Issaquah Chamber of Commerce to spotlight nonprofit groups at leadership summit

October 25, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Rob McKenna

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders plan to showcase local nonprofit organizations at a summit dedicated to the groups’ efforts in the community.

The chamber is hosting a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit on Nov. 2 to spotlight nonprofit organizations and encourage business leaders to foster closer ties to the nonprofit sector.

“It’s a tough time for everybody,” chamber CEO Matthew Bott said. “If there are ways we can work together and partner, that’s what the chamber wants to help do.”

The chamber lined up Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, Leadership Eastside President James Whitfield and state Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican candidate for governor, to speak at the summit.

(U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is the Democrat in the gubernatorial race.)

Leadership Eastside — a nonprofit leadership development program — is focused on fostering stronger leaders in Eastside communities.

Bott said the speakers can offer insight about leadership issues from different levels in government and nonprofit organizations.

“Here are the challenges of the Eastside, here are the challenges of the state, here are the challenges of the city as it results to how we can continue to have a great community that we live in,” he said. “A lot of that’s done through nonprofit work.”

In addition, summit attendees can browse exhibition space for Issaquah and Eastside nonprofit organizations, and meet representatives from community clubs, human services groups and organizations dedicated to the arts.

If you go

Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 2
  • Holiday Inn – Issaquah
  • 1801 12th Ave. N.W.
  • Tickets cost $30, and include coffee and lunch.
  • RSVP at www.issaquahchamber.com. Organizers expect a sellout.

The chamber plans to bolster outreach to nonprofit organizations to offer members’ business expertise to leaders in the nonprofit sector.

“This is one of many efforts that you’ll see the chamber try and bring these different groups and push us all to be the best we can,” Bott said.

Such relationships could help nonprofit organizations improve fundraising and administrative efforts.

“The Issaquah nonprofit community, of which we’re a member, if you look across the landscape — everything from the food bank, to Kiwanis and Rotary, Hopelink and other partners that do work here in the community — that’s just extremely important for our quality of life,” Bott said.

The recent recession and government cuts to social services and other programs also reminded people about the role nonprofit organizations serve in a community.

“I think the economy has really allowed an opportunity for us all to remind ourselves about the importance of our nonprofits and civic leadership roles,” Bott said.

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