so excited to show what I had to offer. I was the last person to be interviewed and I thought that the interview had gone great. Sara and I had some great things to relate about and I was very happy to have had the opportunity to interview. One week later I found out that I had received the internship and on May 12, 2015 accepted my offer. I was buzzing that I had the internship that I have had my eyes on since that fall.

My first day was very much like an orientation, getting to know my seven other co-workers and expectations of the work place. I learned that Betty Nokes was the President of the Chamber and that the Chamber serves as a voice for businesses providing leadership, influence, programs and partnerships that advance Bellevue. Sara Garner was my supervisor and had a great demeanor which made it easy to ask questions for any other help that I may have needed. That went for all my other co-workers. They all had tasks, but were very willing to help when I needed it whether it was revising an article or showing me how to reformat a copied picture in the printer.

From this helpful environment I was able to have a positive outlook on coming back the next day and the weeks following. I learned basic office things like how to work a large Xerox machine and editorial things such as market plans and script writing. Working at the Chamber has given me more confidence in my writing ability. It has made me realize the importance of how I use my words and how they may come across. It has opened my eyes to what I want to do later in life and how my writing ability may impact my ability to do my job. I learned new styles of writing and how to format for different situations. Writing for social media was completely different than writing for a press release. In Academy we had a course in Entrepreneurship. From this course I carried over my knowledge of making a plan for social media marketing and how to use it effectively. I can now take my new writing skills and incorporate them with any future business related courses when writing for specific things.

The Chamber is always busy with the next event, reaching out to members, or just working hard. Sometimes I would finish a job faster than Sara was able to go over which made me be proactive and ask for other jobs that I could work on while I was waiting. It made me manage my time wiser because I didn't  want to waste Sara's time and I wanted to make sure I wasn't cutting myself short. When someone was busy and I needed their help, I made sure 100% that I could not do it on my own and then I would ask the next best person for help. At the Chamber everyone was willing to help and work together on projects. Whenever we had an event I would bounce from one thing to another helping whoever needed it. We would work as a team to get things done quickly and efficiently.

On the 28th of August I marked my calendar as my last day at the Chamber. It was a bittersweet moment of leaving the best internship imaginable and being able to have a little bit of summer vacation left. I will never forget the food truck event of sitting in the hot sun while listening to Creme Tangerine, a rock tribute band, or that moment when I heard my script being read in front of many business professionals during a luncheon. It was there I learned how to work a monster Xerox machine and prepare to send out over 200 envelopes in a day. I would have never traded in the three and a half hour daily commute for a job where I met so many amazing people, gained amazing skills and had a summer filled with great events.

Tags:  education  internships  students 

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20 Tips for Creating, Growing and Profiting from Your Social Media Channels

Posted By Sara Garner, Tuesday, February 9, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  “Consumers have never been more connected – but it’s never been harder
to connect with them.” – Tom Daly, Coca-Cola

Social Media as a way to connect with your customers can offer your business greater returns and more insights into their needs and interests than any other method.  Jared Nieuwenhuis, Marketing Director at Her Interactive, recently spoke to Chamber members about the pervasiveness of social media (3 out of 4 people use social media at least once a month and 73% of the US population has at least one social network profile)

First, a few trends to get you thinking about the where and how – video is taking over the social landscape and is a powerful way to tell your story, mobile is king, and there is a lot of shared content that goes into a void or what is called dark social (SnapChat grew by almost 57% in 2014). Jared advised each business to first decide their overall goals to achieve through social media, second, decide which channels to use for the greatest return. This doesn’t mean your business has to be everywhere – understand where your audience wants to interact with you. Wherever you are be sure to make the most what the social channel is designed to do, which leads back to connecting with your customers.

Jared has these 20 tips on your way to creating a social media strategy to ultimately grow your reach and add more value to the bottom line (see more details in Jared’s presentation):

#1 Your #1 goal is engagement

#2 It’s not about your spam

#3 Think of people as part of your brand and not as consumers

#4 Think strategic first

#5 Align strategy with your goals and metric – i.e. do you want to achieve more site visitors? Subscribers? Get more engagement? Drive revenue?

#6 Create a social media calendar – a roadmap is essential for success

#7 Quality post and daily updates – be sure you are using your channel(s) with enough frequency they do not get stale

#8 Engage in real interactions and respond to everything in 24 hours – show that yours is a brand that cares

#9 Be authentic and human – have a personality

#10 Zero in on customer interests, needs and suggestions

#11 Help users find you content with hashtags (they are not just for Twitter)

#12 Use consistent branding for all channels

#13 Always be growing your advocates

#14 Always be rewarding your advocates

#15 Empower video influencers

#16 Know your data

#17 Know your influencers

#18 Measure ROI – Social Annex will help you measure ROI whether that’s $$, calls generated, web visits, or inquiries generated

#19 Learn from your competitors

#29 Don’t be afraid to take risks

 

Credits: Jared Nieuwenhuis, @JNinsight; linkedin.com/in/jaredn; jared@herinteractive.com
Competition and playing games run deep in Jared Nieuwenhuis’ veins. As a child he was a dedicated soccer player, ultimately playing in college and professionally in Europe. He now embraces that love of gaming as marketing director of Her Interactive, where he sets the global marketing and communications strategy for the company’s mystery adventures games aimed at females, and executes new product launches of the company’s popular Nancy Drew titles.

 

Tags:  social media 

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