Bill Vadino has stepped down as the Executive Director for the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and Kirkland Downtown Association (KDA). He will be moving on to become the Show Director for the Kirkland Concours d'Elegance. He also has another mysterious Eastside consulting gig in the works which he will be announcing soon. So, before Bill pushes out on his sleigh, I had a few questions and they went something like this... (I'm in bold)
Pressing questions...Yes or No..
Is parking a problem in Kirkland? "Can you hold for a second? I am looking for a parking space"
Will the Antique Mall be there forever? "No--I just told Marilyn Dillard there will be a Santa Claus."
Are there too many spas and salons downtown? "Oh--are those all the places between the restaurants, coffee shops and consignment clothes stores?"
Is that you that dresses up the cow statue on Central every holiday? "I thought it was you and your kids--or PETA"
Too many political floats in the 4th of July parade? "Politicians in the parade? I am shocked, shocked..."
Hard to believe, but not everyone in Kirkland knows Bill Vadino, Director of the KDA and Kirkland Chamber of Commerce. Tell us what the heck that means in 3 sentences or less.
"Well the Chamber is a membership organization of businesses that believe that "what is good for neighbors is good for business" by making Kirkland a great place to work, live and play. Most importantly for me aside from the networking events, public policy advocacy, business assistance and downtown/community events is the community service aspect getting neighbors and business folks (sometimes to volunteer to help the hungry, homeless, and those who need medical care. The Kirkland Concours was (at least for me) the piece de resistance with it generating 1.5 million for uncompensated medical care for children over the last 9 years.
-Where are you scurrying off to and why?
"Well, I have four tasks and I am keeping two, shedding two and adding one. After 10 years (combined) I will be leaving the Chamber and Downtown Association to focus on my two other tasks--the Kirkland Concours which, while is planned by volunteers here in Kirkland and on the eastside, will be at the new LeMay America's Car Museum in Tacoma as well as my "friends and family." Another exciting position on the eastside will be announced eventually which I am looking forward to as well. Good news is that I will be around as many of my friends are here"
-Tell me why you think Kirkland is Super Cool. And what would make it even cooler.
"It's the people and their volunteerism linked with the small town Mayberry with enough Peyton Place to keep things interesting. What would be even cooler is to have a foundation that helps fund all of our community organizations from those who help the needy as well as the arts and event organizations."
-Favorite event in Kirkland? (tough to pick one, I know)
Well...now that the Kirkland Concours is moving and I don't have to be "Switzerland" anymore I would say Summerfest and Moss Bay Days which may return in a new incarnation next summer.
-Who will (try to) fill your shoes? Still looking for candidates? What unique skills are required besides looking snappy in a suit and having the balance to hang off of ladders while hanging holiday decorations? (photo)
"Bond, James Bond. With all his stunt work as the new Bond, Daniel Craig would be perfect on the ladders. Or Charles Durning as the governor in the "Little W****house in Texas ("oh I like to dance the little side step...now you see me now you don’t) for all the moments when my successor tries to please all he people all the time. Most of what happens will continue in exemplary fashion because of all the volunteers that have enabled success since 1935. Are you available?"
-If it was your last meal in Kirkland, where would you go?
"I would be a like a hobbit and have six meals (two breakfasts, lunches and dinners) so George's, Hectors, Sasi's, Bin, Crab Cracker, of course Trellis. And dessert at Sweet Cakes."
Good luck Bill! We will miss you (but we still know where to find you!) ~j