Our Staff

  1. Mike Basinger

    Mike Basinger

    Economic Development Director

    Mike is the Economic Development and Planning Director. He has more than 25 years of progressive community and economic development experience. Mike is committed to the growth and prosperity of the city. In this role, he is charged with improving the economic outlook for the city and promoting the city as a great place to live, conduct business, and to visit. He administers a diverse range of programs that include business retention, recruitment, and expansion; business licensing; destination marketing; current and long-range planning; and geographical information systems. He continually collaborates with stakeholders, including businesses, property owners, residents, and neighboring communities recognizing that multiple perspectives and true partnerships will result in a thriving and sustainable community.

    Mike has a master’s of Public Administration and a bachelor’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University (EWU). He also served as an adjunct professor at EWU teaching spatial analytics. He is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Mike spends his free time hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, and camping.


  2. Chaz Bates

    Chaz Bates

    Planning Manager

  3. Lesli Brassfield

    Lesli Brassfield

    Tourism and Marketing Manager

    An important part of economic development is community outreach and engagement. After all, a vibrant city should reflect the shared vision and values of its residents. Lesli works to ensure community members and business partners have the information and tools they need to generate opportunities for economic growth, whether it be a new business venture that provides good-paying jobs or a celebrated creative community space where local residents gather.

    Lesli joined the city's economic development team in 2017 and brings more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, community relations and customer service. Her experience is primarily in the education and government sectors, including recent work for state government in Montana and Oregon. She holds a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in public administration. When the work day ends, Lesli enjoys gardening, spending time on the water with her family - either paddle boarding or kayaking - and spoiling her yellow lab, Mia.


  4. Susan Joseph Nielsen

    Susan Joseph Nielsen

    Economic Development Specialist

    Susan Joseph Nielsen, M.S., EGc, APR is the Economic Development Specialist for the city. Susan works collaboratively to attract new businesses to Spokane Valley while helping existing businesses grow and expand. She connects businesses of all sizes to resources provided by the city and other partners, leads economic development activities and develops strategies for long-term economic growth and vitality within the city.

    Susan is an innovator in her entrepreneurial leadership experience having worked with large, small and start-up companies. In addition to leading many programs and initiatives during her career, she is an owner in her family's 55-year-strong, third-generation business, which provides a valuable perspective for her work with other small business owners.

    Susan holds a bachelor's in Communications from Washington State University and a master's in Interdisciplinary Studies from Eastern Washington University. She serves on the board of directors for Numerica Credit Union and serves on numerous local, regional and state committees and is an active volunteer. Susan is a certified CEO Roundtable Facilitator and serves as a small business mentor. She was selected as one of 10 Spokane and Coeur d'Alene Women in Business Leadership Award recipients in 2022.

    Susan's hobbies include writing, boating, traveling, biking, walking, reading, making culinary recipes using her family company's spices and RVing. Susan is always up for a great adventure!


  5. Matt Reeves

    Matt Reeves

    GIS Analyst

    Matt has an extensive background in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) with 14 years of progressive experience in the field. He is responsible for the administration of the city GIS system. Matt specializes in the development of customized GIS solutions to streamline city workflows. He has a diverse background in providing effective decision-making tools to support city initiatives. He also performs complex spatial analysis simulating scenarios to determine the availability of land to support projected population and employment growth.

    Matt has degrees in Management of Information Systems and Geography, with a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Eastern Washington University. He looks forward to applying his diverse GIS background towards making the City of Spokane Valley a great place to live and work. In his downtime, he enjoys going to the lake and ocean, taking hikes in the rainforest, sledding and traveling to warm places.


  6. Robin Holt

    Business Licensing Specialist

    Robin is a native to the area and has worked in local government for over 25 years. Her professional life has been wide-ranging in both title and logistics. She has worked as a code enforcement officer, 911 dispatcher, evidence technician, public records officer and financial analyst - by way of Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Utah and Washington. Throughout her career, Robin has perfected her ability in nurturing collaborative relationships with community members, government agencies, nonprofits, community-based organizations, and business owners. Robin has always taken pride in working for entities that give back to the community and this position is no different. She serves as the city's business licensing specialist and is the primary contact for business owners navigating the sometimes-complex world of licensing requirements. Robin also works closely with the economic development director and staff to provide administrative support. When she's not at work, Robin enjoys spending time with her husband and their two English bulldogs, Maple and Morty, and exploring the world (34 countries and counting) and all things outdoors. She is also an athlete and enjoys playing ice hockey.