April 22, 2019
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More speakers added to Spring Meeting, featuring dinner keynote Nikki Haley



New speakers were announced for AWB’s Spring Meeting May 8-9 in Spokane.

Joel Sacks, director of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, will be part of a panel of agency directors. Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, will be part of a four-corner leadership panel.

Carla Cicero, president and CEO of Numerica Credit Union, and Michael Senske, president and CEO of Pearson Packaging Systems, will join Paul Read, publisher of the Journal of Business for a CEO panel.

And a transportation panel will feature Stephan Olsen of PACCAR; Reema Griffith, executive director of the Washington State Transportation Commission; and Marshall Elizer, assistant secretary for multimodal development and delivery at the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The agenda wraps up with an evening reception and dinner keynote address from Nikki Haley, America's 29th permanent representative to the United Nations from 2017 to 2019. She was also a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council.

At the United Nations, Ambassador Haley worked to ensure that the American people saw value for their investment, introducing reforms to make the organization more efficient, transparent and accountable. In a two-year period, she negotiated over $1.3 billion in savings, including rightsizing U.N. peacekeeping missions to make them more effective and targeted, while improving their ability to protect civilians.

As U.N. Ambassador, Haley championed human rights, challenging human rights violators across the globe, standing up to oppressive regimes in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and Russia. During the U.S. presidency of the U.N. Security Council, she hosted the first-ever session devoted solely to promoting human rights. She traveled the world visiting people oppressed by their own governments to see firsthand the challenges they face and to work with them directly on life-improving solutions — from Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey, to internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, and Venezuelan migrants walking miles every day to cross the Colombian border for food and medicine.

Prior to her service in the United Nations, Haley was elected in 2010 as the first female and first minority governor of South Carolina. Reelected in 2014, she served as Governor until confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations in January of 2017.

Under Governor Haley’s leadership, South Carolina was a national leader in economic development. Known as the “Beast of the Southeast,” South Carolina’s unemployment rate hit a 15-year low, saw over $20 billion in new capital investment, and her administration announced new jobs in every county in the state, over 85,000 total.

Haley also ushered in the state's largest education reform in decades — making education funding more equitable for schools in the state's poorest communities, prioritizing reading in early grades, and equipping classrooms with the latest technology.

Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, she is the daughter of Indian immigrants and a proud graduate of Clemson University. In her first job, Haley kept the books for her family's clothing store — at the age of 13.

Haley and her husband, Michael, a major in the South Carolina Army National Guard and combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan's Helmand Province, have two children, Rena, 20, and Nalin, 17.

After leaving public service for the private sector, she recently founded an organization called Stand for America, closing an introductory blog post on its website with these words: "Even though I have entered private life, I will never stop standing up for America’s freedom and values. We all have a part to play in keeping our country safe, strong, and prosperous."

In February, Boeing announced that Haley was joining the company's board of directors.

“Ambassador Haley brings to Boeing an outstanding record of achievement in government, industry partnership, and successfully driving economic prosperity for communities in America and around the world,” said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg. Boeing has helped sponsor Haley's appearance at Spring Meeting, and a representative of the company will be joining her on stage for part of her presentation.

Follow Haley on Twitter @NikkiHaley.

For more on Spring Meeting and to register, visit AWB's website.



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Spring Meeting
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Kennewick company stars in statewide campaign

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Washington employers are entrepreneurs who build their companies for more than the product they make and the services they provide; they build them to fulfill their values of community, compassion and conscience.

That's the message behind Grow Here, the multi-media employer image ad campaign from the Association of Washington Business.

In its third year, Grow Here's goal is two-fold: to highlight the "why" that motivates Washington companies and share the employee experience within those businesses. And, to remind people that Washington state's competitiveness -- its ability to attract and retain employers -- is critical to an economy that works for all residents.

Read the full guest column in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
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Our communities depend on STEM-related fields. Ensuring a consistent pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM jobs is critical. We believe that early exposure to STEM is impactful for school-aged children. At a time when our state needs more than 94,000 health care professionals over the next three years, we need more students to pursue health care related careers. We need a sustainable plan to inspire and excite young people. And, we must ensure an equitable pathway into these high-demand, high-impact jobs.

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Read the full commentary at the Washington STEM website
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