Going to a State of
the City address can be a low key, boring and generally dry affair for those
who want to or are required to attend; rarely are they sold out events! Happily, I caught a good one, with Spokane
Valley’s State of the City. I was surprised to learn this was the first State
of the City address for this young community, incorporated just 16 years ago.
The event, which was put on by the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, made
everyone feel like they were part of the community, displaying what the last
year looked like and what the plan was for the future of a vibrant city.
The sold-out event put on by the Greater Spokane Valley
Chamber of Commerce, which if you scanned the room, showed the diversity of the
city; from doctors to first responders to business owners. The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of
Commerce has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific
for over 37 years. The organization is led by CEO Lance Beck and newly elected
chair Kelly Fukai, who kicked off the event welcoming everyone to the inaugural
event. It was not necessarily why
everyone was there, but once lunch was served, Mayor Ron Higgins and Deputy
Mayor Pam Haley hit the stage.
I have seen Mayor Ron Higgins speak before. He is a straight shooter, with a no frills,
candid delivery and obvious love for his community. The City of Spokane Valley’s tag line is
“Where Opportunity Grows Community”. The
straightforwardness of Mayor Higgins was refreshing, and his dry sense of humor
had the crowd laughing and hanging on each point of his presentation. He spoke about the basics, what mattered to
the community such as: speeding up the permitting process to drive business,
commitment to advancing the aerospace industry and investing in parks and
trails to improve quality of life. As
someone who lives in Spokane Valley and make it my home, a smile crossed my
face when the accompanying videos with the presentation showed places I enjoy
in my own backyard.
The tandem presentation, which included Deputy Mayor Pam
Haley, wrapped up with some time for q and a; most were business and
infrastructure focused. The lunch
wrapped up and I thought, as did others at my table – ‘his was the first State of the City for the City of
Spokane Valley?’ It was professional,
timely and well run. If you missed it,
make sure that you take it in next year.
It is a great way to learn about your community and the connections will
leave lasting impressions on you and your scope of influence.
You can find the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber: www.spokanevalleychamber.org