Monroe chamber bids director farewell


Monroe Chamber of Commerce members ushered in several new board members and said farewell to executive director Una Wirkebau last week during the final chamber luncheon of the year.

Board president Mike "Mr. DizzyGÇ¥ Buse introduced the board, including secretary Traci Hobbs from Evergreen Speedway and treasurer Bill Warburton, who is taking over for Meghan Manning. Buse thanked Manning for her service to the Monroe community and her efforts to lead the chamber to more solid financial ground.

Other board members are; Ben Franklin owner Adrian Taylor, Brookdale community relations director Lisa Caldwell, Adam's Northwest Bistro owner Chef Adam Hoffman, Walmart co-manager Ben Allen, Dashing Dutchman's Deli co-owner Ernst "DutchmanGÇ¥ ter Horst, Miriam Hollins of Younique Cosmetics and Carlina Morris of State Farm Insurance.

Morris presented a slideshow she created in honor of Wirkebau, who is leaving the chamber to pursue other opportunities.

"I will say, without the guidance of Una, we wouldn't be where we're at today, and we are going to miss her terribly,GÇ¥ Morris said.

Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas honored Wirkebau and the outgoing board members with a Monroe Chamber of Commerce Appreciation Award from the city.

Buse thanked Wirkebau for her extensive service to the community and let attendees know the board is currently working to locate her replacement. Candidate interviews began last week, and they hope to make a decision soon. He credited Wirkebau for his success as the board president, and thanked her for helping the chamber achieve new heights during the 21 months she served as the executive director.

"It's not going to be possible to replace you,GÇ¥ Buse said. "From the bottom of my heart, I just thank you very much.GÇ¥

Monroe High School's barbershop choir performed during the lunch, led by Choir Director Ryan Hyde.

"These barbershop groups are also members of the jazz choir,GÇ¥ Hyde said. "All of them sing in the chamber ensemble and the varsity choir as well, and then, in addition to all that, they get together once a week outside of class and do these barbershop-style tunes.GÇ¥

The group performed a set of holiday tunes and received a standing ovation from chamber members.

Photos by Chris Hendrickson Photo by Chris Hendrickson Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas presented Una Wirkebau and the Monroe Chamber of Commerce with a certificate of appreciation last week, signed by all seven members of the Monroe City Council.


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