Transition to Communications & Public Affairs

On May 1, 2019, Cara Coon, currently GSI’s Public Affairs Director, will transition to a new role, VP of Communications and Public Affairs. Maria Vandervert, VP of Marketing and Communications, who has worked for GSI for more than 19 years, will transition to a part-time position following the launch of her new business, Dragonfly Urban Farm.

By combining the work of advocacy to the overall internal and external communication of the organization, GSI will amplify its work to strengthen the region’s local, state and federal business climate in order to recruit, grow and expand business in our region. By aligning the resources, GSI expects to broaden the conversation, deepen the advocacy and increase investor engagement into the process.

“GSI is focused on three pillars – Talent, Growth and Voice. The voice of our membership informs everything we do, and it is important to have the alignment of advocacy to our communications and marketing. Cara brings exceptional experience to this new role and we are excited on behalf of our membership and our community,” said CEO Todd Mielke.

Prior to coming to GSI, Cara worked 15 years at Sterling, then Umpqua Bank, in public relations, communications and government relations.



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