Economic development gets a new name

It’s bigger, it promises to be better and it’s got a brand new trademark-protected name: Greater Spokane Incorporated.

That’s the name adopted by the newly wedded Spokane Area Economic Development Council and the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce, which tied the knot at a reception in the INB Performing Arts Center Wednesday afternoon.

Rich Hadley, who headed the now-defunct chamber of commerce, will lead the new organization, which will continue and expand the activities of its parent organizations.

“We’re gaining lots of recognition as a community in which to live, work and build a business. And we need to be smarter, more global and more competitive to ensure what we’re experiencing can continue and can benefit more people looking for prosperity,” Hadley said.

Greater Spokane Incorporated will focus on accelerating existing and new business investments, training a prepared workforce, advocating public policy, assisting new and existing businesses and marketing and communicating vital messages about Spokane.

A staff of 29, including five yet-to-be-named vice presidents, will work for the organization, which will retain offices in the Spokane Regional Business Center.

Heidi Stanley, chief operating officer of Sterling Savings Bank, will head the new 45-member board of directors. She formerly led the chamber of commerce board of directors.

Funding will come from more than 1,500-private sector member investors, Spokane County and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Cheney, Airway Heights and Medical Lake.


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