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Leadership kudos for North Bend's economic developer, Gina Estep

On Friday, Oct. 20, North Bend’s Community and Economic Development Director, Gina Estep received the ‘Community Choice’ award from Leadership Eastside at the group’s annual banquet. Estep is the award’s inaugural recipient, and was selected by a vote of her peers as a finalist out of 47 nominees.

Estep was recognized for her efforts promoting North Bend as a premier outdoor recreation destination in Western Washington. With North Bend emerging from a 10-year building moratorium and in the midst of the current recession, she worked to form a group of local citizens that became the branding and marketing team which created a new logo for the city, a tagline ("Easy to Reach…Hard to Leave"), and led a marketing effort to re-energize the city, all accomplished with volunteer labor.

The team created a Downtown Block Party that helped revitalize downtown businesses and bring entertainment to the streets and created a North Bend Outdoor Film Challenge held in conjunction with the local showing of the Banff Film Festival. North Bend is one of the smallest cities in the world chosen for this honor, and the festival now visits the City each December.

This year added the first Washington state Warrior Dash, which brought 24,000 entrants and over 40,000 people to North Bend and Meadowbrook Farm on the weekend of July 16-17. The Warrior Dash provided a shot in the arm to local businesses, and raised approximately $100,000 for local non-profit organizations.

“With Gina's hard work and innovation, North Bend has positioned itself as a real player as a destination location in Washington State tourism” said Mayor Ken Hearing. “Her vision in leading the Branding and Marketing team has contributed to leading North Bend out of the stagnation caused from moratorium and shines a spotlight on this beautiful corner of the Eastside."

Learn more about the City of North Bend at http://ci.north-bend.wa.us/

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