Press Releases and News

Find out what's happening in the Spokane region!  We've got news items that affect your business and our local economy.

Media - If you'd like more information on any of the stories published in this section, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Marketing and Communications Director at 509.321.3629.



Spokane Ag Expo Scam

Hello all - please note that some business folks are getting calls from a gentleman claiming to be affiliated with Spokane Ag Expo, selling room nights for the event. Please know that this is a scam. Room night reservations are to be done directly through hotels that will be on the website athttp://www.agshow.org/ or the Greater Spokane Incorporated offices in about three weeks. Thank you! If you have any questions, please contact Myrna O'Leary at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 509.321.3633.

 

 
Congressional Debate to Take Place Oct. 30 at The Lincoln Center
October 16, 2014

(SPOKANE, Wash.) - Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), in partnership with Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and West Plains Chamber of Commerce is hosting the United States 5th Congressional District candidates for a debate on Thursday, October 30, 4:00 PM at The Lincoln Center. The public may register athttp://events.greaterspokane.org. The event is open to the public, and the cost is $10 to attend. The candidates will be available for interviews with the press directly after the event.


About the Candidates:

Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Cathy McMorris Rodgers was born to a farming family with deep roots in Eastern Washington. She lives in Spokane with her husband and three children. Cathy believes new technologies can make life better for all Americans, making government more open and efficient. She has a strong record of bipartisan accomplishments and continues to enact solutions for our region, including agriculture, rural health care and research, hydropower, veterans and military families.

Joe Pakootas
Joe Pakootas is CEO of the Colville Confederated Tribal Corporation, manages hundreds of employees and more than 1M acres of land. His implementation of sustainable business practices realized a $10M economic turnaround and secured a multi-million dollar revenue stream, improving the lives of 10,000 members of 12 tribal bands across three states. In 2013, Joe received the University of Washington's Bradford Award as top minority businessman in Washington State.

 
Avista Invests $200,000 in Spokane STEM Network as a Founding Partner
10.09.14

(SPOKANE, Wash.) - Spokane STEM today announced it has received a $200,000 investment from Avista, a founding partner of the Network. The partnership allows Spokane STEM to implement key initiatives crucial to the network's mission of improving teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and math in the region.

The Spokane STEM Network, a collaborative effort of early learning, K-12, higher education, business and community organizations, works to transform the way we think, learn, work, and live through STEM (science technology, engineering and math) by enhancing STEM education opportunities for all youth in the region and by increasing the number of students pursuing and achieving success in STEM careers.

"Spokane and Washington State are built on a STEM-based economy. Avista's investment in the Spokane STEM Network is significant and creates momentum to grow understanding and interest in STEM and most importantly, to engage our students in STEM learning and the pursuit of STEM careers," said Alisha Benson, executive director for Spokane STEM and vice president, education and workforce for Greater Spokane Incorporated.

Avista's founding partnership with Spokane STEM will help ensure that high-quality STEM education opportunities are available to all students in the region and that more students are completing coursework preparing them to work in STEM-related careers. It also allows for a more focused approach to creating and supporting STEM opportunities in the region.

"Our investment into Spokane STEM makes sense as the Network provides a focused approach to creating, growing and supporting STEM opportunities in our region. As a STEM employer, we see first-hand the need to attract and engage more students in STEM and develop the skills necessary for today's workforce. This important work takes investment from the private sector to meet the workforce needs and, ultimately, drive the economic growth and vitality of our region," said Scott Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Avista Corp.

Avista has also invested $25,000 in Washington STEM to further STEM education across the state. STEM Networks have been created in six other regions around the state: Mid-Columbia (Tri-Cities), Snohomish, South Central (Yakima), South King County, Southwest Washington, and West Sound (Bremerton). The Networks are charged with creating unified systems of STEM education, fostering partnerships, aligning resources, and increasing impact in their own communities.

About Avista
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is the operating division that provides electric service to 365,000 customers and natural gas to 325,000 customers. Its service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Alaska Energy and Resources Company is an Avista subsidiary that provides retail electric service in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, through its subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com. Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.

About the Spokane STEM Network
Spokane STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is a regional nonprofit network of leaders from early learning and K-12 education, the business community, higher education and community-based organizations that serves as a catalyst for advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning and innovation. Launched in May of 2012, it is one of seven STEM networks statewide working in collaboration with Washington STEM to revitalize STEM education. The work of Spokane STEM is supported by Greater Spokane Incorporated in partnership with the NorthEast Washington Education Service District 101, and supports broad educational attainment initiatives designed to prepare our region's youth to enter competitive 21st Century careers. Learn more at www.spokanestem.org.

About Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the Spokane region's Chamber and Economic Development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881. GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic and workforce development, public policy and small business. GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors; Spokane County; Washington State Department of Commerce; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Airway Heights, Medical Lake, Newport, Deer Park, and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. For more information, visit www.greaterspokane.org or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1-800-SPOKANE.
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GSI Launches StartupSpokane.com
October 7, 2014


(SPOKANE, Wash.) - Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) has launched a new online presence at www.StartupSpokane.com, which will provide a platform for entrepreneurs and startup companies to facilitate connections to service providers, networking events and educational opportunities.

GSI's Startup and Emerging Entrepreneurs program, which began in early 2014 with the integration of Connect Northwest events, was developed to ensure that startups had more streamlined access to community resources to start, build and expand their companies. Recommendations from a March workshop and input from a number of focus groups suggested that a resource website could increase the success rate for startups.

"This website launch is the next step in our support of the Spokane Entrepreneurial Ecosystem," said Steve Stevens, President and CEO, Greater Spokane Inc. "StartupSpokane.com will provide numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups to connect with the right resources to increase their level of success."

A Spokane digital agency, Seven2, volunteered staff resources to design the new site based on feedback from the focus groups and research on other startup communities.

"Seven2 is excited to work with such great partners in this effort to bolster the entrepreneurial community in Spokane," said Tyler Lafferty, Principal, Seven2. "This momentum is helping create great things."

The site also includes an entrepreneur spotlight section which increases awareness of local budding and established entrepreneurs. In addition to the StartupSpokane.com website, GSI has also launched a Startup Spokane Facebook page and Twitter account to maximize visibility for local startups. 

Sponsors of GSI's Startup and Emerging Entrepreneurs program include:

* Cowles Company
* Hart Capital
* Larison and Associates/Columbia Management Systems
* Witherspoon Kelley


About Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the Spokane region's Chamber and Economic Development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881.  GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic development, workforce development, public policy and small business. GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors; Spokane County; Washington State Department of Commerce; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, Deer Park, Newport, and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians.  For more information, visit www.greaterspokane.org or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1.800.SPOKANE.

About Greater Spokane Incorporated's Work in Economic Development
Greater Spokane Incorporated's (GSI) economic development team works to grow jobs and business investment by assisting companies with business support services. Services include relocation and expansion assistance, cost comparisons, corporate tax incentives and financing options, employee relocation assistance, workforce hiring and training options, site selection and market information, entrepreneur and startup assistance, and international trade. To find out more about Economic Development, visit www.greaterspokane.org/do-business. To find sites and demographics online, visit www.SelectSpokane.com. GSI's economic development program is funded by Washington State; Spokane County; and the cities of Spokane; Spokane Valley; Liberty Lake; Cheney; and Deer Park.

 
Statement on WSU-UW Expansion Agreement
October 6, 2014

Greater Spokane Incorporated releases this statement in response to the Memorandum of Understanding on Medical Education Expansion announced by Washington State University and the University of Washington:

GSI fully supports the agreement between WSU and UW for the expansion of medical education and research in the Spokane region.  The expansion of medical education has been a long-time vision for this community and having the alignment and agreement between the universities on their respective paths for expansion is in the best interest of our region and the state.

GSI stands committed to helping WSU achieve its goal of creating a new accredited medical school. GSI also stands ready and committed to helping UW secure the resources and support it needs to expand WWAMI in Spokane.  Being the largest medical hub between Seattle and Minneapolis, Spokane has the infrastructure to be at the center of 21st century medical education.  We are excited about the future and will work tirelessly to support this agreement and to continue to fully support the expansion of medical education in our region.

What we collectively share is agreement on the need to grow medical education beyond the level it is today to meet the state’s growing physician shortage and the need for improved healthcare access in Eastern Washington, particularly primary care physicians in rural and underserved areas.  We also agree on the critical importance of growing research and enhancing bioscience economic development and anticipate that the pursuit of their objectives will also lead to commitments to bring additional investment in research, development and commercialization of medical technologies to our community.

The agreement between WSU and UW for expanded medical education and research supports GSI’s commitment for the full buildout of the Academic Health Science Center vision as outlined in the Tripp Umbach business plan report in 2011 that is projected to achieve a 20-year annual economic impact of $1.6 billion and over 9,000 jobs. This vision includes the expansion of four-year undergraduate medical education, related growth in graduate medical education, growth in academic and biomedical research and development of a bioscience economic development strategy.

 
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Find out what's happening in the Spokane region! We've got news items that affect your business and our local economy. For more information please contact Marketing Director Maria Vandervert.