As we look back on 2019, we will take some time to honor those who made extraordinary effort
in the past year to improve life in the Inland Northwest. They are people who have dedicated
time and energy to improving people's lives, to building a better economy, to providing much
needed services and to advancing human knowledge.
Through Dec. 31, The Spokesman-Review will profile 10 Difference Makers, thanks to generous support from Numerica Credit Union.
The executive director of Priority Spokane can point to charts and graphs showing the effect community health workers have had on reducing homelessness among local youth. But there’s also a sense of playfulness to the community building Oelrich’s done over the past decade and a half, after a conscious decision to remain in Spokane following his ties to the scandal involving former Mayor Jim West.
When Bette Ammon arrived in Coeur d’Alene to become the city’s library director, she never expected to find herself being interviewed by the BBC and the New York Times or to find the library the subject of a comedic monologue on a late-night TV show because someone wants to control what others can read.
Forty-six years ago – with just 72 days before the World’s Fair officially kicked off in Spokane – Tim Welsh climbed to the top of the incomplete U.S. Pavilion, popped the collar of his thick flannel jacket against the February chill and smiled for the camera. “All those cables you see, I measured every one of them. I did most of the surveying and layout of the project,” said Welsh, who was project engineer on the U.S. Pavilion for Expo ’74.
Liz Montgomery has been fighting for well over a decade to educate communities in the Inland Northwest about safe sleep for their infants, and her role is set to expand as she works on infant safety for the state of Washington and Idaho this year.
Worrall first decided to send care packages to 10 Army soldiers who were overseas for Christmas and reached out to friends about collecting goodies to send them. In 2018, she and others packed 850 boxes of love to service members in far-flung locales.
Restaurateur and chef Adam Hegsted, under the umbrella of Eat Good Group, continues to be prolific in opening restaurants and businesses and investing his time and effort in the Spokane area and North Idaho.
Larry Krauter was named chief executive officer of the airport in 2011. Since those early days of dealing with decreased service due to the Great Recession, Krauter has made recruiting airlines and businesses a priority, pushing for an increase on user fees that can pay for future expansion.