This coming Tuesday, March 7, our speaker program will be Ira Armstader speaking about Leadership Spokane.

Elephant trainer in Chicago. Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. Food administer for the United States Agency for International Development in Rwanda. Senior program officer for the World Wildlife Fund in Madagascar. Ira Amstadter’s resume reads like an adventure novel.

He traveled the world before moving to Spokane with his wife, Susan, and opening Express Employment Professionals in 1994.  “I’d never worked in the private sector before,” he said.

He knew he’d need support within the community to succeed, so he joined Downtown Rotary and in 2000, he graduated from Leadership Spokane.

The leadership program was founded by the Spokane Chamber of Commerce and its business leaders to maintain the momentum of leadership and development in the community, following Expo ’74.

On Jan. 21, Amstadter received the Leadership Spokane Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award at the Leadership Lights the Way Gala. The gala is the primary fundraiser for Leadership Spokane and the Leadership Spokane endowment.

Brian Newberry, executive director of the organization, said the alumni award was created to recognize graduates of the program who might not otherwise be acknowledged.

“Leadership Spokane opens the doors and show you all kinds of ways to get involved and get engaged with your community,” he said.

In addition to sending a couple of his employees through the program, Amstadter and his wife created and administer the DaZelda Scholarship which is awarded every year to an incoming member of the program. The scholarship is named after his grandmother, Zelda.

The very first recipient of the DaZelda Scholarship is a member of the Spokane Valley Rotary Club…… you know who this person is……?

Want to learn more? Join us for lunch at noon at Darcy's Restaurant and Spirits, 10502 E Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99206. Lunch is just $12 per person.