University District Update

University District Update

Spokane Convention Center: 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Room 402

We would like to thank everyone who attended the University District Update event. We sincerely hope that you found it valuable.

University District Update

Please join us on June 8 as we welcome the new Executive Director for the University District (UD), Lars Gilberts, to discuss what’s new in the UD, provide updates on future UD development, and share how he and the UD are working with local public and private partners such as Spokane Transit Authority, City of Spokane, regional universities, and Avista, to name a few. 

As the University District's executive director, Lars is responsible for carrying out the mission and goals of The University District, providing strategic leadership, forming tactical partnerships and collaborations, managing the financial well-being of the organization, moving projects from creation to completion, and overseeing operations and staff.

A key role of the executive director is to realize the potential of the University District as a platform for the coordinated interests of higher education, research, local government, business and private development including expanding the health-care and life sciences sectors, as well as the “smart city” technology investments in the area.

Lars begins his new role on April 28 and currently serves as the statewide ALICE director at United Way of Broward County. The United Way ALICE Report equips businesses, nonprofits, funders, policy makers and the community with the common data and language to develop improved policy and practice for those who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. Prior to joining United Way, Lars was the director of financial stability at Branches, Inc., where he served more than 10 years. While at Branches, Lars started and grew a variety of programs that promoted financial self-sufficiency through emergency services, VITA free tax preparation, financial education, personal financial coaching, the automotive microloan Ways to Work program and small business services.

While much of Lars’s professional experience has been with nonprofits, his education and original experience has been in the for profit arena. Lars completed a BBA in Marketing at the University of Texas Pan American as well as an MBA in Management from Barry University. He comes from a family of business and farm owners and before joining Branches, Lars salvaged a shipping logistics franchise that had had been in a long decline. These endeavors have been successful in large part because of Lars’s commitment to providing valuable opportunities for his clients and partners alike; from helping small businesses succeed, to providing integrated financial coaching for working families, to building cross sector coalitions. Lars has committed his life and career to helping people and organizations meet their missions in ways that help others do the same.

*Aerial photo courtesy of Gonzaga University

Thank you to our Sponsor McKinstry!

McKinstry is a full-service, design-build-operate-and-maintain (DBOM) firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services. The firm’s innovative, integrated delivery methodology provides clients with a single point of accountability that drives waste and redundancy out of the design/build process. McKinstry advocates collaborative, sustainable solutions designed to ensure occupant comfort, improve systems efficiency, reduce facility operational costs, and optimize profitability “For The Life of Your Building.”

*Note: MAS members receive free parking. For Non-members, event parking is $8-10 at the Convention Center. Please provide 72 hours notice to receive reimbursement for cancellations.

RSVP per the MAS website by Monday, March 6th to guarantee your spot. For more information, please contact Leslie Hebert at or Katie Fitzpatrick at

Interested in being a Sponsor? Contact Brooke Giordano at

If you have dietary restrictions for lunch, please contact Terri McRae Garrett at

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University District Update