|September 23, 2019|
There was also plenty of time for AWB members and other business leaders to make the kind of connections that lead to new relationships in business, civic engagement and political progress.
The event began with a day devoted to trade, exports and education. Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke had a fireside chat-style conversation with AWB President Kris Johnson. Their wide-ranging talk included plenty of discussion about trade and China -- a relevant topic for Locke, who served as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and also as America's ambassador to China. (TVW video)
Washington Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown led two panel discussions on trade -- the first with trade representatives from Canada and Japan (TVW video) and the second with Washington employers in the fruit and grain industries who are leading exporters (TVW video).
Tuesday's events concluded with an address from Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, who discussed the push for career-connected education, among other topics (TVW video).
Wednesday's events began with a keynote address from Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, who looked at economic trends and the possibility of a recession in late 2020 (TVW video).
The State of Energy panel (TVW video) was especially topical, as a proposal in Seattle aims to curb use of natural gas. Experts in energy supply pointed out that during times of peak demand, more than half the residential energy used in Seattle comes from natural gas. During times of peak demand -- January and July -- the frigid or sweltering weather patterns also mean that the wind isn't blowing, meaning that wind power isn't an option.
The Future Airport Growth panel brought in voices from Sea-Tac, Paine Field and Spokane International Airport to discuss what's happening and what's ahead in their areas (TVW video).
A session on Washington's tax structure asked if there is consensus about a frequent claim, that Washington's tax system is regressive -- and what the impacts would be of adding more taxes, like an income tax (TVW video).
The lunchtime keynote address from GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling was a look at how she has worked to "disrupt the pink aisle" and help girls get into STEM education through connecting engineering with storytelling.
A variety of afternoon panels discussed carbon emissions, education, workplace law and much more.
The evening keynote from two White House chiefs of staff was, according to many attendees, one of the best at an AWB event in recent memory.
Reince Priebus, who served under President Donald Trump, and Denis McDonough, who served under President Barack Obama, engaged in a genuinely friendly exchange.
Thursday saw the swearing in of more than 20 new members of the AWB board. Tri-Cities attorney Fran Forgette took over from Tim Schauer as chair of the AWB Board -- but Schauer isn't going too far. He was voted in as chair-elect of the AWB Institute Board last week as well.
For a review of Policy Summit through the eyes of those in attendance, check out this social media roundup.
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