Langley chamber welcomes new director

LANGLEY — The Langley Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director.

Joan Stanley is the new executive director of the Langley Chamber of Commerce.

LANGLEY — The Langley Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director.

Joan Stanley was hired earlier this month to lead the chamber in its efforts to promote businesses and bring tourists to town. She will also represent the chamber at various local boards and commissions.

“I’m going to try to continue growing the chamber and bring more tourism and shoppers into the city,” Stanley said.

Help is needed, she noted.

“I am hearing pretty universally that the merchants are having a hard time,” she added. “We have to band together and get through it, help each other.”

Stanley has had a long career in hotel sales and most recently worked for the Everett Chamber of Commerce. Even though her background is in the tourism industry, she said she realizes that Langley’s economy can’t solely rely on visitors. She said she strongly supports efforts such as shopping locally.

“I think we will certainly continue to promote shopping local — buying from people you know,” Stanley said.

That’s also a good reason to join the chamber, she said.

“One part of being in the chamber is buying from people you know and getting referrals,” she added.

Stanley, who is from Seattle, plans to move to the island in June.

She is replacing Nancy Rowan, who resigned in December after two years of service.

Chamber president Fred Lundahl said the organization is fortunate to find a suitable replacement for Rowan.

“We’re lucky to have found such a well-qualified individual moving to South Whidbey,” he said.

Stanley’s former career has given her the tools to tackle Langley’s challenges.

“Her background in marketing and publicity in the hotel industry and her earlier work for the Everett chamber means she will be able to guide us in our future efforts,” Lundahl said.

Stanley is eager to get started. And so far, she has had a great time in Langley.

“I’m so enjoying meeting everyone on the island. There are so many diverse and interesting people here,” she said.

She’ll get a chance to meet even more locals soon. Chamber members are invited to a hail and farewell party at the Edgecliff Restaurant from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 to

welcome Stanley and say thanks to Rowan.

For information on the Langley Chamber of Commerce, call 221-6765.