Pin It
Favorite

The Greater Good 

Publisher's Note

click to enlarge ted-mcgregor.jpg

Rich Hadley, the president and CEO of Greater Spokane Inc., will be retiring this spring, and already the finalists vying to replace him have been spotted around town.

While the names of the various organizations have changed, Spokane's been at this economic development thing for some 130 years now. But the job just keeps getting more complicated. In the old days, you could tell the CEO who might move his company to town by his suit; today he might be wearing a hoodie. While boosters used to take a coveted hire to the Spokane Club for dinner, now she's more likely to take the job after a ride on the Centennial Trail. While everybody used to want widget-makers to land out by the interstate, smart cities are rolling out the red carpet for creative types.

Spokane has made some amazing strides in the past 20 years, and Hadley and his team have been a big part of that. But the world is changing, and we are counting on GSI to, as they put it, "create something greater for the Spokane region."

According to the job posting, GSI wants their new leader to spend a year taking in all that is Spokane and the Inland Northwest; after that, they want him or her to present the board a five-year plan. I think you could spend a good chunk of that year reflecting on one basic question: What is business advocacy?

Nationally, business advocacy has become a nasty game of survival of the fittest, with big-money organizations too often stepping on the needs of everyday citizens. Locally we work together better, but agreeing on the best "business friendly policies" is never easy. Case in point: We have essentially nullified the state Growth Management Act here under the guise of it being a pro-business call. But that not only contradicts the best practices of the most successful urban places here in the West, it also hurts businesses that are banking on a thriving core.

Here's another one: Poverty is a growing, nagging problem that a business advocacy group might not think they should tackle, but business cannot thrive in a struggling community. It's everyone's problem.

I do love the name "Greater Spokane" as it gives the organization a more expansive outlook. It needs to continue to live up to that name, and GSI's new leader should cast a wide net during that year of fact-finding — talking to the hoodies and suits for sure, but also the greenies and social servants. That way, GSI can advocate for business policies that align with improved overall community health. And that's "something greater." ♦

  • Pin It

Speaking of Comment, Publisher's Note

  • Puppy Love
  • Puppy Love

    Burned out by politics? Winston and his kind can help
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Staying Engaged
  • Staying Engaged

    From the Mayfair Cafe to Central Park
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • What Now?
  • What Now?

    How a career change forced me to reevaluate fatherhood
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Comment

  • Class Act
  • Class Act

    Seeing through money differences can build relationships focused on fairness
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Don's Ultimate Con
  • Don's Ultimate Con

    Trail Mix: Trump's birther problems and Johnson's polls
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Transparent Motives
  • Transparent Motives

    One candidate's an open book; the other is shrouded in secrecy. Guess which one isn't transparent enough
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Inlander Debate Party

Inlander Debate Party @ nYne

Mon., Sept. 26, 5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • After the Deluge
  • After the Deluge

    Cleaning up Trump's hot mess is going to take some heroic leadership
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • <b>From Crimson &#10;to Purple</b>
  • From Crimson to Purple

    Bob Gregory was a Spokane-bred Cougar through and through; now he's prowling the sidelines for the Huskies
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • Staying Engaged
  • Staying Engaged

    From the Mayfair Cafe to Central Park
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Murrow's Nightmare

    Debate moderators need to be much more than an onstage prop to make our democracy work
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


trail mix


Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Making Room for Culture
  • Making Room for Culture

    Why Eastern Washington University should respond to students' needs for a multicultural center
    • Apr 28, 2016

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation