RITZVILLE — Janis Rountree has been named the business development and marketing coordinator for the Adams County Economic Development Council. The job’s primary focus, Rountree said, includes working to bring new business to Adams County and supporting businesses that are already here. It’s also important to promote opportunity for workers, she said, so people know they can build a career in Adams County. “There are jobs here. There are good jobs here,” and there are opportunities for advancement. The economic development council also works with businesses and cities, to get the word out about them and connect them with interested parties. When towns and businesses are looking for ways to connect, “we definitely will do what we can to help.” The goal, she said, is to promote “solid growth in our community, (and) in our county.” Adams County is positioned close to Spokane, but not too close. Land and housing are more affordable, it has a lower cost of living and abundant land gives businesses room to grow, Rountree said. Two major highways, U.S. 395 and Interstate 90, meet in Ritzville. “That’s a big selling point.” Rountree is one of those Adams County kids who came home. “I came from a family of dryland wheat farmers.” A graduate of Lind High School, she moved away then came back, getting a job at the Ritzville Journal, at that time owned by current ACEDC manager Steven McFadden. “A mentor of mine.” McFadden worked with Rountree in her effort to keep her business, a Ritzville restaurant. “I’ve learned the hard way the struggles a small business faces,” she said. Rountree and her family worked to get a loan for the business, but were ultimately unsuccessful. McFadden suggested she apply for the job at the ACEDC, which had been vacant about nine months, and ultimately she was hired.
Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at email@example.com.