Char McDowell is passionate about Family and Close Friends

Posted on Jun 30, 2016

Char McDowellChar McDowell smiles when she says her "demon friend Lynn Garza" convinced her to attend meetings of the Grant County Economic Development Council. Garza told McDowell, the Office Manager at Total Employment and Management (TEAM), that in the temporary employment business it was important to "at least go to the meetings" to support the EDC and help her business. So for ten years, McDowell has been either attending EDC meetings, on the Board of Directors since 2013, or on the Executive Board.

McDowell was born in Ritzville and grew up in Othello. She has an AA degree from Big Bend Community College. While attending BBCC, she was working at Perkins, the Moses Lake Golf and Country Club, and Motel 6, and because it was too far to drive home to Othello after work, she would sleep in her car before going to school the next morning. She also attended Trend Business College and has worked in the hospitality field most of her career before starting at TEAM eleven years ago.

In her job at TEAM, McDowell says she is always looking for the "diamond in the rough." And when she finds that person and is able to help them get a job to support their family or afford a first home, "that's what I love about it." Her biggest challenge is "realizing everyone's degree of one-hundred percent is not the same as everyone else's and I have to be okay with that."

As a Director of the EDC, McDowell says she's "watched Moses Lake and the county flourish." Also, she says, Terry Brewer and Jonathan Smith were both able to "see the mission" of the EDC and had "great communication skills and a passion for that growth." She adds "I think that their networking is bar none." She cites as part of that networking the partnerships with port districts and the trade shows the EDC attends to keep the Grant County name out there. For people who may not feel the EDC is a help to the county, McDowell says "unless you've been there and participated, you shouldn't put it down."

The biggest positive change McDowell has seen in Grant County is the diversification of the economy. "Ultimately Grant County is governed by agriculture or ancillary agriculture," she says. But when companies come in they can pay better wages and have better skilled positions, she adds, and that way there are role models for kids growing up here. "There are more examples of jobs a child could focus on," McDowell explains.

McDowell would like to see the Moses Lake School District Bond pass. "I'd like another high school," she says. "I'd like not to have over-crowded schools." And she'd like passenger air service to return to Grant County Airport.

What McDowell likes about living in Grant County is "wide open spaces." She adds that, "being from a small agricultural community, big city life was not for me." And McDowell knows that because she lived a short time in New York City. "I felt like I needed to come home and find my roots," she explains.

McDowell is also the secretary for the Grant County Farm Bureau and in her free time enjoys fishing, camping, and hiking. "Family and close friends are a big part of my life," she says. "I like to surround myself with them," she adds. "It's what I'm passionate about."