Former communications exec to head chamber

Jim Marsh, founder and co-owner of a communications company in Evanston, Ill., has been named the new executive director of the Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce.

Marsh, 44, who currently works as a supervisor at a teen crisis residential center in Seattle, moved to Vashon two years ago. During his tenure in Evanston, he was president of the city’s chamber of commerce board. He also co-founded and organized the Evanston Grand Prix, a professional, international bicycle race that draws 500 cyclists and 20,000 spectators.

Patti McClements, who chairs Vashon’s chamber, said Marsh’s chamber experience, the fact that he owned and ran his own small business and his ability to organize an event like the Grand Prix made him ideal for the position on Vashon.

The chamber had seven applicants for the job, four of whom a six-person chamber committee interviewed, she said. All four were strong, she said. Even so, she added, the committee was unanimous in its choice of Marsh.

“He’s not only the idea guy but has the experience and dedication and follow-through to bring his ideas to fruition,” McClements said.

Marsh, who starts his job on July 18, will replace Debi Richards, who became the chamber’s executive director two years ago. Richards said she, too, was pleased by Marsh’s appointment.

“He’s energetic. He’s got great ideas. And he has a wonderful background. I think he’ll take the chamber to the next level,” she said.

Marsh, reached at his home Monday, said he hopes to build on Richards’ tenure at the small organization. He left Chicago for Seattle three years ago to be with his partner Heather Corinna, a writer, photographer and sex education advocate. The couple moved to Vashon two years ago.

“I feel like people have moved here and want to live here … because it’s a special place. I’d love to be a part of helping people sustain a good living here,” he said.


A reception for Jim Marsh will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at The Brown Agency’s office, at 17205 Vashon Hwy. S.W.



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