Greater Spokane Incorporated names Steve Stevens as CEO


Greater Spokane Incorporated has named Steve Stevens its next chief executive officer and president.

Stevens, 53, has been CEO and president of the 1,800-member Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

The GSI board announced the appointment Tuesday. Stevens starts the job July 1, replacing Rich Hadley, who retires May 9 after nearly 21 years at GSI.

The GSI search committee used a national search firm to seek candidates.

“The committee strongly feels Steve has the right mix of talent and experience in our highest-priority areas,” said Linda Elkin, the committee’s co-chair.

His salary has not been disclosed. Hadley, who was just the fourth CEO for Spokane’s chamber in more than 120 years, was paid $211,500 in 2012. Salaries for such positions vary across the country, with pay ranges usually increasing if the organization includes an economic development function.

GSI has that dual role and pays its top executive according to that formula, Hadley said.

Stevens will head the Spokane chamber that has roughly 1,200 members and a staff of 28.

Hadley said he had no hand in the board’s selection of his replacement. He has known Stevens for about a dozen years, being acquainted through business connections and shared friendships.

Stevens has three decades of experience in small-business management, international trade, government and public relations, and chamber leadership. He worked at the Northern Kentucky Chamber for 20 years, serving as president for the past eight years.

In January, Stevens posted a Facebook message saying he decided not to run for Congress in a possible Republican primary bid to defeat incumbent Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie.

In February, Stevens stepped down from the Northern Kentucky chamber position.

In a story published Tuesday by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Stevens said he had no difficulty accepting the Spokane job offer.

“There was really no question. This organization, this community, this opportunity … everything was there,” he said.

Stevens and his wife, Marilyn, will move to Spokane this spring. They have two sons, one who attends the University of Kentucky in Lexington and another at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

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