Parting thoughts on six amazing years at Commerce

Last week I announced my plans to step down as director of the Department of Commerce on January 15, 2019. It has been my honor to serve on Governor Inslee’s cabinet and to lead an amazing agency filled with passionate public servants dedicated to serving Washington’s communities.

As I shared with the governor and my colleagues, I have very mixed emotions about departing Commerce. I am proud of our agency’s accomplishments these past six years – the talented staff at Commerce made tremendous strides to strengthen communities all across our state. I’d like to remind you of some of those highlights and encourage you to continue the exceptional collaborations that make it all possible for the people of Washington. 

This is not an exhaustive list, because that would be far too long! Commerce runs over 110 programs, so I regret that a lot of the great work done by our Commerce team these past years is not covered in this particular update.

Advancing our agency culture

Commerce was a good place to work in 2013, and I believe it is an even better place to work today. We’ve unified the agency around our core mission: strengthening communities. It is a simple but incredibly powerful recognition that we are one department with the same lodestar, instead of six unrelated divisions.

We’ve identified the key components of agency culture that will determine our long-term success and we put in place tools to continuously measure and improve culture, processes, and outcomes.

Since 2013, our Employer of Choice survey has steadily increased from 71 percent in 2013 to 81 percent in 2018, each of the 13 categories having improved during that time. I trust that Commerce, under new leadership, will continue to draw some of the best and brightest talent to our ranks. 

Share this Post