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The Dean's Executive Speaker Series

Alisha Benson

Chief Operations Officer, Greater Spokane Incorporated

Alisha Benson poses with a group of Whitworth business students.

Alisha Benson is the chief operations officer for Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI). Alisha has been with GSI for 10 years. During her time at GSI, she has held roles as membership director, vice president of education & workforce, executive director of Spokane STEM, and interim CEO

GSI is the premier business development organization in the Spokane region whose mission is to lead transformative business and community initiatives to build a robust regional economy. As COO, Alisha provides organization-wide leadership, strategy, operations and management. Areas of focus include investor relations, education & talent, finance & administration, business development, and government & regulatory affairs.

Alisha serves on the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives' board of trustees, and co-chairs its Education & Talent Development Division. She also serves on the boards of the Multicare Community Partnership Fund, Spokane County United Way, Spokane STEM and Associated Industries. She graduated with a B.A. from Washington State University. She is married and a mother to a young daughter and son. She loves sports, hiking, camping and anything that involves the outdoors.

Tips for success:

  • Explore, take risks and experience. Be OK being uncomfortable – fail forward.
  • Always strive to learn, to stretch, to grow.
  • You are your best advocate.
  • Hold strong to you – to your values.
  • Relationships matter.
  • It takes time to build/create trust and moments to destroy it. Change happens at the speed of trust.
  • Be kind and show grace.
  • Build skills to deal with tough situations; don't expect others to do it for you.
  • Find mentors and ask questions – and listen.
  • Always sit at the table.
  • May sure you know your why.