SEATTLE - The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced that it is adding business retention and expansion to its portfolio of services as the newly-designated associate development organization (ADO) for King County.
ADOs serve as local economic development partners for the Washington State Department of Commerce, and represent the collective economic development interests of communities within their counties.
The Chamber has hired Ashton Allison, who brings over 16 years of economic development experience, to lead this new function.
In his new role as the Chamber’s Director of Business Retention and Expansion, Allison will work with King County and its 39 jurisdictions to assess opportunities for growth, develop and implement initiatives for retention, and connect existing businesses with the resources and assets they need to expand.
Allison previously served as a consultant for TIP Strategies, an Austin-based economic development consulting firm, where he managed strategic planning projects across Washington State and the U.S.
He has also been recognized for his strategic work at the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, and previously served as executive director for Entrepreneur Alliance, a consortium of organizations promoting entrepreneurship and assisting small business owners in the northwestern-most 26 counties of the Texas High Plains.
Allison is also a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council.
Marilyn Strickland, president and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber, said, “Adding business retention and expansion is a natural fit for the work of the Chamber and Ashton’s expertise will be of great value. We’re a proud advocate for our members: 2,400 employers around our region who employ three-quarters of a million people. Taking on new responsibilities as the ADO for King County will expand our capabilities to connect with current businesses, learn more about their needs, and help them grow in our local communities.”
Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, said, “Economic development is a team sport, so we look forward to working with Ashton and his team to support their commitment to strengthening communities and growing businesses throughout King County.”
King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “Helping established businesses in King County expand and grow jobs here is critical to advancing our economic prosperity and expanding opportunity. I’m looking forward to partnering with the Seattle Metro Chamber as it takes on these new activities to help our county’s businesses thrive and expand.”
About The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Metropolitan (Seattle Metro) Chamber of Commerce is the regional business advocacy organization that engages the innovation and entrepreneurship of its 2,400 members to promote inclusive economic prosperity. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization representing a regional workforce of approximately 750,000. For more information, visit www.seattlechamber.com.