Lifestyle

New chamber exec is right at home in Silverdale

Michael Broome first became interested in Silverdale during a visit four years ago.

The tourist opportunities and business climate reminded him of his then-hometown Anacortes. For Broome, the area looked like an opportunity to use his talents as chamber of commerce executive director on a larger scale.

“There are far more retail outlets, which is a huge opportunity,” he said. “I just liked it, there’s good schools and lots of natural attributes which I like.”

On Dec. 7, Broome began his opportunity as executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. He is replacing Darla Murkier, who died at age 45 on Oct. 18 of endometrial cancer. She served in the position since 2006.

“He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and an innovative spark,” chamber board member Anji Sell said. “He has big shoes to fill and I think he’ll do a great job.”

A business major at Capilano University in Vancouver, B.C., Broome began his professional career as a catering manager for a restaurant in Kailua, Hawaii.

During his 10 years there, he was eventually talked into representing the business at the city’s chamber of commerce.

He also served in the chamber in Kirkland and Anacortes, where he was executive director for the final four of the seven years he lived there.

Broome believes he has a lot to offer in the position because of his entrepreneurial spirit and business experience as executive director of the Washington State Community Associations Institute, a branch of a national organization that provides resources to people who manage homeowners associations.

He also owns Ruff Neighborhoods, a pet-care business.

“I love to hike and I used to take advantage of the five marinas there in Anacortes,” he said. “When I can, I love to walk my dogs.”

The variety of business he works with and the chance to work with regional organizations are other factors that attract Broome to chamber work.

“I love that its multi-faceted, you get to work with some of just about everything,” he said. “There’s political involvement without actually being involved in politics.”

Broome’s first order of business is to take a long look at the services the chamber offers to local employers, such as its seminars for customers service and network building and the chamber’s large-scale events. He wants to help produce a “shop member first philosophy.”

“There’s nothing better than going into a business and just asking lots of questions and being able to offer some help,” he said. “At the end of the day, business just want to hear their cash registers ring.”

Along with boosting efficiency at Silverdale’s local entities, he also wants to continue bringing in outside business, a steady trend for most of the past two decades. Revamping the Web site to make it easier to research, as well as to further increase Silverdale’s outreach is a key aspect of his strategy.

“He was just the best candidate, the most experienced,” said Chris Koebelin, board president for the chamber. “He brought great enthusiasm and he kind of jumped into it.”

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