Press Release

Wednesday, September 14

AWB Institute Kicks Off 2016-17 Leadership Washington Class

Third year of program to host 10 future business leaders for a year-long educational tour of state to learn about Washington’s diverse economy, industry sectors

CLE ELUM — The Association of Washington Business Institute’s (AWBI) Leadership Washington 2016-17 class kicked off its nine-month, seven-stop tour of the state’s diverse industry sectors today at the association’s annual Policy Summit.

Sponsored by Battelle, Leadership Washington is the premiere statewide program to cultivate and educate the next generation of Washington industry leaders and advocates.

This current class includes 10 professionals from across the state and from a myriad of industries. 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. 13-15.
  • Session Two: Agriculture, immigration, food processing and energy will be held in the Tri-Cities Oct. 13-14.
  • Session Three: Import, export, technology and research will be head in Seattle Nov. 17-18
  • Session Four: The role of business in public policy and politics and military will be held at AWB’s annual Legislative Day & Hill Climb in Olympia Jan. 17-18.
  • Session Five: Transportation, energy and timber will be held in Vancouver March 2-3.
  • Session Six: International commerce, border communities and tourism will be held in Mount Vernon April 6-7.
  • Session Seven: Health care, education and graduation will be held at AWB’s annual Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8-9.

The goal of Leadership Washington 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.

“The Leadership Washington program is based on the reality that learning about the economy – which is as diverse as the state’s landscape – means taking a hands-on approach to understanding the diverse industry sectors and how they work together,” said AWB Government Affairs Director and AWBI lead Amy Anderson. “This nine-month education tour does just that.”

“The program has been a success because employers and employees are making the investment of time and energy to learn from successful business leaders in the many job sectors in the state, so they can see what it takes to lead and advocate for the entire economy, not just one part of it,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “The feedback from both the participants and their employers the past two years has been nothing but positive.”

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

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

High resolution photos of each participant can be downloaded at this link.

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

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 nearly 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association, and is the recipient of the 2016 Chamber of the Year award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. 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

Back To News