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.