21 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL MAY 2021 W ashington Economic Development Association is “laser-focused” on improving economic well-being and quality of life in Washington State. “If you don’t have a strong economic vitality in your community, you can’t invest in your parks, your education and everything else people care about,” says WEDA Executive Director Suzanne Dale Estey. “I am a big believer that economic and community development are essential.” The Seattle-based organization has been WASHINGTON ECONOMIC DEVELO Washington State’s only trade association centred around economic development for the past 25 years. Its 125 members include economic development organizations, cities, counties, ports, tribes, businesses, education, and community-based organizations that prioritize economic development. “We were set up to develop a team in Washington focused on jobs and economic development and that has really remained our core mission,” says Estey. That mission includes having a presence in state legislature and regulatory arenas. “Advocacy is really our core competency,” Estey adds. “We have a top-notch Stimulate. Educate. Advocate.