Greater Seattle Partners hires economic-development CEO

The new organization will promote the region as a whole while capitalizing on Seattle’s name recognition.

Brian P. McGowan

Brian P. McGowan

SEATTLE — Greater Seattle Partners, a new economic development group that includes business leaders and governments in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, has chosen its first chief executive.

Brian P. McGowan will lead the public-private nonprofit. He is an economic development expert and former president and CEO of Atlanta Beltline, an economic development and transportation initiative in Atlanta.

Former Gov. Chris Gregoire spearheaded a two-year effort to create Greater Seattle Partners, which is a regional nonprofit whose mission is to attract business, trade and investment to the Puget Sound region. The idea is to promote the region as a whole while capitalizing on Seattle’s international name recognition.

McGowan, who plans to take the helm when the organization becomes operational in August, said he was “thrilled to come to the Puget Sound region and build on its stellar foundation of highly innovative businesses, its commitment to international trade and its eagerness to compete globally to bring new investment to the region.”

The launch of Greater Seattle Partners has been helped by contributions of $2 million, with three-quarters of the money donated by the private sector. Corporate supporters include Boeing, Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Starbucks and Alaska Airlines. About a dozen elected officials are on the group’s executive council, including Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.

At the heart of Greater Seattle Partners initiative is a plan for member cities to each generate quantitative studies of assets, such as proximity to a deep-water port or commercial airport, which can be given to prospective incoming businesses.

The group conducted a nationwide search to find a CEO with experience in economic development and global trade. The search committee was co-chaired by Phyllis Campbell, chairwoman for the Pacific Northwest arm of JP Morgan Chase Bank; Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines; and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards.

“We all look forward to having Brian lead us based on his successful record of leading diverse and complex economic development and trade organizations from California to D.C. and Atlanta,” Tilden said in a news release.

McGowan was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 to serve as the deputy assistant secretary and chief operating officer for the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

In 2008, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to serve as deputy secretary for economic development and commerce in that state.

Janice Podsada: jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Twins Leslie Davis (left) and Lyndsay Lamb stage a house in Everett as seen on the second season of "Unsellable Houses" on HGTV. (HGTV photo)
Sold: Snohomish twins back for more HGTV ‘Unsellable Houses’

The makeover show’s 13 episodes feature Snohomish County homes, with decor items sold at new store.

Tuesday's career fair will be at Everett Community College, which incidentally is also one of the participants. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Snohomish County Career Fair set for Tuesday at EvCC

Job seekers can connect with more than 40 employers at this year’s annual event.

Workers build the first all-electric commuter plane, the Eviation Alice, at Eviation's plant on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
All eyes on Alice, the electric plane made in Arlington

If all goes well, Eviation’s battery-powered airplane will make its debut test flight later this year.

Snohomish County unemployment rate drops slightly to 5.6%

Washington added 16,800 jobs in August.

Report: Criminal indictment coming for former Boeing official

Mark Forkner was the 737 Max Chief Technical Pilot who is alleged to have lied to aviation regulators.

Bufeng Gao, owner of Qin Xi'an Noodles, receives a check from the Edmonds Chamber Foundation's Wish Fund outside of her restaurant that was burned in a fire on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 in Edmonds, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After arson burns Edmonds plaza, 14 businesses need help

Plum Tree Plaza — a cultural hub for Asian Americans — burned in a three-alarm fire early Sept. 11.

Hand drawn vector illustration of bottle of red wine and two glasses. Abstract cartoon style isolated.
You voted: The best wine list in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, folks still have their favorites.

Boeing sells land for $200M in plan to shrink holdings

Boeing has sold 310 acres of undeveloped land next to its Frederickson manufacturing plant.

Washington August jobless rate was 5.1%; 16,800 jobs added

August’s rate was the same as July’s rate, and increased even as COVID-19 cases surge.

Boeing moving 150 jobs from Washington and California to Texas

The affected jobs are in the company’s global parts distribution unit.

Commercial Aircraft Interiors General Manager James Barnett stands in a warehouse aisle of 777 overhead bins at the company's new building on Monday, May 20, 2019 in Arlington, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
12 Snohomish County aero firms get $19M for job protection

The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection grants could save 2,280 Washington jobs for up to six months.

FILE - The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Despite the pandemic's damage to air travel, Boeing says it's optimistic about long-term demand for airplanes. Boeing said Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 that it expects the aerospace market to be worth $9 trillion over the next decade. That includes planes for airlines and military uses and other aerospace products and services. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
Pandemic hasn’t dimmed Boeing’s rosy prediction for planes

The company is bullishly predicting a $9 trillion market over the next decade.