Kristofer Johnson, a veteran of heading chambers of commerce and of leading transportation and other economic-development initiatives, takes the reins of Washington’s largest business advocacy group today.
As the new president of the Association of Washington Business, Johnson succeeds Don Brunell, who retired after leading the Olympia-based organization for 28 years.
As Johnson, 40, takes over the AWB, Brunell heads to Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs, a consultancy with offices in Tacoma, Seattle and Washington, D.C. As a vice president for the firm, Brunell will provide government affairs and communications services to business clients.
Meanwhile, Johnson said transportation, along with workers’ compensation and regulatory reforms, remain among the AWB’s top legislative priorities. It’s the organization’s “challenge and opportunity to work with both sides of the aisle to find those common-sense solutions that will provide certainty and predictability” for businesses, Johnson said.
Another issue to watch is the wave of baby boomer retirements, Johnson said, which makes it important to train the next generation of skilled workers. “The reality is, these are really uncertain times,” he said.