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Press Release

Tuesday, May 9

Third Class of AWBI Leadership Washington Graduates

The 10 participants in AWB Institute’s Leadership Washington 2016-17 class officially graduated at AWB’s Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8. Applications for the 2017-18 class are now being accepted.

SPOKANE — The Association of Washington Business (AWBI) Institute honored the third class of Leadership Washington Monday evening during graduation ceremonies at the Association of Washington Business' (AWB) annual Spring Meeting in Spokane at The Historic Davenport Hotel.

Leadership Washington is the state’s premiere business leadership development program that takes place over nine months and spans seven different regions and industry sectors throughout the state. The program’s goal is to give the next generation of Washington business leaders and understanding on the diverse industry sectors and how they work together to create a strong economy.

“This year’s graduating class is leaving the program with a better understanding of the many business sectors that drive Washington’s economy and how policies at the state and federal level impact them,” said Amy Anderson, director of the AWB Institute. “Today’s graduates are tomorrow’s leaders. I am very excited to see what they accomplish with the knowledge they gained and friendships and connections they made through Leadership Washington.”

The Leadership Washington program was founded in 2014, with the help of founding sponsor Battelle, to help bridge the workforce’s generational gap and educate the next generation of industry leaders on the many different industry sectors and the challenges and opportunities they face as public policy is debated at the state and federal level and as the generational shift takes place in the workforce.

“Leadership Washington provides its graduates with the knowledge and tools to advocate on behalf of and serve their employees, employers and communities in ways that promote economic opportunity across the state,” said AWB president Kris Johnson. “This program helps the next generation of leaders understand how their business fits into the larger picture of our state’s diverse economy. I can't wait to see how these graduates use what they've learned to expand opportunity and prosperity in Washington and beyond.”

Members of Leadership Washington’s 2016-17 graduating class are:

  • Tricia Cauthers, State Farm
  • Robyn Denson, Washington Office of Measured Intentions
  • Kyle P. England, Kaiser Aluminum
  • Maggie Grega, Lane Powell
  • Peter Guzman, State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
  • Todd Kiesbuy, Avista Utilities
  • Brittany Marshall, Inland Northwest Health Services
  • Sean V. O’Brien, U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R – 4th Congressional District
  • Rich Rhodes, State Farm Insurance Company
  • Jake Riddell, WGU Washington

High resolution photos of each class member and the graduation ceremony are available to view and download at this link.

The AWB Institute is currently accepting applications for its fourth class, which will hold its first meeting at the AWB Policy Summit Sept. 19-21. For more information on the Leadership Washington program and how to apply, contact Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600 or The deadline for program applications is June 1.

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