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  • Governor's Office, 360-902-4111

Governor Gregoire Announces Eastern Washington Advisory Council

For Immediate Release: November 16, 2007

OLYMPIA – Governor Chris Gregoire today announced the launch of the Governor’s Eastern Washington Advisory Council.

“Eastern and rural Washington businesses and communities have a wide range of social and economic concerns that require unique access to state decision makers. Governor Gregoire understands this and has reached out to us to become partners in moving Washington forward,” said Don Odegard, leader of the group and President of Watts Brothers Farms. “We're thrilled to have such a direct connection with the Governor and state agencies.”

The council organized itself in response to Governor Gregoire’s request to hear from them on a regular basis and today held its first meeting with Governor Gregoire at the Executive Mansion, where they identified several areas of focus for future work.

“This council is a welcome addition to our efforts to move, as one state, toward the Next Washington,” said Governor Gregoire. “As the members of the council and I discussed today, it is vitally important to Washington that the unique issues facing central and eastern Washington be addressed through state government. I appreciate that these busy Washingtonians traveled to Olympia today to meet with me on these issues.”

Governor Gregoire’s Next Washington plan is a 10-year vision to build on the economic success in Washington and seize opportunities for Washington-grown companies. The plan takes a regional approach to economic change to promote activity at the local level.

Member of the Governor’s Eastern Washington Advisory Council:

  • Frank Armijo, Richland
  • Richard French, Richland
  • Patricia Galloway, Cle Elum
  • Ben George, Thorp
  • Jeff Hansell, Cle Elum
  • Dick Hoch, Kennewick
  • Mike Hogue, Prosser
  • Bill Lampson, Kennewick
  • Cheri Marusa, South Cle Elum
  • West Mathison, Wenatchee
  • Bill McCurley, Pasco
  • The Honorable Sid Morrison, Zillah
  • Don Odegard, Kennewick
  • Gene Shields, Yakima
  • Rev. Robert Spitzer, Spokane
  • Don Watts, Kennewick