The City of U.P.’s Economic Development Advisory Commission (EDAC) has announced that Michael Gruener, production manager for U.P. Refuse and Recycling, is the group’s new chair and U.P. resident Joshua Koontz will serve as vice chair.
The EDAC is comprised of seven citizens who advocate for the implementation of the Economic Development Strategic Action Plan and serve as the “eyes and ears” for the City in the business community.
With their participation on the commission, both Gruener and Koontz say they are pleased to have the opportunity to give back to the community they call home. “University Place has supported my family’s livelihood for four generations,” Gruener said, noting that his great-grandfather started the business in 1942. “Serving in this role is an opportunity for me to give back to U.P. in a small way.”
Koontz, who also has deep ties to U.P., also hopes to help the City explore more ways to support diversity in the business community and bring new opinions and perspectives to its economic development efforts.
In the immediate future, however, both men agree that one of the highest priorities in the post-COVID era will be the need to remind people to support their local businesses. “The biggest challenge will be getting feet through the doors again,” Gruener said.