2013 Solutions Summit Eastern Washington

WPC is proud to say our inaugural Solutions Summit was a success! We'd like to thank those who attended and everyone's hard work for making our state-wide policy conferences truly unique.

Click here for the Solutions Summit online folder featuring the presentations our panel of experts made during our Solutions Summit.

And check out coverage of our Solutions Summit in the news!

Watch our Keynote Lunch Address by Scott Rasmussen on Charter Channel 3!

  • Wednesday, November 20 at 9:00 pm
  • Friday, November 22 at 5:00 pm
  • Saturday, November 23 at 8:00 pm
  • Sunday, November 24 at 8:00 pm

The Daily Sun News coverage:

Tri-City Herald:


We were excited to have our keynote lunch address be given by Scott Rasmussen.

Scott is the founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is a New York Times 
bestselling author, commentator and national pollster. The Wall Street Journal calls Scott "a 
key player in the contact sport of politics." Scott's bestselling book, The People's Money, 
demonstrateed how the American people are the solution to budget issues, rather than the 
problem. In 2003, Scott founded Rasmusson Reports and served as its president until 2013.
Within six years of its founding, Rasmussen led the firm to become the most vistited public
opinion website and most searched for source of public opinion data on Google.

Utilizing local and national thought leaders, each issue session provided insight and solutions for our state’s top policy challenges. We hope the sessions will shape the public debate by engaging media and policy-makers; prompting civic action by informing key business and community leaders, and civic minded citizens across the state.

Tri-City Event Pricing:
Half-day conference: $75 (WPC member rate: $65)
Lunch only: $30 (WPC member rate: $20)

Conference Co-presenters

  • Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Bellevue Chamber of Commerce
  • Building Industry Association of Washington
  • Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives
  • Discovery Institute
  • Eastside Transportation Associations
  • Greater Spokane, Inc.
  • Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
  • Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce
  • National Electrical Contractors Association
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Pasco Chamber of Commerce
  • Rental Housing Association
  • Transportation Issues Daily
  • Tri-Cities Home Builders Association
  • Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce
  • Washington Association of Health Underwriters
  • Washington Farm Bureau
  • Washington Retail Association
  • Washington State Medical Association
  • Washington Trucking Association
  • West Richland Chamber of Commerce
  • Yakima Chamber of Commerce


7:30 am Welcome and WPC & Pasco Chamber Opening Breakfast: Featuring Bob Moore, of Moore Information & Sen. Rodney Tom, Senate Majority Leader

8:15 am Health Care Session: Affordable Care Act - The Road Ahead and Impact on Washington State with Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute

9:10 am Education Session: Focus on Washington's New Charter Schools with Superintendent Shelley Redinger of Spokane Public Schools and Cindi Williams of the Washington State Charter School Commission

(Concurrent Sessions Begin)

10:05 am Transportation Session: Importance of Infrastructure and Making Congestion Relief a Top Priority with Dr. Ron Utt of the Heritage Foundation and Sen. Doug Ericksen

10:05 am Government Reform Session: Opportunities for Sustainable Budgeting and Open Government with Director of Government Reform Len Gilroy of the Reason Foundation, Sen. Michael Baumgartner, and former State Auditor Brian Sonntag

11:05 am Environment Session: Consequences of Trendy Environmentalism and the Promise of Free-Market Solutions with Steve Sexton of North Carolina State University

11:05 am Small Business Session: Is Right to Work Right for Washington State? with Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane, Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co, and Dr. Eric Fruits of Economics International Corp

(Concurrent Sessions End)

12:00 pm WPC & Tri-City Regional Chamber Network Membership & Keynote Luncheon: Featuring Scott Rasmussen, Founder & President of the Rasmussen Media Group

Senator Rodney Tom serves as Majority Leader of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers who believe in budget sustainability, creating an economic environment where jobs are plentiful and small businesses thrive, providing a world-class education system through reforms and enhancements, governing collaboratively to protect our most vulnerable while prioritizing the needs of middle-class Washingtonians, and setting priorities for state government and holding it accountable.

Bob Moore founded Moore Information, Inc., a full service public opinion research firm with offices in Portland, Oregon and the Washington, D.C. area. Since then, Moore’s research has helped hundreds of clients win campaigns, sell ideas and develop communications strategies. The company’s client list includes organizations in every industry throughout the nation, from Fortune 500 companies and national political campaigns to non-profit organizations and local hospitals. Over three decades, Moore has grown his company into one of the leading – and most respected – national opinion research firms.

Dr. Steven Sexton is an assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at North Carolina State University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in environmental economics. With a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Sexton applies microeconomic theory and employs modern empirical methods to address questions related to sustainability challenges at the intersection of agriculture, energy, and the environment. His research has appeared in leading field journals and popular press around the world, and he is a regular contributor to the popular Freakonomics blog.

Scott Hamilton is the managing director of Leeham Co., which was formed in 1999 following the sale of the company he co-founded, co-owned and co-managed, Linkraven Ltd. Leeham Co. provides consulting services to the aerospace industry, including identifying business trends and opportunities, competitive intelligence and through Twelves Unlimited, company branding and marketing. Linkraven Ltd., founded in 1989, published the internationally-distributed Commercial Aviation Report and Commercial Aviation Value Report; and organized conferences in Asia, Europe and the Americas under the Commercial Aviation Events banner.

Leonard Gilroy is the Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, California and several other states and local governments in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending.

Dr. Shelley Redinger joined Spokane Public Schools as superintendent in the summer of 2012, returning to the community where she was born. She received her B.A. and M. Ed. from Washington State University and her M. Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Redinger’s past experience includes superintendent of Spotsylvania School District in Fredericksburg, Va.; superintendent of Oregon Trail School District in Sandy, Ore.; executive director of Teaching and Learning for Richland School District and principal of Sacajawea Elementary in Richland, Wash.

Thomas Miller is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC). He studies health care policy and regulation. A former trial attorney, journalist, and sports broadcaster, Mr. Miller is the co-author of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong For America and heads AEI's "Beyond Repeal & Replace" health reform project. He has testified before Congress on issues including the uninsured, health care costs, Medicare prescription drug benefits, health insurance tax credits, genetic information, Social Security, and federal reinsurance of catastrophic events. While at the JEC, he organized a number of hearings that focused on reforms in private health care markets, such as information transparency and consumer-driven health care.

Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., is the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Senior Research Fellow in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Utt is a veteran of budgetary politics in Washington, having served as director of the housing finance division at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and senior economist at the Office of Management and Budget in the early 1970’s. In 1977, he became director of economic research at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. From 1980-87, he served as associate chief economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Cindi Williams is a member of the Washington State Charter School Commission. During her four years at the Gates Foundation, Williams directed communications and external affairs for its investments in education, public libraries, and family homelessness, while also serving on the Foundation's Leadership Team. Williams worked in a variety of policy and communications roles, serving as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education – where she focused on reauthorization of No Child Left Behind – along with serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education for Communications and Outreach.

Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is President of Economics International Corp., an Oregon based consulting firm specializing in economics, finance, and statistics. He has taught at Indiana University, the University of Southern California, and the Claremont Colleges. He currently is an adjunct professor of economics at Portland State University. Dr. Fruits has been engaged by private and public sector clients, including state and local governments, to evaluate the economic and fiscal impacts of business activities and government policies. His economic analysis has been widely cited and has been published in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Brian Sonntag was the State Auditor for Washington. Sonntag was first elected to public office in 1978 as Pierce County Clerk, working as the administrative officer for the Superior Courts. On November 4, 1986, he was elected to the office of Pierce County Auditor. Following the end of his second term, Sonntag was elected Washington State Auditor on November 3, 1992.

Michael Baumgartner represents the 6th District in Spokane. He is the Vice-Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and also serves on the Senate Higher Education and Trade and Economic Development Committees. In his first year in office, Michael reached across the aisle to help write a bi-partisan budget and sponsored major legislation that was signed into law concerning regulatory reform to reduce costs for small business and a major reform to consolidate government agencies and allow for more contracting-out of non-essential government information technology services. Governor Christine Gregoire called Michael`s reform bill the “most significant transformation of state government in 20 years.”

Doug Ericksen has been bringing hometown values and solutions to Olympia since 1998. After serving six terms in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 2010. Senator Ericksen represents the 42nd District, consisting of the Northwest corner of the state. Senator Ericksen chairs the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. He also serves on the Health Care, Transportation and Rules Committees. His legislative priorities include providing solutions to keep energy prices low, create jobs and enhance our quality of life.