– The 2016 YBA end-of-year Newsletter sent to members:
* THE YBA HAS BEEN WORKING ON YOUR BEHALF
This last year has been a busy one. One of the main foci for the board was to put all of the information that we had gathered from 2015 into a workable form. Information is only valuable when it leads to action. In the course of several meetings, the Yelm Business Association (YBA) Board developed a strategic plan to more efficiently tackle those issues most important to the Yelm business community. During the first two YBA-conducted Town Hall meetings, we heard loud and clear those problems that both the Yelm businesses and Yelm’s citizens face with the city.
Using those problem statements as a starting point, the YBA began to brainstorm solutions on those problems about which we thought we could contribute. The YBA Work Plan for 2016 was a start, but we have a long way to go.
To begin, we decided to pick an action item that we could use as a test case. We heard during the YBA Town Halls that people and businesses would like “food trucks”. Currently, there are no city guidelines on permitting food trucks within the city limits. Although not of preeminence to business owners, we decided to make this issue a priority on our 2016 Work Plan to-do list, because this would give us an opportunity to learn how to work with the City of Yelm in proposing an ordinance within the Yelm codes and follow-through to adoption. While the process of amending a resolution is, on its face, a simple one, the practicality of enacting and changing an ordinance can be much more complex. In response to complaints about the City’s focus on big box store development, city leaders stated repeatedly they support all businesses wishing to come here and cannot pick and choose what kind of businesses are allowed. It stands to reason, then, that the City would not want to eliminate an entire category of businesses with food trucks. The result to-date has been that the city will have the first issues- oriented Yelm Town Hall to garner public input in 12 years.
These lessons learned with food trucks will help us as we start to implement more actions from our 2016 Work Plan, and should assist us to continue to work on developing a positive relationship with the City as we move forward with some of the more complex issues that businesses face.
* YBA LEADERSHIP AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES
Your YBA Board of Directors meets twice monthly in a commitment to bring a fresh awareness to the potentials and opportunities inherent in such a diverse community as Yelm.
Executive Director Dan Crowe has been reviewing ordinances and looking for places where changes can be made. He is also the YBA’s lead public relations interface in the community. He and his wife Molly Carmody have been privileged to purchase and restore the Masonic Grange into the Crowe Law office building, providing Yelm with a Historic Landmark that combines the history of the past with a modern business, committed to Yelm’s future.
President Cynthia Schmier is on the Food Truck and Christmas Decorations Committee and provided her Re/Max Country business as the site for the co-sponsored Summer Art Show. Cynthia has almost 3 decades as a leader in Yelm’s real estate market which has provided her with an insight that made her the unanimous choice to be selected as YBA President.
Vice-President Steve Craig has been tireless in his work on the Beautification committee,
and crafted two art shows; plus, he has brought several ideas on which he is working to make Yelm a “destination” instead of a “drive-though” community. Steve is retired from a career in state government, a member of the Nisqually Land Trust Board, and owner of Yelm’s National Historic Wolf Building.
Treasurer Bill Hashim is the YBA’s Ad Hoc member working on our citizen’s advisory committee. He has brought his wealth of experience from state government in developing and implementing the YBA Strategic Plan. Bill has an astounding love for Yelm and has raised three children here, each of whom have become stand-outs in their fields of endeavor. His perspective has been of great benefit to the YBA.
Secretary Steve Klein takes all of the YBA Minutes and keeps them archived. He has worked to redesign the YelmBusiness.org website, created the YBA Twitter news feed, and shared his business acumen and experience with the board. Steve published a weekly Newsletter in Yelm from 2001-2011 inclusive and has written local, daily Blog news stories for almost 11 years. Steve’s vision on local issues has been a valauable asset to the YBA.
Additional Board members:
Kellie Petersen joined our board in early 2016 and immediately contributed her many talents to the Food Truck and Christmas Decorations Committees, bringing her unique understanding to these important projects, as owner of Gordon’s Garden Center.
Marian Licxandru is also new to the YBA board in 2016, which utilized his marketing talents as owner of Yelm’s & Olympia’s Pizzeria La Gitana, his strengths in social media, and his youthful passion of new ideas to bring visitors to Yelm.
Jayne Cameron is our newest Board member and rounds-out the YBA board’s talents, as she brings her legendary experience from the arts world and in Las Vegas, as owner of Yelm’s Triad Theater. Jayne’s insights of Community Theater being an asset to draw visitors to Yelm is a welcome addition to the YBA Beautification Committee
* POLITICAL SUCCESS ON THE CITY COUNCIL
YBA founding Board member and Secretary, Molly Carmody, was elected to the Yelm City Council, November 4, 2015. As 2016 began, local business owner Tad Stillwell and Joe DePinto, who has with almost 6 years’ experience working for a representative in the state legislature joined Carmody on the city council. All three have shown a deep commitment to public safety, transparency, open government, and building a business-friendly environment. While these new additions to the City Council faced challenges from others entrenched in the past, they have brought a fresh, pro-business perspective to the council and we have seen great things from them since their inauguration. Indeed, in the last year, 5 council seats have been filled and a new interim Mayor, former councilor JW Foster, were seated. Mayor Harding accepted a position elsewhere and resigned. YBA President Schmier and Interim Mayor Foster met to discuss avenues of mutual interest, which was a very positive development.
* WHAT WE’VE DONE IN THE PAST YEAR
* In conjunction with the Triad Arts Theater, the YBA conducted a first-of-its-kind community arts and crafts show highlighting our local artists’ talent, December 12, 2015. The Masonic Lodge, next to Gordon’s was filled with art and attracted a very large crowd of people. The YBA’s involvement was prominently featured. Featured in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN):
* Your YBA supported the Yelm Community Schools Replacement Maintenance & Operations Levy and their New Construction, Renovation & Safety Bond, February 4, 2016. The Levy passed, the bond did not. The YBA’s position was that properly funded schools produce high quality employees, future business leaders, and attract families to Yelm.
* Your YBA approves news board member Marian Licxandru, owner of Pizzeria La Gitana, February 10, 2016. Marian replaced Molly Carmody who resigned pursuant to the bylaws when she was elected to public office.
* Your YBA adopts a months-in-the-making Strategic Plan, incorporating action items from suggestions submitted from public Town Halls, February 24, 2016.
* Your YBA was the ONLY organization that responded to the Yelm Comprehensive Plan updates during the public comment period, which closed March 1, 2016. This plan has the potential to have a serious and lasting effect on the way we do business here in Yelm, and it was critical that your voice be heard. This comment also resulted in YBA President, Cynthia Schmier opening a dialogue with the City about strategic planning and the importance of supporting the local business community.
* Your YBA Executive Board attended the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Forum which hosted Mayor Harding’s State of the City Address on March 8, 2016. In addition, the YBA met with the then newly-hired Chamber Executive Director in order to discuss a mutually beneficial working relationship with them and a brainstorming of ideas.
* Your YBA interviewed two prospective new Board members, March 9, 2016. Kellie Petersen joined the Board later that month.
* Your YBA’s comments submitted to the city on the Yelm Comprehensive Plan were published in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN), March 11, 2016.
* Your YBA approved new board member Kellie Petersen, the owner of Gordon’s Garden Center, March 23, 2016.
* Your YBA was asked to send a representative to the City Administrator interviews selection process.
* Your YBA’s redesigned website went public Summer 2016.
* Your YBA introduced a Twitter page featuring the latest YBA news.
* Your YBA rounded-out their social media platform with a Facebook page.
* Your YBA and The Triad Arts Theater co-hosted the first annual Summer Arts and Crafts show the weekend of September 10th, garnering Nisqually Valley News coverage.
* Your YBA drafted Food Truck regulations, which Executive Director Dan Crowe submitted for consideration as a proposal to the Yelm City Council on September 13, 2016. These regulations are designed to allow Food Trucks to operate in Yelm. The city will induct the first city-issues Town Hall public forum in 12 years to include public comment on this proposal.
* Your YBA Exec Dir. Dan Crowe and his wife Molly Carmody were lauded for Masonic Bldg. restoration in the Nisqually Valley News.
* Your YBA approved new Board member Jayne Cameron, owner of The Triad Theater, October 11, 2016.
* Your YBA President Cynthia Schmier presented a proposal October 25, 2016, to name the Community Center for the Wolf Family, who served Yelm with distinction for over 8 decades.
* Your YBA Food Truck proposal has been recognized and supported by the Washington Food Truck Assn.
* Your YBA Food Truck regulations proposal will be vetted in the first open-to-the-public city issues Yelm Town Hall in 12 years.
* “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
– Jack Welch
* A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
For the last year and a half, the Yelm Business Assn. Board has been all about action. As the quote I’ve included above implies, information without action does not achieve results. We committed to take the information we’ve worked so hard to obtain and make it work for you. We need your help, though. We still require your direction, your input, and your involvement in our organization. You can contact any board member at any time, as we are all happy to listen to you about your concerns and how we can address them. More importantly, we need your help implementing the action plan, organizing a community event, out-reach, and more.
There is plenty of room for everyone at the table, so if you want to see Yelm be a place that truly supports local business – your business, then chip in! We invite you to join us and bring your passion, your interest for Yelm’s future.
* YOUR YBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dan Crowe, Executive Director & Founding Board Member
Cynthia Schmier, President & Founding Board Member
Steve Craig, Vice-President & Founding Board Member
Steve Klein, Founding Board member, Secretary
Bill Hashim, Treasurer, Citizen Action Committee Ad Hoc Member
Click here for the YBA Newsletter print edition.