W.A.M. endeavors to put merchants, residents together for good of community

W.A.M. by Jeff Switzer
A newly formed group in Woodinville's business community is working to identify the challenges facing those involved in local commerce, and to find ways to solve those challenges.
   Woodinville's Associated Merchants (W.A.M.) was founded by consultant Bob Trubey in an effort, he said, to solve area merchant concerns and better the community.
   Trubey said the group is designed to be a "collaborative alliance of the merchants, customers, and residents of the Woodinville community."
   According to Trubey, more than 200 merchants have expressed their concerns and ideas to the 6-month-old organization in the past 90 days. "The merchants work with W.A.M. on a project basis only," Trubey said, adding that the merchants become "participants" on any variety of projects based on what they want to accomplish or the relevance.

Projects and challenges in the city
   Last December, Trubey and Don Julien, Woodinville Library manager, commented on the proposed Woodinville Retail Center's draft environmental impact statement, focusing on the transportation needs of the community in light of the increased traffic associated with the proposed shopping center.
   W.A.M. proposed that TRF Pacific, developers of the project, mitigate their impact on traffic by funding a "Shopper Bus" for three years that would run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every half hour, circulating throughout the city.
   Preliminary cost for the 11-passenger bus is $100,000 per year: $87,600 for the service and $12,400 for administration, Trubey said.
   Other projects W.A.M. is looking at include youth issues, the sign problems merchants face in the city regarding temporary signs, and creating more parks in the area.
   These issues represent challenges identified by the merchants in the area, Trubey said.
   "Kids don't have a good place to play," Trubey said, "and the 10-4 bus transportation would help them get around the city."
   He added that his 24 years of experience in referrals, strategies, sales, and marketing and team building will help serve Woodinville by referring customers and residents to merchants in the area. In 1993, he founded Startup, Inc., a "collaborative business alliance managing and networking an arrangement of services to support growth oriented firms."
   W.A.M. meets the fourth Thursday of each month. Its next meeting will be at Las Margaritas on Feb. 22, 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. Cost is $7.