Michael S. Stevens, Director of The Nature Conservancy in Washington, “Nature’s Role in Our Region’s Future”
The relationship between people and nature is the foundation of our region’s prosperity. For thousands of years, a wealth of natural life and diverse people, cultures, and economies have been supported by the rich resources and natural beauty of the Northwest.
But today, we face extraordinary challenges. Unprecedented growth is placing new demands on land and water. A changing climate is compounding that stress. To continue to thrive, we must take action.
Cyrus Oskoui was born in Northeastern Iran in 1942. He was raised in a Muslim family, which was typical of the culture. Upon completing his rigorous primary and secondary education in Iran, he left for England, where he learned English and studied engineering from February 1962 to a August 1963. He then moved to the United States on a student visa.
Rod Skaar, Chief Production Pilot, Boeing Test & Evaluation, Engineering, Operations & Technology, “From the Factory to the Sky, Getting 6 Million Parts to Fly in Close Formation for the First Time”
Captain Rod Skaar is the chief production pilot for Boeing Test & Evaluation, a centrally-managed organization that verifies and validates all Boeing products. In this role Skaar is responsible for the flight test and initial validation of all newly manufactured commercial airplanes, working closely with airline customers from around the world to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of new airplanes.
David B. Williams is a freelance writer focused on the intersection of people and the natural world. He writes about natural history, primarily focusing on geology and how it impacts our lives in myriad ways, from earthquakes to the stone we use in buildings to the hills that make riding a bike more challenging.
Williams will talk about his recently published book, “Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Landscape” (University of Washington Press), which explores how Seattleites shaped the city via projects such as filling in the Duwamish tide flats, rejiggering the drainage of Lake Washington, and regrading Denny Hill.
In this role Smith plays a key role in representing the company externally and in leading the company’s work on a number of critical issues including privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability, and digital inclusion, among others. He also leads a team of business, legal, and corporate affairs professionals, spanning 55 countries. These teams are responsible for the company’s legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, patent licensing business, and the company’s government affairs, public policy, corporate citizenship, and social responsibility work. He is also Microsoft’s corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer.
Kirk Nelson is the President and CEO of AAA Washington, a position he has held since April 1, 2011. AAA Washington is the pre-eminent provider of roadside assistance to more than one million members. Its full-service travel and insurance agencies provide products and services for members and the public.
Nelson was previously the Washington President for Qwest. He started his business career with Pacific Northwest Bell in 1979 in Seattle and held a wide range of management posts in Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Minnesota.
Robert W. Davidson, President & CEO, Seattle Aquarium, “Seattle Aquarium & Seattle’s Exciting New Waterfront”
Robert (Bob) W. Davidson became the President and CEO of the newly nonprofit Seattle Aquarium on July 1, 2010, after serving as CEO of the Seattle Aquarium Society since 2002. Davidson guided a repositioning of the Aquarium Society leading to the successful Aquarium Operating Agreement with the City in 2009. A key component was the $41.5 million public/private New Currents Aquarium expansion in 2007, which has increased attendance and made Seattle the country’s ninth largest aquarium.
As Vice President of Leasing & Development for Kemper Development, in Bellevue, Kris Allan’s primary role is to select and lease to tenants that will enhance the customer experience at the Bellevue Collection. In addition, she mentors a group of store general managers.
Kris previously spent 22 years with Nordstrom as a leader, key contributor, ambassador, and guardian of the customer service and performance driven culture. Her last two roles spanned nearly a decade, leading the Bellevue and Downtown Seattle stores, respectively.
Ian Morris served as the President and CEO of Market Leader for more than a decade, establishing the company as the leading provider of software-as-a-service solutions to the real estate industry. Under his leadership, Market Leader was ranked the 4th Fastest Growing Technology Company in North America, leading to a successful IPO in 2004 and the sale of the company to Trulia in 2013 for $380 million.
Dr. David Kading is the CEO and clinic director for both of Specialty Eyecare Group’s Seattle and Kirkland practices. As an innovator in eyesight, he strives to make people see the best that they can, whether through vision correction or preventing future disease.
Dr. Kading grew up in South Dakota and attended South Dakota State University before coming to the West Coast for his graduate training at Pacific University and a postgraduate residency in cornea and contact lenses. He has achieved fellowship status in the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) and is the only optometrist in Washington to have Fellowship status in the Contact Lens Society of America (FCLSA).
Dan Shapiro is the CEO and cofounder of Glowforge, a startup that is creating a 3D laser printer. Glowforge’s wireless desktop system makes it simple for designers and engineers to take products directly from digital design to reality.
Dan is also the author of “Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook,” published by O’Reilly. Previously, Dan accidentally launched the bestselling board game in Kickstarter history when he crowdfunded Robot Turtles, a game that teaches programming fundamentals to preschoolers.
Kristen Hamilton, CEO & Co-Founder of Koru, “Why College Isn’t Enough: A Revolutionary Approach to Landing College Grads in Great Jobs”
Kristen is an entrepreneur and globalist who has maintained a focus throughout her career on roles where she could have meaningful impact. Her early career was in technology where she worked on go-to-market strategies for IBM, Oracle, and Cisco. With that learning, at age 27, Kristen co-founded e-commerce business Onvia and helped take it public in 2000.
Shortly after, Kristen was COO of World Learning, a global nonprofit committed to preparing people to be effective global citizens and leaders of change in and beyond their communities. Kristen ran operations for their education and development programs in 66 countries. This role led to a passion for education that later took her to a role leading educator strategy for Microsoft.
Brandon Pedersen currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Alaska Air Group. In that role, Brandon oversees the finance, fleet management, accounting/tax, investor relations, financial planning, supply chain, internal audit, strategic execution and project management groups at the company. He is also a member of Alaska Air Group’s executive committee. Before assuming his current role in 2010, Brandon served as Air Group’s corporate controller for seven years.
Carol is responsible for leading Key’s resources across Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, while directing Key’s sales efforts to drive revenue and growth within our commercial and private banking businesses.
Please join us for a special Rotary Club of Bellevue luncheon revolving around the Inspiration Playground: PLAY FOR ALL Campaign (same time and location, 12:00 noon, Maggiano’s). There has been a tremendous amount of activity with this campaign, and we have raised, to date, in cash gifts and pledges, approximately $3,800,000.
At this week’s Rotary program, we will provide additional status updates, talk about the next steps for the campaign, and publicly thank you and others who have given so much of their time, talent, and treasure to this vital regional park project.
Dwayne J. Clark is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aegis Living. With more than 25 years of senior housing experience, Dwayne is nationally known for the quality of projects he manages, as well as his innovative flair. He has been involved in the development, construction, and/or management of over 200 senior housing projects.
Dwayne was raised from humble beginnings by a single mom who gave him his greatest gift: the confidence that he could do anything. Those early years of Dwayne’s life led him to the tireless pursuit of running a company in a different way, with staff satisfaction being a driving force. His success in creating an outstanding company culture has been chronicled in many publications. This passion prompted him to write a book, “Help Wanted: Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Exceptional Staff.” The book has been used for course curriculum in many leading Universities. Dwayne has written two additional books about his mom and her journey with Alzheimer’s, “My Mother, My Son” and “Saturdays with G.G.”
Dr. Justin (Tim) Mills joined the Bellevue School District as Superintendent in July 2012. Prior to his role in Bellevue, Tim was Superintendent of the North Clackamas School District in Oregon, a district serving more than 17,000 students. Tim has also served as superintendent in the Mesa Valley County (22,000 students) and Brush Public School Districts, both in Colorado, and was the Colorado Superintendent of the Year in 2009.
Fred Jarrett is the Deputy King County Executive and a former member of the Washington State Senate, representing the 41st District, after his election in 2008, until he resigned in December 2009. He worked in Finance for Manufacturing and Computing Systems Management for Boeing, before going on to become an officer in the United States Air Force.
Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President, Northwest University, “The New Pilgrims, How Immigrants are Renewing America’s Faith and Values”
Dr. Joseph Castleberry has been President of Northwest University since August 2007. A native of Alabama, he came to the Pacific Northwest after a transcultural career that took him and his family to New Jersey, New York City, Texas, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Missouri, before his soft landing on the banks of Lake Washington.
Sensing a dual call early in life to church ministry and higher education, Dr. Castleberry began professional ministry as a youth pastor in Princeton, NJ. For three years he was the Assemblies of God Chaplain at Princeton University, before beginning 20 years of missionary service in Latin America.
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.