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November 18, 2021: Local Investment Networks (Established and Emerging) in Washington State

For many years, local investors have been joining together to support local businesses in several rural communities in Washington state.  As part of the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Global Entrepreneurship Month Series, WSMA presented a panel discussion on November 18, 2021 which brought together new and established Local Investment Networks (LINs) and statewide partners to raise awareness about how the power of local investment in entrepreneurship can improve the economic vitality of their region.

Watch the video replay on WSMA's YouTube Channel

Chat Box & Links

Slide DecksAndy Meyer (AWC), Earll Murman (LION), Julie Tate-Libby (TwispWorks & Methow Investment Network), B.J. Stewart (Urban Impact)

Presented by the Washington State Microenterprise Association. Thank you to our partners at Urban Impact Seattle, TwispWorks, the Association of Washington Cities, Methow Investment Network, Local Investing Opportunities Network (LION), WSU Community and Economic Development, the Thurston Economic Development Council, the Thurston Investment Network (ThINk), StartUp Washington and the Washington State Department of Commerce for making this webinar possible.

Our featured presenters/panelists:

Andy Meyer, AICP, has held the position of Special Projects Coordinator at the Association of WA Cities (AWC) since 2007. As a part of the Member Services team at AWC, Andy works with a wide variety of member cities, state and federal agencies and other partner organizations, primarily in the areas of land use, planning, environment and economic development. He currently manages the AWC GIS consortium, serves as staff to the AWC Small Cities Advisory Committee, as well as being involved in developing and nurturing partnerships with academic institutions and other entities.  Andy has been working closely with WSU to expand Local Investment Networks throughout Washington state to develop the Field Guide For Local Investing and more recently the 2019 Local Investment Networks (LIN) Assessment.

B.J. Stewart, Urban Impact - Chief Operations Officer B.J. leads Urban Impact's efforts supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in Seattle’s under-resourced communities, including the Sharks At The Beach Entrepreneurship Program and Thrive Business Accelerator.  As COO, he directs Urban Impact's Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Financial Management, and Administration functions.  Prior to joining Urban Impact, B.J. was a 10 year Arby's Restaurant franchisee and owned a staffing agency.  B.J. spent more than 10 years in consulting/public accounting with PriceWaterhouseCoopers also serving as a CPA (now inactive).  He earned a MBA from the University of Colorado, and a B.A. in Accounting & Finance from Michigan State University.

Trevor C Lane, Ed.D. is an award-winning and published associate professor and state specialist in Community & Economic Development for Washington State University (WSU) Extension.  His leadership links scholarly and academic research to solving problems and supporting the needs of tribal and rural communities like local investment networks and entrepreneurial training, while using technology to create efficiencies.

Julie Tate-Libby is the Director of Programs at TwispWorks, a nonprofit dedicated to building a resilient, diverse economy in the Methow Valley. She works closely with the Methow Investment Network (MIN) in Twisp, WA.  Julie is also an anthropologist and researcher who has written extensively on place, community, and amenity migration.  She teaches anthropology for Wenatchee Valley College and enjoys skiing and outdoor recreation in her spare time.

Earll Murman has lived in Jefferson County for 15 years after retiring from MIT as a Ford Professor of Engineering.  He is active in a number of community organizations and efforts including the local investing network LION and the Jefferson Community Foundation’s Housing Solutions Network.  The Murmans have invested in over a dozen local businesses and nonprofits.

Aslan Meade, Director of Strategic Alliances, Thurston EDC, Thurston Investment Network (ThINk) Olympia WA has been at the forefront of connecting the different organizations and businesses from the public and private sectors to create and build a local investment network in the South Puget Sound.

Lisa Smith, Executive Director, of Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA).  Lisa works to support Microenterprise Development Organizations throughout WA that provide business training, technical assistance, and microloans to the smallest businesses in the state. Her work focuses on building connections for WSMA partners to access capacity building support, resources, grant funding and opportunities to network.