SEQUIM — Shelli Robb-Kahler said she’s gained “invaluable” experience as she looks back at more than seven years as executive director of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Robb-Kahler was hired as executive director in 2011 and is leaving the chamber to take a management position with Sound Community Bank. She gave her six-week resignation notice Aug. 17 and plans to stay and help the organization find a replacement in the meantime.
Robb-Kahler said highlights of her tenure include promoting businesses and organizations to help them succeed and prosper, building relationships and getting to know what makes Sequim businesses and its commercial climate “tick,” working with the Sequim Irrigation Festival, operating the Visitor Information Center, the education she’s received in the tourism aspect of her job, and training and building relationships with the volunteer work force.
Shenna Younger, president of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, credited Robb-Kahler with helping chamber membership grow, expanding its volunteer base, modernizing and streamlining processing while improving member benefits and services, and building up chamber fund reserves.
“Shelli has done such a fabulous job over the past seven-plus years, and her achievements will not be forgotten,” Younger said in an announcement.
“We wish Shelli the best as she transitions to her new role at Sound Community Bank. Change is inevitably hard, but there can be magic in new beginnings. ”
Robb-Kahler said the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce is the first nonprofit she has worked for and that it was a priceless learning experience.
“I take much pleasure in the very diverse nature of this job and all the aspects of chamber involvement,” she said in an email. “No two days are ever alike. Representing the chamber and its community is an energetic task; however it’s been an absolute honor and privilege to do so … ”
Robb-Kahler also said she’s enjoyed working with the chamber’s community partners such as the city of Sequim, Clallam County, Economic Development Council and Sequim School District.
“Being a proud Sequimite and native, I have thoroughly enjoyed giving back and serving this wonderful community,” Robb-Kahler said.
“We have amazing citizens in our fine community and the opportunity for the chamber in recognizing those shining stars annually with the Citizen of the Year award is also a monumental honor and will remain very special to me.”
One of Robb-Kahler’s favorite annual events is the Chamber’s Volunteer Appreciation, held each fall to recognize “unsung heroes” in the community.
Robb-Kahler also gave recognition to her family for supporting her and the chamber throughout the years.
“I have to give a shout out to my husband and son who have also given their time and talents in supporting the chamber and Visitor Information Center,” she said. “It’s been a family affair and effort.”
Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].