Letter from the President – April 2024

by Collette Leland, Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers
EWI of Spokane Chapter President

If spring had a particular emotion assigned to it, I think it would be hope. There is something about the end of winter, days with more light than dark, the song of birds in the early morning that makes it very difficult to resist the sense that something good is right around the corner. In fact, it is right in front of us.

As a teenager growing up in the Reformed Church of America—think Presbyterian, but Dutch—I received some training in the Westminster Catechism. One of the first question and answers is: Q – What is the chief end of man? A- To glorify God and enjoy him forever.

As a less-churched grandmother, I still take comfort in that simple thought. Whether there is a divine being in the universe or just the power of love, life, and everything, we don’t have to save the world, or win the next case, or close that deal, or be an amazing parent to be all that we are here to be. We just need to live in gratitude for the life we’ve been given. Don’t stress about it; enjoy it.

Like the arrival of spring, this thought gives me hope.

Kiantha Duncan seems to have this figured out. At last month’s Chapter meeting, she spoke to us about the power of stepping up and loving each other. She inspired us to be the kind of leaders who make a difference by loving people. As organizations go, EWI seems to have this figured out. Each month we see new ways that our representatives and member firms support one another. Not just in terms of referrals and shout outs, but in the self-sacrificial ways we are there for our community at large and for each other. We put on Reading Rallies; we give out scholarships; we offer FAFSA workshops; we support our non-profits; we give out hugs; and we listen. That is something to celebrate.

So, let’s have a party. Our Chapter’s 45th anniversary celebration is April 16, at the Steam Plant Restaurant & Brew Pub’s event space. Our speaker will be Latisha Hill, Avista’s Vice President of Community Affairs and Chief Customer Officer. Avista has been a member firm over our Chapter’s entire history, so it is particularly fitting that Latisha will be there to help us celebrate.

As a Chapter, we are particularly lucky that we have so many past Chapter presidents (and two corporate presidents) who have continued to quietly contribute year after year. I am excited and grateful that a group of them have been hard at work to share some EWI of Spokane lore with all of us and our executives at our anniversary celebration.

I learned so much from Sue Fleming and Jill Gaffney last September when they attended LCAM with our Chapter’s delegation in Chattanooga. It was inspiring to hear about events our Chapter had hosted and the servant-leaders who have led our Chapter over the years. I’m very excited that all of you will get a chance to hear some of these stories from our past presidents.  And, I’m excited that Latisha is returning for an encore. Come prepared to learn, be inspired, and enjoy!