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Press Release

Thursday, September 10

AWB Institute to Kick Off Second Leadership Washington Class

After successful first year, second class of future business leaders sets out for nine-month, statewide industry sector educational tours Sept. 15

CLE ELUM — The second class of Leadership Washington, AWB Institute’s (AWBI) premiere program to cultivate and educate the next generation of Washington industry leaders, is set to kick off its nine-month, six-stop tour of the state’s diverse industry sectors.

Sponsored again by Battelle, the 2015-16 Leadership Washington class grew to 11 this year, up from nine in the inaugural class. The group’s seven educational tours and the issues they will learn more about, beginning this month, will be as follows:

Session One: Orientation, public policy and the economy will be held at AWB’s annual Policy Summit, Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum, Sept. 15-17.

  • Session Two: Research, high-tech/bio-tech and import/export will be held in Seattle Oct. 22-23.
  • Session Three: Agriculture, energy, immigration will be held in the Tri-Cities Nov. 18-19
  • Session Four: The role of business in public policy and politics, water quality and military will be held at AWB’s annual Legislative Summit in Olympia Jan. 19-21.
  • Session Five: Transportation, energy and timber will be held in Vancouver March 9-10.
  • Session Six: International commerce, manufacturing, food processing and border communities will be held in Mount Vernon April 20-21.
  • Session Seven: Health care, military and manufacturing will be held at AWB’s annual Spring Meeting in Spokane June 13-15.

The goal is to ensure participants are exposed to the many diverse industry sectors that make up Washington’s economy and foster an understanding of how the business sectors work together.

"With the success of the first class, the goal for this year’s Leadership Washington class is to again develop articulate and well-informed leaders who can guide Washington state industry in an economy that is increasingly competitive nationally and globally,” said AWBI Director Amy Anderson. “Like last year, this year’s participants are bright and eager to learn how what they do in their industry sector impacts jobs and the economy statewide. I look forward to working alongside them and the many business owners and leaders who have graciously offered to share their time and insights with these future leaders over the next nine months."

"Baby boomers are leaving the workforce in huge numbers, from every level position, making a program like Leadership Washington more important than ever,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “As we look into the future, I believe the best thing we can do for the economy and prosperity of the state is to cultivate the next generation of leaders so they have a deep understanding of the diversity and interdependence of each industry sector. Leadership Washington is an integral part of building a more prosperous Washington."

Members of AWBI Leadership Washington’s 2015-16 class are:

  • Karen Blasdel, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Richland
  • Mark Brunner, Landau Associates, Seattle
  • Emily Braunwart, Grant County Economic Development Council, Moses Lake
  • Cara Coon, Umpqua Bank, Spokane
  • Ben Hemson, Northwest Gas Association, West Linn, Ore.
  • Eric Johnston, SCJ Alliance, Lacey
  • Daniel Kittle, Lane Powell, Seattle
  • Michael Malott, State Farm, Puyallup
  • Sean Moore, State Farm, Dupont
  • Austin Neilson, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Kennewick
  • Marie Thomas, Energy Northwest, Richland

High resolution photos of each participant can be downloaded at this link: http://bit.ly/LeadershipWashington2015.

For more information on this program and when applications will be accepted for the 2016-17 Leadership Washington class, contact Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600 or AmyA@awb.org.

About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 7,900 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit
www.awb.org.

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