Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Important News for You
Explore the Future of Bremerton and
Kitsap County's Power Grid
Chamber News
Check out and like the
Greater Kitsap Chamber Facebook pages!
Chamber Luncheon
Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 11:00 am
March is Women's History Month
Celebrating the Chamber's Women Leaders
Renew your membership today to ensure your place as a Charter Member of the Greater Kitsap Chamber! Questions about when to renew or how to upgrade your membership? Contact Irene now!
Missed a previous edition of the Chamber's Community Connections?
View all the past issues on our website HERE.
Member News
New Members - Welcome to the Chamber!
West Sound Workforce

18819 3rd Ave, Ste. 110
Poulsbo, WA 98370 | (360) 394-1662

5790 Soundview Drive
Gig Harbor, WA 98335 | (253) 853-3633
Suquamish Tribe General Council
Gathering Reelects Chairman Forsman
The Suquamish Tribe reelected Leonard Forsman as Tribal Council Chairman today and elected Irene Carper as Tribal Council Secretary. The election was part of the tribe's annual General Council gathering this weekend which also included honoring new Tribal Elders and hearing reports from government and tribal enterprises staff.

Outgoing Secretary Windy Anderson, who opted not to run for reelection this year, was also honored for her service to the tribe. Members of the Tribal Council are elected for staggered three-year terms by adult citizens of the Suquamish Tribe.

The new Suquamish Tribal Council includes, from left to right, Treasurer Denita Holmes, Council Member Luther “Jay” Mills Jr, Vice Chairman Josh Bagley, Chairman Leonard Forsman, Council Member Sammy Mabe, Secretary Irene Carper, and Council Member Rich Purser.
Barnacles & Bees Spring Celebration
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Apply Now for Leadership Kitsap, Class of 2024
Deadline to Apply: April 3, 2023
Join the Class of 2024 during Leadership Kitsap's 30th year anniversary!

Leadership Kitsap Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by community leaders, the Kitsap County Chambers of Commerce, and the United Way of Kitsap County. The mission of Leadership Kitsap is to promote informed and committed civic volunteerism. The 10-month long curriculum is designed to help participants acquire both a fuller sense of the critical issues affecting Kitsap County, and the leadership skills necessary to motivate and engage others in collaborative efforts to resolve them.

Leadership Kitsap class participants are selected through a competitive screening/interview process conducted by the Leadership Kitsap Foundation’s Board of Directors. Individuals will be chosen based on the following criteria: (1) commitment to civic involvement in Kitsap County, (2) potential for community leadership, and (3) professional and personal achievement.
Celebrating Women's History Month
Getting to Know Your VP of Membership
Member Spotlight
Wilco Farm Stores
Wilco has a history that dates all the way back to the 1930s. We still have nostalgic board meeting notes and co-op documents from Santiam Farmers Cooperative (Stayton, OR) from 1936. A little over 30 years later, in 1967, Santiam Coop voted with four other Willamette Valley cooperatives and merged together to form Wilco; short for Willamette Consolidated.

Today, Wilco is still a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in the rural town of Mt. Angel, OR. Wilco focuses on a commitment to core values and community that come from our roots while striving to be a progressive company known for growth and innovation supplying today’s agricultural needs.

Our local Bremerton Farm Store supplies the everyday needs of anyone with pets, backyards or farms. The store’s five core departments include Work Wear & Footwear, True Value Convenience Hardware with Benjamin Moore Paint, Lawn & Garden supplies with a Nursery-Style Garden Center, Pet Food & Supplies with Full-Service Pet Grooming, and Livestock & Equine Supplies, Feed and Fencing.

Proud Chamber members since 2018, Wilco Farm Store is a local Kitsap staple, open 7 days a week.
4330 Wheaton Way | Bremerton, WA 98310 | (800) 382-5339
Advocacy Committee
Weekly Legislative Updates
2023 Session: Week 10 Report
As an exclusive benefit to our paid membership, the Greater Kitsap Chamber has again enlisted the services of Brad Boswell and team from Boswell Consulting to provide weekly legislative updates during the 2023 legislative session. Brad will also host a monthly Q&A on the last Friday of each month via Zoom to answer your questions directly.
Chamber Thanks Representative
Tarra Simmons for Small Business Funding
Representative Tarra Simmons of the 23rd Legislative District recently spoke at a series of town hall meetings for the district and was presented with a commemorative print in honor of the Better Businesses in Kitsap Grant, administered by the Greater Kitsap Chamber. Rep. Simmons was responsible for securing $200,000 in small business grant money for the 23rd district and last month the Chamber was able to award 20 small businesses with $10,000 grants.

Pictured: Chamber President/CEO David Emmons with Representative Simmons at the Bainbridge Island town hall on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Education Committee
Member Education & Training Resources
Life & Productivity Mastery
Introductory Session Begins March 28, 2023
Small Business Cybersecurity Training Series
Small businesses are under cyber and data-breach attacks more than ever given the current climate. Cyber attacks happen every day, and for a small business they can be very costly and cripple business operations. Having your systems and information compromised is not only a direct threat to your confidential data, it can also ruin your relationships with customers and cause legal vulnerability. It is imperative to learn how to boost your cyber defense systems.

This four-part training series was developed to help small businesses be cyber safe. The series will be a combination of cybersecurity presentation, subject matter expert panel and Q&A. Join us and become cyber safe today!
Part 2: Authentication
March 21 | 10:30 a.m.
Part 3: Systems
April 4 | 10:30 a.m.
Part 4: Implementation
April 18 | 10:30 a.m.
WA Hospitality: 2023 State of the Industry
Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 10:00 am
This special virtual hospitality event is hosted by the Washington Hospitality Association's own President & CEO, Anthony Anton.

Special guests include Jenn Pickett of Wenspok Companies and Patrick Yearout of Ivar’s & Kidd Valley Restaurants. The two will join us for a deep dive into labor trends and the Clean Buildings Act.

CEO to CEO Webinar: The Human Touch
Thursday, March 23, 2023, 8:30 am
What keeps CEO’s and Business Owners up at night is how to increase sales in these unpredictable times. Sales is an integral part of any business and has been undergoing a transformation in recent years due to the rapid advancement of technology.

While Sales is the lifeblood of any business it's also important to note that technology alone is not a magic bullet for sales. Social media has become a catch all marketing approach that many businesses have discovered weakened their connections with customers and prospects.

It's important to understand that the human touch is still important in the sales process to deliver a customer experience that provides deep meaningful connections that gives you a proven track record to increase your sales.

Join the livestream on Thursday for insight from JP O'Donnell, Founder and CEO of ProActive, and a highly accomplished and successful sales executive with extensive leadership experience directing teams on the local, regional, national, and international levels.
SCORE: 2023 Puget Sound
Women-Owned Business Pitch Contest
Register by March 30, 2023
Our aim is to help prepare women entrepreneurs and business owners to successfully seek financing, whether it's from an angel investor or a bank. The winner(s) of the Pitch Contest will receive a cash prize.

If you wish to participate in the Pitch Contest, please see Pitch Requirements.

Register for the Pitch Contest. You have until March 30th at 9pm PT to register for the contest.

Finalists will be announced on April 4th. All finalists will be invited to make in-person pitches to a panel of judges on April 27th, which will include angel investors and bankers. The pitch presentation will be held at the SCORE facility at 2401 4th Ave, Suite 450, Seattle, WA 98121.

Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

The winners of the Pitch Contest will be honored at the 2023 Small Business Awards Gala on May 3, 2023 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Military Relations Committee
Sign-Up Now for the Armed Forces Day Parade
Parade applications now available online!
Thank You to Our MAD Sponsors
Save the Date for 2024: March 2, 2024
Business News & Resources
Forecast Shows Economic Slowdown;
Capital Budget Released on Monday
Courtesy of the Association of Washington Business, March 20, 2023

The legislative session will be in full budget mode this week, with the Senate capital budget proposal released Monday morning, the latest revenue forecast released Monday afternoon, and both chambers releasing their draft operating budgets in the next few days.
  • The state’s latest revenue projections indicate a slowing economy. Tax collections are forecast to come in less than previously expected: $483 million below earlier forecasts for the 2023-2025 budget cycle and $541 million below previous forecasts for the 2025-2027 budget cycle, according to today’s report from the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. 
  • Budget-writers will still have more money to spend in the next biennium than they did in this one. The state will have $65.7 billion to spend in 2023-25, which is 2.4% more than in the current budget. Looking ahead, in 2025-27 tax revenues are expected to hit $70.3 billion, a 7.1% increase over expected 2023-25 biennial revenue.
  • Steve Lerch, executive director of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, said on Monday a cooling economy is driving the lower revenue projections. Real estate excise tax collections have come in under forecast, he noted, and rising interest rates have curtailed construction and spending. The red hot job market shows signs of slowing and inflation has decreased, but remains high.
  • Hours before, the Senate released a $7.9 billion capital budget proposing to fund housing and mental health, school construction, a new 350-bed forensic hospital at Western State, two new Washington State Patrol crime labs, and more. Click here for a summary of projects.

For more details on the state’s revenue outlook, join AWB on Thursday for a special Lobby Lunch meeting featuring Steve Lerch, the state’s chief economist. You can attend in person or register here for a Zoom link.
Register Now for ScaleUp
Cohorts Beginning in April & May, 2023
Increase your business' profitability, build capacity and spur growth with the ScaleUp program from the WA State Department of Commerce. This program normally costs $1,599 and is currently being offered at NO COST to Washington State businesses through June 30, 2023, thanks to ongoing support from the Department of Commerce.
Hospitality Grant Portal Now Open
Replay of Application Overview Webinar - Watch Now
Lunchtime Lightning Talks
March 21, 2023, 11:30 am
Matchstick Lab Microbusiness Accelerator Founders and members invite your participation at monthly lunchtime lightning talks guaranteed to spark new ideas, conversations and collaborations.

BYO lunch and arrive at 11:30 for conversation and networking. Lightning talks begin at 12pm and end promptly at 1pm.

Nonprofit News & Resources
The Greater Kitsap Chamber is proud to be one of only five Chambers statewide selected to partner with the Nonprofit Association of Washington (NAWA) to bring education and resources to nonprofits in Western Washington. Stay tuned to this section of our weekly newsletter for education, resources and more for our nonprofit community. To learn more about NAWA, please visit their website here.
Nonprofits Ready for Kitsap's
Biggest Day of Giving
Early Giving Opens April 1, 2023
9 Common-Sense Tips for Nonprofit Execs
to be in Partnership with the Board
Published on NonProfitPro.com, March 2023
Photo: Getty Images by SDI Productions

The relationship between a nonprofit board and the CEO/executive director is frequently referred to as a partnership. Most governance literature cites that the board and executive partnership is a goal where there is a clear distinction between the roles and a relationship that is equal and balanced. Presumably, a partnership that matches this definition produces a collective effectiveness in the pursuit of mission.

2023 Washington State Nonprofit Conference
May 17-19, 2023
We spent time adjusting to life in a pandemic, and now is the time to recognize the need for moving boldly as we embrace what comes next. At the 2023 Washington State Nonprofit Conference, we will explore the theme "Moving Boldly."

How are we taking risks to challenge norms, evolve practices, and center justice to achieve the changes we seek in the nonprofit sector? Moving boldly requires courage, confidence, and strength that is found across nonprofits and in the communities we serve. This Conference is an invitation for us all to move boldly together.  
Greater Kitsap News
Kitsap County Commissioner
Announces He is Stepping Down
On Monday, Commissioner Rob Gelder announced he is stepping down from his elected position as Kitsap County Commissioner representing North Kitsap. Following is a statement he released to Kitsap County elected officials, directors and staff:

Having just celebrated 12 years of service to the residents of Kitsap County, it is bittersweet to share the news that I will be stepping down as County Commissioner effective May 23, 2023. I truly love public service, especially at the local and county level.

As Commissioner, I have had the opportunity to learn about so many topics and issues over the years, but often only at a limited depth. I love to learn and have valued the wide range of subject matters in which the board is involved. I have always likened it to being in college, shifting from one course to another every few minutes of the day. I have thrived in this everchanging environment, but one thing is certain, I couldn’t have done so without the support of a phenomenal team of county staff and community members!

I had an opportunity presented to me that will afford me the chance to work with a team, to still support policy development, and to do a deeper dive into how certain services are provided to the community. That role will be as the Assistant County Manager for Thurston County. In that role I will be focusing on six key areas: public works, public defense, pre-trial services, health and human services, emergency services, and community planning/economic development.

USS Theodore Roosevelt Departs Bremerton
Published in the Kitsap Sun, March 17, 2023
Photo: Family and friends of the sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) wave from the Shore of Bachman Park in Bremerton, WA, as the aircraft carrier departs Puget Sound Naval Shipyard after its 18-month overhaul, on Friday, March 17, 2023. MEEGAN M. REID/KITSAP SUN

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) departed Bremerton around 9 a.m. on Friday after undergoing 18 months of repairs at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier will conduct sea trials and eventually return to Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, its previous homeport before Bremerton.

Over 2,700 sailors, which is the majority of the carrier's assigned force, left Puget Sound with the ship. The Roosevelt will conduct "at-sea certifications of upgraded and replaced systems" on its way back to San Diego, said USS Theodore Roosevelt spokesperson Ben Anderson.

The Department of Community Development is conducting a required periodic review of the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance, Kitsap County Code (KCC) Title 19. The Critical Areas Ordinance will be updated in conjunction with the 2024 Comprehensive Plan Update, with adoption planned in June of 2024.

The purpose of the 2024 update is to:
  • Align the CAO with applicable state laws and guidelines in effect at the time of the review;
  • Assure consistency of the CAO with the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan and development regulations; and
  • Provide existing code clarifications to improve usability and predictability for applicants and reviewers.

Visit the CAO project website for more information about the periodic review process, the Public Participation Plan and to learn about opportunities to participate.

SUBSCRIBE NOW to ensure you receive future digital announcements regarding the Critical Areas Ordinance periodic review process. After you enter your contact information, scroll down to Community Development, and select Kitsap County Code Update Announcements!

We invite you to reach out to the Critical Areas Ordinance team throughout the review process. If you have questions, please contact:
Carla Lundgren, Planner
Department of Community Development
Planning & Environmental Programs
(360) 337-5777 (Kitsap1)
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Masks & COVID Testing Kits Available
Free at the Greater Kitsap Chamber & Visitor Center
The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management provides local businesses with free KN95 masks and COVID testing kits. Pick up your supply at both Greater Kitsap Chamber locations today.
COVID-19 Support & Resources
Kitsap County Health District is now posting a regularly updated list of COVID-19 vaccine providers in Kitsap County. This list can be found here.

Community Information
Dance Arts Theatre Presents: Cinderella
March 25 & 26, 2023, Bremerton High School
Kitsap Art Center Offers Spring Break Camps
April 3 - 6, 2023
Whaling Days Scholarship Applications Open
Deadline: March 31, 2023
Applications are now being accepted for the Hank Mann Sykes Scholarship from Silverdale Whaling Days. Applicants must be from Central Kitsap, Olympic, Klahowya, West Sound Technical Center, Crosspoint Academy or Barker Creek Community School in the Central Kitsap School District. The executive board of Whaling Days provides various scholarships of up to $2,000 to seniors who have chosen post-secondary education at a college, university, or technical/vocational school.

Applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2023.
Washington's 6th Congressional District
2023 Art Competition
Deadline: Friday, April 14, 2023
Tourism Information
Advertising Opportunity:
Put Your Business on the Map
With nearly all 10,000 copies of last year's map distributed around the greater Puget Sound region, including 7,500 on our local ferries, the Greater Kitsap Visitor Center map is the place to advertise your business! The 2023 edition will include street maps of both Silverdale and Bremerton - perfect if you're new to the area or a long-time resident. Contact the Visitor Center for more information!
Spring Fling at the Clearwater Casino Resort
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Poulsbo Wedding Expo
Saturday, March 25, 2023, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Admiral Theatre Presents:
Ray on My Mind
Friday, March 24, 2023, 7:30 pm
This concert/theater work brings the music and the story of the great Ray Charles to vivid life! Portraying Ray, master pianist/vocalist, Kenny Brawner leads his 11 piece orchestra and three sultry vocalists (a la the Raelettees), performing this American legend’s most popular hits: “What’d I Say?”, “I Got A Woman”, “Mess Around”, “Georgia On My Mind”, a blazing hot duet on “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, and many more! The music is interwoven with monologues depicting how gospel, blues, jazz, and country-influenced Ray’s style, while also reflecting on American social history, his epic battle with drugs, and his triumphant return home to Georgia.
BIMA's Treasure Trek
April 1 - July 1, 2023
Grab your galoshes and get ready to discover art where you least expect it in BIMA’s Treasure Trek: A Glass Float Seek & Keep. This spring, in celebration of BIMA’s 10th anniversary, 200 hand-blown glass orbs will be hidden on public lands across Kitsap County just waiting to be discovered and treasured by intrepid art lovers. The rules are simple: you find it, you keep it—however we ask that you just keep one so more people can enjoy the hunt.

Working in partnership with Tacoma youth development arts non-profit Hilltop Artists, young glassblowers are creating 200 unique glass balls stamped with BIMA’s logo. The balls, or “floats” (inspired by the glass fishing net floats used by Japanese fishermen), will be hidden in parks, on trails and beaches, and other public lands across the county. Never quite in plain sight, the floats could be behind a log, in a tree, in a hollowed-out stump, under a bush, or other spots that help camouflage the grapefruit-sized artworks. But there’s no need to go tromping around off-trail, these translucent treasures will always be about an arm’s reach from marked pathways. 

Found one? It’s yours to keep! Keep just one, but continue to hunt and share photos if you’d like—share your find with the hashtag #BIMATreasureTrek and be entered to win one of five prize packages. 

Our first float drop will be April 1, 2023 and more will be hidden over the next six weeks, so don’t give up if you don’t find one on your first outing.
Stay in the know with what's happening for events
in Central Kitsap by checking out and liking the
Contact Us
Have something to share? CLICK HERE to submit stories and
events for Tuesday's Community Connections!
David Emmons
Irene Moyer
VP, Membership & Strategic Communications
Brenda Kelley
Tourism Coordinator
Bremerton Office (360) 479-3579 | 4th & Pacific Downtown Bremerton
Silverdale Office (360) 692-6800 | Kitsap Mall next to Macy's
PO Box 1218 Silverdale WA 98383
If you need assistance, please contact us directly.