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Posts tagged: Greater Spokane Inc.

Thursday GSI BizStreet morning discussion features Avista CEO Morris

Scott Morris


Avista CEO Scott Morris comes downtown this week, taking part in the Thursday morning GSI-sponsored BizStreet morning session.

The PR material says: “Learn what Avista is doing to serve its customers, maintain an engaged workforce, be strong community partners and attract investors.”

The schedule: coffee and chat: 7:45 a.m.-8 a.m.; program from 8 to 9 a.m.

Location: 801 W Riverside, Suite 100; $25 for GSI members, $50 for others.


Jay Inslee will join Wednesday’s GSI ‘meet your legislators’ session downtown

Yesterday's Officehours post about Wednesday's GSI Meet Your Legislators has to be updated.

GSI this morning confirmed that Gov-Elect Jay Inslee will join the event, which starts at 3 p.m. at the Davenport Hotel.  Yesterday's entry described who else will be there.

Key details: It's in the Davenport Pennington Room; the forum runs 3 to 5 p.m..

Inslee has stated he intends to hang around at the reception starting around 5:15 p.m. in the same place.

Cost: $50 for members of GSI, $80 for others.

GSI hosts Thursday BizStreet session on digital marketing strategies

Marketing works. But how best to market in a digital world?

GSI is looking for ways to help area business owners answer the question.

Later this week — Thursday — it's hosting a session termed “Online Marketing, Taking the Next Step.”

The three hour BizStreet Intensive features Chris Reilly of Unleashed Online Marketing  and Ed Reese of Sixth Man Marketing. did a feature on Ed a few years ago.

The two will describe options for businesses to maximize online presence and marketing. It starts with a coffee warmup at 7:30 a.m. and runs from 8 to 11 a.m. at the GSI first floor meeting room, 801 W. Riverside Ave.

You should register ahead of time, by going here: REGISTER.

It costs $30 for GSI Members / $50 for non-members.

Pepsi moving into new Spokane Valley distribution center

PepsiCo will consolidate its Spokane area locations and move into an 80,000-square-feet distribution center at the Central Business Park in Spokane Valley.

The move consolidates PepsiCo’s Eastern Washington and North Idaho operations, providing a new hub for about 130 area workers.

The Central Business Park location will be one of four PepsiCo-owned distribution centers in the state of Washington. The other three are in Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma.

Greater Spokane Inc. helped the deal by obtaining $50,000 in incentive funds from Washington's Strategic Reserve Fund.

The Central Business Park’s warehouse complex is at 11016 E Montgomery Rd. The center has 57 dock-high doors with load-levelers, along with 26 adjacent acres for build-to-suit opportunities.

Seven firms or nonprofits win Agora Awards

Seven Spokane area firms or groups were winners in the annual Agora Awards completion, honoring business excellence.

In a Wednesday morning event hosted by Greater Spokane Inc., the winners in several categories were:
  • Large nonprofit: Greater Spokane County Meals On Wheels.
  • Small nonprofit: Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council.
  • Small business: Angus Meats.
  • Medium business: Dutch Bros. Coffee.
  • Large business: Baker Construction and Development.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit: Maid Naturally.
  • Community Service Award: Action Moving Services

This was the 27th year awards were presented.

Three events for your business brain: GSI, LaunchPad, Connect NW set speakers

The lineup of coming business-related events: 

Thursday, May 10: Greater Spokane Inc. sponsors a  conversation with Jeff Philipps, CEO of Rosauers and chair-elect of GSI's board of trustees.

It runs 8 - 9:30 a.m. at the GSI offices, 801 W Riverside, Suite 100. Register here.

Friday, May 11: LaunchPad Live hosts a live networking luncheon (and taping) on the aerospace sector. Topics include the Air Washington Project, made up of 11 community and technical colleges that train workers for the aviation industry.

It starts at 11:30 a.m., at Nectar Tasting Room in downtown Spokane. For more information or for seats, go here.

May 24:  Executive Connect Northwest Breakfast  hosts Steve Duvoisin and Jon Copeland at the Georgian Ballroom, Spokane Club. It runs from 7:30 to 9 a.m. 

Duvoisin is CEO of Spokane-based Inland Imaging, one of the area's prime radiology groups. Copeland is the CEO of a newly formed information technology company, which is the combination of the Spokane-based Inland Imaging IT and TROI IT Solutions teams and QuickStudy Radiology, based in St. Louis, Mo.
Register here.

GSI announces 2012’s Agora Awards nominess

The annual Greater Spokane Inc.-sponsored Agora Awards will be announced May 30. Here are the nominees in the five categories:  For additional information on the awards, the GSI link has it.    

Small nonprofit

  • Christ Kitchen
  • Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council (GSSAC)
  • Inland Northwest Community Foundation
Large nonprofit
  • Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children – Spokane
  • Spokane Guilds’ School & Neuromuscular Center
Small business
  • Angus Meats, Inc.
  • Maid Naturally, LLC
  • Modern Construction & Consulting Services, LLC
  • Zipline Interactive
Medium business
  • Action Moving Services
  • Crown West Realty, LLC
  • Dutch Bros. Coffee
  • State Bank Northwest
Large business
  • Baker Construction & Development, Inc.
  • Haskins Steel Co., Inc.
  • InCyte Pathology
  • Inland Empire Distribution Systems, Inc.

Three area business events: marketing, biotech and sleep’s effect on metabolism

An OfficeHours roundup of coming events:

  • On Thursday April 12, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Greater Hillyard Business Association is holding its monthly gathering, with guest Wes Ward of iZigg Mobile Media. Ward will lead a discussion on how mobile marketing is changing how many businesses operate and connect with customers. 

The event is at Market Street Station, 5101 N. Market. To register, go here.

  • On Friday April 13 downtown, Greater Spokane Inc. is sponsoring a monthly Good Morning Spokane program focusing on biotech. Chris Rivera, head of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, will be talk about the industry and its impact on Eastern Washington. Tom Fritz, CEO of INHS, and Lisa Shaffer of Signature Genomics will also give their perspective.  It runs from 7:30-9 a.m. at the downtown  DoubleTree Hotel. For details or to register, go to
  • On Wednesday, April 18, Washington State University Spokane hosts its Chancellor's Research Breakfast. It starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Riverpoint South Campus Facility Court. 

Dr. Levente Kapas, associate professor for the WWAMI Spokane Medical Education Program, will present remarks on the effects of sleep on metabolism. Registration deadline is Friday, April 13. You can call 509-358-7504 or email requests to


City officials announce launch of Spokane ‘certified sites’ website

Spokane city officials have launched a “certified site” program that will help planners, landowners or commercial developers find information quickly on area properties.

Owners of commercial or industrial land can submit information to the city to review if their properties meet environmental, zoning and utility criteria.

Once certified, the shovel-ready property will be listed on the city's certified website.

Spokane Mayor David Condon backed the idea in his election campaign, saying simplifying site information can help the area’s economic development.

Greater Spokane Inc. President Rich Hadley said the certified site program is the first in Washington state. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire sent a note to the city saying, “It’s important to help businesses cut through red tape and get to work on our economic recovery.”

The website for the program is:

GSI sponsoring a morning question-answer session with new city officials

Greater Spokane Incorporated is hosting an event it calls Connect with the Elect. It's a morning questio-answer session with new folks on the Spokane City Council, including Mike Allen, Steve Salvatori and Council President Ben Stuckart.

It's Feb. 29 from 8 to 9:15 a.m. at the GSI building, 810 W. Riverside Ave.

To reserve a spot click RSVP.

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.

Good news from Boeing: 737 MAX is a made-in-Washington product

Today's major announcement has been the one by Boeing to base future production of the 737 MAX in Washington state. It will be in Renton, where Boeing already makes the 737. The new MAX is more fuel efficient.

Area officials believe Spokane can get a piece of the action. See our daily report here.

For a Twitter stream of web stories on the MAX decision, we decided to add it here.

GSI offers its 14th annual economic forecast breakfast with Mitchell, Forsyth

Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) will host its annual Economic Forecast on Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. at the Spokane Convention Center's Integra Telecom Ballroom.


The poet-prognosticator John W. Mitchell will be hand, as well as Dr. Grant Forsyth, professor of economics at Eastern Washington University. Both will lay out the roadmap for the next economic year.


Registration for the public is $50 at

Texas challenge: If Boeing adds production, could it be in Spokane?

We should have noted, when posting earlier (Washington and Idaho both fall short...) that area economic development folks know full well that Washington has to compete hard for new businesses.

As the earlier post notes, Texas is the state to beat, and its busy recruiters have managed to convince many companies that they offer a plethora of advantages compared to other states, including tax breaks, land incentives, plus other benefits.

In Tuesday's paper, John Craig's story about the effort to land new business in Spokane County quoted Robin Toth, of Greater Spokane Inc., as saying the challenge of getting Boeing to base airliner production in Spokane will have to go through Texas:

“Spokane’s competition would include Washington cities that already have Boeing plants or possibly Grant County, which has a large runway and cheap electricity. So far, though, Project Pegasus members are focused on beating back other states, such as South Carolina or Texas.
Unencumbered by Washington’s constitutional prohibition on using public money for private gain, 'Texas will write a $50 million check to Boeing,' Toth said.”

Two Spokane manufacturers honored by AWB

Two Spokane-based manufacturing companies were among seven honored Wednesday night by the Association of Washington Business (AWB).  

Hotstart Inc., a 60-year-old company that makes engine block heaters for diesel locomotives, was honored for innovation.

Sonderen Packaging Inc., which makes paperboard and cardboard cartons, was named “green manufacturer” of the year because of practices such as buying materials certified by sustainable forestry organizations and using soy-based printing inks.

This year’s Spokane Catalyst Award nominees are…

The nominees for the coming Catalyst Awards, a yearly tech-company designation managed by Greater Spokane Inc., have been announced. The Catalyst Awards will be presented Oct. 5 at the Riverpont Campus South Facility.

The awards event begin around 4 p.m. Tickets cost $26 for general admission and $10 for students until Sept. 30.  Also, you will see the company Jigsaw listed below. That's not the clothing shop downtown. That's the former Post Falls company that was acquired by, and relocated to the old Itronix building in Spokane Valley.
Jigsaw offers collected databases of company employees and contact information.
Company of the year
Purcell Systems, Inc.  
Clean/Green company of the year
Demand Energy Networks
Sun People Dry Goods Co.  
Organization of the year
EWU School of Computing and Engineering Sciences
Gonzaga University Smart Antenna and Radio Laboratory 
Spokane Public Market  
Clean/Green organization of the Year
Applied Sciences Laboratory WSU
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Sustainable Resources INW  
Mentor of the year
Yvonne Luman
Rhosetta Rhodes
Thomas C. Simpson
Ken Grunzweig Innovator of the Year
Senator Lisa Brown
Paul Buller
Jon Eliassen  
Emerging Innovator of the Year
Nick Brown
Josh Neblett and Sarah Neblett
Kirt Runolfson

Caterpillar to add a huge distribution warehouse on Spokane’s West Plains

A long-rumored plan that a major company would build a large distribution center on the West Plains came to fruition Thursday.

Caterpillar Inc., a major provider of construction equipment, announced it's building a 500,000 square foot center on the West Plains, not far from the Spokane Airport.

The location will be used by Caterpillar's Logistics Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.  The logistics group provides a wide range of parts and support for service companies in construction, automotive and other industries.

Construction is due to start this summer, according to a press release by the company.

Rich Hadley, president and CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated, said, in a press release: “Caterpillar's announcement is significant news for the entire region. The company came to our Economic Development team earlier this year for assistance with site section and an incentive portfolio.

“Having competed with several other communities for the distribution center, Greater Spokane Incorporated is proud of the intensive, collaborative efforts of the Governor and Washington State Department of Commerce, Spokane County, the City of Spokane, the various utilities, the private property owners, and the Spokane International Airport to convey the advantages Spokane offers. The region's great transportation infrastructure, competitively priced available sites, along with incentives from the state and county, were factors in Caterpillar's decision.”

Panel will discuss clean energy ideas

A panel of clean technology industry leaders will discuss what's happening around the topic of Clean Energy at a Greater Spokane Inc.-sponsored discussion June 15 at The Spokane Club. It runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sponsors are CH2MHILL and Avista.
The topics range from sustainable aviation fuels, City of Spokane's energy initiatives, free-market environmental policies and other issues. The event is billed as the third annual update on clean energy practices.
Panelists include:
  • Lisa Brown, State Senate majority leader
  • Mary Verner, Mayor, City of Spokane
  • Kim Zentz, Executive Director of Sirti 
  • Ross McFarlane, senior adviser, Business Partnerships, Climate Solutions
  • Todd Myers, director, Center for the Environment, Washington Policy Center  

Hal Calbom, host of the well-regarded film “Evergreen: The Washington Clean Tech Story,” will moderate.


The session will include questions and answers from the audience. Admission is $10, increasing to $15 starting June 9. To register at


Agora winners announced, including Second Harvest Food Bank

Greater Spokane Inc. on Wednesday announced winners of the annual Agora Awards, which recognize excellence in area businesses.

Winners are:

  • Small business: Desautel Hege Communications
  • Medium business: Horizon Hospice
  • Large business: Spokane Industries Inc.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit winner: Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. 
  • Community Service winner: Northwest Farm Credit Services.
  • Small nonprofit: Spokane Lilac Festival Association
  • Large nonprofit: Second Harvest Food Bank.
  • The main sponsor of the awards is Bank of America.

Agora Award finalists announced

The nominees for the 2011 AGORA Awards were announced Tuesday by  Greater Spokane Incorporated. Winners will be announced June 1 at The Davenport Hotel from 7:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ?Attendees can register at  The awards recognize area businesses for excellence.

Nominees by category are: 

Small business

  • Clark's Tire & Automotive
  • Craftsmen Construction, Inc.
  • Desautel Hege Communications

Medium business

  • GeoEngineers, Inc.
  • Horizon Hospice
  • Travel Leaders
  • Youthful Horizons Therapy

Large business

  • Graham Construction & Management, Inc.
  • Northwest Farm Credit Services
  • Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML)
  • Spokane Industries, Inc.

Nonprofit, small 

  • Inland Northwest Community Foundation
  • Spokane Lilac Festival Association
  • Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

Nonprofit, large

  • Second Harvest
  • The Salvation Army of Spokane
  • Volunteers of America

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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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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