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New Taste Edmonds ranked lowest by members for 2018


Last updated 1/30/2019 at Noon

What Chamber of Commerce event ranked the lowest in quality in 2018, according to dues-paying chamber members?

Eighty businesses and 18 individuals answered the chamber’s annual member satisfaction survey. Sixteen events were rated on a scale of 1 to 5. (The overall performance of the chamber was rated at 3.47.)

There were three categories – importance, quality, and attendance by members.

At the chamber’s annual meeting last week, chamber President and CEO Greg Urban gave the answer: Taste Edmonds scored lowest in quality with a 3.18 score. It scored 3.79 in importance and 70.9 percent in attendance.

It was the first year of the event with a new title and focus after being known for 35 years as A Taste of Edmonds.

“Change isn’t always easy, particularly when it comes to a festival in its 36th year,” Urban told the Beacon after the chamber’s largest annual fundraiser drew mixed reviews for its new layout and prices, the latter totaling $3 for gate admission and $6 for entry to the beer and wine garden.

An Edmonds Kind of Fourth – which includes two parades, a 1K and 5K race, vendors, entertainment and fireworks – was the chamber’s highest ranked event. It was tops in importance at 4.67 and attendance at 73.8 percent.

In the quality category, the July 4 event came in second at 4.46, beaten only by the popular Halloween Trick-or-Treat, which scored 4.5.

And 73.8 percent of respondents say they attended the event (62.1 percent was the average of all events).

Bringing up the bottom in importance was Decant Edmonds at 3.14, a chamber benefit in April at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. To be fair, it was the event’s debut.

The members’ lowest-attended event? A candidate forum. Only 7.9 percent of members showed up for the 16th annual forum in City Council chambers. Also, to be fair, races did not feature any local ties, as the forum focused on Legislative and Snohomish County Public Utilities District candidates.

The event will no doubt see numbers increase this year, as there are five City government positions open – for mayor and four for City Council.

Budget, giving back

The chamber’s 2019 budget is $652,000, with $486,500 coming from events and $145,000 from membership

According to Urban, the chamber gave back $24,452.59 in 2018 to local service clubs and nonprofits.

In the past five years, the chamber has donated more than $34,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Edmonds, which is located at Civic Field. It also donated more than $24,000 to Edmonds-Woodway High School.

The chamber hosted seven community events, engaging 680 volunteers and seeing attendance at 87,000, Urban said.

Its 80 networking events drew more than 2,300 members, and 44 sponsors invested $48,000 in the chamber.

In 2019, Urban said the chamber will focus on member orientation training, educational workshops and host a small-business development center two days a month.

The Edmonds Chamber Foundation will continue to fund scholarships for Edmonds Community College students. That includes a “Learn to Laugh” comedy night March 9 at Wade James Theater in Edmonds.

Go to edmondschamberfoundation.org/learntolaugh for more information.


Marilla Sargent will continue as the chamber’s board chair. Other members are Nancy Ekrem, first vice chair; Rob Schwertley, second vice chair; Ralph Sanders, secretary; Ava Dubno, treasurer; and Sarah Zabel, past board chair.

The board of directors includes Councilmember Mike Nelson, Brittany Williams, Diana Van Loveren, Erika Barnett, Jim Kristian, Juliana Van Buskirk, Justin Ford, Kathy Hashbarger, Leonard Hagen, Nikki Dickerson, Richard Suico and Tony Blei.

In addition to Urban, chamber staff includes Alicia Moreno, communications and program coordinator.

To see the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce’s full 2018 report, go to bit.ly/2G3YJER.


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