Business

Island EDC reviews year

Congratulations were in order as the Island District Economic Development Council held its annual membership meeting in Oak Harbor Thursday night.

Sharon Hart, executive director of the EDC, emceed and pointed out some of the yearly highlights to the dinner crowd of about 60 business backers from throughout the island.

Hart, speaking Friday morning, said the crowd was enthused about the EDC’s most recent success. It helped land Kenmore Air seaplane service between Seattle and Oak Harbor, beginning on April 8. “It’s going to be fun to have,” Hart said. “People are excited to get air service back.” Whidbey Island has been without commercial air service since Harbor Air went broke last year.

The EDC could also boast about helping bring CAI Teleservices and its jobs to Oak Harbor. Founded in 1993 in Atlanta, the company will provide 100 or more service-related jobs for the community.

Other successes for the year included helping Nichols Boat Brothers in Freeland with its expansion plans, and helping push the “rural counties” bill through the state legislature. That bill will provide some $450,0000 annual for Island County’s economic infrastructure needs.

Accolades were handed out to Andy Hunter, who is stepping down after serving three years as the EDC board president. In addition, Sharleen Eller, assistant director, was lauded for handling EDC business while the hunt for a new executive director went on; and Ron Chaney was presented the volunteer award for his work with the SCORE project.

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