Michael Luis is a communications consultant and author of several local history books, including “Bellevue: Post World War II Years” and “Century 21 City: Seattle’s Fifty Year Journey from World’s Fair to World Stage,” and serves as mayor of Medina, Washington. He is also a member of the city council of Medina, and currently serves as mayor under the council-manager form of government. In addition, he is immediate past President of the Eastside Heritage Center and past Chair of the Alki Foundation, the political arm of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Courtney Wallace & Johan Hellman, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, “BNSF Railway Safety”
As Regional Director for Public Affairs with BNSF Railway, Courtney Wallace manages special projects related to port development, community relations, and external communications for the railroad’s Pacific Northwest division, which includes British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. She has more than 15 years of experience in the communications field, focusing on the transportation and travel sector.
Johan Hellman is the Executive Director of State Government Affairs for the BNSF Railway Co. in the Pacific Northwest. Before joining the railroad last fall, he served as Deputy Director of the Washington Public Ports Association.
Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci & Deputy Mayor Kevin Wallace, “Ready to Leap Ahead: a Look at What’s New for Bellevue”
Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci
Claudia Balducci, current Mayor, has served on the Bellevue City Council since 2004, including one term as Deputy Mayor in 2008-2009. Claudia started her public service as a neighborhood representative advocating for the renovation of her local shopping center in Lake Hills. Since then, with over a decade of public service, Claudia has emerged as a regional leader on transportation issues.
Deputy Mayor Kevin Wallace
A fifth generation Bellevue native, Deputy Mayor Kevin Wallace has served on the Bellevue City Council since 2009. He currently serves as the council liaison to the Eastside Transportation Partnership Steering Committee, Economic Development Council, Metropolitan Water Pollution Abatement Advisory Committee, Regional Water Quality Committee and the Issaquah School District Board. Kevin has also served as the council liaison to the Human Services Commission and Parks Board. Before being elected to the city council, he served on the Transportation Commission.
Kemper Freeman, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Kemper Development Company, “Community Building While Building Our Community”
Kemper Freeman, Jr., is the principal owner and hands-on leader of Kemper Development Company, which has developed a total of 4 million square feet of real estate in the Bellevue CBD. The Bellevue Collection is comprised of Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, and Lincoln Square, and spans over 50 acres.
One of the world’s largest expanses of sand, Africa’s Kalahari Desert, ironically supports an amazing water wonderland. Nothing like the Okavango Delta of northern Botswana exists anywhere else on the planet. Rain in the highlands of Angola travels over 600 miles through a narrow panhandle before fanning out into a vast inland delta of lush lagoons, artistic channels, and palm islands. Described as “the river which never finds the sea,” this annual flood arrives during Botswana’s dry season just when it is needed the most, thus sustaining a diversity of life that includes Africa’s most extraordinary plants and animals.
Andy Wappler is Vice President, Corporate Affairs, for Puget Sound Energy. As head of Corporate Affairs, Wappler leads the Company’s communications, community affairs, energy efficiency and products and services teams.
Kevin Mather was named Seattle Mariners President and COO, effective February 1, 2014. He succeeded Chuck Armstrong, who had held the position for 28 years. He joined the Mariners in 1996 as the Vice President of Finance and Administration. He was promoted to Executive Vice President of Finance and Ballpark Operations in 1999, where he was responsible for oversight of the Mariners accounting and financial reporting, ticket services, procurement, technology services, concessions, and day-to-day operations of Safeco Field.
Susan Everett, Program Design Manager, Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
Susan Everett is responsible for managing and leading the design development of the central waterfront viaduct replacement project. She manages the review of all design-related submittals from design-build contracts and also resolves issues between the design-build project and adjacent connecting projects, as well as develops risk management and contingency plans for the project. She has experience in project management, transportation and hydraulic design, permit management, consensus building, scheduling and estimating.
David Giuliani is a Northwest inventor, serial entrepreneur, and business leader. He is the co‑founder and Chair of the Washington Business Alliance, bringing entrepreneurial talent to Washington State governance. He grew up in Silicon Valley, applying his electrical engineering talents at Hewlett Packard, developing some of the world’s first commercial LED products.
David Sherman is a full professor at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed). He earned his PhD in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University, and performed post‑graduate work at the Rockefeller University and at Washington University in St. Louis. He began work on M. tuberculosis while at PathoGenesis Corp., where he played a lead role in the discovery and early development of the anti‑TB agent PA‑824 that is now in clinical trials.
Mary Bacarella, Managing Director & Carl Spence, Artistic Director, Seattle International Film Festival
Mary Bacarella, Managing Director
Mary Bacarella came to SIFF after 15 years at the Space Needle LLC/Chihuly Garden and Glass, where she most recently served as the Vice President of Brand Management and Official Spokesperson.
Carl Spence, Artistic Director
Carl Spence, Artistic Director, joined the Seattle International Film Festival/SIFF Group in 1994 as a Festival programmer and head of the Promotions and Marketing team and was promoted to Associate Director in 1998.
John Kelly is responsible for establishing the global responsibility and public policy agenda for Starbucks. He and his team lead Starbucks strategies and functions, including public policy, government affairs, corporate responsibility, and ethical sourcing and environmental impact for all brands, across all business units and geographic regions.
Ben Peterson, King County Noxious Weed Control Program, “Plant Bullies of the Northwest: Why Noxious Weeds are a Big Deal”
Ben Peterson has been with the King County Noxious Weed Control Program (KCNWCP) for over five years, working on both aquatic and terrestrial weed issues. He earned a BS in Rangeland Ecology from Colorado State University in 1998 and an MS in Forest Resources from the University of Washington in 2008. He has 15 years of experience working in the restoration field for federal and local agencies, as well as private ecological restoration companies.
Dr. Lorraine McConaghy is the public historian at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), in Seattle, and a lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Washington. She has received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching History, the DAR National Heritage Medal for Oral History, the AKCHO Charles Payton Award, and the Annual History Award from the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild.
Brian Turner currently serves on six for profit Boards of Directors, including Microvision, Inc. (Chairman of the Board, Chair of the Compensation Committee), Viewpoint Software (Lead Director), McKinstry, Inc., Solavei Corporation (Chair of Audit and Compensation Committees), Rally Group (Chair of Audit Committee) and InfoArmor, Inc.
One of the most successful and respected coaches in the country, Jim McLaughlin has come to embody Washington volleyball in his second decade in Seattle. The McLaughlin era, thus far, has produced one National Championship, four Final Four appearances, three national players of the year, three Pac‑12 Conference titles, and 15 players that combined for 31 AVCA All‑America awards. Eight times a Husky has earned Academic All‑America, and Husky players have combined for a whopping 55 All‑Pac‑12 awards under McLaughlin.
Daniel Lessler, MD, MHA, FACP, Chief Medical Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority, “The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Reform in Washington State: An Update”
Dr. Daniel Lessler is Chief Medical Officer for the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), which administers the state’s Medicaid program and Public Employees Benefits. Prior to joining the HCA in May 2013, Dr. Lessler was Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Senior Associate Medical Director at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.