It is bittersweet to share with this audience that I will be leaving Westside Economic Alliance - my final day as WEA's marketing and communications manager will be next Friday (August 19).
I want to share my appreciation for all of you who read this newsletter.
Former executive director Pam Treece once told me that I was the voice of the organization, and I have held that honor close to my heart and have been protective of it.
I have spent nearly every Friday for more than nine years writing this newsletter -sometimes running later into the afternoon or evening after a story has dropped.
It's been a labor of love.
I've enjoyed highlighting WEA's members and shining a light on what WEA does for its membership.
I want to thank the WEA Board and my past executive directors, Pam Treece and Gail Greenman, for allowing me the freedom to write it.
Of course, I've written event invitations, scripts, testimony, columns, social media posts, and annual reports.
Plus, I've planned a lot of events - I think I've missed one forum during my time with WEA.
It's been a lot of projects to juggle over the years, but at the heart of it, I'm most grateful for all of the friendships and connections made.
A big thanks goes to Jonathan Schlueter for hiring this mom of three boys 15 years ago and for giving me the flexibility to run our children to baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, swimming, and water polo practices - even booking me on a flight and running me to the airport the morning after our 2009 Westside Golf Scramble, so I could catch up with my family at a regional championship baseball game in Pullman, WA, where our oldest son was pitching.
There have been great memories made during my time with WEA.
One story that has stuck with me during these divisive times comes from former Washington County Chair Tom Brian.
When he was serving in the Oregon Legislature, he said there were times when he and other legislators disagreed on issues on the floor, but in the end, they would set those differences aside and sit down for lunch together.
My hope is that you will continue to be the collaborative voice of WEA - don't be afraid to question things, but find common ground, encourage one another to find solutions that help this region thrive,...and invite others to sit down to break bread with you.
Thank you again,
Teresa R. Dunham