Yakima County Development Association - Signing Off - Best of Luck Yakima Valley!

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 

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Signing Off - Best of Luck Yakima Valley!

Signing Off - Best of Luck Yakima Valley!

July 24, 2015

It's my last day at New Vision.  I've cleaned out my office, handed in my keys and done my best to help our team prepare for a transition.  It's both an exciting day and somewhat bittersweet.  I have now gotten a taste of my new job and wow it is going to be fantastic.  At the same time you all hopefully know how much I'll miss New Vision and the Yakima Valley.

I am like a proud father when it comes to looking back at what we accomplished at New Vision.  We produced impacts throughout our Valley, from Grandview to Naches.  It is amazing to see how our work has benefited every community within the region.  This is a testament to teamwork.  Our successes are built on an amazing support network of committed public and private leaders who want our Valley to thrive. 

It has been thrilling to recruit new companies, build an effective SIED program, and help local companies grow.  New Vision has compiled a great track record over the last two decades and we are grateful for the community's support to make good things happen.  I am personally grateful to be in the right place at the right time presiding over initiatives and projects that moved our regional economy forward.

I hope the "President's Pen" lives on with my successor.  I have loved writing columns and stories for the last 19 years and keeping you all posted on New Vision's progress.  The President's Pen is one of the longest standing blogs on economic development in the country.  I only brag to emphasize it has been a labor of love.  Sharing our office's work and highlighting New Vision's lofty aspirations were some of my most enjoyable moments.

As I sign off let me repeat my messages of late.  I love this Valley and am eternally grateful that I stumbled into Yakima 25+ years ago to start my career in economic development.  I have worked with our region's brightest and best people and grown tremendously as a result.  Most importantly I leave knowing we made a difference.  That was the allure of coming to Yakima in the first place and I feel immensely satisfied. 

Please remember that "our" Valley is one of the most special places on the planet.  With amazing natural beauty, great weather, and the friendliest people around, our glass is way more than half full already.  Yes, there will always be more work to do - we are still a community of the future.  Having said this I am so confident in the region's future.  Our communities are vital places to live and do business and we are on the cusp of even greater things to come. 

If you want to stay in touch drop me a line at mcfadden.d@portseattle.org. I'll enjoy hearing from my friends and colleagues in the Yakima Valley and promise to stay in touch.


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"One of our advantages is that our labor force has lower turnover which reduces our overall costs. " - Terry Bliesner, Vice President, Valley Processing