South Sound Summit 2017

South Sound community and business leaders gathered at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center Monday for the South Sound Summit by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber with keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg.

The younger sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg began her speech by admitting she isn’t the most famous member of the Zuckerberg clan. After being rejected from Harvard University’s drama department, Zuckerberg said she abandoned her plans of being a theater actor and joined her brother on what was then the ground floor of what would become the most popular social media platform in history.

Though Zuckerberg was new to technology, she had a vision for starting a live television show on Facebook. During an all-night hackathon, she put her dream in motion by setting up a studio at Facebook headquarters and conducting a live broadcast.

“There were two viewers on that video,” she said. “My parents.”

Dejected, Zuckerberg said she gave up on her idea until she answered her phone weeks later to find Katy Perry’s agent on the other end of the line. Katy Perry wanted to announce her tour live on Facebook, thus Facebook Live was born.

“As a girl, no one ever told me I should create something,” she said. Now, every Facebook account has a button that allows users to broadcast live.

Following Zuckerberg’s speech, guests of the summit had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions led by industry experts and leaders covering a wide range of topics.

Our South Sound magazine staff participated in some of these breakout sessions. Here’s what they took away from the experience:

David B. Clark
Top Digital Marketing Trends to Use Right Now

Information is all around us. It’s on our phones, it’s in our inboxes, and it’s on our computer screens. With more ways to share information than ever before, it’s important to make digital media marketing a core part of any company’s overall marketing strategy. That was the message shared during South Sound Summit’s Top Digital Marketing Trends to Use Right Now breakout session, presented by veteran digital media marketer David B. Clark.

A digital media marketing specialist with Puyallup-based MadCap Marketing, Clark has seen the digital media marketing landscape change drastically over the years, and said while the goals of marketing haven’t changed, the ways those goals are achieved have. Being able to adapt, Clark said, is crucial in the digital age, and businesses should be taking a holistic approach to digital media marketing that encompasses content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.  — Margo Greenman, digital editor

Nicole Wakely
The Ultimate Collaboration: A Heart and a Mind

Nicole Wakley, founder of the eco-chic furniture store, Tree, was four years old one summer when she told her mom she wanted to own a furniture store. Her mom, a bit surprised, redirected her to aim for something higher. So, she became a lawyer. At the peak of her career — and recognized as one of the youngest leading lawyers in Hong Kong — her life came to a turning point when she realized she wasn’t doing what truly spoke to her.

“I had this moment to step back and consider what connected to my heart and mind, and I thought back to that conversation with my mommy in the paddling pool, so I started Tree,” she said.

As Tree expanded its borders and opened its first store in the U.S. in the historical Old Nisqually Power Substation in Tacoma, Wakley has allowed herself to use her heart and mind as her compass. In doing so, Tree only sells stunning, sustainable furniture and has planted more than 75,000 trees, including a dozen or so more for the intimate audience that listened to her speak at the summit. — Shelby Rowe Moyer, staff writer

Dr. Ali Modarres
Understanding South Sound: Economic Landscape, Human Capital, and the Needed Leadership

Dr. Ali Modarres, director of Urban Studies at University of Washington Tacoma, crunched the numbers on the South Sound economy, offering data both promising and pernicious.

On the bright side, Pierce County is a destination place for families with children, housing here is still affordable, and the region boasts a large working-age population.

Still, nearly 153,000 leave Pierce County each day to work at high-paying jobs in software development, aerospace, and management. Meanwhile, 92,000 people commute to Pierce County each day for work. Just over 167,000 people live and work in Pierce County, largely in the fields of education, local government, and the restaurant service industry.

“Every morning, we lose a lot of skilled labor to areas to the north,” said Modarres.

Modarres recommended Pierce County leaders pursue a blended economy that includes public and private sectors, as well as “a focused, dedicated, and long-term commitment that comes from leadership that goes beyond elections.” — Todd Matthews, senior staff writer

Following breakout sessions, summit attendees were invited to participate in an ask the experts session with industry experts from fields like human resources, SEO, and accounting, followed by a Biz Crawl where attendees were able to meet and greet other business leaders from more than 50 area businesses.

For more information on this and future Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber events, visit the chamber online.

is an assistant editor at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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