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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.
Economic growth in Spokane County may be ready to take off with the expansion of the aerospace industry, county Commissioner Al French said Friday. Spokane is on the verge of attracting two new aerospace employers while two other companies are expanding operations, French said during an annual State of the County address to community and business leaders gathered at CenterPlace Regional Events Center.
OLYMPIA – A delegation of more than 80 Spokane-area folks arrived here last week with their annual “agenda” – some might call it a wish list – of things the Legislature could do to make life better for the state in general and the center of the Inland Empire in particular. This annual trek to the capital, sponsored by Greater Spokane Incorporated, herds well-briefed leaders of business, political, education and civic groups through the marbled rooms and committee rooms and is the envy of many other cities and counties around Washington. It has prompted the sincerest form of flattery, imitation, from other communities, but many legislators still say Spokane’s full-court-press lobbying remains the best.
A longtime regional economic forecaster on Wednesday told Spokane business leaders they should learn a lesson from long-suffering fans of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. “For Cubs fans, it’s always ‘wait until next year,’ ” said John Mitchell, speaking to several hundred people at the annual Greater Spokane Incorporated economic forecast.
Heather Bennett’s new job comes with a lot of change. It’s in a different country on another continent, in a different business and she’ll be surrounded by people who speak many different languages. Not to mention that she has to raise funds to pay her own salary. If everything goes according to plan, then Bennett, whose last job was as the small business growth program manager at Greater Spokane Incorporated, will be starting her new job as communications manager for the ministry ERM-Rwanda by February. Her two children will come with her, and the family plans to stay in Rwanda for at least two years.
Rich Hadley plans to leave his 20-year career leading the region’s largest chamber of commerce. He will step down in April. Hadley, 66, became chief executive officer and president of Greater Spokane Chamber of Commerce in 1993. In 2007, the business-advocacy group changed its name to Greater Spokane Incorporated.
The battle at the ballot box briefly entered City Hall on Monday night, as supporters and opponents of Envision Spokane’s Bill of Rights squabbled over changes to the initiative process. The changes, which dealt primarily with swapping out the legal review of the city attorney for one earlier in the process by the city’s hearing examiner, were passed 6-1, with Councilman Mike Fagan opposing.
It’s not unusual for Geoff Forshag to wear several hats – banker, accountant, management consultant. Now that he runs Two Wheel Transit, though, he may have to add another item to his wardrobe: gloves.
A Utah company recruited to Liberty Lake to open a call center and sales office has left a trail of consumer complaints across several states, a problem the company has said it’s fixing with better employee training and stronger efforts to curb aggressive tactics. Vivint Inc., based in Provo, Utah, announced last week it plans to hire 400 people for new jobs after it was enticed to Eastern Washington by Spokane-area officials. The company expects to hire those workers over the next several months.
Spokane’s Riverpoint campus on the eastern edge of downtown is generating $350 million in annual economic impact, the head of a national consulting company told a group of Spokane officials Thursday. Paul Umbach, president and CEO of Tripp Umbach, a health care and higher-education consulting firm, detailed how Riverpoint has grown faster than he predicted four years ago.
Vivint Inc., a fast-growing provider of home automation products including energy management and surveillance, expects to create 400 jobs after opening an office in Liberty Lake this summer. Based in Provo, Utah, privately owned Vivint said the company’s expansion is part of a broad plan of adding more customers across North America.
Critics of the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino and resort at Airway Heights took issue Wednesday with the findings of a consultant’s study that claimed the project poses no threat to nearby Fairchild Air Force Base. Jim McDevitt, a former U.S. attorney for Eastern Washington and a retired Washington Air National Guard chief of staff, said the tribe-funded study misrepresents Air Force flight records and misleads the community about the impact if a casino is built directly under the path of Fairchild training flights.
OLYMPIA – There may be things for which the Spokane area reasonably envies other communities around the state, but lobbying the Legislature for a list of collective hopes and dreams is not one of them. For more than 20 years, a contingent from Spokane and surrounding communities has made an annual pilgrimage to the state’s mecca of politics and policy. Members of the Greater Spokane Incorporated fly-in arrive, list of priorities in hand, and generally present a united front as they remind those controlling the spigots of state funding, “Hey, we’re still over there.”
The local economy is creeping, creeping, creeping its way back – back toward some semblance of the good old days of 2007. At this point, any recovery stands in reference to the last high-water mark, and that was five years ago. Before we reach a brighter future, we have to catch up with our brighter past.
A growing cluster of aerospace companies in the Inland Northwest is reaping the rewards of a global surge in aircraft production. It’s also setting the table for a main course that could nourish the economy much like health care and education do today.