Blake Knoblauch (THS)
Blake Knoblauch was just nine years old when Horizons Elementary principal Gloria Hunter identified him as a leader among his peers and invited him to help her lead assemblies. It was a big deal to a little kid who would go on to become a community leader and the new executive director of Lacey South Sound Chamber. Horizons Elementary was brand new that year and adopted a unique instruction model that grouped two grade levels in the same classroom. Leaders from around the state visited the campus and Mrs. Hunter enlisted Blake to give their tours. “Superintendents and school board members wanted to see the new model in action, and thanks to Mrs. Hunter that meant I got to interact with them even as a third-grader,” Blake explains.
Once Blake got to Timberline High School, he was decidedly focused on business and marketing. He joined and excelled in both DECA and FBLA, ran the student store, and took as many courses as he could from Dorn Barr, Timberline’s since-retired marketing teacher, and current Career & Technology Education Director Brad Hooper, who was then a business teacher at Timberline and Blake’s FBLA advisor. “Mrs. Barr and Mr. Hooper were a big part of why I got so excited about business and marketing,” Blake explains.
Blake had a successful nine-year stint as a realtor starting when he was just 20. He credits the role-playing exercises at school DECA competitions with preparing him to excel at listing appointments, where he’d sit down with a seller, share his marketing plan, and demonstrate how he would be successful in selling their home.
Ready for a career change in his late twenties, Blake was hired at the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, where he deepened his connections in the community and worked to support the county’s greater business ecosystem. During this era, he also served in leadership roles on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington and Olympia Master Builders. In his free time, Blake enjoys golfing, entertaining friends and colleagues at home, and getting out on the water during boating season. He’s also a huge Husky football fan and has been a season ticket holder in years past.
Blake has gone full circle and currently serves as the president of the North Thurston Education Foundation. As of September 2020, he sits at the helm of the Lacey South Sound Chamber. To any student interested in business and marketing, Blake says, “It’s all about relationships. Serve your community, and it will serve you!”