A new year is always a great time to look back at the past year and reflect on the moments that made it impactful. It’s also an ideal time to set your intentions for the year ahead. The Lacey South Sound Chamber enhanced and gave back to their community, made time for fun and recognition, and focused on growing their resources for their members this past year. Here’s a look at moments and events that made 2019 a year to remember for the Lacey Chamber as well as their intentions for the new year.

Building Community

The Lacey South Sound Chamber puts on Business Forum Luncheons throughout the year where they help businesses connect, share information about important things happening in the community, acknowledge a Business of the Month, and hold a raffle to benefit the Kidwiler Scholarship Foundation. Photo courtesy: Lacey South Sound Chamber

“We love to be able to celebrate monumental moments with our members,” says Shyanne Sanchez, office manager for the Lacey South Sound Chamber. “Grand Openings highlight the beginning of a dream come true for many.” The Chamber supported new businesses in Lacey and its surrounding areas with seven grand openings/ribbon cutting ceremonies this past year. Check out this ThurstonTalk article that covers a few of those moments.

The Chamber is passionate about helping its members showcase their businesses and cohosted seven 5:01 Surge! Business After-Hours events at members’ businesses to provide time for networking, a bit of fun and an opportunity to share with the community what the businesses are about.

On top of engaging with their members at their place of business this past year, the Lacey Chamber hosted 10 South Sound Connections, which is a monthly networking lunch that gives their members an opportunity to share what they do with fellow business owners and professionals.

Another one of the resources that the Lacey Chamber provided for its membership base in 2019 was the nine Forum Luncheons they hosted. Forum is a wonderful platform for members to meet new people and get engaged with educational information on the Chamber and the City of Lacey.

Fun & Recognition

The Lacey South Sound Chamber Golf Classic was a swinging success and one of their fond memories from 2019. Photo courtesy: Lacey South Sound Chamber

The Lacey Chamber honed in on giving their members ample resources for growing their business last year—including making time for communal fun and recognition.

Their Annual 2019 Golf Classic hosted over 120 golfers with an 18-hole tournament and interactive booths at each hole which allowed their members to engage with one another. I look forward to the Annual Chamber Golf Tournament every year… seeing the familiar faces and meeting new folks too! It’s always really fun, high energy and for me it kicks-off the start of enjoying the outdoors with my friends and business associates. You get to see so many of our area professionals in a casual setting, having fun and enjoying the event, the vendors and having a great time,” says Janine Ezzell, a returning hole sponsor, with Chicago Title Company.

The Business Awards ceremony was an endearing opportunity to honor members with awards that acknowledged the dedication that they put into the community. The Lacey Chamber always looks forward to letting the spotlight shine on their dedicated members.

With over 10,000 attendees, the 2019 South Sound BBQ Festival was a whole lotta fun for the Lacey South Sound Chamber and everyone involved. Photo courtesy: Lacey South Sound Chamber

Another moment to reflect upon is the Lacey Chamber’s Annual South Sound BBQ Festival. The festival had more than 75 vendors and over 10,000 attendees came out to Huntamer Park in Lacey to participate in a fun-packed day. With live entertainment, kids’ activities and a memorable chicken wing-eating competition, this is always a community favorite.

Giving Back

At the Lacey Chamber’s annual Fall Fundraiser, as well as their Forum lunches, the Chamber members raised and donated over $10,000 for the Kidwiler Scholarship Foundation. The scholarship is named in honor of Ray Kidwiler, a founding member of the Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Chamber in 1963 and 1964. The Foundation provides scholarships for students from all three North Thurston High Schools.

“We’ve also partnered with the City of Lacey and North Thurston Public Schools to encourage the community to practice compassion in their everyday lives,” says Sanchez. “Through Compassionate Acts and Seasons of Compassion, we’ve been able to intentionally focus on becoming more involved with our community in 2019.”


Ruby Soul Yoga was one of seven Grand Openings that the Lacey South Sound Chamber helped celebrate in 2019. Photo courtesy: Lacey South Sound Chamber

This past year saw the launch of Discover Lacey, a multiplatform marketing campaign designed to better serve Chamber members and the community through the Discover Lacey website, Facebook page, and Instagram. “Discover Lacey gives tourists and locals a guide of where to eat, play, stay, and explore in Lacey and its surrounding areas in an easy, interactive way” says Sanchez. Along with that, the Visitors Information Center sent out over 45 relocation packets to people inspired to check into living in Lacey.

The Lacey Chamber grew its membership base by 61 new members in 2019 and the team is eager to connect visitors, residents, and local business with one another.

2020 Goals

With it being an ideal time to plan out the year ahead, Sanchez expressed that they want to practice intentionality in everything they do to live out their mission statement:

To create unique experiences and services that improve our members’ lives and enhance our community.

They are also looking to streamline communications to create a cohesive message to educate, inform and invite business owners and professionals to see the value of being a part of a Chamber of Commerce, she says.

If interested in becoming a part of this wonderful community, you can visit the Lacey South Sound Chamber website or give them a call at 360-491-4141 to see how you can get involved!

The Lacey South Sound Chamber represents over 400 local businesses from across the South Sound, strives to strengthen the local economy, and serves as the voice of business in community affairs. Additionally, the Chamber runs a Visitor Information Center, which is open Monday through Friday and can help guide tourists or locals to events, trails, lodging, dining and other attractions in Lacey. Additionally, the Chamber also runs the Discover Lacey marketing campaign and they remind you to always “Think Chamber First!”


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