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Retooling Speakers

Michael Parks

Michael Parks



Leander Foley

Leander J. Foley, III

Michael J. Parks has been studying, writing about and speaking about the economy and companies of the Pacific Northwest for more than 35 years.

Parks joined The Seattle Times in 1967. He became the newspaper’s financial editor in the early 1970s. He moved to Marple’s Letter in 1977. Parks was owner, editor and publisher of Marple’s Letter from March 1980 to September 2009, when he was named editor emeritus. The newsletter is named for its founder, the late Elliot Marple, who pioneered serious business journalism in the Pacific Northwest.

Parks, a native of Spokane, Washington, is a journalism graduate of Seattle University, and an alumnus of the University of Washington’s School of Communications. He is an amateur economist, self-taught.

Parks speaks frequently on the outlook for the Pacific Northwest economy for a wide variety of financial, business, professional and service groups, as well as in the classroom.


Lee Foley for more than 30 years has worked as one of Washington's foremost counselors on policy and legislative advocacy. Foley advises clients and represents various interests before the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch of the federal government in issue areas including elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, employment and training, employment security, community and economic development, asset building, job creation, community development finance, financial services, small business development, older Americans, rural and agricultural programs, disability and civil rights policy, and appropriate technology.

In the award winning book "Coyote Warrior" investigative journalist and author Paul VanDevelder writes that Foley is "the best in the city".

Foley also has extensive business experience in banking and financial services as a founder and member the boards of directors of financial institutions serving five major US metropolitan areas. Foley has also served for twelve years on a local K-12 school board and its executive committee.

Prior to his lobbying career, Foley served in a variety of positions in Washington including as a White House domestic policy advisor, chief of staff at a federal agency and as a staffer for two U.S. Senate committees. A graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin, Lee and his wife Mindy reside in Washington, DC.

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