Jessica McCready has plans to help the Camano Island business community continue to grow in 2019.

“We have plans to offer more training sessions for businesses,” the new executive director of the 110-member chamber of commerce said. “We want to have experts come out and work with our members to talk about why these new skills — web, social media, how to hire and retain workers — are important.”

McCready is taking over the role from Asia Gray, who left the part-time job at the end of the year for a full-time position at Coastal Community Bank. Juliane Abbott of Camano Island is stepping into replace the position held by McCready, who had already worked at the chamber with Gray for the past few years.

Abbott will be the “face of the visitor center, the liaison to members and be doing administrative tasks for events,” said McCready, who will continue to manage events, do tourism outreach and lead marketing efforts.

The chamber also will continue to grow its website — camanoisland.org — and its social media outreach, McCready said.

“We’ve seen huge online growth,” she said. “More people are searching about Camano.”

The chamber is hosting its public State of the Chamber luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Camano Center. Lunch costs $15. Chamber board president Jim Ayers will speak on the state of the chamber, followed by Marla Williams of Practical Business Solutions, who will talk about how to make strategic planning easy in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Stanwood Chamber of Commerce boasts a new look for the new year.

In June, the chamber hired Elaine Traversi as its new executive director, and Shaina Holbeck replaces Renae Kettler as board president as of Jan. 1. Later this month, members will vote on new board of director members.

Holbeck will give the State of the Chamber address at a public luncheon starting at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, in the Stanwood-Camano School District board room.

Stanwood Mayor Leonard Kelley will give the “State of the City” address.

Lunch — provided by Island Girls Catering — costs $15.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

journalist (graphics, reporter, editor)

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