It was with great joy and sadness that much of the Marysville community gathered to honor the retiring Ceo/President Caldie Roger due to illness. Margaret Norman and Zabine Van Ness only just recently joined to be a volunteer at the Visitors Center. As members of the Baha’i community we wanted to be part to assist the many visitors and welcome them one by one.
There was not a dry eye in the banquet room at the Holiday Inn. One by one we watched the many attendees sing her praises….from Elders engaged with her from the Tulalip Tribe, our Mayor Jon Nehring to the Mayor of Sultan, our ranking Military officers associated with our Chamber, a tearful young woman who lovingly called her “Momma Bear” to a deeply touching appreciation by her son. It was our loss to have joined just so recently as Caldie’s life is filled with giving, inspiring, mentoring, vision and mission building to mention a few. What an honor to still have a chance to thank her for her dedication and services over the many years.
Her benchmark was vision and dedication to creating history-making partnerships founded in trust that work on behalf of the communities she represented. The first and only chamber to date in the country to reach out and partner with a sovereign nation, the Chamber now serves as a bridge between Marysville and Tulalip uniting both communities in economic development efforts. This partnership has won state and national attention, promoted as a national role model by the United States Chamber of Commerce and featured at former Governor Lock’s first statewide Economic Development Conference.
Today, the chamber’s high tech facility pays testimony to the strength in partnerships. Funded in part through state and county grants as well as city and tribal contracts for service the Chamber assists over 43,000 walk-in visitors and responds to over 561,000 inquiries a year while its website receives approximately 33,000 hits a month placing it in the top three to five placements of all world-wide search engines.
We are happy she will still be around us for a while longer.