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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."

Jerry Dicker next speaker in the Connect Northwest monthly breakfast series

Thursday's Connect Northwest morning session will feature GVD Commercial Properties President Jerry Dicker.

Dicker has gradually become one of Spokane's leading developers; his list of projects includes the Hotel Ruby, the Bing Theater, the former CompUSA building, the Interplayers Theater building and the Burgan Block LLC project, near Gonzaga University.

Registration is $30. Sign up at the Connect Northwest reservation link.

Dicker moved to Spokane in 2004, after working primarily in the Southwest and in California.

Jerry Dicker’s plans for the Burgan’s Block don’t include historic tax credits

Yesterday we ran this same artist's rendering of the new proposed Burgan's Block project.

Here's the full daily Spokesman-Review story.

Bernardo-Wills Architects, of Spokane, is the architectural design team for the two-building project. It's expected to begin within 60 days.

The southern building — the former Burgan's storage warehouse — is considered part of the DeSmet Avenue Warehouse Historic District. Developer Jerry Dicker has said he is not seeking tax credits for maintaining either building's historic character.

Google moving closer to its fiber network announcements

Did Spokane get anywhere near being chosen by Google in its much-publicized plan to deploy fiber networks in some lucky metros?

We wondered about that, so we contacted the Mountain View company and asked about Spokane’s chances of being one of the locations chosen. (Photo shows a rally organized by the Spokane Association of Pro-Fiberians.)

The short answer:  the decision hasn’t been made yet and Google intends to make the choice by the end of 2010. More than 1,100 cities made appeals — some silly, some highly sophisticated — to be part of the company’s plan to roll out the first phase of an ultra-high speed network across parts of the country.

As Google spokesman Dan Martin noted, the company will offer the option for one or a number of sites, with a population target of between 50,000 and 500,000.

That means it could be in just one city. Or in several cities. If it does involve several cities, it might be just a portion. In an email, Martin wrote: “… We might select a large city, but only build in a small neighborhood.”

He also said  the company so far has identified several communities “that we think might be a good fit for our project. But we’re not yet prepared to announce anything more at this time.”

The benefit, for Google, is learning how to best deploy the fiber network on a broader scale; the first locations will be beta sites, in effect. The service will not be free, Martin noted. Customers will be facing a pricing system more or less competitive with other providers.

For more Google explanations on the criteria, Martin sent along this link: http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi