Affholter to lead EASC business development

EVERETT — Everett City Council President Shannon Affholter expects to put his years of business development experience to the test as the new vice president of business and economic development for Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

Affholter, 43, has been a business development executive at the regional accounting firm of Moss Adams since 2008. His extensive business experience and accomplishments include developing strategic growth strategies and leading effective planning teams with Moss Adams and the Merck Corp., a Fortune 500 company.

Economic Alliance CEO Troy McClelland had been talking to Affholter about the changes the economic development organization has been going through since its creation from the merger in 2011 of the Everett Area and South Snohomish County chambers of commerce and the Snohomish County Economic Development Council.

“Troy’s been doing a fantastic job moving the alliance in new directions,” Affholter said. “This was a great opportunity to join the team.”

In his work with Moss Adams, Affholter has focused on businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, cultivating the health-care markets and building strong alliances with key leaders in the private and public sectors. In 2007, he was elected to the Everett City Council. He currently serves as president of the council and was recently elected to his second term.

Affholter will start his new job Jan. 3.

In his role with EASC, Affholter said he’ll focus on business development issues while working on a strategic growth plan for the alliance and developing its investor relationships.

“This is a good fit for our organization,” McClelland said of Affholter. “It was important to hire the right individual and we have done that. Shannon understands the concerns of businesses and the importance of economic development for our region. I am certain he can help us achieve positive results for Snohomish County. We continue to have considerable opportunity and work ahead. Our focus remains working together with the community moving our mutual goals rapidly forward as we continue to create a strong team to achieve these goals.”

Affholter said he wants to make sure EASC is effective for all Snohomish County businesses. He said he doesn’t want the organization perceived as “just Everett and south county.”

EASC’s mission is to advance commerce and economic development by providing services and resources that help recruit and retain businesses to Snohomish County. It is also a public policy advocate that addresses the issues of the business community.

“We need to communicate that to the public and private sectors,” he said. “It’s an alliance for all of Snohomish County.”

Affholter’s decision to leave Moss Adams for EASC came only after a great deal of consideration.

“Moss Adams is great,” he said. “It was not an easy decision. The Everett office (of Moss Adams) has been fantastic.”

Affholter said his wife, also named Shannon, is excited about the professional growth and community service opportunities the new job will present.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity,” he said. “(My wife) sees it as an opportunity (for me) to serve the community and be part of something special.”

Tom Gaffney, a partner at Moss Adams, acknowledged Affholter’s valuable experience.

“While Moss Adams is sorry to see Shannon go, we are pleased for the Snohomish County community because he brings the right mix of demonstrated success in business and business development as well as results-oriented leadership to this new and vital position,” he said.

Kurt Batdorf: 425-339-3102; kbatdorf@scbj.com.

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