May 16, 2018

New class of Washington leaders to nurture economy

By: Andrew Lenderman   Comments: 0
Katherine Morgan of the 2018 Leadership Washington class addresses AWB members at Tuesday's graduation ceremony.

SPOKANE – A new class of young Washington leaders have completed an intensive nine-month leadership development program aimed at nurturing the state’s economy now and in the future.

Thirteen men and women from diverse industries and across the state were honored Tuesday at the fourth-annual Leadership Washington graduation, as part of AWB’s annual Spring Meeting. The program is sponsored by the Association of Washington Business Institute, which has been tasked by AWB members to help train and support a new generation of civic and business leaders to help Washington thrive.

Young leaders from the science, insurance, energy, government and other arenas began learning about the state’s diverse industry sectors last September. The 2018 class toured the state, visiting wineries and breweries, farms and orchards, manufacturing operations and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, among other employers. The class studied public policy, international trade, transportation, tourism and more.

The goal is to nurture a new cohort of new business and civic leaders that has a well-rounded understanding of Washington’s economy and public policy arena.

Katherine Morgan of Bank of America spoke on behalf of the class during the graduation ceremony. She said the group noticed similar challenges faced by Washington employers, especially around employee recruitment and retention.

“We heard the opportunities and the challenges that each of you faces and we recognized that they were not unlike the others,” Morgan said.

Many Washington employers have expressed concern with finding and keeping talented workers, and sometimes the labor shortage impacts a business’ ability to expand and grow.

The most recent class recently finished touring the flourishing Spokane area, which included visits to Inland Empire Paper, Kaiser Aluminum, Washington State University, Dry Fly Distilling and more.

Amy Anderson of the AWB Institute said the Spokane tour showed the class how different businesses and institutions can work together to help a region thrive.

Tuesday’s Leadership Washington graduates include:

· Brent Downey, Kaiser Aluminum

· Ryan Eddy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

· Matt Hawley, Lamb Weston

· Mike Kennedy, Energy Northwest

· Kevin Leneker, Single Handed Consulting

· Josh Lozano, Office of Congressman Dan Newhouse

· Brodey Mann, State Farm Insurance

· Joey Mertlich, Wilson Albers & Company

· Katherine Morgan, Bank of America

· Marcela Navarro, Cadet

· Dustin O’Quinn, Lane Powell

· Andrew Thompson, Granite Construction Company

· Eric Wolf, Workforce Training and Education Board