Time to Celebrate!
This has been such a great year—especially after the challenges of 2010, when the economic situation hit here at Leadership Spokane. You’ve all played a role in this success; here are some highlights.
- Recruitment for the Class of 2013 was the most successful since I started at Leadership Spokane in 1999. At 50, this will be our biggest class ever, with several new companies getting involved, particularly in the manufacturing and construction sectors, while the non-profit sector continues to have a solid presence. It’s an impressive roster of companies and people.
- Graduates are doing important work in the community. For example: Dr. Brian Pitcher (Class of 2006) is on the leadership team for the Medical School and University District. Latisha Hill (Class of 2003) and Dale Stedman (Leadership Spokane Founder) have been very involved with the progress of the North South Freeway. Hoopfest, created by Rick Steltenpohl (Class of 1997), continues to thrive. Jack Heath (Class of 1990), Anne Marie Axworthy (Class of 1986), Anne Cowles (Class of 1991), Marty Dickinson (Class of 2004) and Linda Elkin (Class of 2009) have contributed hugely to the creation and development of Mobius Children’s Museum and Mobius Science Center.
- We’ve reached a major milestone of over 1000 graduates working in our community, across the state, and nationally. Dr. Terri Oskin, Columbia Medical Associates/President of the Spokane County Medical Society, was actually the 1000th person to walk across the stage at Graduation in June.
- A year ago in December, we started the Leadership Spokane Foundation within the Inland Northwest Community Foundation. Working with INWCF, we are launching a major effort to grow the Foundation, both with new gifts and planned giving. This is the fund for our 10,000th Graduate!
- February saw the debut of our first annual Gala, Leadership Lights the Way, hosted by our premiere sponsor, Northern Quest Resort & Casino/Kalispel Tribe of Indians. Everyone had a great time, and the event was a success far beyond our expectations: over 250 guests, 30 great auction items, and $15,500 in revenue that will go to support the Leadership Spokane Scholarship Fund and the Foundation.
- As a part of our strategic plan, we are implementing an increased focus on how we serve and support alumni. We’ve been able to invest in a half time Alumni Relationship Manager position and brought Lorna Walsh, Class of 2005, onto our staff in March.
- In the past two years at Graduation, Avista Corp, Group Health Cooperative and Gonzaga University have received the Silver Spirit of Leadership Award, which recognizes companies that have put 25 or more employees through the program. This represents a huge financial investment as well as a strong commitment to Leadership Spokane.
- The Program is strong. The Board and I have worked to make the program immediately relevant to the needs of the community and our students, created solid value in the presentations and skills gained, and provided a networking environment that fuels creativity, imagination and new ways of working better.
- On July 1st, we start celebrating our 30th Anniversary.
We know you will continue to be supportive of Leadership Spokane. Thank you, again, for your investment and leadership.
Linda Finney, Executive Director