RAYMOND - Dr. Isaac Pope, founder and director of Pope's Kids Place in Chehalis, shared an inspiring message of commitment to vision to nearly 60 attendees at the annual meeting of the Pacific County Economic Development Commission.

"Our kids are our most valuable natural resource," declared Pope, "and it's our mission to help them reach their full potential." Providing employment opportunities to our youth is vital, Pope said, "to keep them in our community and instill in them the spirit of "giving back" through continued good works." Pope pointed to his own work experiences in his youth as building his own self-confidence and steering his personal vocation towards a medical career.

After 16 years of private practice in pediatrics, Pope shaped his vision of providing a place for family rest and healthcare focused around children. Driven through vision and collaboration with community and business leaders, Pope's Kids Place now offers pediatric care and day treatment for hundreds of families in southwest Washington.

Pope pointed to the immediate surroundings of the Northwest Carriage Museum where the EDC reception was held as an example of what can be accomplished through perseverance and determination.

"What you've achieved here is a legacy for future generations," noted Pope, "and an example of the rich sense of community heritage that we must share with our kids."

Pope's inspiration for volunteerism-driven development was followed by an update on legislative support for development efforts by Scott Taylor, assistant director of the Washington Public Ports Association.

A Pacific County native, Taylor and his association represent 68 port commissions across the state in Olympia, where budget debate is keenly focused on balancing the state's $2.6 billion deficit. Numerous initiatives are under consideration in both houses of the Washington legislative to support streamlined development processes for local ports, reconciling needs for speedier approvals of development projects while ensuring conformance to community-managed growth plans.

General business conducted by EDC members in attendance included the election of the 2003 board of directors. Tim Russ, Director of Pacific County Transit and chairman of the nominations committee, led the election of the slate of directors.

Incoming 2003 EDC President Colleen Brown recognized the accomplishments of the completed-term of 2002 President Mack Funk and introduced the new current-year officers. These include Bob Junger, North County vice-president, Randy Jones, South County vice-president, and Dian Barker-Sayce, secretary/treasurer.

Linda Rotmark, executive director of the Pacific County EDC, and Cathy Russ, EDC staff assistant, were recognized by Brown for their ongoing contributions and aggressive plans for the current year to increase employment and wage levels. Rotmark closed the meeting with remarks reminding attendees of the EDC mission and outlining major initiatives of the organization for the coming year.

About Pacific County EDC

The Economic Development Council of Pacific County (EDC) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to retain and encourage a diversified economy that sustains and enhances the regional economy. Its board is made up of public and private representation whose responsibility is to assist existing businesses in retention and expansion and to recruit new businesses to the area.

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