Rebecca Martin, CCE, IOM, is the President and CEO of the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, promoting economic prosperity along the Seattle-Tacoma business corridor in Washington.
Martin is a certified Chamber professional with experience in economic development, tourism, small business, education, as well as membership organizations and public sector entities. She is one of only 6% of Chamber executives in the U.S. with the CCE designation from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and the only practicing CEO is the State of Washington with the CCE certification.
In addition to her CCE, Martin also holds the industry designation of IOM, having completed the program for Institutional Organizational Management offered by the United States Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, she was selected to serve as a class advisor for the IOM program at the USCC West Institute.
Within the Chamber of Commerce industry, Martin served as President and CEO of the Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber. Previously she was a Senior Vice President at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, President and the CEO of the Ludington & Scottville Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau in Michigan. Martin was Vice President of the Chamber Division of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, the lead economic development agency in Erie, Pennsylvania focused on business attraction, retention and expansion.
Prior to her work in the Chamber of Commerce industry, Martin served as Director of Marketing & Government Affairs for the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority.
A former State Commissioner, she was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women for two consecutive terms. Previously, she was appointed to Governor Rendell’s Transition Team for Travel and Tourism and served on the Northwest Pennsylvania Travel and Tourism Task Force under Governor Thomas Ridge.
Politically, she was elected to the City of Erie School Board and served two years as President following two years as Vice President of the Board of Directors. Martin was the first woman to hold the seat of School Board President in 20 years. During her tenure as President, the Erie School District received a $15 million, five-year grant from the GE Foundation’s College Bound Program. Also, the Pennsylvania School Board Association appointed Martin to the Federal Relations Network to represent her congressional district on legislative issues related to education.
Formerly, she served on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Pennsylvania Center for Excellence in Education, The Great Lakes Cruising Coalition, Michigan Great Outdoors, and the Michigan Port Cities Initiative.
Active in a variety of professional associations, Martin was a Trustee of the Erie Rotary Club’s Scholarship Foundation Board, serving as the Foundation’s President for two years. She served on the advisory Board for the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, TX, and was on faculty for the online university in Chamber management offered by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.
In Pennsylvania, she earned her MA from Gannon University and her BA, magna cum laude, from Mercyhurst College.
Asako Fujikura Apodaca is the Office Manager at the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce. She maintains membership program data collection and assists with marketing projects. She loves the spirit of collaboration at the Chamber and working to develop more harmony between Japanese and Federal Way businesses. Member’s smiles warm her heart and encourage her to keep asking questions and finding solutions.
Asako comes to us from Tokyo, Japan and lived in Vancouver, Canada for a year before making the Pacific Northwest of the United States her home. She graduated Highline College in 2017 with a Small Business and Entrepreneurship Degree and serves on Highline’s Business Curriculum Advisory Committee that consists of local business professionals.
Of her many passions, she loves cooking, food, traveling, dogs, experiencing new cultures and learning about the world surrounding her. It’s the latter that encompasses her true spirit and fuels her inquisitive nature.
Favorite Movie: Kiki’s Delivery Service by Hayao Miyazaki 1989
Synopsis: It is traditional for 13-year-old witches to leave home for a year on the night of a full moon to pursue their skill through training. Asako’s experience in the U.S. is very similar with the main character Kiki. She has seen this movie at least 20 times, and it teaches her something new every time. It also has the best theme song!
Favorite Book: 300 Beers to Try Before You Die!
While perusing a second-hand book store, Asako stumbled upon 300 Beers to Try Before You Die! The world of beer is very interesting and deep. Every country has their own flavor. And even though the process of making the beer is generally the same, the ingredients, processing, formula, and environment makes it unique. Just like people! We all come into the world the same way, but our experiences make us unique. Every beer is distinctive and that connects people.
Small Business Development Center Mentor: Rich Schockley
Rich Shockley is the Center Director for the Small Business Development Center and StartZone programs at Highline College. He has received his accreditation as a Certified Global Business Profession through the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). In 2013 Rich was recognized as the State STAR Performer, an annual SBDC award that recognizes the top performer from each state who makes significant contributions to their Network, demonstrates exceptional performance, and embodies a strong commitment to small businesses. In the past 4 years two of his clients have been recognized by the Small Business Administration for awards. In 2014 his client received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and in 2018 another client was recognized as the Business Person of the Year by the SBA.
He holds a BA in Business from Western Washington University and has a diverse background in business. His past 20 years have been spent working in or owning a small business. He has owned a wider variety of businesses including; a company that specialized in field service engineer training, chip level board repair and resale of Sun Microsystems computer equipment; a software company writing trading software in partnership with a private stock trading firm; a consulting firm to the Energy and Utility industry, property development and a retail coffee franchise organization.
Rich enjoys sharing both the successes and failures he has experienced in an effort to help guide and coach entrepreneurs as they launch or grow their business. He enjoys working with businesses where he can contribute as part of their team and with business owners who are willing to learn. Areas of specialty include; business sale/acquisition, business valuation assessment, financial forecasting, loan package development, business startup, assisting businesses develop a growth plan and international trade & export.
SBDC meets in the Chamber office on Tuesday Mornings. To schedule a meeting with Rich, sign up here!