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30 under35: Kevin Bromiley

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Kevin Bromiley

The Wenatchee Valley Business World’s “30 Under 35” list recently honored young community leaders. We tap their thoughts in this Sunday interview series.

Born and raised in Wenatchee, Bromiley returned to the valley in 2005 after having lived in Seattle (earning a degree at the University of Washington), the Düsseldorf area of Germany and Spokane, where he attended the Gonzaga University School of Law.

His ancestors homesteaded much of Badger Mountain more than 100 years ago. The Bromileys operate a dryland wheat farm and cattle ranch on Badger Mountain to this day.

In his work, he represents a number of clients in a wide variety of industries and legal interests, including the agricultural industry.

Q. How do you see the economy of this region developing in the next several years?

A. I work with companies in all of North Central Washington’s major industries, and it appears to me that our regional economy is fairly well diversified and sound. So it will likely continue to slowly recover.

However, things change, and NCW’s economy does not exist in a bubble. As one small example, the weather in New Zealand can impact our region’s apple industry because New Zealand apples compete with Washington apples.

Similarly, NCW’s wheat industry is impacted by government subsidies for crops used to produce bio-fuels, which entice farmers in other parts of the country to switch from growing wheat. As a result of these subsidies, plus a major drought in Australia, the price of wheat increased a few years ago, after decades of the price remaining stagnant.

However, ironically, the expiration of other government subsidies, like the Conservation Reserve Program, are substantially increasing the number of acres of wheat that is being farmed, potentially flooding the market with wheat and driving the price down.

The construction and housing industries, which grew exponentially during the real estate boom, were probably too dependant on sub-prime lending, so the correction in those industries has been severe and painful. For companies looking to hire, there is no shortage of qualified, motivated potential employees.

While nobody can predict what will happen in the next few years, if NCW’s economy was a mutual fund, I would buy and hold for the long term.

Q. What can one person do to make their community a better place to live?

A. Focus on your family. The family is the most basic unit of a community. And as we strengthen our families, our community will become an even better place to live.

There are very simple things we can all do to strengthen our family, such as regular family night dinner, caring for elderly family members and otherwise providing community service as a family.

According to the United Nations, “Family, in fact, is an institution which resolves or eases a large number of social problems.”

My wife and I have young kids, and it never ceases to amaze me how our kids notice everything we do, and pick up both our good and bad habits. As parents, we should not expect our kids to be better members of the community than we are.

Q. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

A. I am very fortunate that my first job out of school was one that I enjoy and in my hometown, right where my wife and I want to raise our kids. I am a fourth-generation resident of the Wenatchee Valley and plan to live here the rest of my life.

In 10 years, I see myself (with even less hair) continuing to practice law, honing my fishing and hunting skills, hopefully experiencing a heyday for NCW’s economy, and (as then a parent of teenagers) following the kids around to their various sports and other activities.

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.

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