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Home   •   Archives   •   Spokane Edition   —   Monday, July 29, 2013


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Michelle Hege takes the helm at Desautel Hege Communications

Desautel Hege Communications (DHC) has named Michelle Hege as the company's President and CEO. Hege takes the reins from Cher Desautel who will remain actively involved with the company as both a shareholder and in an Of Counsel capacity. Desautel had served as CEO since 2003. Hege joined the firm in 1998 as the company's first employee and became a partner in the business in 2000.

"You hear business owners say you should only hire employees you could envision being CEO one day," said Cher Desautel. "This was certainly true when Jim Desautel hired Michelle as our first employee. We knew one day she'd be running the place."

The CEO transition is a natural evolution of the company's succession plan. Desautel Hege Communication founders, Jim and Cher Desautel, will both remain shareholders and counselors in the firm. The other firm partners will remain active managers of the company and of its diverse client portfolio. The owner group also includes Sara Johnston, Andrei Mylroie and Christine Varela.

"Throughout the history of the firm, we've managed the business as a team and that will continue," said Michelle Hege. "We are extremely fortunate Jim and Cher assembled a group of business partners who share values, philosophy and have great chemistry. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. It's an exciting time in our company and in our industry."

Desautel Hege Communications got its start in the Desautels' basement in 1996. Company founder Jim Desautel saw a need in the market for a "team of zealots" who would provide high quality strategic communications consulting. Seventeen years later, the firm has become a leading northwest public relations and marketing company, employing 16 professionals and serving leading companies in the energy, health care, higher education, manufacturing, finance and non-profit sectors. The company has also developed a strong public sector client base in local, state and tribal governments. Long recognized for its ability to develop results-oriented research-based integrated communications programs, the firm has grown steadily throughout its history, adding in-house graphic design and strengthening its public affairs practice with the addition of Christine Varela as a partner in 2012. The agency also expanded its national and international reach by joining IPREX, an international network of independently-owned public relations and marketing firms.

"As we look ahead, we see great opportunity to expand our work in the northwest and beyond," continued Hege. "We have a team of extremely dedicated people who wake up every day excited to solve problems and seize opportunities for our clients. I'm very proud of our team, what we've been able to achieve together, and the potential that lies ahead."

Desautel Hege Communications is one of the largest integrated communications firms in the region, specializing in helping clients use strategic communications and marketing to achieve their goals. DHC has worked in industries like energy, healthcare, tribal, education, manufacturing and finance, among others. The firm's client list includes Avista Corporation, Washington State Department of Health, Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations, Eastern Washington University, Kalispel Tribe of Indians, and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Founded in 1996, DHC provides a full spectrum of public relations, public affairs and marketing services to regional, national and international clients from its Spokane-based office. Learn more about DHC at www.desautelhege.com.

"Behind the Scenes" with Don Hamilton

Ever since he landed in Spokane from Southern California in 1979, photographer and film maker Don Hamilton has been a major force in the business community. His firm The Hamilton Studio, located in a former Catholic school gymnasium at 1427 West Dean, provides a wide variety of communication services: commercial, web video content, industrial video, documentaries, reality TV, feature films, still photography, original music scores, radio commercials and sound design.

Every week Hamilton sends out an interesting and entertaining e-blast called "The Picture" that takes you behind the scenes of some of their latest work. To get it every week and to see previous posts go to hamiltonstudio.com or call 509-327-9501

The Inlander opens first offices in Kendall Yards

Print is alive and well, at least in Kendall Yards. While newspapers around the country are shrinking, shedding staff and properties just to stay afloat, things are different at The Inlander. The paper is growing, adding employees and content, winning national awards for its work and reaching a higher percentage of readers than any urban weekly in America. In October, the paper will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

This week, though, The Inlander marks a different milestone, with an official Grand Opening for its new headquarters in Kendall Yards, at 1227 W. Summit Parkway on Wednesday, July 31, at 2 pm.

"Ever since 1993, we've been proving that a free weekly that stays focused on the local community can buck industry trends. Since that first year, we've been adding readers, pages and new publications to serve the region," says Inlander Publisher Ted S. McGregor Jr. "Being a part of Kendall Yards shows The Inlander is investing in the Inland Northwest's future. Our new neighborhood is already creating the kind of excitement and vitality that will help put Spokane on the map as a city on the rise."

Get al the details about the Inlander at inlander.com

"Let's Play Trucks" at Greyhound Park this Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The first annual Inland Northwest Truck Show will be held at the Greyhound Park and

Event Center in Post Falls, Idaho on August 2nd, 3rd, and 4th from 10 am to 9 pm on

Friday and Saturday, and from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. This event is designed to celebrate trucks from the commercial carriers to the hobby truck enthusiasts. Offering a variety of products, vendor booths will be located both inside and outside the Event Center. Ticket prices at the gate are $8 for adults and $5 for children (5-12). Parking is free.

Activities include:

A Truck Rodeo. The driving competition for cash prizes will begin Friday afternoon.

Swap Meet for big rigs. $50 registers you for a great opportunity to sell your used or spare semi-truck parts. Pre-registration is requested on a first paid, first registered basis because of space considerations.

Awards Ceremony for Show and Shine winners. Trophies and cash prizes will be presented at 1:00 pm on Saturday.

Drawings for prizes will be held every two hours beginning at 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Friday and Saturday and at 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm on Sunday in the Event Center vendor area.

Larry's Watch Repair moves to Artistry in Gold location

After 35 years of providing the Spokane and surrounding area with superior quality watch repair at it's Halpin's location, Larry's Watch Repair has moved and is now located at Artistry in Gold, 13817 E. Sprague Suite 7.

Artistry in Gold and Larry's Watch Repair have teamed up to provide their customer's with superb quality watch repair, custom designed hand-crafted fine jewelry, jewelry repair, heirloom watch and fine jewelry restoration all at one convenient location at Sprague and Evergreen in the Spokane Valley. The phone number is 509-927-4569.

City making pedestrian improvements in downtown core

A plan to improve downtown sidewalks has been selected for funding by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council through a grant that targets pedestrian improvements.

The Downtown Spokane Core project designs and builds pedestrian repairs and improvements.  These improvements are intended to reduce barriers for disabled persons and encourage walking by making the walking environment safer, more comfortable and enjoyable. These needed improvements to the downtown pedestrian environment were first identified in the Downtown Plan update.

Downtown sidewalks were prioritized for replacement because of their overall condition, their proximity to other planned improvements and pedestrian heavy areas such as the entertainment district and the STA plaza.   Sidewalks on Howard were also prioritized because it is a designated major pedestrian corridor.   The project will also include new street trees, replacement of damaged street tree grates, installation of bike racks, planters and garbage cans, minor sidewalk repairs and other pedestrian improvements throughout the entire Downtown Core.

With the creation of the unified Parking Fund in July of 2013, the City of Spokane now has an ongoing mechanism to fund these types of grant applications for the downtown pedestrian environment.

The total project cost is: $1,335,600

Ronald McDonald House Polo Classic September 8.

The 9th Annual Cobra Polo Classic benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane is Sunday, September 8. Don't miss the event that combines strength, elegance, speed and fair play with tents, hats and champagne. This is the largest charity polo match in the United States, and all proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane.

Tickets are $200/person and $400/couple if you register before August 1.

Sponsored tables, which include 10 seats, field and program recognition, are available for $3,000. They are also still recruiting volunteers for this one-of-a-kind event. If you are interested in volunteering, email Colleen Fox, Volunteer Coordinator, at colleenf@rmhspokane.org.

Go to rmhcspokane.org/events for more information.

Two new attorneys at Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers

Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers announces the addition of two new attorneys to the firm's thriving practice areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, real estate litigation and estate planning.

Jeffrey R. Ropp has practiced for over 25 years in estate planning and elder law which includes drafting wills, trusts, probate, durable powers of attorney and health care directives, along with developing asset protection strategies, probate, advising the elderly, and advising clients on federal estate and gift tax issues. He is a Spokane attorney and received his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law and also holds a master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida. Mr. Ropp is an active member of the Washington State Bar Association, Spokane Estate Planning Council, and National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a frequent lecturer on estate planning topics.

Timothy R. Fischer is a Spokane attorney whose practice primarily focuses on bankruptcy, creditor/debtor rights, complex commercial litigation and real estate litigation. He received his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law, and while in Law School was a judicial extern to the Honorable Patricia C. Williams of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington. Tim is a trustee for the Bankruptcy Bas Association for the Eastern District of Washington, a member of the Advisory Rules Committee for the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington, and an advisory council member for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society.

The Business Thought of the Week

"Act swiftly and vigorously, without 'buts' and 'ifs.'" Napoleon Bonaparte

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