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Posts tagged: Rich Hadley

Rich Hadley gets ready for one more D.C. fly-in, as GSI looks ahead

Greater Spokane Incorporated President and CEO Rich Hadley is about to do his 20th, and final, GSI D.C. fly-in.

More details in this Saturday story.

Anyone who spends time around Hadley realizes he is, in fact, a marathon runner. He will keep going, keep running, until he hits the line.

The fly-ins are similar in focus. They don't produce quick results and press releases. They gradually produce successes, such as increased funding for the North Spokane Corridor, expansion and new construction at Fairchild Air Force Base, and funding to do studies, such as the one GSI got in order to protect the Spokane Aquifer from a possible power plant construction in North Idaho.

I've never been along for one of the fly-ins, but it would be fun to do a video tracking the delegation's three-day jaunt.  Maybe someone will do one soon.




GSI hires national executive search firm to find next CEO

Spokane’s Greater Spokane Incorporated has hired Waverly Partners to conduct an executive search for its next CEO and president.

The Cleveland-based firm will work with search committee members to identify the person who will replace Rich Hadley, who is leaving after 20 years in the CEO position.

Hadley has said he’ll depart in May.

GSI is the Spokane area's largest economic development agency, uniting the former Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce and Spokane Area Economic Development Council.

Board members Linda Elkin of U.S. Bank and Scott Morris of Avista are co-chairing the search committee.

Hadley said the amount spent on the search will vary depending on how many candidates are reviewed and how many are flown to Spokane for visits.

“Our committee has developed a profile with the experience and leadership characteristics of our preferred candidate,” Elkin said in a press release. “We are open to executives with backgrounds in economic development, chambers of commerce, business associations, other kinds of nonprofits, private sector or related experience with a commitment to our mission of business advocacy in this region.”

Hit hard by the recession, GSI’s member list is bouncing back, Hadley says

Tuesday's main business story in the SR was the announcement that Rich Hadley, CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated, was stepping down in April.  That will mark a 20 year career at the helm of the region's largest chamber organization.

How large? Well, it was 1,400 business members before the recession, but then dipped notably in 2009 and 2010.

In recent years, according to an email from Hadley, the member list is back close to 1,300. Last year, for the first time in a decade, membership costs increased.  The base price is now $425, up from $400. The upper membership tier is priced somewhere above $1,000. (Checking to find what it is.)

GSI board members are doing an annual retreat this week. Among the issues being discussed is whether or not the group wants to push forward with a long-running economic development idea — trying to convince voters in Spokane County to create a port district.

It was tried once before and failed terribly. Our best guess is GSI will sponsor or pay for a public opinion poll and release the results. It will take a very positive poll result for GSI to take on the project of promoting a port district.

Red Lion Hotels revamping website to get more booking revenue, using hyperlocal content

Spokane’s Red Lion Hotels is revamping its website in hopes of getting more people to book visits there instead of through online travel sites.

Company Executive Vice President Harry Sladich said the makeover will affect the main site plus 44 microsites for the chain’s individual hotels.

The goal is to save money by gaining more online reservations at its own sites instead of through online companies such as Expedia or

“When (guests) make reservations through online travel agents, we take a substantial discount on the money they’re spending,” Sladich said.

The discount varies depending on how big the booking site is. Big sites like Expedia or Travelocity get close to 35 percent; smaller sites are taking cuts in the 20 percent range, Sladich said.

All bookings made at Red Lion’s site stay with the company.

To read the full story, go to starting after 9 p.m. on Friday, May 4.

Red Lion Hotels trying to sell properties in Missoula and Medford

Spokane-based Red Lion Hotels Corp. announced they're preparing to sell two of its hotels in Medford and Missoula.

Both hotels were part of a group previously leased from iStar Financial Inc. of New York.

Last week Red Lion purchased the hotels to end the leases. The company said at last week's announcement it would sell some of the hotels and keep others.  Keep in touch to see which other hotels in the group will also go on the for-sale block.

Jon E. Eliassen, president and CEO, said, “We will continue to look for ways to strategically position Red Lion with hotels that fit the brand going forward. Selling these two properties also furthers our effort to restructure our balance sheet, which will give the company more financial flexibility and increase shareholder value.”


What keeps Eliassen ticking? Sunday’s story looks into his post-retirement career

Jon E. EliassenPeople who know Jon Eliassen say he's the busiest retired person they know.

In Sunday's Business section of The Spokesman-Review, we take a look at how Eliassen, who retired in 2002 after 33 years at WWP and Avista, has become a very busy executive around the area.

Eliassen has plenty to say about retirement and what he expected to do once he left Avista.

He continues serving, for the time being, as CEO and president of Red Lion Hotels Corp.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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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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