Changes afoot at the top of Chamber

After eight months at the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, Andrea Mackin is leaving for a new consulting partnership with a goal of continuing to steer the downtown business community out of the recession and reconstruction rubble.

After resigning this week from her job as director of operations and marketing, Mackin said she will stay close to the Winslow street to step into a new role as part of the Revitalization Partnership consulting group.

Lois Boubong also has resigned as president of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, citing a need to focus on her real estate business. She will be replaced temporarily by Rodney Bauch, a past board president.

Regarding changes at the Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Kevin Dwyer did not return phone calls prior to the Review’s press deadline.

Mackin will join a team of five partners, including Sarah Wen and Michael Read, both of whom produced the city’s communication contract “Street Smarts” campaign during the first phase of Winslow Way reconstruction. The group will work directly with property owners and tenants on everything from destination tourism to branding and merchandising to attracting financial partners for investments.

“Downtown Winslow’s recovery is going to take bringing the right people together” said Mackin. “It’s really the most exciting thing I can think to be doing at a time like this.”

At the chamber, Mackin worked with Read and Wen to establish the “Small Town. Big Heart” campaign, and when the communication contract ended the group pondered being able to repackage their experience and work with other communities facing similar construction issues. Those thoughts sparked the idea to create a consulting group to do just that.

Prior to her chamber position, Mackin worked with the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association as the executive director and helped the island become a part of the state’s Historic Main Street Program. She hopes to use those same experiences and connections to engage directly with the business community to recreate a vibrant business corridor.

The consulting team includes Lisa Nelson New-land, cultural arts coordinator for the City of Everett, and islander Mark Askew, who has done conceptual design and planning for several fashion industry leaders, including Estee Lauder, Banana Republic, Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Mackin said the group’s vision is to attract the right mix of interesting businesses and services to make a sustainable business community.

Bauch said the chamber appreciates Mackin’s work through her tourism and marketing efforts.

“Her achievements include expanded publicity for the island through radio ads and print ads in publications, including Sunset magazine,” said Bauch.

Mackin’s position was added last fall to improve tourism and marketing efforts, and in part to support the merchants during the reconstruction. The board will examine its needs as it goes forward, Bauch said.

Bauch said Boubong’s resignation came at a time she needed to focus on her real estate business.

“She, like many of us in these challenging economic times, are finding our day jobs very demanding and it’s difficult to find time for volunteer positions,” said Bauch. “She’s done a great job and [is] deserving of a break.”

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