Seattle Times owner to speak at chamber luncheon

August 6, 2013

By Staff

The Seattle Times owner and publisher Frank Blethen will speak at the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon Aug. 8. The luncheon, a monthly community event featuring regional guest speakers, is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn of Issaquah, 1801 12th Ave. N.W.

This month, Blethen will speak about community and connection.

“The Seattle Times is simply a fantastic institution in the northwest,” said Matt Bott, CEO for the chamber. “Frank’s family has been behind that success. He’s somebody we look to as a leader and a visionary for our region. We’re really excited about it.”

Frank Blethen

Frank Blethen

For Blethen, coming out to community events like this is important.

“Part of our mission is community connection,” Blethen said. “It’s extremely important to us to stay in touch with the community, both by getting out in the community and hearing from people.”

During the luncheon, Blethen will speak about the state of the newspaper industry, the history of the Times and finish with some audience questions and answers. In addition, he said he would:

  • Address the state of Washington’s “dysfunctional educational system.”
  • Expand upon the idea of “the importance of the state continuing to move forward on balance and sustainable budgeting.”
  • Share how his company is staying relevant in times of rapid change.
  • Discuss how the paper is leading civic dialogue with important regional issues.

Bott spoke directly about Blethen’s work with the Seattle Times Co.’s Greater Good Campaign, which strives to advance job creation by emphasizing the significance of preserving funding for higher education.

“Through that program, we’re hitting on something that’s really crucial for our economy,” Bott said. “There has been a huge disinvestment in higher education from this state for a long time.”

He added that the program’s goals to preserve higher education funding directly affect Issaquah businesses, as they worry about having educated and prepared citizens to hire after students graduate.

“We, the chamber, and I, myself, really respect Frank for what he and others have done to help lead this civic discussion,” Bott said.

In addition to Blethen’s talk, the luncheon will include special announcements, including recognition for a longtime local business and the presentation of scholarship checks to local students.

“Everyone is welcome to attend the luncheon. We put it on for the community,” Bott said.


If you go

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon

  • Guest speaker — Seattle Times owner/publisher Frank Blethen
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Aug. 8
  • Holiday Inn of Issaquah, 1801 12th Ave. N.W.
  • Registration is $30 for members and $40 for non-members
  • Register online at


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