WSU Everett conducts inaugural convocation ceremony
Chancellor Paul Pitre welcomes new faculty, enhanced leadership
EVERETT, WA – Washington State University Everett is hosting its first-ever convocation ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 20, starting at 10:30 a.m. This event welcomes all members of the WSU community and the public to the campus for a day of celebration, reflection, and looking forward to the future.
Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin is participating as a distinguished speaker. He will be joined for the celebration by several members of the WSU Everett Advisory Council as well as other prominent community figures.
WSU Everett is also proud to introduce new faculty additions.
Alongside introducing new faculty members, WSU Everett officials will announce that several faculty will now also undertake administrative duties, complementing their current teaching and department leadership roles:
Chancellor Paul Pitre expressed his excitement about the appointments, stating, “These appointments reflect the core values of WSU Everett in fostering academic excellence, innovative research, and student success. Sergey, Jacob, and Xiaopeng have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the EverCoug community, and I am confident that they will continue to drive our institution toward new heights.”
The new vice chancellors will play pivotal roles in executing WSU Everett’s strategic vision, strengthening academic programs, and enhancing research capabilities. The campus’ first convocation was one of the early priorities for newly-appointed Vice Chancellor Murray.
“The inaugural Convocation ceremony at WSU Everett is a historical moment for us,” said Murray. “It is a cherished academic tradition, symbolizing the commencement of a student’s journey in higher education. We are proud to witness our campus evolve to a point where we can offer this significant experience to our students. Following the ceremony, our students will participate in the ‘Welcome Walk,’ a rite of passage into the WSU Everett community. As they complete this walk, each student will be presented with a WSU Everett lapel pin, a token of our shared commitment to academic excellence and community.”
Convocation, new faculty hires, and enhanced faculty roles come as part of WSU Everett’s ongoing commitment to providing quality education, fostering innovation, and creating an environment where students thrive.
Business leaders focused on efficiency, reducing uncertainty, protecting working capital
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., (September 19, 2023) ― Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc. (Nasdaq: COLB), today announced the findings of its annual Business Barometer ― an in-depth study of the mood, mindset, and strategic priorities of small and middle market businesses across the U.S. While concerns about the direction of the economy persist, business optimism is rising, and expectations for revenue and profitability are increasing. The study also found a growing appetite among businesses to make prudent investments that will help them become more efficient and competitive.
“Small and middle market businesses across the country continue to show why they are the backbone of the U.S. economy,” said Tory Nixon, Umpqua’s President of Commercial Banking. “While economic concerns linger, they’re responding to the uncertainty with growing optimism and confidence in their ability to adapt and move forward. Businesses are planning strategic moves they believe will help them become more efficient, more profitable, and ready for what’s ahead.”
With positivity about the current state of the economy (41% excellent/good), and expectations for increased revenue (58%) and profitability (51%) hovering around or exceeding five-year highs, businesses are noticeably more likely than last year to take planned action to achieve their goals in the next 12 months. This is especially true of middle market businesses, which are more likely to invest in digitization for efficiency (87%) and tools to protect payments systems (74%), make significant changes to products and services (65%), expand their commercial real estate footprint (57%), finance expansion (49%), or acquire another business (40%).
Although businesses are cautiously more optimistic about the economy than in 2022, a majority believe an economic downturn is more likely now than they did at the beginning of the year. In order, all businesses surveyed rate inflation, a potential recession, and high interest rates as their top three concerns.
Other notable findings from this year’s Business Barometer include the following:
Key Investments Target Efficiency over Aggressive Growth
Businesses are focused on becoming more efficient in the year ahead. Outside of increasing revenue and sales, improving operational efficiency ranks as the most “crucial” factor to success. Nearly 3 in 4 enterprises plan to invest in digitizing new areas of their business to improve efficiency. Middle market companies are especially focused on increasing efficiencies through automation, which ranks as the “most important” action to manage profitability in the next 12 months, as well as a top investment priority.
The majority of those surveyed, including 65% of middle market businesses, are likely to make significant changes to products and services this year, with the goal of increasing profitability as a key motivator. To protect working capital, 60% of businesses are also likely to invest in financial tools to protect their payments systems, including 74% of middle market companies.
“Leaders are less focused on wholesale changes to their business right now and more focused on shoring up their fundamentals,” said Umpqua’s Head of Middle Market Banking Richard Cabrera. “Those enterprises with a sound business model, lean and efficient operations, and strong financial management will be well-positioned over the next 12-18 months for continued success and future growth.”
Businesses in West More Optimistic Right Now than Other Regions
The West, with closer geographic ties to Asia, a vast agriculture industry, and a leading technology hub, records significantly higher marks of optimism than other regions. This year, 57% of business respondents based in the West rate the economic conditions in the U.S. as either excellent or good compared to 33% in the Midwest, 39% in the South, and 36% in the Northeast. When asked whether they anticipate that overall economic conditions in the U.S. will improve in the next 12 months, 46% of businesses in the West believe economic conditions will improve, 33% in the Midwest, 39% in the South, and 34% in the Northeast.
This higher level of optimism is underscored by the fact that 42% of businesses in the West say they are likely to hire and increase staffing levels in the next 12 months. This compares to 33% of businesses in the Midwest, 39% and 36% of businesses in the South and Northeast, respectively.
Cybersecurity Now Top Non-Macroeconomic Concern for Middle Market Businesses, Ahead of Talent Issues
Of those surveyed, 22% of middle market leaders see addressing cybersecurity as crucial to their success in the next year. Overall, they also rank cybersecurity as the top concern after inflation and recession—ahead of talent acquisition and retention this year. In the past 12 months, 21% of middle market businesses surveyed indicate they have been the target of cyber-related fraud and ransomware attacks.
Supply Chain Boomerang: Nealy Half of Middle Market Business Bring Supply Chains Back to U.S.
Close to half of middle market businesses (49%) surveyed have brought supply chains or manufacturing back to the U.S. in the past 12 months. Another 57% indicate they will likely continue that trend in the year ahead. When asked why, the top three reasons are: (21%) more profitable, (11%) increased control, and (11%) best opportunity to grow business.
Commercial Real Estate Holds Steady as Businesses Eye Opportunities
Appetite for expanding commercial real estate is holding steady. Middle market companies are more likely than last year to consider expanding their real estate footprints in the next 12 months (2023: 57% and 2022: 39%). Among small business owners, 35% indicate they are likely to invest in expanding their real estate footprints.
Businesses Plan to Continue Hybrid Options for Workers
For industries not constrained by in-person services, hybrid schedules remain the norm. More than half of all businesses surveyed offer consistent hybrid work options for employees, including 1 in 3 allowing remote days most of the week, and 1 in 5 allowing a full five remote workdays. While a solid majority (55%) plan to maintain their current approach over the next year, 22% actually plan to expand remote work options, including 28% of middle market businesses, compared to 17% planning to scale back.
On behalf of Umpqua Bank, DHM Research conducted an online survey of 1250 owners, executives, and financial decision-makers of American small and middle market companies during July 27 to August 8, 2023. 22% of middle market respondents are minority-owned while 23% of small business respondents are certified woman-owned and 17% minority-owned. The margin of error is: ±2.8%.
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank is a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc., (Nasdaq: COLB) and a premier regional bank in the Western U.S., with offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. With over $50 billion of assets, Umpqua combines the resources, sophistication and expertise of a national bank with a commitment to deliver personalized service at scale. The bank consistently ranks as one of America’s Best Banks (ranked by Forbes) and supports consumers and businesses through a full suite of services, including retail and commercial banking; Small Business Administration lending; institutional and corporate banking; equipment leasing; and wealth management. The bank’s corporate headquarters are located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Learn more at https://www.umpquabank.com.
PORTLAND, Ore, — The Bureau of Land Management is waiving recreation day-use fees for visitors on September 23, 2023, in celebration of the 30th annual National Public Lands Day. NPLD is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. To recognize 30 years of care and community and increase recreation access to public land, BLM leaders invite people to explore our unique and diverse natural landscapes and visitor facilities.
“National Public Lands Day serves as a connection between people and public lands,” said Barry Bushue, BLM Oregon and Washington State Director “Whether it’s your first time on public lands or your hundredth, we invite everyone to get outside and enjoy these national treasures across Oregon and Washington.”
Within Oregon and Washington, the BLM’s standard amenity day-use fees will be waived at the following:
The standard amenity fee waiver does not guarantee admission to some busy recreation areas where reservations for day-use, group sites, and overnight camping are recommended. Please contact the local BLM office if you have any questions about a recreation site you are interested in visiting.
You can search all available BLM recreation opportunities to explore on your public lands at https://www.blm.gov/visit.
Want to join one of BLM's events and help restore America’s public lands? You can find a volunteer event near you at https://www.neefusa.org/npld-event-search.
Know before you go:
Be fire aware. Check for local fire restrictions and active fire closures.
Practice Leave No Trace principles and leave your public lands cleaner than you found them.
The fee waiver only applies to standard amenity fees for day-use at the recreation sites listed. The waiver does not apply to any expanded amenity fees for overnight camping, group day-use, and cabin rentals or individual Special Recreation Permit fees along permitted rivers.
Fee-free days occur each year in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Great American Outdoors Day, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.
The remaining fee-free day in 2023 will be on November 11 in celebration of Veterans Day.
For more information about the BLM’s recreation fee program, please visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-fees.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Grants support nonprofits in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, and Nevada in the areas of financial literacy, college and career preparedness, small business support, affordable housing access, and family services
Second cycle of grants issued as part of $20MM philanthropic commitment following transformative merger with Columbia Bank
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., (September 18, 2023) — The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization of Umpqua Bank, under its parent company Columbia Banking System, Inc. (Nasdaq: COLB), today announced it has awarded 54 grants to local nonprofits across its footprint totaling $310K.
This is the second cycle of three grant cycles in 2023 following the official merger between Umpqua Bank and Columbia Bank in March of this year.
“The local nonprofits receiving grants have shown unwavering passion in supporting communities in need through direct-service programing,” said Randy Choy, Vice President of Philanthropy Programs and Managing Director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “We look forward to our partnership and the work we will do together.”
Umpqua’s community grants this cycle support nonprofit organizations across Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, and Nevada, and are part of the bank’s corporate giving program that has invested $18 million in communities since the foundation was formed in 2014.
“The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation plays a critical role in partnering with nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in our communities,” said David Moore Devine, Chief Marketing Officer at Umpqua Bank. “These strategic grants underscore our continued dedication to serving as a catalyst to building healthier, financially stable, more resilient, and inclusive communities throughout our footprint.”
This cycle’s recipient organizations were selected from among many applicants who demonstrated a shared commitment in improving economic success for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses. Nonprofits receiving grants are mission driven and are focused on the following: entrepreneurship and business expansion, financial competency, college, career, or technical readiness, housing stability and home ownership, family engagement and resiliency, vibrant and equitable neighborhoods, and small business support and financial guidance.
The following recipients received grants between $5,000-10,000:
|Black Economic Collaborative|
|Black United Fund of Oregon, Inc.|
|Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion, and Polk Counties, Inc.|
|Boys & Girls Club of the Umpqua Valley|
|Community Action Organization (Washington County)|
|Dress for Success Oregon|
|Food for Lane County|
|Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington|
|Hollywood Senior Center|
|Liberty Restoration, Inc.|
|Mt. Scott Park Center for Learning, Inc.|
|Northwest Housing Alternatives, Inc.|
|Oregon Coast Music Association|
|Oregon Native American Chamber|
|Phoenix School of Roseburg|
|Portland Workforce Alliance|
|Project 48, Inc.|
|Providence Community Health Foundation|
|Store to Door|
|Community Action of Skagit|
|Degrees of Change|
|Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Whatcom County)|
|Habitat for Humanity International. Inc. (Tri-County Partners)|
|Overlake Service League dba Bellevue Lifespring|
|Rebuilding Together South Sound|
|Refugee Womens Alliance|
|Vancouver School District No. 37 Foundation|
|Your Money Matters|
|YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County (BankWork$)|
|Creser Capital Fund|
|Forget Me Not Childrens Services|
|Fremont Unified School District (BankWork$)|
|Hack the Hood, Inc.|
|Nuestra Alianza De Willits|
|Rebuilding Together Petaluma|
|San Diego Center for Children|
|Southeast Asian Community Center|
|Yolo Crisis Nursery|
|Family Promise of North Idaho|
|Wyakin Warrior Foundation|
|The Jesse Tree of Idaho|
|The Envirolution, Inc.|
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank is a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc. (Nasdaq: COLB), and a premier regional bank in the Western U.S., with offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. With over $50 billion of assets, Umpqua combines the resources, sophistication and expertise of a national bank with a commitment to deliver personalized service at scale. The bank consistently ranks as one of America’s Best Banks (ranked by Forbes) and supports consumers and businesses through a full suite of services, including retail and commercial banking; Small Business Administration lending; institutional and corporate banking; equipment leasing; and wealth management. The bank’s corporate headquarters are in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Learn more at https://www.umpquabank.com.
About the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation
The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization of Umpqua Bank, recognizes the importance of building healthier, more resilient, better connected and inclusive communities throughout the eight-state footprint. It works to strengthen the communities Umpqua Bank serves by investing in organizations and initiatives that expand access to education and create economic opportunity for individuals, families and small businesses. The foundation was formed in 2014 to demonstrate Umpqua’s deep commitment to the communities it serves and has distributed $18 million across the bank’s footprint.