Downtown Spokane Partnership hosting inaugural State of Downtown event

The Downtown Spokane Partnership is hosting its inaugural State of Downtown event featuring keynote speaker Michael J. Berne, a nationally recognized futurist and retail expert.

The event will take place May 11 at the US Pavilion in Riverfront Park at 3:30 pm with presentation of the Downtown Spokane Partnership’s legacy and impact awards, followed by the 2022 downtown awards and Berne’s keynote speech.

Local entrepreneur and angel investor Tom Simpson has been nominated for the partnership’s 2022 legacy award, which recognizes a company, organization or person who has left a mark on the city by creating exceptional contributions to the business community and vitality of downtown Spokane.

Simpson is CEO of Ignite Northwest, president of the Spokane Angel Alliance and managing member of Kick-Start angel investment funds.

Greenstone Corp. founder Jim Frank was nominated for the partnership’s 2022 impact award, which recognizes those who find potential in underused properties and serve as role models for others in the business community.

Frank is responsible for developing Kendall Yards as well as the River District community in Liberty Lake.

Berne, founder and president of New York-based MJB Consulting, is a regular presenter and keynote speaker at industry conferences, including those held by the International Downtown Association.

Berne is author of the “Retail Contrarian” blog and contributed to two recently published books on Downtown and Main Street Retail.

Ticket information is available at

Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at [email protected]