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In Brief: Ambassadors Group names Philip Livingston interim CEO

Sat., May 10, 2014, midnight

Spokane travel-hosting company Ambassadors Group has added two members to its board and named an interim chief executive officer.

Joining the seven-member board is Philip Livingston, who also takes over as interim CEO from Anthony Dombrowik, who is leaving the company. He had been CEO at LexisNexis Web Based Marketing Solutions.

Jefferson Gramm, principal with Bandera Partners, LLC, also joined the board.

Bandera Partners is an institutional investor in the company and owns roughly 18 percent of Ambassadors shares.

The company arranges education tours for students and travel programs for adults.

Livingston’s resume also includes experience as chief financial officer of Catalina Marketing Corp. and CFO of Celestial Seasoning Inc. He graduated from the University of Maryland and holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

While Livingston takes over, the company has not set a deadline for selecting a permanent chief executive, said spokesman Doug Williams.

Following its recent annual stockholder meeting, the board elected Lisa O’Dell Rapuano to serve as chair. She is founder and principal with Lane Five Capital Management LP, a Maryland investment firm. It owns approximately 6 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.

State business group to honor ex-Gov. Locke

Former Gov. Gary Locke will receive an award in Spokane on Tuesday evening during the annual spring meeting of the Association of Washington Business.

The members-only meeting starts Tuesday morning and runs through noon on Wednesday at the downtown Davenport Hotel.

Locke is receiving the C. David Gordon award, presented by the association for outstanding service to Washington.

Also honored will be retiring Greater Spokane Incorporated President and CEO Rich Hadley. Hadley will receive the Bruce Briggs Award for his service to the Inland Northwest.

During Tuesday’s first meeting, the AWB will hand out its annual environmental excellence awards.

The keynote speaker for the awards luncheon is Tom Malone, president and CEO of Arlington-based MicroGREEN Polymers – maker of a line of recyclable hot and cold beverage cups.

Netflix bumps price up $1 for new customers

SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix is raising its Internet video prices by $1 per month for new customers, but gave its current U.S. subscribers a two-year break from the rate hike.

The changes mean anyone signing up for Netflix’s video subscription service beginning May 9 will pay $9 per month in the U.S. The old price of $8 per month will continue until May 2016 for Netflix’s existing 36 million U.S. subscribers.

The price increase, Netflix’s first in nearly three years, isn’t a surprise. The Los Gatos, California-based company disclosed its plans to raise its rates last month without specifying the precise amount.

Wholesalers’ stockpiles see significant rise

WASHINGTON – U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in March by the largest amount in five months while sales increased at the fastest clip in 10 months.

Wholesale stockpiles rose 1.1 percent in March after a 0.7 percent gain in February, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the ninth consecutive monthly gain and the largest increase since a 1.2 percent rise in October.


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