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Regional Voices: Teena Tainio – Tainio Biologicals

Athena “Teena” Tainio is president and CEO of Spokane-based Tainio Biologicals, which specializes in natural additives that enhance soil and boost productivity. She assumed leadership when her husband, company founder Bruce Tainio, died in 2009. Today, Tainio products are used throughout the United States, Canada, Central America, Australia and New Zealand.

What brought her to the Inland Northwest: My family moved from Puyallup,Wash., to Newport, about 50 miles northeast of Spokane, in 1972.

 Company growth: We moved into a new, 13,650-square-foot facility last November. At that time we also changed our name from Tainio Technology to Tainio Biologicals, which better describes what we do.

 Local resources: Washington Trust Bank was great to work with on our construction loan, and Greater Spokane Inc. is an excellent resource. They found a tax-deferral program that we qualified for, saving us a lot of money.

Other career opportunities in Spokane: Before I came to work at Tainio Biologicals, I was a registered nurse. The healthcare industry is one of Spokane’s biggest employers.

 Yesterday and today: I still remember the old train yard downtown, and what an eyesore it was before they razed it to build Expo 74 and Riverfront Park. Today Spokane is a beautiful city. We have all the cultural, healthcare and business conveniences of a big city wrapped in a small-town atmosphere. People are friendly here, and there is a strong sense of community.

Goals: I would like to see more community gardens and self-sustainable neighborhoods.

The Inland Northwest’s appeal: I love all four seasons – particularly our warm, sunny summers and snowy winters.

What she enjoys sharing with visitors: My favorite things to show them are Lake Coeur d’Alene, Steptoe Butte, and the historic Davenport Hotel.

How Teena relaxes: I do yoga. And I love to spend time with my fiancé at our cabin on the Pend Oreille River, sitting on the deck with a glass of wine, watching the eagles and water go by.

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