Director, Woodinville Chamber of Commerce

Woodinville has more than 100 wine-tasting rooms, half a dozen breweries and distilleries, and Molbak’s Garden + Home that sees close to 1 million visitors each year. It is no wonder that Woodinville is associated with agritourism, but the city of 11,000 is so much more than winemakers, bicyclists, brewers, and farmers.

No one knows this better than Woodinville Chamber of Commerce Director Dave Witt, whose job it is to network with the close to 300 members of the business community that belong to the Chamber.

“We have a very balanced economy,” Witt said. “We have light manufacturing and all kinds of stuff going on here, it is a very dynamic city.”

Long before he came to Woodinville, Witt said, he had an interest in aviation, but at a routine physical he was disappointed to find that he was colorblind.

“I finagled a second physical and they said the same thing, so I had to believe it,” he said. “I didn’t get to fly, but I did end up with an airline in the travel business.”

Witt spent 25 years working for American Airlines, where he dabbled in marketing, advertising, and sales.

“(American Airlines) bought the Seattle/Tokyo route, so I got the opportunity to help launch that new service — who would think of American Airlines when you want to fly to Japan? — and we had to quickly learn everything you need to know to market something in a brand-new country,” he said.

The attributes of Witt’s job with American Airlines translated perfectly to the Chamber when he and his wife moved to Woodinville from Redmond seven years ago, when they downsized their home.

“The consistent thing for me (between my jobs) has been the interpersonal connections, building those relationships with people, that has to be genuine and it has to be honest in order to be sustainable. I just love that,” he said.

Witt said he enjoys Woodinville because it is a prime location for making business and personal connections despite online sales in an ever-connected, online world.

“In a place like Woodinville, people really do want to know the people they are working with,” he said. “Everyone wants to know the clerk at their grocery store and the people they do business with. We just have a small-town charm even though (we are) becoming a big city.”

Turn the page to see what this networking facilitator does on a typical day.

7 a.m.
My wife, Mary, and I enjoy morning walks along the Sammamish River Trail, which runs through Woodinville; it’s a great way to start our day.

 

8:05
I stop to see my favorite baristas at the Starbucks in downtown Woodinville, a supportive member of our Woodinville Chamber, just across from Molbak’s Garden + Home.

 

9 a.m.
I meet with our Chamber Ambassadors, who communicate directly with members. We meet monthly to keep them current on what’s happening with the Chamber and at city hall.

 

10:30 a.m.
Our Woodinville Chamber hosts a monthly business luncheon at a different venue each month. This month, we’re setting up to host 90 members and guests at Novelty Hill Januik Winery.

 

1 p.m.
After our luncheon, I enjoy a glass of wine with Chamber members Teresa Nelson of Windermere Real Estate Woodinville and Jackie Ross of John L. Scott Real Estate Woodinville.

 

1:30 p.m.
I meet with the Celebrate Woodinville committee members to plan our 2017 summer events, which aim to bring residents together, encourage a sense of community, and promote local businesses.

 

3:10 p.m.
I make a quick stop at Northwest Trophy & Award to pick up our custom-etched bottles of DeLille Cellars D2 wine for our Salute Woodinville dinner and auction.

 

4 p.m.
Our annual Salute Woodinville dinner and auction is held to raise funds for the Chamber and graduating seniors. We have a small staff who are all willing to roll our sleeves up and do our part.

 

4:35 p.m.
With this year’s Celebrate Woodinville quickly approaching, our team takes some time to proof an upcoming ad. The more eyes on the document, the better.

 

5 p.m.
Mary and I love the variety of restaurant options we are blessed with in Woodinville. Tonight I’m stopping by 21 Acres to pick up something from their case of fresh, organic, local delicacies.

 

6 p.m.
Tonight we hosted a round table of local artists to kick off a new local arts committee under the direction of Carol Hook, Woodinville Chamber vice chair and owner of Photography by Carol Hook.

 

8:10 p.m.
My favorite way to end a day is a visit with our grandkids. Although two of our grandkids live on the East Coast, we’re fortunate to have another two nearby. Their energy is contagious.

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