Spokane County commissioner Todd Mielke was appointed CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated, the local chamber of commerce, on Dec. 21.

He will start in February.

According to his biography on the Spokane County website, Mielke owned an excavation business and a government affairs consulting business. He worked for four years as staff in the Washington State Senate and was elected to the House of Representatives, serving five years. He was elected commissioner in 2004.

Mielke replaces Steve Stevens, who joined GSI in July 2014 and resigned in October 2015.

Jay Allert, a Rosalia, Wash., rancher and chairman of the chamber’s AgriBusiness Council, welcomed the news.

“My initial reaction was ‘That’s a fantastic hire,’” Allert said. “What first comes to my mind with Todd is his passion for the Inland Northwest and Spokane. He’s from here, he knows it, he’s worked here for a long, long time. ... He knows about agriculture, too, and he knows how important it is.”

Allert believes Mielke will help the council support agriculture, citing his connections with the state Legislature and Washington, D.C.

“He will be a great partner for our industry,” Allert said.

Hal Meenach, president of the Spokane County Farm Bureau, said he was pleased by Mielke’s appointment. Meenach had a positive voting record with the bureau during his time in the legislature.

Meenach said Mielke knows business issues, which benefits agriculture, and brings his experience with Spokane County to GSI.

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