As you entered the main hall and lobby there were booths lined up featuring all the GSBA corporate sponsors including Wells Fargo, Pacific Medical, Starbucks, 1st Security Bank, and more with goodie bags filled with water bottles, stuffed toys, etc.
On the McCaw Hall mezzanine level round tables were set up with salad-filled plates and dinner rolls for the luncheon. While the place was packed with familiar faces and some not so familiar, it was quite a contrast to the first GSBA Holiday Luncheon I attended back in 2000, which was a third of the size.
After a great musical performance by GSBA Scholar, Christina Brewer, GSBA President and CEO Louise Chernin spoke of progress, and Board Co-Chair Drew Ness (1st Security Bank) paid homage to outgoing board members Allan Aquila (Aquila and Associates), Marci Flanery (CPA), Jeff Kinney (Concentric Impact), Beth Hester (Comcast/NBCUniversal), John Rubino (GreenRubino) and Kurt Sarchet (Precision Door Service), Ness also welcomed new board members Roz Edison (Marination), Susan Fuller (Attorney), James Hing (Starbucks), Carolyn Hojaboom (ARC of King County), Adrian Matanza (Seattle City Light) and Kyle Mullinix (Google).
Chernin returned to the podium and as everyone picked up their glasses of champagne toasted to the closing of an intense year and to what hopes to be a great start for 2018.
Current Chief of Staff at Seattle City Light Calvin Goings introduced and moderated a panel on the 2018 Legislative forecast with 43rd District State Senator Jamie Pedersen, State Representative Nicole Macri and WA Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. With the Dems now taking over the State Senate, look for immediate changes to happen in Olympia.
For member info for the Greater Seattle Business Association, check out www.thegsba.org.