[7/25/22] Last Thursday, July 25th, we joined Symmetry Financial at their Tacoma office to celebrate their grand opening! Chamber CEO Andrea Reay attended and helped cut the ribbon for their grand opening ceremony. Following the ribbon-cutting, Symmetry Financial hosted July's Chamber After Hours event inside their office where attendees enjoyed food and drinks, giveaway prizes, and cornhole. This was such a fun event and great opportunity to network with the Chamber community. Thank you to everyone who attended and made this event possible! View a photo recap below!
[7/19/22] Last Thursday, July 14th, Chamber CEO Andrea Reay and other staff joined DiscoveryMD in Tacoma to celebrate their opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. View photos from the event below!
[7/19/22] In this day and age, locally-owned pharmacies are a pretty rare find. For Wilbur and Jazel Bautista, however, owning and managing an independent pharmacy right here in Pierce County is part of daily life.
Together, they run Acts Pharmacy and Healthcare Services located in Tacoma. Their small business is one of the only independent pharmacies currently operating in the South Sound. The two, who are also husband and wife, started the business on a leap of faith in 2018. Both have backgrounds in the medical field: Wilbur is a medical technologist and Jazel a pharmacist. Prior to creating Acts pharmacy, Wilbur was working at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the pathology department, where he learned about diseases and illness. Jazel worked at Walgreens, which helped her learn the ins and outs to what it takes to successfully run a pharmacy. Their experiences in these roles were positive, but the two felt a calling to personally do more for their community and provide a type of care that is difficult to achieve working for larger companies and organizations. Their shared passion became a shared vision when they decided to strike out on their own and open Acts Pharmacy in 2018.
Listen to the Wilbur and Jazel as guests on Making It in the South Sound to learn more about their business story and what's next for Acts Pharmacy and Healthcare Services.
"We just decided to think about an avenue that we both can share our passion...working in the medical field and at the same time helping the community."
Acts Pharmacy and Healthcare Services has now been in business for 4 years, a huge accomplishment for Jazel and Wilbur. It hasn't always been easy though. Like with many small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic was an unexpected challenge Acts had to face. In the beginning, before vaccinations were available, the pandemic was taking a toll on business at the pharmacy. Rather than giving up, Jazel and Wilbur acted as savvy business owners and met the moment with unique solutions. They ramped up their local delivery services, found a local seamstress to create masks for the business, and even formulated their own pharmaceutical grade hand sanitizer.
"We really had to think out of the box and be able to to serve the community as a whole during those times. Knowing that vaccinations were coming, we were able to prepare."
In order to be prepared for the eventual vaccine rollout, Jazel and Wilbur made connections with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Through a partnership with the Health Department, they were able to set up Acts Pharmacy as a COVID-19 vaccine location. They were one of the first and few locations in Pierce County to join with the Health Department in this venture. In addition to providing vaccines at the pharmacy itself, they took Acts to the community with visits to churches, schools, and family homes. They say this ability to be flexible is one of the many benefits of having a small, independent pharmacy.
Beyond COVID-19, Acts Pharmacy has continued to expand and grow. Since 2018, the staff has grown nearly double from 3 to 6 employees. They have recently launched an HIV PReP clinic in partnership with the Washington Department of Health to provide access to services that help prevent HIV infection in vulnerable communities. In addition to vaccines, Acts offers other medical services including lab tests, compression sock fitting, and medication management. They also have a retail area within the pharmacy where patients and customers can purchase healthcare essentials.
Last month, Acts Pharmacy and Healthcare Services were awarded the 2022 Spotlight on Business Award for Resiliency in Business. This award was given to them to celebrate the hard work and perseverance Wilbur and Jazel have shown in making their pharmacy a community-centered gem in local healthcare. The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is honored to have Acts Pharmacy as a member of our business community and we can't wait to see what they do next.
Learn more about Acts Pharmacy on their website.
This Member Feature story is part of a series by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to promote stronger connections and increased engagement between the Chamber, its members, and the local business community. Member stories are non-promotional opportunities to share members' business stories with the community. If you are a Chamber member interested in being featured for a story, please contact Digital Marketing Outreach Coordinator Audrey Widner at firstname.lastname@example.org
[7/11/22] Last Friday, July 8th, Chamber staff including CEO Andrea Reay joined the Washington State Department of Transportation to break ground on the SR 167 Completion Project. This project is part of the Puget Sound Gateway Program, which also includes a completion project for SR 509 in King County and has the goal to "complete two major unfinished highways in the Puget Sound region to create new connections to Interstate 5, the ports of Tacoma and Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport," according to WSDOT. The SR 167 Completion Project will, among other things, create 6 new miles of highway between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma. According to WSDOT, "Completing this unfinished highway will greatly benefit the movement of freight, improve safety and reduce congestion on local roads and highways in the surrounding area."
Chamber CEO Andrea Reay was among the distinguished guests who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. She celebrated the achievement of the project in her remarks, stating:
"This project is a regional success and collective win for all in our region. Here in the South Sound, we are the makers and the movers for the State of Washington. Our economic ecosystem depends on our ability to swiftly and predictably move people and goods throughout the Puget Sound. Today marks not only a key milestone in our ability to strengthen and secure accessibility for our multi-modal transportation and logistics infrastructure, but access and equitable economic development as well—with a projected workforce impact of 80,000 jobs. Both directly and indirectly, this increase in family-wage jobs can and will be part of building generational wealth for our community here in the South Sound."
Hear Andrea's full remarks from the event.
Other speakers at the ceremony included WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar, Senior Transportation Policy Advisor for Governor Jay Inslee Debbie Driver, Washington State Representative Jake Fey, Washington State Senator Marko Liias, Fife City Councilmember Pat Hulcey, Port of Tacoma Commissioner Dick Marzano, and Senior Vice President for Atkinson Construction Bob Adams.
Following the speakers, guests in attendance were invited to help pot native plants and trees that will be included in the Riparian Restoration Program, a major component of the SR 167 Completion Project that will benefit the environment.
When complete, the project will have created a new 2-mile expressway between I-5 and SR 509 near the Port of Tacoma,
a shared-use path parallel to the highway for non-motorized travel (walking, bicycling, etc.) between I-5 and SR 509 near Tacoma, a diverging diamond interchange over I-5 in Fife that will connect the new SR 167 to I-5, and approximately 150 acres of wetland, stream and environmental restoration that will improve native fish runs and encourage the return of wildlife to the area.
Benefits of the project include improved freight connections, better regional mobility, increased multimodal connections, environmental enhancements, updates in intelligent transportation, and regional job and economic growth.
Learn more about the SR 167 Completion Project and the Puget Sound Gateway Program from the Washington State Department of Transportation in this article and project overview.
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