Skip to main content


Linda Finney Diversity Scholarship

Founded by Leadership Spokane’s Diversity Day Scan Team from the Class of 2013, the scholarship is named in honor of Leadership Spokane’s Executive Director Emeritus, Linda Finney. The Class of 2013 wished to recognize Finney for her commitment to diversity and outreach.

 “I was taken completely by surprise,” stated Finney.  “It is a huge honor. It feels like a validation of so much I have worked for and care about. ‘Thank  you’ doesn’t begin to express my gratitude.” The Scan Team created the scholarship to make a positive change that would extend beyond their class experience.  The scholarship will strengthen Leadership Spokane and the Spokane community by further encouraging diverse participation in the Leadership Spokane program.

The Class of 2013 raised over $2500 to fund two partial scholarships this first year.  At Commencement on the 13th of June, Shelly Wynecoop, Director and Chief Executive Officer at Spokane Tribal College was the first recipient. The scholarship is intended to be need based and provide funding for individuals who are not already sponsored or otherwise could not afford tuition on their own.  The scholarship will be permanently funded by the Leadership Spokane community and administered by the organization.

The Diversity Day Scan Team: Chris Bernardi (Itron), John Dickson (Spokane County), Speed Fitzhugh (Avista), Zane Huffman (FLSmidth), Chris Romey (Spokane Emergency Physicians), Korry Sheffler (Itron), Connie Stark (StarkTours), Tracy Swank (Northeast Community Center)

Recent Recipients

DaZelda Scholarship

The DaZelda Scholarship, created and administered by Susan and Ira Amstadter, Class of 2000, owners of Express Employment Professionals, is awarded to an incoming member of the adult Leadership Spokane program who demonstrates a passion for his/her community, finds creative and innovative solutions to problems, has a zest for life and can answer the question, “What can you do today to strengthen your heart and increase your capacity to do good in the world?”

 Zelda was Ira Amstadter’s grandmother and lived to be 97 years old. The DaZelda Scholarship was established in Zelda’s memory to honor her spirit of zest, vigor and sense of community. Founder Ira Amstadter says “My grandmother was a woman full of life and zest, and I am sure she would be proud of how we have chosen to honor her. The scholarship is a family choice. The applications are passed around to almost all the members of the family, and we collectively choose the winner. She would be proud that we as a family are helping to improve the community one person at a time.”

Recent Recipients

Smith-Barbieri Fund Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to an incoming member of the adult Leadership Spokane program who demonstrates a passion for his/her community, who is making a lasting life transition and who has a desire to step up to leadership. The candidate must also have a demonstrated financial need that would make Leadership Spokane tuition a barrier to participation in the program.

“We understand how challenging it can be to make lasting life transitions without a community of support around you,” stated Sharon Smith and Don Barbieri.  “We are working to eradicate the systemic causes that lead to hardships like domestic violence, substance abuse, unemployment and incarceration, but we know that these things still happen. For those times, we work to ensure our vulnerable citizens have access to tools and resources to achieve sustainable well-being and to make their voices heard in community decision making.”

“I have asked myself whether one has to have money or position or a life of advantages in order to be a leader,” remarked Linda Finney. “I think that people coming from challenging backgrounds have much to contribute to the leadership table.  By funding an annual scholarship to Leadership Spokane, the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund is removing some of those barriers.” John Lemus, Community Relations Facilitator at Skils’Kin was the first individual to receive this scholarship at Commencement 2014.

Past Recipients

About the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund

The Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund aims to build upon our region’s strong foundation to ensure that those in need have every opportunity to succeed. With strong community partnerships, creativity and tenacity, we work to reduce poverty, broaden low-cost/affordable housing, foster a more dynamic constituency and spotlight our region.

 If you are Interested in applying for this scholarship, please send and email to