After a little more than over a month of searching, board members with the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce hired Beth Pratt as its new executive director.
Pratt succeeds Anji Scalf, who announced she was resigning in early October after three years in the position.
“We are very excited about having Beth as the Sequim Chamber’s executive director,” chamber president Charla Wright said in a press release. “We feel she brings a new vision, dedication, excitement and professionalism to the chamber.”
Pratt, a Port Angeles resident, comes to the Sequim chamber after more than 14 years in the senior long-term care profession.
“I’m excited to be here,” she said on Nov. 15, her first day.
“(The Chamber is) important for a small city, and in an isolated region, we fulfill an important role.”
She first came to work in Sequim as an activity director for the Lodge at Sherwood Village.
“If you saw the Lodge Town Car or bus around the area, it was likely me driving it between 2007 and 2017,” Pratt said in the chamber’s Nov. 10 press release.
“I didn’t know work could be so much fun until I took on that role.”
On Monday, Pratt said she grew to know many community and Chamber members while employed for the late-Bill Littlejohn, a former chamber president.
In 2012, Pratt also was an early member of the Sequim Community Orchestra playing the violin, joining the board within the first few months and taking on the board presidency for three-and-a-half years.
“Being a part of a community organization that focuses on music, education and having fun with others while sharing performances with our friends and neighbors has been one of the most fun, most rewarding things I have ever had the privilege to do,” she said.
Pratt moved into marketing and admissions after leaving The Lodge. She has written for the senior-focused Compass & Clock magazine, been a guest speaker about retirement and assisted living communities for several service organizations and senior fairs, and is involved in fundraising events with the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, serving on committees for the Festival of Trees, Harvest of Hope, and Red, Set, GO. She also worked on two different stories with Seattle based news channels in 2018.
“I am excited to get started … to meet all the business owners and managers around our area, learn what they expect of their Chamber of Commerce, and deliver to them the best services our team can offer,” Pratt said. “There is a lot we can do as a community to support each other, from shopping and dining locally to jumping in to help with civic celebrations together.
“It is my honor to get to help lead the charge past COVID-19 and into the future of Sequim.”
Pratt said she considered the shift in her career with the impact of the past two pandemic-plagued years.
“Working through the past two years has taken a big toll on all who serve our senior communities,” she said. “After three COVID-19 lock-downs, two quarantines for other infectious diseases, and working in a very short-staffed community, I was definitely ready for a change.”
The Sequim chamber’s goal for 2022, Wright said, is to grow membership, increase the chamber’s support for businesses in Sequim’s downtown area and in community events.
“Events will be a large focus for 2022 and Beth brings a history of successful media campaigns which can be used within the chamber’s 501(c)3 definition to meet the chamber’s financial needs,” Wright said.
For more information, call the chamber at 360-683-6197 or visit sequimchamber.com.