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Clibborn steps down as Chamber of Commerce executive director - Former director Moreman tapped as replacement

By Ruth Longoria

Judy Clibborn said she'd find someone to take her place as director of the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce if she won a seat in the state Legislature two years ago.

A former Mercer Island mayor and City Council member, Clibborn won retired Rep. Ida Ballasiotes' seat in November 2002. Clibborn, a Democrat, was re-elected to the state House in 2004.

A few months into her second-term, Clibborn has reluctantly resigned as the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, chamber president Emmett Maloof.

Clibborn will be replaced by former chamber executive director Terry Moreman, who has worked with Clibborn the past few years to keep the chamber running smoothly despite Clibborn's many responsibilities as a legislator.

``We didn't want to accept Judy's resignation, but this will be almost a seamless transition,'' Maloof said. ``Judy and Terry worked so well together and they both have run the chamber well in the past.''

However, Clibborn's abilities will be missed, he said.

``Judy is a good leader and a coalition builder,'' Maloof said. ``She rolls up her sleeves and goes to work and it doesn't matter your political party, she gets you moving.''

Clibborn's ability to motivate people and get projects rolling is why she resigned from the Chamber, he said.

``The problem is, Judy ran for office and was successful,'' Maloof said. ``She did a superb job for the Chamber, but -- fortunately for her and unfortunately for us -- she's a good representative too; and now, with all the committees they ask her to be on, she's becoming overwhelmed with leadership.''

Clibborn earned a bachelor of science and nursing degree from the University of Washington before beginning her career as a registered nurse at Harborview Medical Center. She has lived on the Island since 1969. She and her husband, Bruce have three adult children, all Mercer Island High School graduates. The couple also raised five foster children.

In addition to her three years with the chamber, she is well known to many from her 12 years on the City Council and four years as mayor.

Clibborn's committee assignments include Economic Development, Agriculture and Trade, Health Care and the Rules committees. She is vice chair of the Local Government Committee.

``Previously I was able to come back home at the end of the session, but as I've been here longer, I've gotten more responsibility,'' Clibborn said of her work in Olympia.

Working with the chamber has been a wonderful part of her life, she said.

``I love the chamber, it's an exciting place and this is an exciting time for the chamber, with all of the development in town,'' she said. ``But, I'm sure Terry will do a wonderful job in my place -- she was there for 12 years before -- so she knows what's going on.''

Clibborn said she will happily continue to volunteer for chamber activities whenever she is on the Island.

Moreman has volunteered with the chamber in many capacities since she retired as executive director in June 2000. In the past few years, Moreman and chamber member Susan Blake, who is also a former City Council member, have alternated in covering for Clibborn while the Legislature was in session, Maloof said.

The three women's spirit of volunteerism is what keeps the chamber going, Maloof said.

``I can't say enough about these volunteers; we've got some really talented people,'' he said. ``They are really putting something back into the community.''

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