Celebrating leaders

I strongly believe in developing, promoting, and celebrating leadership.  I attended the U.S. Naval Academy where leadership is foundational to every other subject or program.  Our County Leadership Certification program is our effort to promote and develop a culture of leadership in Pierce County.

I appreciate other organizations that value leadership, as well.  And the University of Washington-Tacoma (UWT) is one such organization!

On Tuesday night, I attended the UWT Milgard School of Business 22nd Annual Business Leadership Awards – and it was awesome!  Chancellor Shelia Edwards Lange’s team did a great job.  The honorees represented some of the best leaders in our community:

  • Clint Stein, CEO of Umpqua Bank – Business Leader of the Year
  • Dean Allen, CEO of McKinstry – Lifetime Achievement (for profit)
  • Rene’ Ancinas, CEO of Port Blakely – Sustainable Business Leader of the Year
  • Anne Jones, Owner/Broker Windermere Abode – Women’s Leadership Award
  • Lyle Quasim, Civic Leader – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Community Leadership Award
  • Dona Ponepinto, President/CEO of United Way of Pierce County – Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year
  • Bruce Kendall, President/CEO Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County – Lifetime Achievement Award (nonprofit)

Congratulations to these deserving awardees!  The whole evening made me proud of our community!

Lyle Quasim, Dona Ponepinto and Bruce Kendall
(photo courtesy of Dona Ponepinto)

On Wednesday morning, I sat down with five of our colleagues as part of our employee engagement effort.  This small, in-person, 90-minute meeting complements our virtual Employee Town Hall, but allows for much more in-depth discussions.

Our group included employees from Facilities, Human Services, Juvenile Court, Planning & Public Works, and Human Resources – and their length of service with the County ranged from less than one month to 22 years! 

We talked about a wide variety of topics including key issues facing the County; what I am most proud of during my time as Executive; what is the best and worst part of working for Pierce County; the Good Neighbor Village partnership with the Tacoma Rescue Mission; our recruiting and hiring efforts; and much more.

Thank you to Chris Horne, Elsa Jaramillo, Kariann Lee, Adam Rorabaugh, and Kim Schwannecke for sharing their perspectives – and to Raul Leal-Trujillo for bringing us all together.

As I close, I want to express my profound sadness at the recent passing of Tacoma Councilmember Catherine Ushka.

Photo courtesy of Metro Parks Tacoma

I have tremendous respect for Catherine’s lifetime of serving her country and community – in the Naval Reserve, on the Tacoma School Board and on the Tacoma City Council. My deepest condolences to those who loved her, her professional colleagues, and those she served. May she rest in peace.

Take care of yourself, and each other,