Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
WSA Industry Achievement Awards
February 5, 2003

Good evening.

It’s great to be back again this year for these awards.

WSA has a right to be proud of being the oldest and largest statewide technology trade association.

It’s hard to believe it all began in 1984.

I mean, 1984 was worlds apart from today.

Very big hair was in.

The “Miami Vice” look was in.

The top TV shows were “Dynasty” and “Dallas.”

The hit records for that year included “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club and “The Reflex” by Duran Duran.

And “Ghostbusters” and “Gremlins” were among the blockbuster movies for the year.

My own career in politics and government was just beginning back then.

In 1984, computing was still primitive by today’s standards.

People were just starting to discover the power of the PC.

Al Gore had not yet invented the Internet.

Microsoft Windows had not shipped to customers yet.

The Apple Macintosh was just being introduced.

But the founders of WSA envisioned a bright future.

I’d say that in retrospect, the future was so bright they probably had to wear welders’ masks!

I am very proud of the software and Internet-based businesses that WSA represents today.

Despite tough times, this industry continues to be an engine of growth for our state’s economy.

Great companies like Microsoft, RealNetworks, Amazon.com and others are part of our state’s global “brand.”

And these businesses are spawning whole new industries. Industries like digital animation, wireless software applications, intelligent energy, and bioinfomatics.

WSA and the businesses it represents have influenced and encouraged our state government to follow suit.

We are known as the “Technology State.”

For the past five years we’ve worked hard to use technology to make our government more efficient and user friendly.

We were recently named the most digital state in the country based on a five-year national survey.

We were also recently named as one of the top six states in tax administration performance, in large part because of our innovations and technological advances.

WSA has been a tremendous resource for the industry and been a valued partner with state government.

WSA is a valued partner for our state government.

A partner in developing policies that keep Washington at the forefront of the innovation economy.

A partner in helping people find jobs with such innovative public services as Reboot Washington.

And a partner in fostering excellence in digital government.

I thank WSA for that partnership, and I congratulate WSA on a long and distinguished record of success.

Even during tough, challenging times.

Working together and looking ahead, I know that the people and technology companies of Washington state and the WSA will continue to lead the way.

Thank you.

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