It has been over 10 years since the Washington State Department of Commerce and the Association of Washington Cities collaborated to produce the Ten Commandments of Community Leadership. This 32-page booklet, illustrated by Pulitzer Prize winner David Horsey, provided the framework that can create sustainable and vibrant communities for generations to come. More than 15,000 copies were distributed to leaders throughout the state.

As we’ve come to learn, it’s one thing to have a framework for community leadership. But it means nothing without leadership from the top to the bottom.

I bring this up, because the director of the Department of Commerce, Brian Bonlender, has just “retired” after six years and many successes under his leadership. He joins other recent notable retirees like 34 senators and representatives, Elton John and Edgar Martinez’s baseball jersey.

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