SWKCC’s Nancy Hinthorne Retires; Party Is Thursday At Rainier Country Club


by Janet Grella

We’ve known it for quite some time – Nancy Hinthorne is retiring as President/CEO of the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce (we’re members) on Friday, April 15th.

Well, finally that end date is upon us.

And so is the retirement party to honor Nancy – it will be held at Rainier Golf and Country Club this Thursday, April 14th starting at 5pm. To RSVP, click here.

We sat down with Nancy to give her an “exit interview,” but she chose not to say what she’s done in her 12 years at the chamber, but to speak about the accomplishments of the communities the Chamber serves:

  • “Both SeaTac and Burien have new city halls;
  • Sea-Tac Airport has been renovated, and has a third runway;
  • Light Rail and Sound Transit now serve the communities;
  • Brought the Des Moines business community into SWKCC
  • Burien has a new Town Square and Library and;
  • Tukwila has seen the expansion of Westfield Southcenter.”

Plus there’s a few things you don’t see in our communities because of the opposition by the Chamber. They actively campaigned against locating a sex offender facility in the area, opposed the Southwest Airline relocation to Boeing Field and opposed the Link Light Rail on International Blvd.

Nancy was not without accomplishments of her own during her tenure at the Chamber. A few that she pointed out to us were

  • “Working with Tukwila and created the highly successfully Seattle Southside Visitors Center;
  • Joined the South Sound Chamber of Commerce Legislative Coalition;
  • SWKCC became accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce.”

She has also personally participated in visionary organizations, where she was a Founding Director of both the Highline Schools Foundation and Discover Burien.

Of her 40+ year career, 25 have been spent in non-profit, community-based organizations that include the SWKCC, East King County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Bellevue Downtown Association where she left after 11 years, and was by then the Executive Vice President.

So what’s the ‘back story?” Why is Nancy leaving all this? Let’s say L-O-V-E. A few years ago, when Nancy’s husband proposed to her, he asked if she would retire from her post at the Chamber so they could travel and to change her name to Hinthorne (from Damon)…and she did! Nancy’s family grew from two grown children and one grandchild to four grown children and five grandkids, plus spouses, of course.

Her husband Dick will retire the end of the year. As for the travel she and her husband plan, the first is a trip to Hawaii for a family friend’s wedding. Then they’re off to Washington D.C. And the really big, just to die for trip is a sailing cruise around the Greek Islands.

On her retirement from SWKCC Nancy said “I’m going to miss the people and being in the thick of things”. I’m looking forward to being a housewife, which is an opportunity I never thought I’d have.”

Well Nancy won’t be “quite” retiring on April 15th. She has taken the position of Interim Executive Director of Discover Burien.

Nancy has promised the Board at least a year of her “retirement” time to serve DB. “I’m here as long as they need me,” she said. “Whatever it takes to devote the equivalent of 40 hours per month to the DB cause!” Nancy will spend much of her time to developing and managing new and streamlined operations and procedures for DB.

Of course Nancy will work on growing the membership, will be active in the business community and just hang with the Burien community that she has served so long and well as both our Chamber President/CEO and DB Board member.

So many in our Chamber and communities wish you well Nancy! Happy trails, wherever they may lead you.


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