Director’s Corner: Lewis Economic Development Council Busy at Work Supporting New and Existing Businesses

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Days at the Lewis Economic Development Council fly by as we are busy going into my fourth month as your executive editor.

We’ve added new blood to the LEDC board, our finances are solid and continue to rise, membership continues to grow, we’re hosting a golf tournament at the end of summer, we’ve started a new Business Development Center, started work on a speaker series and assisted businesses large and small. And that’s just the quick list.

I’m particularly encouraged by the hiring of Dolly Tardiff as our new program manager for our fledgling Business Development Center. She comes with a wealth of experience helping businesses gained both by her years as the office manager of the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce and also as a long-time owner of a private security business with 14 employees. For more information on Dolly and her new duties, turn to page three of this month’s The Economic Report.

I’m also excited about hosting our first golf tournament on Sept. 17 at Riverside Golf Club in Chehalis. Beyond offering a Friday full of fun and golf for our interested members, the tournament is a fundraiser for our new microlending fund to help area small businesses.

We encourage people to sign up early for your four-person team in this best-ball playing format. We also have several options for sponsorship for those businesses and individuals who want to support the LEDC’s mission of helping existing and new businesses. If you have any donation items for our golf tournament auction, that would be appreciated as well (contact Lewis Economic Development Council External Relations Manager Eric Sonnenberg at 208.206.5407 or eric@lewisedc.com).

Finally, as pictured to the left of this column, the LEDC board on Thursday had a bit of bittersweet fun as we ushered long-time LEDC board member and former president Dan Rich as he retired from the board after years of service.

While we had fun placing a “Mr. EDC” sash on Rich, as well as a crown and a dozen roses, on a serious note we do want to thank Rich for his tireless commitment to the LEDC over the years. He has been an engaged participant during vibrant discussions and offered solid financial backing. Dan, you’ve been a pleasure to work with, and again, congratulations on your new crown. May you wear it proud.

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Richard DeBolt is the executive director of the Lewis Economic Development Council.