Six years ago, 16 local businesses, including Central Co-op, Alchemy Goods, Fremont Brewing, and BECU, came together to help create Seattle Good Business Network. They believed that by connecting and empowering a network of locally owned businesses in the stewardship of our place, together we could make a real difference in our communities.
As Co-Director, I have been tremendously honored to help shepherd Seattle Good Business Network into an organization that today plays a critical role as connector, convener, and trusted home of important local economy initiatives that improve many people's’ lives. We’ve supported hundreds of local independent retail, manufacturing, and food businesses; connected them to thousands of local residents (and to each other!); and built lasting partnerships with allied nonprofits, municipal agencies, local media, and other anchors in our community.
Our Co-Director, Erin Nelson, and I have walked side-by-side in this adventure since 2012. Early next year, Erin will become Executive Director of Seattle Good Business Network, and I will leave my day-to-day position to become Executive Director of Yes! Magazine. I will continue to be an enthusiastic advocate and connector for SGBN in our community and as a board member of SGBN.
SGBN has been my professional and creative passion since 2010, but when I was encouraged to consider helping lead Yes!—an organization I have long admired—I could not ignore the opportunity to help create lasting, positive change for hundreds of communities.
Yes! has pioneered the field of solutions journalism, reporting the critical stories of communities coming together to create strong local economies; fair systems of justice and governance; and green, resilient places. It has an impressive track record of inspiring hundreds of thousands of changemakers across the country, and my job will be to help Yes! take 20 years of growth and impact to the next level at this critical time. I am honored by the opportunity and challenge.
It is also the absolute right moment for Seattle Good Business Network to step into its next stage of growth and impact. Over the last few years, our small-but-mighty team has been instrumental in building powerful networks of local businesses, residents, and community leaders committed to strengthening our local economy by buying, producing, and investing locally. As Executive Director, Erin will be supported by our recently expanded board of directors and incredible program staff and partners. I have been privileged to work with Erin as she's honed her natural leadership instincts into powerful skills and delivered significant, tangible results for the many small businesses we work with. She is smart, positive, tenacious, and knows how to get things done. We couldn’t be more fortunate to have her as our new ED!
I am incredibly proud to be joining the SGBN Board at a time when we are doing our most important and lasting work, and have so many opportunities on the horizon. Real progress is only possible when we work together as a network of like-minded people who believe that a vibrant, diverse local economy is the foundation for healthy, equitable communities. So, I thank you for being part of that network and for all the work you do.
To the future, together,