CEO Blog: Creating an Agenda is Tough, But the Hard Work is Just Beginning

Acting as the region’s leading voice for business and communities is no easy task. Advocacy is enough of a challenge, but the process to create the priority agenda we want to advocate can offer even greater difficulty. Since coming to Washington less than six months ago, I have repeatedly heard from individuals throughout the area that the regional agenda articulated by GSI for the past several years in Olympia and Washington, DC, was both too long and in need of focus. Clearly, it was time for us to embark on a new strategy to strengthen our advocacy efforts. With numerous business Continue reading

Legislative Forum & Reception Recap

At GSI’s recent Annual Legislative Forum and Reception, our Public Policy Council Co-Chair, Tom Reese, presented the 2015 State Legislative Priority Agenda, our state lobbyist, Jim Hedrick, facilitated a thoughtful dialogue among the panelists, and everyone enjoyed the networking opportunities at the reception. The conversations that took center stage during the forum revolved around education, transportation, and medical education. The legislators who participated on the panel indicated that education would undoubtedly be a top issue this session due to the McCleary decision and the passage of Initiative 1351, but there were still some clear distinctions in opinion. Senator Baumgartner emphasized the Continue reading

GSI Hires Entrepreneurship Program Director

Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) is pleased to announce the hiring of Ryan Arnold for the position of Entrepreneurship Program Director. This new position will be responsible for the leadership and guidance of the local and regional entrepreneur ecosystem, and GSI’s Startup Spokane program. An experienced entrepreneur, Ryan formed his own company, Sightline Energy, a consultant firm to the architecture and engineering industries to assist them in navigating the increasingly complex energy-efficiency and building-sustainability field. In addition, Ryan and a partner founded the Innovation Collective, a Coeur d’Alene-based entrepreneur-support organization that is focused on providing events and education, the alignment of Continue reading

GSI Members Celebrate Success!

Spokane HOPE School Did you know Spokane is home to the region’s only listening and spoken language preschool for children with hearing loss? Located within the Washington State University/Eastern Washington University Hearing and Speech Clinic, the Spokane HOPE School (Hearing Oral Program of Excellence) offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art preschool for families who want their deaf and hard of hearing children to learn to listen and talk. Spokane HOPE School will celebrate their 10 Year Anniversary with an Open House this Thursday, November 6, at The HOPE School, 310 N. Riverpoint Blvd. from 4:30-6, with a Greater Spokane Incorporated ribbon cutting ceremony Continue reading

Business AfterSchool: Manufacturing Week

Greater Spokane Incorporated hosted its Business AfterSchool Manufacturing Week series by bringing area students, educators and parents into our local manufacturing community to provide a real-life look at the manufacturing industry, and the education and skills required to work in the field. This face-to-face experience provided students with a chance to see the application of STEM subjects brought to life in a high-tech world. Seven businesses and more than 30 professionals hosted approximately 71 students, 17 teachers, and five parents for a two-hour workshop that provided an interactive experience and a tour of their manufacturing facilities. Workshop hosts included: BayShore System, Inc. Continue reading

GSI Launches New Public Policy Committees

GSI invites you to get involved in our new Public Policy committee groups. In collaboration with members and community leaders, GSI is working to strengthen its advocacy efforts for the region, as well as regional advocacy efforts in Olympia and Washington D.C., and we need your industry expertise to sharpen our message and to create the loudest and most influential voice during our fly-ins and member visits to both state and nation capitols. Over the past several months, the GSI staff has been working closely with GSI Public Policy chairs on a new committee structure for GSI.  The end result is Continue reading

Prez On the Road with Philip Mezey of Itron

GSI President & CEO Steve Stevens recently visited with Itron President & CEO Philip Mezey to learn more about the company and its presence in Liberty Lake and the Spokane region. Itron, whose global headquarters are right here in Spokane, is a world-leading energy and water solutions company and serves more than 8,000 customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Locally, Itron employs approximately 650 people who support the company through research and development, marketing, software, hardware development and more.

GSI Candidate Roundtable Interview – Part 3

This week’s question for state legislative candidates: What are some obstacles you foresee for the legislature next session, and how do you plan to overcome them? Over the next few weeks, GSI is hosting an online candidate forum for all state legislative candidates running in Spokane County this year. Don’t know which district you live in? Find out here! Click here to read previous Candidate Roundtable Interviews. 3rd District Representative Pos. 1 Marcus Riccelli (Incumbent) “I believe the McCleary decision will be a part of every funding discussion that we will have next session which will make it difficult to garner Continue reading

Prez on the Road with the Spokane Symphony

President & CEO Steve Stevens had the honor of attending a performance of the Spokane Symphony overlooking Spokane at Arbor Crest Winery. The Spokane Symphony and Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox are staples in the community and continue to greatly enhance the arts, culture and vibrancy of our region. Steve had the opportunity to visit with Executive Director, Brenda Nienhouse, who is celebrating her 10th season when the Spokane Symphony kicks off its 2014-15 Super-Sonic Season on opening night on September 20. Led by Music Director Eckart Preu, the 70-piece professional orchestra performs for more than 150,000 listeners each season and Continue reading

New President & CEO Speaks at GSI Annual Meeting

Greater Spokane Incorporated’s 2014 Annual Meeting last week featured Steve Stevens, GSI’s new president & CEO. Steve has been with GSI now for a little more than two months, but has already been getting very engaged with the community and has started a local business road trip – Prez On the Road. The Annual Meeting was a success with nearly 1,000 in attendance. One top priority for Steve and the organization is to invite all members to get more engaged.  From committee and event involvement, to speaking about your business issues, GSI invites you to participate.  Even if events aren’t right for you, there Continue reading