Vice President and General Manager Propulsion Systems Division, Boeing
Nicole Piasecki is vice president and general manager of the Propulsion Systems Division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In this role, she is responsible for engine and propulsion systems strategy, procurement, contracting, engineering, and manufacturing integration for all commercial airplane programs, in addition to support for more than 12,000 in-service airplanes. She was named to the position in March 2013.
In addition to her work at Boeing, Piasecki is the vice chairman of Seattle University’s Board of Trustees and is also a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Seattle Branch and the Weyerhauser Company. She is also a member of U.S. Department of Transportation’s Future of Aviation Advisory Committee.
Previously at Boeing, Piasecki served as vice president of Business Development and Strategic Integration for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where she was responsible for the strategic planning and analysis critical to enhancing the long-term competitiveness of the business and driving growth. Prior to that assignment, Piasecki was president of Boeing Japan, where she was responsible for developing and strengthening the company’s presence, managing business partnerships and pursuing new growth and productivity initiatives in Japan.
Earlier leadership positions at Boeing included vice president of Business Strategy & Marketing for Commercial Airplanes, and vice president of Sales, Leasing Companies, for Commercial Airplanes. She joined Boeing in 1992 as a customer engineer on the 777 program and held subsequent positions in Sales Operations and Business Strategy.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University and a master of business administration degree in operations management from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. Piasecki also has attended the Keio Business School in Japan as part of her business degree program.
Founder of Hedgebrook, Ginger Ackerly Award Winner
Nancy Skinner Nordhoff was born in Seattle in 1932. She has lived continuously in the Pacific Northwest since then, with the exception of her four years at Mount Holyoke College. She has had a long career as a philanthropist, both raising money and giving it away. In 1985, Nordhoff bought a farm on Whidbey Island and turned it into a haven to support the creativity of women writers. Hedgebrook, the non-profit retreat, has since supported 1600 women writers in residence. The retreat also sponsors an annual festival for women playwrights, and regularly holds readings, performances, and workshops on the Island and in Seattle and New York.
In addition to her work with Hedgebrook, she also helped found Goosefoot, a non-profit organization based on Whidbey Island that is working to support a healthy sustainable future for South Whidbey.
Goosefoot hosts the Bayview Saturday Farmers Market and operates a small grocery story on the island.
Nordhoff was also one of eight women who founded Seattle’s CityClub 32 years ago.
Skinner Nordhoff has lived on Whidbey Island since the late 1980s. She received an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College in 2004, and in 2009 was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for her outstanding philanthropic contributions. Senator Maria Cantwell awarded Nancy the Women of Valor Award in 2009, and in 2010 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Senior Services of King County.
United States Attorney, Western District of Washington
Jenny A. Durkan is the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington. She loves all things hoops! She also serves as the top federal law enforcement officer for 19 counties in Western Washington.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Ms. Durkan to chair the Attorney Generals Advisory Subcommittee on Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement and she is a member of three other Subcommittees; Terrorism and National Security, Civil Rights and Native American Issues.
Under Ms. Durkan’s leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s office is increasing its efforts in enforcing intellectual property laws and combating the ever increasing threat of cyber/digital crimes. She is also revitalizing the offices prosecutions in the areas of fraud and white collar crimes, environmental crimes, illegal gun sales and civil rights enforcement.
Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Ms. Durkan represented a wide variety of clients in civil and criminal cases in both state and federal court. Throughout her legal career, Ms. Durkan has played leadership roles on a variety of public policy matters. She served on the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission as the first Citizen Observer on the Seattle Police Firearms Review Board and on two oversight investigations of the Seattle Police Department. She also played an advisory role in the establishment of the King County Drug Court and the Mental Health Court.
Ms. Durkan has been active in both the state and federal bar associations. She served on the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors and as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. She also served on the Merit Judicial Selection Committee for court vacancies in the federal judiciary in Washington State. Ms. Durkan also served as a founding board member of the Center for Women and Democracy and the Seattle Police Foundation. She chaired the Washington State Attorney Generals Task Force on Consumer Privacy, which resulted in legislation that became a national model for identity theft protections.
Ms. Durkan, a Seattle-area native, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received her law degree from the University of Washington. Consistently recognized as one of the outstanding trial attorneys in the United States, Durkan has maintained a Martindale Hubbell Preeminent AV rating and is a member in the American College of Trial Lawyers. She is a member of the Washington State and District of Columbia bars. Ms. Durkan was nominated by President Obama in May 2009 and was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate on September 29, 2009.
Principal, Interagency Academy – Ginger Ackerley Award
Kaaren Andrews was the 2007-08 recipient of the Thomas B. Foster award of excellence and outstanding leadership. The award is a reflection of an administrator’s commitment and effectiveness in improving student achievement, leadership and team building, as well as finding creative uses for resources. Andrews received the award as the principal of Madrona K-8. Since then, she has been appointed as the principal at Seattle’s Interagency Academy, an alternative high school for at-risk teens.
Interagency’s mission is to help each student achieve educational, career and social goals, as well as to inspire students to become self-sufficient and positive contributors in the community. The passion Andrews has to help children achieve great heights is a perfect fit for the important role she plays at Interagency.
After this local product from Mariner High School graduated from Princeton, she returned to Washington to teach and to coach. In 1998, she coached the girls basketball team at Seattle Prep, leading the Panthers to the Metro League championship, the Sea-King District title and a sixth-place finish in the Class 3A state tournament. The team ended the season with a 25-5 record, the best in school history at the time. Andrews left the position after one season to pursue her master’s degree in education at Stanford. She has made her way to Seattle and is pursuing her career in education and has been making an impact ever since.
President & CEO, GSBA
Louise Chernin has been the president and CEO of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) since 2002. Prior to this, Chernin was the vice president of Shirley Bishop Inc., an association management firm, which managed more than 22 professional nonprofit organizations. Five years before that, Chernin was the director of the Seattle chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
As CEO, Chernin has led GSBA to become what is now the largest LGBT Chamber in the United States with more than 1,000 members. In addition to business development and advocacy on behalf of business and civil rights, GSBA sponsors a scholarship fund, which has awarded more than $1.8 million to 450 LGBTQA students in Washington since 1990. GSBA is also the sponsor of “Travel Gay Seattle, Where Out is In,” an LGBT tourism initiative created to increase revenue in the state of Washington by raising the national visibility of our region as a welcoming, progressive state and a top LGBT tourist destination. This July, GSBA will be opening the first Seattle LGBT visitors center on the West Coast.
In addition to her current role as the CEO of GSBA, Chernin was the national chair of the Council of Chambers and Business Organizations, the affiliate branches of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. During the five years in that position, Chernin provided leadership training to help start and strengthen other LGBT Chambers around the country. In 2008, Chernin was honored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) with its leadership award and also so named by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top 20 most influential women in Puget Sound. In 2010, the Economic Opportunity Institute honored Chernin with its Aubrey Davis Award for Progressive Leadership and in 2011, Congressman Jim McDermott honored Chernin with his Community Leadership and Service Award.
In Memory of Melissa Erickson
Former University of Washington Basketball Player
A former University of Washington basketball player, Melissa Erickson spent the early years of her life dedicated to honing her skills on the basketball court. As a youngster growing up in Littleton, Colo., Erickson led her high school team to a four-year record of 82-2 including an undefeated 24-0 run to the state championship her junior year.
After a seven-year fight with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Erickson passed away peacefully Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at Bailey-Boushay House in Seattle with family and close friends present.
Erickson made a huge impact on her community even while living with her diagnosis. She and some of her friends founded the Melissa Erickson Foundation, which produces events that benefit the ALS Therapy Development Institute as well as the ALS Evergreen Chapter, an organization dedicated to providing support and resources to ALS patients, their families and caregivers. Erickson used her circumstances to increase ALS awareness as well as fundraise to help find more effective treatments for ALS patients. Even after her passing, the Melissa Erickson Foundation continues its fundraising events around the community.
Erickson earned a full athletic scholarship with the Huskies and competed in 92 games. Although her senior year was cut short due to an ACL injury, her team still went on to win the Pac-10 conference championship and reached the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. After her collegiate basketball career ended, Erickson graduated in the spring of 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
Former Washington State Governor
Chris Gregoire grew up in Auburn, attending Auburn High School and later graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Gregoire went on to pursue law and received her juris doctor from Gonzaga University in 1977. Prior to her election as governor of Washington, Gregoire worked as an Attorney General for three terms to further build her political resume. She was the first woman to serve as Attorney General for Washington state.
Gregoire served as Washington Governor from January 2005 to January 2013 and was a tireless champion for her constituents. A strong advocate for improving the education system, protecting the environment and creating jobs, the 22nd governor of Washington won her way into people’s hearts.
From balancing the state budget during the most challenging period since the Great Depression to reshaping our education system, Gregoire has worked diligently to make Washington not only a great place to work, but a coveted place to raise a family.
Gregoire proved to be a fighter in and out of the office, battling cancer after her diagnosis in 2003, and continues to use her personal experience as a platform for her stance on health care. Christine Gregoire continues to lead by example and remains a beacon of hard work.
Former lead counsel of Starbucks
Paula Boggs has served in numerous professional and community leadership roles for the past 25 years. From 2002 to the spring of 2012, Boggs served as Starbucks’ executive vice president, general counsel and secretary in the Law & Corporate Affairs department, advising Starbucks partners and employees on legal and business issues. In 2010, President Barack Obama named Boggs to the 26-member White House Council for Community Solutions.
Boggs’ legal career began as a United States Army officer assigned to the Pentagon in 1984 where she also worked as a staff attorney for the White House before leaving the service in 1988. From 1988 to 1994, Boggs served as the assistant United States attorney in the western district of Washington State.
Boggs was a partner from 1995-1997 at Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle, a premier, full-service law firm. Before joining Starbucks, Boggs served as Dell Computer Corporation’s Vice President, Legal for Products, Operations and Information Technology Systems from 1997-2002.
Boggs graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University in 1981 and then received her juris doctor from the University of California – Berkeley School of Law.
Former State Supreme Court judge
Bobbe Bridge is the 2012 Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award winner, an honor presented each year to an individual who has had a measurable impact on improving the quality of life in Puget Sound through a significant and sustained record of volunteer service to the area’s youth.
As a champion for disadvantaged youth, Bridge is the founding president and CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, a nonprofit organization she created in 2006 to reform Washington State’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Her work aims to improve Washington’s foster care and juvenile justice systems in order to make a difference for troubled children and youth.
From 1999 to 2007, Bridge served on the State Supreme Court after serving on the King County Superior Court for 10 years, having the title of Chief Juvenile Court Judge for three of those years. Currently, Bridge chairs the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care and is a board member for many nonprofit organizations including YouthCare and the YWCA.
Before joining the bench, Bridge was recognized as the first female partner at the Seattle law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer where she specialized in administrative law, litigation, government relations and domestic relations.
Recognized statewide and nationally as a leading advocate for foster care reform, domestic violence victims, truancy prevention, juvenile justice reform and a host of other issues, Bridge also serves the community as a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist.
Former Storm player; currently a Ph.D candidate at University of Colorado
After a long and successful professional basketball career, Kate Starbird shifted her focus and passion to the world of academia, working as a Ph.D student at the University of Colorado at Boulder to improve disaster relief using social media. Currently, Starbird is finishing her degree and transitioning back to her home state for an assistant professor position with the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, starting this Fall Semester.
Starbird co-created the “Tweak the Tweet” concept, an idea for leveraging Twitter as a crisis-data reporting platform in 2009. The concept has been deployed in many different situations and has proven to be successful and necessary technology. She also developed a software system for the qualitative analysis of large, computer-mediated communication data sets, utilized for several research efforts.
In 2010, Starbird and her research partners developed social media technology that aided workers and volunteers in Haiti in getting help where it was needed the most following the disaster.
Following a successful college career at Stanford, Starbird spent nine years playing basketball professionally for the ABL’s Seattle Reign and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, helping the Storm to the franchise’s first playoff appearance in 2002.
Former CEO of Gates Foundation
As the former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Patty Stonesifer has spent years working to improve access to advances in global health and learning working with the Foundation’s endowment fund that distributes over a billion dollars a year. From 2009 to 2012, she served as chair of the Smithsonian Institution. Currently, Stonesifer advises business, nonprofit and government leaders on strategies for reducing inequity.
Along with her various board memberships, Stonesifer also served as a member of the US delegation to the United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions on AIDS.
In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Stonesifer as the Chair of the White House Council on Community Solutions. In July of 1996, Stonesifer was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time Magazine.
When faced with unspeakable loss, Jerilyn Brusseau turned anger and grief into hope and healing. Inspired by the loss of her brother in the Vietnam war, Brusseau is the founder of PeaceTrees Vietnam, a project that promotes friendship and healing with the people and the land of Vietnam. PeaceTrees removes landmines left from the war, builds homes and provides medical treatment for the people of Vietnam. Thanks to Brusseau’s tireless work, almost 50,000 landmines have been cleared so far.
“What motivates me to be my best, what gets me up in the morning, is the possibility of healing what seems the most impossible to heal, to be of service in building community spirit at home and around the world, and to carry a vision for service far greater than self,” Brusseau said.
Equal Rights Pioneer
Her courage in fighting for equality led to huge changes in how the U.S. Military treats people. Grethe Cammermeyer had given years of service in the military, including 14 months serving our country overseas. She had a flawless military history when she was forced out of the military because of her sexual orientation. She bravely fought back, filing a lawsuit which led to the ruling the military’s policy was unconstitutional and prejudiced. Ultimately Cammermeyer was reinstated to her position as Chief Nurse of the Washington State National Guard, from which she recently retired after 31 years of service. Cammermeyer says she wears her uniform to remind people of gays and lesbians who serve in silence.
Age is not an obstacle for Jessica Markowitz. Though she is only a junior at Garfield High School in Seattle, she has become a leader and role model through her commitment to civic responsibility and community involvement. When she was only 11 years old, Jessica founded Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE, an organization that supports educational opportunities for girls in primary and secondary school in the rural area of Nyamata, Rwanda. The organization has raised over $100,000 to date. Jessica’s efforts are about building and sustaining relationships, not just raising funds. Jessica believes in the power of providing a fishing pole, not just the fish.
Her name may not be familiar, but her dedication and research is helping people around the world who are impacted by diseases. Barbara J. Trask, Ph.D., is the first woman to lead a scientific research division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research center where she was Senior Vice President and Director for the Human Biology Division. Trask is an internationally recognized expert in genomics and has devoted her career to studying the genetic basis for cancer and other diseases. She also played a significant role in the Human Genome Project. Trask retired in May, and leaves a legacy of excellence, having helped launch the careers of many scientists who are devoted to tackling cancer, HIV/AIDS and other major health challenges.
“Until I joined the Hutchinson Center, my role models in science were all men,” Trask said. “I was fortunate that so many stepped in to encourage me to do more as my career developed. At the Hutchinson Center, many women now have leadership positions in science and administration, so the current generation has role models of both genders.”
Kim Bogucki – Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award
Producer and Co-Founder of the If Project
Kim Bogucki posed the following question to a group at the Washington Correction Center for Women: “If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that led you here, what would it have been?” and the If Project was born. Bogucki’s question sparked such great inspiration in one inmate that she decided to share with her fellow prisoners and asked them to take their time and truly consider their responses. They too felt empowered by Bogucki’s question and felt the desire to not only search themselves to find what could have changed their own lives, but a larger desire to impart this information to help others. Through them, Bogucki and the If Project search for answers and hope to prevent others (namely youth) from doing the same. To date, more than 240 essays have been collected.
King County Sheriff
Sue Rahr has been involved with the King County Sheriff’s Office for 28 years, and became the first woman to be elected King County Sheriff in November 2005. She has served as a patrol officer, sergeant, the commander of the Internal Investigations and Gang Units and the commander of the Special Investigations Section. She was chosen to be Shoreline’s police chief in 1998. As Sheriff, Rahr has been responsible for founding Washington’s Mental Health Summit, for the development of gang and sexual assault units and for the creation of the Party Patrol program to prevent underage drinking and driving.
Executive Director and Founder of the Abused Deaf Woman’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS)
Marilyn Smith founded the Abused Deaf Woman’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) in 1986, and serves as its Executive Director. She has grown the program into a full-service agency for deaf and deaf-blind victims. ADWAS, which Smith originally ran from the basement of her home, now has a financial base of nearly $1.5 million and has provided training and education to more than 22,000 people. Smith has also spoken about domestic violence to adults and children nationwide for 17 years. In 1998, she began the Justice for Deaf Victims National Training Project, which has led to the creation of 15 organizations across the country, each of which focuses on domestic violence and sexual abuse issues involving the deaf.
Co-Founder, Southern Sudanese Women’s Association
Currently, works at the Center For Human Services with a national federal research program aimed at improving community well-being. She is also the president and co-founder of Hearts of Angels for Health Sudan initiative (www.hah-s.org). HAH-S is dedicated to a peaceful and healthy Southern Sudan by addressing key issues of community well-being including reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and the effects of trauma through community-based health promotion, advocacy, education and the strengthening of community resources. HAH-S work focuses both on Southern Sudan itself and amongst the Southern Sudanese diasporas. Harriet grew up in Southern Sudan and was forced to move to Uganda as a refugee where she began primary school. A few years later she was forced to relocate to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. In 1995 at the age of fifteen, she was resettled to the United States and became a naturalized citizen. Harriet attended Garfield High School and then went to University of Washington for both her undergraduate and graduate studies. Harriet has co-founded several non-governmental organizations such as the Southern Sudanese Women’s Association in Washington State which helps newly resettled Sudanese adjusts to life in the U.S. She was also the chaired of the United Nation Student Association at the University of Washington. And volunteered at several non-organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, Seattle AIDS Alliance, Refugee Women’s Alliance, Red Cross, and the UN-Washington Chapter among others.
After receiving two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Public Health and Women’s Studies from the University of Washington, she continued in her studies to obtain a Masters of Public Health and Community Medicine. While in this same program she earned a HIV/STI certificate and completed her Masters thesis project titled, “Knowledge and Attitude of HIV/AIDS among Secondary School Youth in war torn Southern Sudan”. Her practicum allowed her to work with different international NGO’s both in Sudan and the United States. She also worked for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in the county of her birth, Kajo Keji Southern Sudan, implementing faith-based HIV/AIDS programs in communities experiencing high levels of stigma and discriminatory practices. She is also a certified HIV/AIDS instructor with the American Red Cross and African American Reach and Teach Health Ministry and is especially interested in creating leadership around HIV/AIDS prevention in war torn areas. Harriet is an active member of UNAIDS and advocate for the rights of those infected and affected by HIV.
Harriet has presented in many functions across the nation and continues to speak about human rights and society well-being. Harriet is also a proud mother of Monica-kojo, Ephraim and Aunty to many.
Forced to flee their homes in southern Sudan because of military conflict which lasted more than two decades, Harriet Dumba and Agnes Oswaha have used their own experience as immigrants to the United States as motivation to help out others following in their footsteps. Dumba and Oswaha co-founded the Southern Sudanese Women’s Association to help newly resettled Sudanese in Washington state adjust to life in the U.S., while their Hearts of Angels for Health – Sudan focuses on addressing key health issues for those in southern Sudan as well as immigrants from the region.
“We came here and most of us are here without relatives or even immediate family,” says Dumba. “The few of us that were here in the early years just got together. The war in southern Sudan has really taken a toll on civilians – people separated from their home and family and parents. Those who were here, we said, ‘We’re not relatives by blood, but we are relatives by citizenship,’ meaning that we are all Sudanese and coming from a background where community is so important.
“We sat down and said, ‘How can we help ourselves and also help others who are coming after us?’ We got the idea of putting a non-profit together. We started the first non-profit, the Southern Sudanese Women’s Association, where we collectively as women did so much and so much and so much for the community.”
“Harriet and I came up with the idea,” adds Oswaha, “and we shared it with a couple of women, the elders of the community – although they are really not that old! They were really excited, so we were able to start. Our initiative basically was we have so much happening in the community. If the refugees in the U.S. are organized by a non-profit, we can be able to access resources and help their concerns be met. When we shared that with the other women, things went fast because people were really excited, including our American friends – they were very responsive.
“We were able to put the pieces together. I believe it’s the women’s contributions plus we won’t take away the males’ part. We had some men who volunteered, gave their ideas and their time and also funds to keep it going.”
Dumba and Oswaha are honored to be a part of the Storm’s Women of Inspiration Night.
“In my opinion, I think this is a great occasion that they are doing something like this for women,” said Dumba. “For me, it’s really so inspiring that somebody is seeing the work that women are doing. A lot of things they don’t do for the glory, but it’s really good to recognize people once in a while and say thank you for the work you are doing because you are not just doing it for your community or yourself, but you’re doing it for the world at large. I am sure that the awards the Storm has been giving out have not just remained in Seattle but those people have gone on to other places or other countries where they have inspired other organizations to honor women. So it’s a great occasion to me and very exciting.”
Co-Founder, Southern Sudanese Women’s Association
Agnes Oswaha, MSW has a long experience in advocacy and community organizing. She earned a Master of Social Work and two Bachelor of Arts in Law, Society and Justice and in Political Science from the University of Washington. An asylee herself and a leader in the Sudanese community, she is actively engaged in public speaking, advocacy and other events especially those concerning immigrants and Sudanese affairs. She has co-founded several non-governmental organizations such as Hearts of Angels for Health and the Southern Sudanese Women’s Association. Hearts of Angels for Health focuses on empowering Sudanese women and men to overcome their traumatic pasts and learn new skills in conflict resolution and improved health, particularly reproductive health. The Southern Sudanese Women’s Association helps newly resettled Sudanese in Washington state adjust to life in the U.S. Agnes is also a board member and the Chair of Sudanese Outreach for Save Darfur Washington State and has represented the organization at many speaking, advocacy and event venues since its founding including the April 30, 2006 Rally for Darfur in Washington DC where she also lobbied at the U.S. Congress regarding the on-going genocide. In addition, she is a board member for South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network (SSWEN). She also conducts community referrals for legal issues, is a volunteer mentor for the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, has worked as a legal advocate at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and served on the Women’s Funding Alliance BerMar Scholarship Committee from 2003-2005 and currently serves at the Women’s Funding Alliance Economic Opportunity grant committee . Agnes participants in the Loving Families Program’s advisory committee. She has also received several awards and honors such as the Karin Stromberg Award for Contribution to Social Justice and Academic Excellence (2004-2005) at the University of Washington and a Certificate of Honor from the Equatorian Sudanese Community Association of Washington (2004). Agnes is multilingual English, Arabic, Latuka/Otuho and is a certified HIV/AIDS instructor with the African American Reach and Teach Health. Agnes hopes to use her legal background to promote social justice and become an effective advocate for human rights.
N.B. Agnes is a mother of 2 children (Eric and Pashai)
President & COO, The Seattle Times
Carolyn Kelly joined The Seattle Times as a financial analyst in 1977, moving through the ranks to hold positions including marketing/news business director; VP/chief financial officer and senior vice president/general manager. In 2001, she was named the newspaper’s President and Chief Operating Officer, joining a handful of women in the U.S. who have risen to an executive position at a newspaper. In her position, Kelly is responsible for advertising, circulation, corporate marketing, employee resources, finance, information systems and operations. She received a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and an MBA from Seattle University. She received her CPA in 1976.
2009 NCAA Champion, UW Women’s Softball
Named the 2009 USA Softball Player of the Year and the Honda Award Winner after leading the Huskies to the 2009 National Championship, it’s first in the sport of softball… Named Most Outstanding Player of the Women’s College World Series after pitching every inning for the Huskies and going 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 42.2 innings… Also had a grand slam in the national semifinal victory over Georgia to propel the Huskies into the Championship Series, where they swept then-No. 1 Florida by scores of 8-0 and 3-2… Also named a First Team All-American for the second time in her career along with being named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, First Team All-Pac-10 and First Team All-Pacific Region… Was recently nominated for an ESPY award… Led the nation with 521 strikeouts and 42 victories and ranked third in the country with 21 shutouts and sixth with a 0.98 ERA… Pitched a 15-inning marathon in which she threw 271 pitches and struck out 24 batters in the NCAA Regional final game to send UW to the Super Regionals… Her 521 strikeouts on the season are a UW single-season record and one shy of the Pac-10 record… Also broke UW season records for wins, shutouts, innings pitched, games started and complete games and already owns career records for strikeouts (1,365), shutouts (41), complete games (108) and innings pitched (888.1) with one year remaining… She already ranks fifth in Pac-10 history and 13 in NCAA history for career strikeouts… Was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week a record six times in 2009… Sat out the 2008 season while playing for Canada in the 2008 Olympic Games… Made four appearances in Beijing, striking out 13 batters in 12 innings… Led UW to the Women’s College World Series in 2007, being named First Team All-American and also earning a spot on the WCWS All-Tournament team after firing a no-hitter and one-hitter in helping UW into the National Semifinals.
Dr. Sutapa Basu
Executive Director of the Women’s Center at the University of Washington
Sutapa Basu, PhD, is the executive director of the University of Washington Women’s Center, which under Dr. Basu’s leadership is now the largest university-based women’s center in the country. At the UW Women’s Center, Dr. Basu ensures the educational, professional,and personal support programs offered to women and girls provide the choices and resources to make the best decisions for their future. Her work is grounded in her dedication to empower women to speak out more, take leadership roles, demand better working conditions, seek support against domestic violence and improve education and family health for women and children.
Dr. Basu’s area of academic specialization is women in developing economies and international development. She has worked extensively with women’s groups in India and the U.S, and is known internationally for her work on women’s issues,girls education, gender equality, sustainable development, social justice and human rights and trafficking. The primary focus of her current research and activism is ending violence against women and fighting the global trafficking of women and children. Her work on food security issues and building sustainable communities helps create options for women in civil societies.
Dr. Basu has been recognized as a national leader and advocate for young immigrant women, particularly those who have been victims of human trafficking abuse. Through her work at the UW Women’s Center, she helped create the first statewide anti-trafficking legislation. Similar legislation has now been introduced in 24 other states. She also supports various women’s organizations in India, including institutions working against trafficking and violence, microcredit programming for underserved populations, and a school for girls in impoverished circumstances. She travels to India annually to build upon the network of programs that support the advancement and education of women and young girls in communities of need.
“Dr. Basu’s courage and ability to recognize the disparities and challenges that exist for women are what make her a strong leader in advocating for women’s rights,” states Dolores Sibonga, a UW Women’s Center Board member and former Seattle City Council member. “Throughout her life, Dr. Basu has had the courage to challenge the roles that were expected of her and women in society.”
“Women around the world need support systems and many have taken on leadership roles that have defied cultural norms. In every society women account for nearly two-thirds of the aggregate labor market and despite the inequities we are seeing women taking on more responsible roles and leadership positions in civil societies,” says Dr. Basu, “We provide support, training workshops, and mentoring opportunities and offer women the chance to build upon their dreams.”
Dr. Basu has received many awards worldwide for her advocacy and advancement of women in society. Dr. Basu serves on many boards and committees on the UW campus and Washington State community as the UW Women’s Center is a vital place where women and men partner to build a culture of gender equity community-wide and supports many programs locally, nationally and abroad.
Director, Seattle Art Museum
Mimi Gardner Gates joined the Seattle Art Museum as Director in May 1994. She is a scholar of Asian Art with a strong interest in Chinese painting, ceramics and the history of ornament.
She received her B.A. degree from Stanford University in Asian history; an Honors diploma in Chinese Language and Culture from the École Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes, Paris; an M.A. degree in Oriental and Chinese studies from the University of Iowa (1968) and a PhD. in Art History from Yale University (1981).
She began her tenure at Yale University Art Gallery in 1975, serving as Curator of Asian art through 1987 and as director from 1987 to May 1, 1994. Gates helped organize numerous Chinese Art exhibitions, and contributed to several publications including Bones of Jade, Soul of Ice: The Flowering Plum in Chinese Art (1985). During her directorship (1987-94), the Yale University Art Gallery created a conservation studio, added a department of European and Contemporary art, expanded its collections and embarked on an ambitious program of exhibitions, many of which were organized by faculty and students.
As director of the Seattle Art Museum, Gates has aggressively led the museum forward, embarking on significant capital projects, including building a new downtown expanded art museum, creation of the Olympic Sculpture Park, renovations to the 1933 Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, and establishment of a conservation studio. In addition to overseeing the growth of SAM, she oversaw the organization of major exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Gates has served as president and trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors, chaired the Federal Indemnity panel (1999 – 2002) at The National Endowment for the Arts, sat on the Advisory Board of the Getty Leadership Institute and is currently a member of the Governing Board of the Yale University Art Gallery. In addition, she is a member of the Board of the Northwest African American Museum, the Greater Seattle YWCA, Downtown Seattle Association, and Copper Canyon Press.
Founder & CEO, SynapticMash
While jogging in the spring of 1984, Ramona Pierson was struck by a drunk driver, killing her dog and sending her into an 18-month coma. The accident broke 104 of her bones, caused multiple forms of brain trauma, and punctured holes in her lungs, requiring nearly 100 surgeries, including replacing many bones with titanium. The accident also rendered Ramona blind.
Ramona says the coma was a door to a new life. But the road to this new life meant fighting through major obstacles. She re-learned how to speak, and learned to navigate through society with the aid of a seeing-eye dog. After taking the chance on a dangerous surgery, Ramona eventually regained her sight in one eye.
Having been a marathoner for years, Ramona’s drive for competition led her to the sport of cycling. Pushing through the pain of a reconstructed body, cycling eventually yielded Ramona many amazing athletic achievements throughout the 1990s, including competing in the Ironhorse and Masters National races, and becoming a 5-time champion at the Masters World Cup in Australia. Although a subsequent injury ended her cycling career prematurely, Ramona has said that she always intended to “make the most of her life, regardless of the injuries that result.”
In spite of all these challenges, Ramona forged ahead, attending several colleges and universities where she earned degrees and awards in the social and psychological sciences. More importantly, she brings to SynapticMash a hermeneutical perspective of “how learning happens.” Ramona entered the education industry professionally by volunteering for the San Francisco school district, primarily with parents of students with cognitive disorders from accidental or traumatic causes. This piqued her curiosity of pedagogy. Because she found that many teachers didn’t know what to do with the data she presented, she was inspired to improve the state of education. She earned a teaching degree at the University of San Francisco and held an internship as a 1st and 3rd grade teacher while also working at the local VA Hospital.
Ramona came to Seattle in 2002, through a district administration fellowship at the University of Washington. She worked for the Seattle Public Schools in leadership roles at Cleveland, Madison, and Franklin schools, eventually working at the District Office as District Administrator: Director of Ed Tech, Research, Evaluation, and Assessments.
In order to share the benefits of the tools she created for Seattle Public Schools with everyone, Ramona created her company, SynapticMash, in September 2007. The company’s flagship product, LearningQube, is now under development for a wide variety of clients all over the U.S., with her vision firmly taking the lead: to improve student learning. And although changing the face of education seems like a challenge, Ramona Pierson is tackling it in the same way she lives the rest of her life: head on!
Founding President, Washington Women’s Foundation
Colleen Willoughby is co-founder and President of the Washington Women’s Foundation, an organization she helped to create in Seattle in 1995.
The foundation’s mission is to create a new fund of major money from women donors and provide education for those donors to become effective philanthropists. In eleven years, the foundation has grown to 480 members and has invested over $7.4 million of their own money into the community. Since inception, WWF has touched over 700 organizations through pooled and individual grants.
WWF was honored as Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives in 2000, by Childhaven with their annual Mark Mathews Service to Children award for outstanding support of Childhaven’s effort to end the cycle of abuse and neglect in 2006 and by LEAD of Thurston County as their first Statewide Distinguished Leader Award in 2007. WWF has been mentioned in national publications, including Town & Country magazine’s special annual editions of the Power of Philanthropy in 2005 and 2007.
Colleen has served as President of the Junior League of Seattle and has served on the Board of the Association of Junior Leagues International as a Sustaining Director in 1992. Colleen has served as Board Chair of United Way of King County, CITYCLUB, Seattle Children’s Home, Leadership/Tomorrow and the Saul and Dayee Haas Foundation. She has served as a member of the Boards of Directors of The Seattle Foundation, YMCA, the Pacific Science Center, Planned Parenthood of King County and Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center Foundation.
She currently is an Emeritus Trustee of Whitman College and is Chair of the Visiting Committee of the Daniel J. Evans Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.
In 2004 she received the first Women of Influence award for philanthropic leadership by the Puget Sound Business Journal, and in 2005 she was recognized by the Women’s University Club of Seattle and the National Mortar Board as a distinguished alumna.
Patricia Barker is considered one of the world’s most gifted ballerinas. Born in Richland, Wash., she received her early ballet training from Lynne Williams in Richland, studied on scholarship at Boston Ballet School with E. Virginia Williams and Violette Verdi and at Pacific Northwest Ballet School with Francia Russell, Perry Brunson and Janet Reed. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1981, was promoted to Soloist in 1984 and was made a Principal dancer in 1986.
Ms. Barker has danced in many of the great full length ballets and contemporary works from renowned choreographers. She has performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. She appeared as a guest artist with national and international ballet companies and has performed in many Galas throughout the world. Ms. Barker danced the lead role of Clara in Stowell’s Nutcracker the Motion Picture and starred as Titania in Balanchine’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream filmed by the BBC for the celebratory re-opening of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. She has graced the covers of Dance Magazine, Danser, Pointe Magazine, Dance Pages and Dance International.
For the past 15 years she has staged, rehearsed and coached ballets for professional ballet companies such as Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana for Texas Ballet Theater, Kent Stowell’s Duo Fantasy for Oregon Ballet Theater, George Balanchine’s Serenade for Boston Ballet School. In her role as Artistic Advisor for the Slovak National Ballet, she has taught company class and coached Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere and Nutcracker. She has prepared PNB dancers for many guest appearances including Nutcracker, Don Quixote and Swan Lake.
Ms. Barker has taught at nationally renowned ballet schools such as Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, North Carolina School of the Arts, The Governor’s School in Greenville, South Carolina and Boston Ballet School.
Ms. Barker’s entrepreneurial and management experience includes a variety of activities. For the last 10 years she has directed product design and development for BKWear, her own dancewear company. She received a patent while consulting with Bloch on a variety of products, including pointe shoes, ballet slippers, leotards and active wear and was featured in frequent advertisement campaigns. She is currently a product development consultant for Bunheads Inc. She also collaborated with Freed of London, producing an instructional video addressing dancers’ most frequently asked questions about the art of wearing pointe shoes.
Ms. Barker is currently on the advisory board for Pointe Magazine, CriticalDance.com, California Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theater.
She continues to dedicate time and effort to bring greater awareness to bone and joint health by acting as a spokesperson for the United States Bone and Joint Decade. Ms. Barker has been instrumental in creating “Fit to a T” programs for young dancers to spread awareness about bone health and osteoporosis.
Dr. Bonnie Dunbar
President, CEO of The Museum of Flight; retired NASA Astronaut
Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar is President and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle. The “MOF” is the largest private air and space museum in the world, with an education program that provides for nearly 100,000 students per year and an aircraft restoration center. Dr. Dunbar recently retired from the NASA Johnson Space Center where she was Associate Director, Technology Integration and Risk Management for the Space Life Sciences Directorate (SLSD) of the NASA Johnson Space Center. SLSD is responsible for Astronaut Crew Health, Human Health Research for Space Exploration, Human Factor Design of Spacecraft, and Life Support Requirements.
A NASA Mission Specialist astronaut and veteran of 5 space flights, Dr. Dunbar has logged more than 50 days in space. She has served as the Payload Commander on two flights, including the first Space Shuttle docking mission to the Russian Space Station Mir.
Dr. Dunbar holds BS and MS degrees in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Washington, and a PhD in Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering from the University of Houston. Prior to working for NASA, she was a senior research engineer with Rockwell International Space Division, where she helped to develop the equipment and processes for manufacturing the thermal protection system for the Space Shuttle. Dr. Dunbar is a member of the American Ceramic Society (Fellow), the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA/Associate Fellow). She has been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. Dr. Dunbar is a registered Professional Engineer, a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and in 2002 was elected to the National Academy of Engineers.
Dr. Dunbar has been a lifelong athlete and played basketball in high school. In her senior class at Sunnyside High, she was voted most “athletic girl.”
Senator Rosa Franklin
Washington State Senator
Senator Rosa Franklin is history in the making. Senator Franklin is the first African-American female elected to the Washington State Senate. She began her political service to the people in Tacoma’s 29th Legislative District where she was elected to the House of Representatives in 1990. She served in the House of Representatives until January 1993 when she was sworn in as the State Senator from the 29th Legislative District. Rosa is currently serving her third term as a Senator.
Her leadership roles in the Senate are a tribute to her accomplishments, as well as a symbol of the respect given her by the Senate body. She has served as President Pro Tem of the Senate, Vice-President Pro Tem and as Majority Whip of the Senate. Currently she serves as Democratic Assistant Floor Leader.
Senator Franklin is continually working for the good of the people. This year she introduced legislation to reform our states tax structure and a host of bills to protect and improve the lives of Washingtonians. She is the prime sponsor of the bills that were directed toward investigating and stopping Racial Profiling, stopping genetic discrimination, restoring the voting rights of ex-felons and creating a Joint Select Committee on Health Disparities. She works hard to improve the quality of life for Seniors and others. Often many of us must make a financial decision about choosing to pay rent, buy food or obtain prescription drugs to cure our diseases. The Senator has introduced bills dealing with improving access to as well as reducing the cost of prescription drugs.
Her service to the community is strongly depicted by her Civic
Activities: League of Women Voters; Tacoma Urban League; NAACP; Safe Streets; Bates Technical College Advisory Board; Cascade Regional Blood Services Board Member; Advisory Committee for Cancer Screening Program for Targeted populations; Board Member of the New Phoebe House for women recovering from substance abuse and working to be reunited with their children; and Area Health Education Center Board Western Region.
Politics is the Senator’s second career. In her first career she dedicated her life’s work to the service of those in need of health care. After graduating from Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital School of Nursing in Columbia, SC, she dedicated 42 years of life to the nursing profession. She continually improved her ability to serve those needing health care by receiving a B.A. and M.A. at the Universities of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran, respectfully. Also a Women’s Health Care Certificate – Gynecorp Pro., UW. In 2006, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service by the University of Puget Sound.
The Senator has now retired from active nursing duties but as shown by her legislative bills, she has not stopped helping those in need of health care services. She continues to be engaged in health issues not only in Olympia, but also in communities statewide. She has received many awards for her work.
All of the above show a woman of renown accomplishment, but her greatest achievement is her marriage to husband James and her immediate family of three children and five grandchildren.
Those of us who know her love and respect her to the fullest and believe she is a beacon that others can follow.
Head coach, Seattle Pacific University women’s cross country; former U.S. Olympian
It should come as no surprise that the greatest distance runners of the Sixties and Seventies has spawned one of the premier collegiate running programs in NCAA Division II history. Both in America and around the globe, the name of Doris Brown Heritage is synonymous with the best in women’s distance running.
Over the last 38 years, she has been a pioneer for the sport, a competitor without peer and, later, coach to some of the greatest collegians on record. So it’s not surprising that Heritage is a member of both an athlete’s and coach’s hall of fame. Further, she is considered one of the Northwest’s greatest personalities of the 20th Century by both Sports Illustrated and The Seattle Times. In 1999, Heritage became just the second female inducted to the United States Track Coaches Hall of Fame. Earlier, in 1990, the five-time world champion and two-time Olympian was inducted into U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame for her success in running.
Now in her 39th year on the SPU coaching staff and her 28th as head coach of cross country, Heritage has always been on the leading edge of her profession. During the 1960s and ’70s, she set the standard for women’s distance standouts of today. As her competitive career drew to a close, she became increasingly involved in coaching. Although Heritage has received several national and international appointments, her greatest commitment has always been her SPU programs, and that commitment is evident in the Falcons’ achievements during her tenure.
Ten of her cross country teams have placed in the top 10 at national meets and Seattle Pacific has won the conference women’s championships seven of the last 12 years, and the men’s team won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title in 2004. In 1996, SPU was the West Region women’s champion. Twenty harriers have earned All-America status, including two national champions. Heritage has been voted by her peers the conference coach of the year seven times. And that’s just in the fall.
In track and field, her middle-distance and distance runners have helped form the foundation of the nationally prominent Falcon track team, which she serves as assistant coach. Under her tutelage, seven women have won AIAW and NCAA titles from 800-10,000 meters. In all, SPU men and women runners have scored at nationals 38 times in the last 28 years.
Without a doubt the world’s premier distance runner during the ’60s, Heritage first honed her skills as a member of the Falcon Track Club, the forerunner to today’s women’s varsity. Under the direction of Ken Foreman, the then-Doris Brown set two American records before graduating from SPU in 1964. Eventually she owned every national and world record from 440 yards up to the mile. And the longer the distance, the more dominant she became. Unfortunately during her reign there were few women’s races over 5,000 meters. Nevertheless, Heritage did shine in the international spotlight.
She was named to the U.S. Olympic team in 1968 and 1972, taking fifth in the 800m at Mexico City. A last-minute injury prevented her from running the 1500m in Munich. She won the silver medal (800m) at Pan American Games in 1967 and 1971. From 1967-71, Heritage won an unprecedented five consecutive world cross country championships, and raced on nine U.S. world teams in all. During her prime she won 14 national titles, and set a world record in the 440, 800, mile and 3000m. Still running in front of the pack, she won the U.S. Masters cross country title in 1989.
Heritage has remained a fixture on the world’s stage since her racing days. She was an assistant coach on staffs selected for various major competitions, including the 1984 and ’88 Olympic Games, the ’87 and ’90 World Championships. She remains a frontrunner, having become the first female to be elected to the prestigious IAAF Cross Country and Road Race Committee in 1988. More recently, she has served as head coach of the U.S. Ekiden Cup contingent in Japan, the U.S. world championships cross country team and the USA-Great Britain dual meet in 1993. In 1996 Heritage was the chief of mission for the U.S. cross country team at the world championships in South Africa.
Heritage is a native of Gig Harbor, Wash. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in physical education from SPU in 1964, and received her master’s in education in 1971. She has been an assistant professor at her alma mater since that time. Doris and husband Ralph Heritage reside in West Seattle.
President, CEO of REI
Sally Jewell is president and CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI), a national outdoor retail cooperative dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its 3.1 million active members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure.
She joined REI as chief operating officer in 2000, after serving on its board of directors for four years, and was named CEO in March 2005. Jewell has been very active in a variety of community and civic causes, including the University of Washington Board of Regents, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, National Parks Conservation Association, and Initiative for Global Development – Business Leaders Working to End Global Poverty. In addition, Sally is an active spokesperson on behalf of REI and the industry regarding the importance of outdoor activities in the lives of Americans.
Prior to her employment at REI, Jewell’s career spanned 19 years in the banking industry, specializing in energy banking, national accounts and credit administration. She served as head of business banking activities in the state of Washington for Rainier Bank, Security Pacific Bank and WestOne Bank; as president and CEO of WestOne Bank Washington; and as president and CEO of Washington Mutual’s commercial banking group. Before pursuing her career in banking, Jewell was an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation in Oklahoma and Colorado.
Jewell is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in mechanical engineering and enjoys mountaineering, hiking, snowboarding, skiing and kayaking.
For the past 10 consecutive years, REI has been ranked on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list. The co-op is regarded for its leadership in employment practices and corporate social responsibility.
USA Volleyball team member; UW volleyball team
Courtney Thompson concluded her amazing volleyball career at the University of Washington last December, and immediately went to work at the national level as a member of the USA national team. She played in 15 sets during the Pan American Cup, where Team USA took fourth place, and started against Brazil on June 28. In the Pan American Games, Thompson played in all five matches and started the final three contests. In the Bronze Medal match July 19 against Peru, which the U.S. won, Thompson recorded 29 assists, three aces and two blocks.
During her four years with the Huskies, Thompson was a three-time AVCA All-America First-Team selection. She set the Pacific-10 Conference record with 6,552 assists (third best in NCAA Division I history) and set the NCAA record for career assists per game (14.56). Thompson also concluded her career with a school-best 450 starts leading to three appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament national semifinals and one regional final. She added 1,059-career digs for sixth-best in school history. As a junior, she earned the Honda Sports Award for best volleyball player after leading the Huskies to their first national championship. She received a ESPY Top Female College Athlete nomination in 2005. As a senior, she again was a finalist for the Honda Sports Award as she set the Huskies to a .281 team attack percentage on 14.50 assists per game. Thompson is a three-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.
Trish Millines Dziko
Trish spent 15 years working in the high tech industry as a software tester, a software developer, a manager, a consultant, and a database designer in such industries as military weapons, business systems, communications, and medical equipment.
It was during her 8.5 years at Microsoft that she became active in diversity. In 1995 Trish worked as a Senior Diversity Administrator. She traveled the country to recruit college level technically trained people of color and found that the pool of people she had to choose from was very small.
Trish realized that in order to increase the number of qualified people coming out of college, she would need to find a way to increase the number of people of color enrolling in university to pursue technical degrees. Capturing the interest of children of color early in their lives, and providing them with the opportunity to become users and creators of technology is the foundation on which the Technology Access Foundation is based.
In 1996, Trish left the technology industry and with support and help of friends and family, created the Technology Access Foundation (TAF).
TAF’s vision is to be a catalyst for social change in underserved communities of color. Serving one child at a time, TAF enhances their educational and professional prospects through the delivery of tools for learning in the 21st century.
TAF programs are rooted in project based learning, and are designed to increase problem solving, critical thinking, information synthesis, and communication skills.
In addition to her work at TAF, Trish has served on numerous boards of organizations that focus on children and education. Trish has received dozens of local and national awards for her work educating children of color.
A native of New Jersey, Trish attended Monmouth University (then known as Monmouth College) on a full basketball scholarship, the first woman to do so. She received a B.S. in Computer Science in 1979.
In June 2001, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Seattle University. She was honored for her work with TAF as one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Most Beautiful Women of 2006.
A Seattle native and graduate of WSU, Kathi serves as the lead anchor of the 4 p.m. newscast “First News @4” and as co-anchor of the 5pm and 6:30pm weekday editions of KOMO 4 News. She has earned multiple journalism and community service awards on both local and national levels including five Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award. She serves on the board of the Seattle/King County YWCA and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Dr. Mary-Claire King
Perhaps more than anyone in her generation, Dr. Mary-Claire King has managed to reconcile the objectivity of a highly knowledgeable, well grounded researcher with the ardor of the activist. For her, science is personal.
Born in a Chicago suburb in 1946, she learned the cruelty of cancer when she was still in high school and a childhood friend died of the disease. She attributes her interest in science and particularly her groundbreaking work in cancer research in part to that early loss. Certainly she was a highly motivated student. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics cum laude from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, at the early age of 20. She received her doctorate in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley, and then pursued post doctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco.
While still at UC she interrupted her studies briefly to work with Ralph Nader’s consumer advocacy organization, to study the effects of pesticides on farm workers. Throughout her career, she has been acutely aware of the benefits of scientific discovery to the human condition and she has focused her research energies on projects that will benefit humanity. She has worked with the United Nations using DNA evidence to identify victims of war crimes in various parts of the world. And she became famous internationally for helping to establish the genetic links of children of “the Disappeared” in Argentina whose parents were killed in civil unrest, thus helping to unite the children with their grandparents.
Dr. King has focused years of research on cancer, especially breast cancer. Perhaps her most dramatic contribution, to date, is the demonstration of the link between breast cancer and a single gene, BRCA1. Other researchers have since used her method of analyzing the genetic effects on breast cancer to study other illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
While actively engaged in research, she has also forged a reputation as a great teacher. She was a professor of genetics and epidemiology at UC, Berkeley, from 1976 to 1995, and since then has been an American Cancer Society research professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is an affiliate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle.
She has served on numerous government panels and with private organizations, including the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Task Force, the National Institutes of Health Genome Study Section and the Office of Research on Women’s Health Advisory Board, the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal and UN Forensic Anthropology Team and the Robert Wood John Foundation’s Minority Medical Faculty Development Program, Scientific Advisory Board. She also has served on the editorial boards or reviewing panels of many publications including Science and Nature magazines.
Co-founder and Vice President of The Moyer Foundation
Karen Moyer, a leading philanthropist in the Northwest, stays extremely busy as a Vice President of The Moyer Foundation, mother of six children and wife of Seattle Mariner All Star pitcher, Jamie Moyer. Karen has received many honors for her leadership and efforts to improve the lives of children including:
· Create Your Dreams Award from the National Mothers in Business Network
· Notre Dame Family Exemplar Award
· Fred Hutchinson Distinguished Community Service Award
· Virginia Mason – Celebrated Women Award
In addition, she actively serves on the Boards of
· Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
· The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
· Seattle Children’s Hospital Leadership Council
In 2006, Karen co-produced and hosted the Emmy-nominated “Dreamcatchers” TV show, making real-life dreams come true for children in distress. Karen is an active public speaker, focusing on issues relating to philanthropy, foundation work, mentorship and motivation.
Karen and Jamie established The Moyer Foundation in 2000 with the mission of making a positive impact in the lives of children by offering encouragement, comfort and support to children and their families enduring a time of profound distress. By providing opportunities for enhancing overall wellness, stability and quality of life, The Moyer Foundation has raised over $8.5 million to support over 100 different organizations that help children in distress.
Karen has lead the Foundation’s establishment of several key initiatives, including an endowment for Pediatric Palliative Care at Children’s Hospital, The Gregory Fund, for early detection research at the Hutchinson Center, and Camp Erin, bereavement camps for grieving children–now established in five states.
Karen is a 1987 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Her father is former Notre Dame Basketball coach and current ESPN analyst, Digger Phelps. Her mother is, Teresa Godwin Phelps, a law professor formerly at Notre Dame currently at American University and an established author and activist for women’s rights. Karen also enjoys teaches a “spinning” exercise class several times a week.
“With the grace of God I am able to balance a very blessed life of taking care of others.” Karen Moyer
Mary Ellen Stone
Mary Ellen Stone is the Executive Director of King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC). For more than 26 years, has played an active role in changing the nature of sexual assault prevention, education and victim response in Washington State. She has been Executive Director of KCSARC since 1979 and is a leader in the non-profit sector. She has served on several boards and task forces including most recently the Washington State Sexual Assault Advisory Committee. She has been co-chair of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Board, the Women’s Funding Alliance, as well as a past board member of the Children’s Campaign Fund and the Seattle-King County Municipal League. She is a program graduate of Leadership Tomorrow and the Alki Foundation. She has a Masters in Counseling from the University of Minnesota.