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
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
Jeff is a skilled communicator, with 20+ years of experience serving in marketing, advertising, public/media relations, and social media capacities. He is a results driven team member, having led the planning and implementation for dozens of major initiatives for municipal, non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Joining the City of Spokane Valley in 2019, Jeff relocated from Western Washington to experience the abundant sunshine and active outdoor lifestyle the Inland Empire delivers. He understands messaging, audiences and the most successful channels to employ. Jeff is well versed at telling a story through his writing, digging deep into the user experience and drawing conclusions from analytics. He holds a BA in Communications and an MBA with a concentration in Strategic Marketing.
When not at work, Jeff enjoys traveling to new places and experiencing different cultures. He stays active cycling, snow skiing, and playing tennis, and is always up for trying new cuisine.
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 Division.
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.