The CEO and president of Bellevue’s Chamber of Commerce, Betty Capestany, will be leaving her position after 17 years of service with the Bellevue community.
Capestany will be moving on and has accepted a new position as Pierce County’s economic development director. At her new position, Capestany hopes to continue making a difference working with businesses and industries over in the Pierce County area.
“In all of the cases, it’s figuring out how to bring jobs and investments that are important to the community,” Capestany said. “You’ll need different things at different times, but it’s all about bringing companies and growing jobs and having a better quality of life in the community that you live in.”
Capestany began her position as CEO and president of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce back in 2001. Since then, Capestany was able to experience two economic cycles with the chamber. Capestany said that these experiences allowed the chamber and herself to reach out and have a greater impact on the Bellevue community.
“With all of the community partners, we were able to add a lot of new jobs, a lot of investment for the community and a lot of infrastructure, both for schools, transportation and quality of life,” Capestany said.
Capestany expressed that when she first first began her job with the chamber, there were a lot of holes in the ground from building projects that got caught up in what many people refer to as the dotcom bubble.
This economic time period lasted from 1997-2001 and was a time when the internet experienced significant growth at a rapid rate, heavily impacting the surrounding economy in the process. Capestany explained that during the time, there wasn’t as much diversity, and not a lot of activity in the evening time which is quite different than what Bellevue has become today.
“Now there’s quite a bustle in the center of town after five for all the different amenities, whether it be restaurants or other things to do,” Capestany said. “It’s a pretty active, vibrant downtown.”
As the head of the chamber, Capestany had a 40-person board of directors and together, worked with other stakeholders in the community to manage things that were important to business within the Bellevue community. Capestany said everyone had different pieces and roles as it pertained to working with businesses in the Bellevue community and said that it all depended on the acts or projects they ended up working with.
For the time being, Chamber Business Resource Manager Kim Fredericks will be taking on an interim role as the new CEO and president of Bellevue’s Chamber of Commerce. A search committee is currently undergoing a CEO replacement process and hopes to have a new CEO ready to go by early this fall.
“I think that with the help of a lot of people, we’ve really put Bellevue on the map,” Capestany said. “Bellevue is one of the hottest market places in the country and I believe it will continue to be that way.”