Chamber Board

Gina Walsh

Chairman View Bio

Gina Walsh

Allen Workman

Incoming Chairman View Bio

Allen Workman

Allen has been a resident of Anacortes since 1998.  As a Real Estate Broker, Allen is passionate about housing and commercial business growth.

Allen believes in giving back to his community and has served as the President of Kiwanis, Chamber Board Member and incoming President,  Skagit Habitat for Humanity Board Member and continues to serve other community organizations.

Leslie Powell

Treasurer View Bio

Leslie Powell

Leslie Elvebak-Powell has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation from WSU and is currently working to earn her Master’s in Science, Management & Leadership. She is a Regional Director of Sales & Marketing and Regional Lifestyles Coordinator for Milestone Retirement at Lighthouse Memory Care. She is the Treasurer on the ACOC Board of Director Executive Committee and the President of the Board of Director’s for the Skagit Adult Day Program. Leslie’s family are longtime residents of Burlington and Anacortes. She and her soon-to-be husband Scott love to fish and are proud Nana and Papa to 4 beautiful grandsons.

Cory Ertel

Secretary View Bio

Cory Ertel

Cory Ertel grew up in North Seattle and attended Central Washington University, earning degrees in History and Political Science. Cory has served as External Relations Manager at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes since 2015. He has served as a Board member for numerous community non-profits in Skagit County, is a past Anacortes Planning Commissioner, a graduate of the Leadership Skagit Class of 2010, is a volunteer Anacortes Little League baseball coach and a member of the Anacortes Rotary Club, and is currently on the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee. Cory and his wife are proud parents of a daughter and two sons.

Dan Worra

Executive Member View Bio

Dan Worra

Dan Worra is a native of Rantoul, Illinois, and is the Executive Director at the Port of Anacortes. He holds a BA in Economics, and an MS in Financial Management, and is a retired veteran of the Navy.  He serves on several boards and is active in the community.  He is married to the former Carrie Grant of San Mateo, California.  They reside in Anacortes and have two children, William and Carmen.

Kate Bennett

Board Member View Bio

Kate Bennett

Kate recently served as the director of Leadership Skagit, an award-winning leadership program provided by EDASC and Skagit Valley College. Her prior experience includes executive positions with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Red Cross. For most of her Red Cross career, Bennett served as CEO of the American Red Cross for the state of Hawaii and the American Territories of the Pacific. In this position, she was responsible for the management, delivery, and funding of Red Cross health, safety, and disaster services in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, directing over 150 staff and 3000 volunteers throughout the Pacific.

Randy Burgess

Board Member View Bio

Randy Burgess

Randy Burgess is a true native-born right here in Anacortes at Island Hospital. After graduating from Anacortes High School and receiving his BA in Business Admin from WSU, Randy served as an aircraft mechanic with the US Navy and spent some time attached to the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier.

He started working at Ace Hardware 35 years ago this November while in high school. He currently owns both the Anacortes and Friday Harbor Ace stores and is proud to be one of the largest privately-owned retailers in the Anacortes business community and is a member of the San Juan Island Chamber as well.

Randy has previously served on the Anacortes Chamber board as well as a term as chairperson. He has served on various boards, committees, and think groups for Ace Hardware Corp and was president of the regional retailer team here in Washington for 12 years.

Randy has 2 grown children, Avery and Cameron, and his youngest daughter Kyrah graduated from Anacortes High School this year. He loves boating and exploring the San Juans, working on his home with his dogs Hank and Clyde, as well as helping his partner Annie with her barn renovation on Orcas Island.

Mayor Laurie Gere

Board Member View Bio

Mayor Laurie Gere

Laurie Gere has been serving as Mayor of the City of Anacortes since 2014.  Laurie has been deeply involved in the community and served in several civic leadership positions including as a Commissioner of Public Hospital District No. 2, Skagit County (Island Hospital), and on the City’s Planning Commission for 20 years.  In 1981, Laurie started her business and is the founder and owner of Gere-A-Deli, a successful restaurant, and catering firm. Laurie has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for over two decades and twice was elected president.  She holds a B.A. from Central Washington University and has a Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities.

Matt Gill

Board Member View Bio

Matt Gill

Charles Hall

Board Member View Bio

Charles Hall

When he’s not at work, you’ll find Charles with his family at the soccer fields watching one of their 3 kids, working on the yard, or building things in his shop. He may wear a suit and cowboy boots during the week, but on the weekends the work gloves and muddy boots come on. The big project right now is clearing land and chopping wood and all family members pitch in! One thing is for certain, life doesn’t slow down on the weekends when you have an active family!

Charles and his wife Aubrey have always felt at home here in the PNW. Shortly after they met in Maryland while in the Navy, they relocated to the Seattle area. Their stay was short, however, as Charles’ career moved them to Texas and Arkansas for nearly a decade. So when the opportunity to move back to Washington presented itself in 2019, they couldn’t resist.

Barry Harter

Board Member View Bio

Barry Harter

Dr. Justin Irish

Board Member View Bio

Dr. Justin Irish

Dr. Justin Irish began serving the Anacortes School District as superintendent on July 1, 2020. He has a bachelor’s degree and doctorate from the University of Washington and earned his master’s degree in teaching from Seattle University. He grew up in the pacific northwest and is excited to now call Anacortes home. He and his husband Kenny live in Anacortes with their two cats. They have enjoyed getting to know their neighbors and the community, as well as the many parks, trails, and recreation spots in the area. Dr. Irish is committed to continuing the legacy of high student achievement and leading the system toward equitable outcomes.

Erin Meissner

Board Member View Bio

Erin Meissner

Erin is a long-time Washington resident and a graduate of Edmonds High School and Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband Steve always had the dream of moving to Anacortes. After living in Bothell for thirty years the dream of moving to Anacortes became a reality and they moved here permanently in 2015. In 2017 they purchased Bubba Sudz Car Wash and became active in the business community as well.

Erin loves Anacortes for its small-town vibes, beautiful scenery, and friendly people. Being a member of the Chamber Board gives her the opportunity to support local businesses and activities as well as help the city grow while still maintaining the charm that makes Anacortes so special. She is especially interested in promoting community activities, healthy growth, and affordable housing within the community.

Reid Meyer

Board Member View Bio

Reid Meyer

Therese Rudzis

Board Member View Bio

Therese Rudzis

Therese Rudzis has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Western Washington University and a Certification in Accounting from the University of Washington, Master’s Program. She started her career with Moss Adams in Seattle. She worked in the Microsoft Channel for 20 years with her last role as Senior Director at Fine Solutions in Lynnwood. She assists her husband at their business, Skyline Moorage, and is the Treasurer of the Anacortes Rotary Club. She and her husband have been a part of the Anacortes Community since the late 1970s.

Rick Star

Board Member View Bio

Rick Star

Rick Star graduated with a Business degree from Loyola Marymount University then spent 20 years as a military aerospace engineer. Along the way, he attended Brewing School at UC Davis and Culinary Arts training at Edmonds College before opening the Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery in 2000 with business partners, Allen Rhoades and Paul Wasik. Since his move to Anacortes, he has served on the board of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, as president of the Anacortes Restaurant Trade Assoc and Chairman of the Bier on the Pier and Anacortes Jazz and Blues festivals. He is a graduate of the 2015 Leadership Skagit program and has been a two-time Anacortes Chamber of Commerce board member receiving the President’s Award in 2010. Rick lives here with his wife Carole, and in his “spare” time is a musician in various blues and twang groups in the area.

Chris Terrell

Board Member View Bio

Chris Terrell

Richard Wright

Board Member View Bio

Richard Wright

Coming to Anacortes was decidedly not according to plan but it proved to be my luckiest break. I met Karen in Anacortes and we have been married for five years now. I guess in the long run, the plan is not so important as the will to look at each opportunity and see where it can take you. My work computerizing the John Deere and Bayliner dealerships did lead to my next job as a computer consultant with a firm in Raleigh, NC. It was that job that brought me Anacortes and an ownership opportunity at Cap Sante Marine where I work today.

So far, my travels have taken me to all fifty states and around the world from Europe to China to South Africa to South America. Karen and I have a list of at least 25 more future adventures planned but by now we realize that the best things in life, like careers, don’t always happen according to plan. Sometimes the unexpected works out even better!

Chamber Staff

Jesica Stickles

President/CEO View Bio

Jesica Stickles

Christy Lyman

Tourism Director View Bio

Christy Lyman

Megan Campbell

Administrative Assistant View Bio

Megan Campbell