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May 12, 2015

First Leadership Washington class gradutates, second class recruitment underway

By: Bobbi Cussins   Comments: 0
Leadership Washington class of 2014-15 tour Seattle-based manufacturer Cascade Designs as part of their six courses around the state to learn about different business sectors that make up Washington's diverse economy.

Businesses and top business leaders in companies across the state are prepping their staffs to one day take the helm and AWB Institute’s (AWBI) new Leadership Washington program is helping them.

In fact, the inaugural nine-member class of Leadership Washington graduated at AWB’s Spring Meeting in Spokane May 12. The program is currently accepting applications for the second class that will begin at AWB’s Policy Summit Sept. 15-16 in Cle Elum.

Kicked off at AWB’s Policy Summit last September and sponsored by Battelle, the Leadership Washington group met six times over nine months at different locations across the state. At each session, participants were exposed to diverse industry sectors, including agriculture, energy, health care, high-tech, military and manufacturing.

The mission of Leadership Washington is to develop articulate, thoughtful and well-informed leaders who can guide Washington state industry in a globally-competitive economy, Amy Anderson, AWBI’s director, told Olympia Business Watch.

Anderson added that the program’s goal is to “foster the kind of bold leadership and proactive advocacy that ensures a growing and vibrant economy in every business sector and every corner of the state.”

And, the new the initiative couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

Dubbed the “silver tsunami,” the oldest of the baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 and each day an estimated 10,000 additional members reach retirement age. Having a generation ready to fill that employment gap is critical.

Members of Leadership Washington’s inaugural graduation class are:

  • Paige Davis, Lane Powell PC, Seattle
  • Ben Doornink, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, Spokane
  • Emily Fleury, Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane
  • Annette Herup, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, Moses Lake
  • David Howell, Avista, Spokane
  • Valerie Langston, State Farm, Tacoma
  • Gordon Matlock, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Richland
  • Philip Schafer, State Farm, Tacoma
  • Tonia Sorrell-Neal, Washington State Conference of Mason Contractors, Kirkland
The program is currently accepting applications for the second class that will begin at AWB’s Policy Summit Sept. 15-16 in Cle Elum and the course schedule can be viewed here. For more information and how to apply to the program, contact Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600 or