Rita Hadley and her family established this fund in memory of Rich Hadley. Rich was passionate about expanding opportunities for all and encouraging others to engage with the community. Contributions will support the Rich & Rita Hadley Health Sciences Student Scholarship at Washington State University, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives for staff training, and ALS research.
Celebrating Rich’s Life and Legacy
Rich came to Spokane after serving as president of the St. Paul, Minn. Chamber of Commerce. As CEO for more than 20 years at GSI, he believed in the power of collaboration and coming together to create community impact that is felt today.
He would say that “his” accomplishments are really all of ours to own – Spokane community leaders, board members, friends, supporters, volunteers, committee members, GSI members, elected leaders, and community advocates – committed to goals and projects that he helped to envision. He was the ultimate community collaborator.
His leadership left an indelible mark on our community, as he championed projects across the region that are a reality today – the WSU Elson S. Floyd School of Medicine, the $1 billion lobbying effort to start the North Spokane Corridor, the development of the University District, the Spokane Teaching Health Center, and so much more.
Rich believed in the power of education and created opportunities for future leaders, supported bonds and levies campaigns, and created a Higher Education Leadership Group to help create tomorrow’s talent. He was instrumental in launching Vision 2030, now called Life Sciences Spokane, the community effort to build our life sciences industry sector here at home.
A Naval air intelligence officer in the Vietnam War and a naval reservist after returning home, he fervently supported the mission of Fairchild Air Force Base through years of advocating for military projects like the KC46A tankers and protecting the base from potential closure (BRAC).
His legacy of leadership runs deep in Spokane, across Washington State, and with chambers and economic development colleagues across the country. Rich was honored as a Spokane Citizen Hall of Fame, and a 2021 Business Icon, recognized for his tenacity and leadership. He worked with the Association of Washington Business to help create their Grassroots Alliance that now stands more than 100 chambers strong and is the largest network of its kind in the country and he chaired the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, where he was recognized as a Lifetime Member for his contributions and leadership with the chamber industry.
To the very end, he remained focused and committed to our community, our people, and what comes next. So many of the Spokane community continue to lead forward because of Rich’s passion, vision, and advocacy for our community.
Please click the button below to make a gift to the Rich Hadley Memorial Fund.
When writing a memorial check, please make the check payable to Innovia Foundation and include “Hadley memorial gift” on the memo line. Mail to:
818 W. Riverside, Suite 650
Spokane, WA 99201.
For assistance making your gift, please call the Innovia Foundation office at 509-624-2606.