Nearly everything that GSI does in Economic Development, Education & Workforce, Small Business & Entrepreneurial Support, and Public Policy is done with the support of an engaged membership and more than 800 volunteers. We work in collaboration with our civic partners and appreciate the support of many federal, state, and local government agencies. On Wednesday afternoon, more than 1,000 attendees joined us for our 2015 Annual Meeting at the Spokane Convention Center. The afternoon was a time to highlight a year’s worth of hard work, success and growth, and to look forward to the priorities and opportunities in the year ahead.
GSI’s President & CEO, Steve Stevens, emceed the day’s program that started with recognition of the many generous sponsors whose support made our Annual Meeting possible. He also took time to recognize some of our region’s newest and expanding businesses who GSI assisted this past year. We welcomed AMI Metals, Comcast and Keystone Automotive Operations to Spokane and congratulated Able Label, Aero-Flite Incorporated, Lite-Check, NextIT, Pinecroft, Pyrotek and Seaport Steel on their recent expansions.
Annual Meeting guests were among the first to hear the exciting announcement made by Sam Auxier, President of U.S. Figure Skating and Olympic Medalists Kristi Yamaguchi and Gracie Gold on behalf of U.S. Figure Skating: Spokane was chosen as the host city for 2016’s Team Challenge Cup!!! Skate City USA responded to the information with a resounding Spokane-style standing ovation.
GSI’s outgoing Board Chair and Spokane Regional President at U.S. Bank, Linda Elkin, reflected on her time at the helm, recognized the investment of our members, Board, electeds and staff, and called out some especially important successes that occurred in collaboration with community partners over the past year:
The event’s keynote speaker, Chuck Underwood, founder and principal of generational consulting firm The Generational Imperative Inc, is a pioneer in the field of generational study. He provides consulting, research, and training to American business, government, education, and religion on the subjects of Generational Workforce and Generational Marketplace Strategies. Chuck is the host of the PBS national-television series America’s Generations With Chuck Underwood and for 45 minutes he educated, entertained and surprised the room with insights and ideas about the challenges and opportunities each of the five living generations bring to the workplace. Learn more about Chuck’s fascinating work at genimperative.com
GSI’s Incoming Board Chair and Chancellor of Community Colleges of Spokane, Dr. Christine Johnson, concluded the day’s program with a look ahead and a call to fulfill our potential as an economic development powerhouse capable of growing profitable businesses that grow jobs and build a shared prosperity for current and future generations. She spoke of the need to retain our success in the areas of manufacturing, energy, IT, health and defense industries, while also attracting and launching emerging industries, including medical education and biomedical research. Dr. Johnson also spoke of the importance of recognizing higher education as a major industry with enormous economic impact and the need to work with higher ed institutions to build the workforce of the future. In collaboration with our region’s elementary and secondary colleagues, she said, the higher education leaders in our region are committed to unleashing the potential of our institutions as a major industry that not only distinguishes Spokane from other communities our size, but also develops and deploys talent that will become the innovative workforce that will make our region the envy of the nation.
MAJOR SPONSORS: Asuris Northwest Health | Bouten Construction | Eide Bailly | Kalispel Tribe of Indians and Northern Quest Resort & Casino | Northwest Farm Credit Services | Providence Health Care | Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane | Witherspoon Kelley
EDUCATION PARTNER SPEAKER SPONSORS: Community Colleges of Spokane | Eastern Washington University | Gonzaga University | University of Washington | Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane | Whitworth University
LUNCHEON SPONSOR: STCU
SUPPORTING SPONSORS: CliftonLarsonAllen LLP | Garco Construction Inc | IEDS Logistics | Inland Northwest Health Services | Integrus Architecture | Itron Inc | Journal of Business | Kiemle & Hagood Company | Lydig Construction Inc | Moss Adams LLP | Spokane Produce Inc | U.S. Bank
EVENT SPONSORS: CH2M | GeoEngineers Inc | Rentsys Recovery Services | Spokane Seed Company
AIRLINE SPONSOR: Southwest Airlines