Port of Pasco’s economic director leaving for new Spokane job
The longtime head of economic development for the Port of Pasco has a new job.
Gary Ballew will join Greater Spokane Incorporated as vice president for economic development on Sept. 8.
GSI represents 925 businesses in the Spokane area and serves to promote business and economic development. Ballew said it is comparable to his Pasco job, but on a larger scale in a larger city.
GSI is equivalent to a combination of the Tri-City Development Council and the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, he said.
In his new role, Ballew will work with economic development officials across Spokane County to recruit and retain business.
Ballew joined the Pasco port as director of economic development and marketing in 2013. Prior to that, he held positions with the Wine Science Center Development Authority, the city of Richland and Benton County.
Ballew said he’s proud of the work the Pasco port has done to market the Tri–Cities Airport, which is owned and operated by the port. Prior to the pandemic, it posted rising passenger levels as it worked to convince the region’s residents to fly local instead of driving to larger airports on the west side.
He said he’s also proud of securing 300 acres of farmland for the future Reimann Industrial Center, named for the late Port Commissioner Ron Reimann. The site, about a mile north of Pasco Processing Center in north Pasco, will provide much needed room to expand the region’s industrial land base.
While he considers himself a Tri-Citian, Ballew has ties to the Spokane region.
He is a Washington State University graduate. And as a child, his family lived in Canada where his father worked on hydroelectric projects. Every year on the Fourth of July, he would bring the family to Spokane to celebrate the Fourth and remind his children that they were Americans.
The Port of Pasco is expected to fill the position.
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