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Bellevue Chamber President & CEO Betty Capestany shares insights from her vantage point as head of Bellevue's premier business organization.


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Thank You for This Opportunity

Posted By Joe Fain, Thursday, February 21, 2019


Thank you, for this opportunity to serve our business community in this exciting new role. I so appreciate the warmth of your welcome and your enthusiasm for growing this organization.

This is an important time for our city and for our region. An active, thriving, and influential Chamber of Commerce has never been more integral to the future development of Bellevue. While I have only been on board less than a week, I have been overwhelmed by the talent and energy of our staff and the passion of our members small and large.

This will be a transformative year for Bellevue and for the Chamber organization. As I spend these next few months learning more about the community and our members I hope that you will reach out to introduce your business. Please contact me to find a time where you can tell me about your organization. I want to learn more about your vision for how the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce can help you and our community succeed.

Best wishes,


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Your Keys to Thriving in a Faster Moving World

Posted By Kim Fredericks, Monday, October 8, 2018

It’s my pleasure to serve as Interim President & CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce – an organization that helps strengthen the community through collaboration and relationships. Our business members are what makes us tick – thank you for your support!

We recently celebrated the start of the 2018-2019 Chamber year at the Eastside Annual Dinner. The gala is our opportunity to showcase the Eastside business community and our Board leaders. The passing of the gavel is symbolic of the changing of the guard. Thank you to our outgoing Board Chair Jim Hill of Kemper Development Company for his outstanding leadership throughout the past year, especially in this time of transition. We are looking forward to working with Josh Marti, our new Board Chair with Point Inside. Josh is a top-notch Chamber Connector and we know you will enjoy getting to know him.

As we worked to put together the Annual Dinner this year, the theme of change rose to the top. It’s clear that we’re all in a time of change - both within our organizational cultures and across economic sectors. Change is a constant - and leadership at all levels is critical to move your organization forward.

Precia Carraway with T-Mobile shared her perspective on leading change. Technology in and of itself is a change-maker. She helped us realize the future is here – and now it’s dependent upon us to translate this rapid change and turn it into opportunity.

Tom Flick with Tom Flick Communications pointed out that we can accomplish this through change leadership. When the world moves faster, leadership sets you apart. It takes real leadership to navigate change caused by internal and external factors. The companies that lead most effectively will be the most successful.

Tom also emphasized the number one challenge organizations face in moving forward – complacency. People think that what they or the organization is doing is just fine. Instead of resting on our laurels, we need to be intentional, push frontiers, and unleash the energy required to lead the way. Underneath all of this we heard that servant leadership, exemplified by leaders who use both the head and the heart, will inspire their teams to take on whatever challenges their organization faces.

Here’s a special gift of resources to help keep you inspired and moving forward in a faster moving world!

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It's Been an Honor and a Privilege

Posted By Betty Capestany, Monday, July 2, 2018
Over 17 years ago I accepted the position as President & CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. What an honor and pleasure it has been to work with amazing community leaders to transform our community and the Eastside region through two economic cycles. Bellevue has gone from “holes in the ground” to one of the most vibrant cities in the country. As I pause and reflect on these years, it is working with leaders like you to build community and economic prosperity that bring me the greatest joy. To work with and learn from the best of the best has been so very rewarding. My greatest inspiration has come from connecting leaders to possibilities and opportunities.

It has been my privilege to work with tremendous Board Chairs: Joan Wallace, Randy Bannecker, Kathy Lombardo, Gregg Jordshaugen, John Valaas, Dean Rebhuhn, Chris Falco, Craig Foreman, Greg Krape, Earl Overstreet, Janet Ray, Ron Smith, Tom Sulewski, Gary Guenther, Tanya Fraioli, Dave Masin and Jim Hill as well as hundreds of Board of Directors and volunteers. Their passion and commitment to the entrepreneurial marketplace and the community has been my inspiration as collectively we have accomplished amazing things. 

In the last 17 years Bellevue has transformed from largely FIRES (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Services) sectors to IT/Technology as our fastest growing job cluster. During this time, the technologies that Microsoft, Amazon and others have created go from being an “out there crazy idea” to everyday applications for our traditional businesses.  Bellevue has attracted wickedly smart talent from all over the world to become a global city. We’ve also been blessed by the great foresight of our community leaders that has led to investments in our educational institutions as well as transportation infrastructure and kept our City focused on the value that jobs and economic prosperity bring to our employment base and residents. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many efforts in the pipeline that I know Bellevue will continue to prosper and be a strong regional leader. I look forward to celebrating in your continued success. 

While this is a very bittersweet moment for me since I have truly enjoyed working with all of you. I am embarking on a new adventure as Economic Development Director for Pierce County. In this new role, I will have the opportunity to continue our work on larger regional strategies of attracting and retaining talent as well as transportation and other infrastructure issues. Until we meet again!

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The Not-So-Trivial Pursuit of Knowledge

Posted By Betty Nokes Capestany, Wednesday, June 27, 2018

We opened our 17th Annual Eastside Leadership Conference last week with a fun trivia game to test our knowledge about driverless cars, blockchain, and space exploration. What we discovered is we knew much more about these and other topics by the end of the day! 

Over 400 business and civic leaders gathered at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond and the buzz was tangible. The conversations that occur when you have established corporate citizens, techies and brick ‘n mortar companies all under one roof (view the photo gallery to see who was there) really are game changers. They help us all understand how to respond to what’s on the horizon.

The Conference is a unique opportunity that takes tech talks and innovations to business leaders in a manner that is readily understood. The techie event for traditional companies – it is the melding of science, technology and the extremely bright people transforming how business gets done. Companies get an inside look at some of the disruptive forces that are creating change and the next opportunities for economic growth.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight some of the trends, companies, and topics we explored this year including digital transformation, blockchain, robotic manufacturing of mini organs, earthquake early warnings, and Mars Rover exploration. 

I’d also like to give a special shout out to our Sponsors that made this event so successful! They are tops in their industries and have the entrepreneurial mindset needed to respond to our changing marketplace. They are also great contributors to the vibrancy of our community.


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Bellevue - A Place for Great Corporate Culture & Smart Ideas

Posted By Betty Capestany, Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The City of Bellevue has a great corporate culture which has attracted a diverse portfolio of businesses. From start-ups to enterprise companies across an array of industries. These companies bring jobs - the total number greater that than the number of people that live in the City. These jobs have also led to an amazing number of corporate and regional headquarter companies.

As a Chamber of Commerce we celebrate all of our businesses who collectively make Bellevue a great community that attracts talent and investments and enhances our quality of life. We get extra excited to see that Smartsheet, a company that was launched in 2005, continue to grow its HQ in Bellevue while having a global portfolio of customers. On April 27th President and CEO Mark Mader proudly rang The Opening Bell on Wall Street as the company went public. We are also extremely proud to be the center of amazing technologies, the home of wireless, and to have corporate Headquarter Company T-Mobile announce their pending merger with Sprint. We applaud their continued investment in Bellevue as their corporate home.

Also, a shout out to the King County Library System and the Bellevue Branch launch of ideaX, a great community makerspace. From electronics to robotics and coding that “inspires you to create awesome in the world." We look forward to championing and advancing entrepreneurial success stories. Email your story to

Also I want to specially invite you to come and get inspired by the entrepreneurial stories of our Young Entrepreneurs Academy students. Stop by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, May 9 from 4-5:30 pm to see the 17 amazing companies this year's class has launched at the YEA! student startup trade show. You'll be impressed. Join in their celebration!

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Bellevue Chamber Helps Launch 17 New Start-up Companies

Posted By Betty Capestany, Tuesday, April 10, 2018


 2018 Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class













Yes, these 17 amazing sparks of inspiration to fill unique niches or grab opportunities have been created by 24 young entrepreneurs! Students in the 6th-12th grades have participated in a 30-week intensive hands-on business course called Young Entrepreneurs Academy. This year’s cohort is our fifth graduating class. In all, over 62 companies have been launched through the Bellevue Chamber.

Students pitched their business ideas to an investor panel of judges last week. The judges awarded $4,500 to the companies to help with their start-up costs. “I thought the presentations were amazing, with well thought out and innovative ideas. I was most impressed with the students’ ability to articulate their vision and execute on a plan,” said Diane Najm, CEO/President, PhotoPad for Business, who participated as a judge.

The investor panel selected Neil Chowdhury, CEO of iConverge to represent Bellevue to advance to the 10th Annual YEA! Saunders Scholars National Semi-Finals College Scholarship competition May 4 in Rochester, New York. Neil is an 8th grader at Odle Middle School and his product is truly meaningful, making life better for those with similar life challenges. iConverge is a cross-platform app that treats patients with double vision cheaply and efficiently and in a way that’s a lot more fun. It wasn’t until last year that Neil realized he had been born with double vision. He didn’t think the paper exercises he was given were very interesting, so he launched his concept for iConverge. Neil has already developed his mobile platform of eye exercises and is working with a local optometrist to use his platform for other patients.

Meet these budding new entrepreneurs and learn more about their enterprises at the YEA! Student Business Trade Show and Graduation on May 9 from 4:00-5:30pm at the Bellevue Chamber offices.

Here’s a peek at this year’s companies:

  • Ohider Pet Care is a website and app that connects pet owners and veterinarians.
  • Zoompark makes parking more affordable and convenient through an app which lets you reserve a spot and pay for it.
  • AutoMathics is an educational website which helps children and adults improve their mental math skills.
  • Trouvi Trackers is a company that creates fashionable and compact trackers with the purpose of making trackers like accessories, optional but very needed.
  • The Paper Bag creates eco-friendly skincare products made to help you live sustainably.
  • Unfold the World is an innovative non-profit that helps underserved students experience the world. It not only funds field trips but helps disadvantaged students join excursions at other schools.
  • G^2 is a sports equipment company that sells specialized golf grips.
  • Here comes the Shocc team. They are trying to make sports equipment more efficient for players.
  • Still Mind is a non-profit that provides mental health technology.
  • Plug Hug is a hardware company offering a device that screws into a wall socket to prevent power cords from falling out.
  • Wardroballot is an application helping people decide on outfits and keep their closets organized that aims to connect people through fashion.
  • Fuerza is a non-profit centered around empowering women and teaching them more about their rights. Fuerza works with colleges and high schools to create chapters that propel the women's rights movement through the sales of their unique charm bracelets.
  • Immigrant Nation is a non-profit corporation building a resources center for new immigrants in the United States.
  • Bellevue RoboClinic is a non-profit organization that teaches robotics to kids in underfunded schools in Washington.
  • Politikids offers a website that inspires activism along with awareness in kids.
  • Boxfull is an on-demand/subscription box for school supplies; sports; self-care.

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Special Orders are Welcome!

Posted By Betty Capestany, Monday, March 5, 2018

It's a good feeling when you sit down at your favorite restaurant and you know you'll get a meal just the way you like it - where special orders are welcome! At the Bellevue Chamber we love to hear how we can create the perfect Chamber package to meet your "just in time" needs.

We know that every business is unique and continually evolving. That's why we have such a large array of opportunities to help you, your company and your team. Whatever your business stage - we have something to offer you.

Are you a turtle - staying the course and plugging along?
A butterfly - just starting to fly with a new product, service or team?
A gazelle - experiencing exponential growth?
or an eagle - soaring and wanting to give back to the community?

Contact us at to discuss how we can tailor your Bellevue Chamber experience!

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A*Mazing Adventures in Bellevue!

Posted By Betty Capestany, Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Remember back to the days of getting lost in a corn maze? You would take unexpected twists and turns to try and figure your way out. Now, fast forward to today. At every corner in Bellevue you will see construction and detour signs directing you to try a different route. I enjoy walking our City and at first was frustrated by my sudden change of course - but after taking a few new turns, I uncovered some amazing businesses offering an array of services. The other thing I discovered was a lot of others walking along the paths and discovering new things about Bellevue.

Daily I chance upon the opportunity to help direct walkers to their destinations. I must have “Chamber of Commerce Wayfinder” written on my forehead. While helping them track down what they are looking for, I have also taken the opportunity to engage in conversations to find out where they are from and how they found Bellevue. Just last week, there was a young couple from Chicago looking for the 550 bus route and they fell in love with Bellevue thinking it was a “mini-Chicago” with interesting design and open spaces. I also met a spouse traveling with her partner from Portland to shop. She had been to REI and HomeGoods and then was looking for Bellevue Square and an Uber since she had purchased more than she had planned. Another gentleman was looking for a bank at a particular address, not realizing he had the right address, he just had to go up 22 floors. All of them were very impressed with our City.

So, my challenge to you, is to encourage your customers, suppliers and employees to look at the positives of a great economic cycle. Have them look for amazing opportunities and connections that may be just around a corner – unexpected detours that lead to new encounters. Let’s embrace our inner child and find a sense of wonderment. Bellevue is a beautiful, well-planned, and clean city that attracts home grown and global companies and their teams.


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Seizing Disruption – Advancing Transportation Opportunities

Posted By Betty Capestany, Wednesday, January 10, 2018
The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce is an innovative business association focused on the future. Our business leaders continue to blaze new trails and create new opportunities. Many of these leaders are leveraging technology to disrupt business models and think of things differently.

With a focus on your top challenge of removing transportation log-jams, the Chamber is working with companies to help accelerate and integrate technologies to help reduce peak period demands. We are working to ensure your employees have better first and last mile commute options and your customers and suppliers can get more efficiently to your door.

The ACES sector (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, & Shared) is anticipated to be a multi-billion-dollar industry in the next couple of years. Innovation is happening in traditional companies like auto-makers and truck manufacturers like PACCAR, in addition to new technology companies that provide elements to make these connected experiences operate seamlessly.

Why are we passionate about this opportunity? The Bellevue Chamber has always looked to the horizon to help bring new economic opportunities to our community. We have a long history of smart business leaders working to bring needed infrastructure and growing companies to Bellevue and the Eastside.

As an early adopter in this disruptive transportation space, Bellevue can attract innovative companies in the ACES sector to be part of our local economy. This will bring in new jobs and ensure we continue to be a technology market leader. As an added benefit, we’ll bring new, flexible, on-demand opportunities that help you and your co-workers get to work and home faster.

Some of these efforts require legislative fixes, so join us for Chamber Day in Olympia on January 24th to help us chart the course for the future. We are urging the adoption of legislation that will eliminate statutory barriers to shared employer shuttles; that allow private shuttle providers to access park ‘n ride lots; and to incentivize TNC’s and flexible van pools under the Commute Trip Reduction Act. Interested to learn how you can engage in this initiative? Contact me - I look forward to hearing from you!

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A Shout Out of Gratitude!

Posted By Betty Capestany, Friday, December 15, 2017

As we enter the magic of the holiday season we would like to give a shout out of gratitude to all of our awesome sponsors, members and most importantly the people that make the Bellevue Chamber rock with entrepreneurial spirit. As you engage in the Chamber to accelerate your business you are helping advance our mission to help businesses prosper and our community thrive.

As I think back through this last year I am so thankful for the amazing companies we have in our community - from start-ups to companies with over 50 years of history. What really drives our success are the dedicated business leaders that serve on our Board of Directors and run your companies. As Bellevue continues to grow jobs, investments and residents we look forward to furthering our existing relationships and the new partnerships we will form in the year ahead.

May your holidays be bright and 2018 the most prosperous year ever. As part of your New Years resolutions, why not add maximizing your business connections through the Bellevue Chamber? You'll be glad you did!


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