By Carla Cicero, GSI Board Chair and President and CEO, Numerica Credit Union
Having had the opportunity to travel extensively, I’m always glad to come back home. There’s just something special about our Spokane community. Its beauty, outdoor adventure, the people, and mostly opportunity.
When I became President & CEO of Numerica Credit Union and arrived in Spokane 12 years ago, I saw an amazing opportunity, then as the years passed, saw progress.
As Board Chair of Greater Spokane Inc. this year, I am incredibly honored and energized to work among a talented team and with businesses of all sizes and industries who share a common vision and goal to create a vibrant Spokane region.
GSI’s mission to create a robust regional economy is as important as ever. With shifts in our economy, the talent shortages we’re seeing, and businesses that are continuing to come back after the pandemic, but are still struggling, we have a lot of work to continue to do.
The strength and vitality of the business community lifts employers, supports employees, and generates a better quality of life for everyone.
One recently launched project that I’m passionate about led by GSI is called Believe Spokane, a five-year campaign to provide more opportunities to our community, laser-focused on growth, equity, and agility. The goal of this campaign is to increase economic vitality with a focus on economic development and talent attraction and retention. Our goals are to:
- Solidify critical services to support small and underserved businesses
- Market our community with a focus on the life sciences, health care, advanced manufacturing, energy, and technology industries
- Increase leadership around local, state, and federal economic advocacy that drives business and regional competitiveness, sustainability, and prosperity
- Establish a fund to ensure the region can proactively react to unique growth opportunities
- Double down on the development of talent and sustainable career pathways
- Implement equity-minded tactics to focus on targeted populations to ensure none are left behind
We’re already seeing results. In Q1, we’ve provided more than 50 underrepresented businesses with support services, secured a grant to support the expansion of a local aerospace company, and provided 232 students with career pathway experiences to help guide their future. When all is said and done, this campaign will create an estimated $934 million in economic impact on our community.
Thank you, member partners, for your support and investment in the future of our community. I want to thank Believe Spokane co-chair Joel Gilbertson, the Believe Spokane leadership team, and especially campaign investors. This campaign would not be possible without your support. I am looking forward to working with you to continue to shape what’s to come over the next five years.
Together, we are creating a brighter future for our community, and it is an honor to be at the forefront of this journey.