Granger steps down from Snoqualmie Valley chamber

Granger will pursue a master's degree in the sustainability field with her husband, Oscar, at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

She told the Valley Record that a sustainability degree has been a long-term goal, something she had hoped to achieve while directing the chamber. However, chamber business has grown by leaps and bounds in recent months, due to the economic climate, growing number of businesses in the Valley, and members businesses wanting more from their chamber.

"The work here at the chamber has nearly doubled," Granger said. While the chamber has tripled the number of walk-in visits, it's also made it harder for staff to get their jobs done, she added.

The workload began to toll Granger's health, and her doctor suggested she make a change. Granger said she's putting her health first in pursuing the degree,

"I've had a desire to move into the sustainability field for several years," she said. "I felt that as chamber of commerce CEO, I could be effective in helping bring folks from the field to the Snoqualmie Valley. We could end up with education, training programs, companies in the field, a whole impetus around that. I've found that I really don't have the opportunity to do that."

Part of the reason the workload grew, Granger said, was that she and office manager Minna Rudd worked to inform Valley business owners what the chamber could do for them in networking and marketing.

"If I have done nothing else, one of the best things I've done is open people's eyes and minds to the benefits they're already paying for, and to the connections they should be making," she said.

Granger will remain a North Bend resident. Following her directorship, she plans to join the chamber as a small business owner.

Chamber President Steve Rackets said the organization will go through a full search for a new director.

"We're very hopeful and encouraged that we will find an excellent candidate right here in the Valley," he asid. "We're a business community. We want to have someone who, ideally, understands the dynamics of our community."

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