Economic Development: the Pandemic Pivot
Oct 01, 2020
Betty Capestany and Jeff Robinson
Economic Development: the Pandemic Pivot

Betty Capestany serves as the Director of Economic Development for Pierce County.  Her department focuses on retaining, growing and bringing new jobs to Pierce County. Currently she is overseeing $30 million dollars of CARES economic stabilization and recovery funds to help Pierce County businesses receive resources during the pandemic. The department also oversees the Arts and Tourism boards and commissions.  She joined the department in 2018. 

Betty’s career has focused on building communities with the knowledge that successful, supported businesses help a community thrive. Betty’s work has been dedicated to having a deep understanding of how each community functions - its synergies, its quirks, its strengths – and leveraging those to the advantage of the businesses she serves. Betty thrives on pushing the envelope, being the first to try out a new technology brings her joy and has her quickly thinking of ways it could be applied to the advancement of business.

Prior to coming to Pierce County Betty served as CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce for 17 years; and prior to that the City of Renton Economic Development Director, Renton Chamber of Commerce CEO and Assistant Director for the Kent Chamber of Commerce.  

Betty and her husband George have a blended family of 4 boys (20-25), two loveable labs and 3 blackberry eating goats.  For fun Betty runs marathons (has done all the world majors except Tokyo) loves to travel, reading and entertain family and friends.  Her civic involvement includes 30+ years as a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow.  She is currently a member of Tacoma 8.  She has is also a mentor and serves on the Milgard Women’s Initiative Advisory Council, is on the Board for the Red Cross South Puget Sound and Olympics Chapter and serves on the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Educational Foundation.

Jeff Roinson was appointed in July, 2018 as Director of the Community and Economic Development Department, Jeff is responsible for the development, administration, leadership and implementation of the City’s strategies and programs for neighborhood revitalization and business assistance, business recruitment, retention and expansion, as well as housing initiatives and partnerships that will offer equitable access to programs and resources for the citizens of Tacoma with a special focus on underserved or underrepresented communities.

Jeff has over thirty-five years of experience in the public, private, non-profit and financial sectors in community and economic development. 

Jeff has served on numerous boards and commissions.  He has a B. S. in Political Science from Willamette University and a Master’s in Urban Planning and Community Development from Portland State University

He is a Seattle native, but is a long time Tacoma resident.