Woodinville Chamber of Commerce Director resigns
by Jeff Switzer
The familiar face of Woodinville Chamber of Commerce Director Ruth Fusaro won't be seen as often at the chamber offices in the old Woodinville Schoolhouse: She turned in her resignation on Jan. 3, effective Feb. 1.
Fusaro says she's moving on to the realm of higher education to get her masters degree in non-profit management at Seattle University.
She said she had struggled with the decision, but chose this course the Friday before resigning after reading a poem.
"It felt like it was time to walk down a different street," Fusaro said. "With the new year, now is the best time for this shift. There are very dynamic people on the board and the chamber is in good financial condition."
Fusaro said it has been like the beginning of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," and she is thankful for all of it.
"Woodinville has seen so many changes, and this year will be exceptionally eventful in our business community," Fusaro said. "I will miss being involved in this activity, but look forward to continuing my career with other non-profit organizations."
The program at Seattle University admits 25 students per year, and while she is studying there, she will act as a consultant with the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
Fusaro has been the Woodinville Chamber director for three and one-half years, the longest term the Woodinville organization has seen from a director.
During her tenure, she contributed to a 32 percent increase in membership and, according to the chamber's Board of Directors, was influential in securing the organization's first tourism grant while also overseeing successful events bringing visitors and dollars into the area.
Fusaro plans to continue her work with the Leadership Institute and her role on the Civic Center Committee.
The board of directors has begun the search for a new director, charging a search committee with the task.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce can bid farewell to Fusaro at the monthly luncheon, which will be held Tuesday, Jan. 9, 11:30 a.m., at Italianissimo Restaurant in Woodinville. Reservations and more information are available by calling the chamber at 481-8300.