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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Fri. Jun. 24 - 5:44 pm
King Co. School Districts
Bellevue School District to begin Community Engagement Officer Program BSD replaces SRO program to foster greater trusting relations between youth and law enforcement
Bellevue SD - 06/20/22 5:18 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Beginning in the fall of 2022, the Bellevue School District (BSD), in partnership with the City of Bellevue — Bellevue Police Department (BPD), will launch its new Community Engagement Officer Program. The new program is a renewed and reformed iteration of the School Resource Officer Program. The name, mission, and role have been changed to reflect that of mentor, guardian, and educator. The program is designed to build relationships with students, families, district staff, and the community by providing information and resources as support services — focusing on keeping students out of the criminal justice system.  

 Community Engagement Officers (CEOs) are positions for experienced law enforcement professionals who will provide safety, support, and resources for BSD students in schools. This role is re-designed to help provide a safe environment, offer collaborative problem solving, and build relationships with students, families, and the broader school community. The officers will work to make positive contributions to the school community and overall school safety and foster trusting relationships between youth and law enforcement. CEOs will contribute to School Safety Teams, focus on empowering students, and be specifically trained to work with youth and families.  

 Director of BSD Security Doug James shared what the partnership represents for the BSD community, “Safety is built on trust and positive relationships, including those between faculty, school administrators, students, parents, and law enforcement. The Community Engagement Officer Program will develop collaborative problem-solving strategies to resolve issues affecting our youth and help every child reach their full potential.”  

Interim Superintendent Art Jarvis said of the partnership with the City of Bellevue and the district, “We [the school district] rely on us working together to ensure our families are connected to community resources so our youth can have more positive interactions with law enforcement that only come with understanding, collaboration, and mutual respect.”  

When BSD schools shifted to remote learning in March 2020, School Resource Officers (SROs) assigned to BSD returned to regular patrol duties in the community. Shortly after that, in response to the death of individuals at the hands of law enforcement, the Washington State Legislature passed laws requiring changes to SRO Programs in K-12 settings. This included specialized training for assigned officers and a yearly review of any implemented program.    

An Advisory Committee was established in October of 2020, and the BSD community began to examine the role of law enforcement in our schools critically. The Advisory Committee produced two options, and Interim Superintendent Art Jarvis chose Option 1 – Reform. A Design Task Force was then formed to develop a new program model, which subsequently led to the establishment of the Community Engagement Officer (CEO) role. Read more here. 


Pierce Co. School Districts
Free summer lunch service begins June 28
Bethel SD (WA) - 06/23/22 7:00 AM

Summer lunch service will be available at no charge to all children ages 1 thru 18 years, from June 28th  through July 29th. There will be no service on Tuesday, July 4th. The Summer Lunch Program will run Tuesday through Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m at the following locations:

  • Bethel High School (22001 38th Ave E, Spanaway, WA 98387)
  • Spanaway Lake High School (1305 168th St E, Spanaway, WA  98387)
  • Thompson Elementary School (303 159th St E, Tacoma, WA 98387)

And from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at

  • Shining Mountain Elementary School (21615 38th Ave E Spanaway 98387)

More info at: bethelsd.org/meals


Banks & Credit Unions
Umpqua Bank's 2022 Business Barometer: In Rapidly Changing Economy, Business Leaders Pivot as Inflation, Workforce Transformation Test Resiliency
Umpqua Bank - 06/21/22 9:57 AM

Small Businesses Act with Sense of Urgency, Ready for Significant Changes 

  • 73% rank inflation as a top concern
  • 90% impacted by soaring costs of goods

Middle Market Companies Zero-in on Impacts of Labor Shortage, Cybersecurity 

  • 72% having difficulty finding talent
  • 45% have been target of cyber-fraud last 12 months

PORTLAND, Ore., June 21, 2022 – Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ), today released its annual 2022 Business Barometer, an in-depth study into the mood, mindset, and strategic priorities of leaders at small and middle market companies across the United States. This year’s report finds small and middle market businesses pivoting from recent pandemic-era strategies as they face mounting pressures that now include rising inflation and interest rates, in addition to accelerating challenges associated with supply chain disruption and workforce transformation. 

Introduced in 2019, Umpqua Bank’s Business Barometer report provides insight into how business leaders have navigated an unprecedented period that includes the pre-COVID economy, the pandemic’s onset and initial recovery, and the current environment of rising inflation and interest rates. Within that context, Umpqua Bank’s 2022 Business Barometer reveals important differences from previous years. This year finds more small companies are ready than ever before to make significant changes to their business in response to inflation’s growing impact. Meanwhile, after two years of making larger-scale business changes in response to the pandemic, middle market companies are now tackling the compounding impacts and higher costs of workforce transformation and cybersecurity threats.

“The past few years represent a remarkable period of disruption and resilience for U.S. businesses,” said Umpqua Bank President Tory Nixon. “The pre-pandemic economic environment of low-inflation, low-cost capital, and high growth has shifted, and we find ourselves in a period of rising costs for goods, talent and capital. As this new reality sets in, small and middle market companies alike are applying lessons learned over the past couple years and adjusting their strategic focus to ensure they emerge on the other side stronger and more competitive.”

Key findings and highlights from Umpqua Bank’s 2022 report include:

After Two Years of Successful Pivots, Middle Market Zeros-In on Workforce Transformation

Middle market companies represent just 3% of all U.S. businesses but account for $6 trillion in GDP and 44 million jobs. After major strategic changes over the past two years, leaders of these businesses anticipate less need to address previous areas of focus, including: pricing models (-15 percentage points), products and services (-16), acquiring (-16) or merging (-12), financing expansion (-12), and digitizing for efficiency (-5). 

Instead, middle market companies are shifting focus to address workplace transformation and its accompanying labor shortage, which continue to accelerate. Nearly three-quarters (72%) report difficulty finding qualified employees, a 17 percentage-point increase over last year, with an emerging impact on growth for 33% of businesses (+16 percentage points). More than 30% are also having difficulty retaining employees, up 18 points. In response, leaders plan to be even more aggressive than last year in terms of offering more flexibility with remote options (+16), giving bonuses or other incentives (+15), supporting working parents (+14), increasing pay or benefits (+11), and finding ways to automate repetitive manual tasks (+8). 

“Middle market companies have done a tremendous job of pivoting their businesses to adapt to supply chain and other challenges to become even more efficient and competitive over the past couple years,” said Richard Cabrera, Umpqua’s Head of Middle Market Banking. “They’re now looking to apply that same strategic focus and creative energy to the challenging workforce environment, which has the most immediate impact to their bottom line and is affecting growth.” 

Small Businesses Poised for Most Significant Changes to Business Since Pandemic 

Smaller companies often have fewer levers to pull in response to disruption than larger companies, and past Business Barometer reports have indicated more hesitation to embrace major changes. This year, that trend has reversed. For the first time, small enterprises are looking to make more significant changes to their business, especially compared with a year ago. Changes small businesses anticipate include: pricing models (+18 percentage points), products and services (+12), financing expansion (+7), digitizing for efficiency (+5), and acquiring (+4) or merging (+3).

In the face of continued workforce and supply chain disruption, more small businesses than last year report planning aggressive action to hire for new skills to build capabilities (+13),) increase worker pay and benefits (+12), allow remote work options (+2), find new suppliers (+12), and identify other partners to manage supply chain impacts (+4). 

“Increasingly, small businesses now feel a sense of urgency to make changes to their strategy and operations, especially in response to rising inflation, which has a more immediate impact the smaller the enterprise,” said Ashley Hayslip, Umpqua’s Head of Community & Business Banking, “That sense of urgency can be turned into a competitive advantage for those businesses that pivot quickly and strategically.” 

Economic Optimism Diminishes, but Expectations for Business Growth Remain Steady 

Last year’s economic optimism surged beyond pre-pandemic levels as businesses anticipated the recovery. In 2022, that optimism has diminished as concerns increase that rising inflation, which ranks as a top concern for both small (73%) and middle market (37%) businesses, and the evolving impacts of supply chain disruption and labor shortage, are here to stay. When it comes to economic conditions, businesses are split. Leaders surveyed this year are as likely to say current conditions are poor as they are excellent or good (34%). 

Leaders’ economic outlooks vary significantly based on business size and complexity. Nearly 46% of small businesses believe the economy will decline further, an almost 20-percentage-point increase over 2020 and 2021. However, more than eight in 10 middle market businesses believe the economy will improve (31%) or stay the same (50%), which is very similar to their pre-pandemic outlook. This expectation gap may explain a greater urgency on the part of small businesses this year to embrace significant changes.

It’s important to note that although leaders report more cautious views of the overall economy, that doesn’t equate to a lack of confidence in their ability to adapt and continue to grow their businesses. When asked about revenue growth and profitability, businesses expect levels of increase similar to previous years.

Cybersecurity Ranks as a Major Concern for Middle Market Companies

A noteworthy 45% of middle market companies report being a target of cybersecurity-related fraud in the past 12 months. Of all possible answers, cybersecurity ranks as the top area middle market businesses are most likely to invest in this year, and as the second most important area they need to address in the year ahead next to addressing workforce challenges. Middle market leaders also clearly see the need to protect working capital and financial assets. More than six in 10 are planning to invest in financial tools and infrastructure that safeguard and strengthen their payments systems.

Supply Chain Impacts Intensify for Small Businesses, Moderate for Middle Market

This year’s report shows the dramatic advances middle market companies have made in aggressively dealing with supply chain disruption. Over the past year, 60% are implementing new inventory management techniques (+24 percentage points), 54% are diversifying with new products (+14), and 51% have found new suppliers (+9). As a result, related impacts have improved, compared with 2021. Nearly 80% have been able to purchase essential goods as needed (+8), and, despite inflationary pressures, associated costs have risen less dramatically than a year ago.

In contrast, supply-chain impacts are intensifying for smaller businesses compared to last year, particularly in the cost of purchased goods, with 90% reporting price spikes, 75% experiencing longer delays (+16), and 61% needing to source materials differently (+15). Inflation ranks as a top concern for nearly three-quarters of small businesses, which are less able to absorb the rising costs of goods.

To read and download the survey in full, visit www.umpquabank.com/business-barometer.

Survey Methodology 

The Umpqua Bank 2022 Business Barometer, conducted annually, surveyed 1,210 owners, executives, and financial decision-makers from U.S. small and middle-market companies. The online survey was conducted in partnership with DHM Research, a public policy and business research firm, and targeted leaders at companies with $500,000 to $500 million in annual revenue. The survey has a 2.8% margin of error and was fielded from April 13 to April 26, 2022. 

About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation and operates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the 17th consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses. 

 

 


Businesses
PacificSource Health Plans' President and CEO Ken Provencher to Retire in March 2023 (Photo)
PacificSource Health Plans - 06/24/22 11:07 AM
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http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-06/2392/155544/thumb_Ken-Provencher_Web.jpg

 

(Springfield, Ore.) June 24, 2022— PacificSource Health Plans announces that long-standing president and CEO Ken Provencher will retire on March 31, 2023. Provencher has served as PacificSource’s president and CEO for 21 years, and is only the fifth PacificSource CEO since the company’s inception in 1933. Upon his retirement he will leave behind more than 38 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with 28 of those years committed to PacificSource. The PacificSource board of directors will conduct a nationwide search for his replacement.

“I have been very fortunate and blessed to have worked with all of my PacificSource colleagues and our board during my tenure here,” said Ken Provencher, president and CEO of PacificSource. “I am extremely proud of how we have approached our work and that we have done so as an independent, not-for-profit community health plan. I also appreciate our many provider and community partners who have collaborated with us and worked diligently over the years to provide greater access to care and improve community health.”

 

“It has been a pleasure working with Ken in his tireless pursuit of building PacificSource into an admired organization with a focus on the health of our communities,” said PacificSource Board Chair Rick Wright. “The entire Board of Directors is happy Ken finally gets to enjoy retirement and we would like to thank him for preparing us for a bright future.”

 

During his tenure with PacificSource, Provencher has overseen the organization’s exponential growth in the Northwest as the company expanded its reach throughout Oregon and into Idaho, Montana, and Washington. In 2016, he oversaw the implementation of a strategic partnership with Legacy Health, resulting in an integrated approach that has elevated the quality of care to members and patients, and allowed PacificSource to serve as the health insurance provider for Legacy’s benefit-eligible employees and their families. He also led the company’s biggest Medicaid membership expansion in 2020, adding more than 200,000 members and bringing the organization’s total membership to over 600,000 individuals to date. 

 

Provencher joined PacificSource in 1995 as provider contracting director, was promoted to vice president operations in 1996, and then served as interim CEO in 2000 before being officially appointed to president and CEO in 2001. Prior to joining PacificSource, he served as vice president of VHA Upstate New York, a 15-hospital healthcare system. He also served as administrative director for United Health Services Network and director of finance and operations for HMO of North Carolina, a Blue Cross/Blue Shield subsidiary.

 

About PacificSource Health Plans:

PacificSource Health Plans is an independent, not-for-profit community health plan serving the Northwest. Founded in 1933, PacificSource has local offices throughout Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Washington. The PacificSource family of companies employs more than 1,600 people and serves over 600,000 individuals throughout the Greater Northwest. For more information, visit PacificSource.com.




Attached Media Files: 2022-06/2392/155544/Ken-Provencher_Web.jpg