Spokane Journal of Business

Mining group changes name to reflect broader reach

Association here boasts 2,400 members worldwide

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Spokane-based Northwest Mining Association, a 119-year-old trade organization representing hard-rock mining and mineral industry members, recently changed its name to the American Exploration & Mining Association.

Laura Skaer, executive director of the organization, says the group’s board of trustees voted in October to approve the new name, which became effective in December. 

More than 60 percent of its membership is outside of the Northwest, so the new name better reflects the group’s reach, Skaer says.

Founded in 1895 in Spokane, the organization’s headquarters will remain here.

The association currently has 2,400 members in 42 states, seven Canadian provinces, and in 12 other countries, Skaer says. Six employees including Skaer work from a 2,500-square-foot leased office at 10 N. Post downtown.

“We currently have more members in the three Western states of Nevada, Colorado, and Utah combined than in all of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia, and Alaska combined,” she says.

She says the issue of a name change has come up before, but emerged as more pressing in the past 10 years as its membership became more widespread. The name has caused some confusion when the organization’s representatives tried to meet with U.S. congressional members on behalf of members in states outside of the Northwest.

The organization surveyed members and hired Spokane design company helveticka Inc. to provide rebranding and new logo concepts, Skaer adds. 

“About 80 percent of members who responded said ‘Yes, we should change our name,’” Skaer says. “This came from the membership and the board. The response has been real positive, and it’s had a positive reaction from congressional staff.”

Treva Lind
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