The Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce is a local nonprofit organization that wants the community to do together what we can’t do alone. The community-oriented Lacey Chamber is dedicated to providing services aimed at promoting the healthy growth of businesses throughout Thurston County.
The Chamber has over 350 members who represent every business sector. Branding, marketing, networking, and exposure are just some of the benefits one can expect when working with the Lacey Chamber.
Blake Knoblauch, executive director of the Lacey South Sound Chamber, says none of the accomplishments of the Chamber would be possible without their incredible ambassadors. The ambassadors play a crucial role in volunteering to help the Lacey Chamber make magic happen in the community.
Lacey South Sound Chamber Ambassadors: Amber Young, Michael Jameson and Angie Binion
Amber Young works out of America’s Credit Union (ACU) headquarters in DuPont and has been involved in the Lacey Chamber for over 10 years. The ACU has been active in the community and a Chamber member since 1997.
Similarly, Michael Jameson has been a part of the Chamber for 13 years and considers working with them a total no-brainer. Jameson serves on the Board of Directors and co-hosts the Lacey South Sound Connections, a monthly networking lunch meeting.
Angie Binion joined the Chamber more recently. As an ambassador for the past year, Binion has recruited new businesses, mentored new Chamber members, attended ribbon cuttings, and participated in Chamber events such as BBQ Fest, Winter Fest, Chamber forums, and South Sound Connections.
Celebrating the Successes of Lacey Businesses
For Young, Binion, and Jameson, making connections, networking, and helping people inspire them to continue their work as ambassadors. Their efforts, along with 13 other ambassadors at the Chamber, allow businesses to flourish in their respected communities.
“I really enjoy learning about someone’s success,” explains Young. “If someone is doing something really well, I want to celebrate with them, and I want to invite everyone else to celebrate too.”
Binion’s love for her work with the Chamber mirrors Young’s perspective. “I love to see people growing and succeeding,” she said. “If I can help in any way, I will. It brings me joy.”
Young, Jameson, and Binion work closely with the Chamber Board and staff. Young explains that as ambassadors, they welcome new Chamber members and educate them on the resources and benefits that come with being a Lacey Chamber member. “We help plan and coordinate Chamber events, and we invite community leaders and local businesses to learn about the Chamber and find out if it’s something they feel would be a benefit to their business,” she adds.
Lacey Chamber Ambassador Community Involvement
Working as an ambassador is highly engaging and requires each person to dedicate a significant amount of time to the organization. Luckily, the Lacey Chamber has many networking opportunities, which take place in the morning, afternoon, and evening. That way, getting involved is a little easier, even when the ambassador’s schedules are jam-packed.
The flexibility that the Chamber offers its members allows Young, Binion, and Jameson to continue their community involvement outside of their duties as ambassadors.
Jameson’s community involvement outside of his work as an ambassador is substantial. When asked to list his involvements, he said, “Boy, that’s going to be a mouthful. Thurston County Veterans Services, The Gold Star Family Memorial Lacey, American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink, and The Real Pirates Wear Pink Event. I don’t let a lot of grass grow under my feet.”
Young and Binion’s community efforts are equally impressive. Young is a volunteer with the United Services Organization NW (USO) on the Board of the Yelm Chamber, and is involved with military organizations on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) to support events benefiting our soldiers.
“I am on the Leadership Committee for Thurston County Relay for Life,” adds Binon. “I have been a part of Relay for 10 years now. I am fortunate enough to work for a company that allows me the opportunity to be involved.”
The Chamber hosts monthly events to further its commitment to community success and networking. Every year, the ACU holds a Chicken Wing Eating Competition, which is always an equally fun and successful event. However, the Lacey South Sound BBQ Fest is the most exciting for Young. “There are a lot of people involved in the planning and running of the event, and even though it’s been happening since 2007, every year there is something new,” she explains.
When asked what Young finds most rewarding about her job, she answers: “When I meet someone new at an event or a monthly forum, I already know that we share a love of our community. From there, I have the opportunity to learn about them. I don’t only want to know what they do for a living, I want to know why. I want to know if they’re experiencing any challenges and what their successes are. I’m interested in finding a way to help lessen the challenges and increase the successes”.
For Young, Binion, and Jameson, there’s truly nothing more important than strengthening their communities through their roles in the Chamber of Commerce. And none of the community strengthening and prospering could happen without these hardworking and dedicated ambassadors.
To learn more, visit the Lacey South Sound Chamber website.