All of the great nonprofit organizations in the Southwest Washington area would not be able to run quite as smoothly without their board of directors. Organizations’ board of directors are made up of people in the community who volunteer their time, knowledge and guidance to these organizations in addition to continuing to work their “day jobs.”
Tamara Fuller, senior vice president with Capacity Commercial Group, is one of those people in the Southwest Washington business community who volunteers her time with numerous nonprofit boards. Fuller is currently involved with numerous boards and committees around the area, including being the chair of the Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) Board of Directors.
The Vancouver Business Journal caught up with Fuller to talk about her involvement with the GVC board, along with the other boards and committees she’s involved with, and how it goes hand-in-hand with her professional life.
VBJ: What is currently your role on the board for the GVC? How long have you been involved with the organization? What are some of your duties in this role?
Tamara Fuller: I currently am the Board Chair serving my 2nd year as Chair. I’ve served on the Chamber board for over a decade rolling off after 3 consecutive terms and was very pleased to be invited back to serve again.
VBJ: In the past, what other nonprofits/organizations have you been a board member for? What other nonprofits/organizations have you been involved with in any way (volunteering, etc.)? What other boards/committees are you also currently on in addition to the GVC board?
Fuller: In the past I’ve served on multiple committees for my hometown’s chamber in Madras, Ore., and moving here in 2001 when I first bought my condo at Shorewood West, I served on our HOA board. I also sat on the SW Washington Advisory Council for Junior Achievement. I was a member of Rotary Club of Greater Clark County for 12 years and served as the program director, GSA Columbia River Regional Representative for Rotary International and chaired the annual silent auction. I was recognized as Rotarian of the Year and am a Paul Harris Fellow. I also had the honor to serve on the PeaceHealth Have a Heart Gala Committee.
I am also currently a founding board member for WHY Community Foundation and serve on the granting committee for Empowering Women + Girls as a member of the organization.
VBJ: What first made you want to be involved with area nonprofits? What made you want to be a board member?
Fuller: I strongly believe that it is important to give back however you can to your community, especially one that is such an empowering community as ours. Being a board member of GVC has opened my eyes up to a vibrant, diverse, and resilient business community. It is an honor and privilege to be at the table with so many different industry leaders learning about all of the important roles and contribution each industry impacts the success of our community and to be with a group of leaders who really care and advocate for a proactive business environment for all to prosper and enjoy their quality of life.
VBJ: As far as your professional life, tell me a little bit about your career background, and what you do now and how you got where you currently are today?
Fuller: In a short path real estate is my 2nd “true” and most loved career, which I began in 1997 selling homes in Central Oregon. Prior to real estate I worked in the hospitality industry, which included working at a ski resort in Central Oregon, cruise ships for 6 years, co-managing a restaurant pub with my parents for 12 years and working at various resorts. After working holidays and weekends for almost 2 decades I discovered the real estate world after selling my own personal home. I now have been serving the PDX-Metro area a “Realtor” licensed in both Oregon and Washington. I focus in commercial real estate, sales and leasing to office buyers/users and representing owners and developers identifying viable buyers and tenant.
VBJ: Does it ever feel overwhelming having your day-job duties, along with your board duties and other course any outside/family duties, etc.? How do you balance all these roles?
Fuller: When you have a passion to serve and enjoy what you are doing, I wouldn’t call it overwhelming. I seem to find a way. I am thankful every day for the ability to participate and belong to such a remarkable community and fortunate for the support and love from my family and friends. I do believe in balance and taking time for myself by enjoying my weekends with friends and family being active doing whatever the season brings.