Business

San Juan Island Chamber director to hand over the reins

After nearly a decade with a single, steady hand at the helm, the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce is in search of a new director.

Debbie Pigman, executive director of the chamber since 2000, last week announced her resignation and that she will be leaving the post in mid-September. A small task force will be convened to develop a process by which to find a replacement for Pigman’s position, according to chamber President Joy Sevier.

Hired as the chamber’s first-ever executive director, Pigman was a part-time employee when she joined the chamber nine years ago. She worked 20 hours a week at that time, oversaw an annual budget of roughly $28,000 and worked on behalf of the interests of 168 chamber members.

She will exit the chamber’s ranks as a full-time director managing an annual budget of $150,000 and with a membership roster that now consists of 350 local merchants and businesses. Opening and improving the lines of communication between the chamber and its members, between individual business owners, and between local merchants and the Town of Friday Harbor are among her proudest achievements.

“Our various programs have facilitated better communication among business owners, cultivating a climate of collaboration and support rather than competition,” Pigman said as part of a prepared statement. “Working for the chamber has certainly been a rewarding experience that challenged me to grow as a professional as well as an individual.”

Pigman’s future plans include taking a step back to enjoy a “little less demanding lifestyle”, to spend more time with her husband and family, and to focus more on her creative interests.

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