Local leaders, businesspeople give thanks

Even with a gloomy economy, goodness and good deeds are out there

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photo“I am just so grateful for the positive, high-energy people my business is attracting,” said Kathy Condon Owner of a Vancouver networking and communication coaching business.
photo“I am thankful for my health and for having my wife, children and friends in my life, And also, most importantly, having God,” said Elie Kassab, left, president of Vancouver-based Prestige Development.

Bad news may seem to have outweighed the good on The Columbian’s business pages in recent years, as we’ve reported on layoffs, struggling businesses and a persistently high unemployment rate. Yet, there’s plenty to be grateful about, including an improving economic climate, new business arrivals and success among some homegrown companies.

“Despite the current economy, this is still an exceedingly generous community that understands that if nonprofit support is important in good times, it’s even more important when times are more challenging,” said Elson Strahan, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Fort Vancouver National Trust.

Strahan singled out Ed Lynch, a major backer of economic development through his support of the nonprofit Identity Clark County and an equally strong backer of community events through the trust.

“I’m happy to say that there are a number of people who are equally exemplary,” Strahan said.

The Columbian asked Strahan and other local leaders and business people to share what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving. Here is more of what they had to say.