Connecting People and Places to Tumwater


  • Monday, November 16, 2015 12:50 PM | Anonymous

    Register for our November lunch forum here.

  • Friday, September 18, 2015 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    Our September Forum was a very informative presentation on the importance of being prepared for any disaster time that might strike our area.  Our thanks to Tumwater Fire Chief LaVielle and Puget Sound Energy’s Amy Tousley regarding the importance of being prepared for any disaster time that might strike our area. 

    What is our plan for communicating with family members, our neighbors; does your plan include having someone checking your home in case you can’t get to it soon; what about if you are out of town and disaster strikes your home area and connection by air or car cannot be immediately available?  What about getting to your school children?  Do we all hit the road at the same time and create a paralyzing grid on the main corridors?

    These and many more questions should be considered and actions planned when thinking of the welfare of our loved ones, our elderly, and our neighbors, in a time of disaster.

    Chief LaVielle presented the strategic plan recently prepared under his leadership to analyze the current conditions of the Fire Department, anticipate changes or updates to equipment or increase personnel, and increase understanding of roles among emergency response jurisdictions as well as educating the public.

    Puget Sound Energy in partnership with the Red Cross developed a practical and easy to follow plan for families to follow – Your Family Disaster Plan.  Knowing what to do is the best course of action and protection for us and our families.  “Think Safe.  Be Safe.” is the focus of this program.

    Go to and begin your planning today.


    Clarita Mattox, President

  • Thursday, September 03, 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The Tumwater Chamber continues to focus on providing opportunities for members and non-members to meet, network, and to be informed about topics that affect the City of Tumwater residents and businesses.  We also provide opportunities to get involved in community activities.


    We are a unique platform for members to establish relationships with fellow members and community leaders, and to present their value to their customer base.  Our monthly Forums are full of helpful information and education on topics that are relevant to the business community because we believe in being a reliable resource for all who tap into it.  Members and non-members are welcome. 


    People often ask why should they be members of the Tumwater Chamber since there are other more regional organizations that also focus on business.  My answer is simple; being a member of the Tumwater Chamber is your statement of commitment to the community that supports your business.  The Tumwater Chamber is the place to meet community and business leaders who help influence and shape Tumwater and the policies and decisions that impact you. 


    The community of Tumwater is close and proud of its heritage.  Tumwater is known as Washington’s First Community because it was the first American settlement on Puget Sound and lead the way for other settlements in Olympia, Seattle, Whidbey Island and other areas along the sound.  The City was founded in 1845; however, originally it was called New Market.  By 1863 it was known as Tumwater, which is the Chinook jargon word for a waterfall.  In November 25, 1869 the city was officially incorporated as a town. 

    Don’t miss the opportunity to make a difference by staying involved.  The Tumwater Chamber is committed to valuable opportunities to stay informed through social media, monthly Forums, and our website.  Venues like Facebook help us promote your business – take advantage of you Chamber platform, and share your ideas.  Like us on Face Book.

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015 12:04 PM | Anonymous
    Rootbeer Floats at Screen on the Green!

    Serve your community... and Rootbeer Floats!
    Friday, August 28

    Join us while we serve up rootbeer floats and Tumwater Parks & Recreation brings great family movies to our outdoor cinema at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course. If you would like to help us bring fun to Tumwater families, click here to sign up!

    Come Taste the Pacific Northwest at the Tumwater Artesian Brewfest!

    Help us celebrate the unique brews of the Pacific Northwest.
    Saturday, August 22

    For Volunteers 21+

    We are looking for community members to help engage with the community representing the Tumwater Chamber and The Visitor and Convention Bureau as we enjoy a day of fun, games, and finely crafted beer and wine. Please click here if you would like to help make this the best summer event in Tumwater!

    We hope to see you at these events!

  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015 1:02 PM | Anonymous


    Listen and Connect to Your Customers by What You Learn from Them

    The Tumwater Chamber had the distinct privilege of hosting Victoria Wortberg, Program Director of the Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB),  as our key-note speaker during our May 2015 Forum.  Victoria challenged our audience to consider looking at current business guidelines and practices in a different way.  For example, she suggested we create guidelines and programs that call for action, such a shifting from a business plan to creating and following a Growth Plan, where the key to success is customer satisfaction, building dialogue, and focusing on customer loyalty. 

    Some businesses may still think that customer satisfaction is enough, but in reality satisfied customers still switch vendors for different reasons.  The question is why, and the challenge is to understand the customer so that what we offer are services and products that help them.  Particularly small businesses need to go beyond customer needs.  The answer is as simple as listening and connecting to our customers by what we learn from them.

    Businesses must begin to think about customer service from a different angle . . . not from ‘what we want to entice them to ‘buy’ (even buying our own ideas of how to do things), but thinking of customer service as offering content driven currencies: alternatives, information, support, familiarity, and quality!  We must ask ourselves, are we really using interactive social media, or simply sending information out?  As small business owners, the current business environment demands different habits in order to increase the bottom line – are we wasting our time on $10/hour work like running to get office supplies, to save a few pennies, while our customer has not seen us or heard from us? We need to listens to the ‘voice of the customer’ in order to build customer loyalty. 

    Please consider the free training and resources offered by WCWB – all of us need relevant coaching and help getting in the new game:

    Respectfully submitted,

    Clarita Mattox, President

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    April 2015
    Letter from the President
    In the world of high technology and social media, radio remains a rich format for communicating with customers and getting attention.  While social media and television do offer access to the world in a different format, we cannot function in that electronic space efficiently all our waking hours.  A large number of people still listen to radio while commuting in urban areas and respond well to broadcast and commercial messages.  Radio directs people, and people respond, particularly in urban communities like Tumwater and greater Thurston County. 
    The Tumwater Chamber hosted Jackson Weaver, General Manager of KGY Radio, as the keynote speaker for the April Forum.  It was interesting to learn that 91% of people still listen to the radio and in reality radio was the first social media, before Twitter, Facebook, email, texting, and all the other forms we now take for granted.  Radio was and still is the platform where people’s behavior is influenced by understanding what they listen to.  New technology has caused radio owners and managers to be creative about how to reach their audiences, but radio effectiveness has not changed because radio directs people and people respond.
    Using new technology and devices audiences can still listen to the their favorite team games and news broadcasts, songs and stations, wherever they are.  Radio delivers advertising messages to a massive audience in real time and the power of radio extends to all major demographics across the world. 
    Radio programs keep audiences connected with engagement with on air guests and personalities, and contests and other ways for listeners to participate.  People still want to have a closer human connection than the written or visual media, and radio platforms offer gifts, games, interaction, discussions, and shows that keep audience entertained.  No other media has been able to draw in consumers as radio does. 
    We hope you enjoy great oldies, a simple report on the stock market, trivia, and much more entertaining information offered by 95.3 KGY FM Radio; and for the flavor of great country tune in to 96.9 Radio Country.
    As the tag line for KAYO Radio says it so well:  Radio – power on the go!
    Clarita Mattox
    Tumwater Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Monday, April 13, 2015 9:24 AM | Anonymous
    President’s Message March 2015

    Now that we all have a few months learning and navigating through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we are learning that there is significant impact to our tax reporting from here on out.

    We have all seen the great commercial on TV in which the H&R Block ‘young man’ asks – what does the Affordable Health Care Act have to do with your taxes? . . . . We’ll tell you – this is quite an effective message to get us curious and get the answers we need to address the impact of the ACA on our taxes.

    Sharla Cameron of McSwain Financial Services and H&R Block presented to our audience on Taxes, the Affordable Care Act, and You!  We learned about the new laws around the ACA that dictate that everyone in each household is required to maintain qualified health insurance coverage.  The important question to ask ourselves is whether the insurance we currently pay for is considered ‘qualified’ insurance under the ACA rules, or not?  Please make sure to talk to a tax expert such as H&R Block. There are ramifications that every tax payer needs to understand to avoid penalties or to get the Advance Premium Tax Credit, for example.

    The presentation was comprehensive and did address what level of impact we have on our taxes depending on the kind of health care we have.  At the Tumwater Chamber we are always excited to present relevant information to our audiences and hope that this forum sparked curiosity to explore this topic further with your tax professional – none of us wishes to have surprises when filing our taxes.  Again, we encourage every one of you to present your questions to your tax expert early, as there might be something that you can do now to help you minimize the impact the ACA will have on your taxes.

    We look forward to seeing you at our next Forum April 21, 2015 (River’s Edge Restaurant), at which we will cover effective and balanced marketing approaches in the age of social media – what happened to the personal touch?

    On another note, let’s not forget the US Open coming in June 2015 will have a tremendous economic impact in the region, particularly in lodging, eating, and entertainment, with thousands and thousands of visitors to the area.  The Tumwater Chamber is highlighting Tumwater through the distribution of the Tumwater area map.  Don’t be left behind – we will distribute the visitor map to hotels throughout the region.  Don’t be left behind – visit and Be On The Map!

    Clarita Mattox,
  • Thursday, February 26, 2015 10:02 AM | Anonymous

    President’s Message
    So, What’s Up with the Brewery?
    February 2015

    The Tumwater Chamber took the February Forum on the road for a private tour of the manufacturing areas of the Olympia Brewery last Tuesday.  Thanks to our host and guides Troy Dana, Senna Bailey, and Jessica Dana.

    It was a fascinating experience to walk the hallways and climb the stairs which had been the corridors and pathways for hundreds of people in the past, ranging from workers, to visitors, to entrepreneurs, to visionaries.  The past activities and history of its existence are evidence of the richness of the city of Tumwater that has served as host and partner to the brewery over the years. 

    As we all know, the plant opened for business in 1896 as Capital Brewing Company, which later became the Olympia Brewing Co., in 1902.  Its founder, Leopold Schmidt, who was a successful man and political figure was inspired by the quality of the water in Tumwater and adopted the slogan ‘It’s the Water’ to promote its flagship product.  This slogan was combined with the horseshoe as its trademark because Schmidt wanted to display a key component of the family’s coat of arms.  Ever wondered why the horseshoe?  Now you know!

    In his biography it is documented that Mr. Schmidt guided his business using a simple principle:  ‘Quality first – Quantity next,’ and with that in mind Leopold Schmidt created one of the most popular regional beer brands in the Pacific Northwest for more than a half a century, in spite of the many challenges they faced, including the prohibition years.

    The Olympia Brewery however experienced flat revenues from 1970 to 1980 and the Schmidt family, who still owned and operated the brewery, decided to sell the company to G. Heileman Brewing Company in 1983.  Subsequent years did not prove to be better and the Olympia Brewery ownership passed through several corporations until it was eventually purchased by Miller Brewing Co.  In 2002 SAB bought out Miller and closed the Olympia Brewery on June 2003 stating the unprofitability of such a small brewery.

    Since the region has not given up on such a special part of its history, potential, or dreams, the City of Tumwater conducted a visionary exercise with other public entities and hundreds of members of the public.  The Old Brewery house was purchased by Centralia developer George Heidgerken and business partner Patrick Rhodes for future commercial development.  The manufacturing areas are under contract according to Mr. Troy Dana, of Dana Commercial Realty, who has the property listed for sale and has become for all practical purposes the manager of the property, protecting it from vandalism and opening the doors for interested parties.

    While there are no definite plans for the site at the moment, or at least known plans, there is plenty of interest and we are hoping to see the site become a destination in the future that will spark prosperity and excitement for future generations to enjoy.

    Clarita Mattox, President

  • Friday, January 30, 2015 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    Be On The Map! . . . New Year 2015

    As we get used to saying 2015, we all think about the fresh start of the New Year, leave the previous year in the past, and hopefully embrace with gratitude the lessons learned and the rewards of our hard work.

    The Tumwater Chamber is looking forward to a great year in 2015 as we welcome new members to the board: Dan Shelfer, Tumwater Branch Director for the Boys and Girls Club and Rose Ponzoha Sales Manager for the Tumwater Best Western Tumwater Inn.  Dan and Rose are loyal and hardworking supporters of the community.  With their significant history of service to our businesses, residents, and visitors to Tumwater, their input and experience will bring a fresh and meaningful perspective to connect people and places to Tumwater.

    At the chamber we are committed to providing an outstanding opportunity for our members.  By utilizing the Tumwater Chamber’s platform, members have a place to display their values and fulfill their community-oriented mission through participation in the Forums, sponsorships of community events, and engaging with one of the Chamber’s committees. 

    Following through on our guiding theme of ‘deliver on our promises,’ we expect to have the Tumwater visitor map on the street April 2015.  Be On The Map! is an initiative and opportunity that resulted from our commitment to listening to our membership, our residents and visitors, and it is possible through the help of lodging tax funds provided and approved by the City of Tumwater.  Members can have an indicator of their location on the map for a minimal fee, and for a small amount more members and non-members alike can also have their business logo displayed.  The map will be a meaningful marketing tool that will be distributed throughout the region and it responds to the demographics that still demand tangible items to help them navigate and choose where to shop, recreate, and do business. 

    We are here to foster business success and help shape the present and future of Tumwater.  Be a part of our successful future and Be On The Map!  Visit the chamber website ( to learn more.

    In closing, the work of the chamber reminds me of the wise words of Henry Ford: Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.   

    Looking forward to a great year!

    Clarita Mattox, President

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014 1:42 PM | Anonymous


    Words fail me as I try to express my appreciation for the outstanding work displayed by our members, board, and administrative team at OrgSupport.  We accomplished a great deal in 2014 because of their dedication to the mission of the Tumwater Chamber to Inform, Promote, and Advocate for Businesses and the Community we serve.  One important focus that helped us succeed was our vision:  Be the Leader Connecting People and Places to Tumwater.  

    The Tumwater Chamber faced the challenge of having to change its business model at the beginning of 2014; but we committed to clear purposes and determined we would set new goals and objectives based on a simple philosophy:  “Deliver on our Promises.”  We rolled up our sleeves and knowing that it was going to be a long and demanding journey, we decided to engage in a clearly identified set of goals in the interest of our community and our members.

    We were active in addressing local government leaders that affect our business in Tumwater by meeting regularly with the City Mayor and staff, giving regular reports on the Chamber’s mission, objectives and accomplishments, and we continued to pursue their involvement in the monthly Forum’s to keep our business community informed.  We developed a small incubator program to maximize use of our asset in Tumwater and opened the doors to Tumwater’s only art gallery.  We hope you give them your support and come out to explore the diversity of art by amazing local artists from all over the region.

    The Chamber also partner with the City to support Screen on the Green and the community enjoyed the first “Root Beer Float Bar” during one of the August movie events at the Tumwater Golf Club.  We also became a sponsor of the Thunder Rumble (5K & 10K for AUSA fundraising event) – supporting the transition of our military personnel as they return home.  It was a joy to share plentiful treats for all participants. 

    The future on our community and our nation lies on the shoulders of our younger generations, and that is why the Chamber is excited to support activities that prepare students through the popular Mentor & Learn program.  This annual initiative offers students the opportunity to interview and hear from local business owners about their journey and preparations for career choices which the students will make in the near future.  We also focused efforts on developing a better website which is live and ready for member renewals now!

    In addition to the new website, the Chamber is excited to launch the first visitor map of our area in early 2015.  We heard from our members, leaders, and community residents about the need to provide a tangible item to tell people what is in Tumwater and how to get to it. So we invite our business community to “Be on the Map.”  Our community is what it is because of you – so continue to get involved and please accept our invitation to you to be an active part of your Tumwater Chamber by being a part of any of the committee teams.

    We look forward to 2015 with great anticipation.  Best wishes for a wonderful and healthy holiday season.


    Clarita Mattox, President

    Clarita Mattox, President 

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