Chamber director to helm ferry action group

Amy Drayer will change roles to run the Chamber of Commerce’s Islanders for Ferry Action (IFA).

Vashon Chamber of Commerce executive director Amy Drayer will change roles this May to run the organizations’ Islanders for Ferry Action (IFA), the Chamber announced this month.

The personnel changes also include the hiring of a new member services coordinator, Nichole Banducci. Because Drayer will lead the ferry advocacy wing of the chamber, the organization is now also seeking a new executive director to take her place.

Banducci holds an MBA in marketing and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Southern California, along with certifications in content marketing and health coaching, according to the Chamber. She and her family moved to Vashon in June 2023.

In her new role at the Chamber, Banducci will be a primary point-of-contact for Chamber members — addressing their inquiries, resolving billing issues, helping the chamber expand promotional efforts and assisting in planning events such as Strawberry Festival, Drayer said.

In her coming role as the campaign director for IFA, a new position at the Chamber, Drayer will take on a more politically active role, leading the initiative’s lobbying for improvement and expansion of the island’s ferry system.

Drayer was hired as the Chamber’s executive director in January 2023. Prior to that, Drayer, who graduated from Vashon High School in 1995, worked in politics and organizing for six years in Washington, D.C. — including work for social change-makers such as feminist Gloria Steinem.

Her work leading IFA will also involve coordinating with other ferry-using communities in the region, and playing a leadership role in the island’s response to the upcoming Fauntleroy dock renovation.

“We recognize that to better advance our mission, we need to lead in areas that affect our members and the Vashon community deeply, and where collective action is most needed,” Drayer said in an email. “That includes issues that affect all of us, like the ferries, affordable housing, and community connection.”

As for Strawberry Festival — held this year on July 19 through 21 — Drayer said the event is well prepared-for and will run smoothly alongside the Chamber’s leadership transition.

“Festival itself has always been a community-led effort, and with many of the core pieces already in process, including the vendor program, production, Main Stage entertainment, and the parade, we expect a smooth transition to new leadership in the organization,” Drayer said. “We will, of course, seek volunteer leadership as we have in the past to produce an event that reflects our wonderful Vashon spirit and heritage!”

The Chamber is currently accepting applications for a new executive director. More information is available here.