News Releases
Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 25, 2002
Contact:  Kirsten Kendrick, Governor’s Communications Office, 360-902-4136 or 360-239-1399 cell
Alt Contact:  Sharon Wallace, Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, 360-725-4019

Gov. Locke Signs Executive Order for New State Economic Development Commission

Gov. Gary Locke today signed an executive order calling for the creation of a new state Economic Development Commission that will help guide Washington’s economic development policy and provide continuity to the state’s economic strategy.

The executive order was announced at the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute, the first stop on Locke’s three-day tour focusing on economic development initiatives around the state.

The Washington Economic Development Commission will consist of 14 business leaders from across the state and a representative from the labor community. The commission will provide policy oversight and long-term guidance on issues relating to the state’s economy to the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED). The commission was formed on the recommendation of Locke’s Competitiveness Council.

“The business leaders of Washington know how to create, promote, develop and retain businesses on a global level,” Locke said. “This valuable economic asset can work on behalf of the citizens of Washington through this new commission.”

The executive order directs the commission to review and update current economic development strategy and performance measures, and perform an annual evaluation. The commission will also assist CTED on the procurement and deployment of private funds for business development, recruitment and promotion as well as seek ideas from community and other business leaders throughout the state.

“It is imperative that we continue to improve and develop our state’s economy. This commission allows us to do just that,” Locke said.

Commission Members

Scott Morris, Senior Vice President, Avista Corporation and President, Avista Utilities
Mr. Morris is Commission Chairman. He was named President of Avista Utilities in August 2000 was named Senior Vice President of Avista Corporation in February 2002. Morris resides in Spokane.

Jorge (Frank) Armijo, Director of Business Development, Lockheed Martin Services, Inc.
Mr. Armijo is responsible for the business development and marketing strategies for Lockheed Martin Services Inc. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the information technology industry. Armijo resides in the Tri-Cities.

Donald K. Barbieri, Chairman, President and CEO, WestCoast Hospitality Corp.
Mr. Barbieri has run WestCoast Hospitality Corp. for 32 of its 64 years. He is responsible for the company’s vision for continued growth activities in hotel, entertainment and real estate areas. Barbieri is a Spokane resident.

Theodore P. Baseler, President and CEO, Stimson Lane Vineyards & Estates
Mr. Baseler runs a company that owns Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Northstar and several other highly successful wineries in Washington and California. Baseler is a Woodinville resident.

Rick Bender, President, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Mr. Bender, a former state senator, has headed the Washington’s top labor organization since 1993 after holding positions in other labor organizations over many years. Bender is a Seattle resident.

Melanie J. Dressel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Columbia Bank and President and Chief Operating Officer, Columbia Banking System, Inc.
Melanie J. Dressel has 20 years of banking industry experience in Washington state and plays and active role on a number of committees and organizations addressing state and local issues. Dressel is a Gig Harbor resident.

Diane Ellison, CEO, Ellison Timber
Ms. Ellison is part of a Washington timber family dating back five generations. She has served in several capacities to create economic development and opportunity in Grays Harbor County. Ellison resides in Aberdeen.

Bill Grinstein, Associate Director, Public Affairs, Battelle/PNNL
Mr. Grinstein is responsible for business and government relations and outreach at Battelle’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and is involved in numerous technology related economic issues. Grinstein is a Seattle resident.

Kay Hirai, President, Studio 904 Salons
Ms. Hirai is a 20-year veteran of the salon industry and has gained national recognition by developing a business management concept based on life-long learning and community service. Hirai is a Mercer Island resident.

Charles Hirsch, Managing Director, Madrona Investment Group
Mr. Hirsch is a managing director with Madrona Venture Group in Seattle, Washington, a leading early stage investor in the information technology sector. Hirsch is a Seattle resident.

Mack L. Hogans, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Weyerhaeuser
Mr. Hogans has served in his current position at Weyerhaeuser since 1995, and oversees areas for the company ranging from environmental issues to procurement, supply management and communications. Hogans is a Bellevue resident.

Roger Knutzen, owner, Roger Knutzen Farms
Mr. Knutzen and his family have grown, packed and shipped red, white, yellow and chipping potatoes in the Skagit Valley for five generations. Mr. Knutzen also has been active in agricultural concerns for many years. Knutzen resides in Burlington.

John E. Marck, President, Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas
Mr. Marck has 32 years experience in the electronic components semiconductor business. Most of his working career was with Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas, NEC Electronics and Signetics. Marck resides in Camus.

Katherine James Schuitemaker, CEO, The Resonance Group
Ms. Schuitemaker has 20-years of technology executive and marketing experience ranging from fast-growth entrepreneurial start-up ventures to building global business franchises for F100 powerhouses. Schuitemaker is a Seattle resident.

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