A note from our NEW Board Chair

A note from our NEW Board Chair

guy occhiogrosso

Surprise! When one accepts the position of Vice-Anything, it is with the knowledge of the possibility of needing to step into the role of THE-Whatever. The biggest ask is usually to step in and run a meeting. But there exists the possibility of filling in on a more permanent basis. Yep, surprise!

I would like to thank Lora for her years of service to WCCE and her chamber. We wish her well in her new endeavors. As your newly minted Board Chair of WCCE, I will do my best to carry the torch from Lora and the multitudes of other amazing leaders who have served our organization. Now the bad news; as the presumed board chair next year, this means that I will be serving an 18-month term. My apologies in advance. And since I will be filling this role for a while ...

With every great chamber meeting, we have the opportunity for connection, networking, and introductions. For those who do not know me, my name is Guy Occhiogrosso. I have had the pleasure of being in this industry for almost 16 years serving two chambers in the far corner of Northwest Washington. I started my career in 2006 with the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Director, and for the past 8+ years I have been the President/CEO of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. Typically, I am the obnoxious one in our meetings - and yes, In our zoom calls, Bob loves to call on me as he knows I have no shortage of things to say - valuable or not. At least he and I will have some fun over the 18 months.

Our upcoming conference will be a great opportunity to learn and network. It is my hope that you will attend and spend some time taking back some valuable information and quality tools to your chamber and community. So much work has been done to ensure this conference experience is great. Thanks again to Lora as well as Andrea, and the entire committee who is working on it.

My promise to you: we will continue to lean into providing valuable content, best practices, and a safe place for those of us in this industry. Both your input and participation matter. As generally the "only one of us" in each of our communities, it is important that we continue to support each other and better the "Chamber of Commerce" name across the state. With your help, we can continue to do that. As our industry continues to move faster in this post-pandemic world, it is my hope that we can continue to be the strong force for each of our communities - and sometimes, more importantly, each other.

Thank you for your service to your community and WCCE. I look forward to working with you and Bob to make our shared organization of WCCE even more valuable.

Guy Signature



Guy Occihiogrosso

Where Do We Go from Here?

seaom lobby fireplace 8980 hor panoWhere do we go from here? The pandemic disrupted the operating model for membership-based organizations and challenged how they serve. Many organizations were agile, shifted their priorities, and leveraged their influence for the benefit of a broader audience—the community—and became the lynchpin to overcome common challenges. Now that the focus is on economic recovery and long-term solutions, industry leaders must consider how to navigate driving forces to develop future-focused organizations that are resilient to disruption. Returning to “business as usual” is not the option.
Cathi Hight of Hight Performance Group will be on this year’s conference schedule to bring this new version of “Business as not-usual” and set us on this new direction.

Check out Cathi's presentation along with 3 others that she’ll be bringing to Tacoma on October 26 – 28th at the Marriott Tacoma Downtown. Registration Information along with hotel accommodations can be found by clicking on the following: Registration Information.

WCCE Exec2Exec Zoom Calls

Exec2Exec Zoom summerWCCE holds a monthly Zoom call on the 3rd Friday at 10AM for July and September for Washington Chamber Professionals. Chamber CEOs will learn from each other, especially when it comes to community and economic challenge impacting their businesses.

The WCCE Exec2Exec Zoom call is a open agenda providing Chamber professionals the opportunity to share ideas and concerns while hearing from others as to how they are reacting to current circumstances.

Washington Chamber Directory

Online chamber DirectoryLooking for a specific Chamber to contact, you'll find some 200 Chambers listed by clicking on the following link:  Chamber Directory




Master Your Virtual Image

myvi sept.28

A special WCCE Conference Prelude Webinar
(available free of charge to all conference attendees)

Virtual studio setup and training for red carpet communicators
How can you take your image from good to great in our virtual world? What can you do to help your inner star shine online? Master Your Virtual Image teaches you how to project a virtual image that flatters you, your brand, and your organization. This information increases your confidence, credibility, and connection in every virtual scenario, whether you're conducting, attending, or participating in online events.

To register, click here.  If your not registered for the conference, you can attend the webinar for $49.

WCCE Career Bullentin

 Chamber: La Conner Chamber of Commerce
Position: Executive Director
Salary & Benefits: Full-Time Position – 40 hours per week, exempt. Salary is dependent on experience and education.
Benefits – Vacation and Sick Leave
Chamber: Yakima Chamber of Commerce
Positin: Presdent/CEO
Does your Chamber have a CEO job opening?  Let WCCE help you promote your replacement process.

WCCE Member Facebook Page

All members of WCCE are encouraged to join the "MEMBERS" Facebook group.  Ask to join by clicking on the following: WCCE Member Facebook Group

WCCE Resource Library

Depositphotos 16363919 s 2015Your WCCE membership grants you access to hundreds of documents, presentations, and forms that have been used by your Washington colleagues to run their chambers.

For the time being, the Resource Vault will be open to all Chamber professionals in Washington State.  A new category for COVID-19 related documents has been created that will house documents and information shared by Chamber Professionals.

You can click on the following to login in and access the library: WCCE Resource Vault

WCCE Listserv

googlegroupsHave a question or issue that you need some feedback for your colleagues?  The WCCE Google Group Listserv is a great way to ask that burning question and receive input from your contemporaries who are successfully leading their Chambers.  If you are not currently signed up, contact the WCCE office at admin@wcce.org



eAPP – A new platform to help create your workplace safety culture

eAPP play button

Creating a workplace safety culture requires collaboration among employers, management, and workers. For this reason, Washington state’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) requires all businesses to have a safety plan in place specific to each of their locations.

The first step to establishing a foundation on which to build a business’s safety culture is the creation of an Accident Prevention Program (APP) that is both thoroughly prepared and frequently updated.

One of the most frequent citations issued by L&I’s Division of Safety and Health is to businesses without an APP or an updated plan in place specific to their current business operations.

The good news is that Washington Retail (WR) has been developing a unique tool to help make it easier for its members to create an APP.
WR received grant funding from the Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) program to create an electronic APP (eAPP.) SHIP is a Division of Occupational Safety and Health at Washington Labor & Industries.

The eAPP tool guides the user through step-by-step assessments to develop a customized APP quickly and makes it easy to keep it current. eAPP also makes it convenient to quickly create similar plans for other business locations and is perfect for anyone looking to start or update their APP.

See a short video about eAPP. You can also try the beta version of the eAPP.

For more information you can contact Rick Means at rmeans@washingtonretail.org or at 360.200.6454.

New Overtime Rules


Do you need help understanding the new overtime rules in Washington State? On January 1st, the exempt threshold increased. These changes affect employees defined as executive, administrative and professional, as well as outside salespeople and computer professionals. In 2022, for both small and large businesses, the threshold is $1,014.30/week ($52,743.60/year). By the time the rule is fully implemented in 2028, a salaried exempt employee will have to be paid at least 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Visit Washington State Department of Labor and Industries website at https://lni.wa.gov/workers-rights/wages/overtime/overtime-rules-resources for more information.


Upcoming Events

WFEA Upcoming Events

Schedule of Events

AWB Policy

Davenport Hotel
Spokane, WA
Sept. 13 - 15, 2022
More Information


Sacramento, CA
Feb. 13 - 15, 2023

WCCE Conference

 Marriott Tacoma Downtown
Oct.  26 - 28, 2022
Registration Info

US Chamber Institute

2023  Institute Schedule
Registration Info

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