Mike Basinger, AICP
Economic Development Manager
Mike has over 20 years of progressive community and economic development experience. He is responsible for the management of the City of Spokane Valley’s Economic Development efforts including developing and implementing strategies to drive economic growth and development, supporting relationships with civic, business, governmental and other economic development stakeholders. Mike is also responsible for managing the City’s long range planning efforts ensuring capital investments support economic development initiatives.
Mike has a Master’s of Public Administration and a Bachelor’s of Urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University (EWU). He also served as an adjunct professor at EWU teaching spatial analytics. He is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Mike spends his free time hiking, biking, white water rafting, kayaking, fishing, and camping.
Chaz Bates, AICP
Economic Development Specialist
Chaz has 16 years of land use and economic development planning experience. At the City of Spokane Valley he provides technical assistance to business owners, developers, consultants, and citizens to further the City’s economic development priorities and goals. He leads the City’s Community Development Block Grant program and works closely with the region’s economic development partners to help coordinate the City’s economic efforts within the larger region.
Chaz uses a mash-up of his BA in Philosophy and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning to think critically of both lofty and concrete ideas for economic development. When he is not at work, he enjoys the great outdoors by snowshoeing, kayaking, and trail running. Chaz also likes to cook, brew beer, and be a tourist with his family whenever and wherever he can.
Economic Development Specialist
An important part of economic development is community outreach and engagement. After all, a vibrant city should reflect the shared vision and values of its residents. Lesli works to ensure community members and business partners have the information and tools they need to generate opportunities for economic growth, whether it be a new business venture that provides good-paying jobs or a celebrated creative community space where local residents gather.
Lesli joined the city’s economic development team in 2017 and brings more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, community relations and customer service. Her experience is primarily in the education and government sectors, including recent work for state government in Montana and Oregon. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in public administration. When the work day ends, Lesli enjoys gardening, spending time on the water with her family – either paddle boarding or kayaking – and spoiling her yellow lab, Mia.
Public Information Officer
Annie brings more than 15 years of experience in communications and outreach, including time spent in education, workforce development and nonprofit development. Annie joined the City of Spokane Valley in 2018, bringing extensive experience in strategic communications, website management, social media and digital advertising.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and a master’s in public administration from Portland State University. In her free time she enjoys baking, running and spending time with her husband, son and Chihuahua.
Senior Transportation Planner
Colin brings a passion for transportation planning that supports Spokane Valley’s continued economic development and livability. With a background in public sector and non-profit transportation planning in Oregon, Alaska, and Utah, and supported by a master’s degree in urban planning, Colin approaches transportation planning as an opportunity to make the most of a community’s largest public space, the public right-of-way. In managing the City’s 6-year Transportation Improvement Program, assisting with transportation grant applications, and contributing to local traffic management studies, he aims to carry out the community’s long-term vision.
When not at work, Colin can be found exploring neighborhood parks and coffee shops with his family, navigating nearby trails, or tinkering with bikes and skis at home.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Western Washington University, Taylor brings a level of freshness to our Economic Development Team. Throughout her years at WWU she focused her studies in Psychology, Communication Studies and Sports Management. While earning her BA, Taylor played volleyball for the Vikings, making it to the NCAA Tournament for three consecutive years. Her ability to work well with a team and her solid work ethic makes her the perfect fit in our Economic Development Department.
When she’s not hard at work for the City, Taylor enjoys spending time with her family and staying active. She appreciates watching the sun go down, spending time by the water, and going for long runs. Friends find that she is always up for an adventure and exploring any chance she gets.