(NORTH COAST NEWS) New Ocean Shores/North Beach Chamber Director Piper Leslie, far left, joins the Ocean Shore/North Beach Chamber Ambassadors in presenting the Business of the Month award to Marlene Thomasson and the Ocean Shores Observer.

(NORTH COAST NEWS) New Ocean Shores/North Beach Chamber Director Piper Leslie, far left, joins the Ocean Shore/North Beach Chamber Ambassadors in presenting the Business of the Month award to Marlene Thomasson and the Ocean Shores Observer.

New Chamber director in Ocean Shores

The Ocean Shores/North Beach Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director — Piper Leslie, who most recently helped manage the Olympia Symphony.

She will take over for interim director Mark Plackett, who returned to the post after former director Douglas Orr was fired last January when the Chamber suffered financial difficulties.

In a notice to Chamber members, Plackett said: “Piper comes to us by way of The Olympia Symphony organization where she gathered a lot of great experience that fits our member’s needs here at the Chamber.”

Leslie met with Chamber members and the local newspapers when she participated in the Business of the Month celebration for the Ocean Shores Observer on Thursday. She was hired almost a year to the date that Orr was asked to step down after the Chamber lost money, largely due to decisions surrounding the 2015 Sand and Sawdust Festival, which the Chamber first took over that year as the chief organizing body. At that time, Orr was the seventh Chamber director in nine years.

Leslie lives in Copalis Crossing with her husband, David Leslie, who works as the sales manager at Five-Star Toyota in Aberdeen.

“I feel like this was just a real good fit,” Leslie said. “I’m excited to see what I can help do here. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get more businesses involved and just continue to grow the Chamber.” Leslie hopes to be able to build Chamber support throughout the entire North Beach area.

“One of my focuses in coming here will be in extending out, so that more of the North Beach businesses are as involved as Ocean Shores,” she said. Since taking the position, she has seen “a lot of potential” in the business community, and believes she has the skills and background to improve services provided by the Chamber. At the Olympia Symphony, she served as interim director, working on all aspects of the non-profit — from marketing and sponsorships, to planning events.

In other Chamber news, two new board members were sworn in: Shannon Rubin, general manager at the Canterbury Inn, and Eric Noble, general manager at Worldmark (A Wyndham Company). They join re-elected officers Mike Doolittle, president; Darcy Hambrick, vice president and Lorna White, secretary.