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Posts tagged: Gonzaga University

Startup Weekend coming to Spokane: the perfect time to pitch your ideas

Spokane resident Brett Noyes, in the course of trying to start a business, came upon the Startup Weekend idea. Based in Seattle, the organization encourages communities to host these three-day weekends to encourage and foster people trying to start a new business.

Noyes liked the idea enough to agree to be the sponsor and presenter of Spokane's first stab at a Startup Weekend.  It will run April 20-22 at Gonzaga University.

The event formula is to start with a series of one-minute pitches by would-be local entrpreneurs.

A panel will select a number of the best pitches to move to the next level. The attendees then are grouped into teams to work together during the next two days creating a viable business idea and brainstorming how to make the idea succeed.

A weekend facilitator will be provided by the StartupWeekend group, Noyes said. A number of other guest presenters will serve as coaches through the three days of sessions.

The goal, he added,is bringing together the Spokane area's well-qualified, dedicated business managers, developers, IT specialists and consultants.  said many people starting a business struggle to find the right colleagues and partners who can make a business concept strong enough to succeed.

Information is at  Registration before April 1 is $55. After April 1 it wil be $75.

Two breakfast topics in the next week: higher education and area construction

Talk about higher education this week, and about the construction business next week, during two sponsored breakfasts for business people.

This Friday, Greater Spokane Inc. is hosting an overview of higher ed featuring five area university officials: Rodolfo Arevalo (EWU), Christine Johnson (CCS), Thayne McCullough (Gonzaga), Brian Pitcher (WSU Spokane) and Beck Taylor (Whitworth) will all discuss why a good K-12 system is critical for area growth and development.

Area school levies will also be reviewed. The event is at GU's Cataldo Hall, 502 E. Boone, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. It's $25 for GSI members or $55 for others. Registration: here.

Next Thursday, Jan. 19, Larry Swartz, president of Lydig Construction, will discuss the construction industry and company's 56-year history in Spokane. The event is the next Executive Connect Breakfast, hosted by the nonprofit Connect Northwest.

The event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Georgian Ballroom, Spokane Club.

Registration is $30 and can be arranged by visiting the Connect Northwest reservation form.

There goes the neighborhood. Where does the Bulldog go after it closes?

The SR today has a story on the imminent closing (possible relocation) of the old Bulldog, formerly known as the Bulldog Tavern.

Once we dove into the background, it became clear this is a tangled mess. There's a lawsuit, all sorts of angry feelings on the part of the people running the Bulldog and the landlord of the property (at 1305 N. Hamilton), and assorted issues on who did what to whom.

Plus, there's the distinction here between those who own the name of the business, and the owner of the building where the business has been.

As of now, we think we can say this much:  The current owners of the Bulldog are going to take everything from the building, leaving nothing but a shell for the landlord, Willard Quinn (who now lives in Bainbridge Island).

Quinn also said he's selling the building to Mary Livingston, who used to be a manager well before the current operators (Trefry Enterprises) took over the operation. Quinn said Livingston will open a tavern in the building.

Also, Trefry Enterprises filed a civil suit against Quinn earlier this year, asserting that the landlord has failed to follow the terms of the 15-year lease that the parties signed 14 years and 11 months ago.

Here's a PDF copy of that suit should you have a lot of time and care how this unfolded in court. 

On Friday, David Trefry, one of the four LLC partners, said the suit was dismissed.

Gonzaga hosts third annual Family Business conference on June 2

Managing Relationships in Family Business: The Importance of Communication” will be this year's Gonzaga University Family Business Conference focus, which occurs on June 2.

The now-annual conference will feature Andrew Keyt, executive director of the Loyola University Family Business Center. Keyt (in photo) is considered an expert on family-business issues.

The daylong event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium.The cost is $195 per family member for the first two registrants, and all subsequent family members are admitted for $45 per person. The event includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

A key part of the day will be a discussion about using and strengthening business communication among family members. Several Spokane family business owners will also be part of the panel.

Attendees should be family members and managers of family owned businesses. The conference is sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. To register or for more information, visit or call Laura Smith at (509) 313-5991or via e-mail at


Mark Britton named to Orbitz board of directors

Gonzaga University grad Mark Britton, who's CEO of Seattle-based Avvo, has been named to the board of travel site Orbitz.

Orbitz is based in Chicago and is one of the top three web-based travel services. Before starting lawyer- and doctor-rating service Avvo,  Britton was an executive for Seattle-based Expedia.

He is also a member of the GU Board of Regents, which meets in Spokane on Thursday. Britton has a business degree from GU and earned a degree in law from George Washington University in1992.
The Spokesman-Review ran a story about Avvo on June 7, 2007, right after it launched.

Hahn new GU director of public relations; Goodwin named publications director

Longtime Gonzaga University information director Dale Goodwin has been named the university's director of publications.

He'll oversee development and production of university materials and books. Goodwin has been with the University for more than 29 years, serving most recently as director of public relations and formerly as sports information director for the Bulldogs. 
Gonzaga University has also hired Mary Joan Hahn as director of community and public relations.
Hahn has recently worked for the past 11 years with the Spokane office of Hill & Knowlton Inc., a communications company. Before that Hahn spent 10 years handling communications for Sirti and the Riverpoint Higher Education Park. 
She is a graduate of Leadership Spokane.

Gonzaga lands at 121 on the US News & World Report law school ranking

Gonzaga University ranked No. 121 on the latest US News & World Report ranking of U.S. law schools, released March 15.

Two years ago GU ranked No. 100 on the annual ratings, based on a variety of criteria, including peer assessment and bar pass rate. The rankings are here.

The top five in the latest ranking are: Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and the University of Chicago.

Others from the region include:  University of Washington, 30th; Lewis and Clark, 67th; University of Oregon, 79th; Willamette University, 113th.

Go Zags.

Also of note: US News & World Report introduced a separate listing, based on rankings from law firms in the land.

The ranking in that rating came from responses sent in by several hundred U.S. law firms.

GU tries out mobile version of Next IT virtual agent Ask Spike

Spokane's Next IT has developed a text message(SMS)-based version of its interactive virtual agent software and has installed it for Gonzaga University's “Ask Spike” application.

Gonzaga has been one of Next IT's early adopters of the virtual agent service, which allows people to chat or ask questions and get responses without human intervention.

Others who've adopted the technology are the U.S. Army (on, some airlines and Merrill Lynch.

With mobile about to become a more dominant area for corporate customer relations, Next IT saw the need to revise the program to allow for SMS or text-message answers.

Until now, the GU “Ask Spike” service was only available on the web. Find that option at in the askspike button on the top of the page.

To text Spike, use 699247 (MyZAGS). The coders have developed a little set of catch-all answers to coy questions.
We tried the question: “Who's your daddy?” 
Answer:  “Next I.T. is the company that provides the tech that makes me work.”
We followed with: ” How old are you?”
Answer: “I don't age. But thanks for asking.”

Buzz Price’s Gonzaga housing idea: build it and they will come

Today's Here's the Dirt features a fun story on Buzz Price, a former Spokane Valley kid who grew up, went to the Bay Area, did pretty good, then moved back a few years ago.

Today's story looks at his interesting plan to develop a low-cost, quality and energy efficient student residence near the campus of Gonzaga University. It's one of the longest Here's the Dirt stories the SR has run. It's a great read.

Price calls the new building the Gee, as in G for Gonzaga. He hopes it's the first of more than a hundred he would like to build nationwide, using the same template.

He's created a site to help explain the provide information:

It's not active yet. But you might check back in a few weeks and get more information on his plan.

Family business succession a full day’s topic at Oct. 18 session at Gonzaga

Gonzaga University is hosting an all-day Family Owned Business Seminar, running 8 a.m.--5 p.m. on Oct. 18.

It’s at the Jepson Center on the GU campus. The session will focus on strategies and steps to follow for families needing to keep a business going and planning for the future. It’s $195 per ticket and you can register here.

The main speaker is Lee Hausner, author of “Hats Off to You: Balancing Roles and Creating Success in Family Business Succession.”

It’s described as a six-step transitional model for succession in family business. Hausner is a noted family business consultant and psychologist specializing in issues of wealth and wealth transfer.

Worth noting: search Google Knol for “business succession” and you get 292 results.

If you search Knol for “business success” you get 10,000 results. Mathematically, it must be much harder finding solid advice for the first topic than the second, or do you not agree?


Gonzaga professor lands NSF grant for wireless research project

Gonzaga University associate electrical engineering professor Steve Schennum has received a $1.1 million federal grant to work on improving the reliability of wireless networks.

The money, from the National Science Foundation, is the largest federal grant GU has received, the school noted.

Part of Schennum’s research will look at how wireless devices can be designed to be less prone to signal interference from the increasing presence of other wireless networks in a specific area.

A GU release also stated that one industry benefit from Schennum’s research will be to remove some of the technological barriers, in laboratory settings, that developers face when trying to innovate new tools and new network communication ideas.

The GU release said: “There are three companies in the area that are using the (GU Smart Antenna and Radio Lab) now, one of which is LHC2, and there seems to be considerable interest in this work coming from students and prospective students as well,” Schennum said. “We believe it will stimulate even more interest in our electrical engineering program.” 

Three groups win top Spark Awards

Three area groups and their ad agencies won the top awards in the recent Spark Awards, presented by Spokane Regional MarCom Association, made up of area marketing and public relations professionals.

About 80 different Spark awards were presented to groups, businesses and associations for creative work. This was the 15th year the Spark Awards were presented, said MarCom Event Chair Leslie White Hebert of Coffman Engineers.    

The three top “Brightest Spark” awards went to:

• GONZAGA UNIVERSITY and Spokane agency Magner Sanborn, for the spring 2009 fundraising campaign “Share Inspiration.”   The fundraising effort, with a strong emphasis on social media and e-mail marketing, was cited also for the Dussault Award, which recognizes a campaign that “enhances the vitality and vibrancy of the community,” according to a citation from a group of Seattle judges who made that selection.

• The CITY OF SPOKANE, with Coeur d’Alene agency Hanna & Associates, for a water conservation campaign for citizens called “Slow the Flow.”

• THE SPOKANE REGIONAL CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU, along with Spokane agency Klundt | Hosmer, for the social media campaign “SpoTweetDeals.”

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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