Dick Blumenthal began boating on the North shores of Lake Washington at age five. His “yacht” consisted of an eight foot homemade dingy and a pair of oars. He quickly learned how to row, spending many hours fishing and exploring the lake. By age seven, he graduated to a three-horse Evinrude, an engine that seemingly weighed as much as he did. Within a couple years, the family bought a small ski boat and Dick became proficient in that sport using bindings made from tennis shoes nailed to their homemade skis. From this early exposure to the water, Dick’s interests continued to grow. Throughout his childhood, and beyond, he cruised in the San Juans with family and friends, learning of the secrets held by the numerous islands.
Bryan Johnston, Creative Director/Idea Guy, VMG/studio520, “Almost Live! — The Show That Wouldn’t Die”
An eleven-time Emmy® award winner, Bryan has been a television and video writer/producer for three decades. He has written several books and has been a contributor to numerous magazines and websites. Bryan was also blessed with being a movie reviewer on radio and TV for ten years.
Bill McSherry, Vice President, State & Local and Global Corporate Citizenship, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, “2016 Update: Boeing in Washington”
Bill McSherry was named to his position at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in June 2014. He is responsible for Commercial Airplanes’ state and local operations, including Global Corporate Citizenship, in the Northwest and South Carolina regions. He leads a team of specialists who manage relationships with elected officials and business leaders, advocate for key issues that advance Boeing’s business objectives, and find philanthropic opportunities to give back to the communities where Commercial Airplanes employees live and work.
Prior to his current assignment, McSherry was director of State & Local Government Operations in the Northwest region. In that capacity, he was responsible for the company’s government relations strategy and Northwest network, which covers Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii.
Bo Darling and his wife Patricia are members of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island, where Bo served as President from 2007‑2008, Vice President from 2011‑2014, and was a multi-year Director of the Club’s major fund-raiser, the Mercer Island Half‑Marathon.
Bo was born in Houston, TX , but grew up in New York City, with a college education from both Oklahoma State and Yale Universities.
Ken North, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Kristin Bedard, Ph.D, Vice President of Research & Development & Head of Virology, “Developing Novel Therapies for Critical Diseases”
Ken North heads corporate development and is responsible for generating financing for Kineta — an emerging and sustainable biotech company — and its array of drug development programs. He strategically matches Kineta’s short and long-term goals with those of investors. As a member of Kineta’s executive team, Mr. North manages the finance department and also contributes to high level financial and strategic planning. He also ensures that investors are given high quality and frequent updates on Kineta’s scientific and business developments.
Dr. Kristin Bedard is a founding scientist at Kineta and heads discovery and research programs. This encompasses Kineta’s diverse pipeline of therapeutic and vaccine adjuvant candidates. She leads a multi-functional scientific team responsible for the selection and advancement of drug candidates focused on immunology and infectious disease. Under her direction, Kineta established the AViid™ platform for identifying novel innate immune modulators, including broad spectrum antivirals and vaccine adjuvants. Additionally, her team has progressed the direct-acting antiviral lead LHF-535 into formal preclinical development for the arenavirus Lassa Fever.
Lorenzo Romar has been the men’s basketball coach at the University of Washington since 2002. He also played basketball for the University of Washington from 1978 to 1980. After college, Romar was drafted by the Golden State Warriors and spent five years in the NBA.
After the NBA, Romar played and coached for Athletes in Action. He was then hired as an assistant coach at UCLA, under coach Jim Harrick, from 1992 to 1996, and was credited with recruiting many of the players on the 1995 national championship team. Romar became the head coach at Pepperdine University and then at Saint Louis University before taking the job at the University of Washington.
Since 2001, John Schoettler has lead Amazon’s global corporate real estate portfolio, overseeing the rapid expansion in office space from 1M to 18M square feet in 15 years. John and his team are responsible for leasing, asset, and construction management of a global portfolio spanning 190 locations in over 30 countries.
In 2006, John’s team worked with Vulcan Real Estate to develop 1.7M square feet in Seattle’s South Lake Union area, creating a dynamic urban campus which has grown to encompass 30 buildings, comprising 6M square feet. In 2012, John and the same team negotiated and executed purchase and sale agreements for $1.4B of real estate investments in South Lake Union, as well as three city blocks in Seattle’s Denny Triangle.
J. Lennox Scott, Chairman & CEO, John L. Scott Real Estate, “Residential Real Estate Forecast: Recap on Current Conditions & Outlook for the Next 12 Months”
Lennox Scott is the third-generation chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, which was founded in 1931 by his grandfather in Seattle. He is very involved with the National Association of Realtors, as Chair of the Large Residential Firms, and is recognized by Realtor Magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Real Estate Brokers in the Nation.
John L. Scott Real Estate is the fourth largest regional brand in the nation, with over 110 offices and more than 3,000 brokers and sales associated in the States of Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho.
Frank A. Blethen, Publisher & CEO, The Seattle Times, “The Seattle Times and America’s News & Information Crisis — Time for a Local Bellevue Start‑Up?”
Frank Blethen is publisher of The Seattle Times/seattletimes.com, the second largest newspaper/website on the West Coast. The Times is known for its strong local coverage and its aggressive investigative reporting. The Times has won ten Pulitzer Prizes and has been a Pulitzer finalist 15 other times since 1990. The Times was most recently awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting.
The Seattle Times is one of America’s last independent and locally-owned newspapers. It is a values-based journalism/community service family business in its 120th year of Blethen family stewardship. Frank is a member of the fourth family generation. Currently, there are eight members of the family’s fourth and fifth generations active in the journalism company’s management and governance.
Michael Parks has been studying, writing about, and speaking about the economy and companies of the Pacific Northwest for more than 35 years.
Parks joined The Seattle Times in 1967 and became the newspaper’s financial editor in the early 1970s. He moved to Marple’s Letter in 1977 and was owner, editor, and publisher of Marple’s Letter from March 1980 to September 2009, when he was named editor emeritus. The newsletter ceased publication in March 2013.
A serial entrepreneur with a proven track record and skill set that spans game and real-time 3D engine design, software and business development, crowdfunding, virtual reality technology, and web and back-end services development, Bob Berry has been a leader in the software industry for over two decades. Having founded and managed various gaming and game service companies, including Uber Entertainment and PlayFab, Bob is now onto his 4th company, with Envelop VR.
James Henderson, Economic Development Director & Jesse Canedo, Economic Development Manager, City of Bellevue, “City of Bellevue Economic Development Overview & Update”
James Henderson joined the City of Bellevue as the Economic Development Director in January of 2015. He oversees and coordinates economic development programs focused on business attraction, business retention and expansion, and technology startups.
Previously, James served as the Assistant Director for Economic Development at the City of San Antonio, where he managed development programs focused on business attraction, business retention and expansion, and international trade and investment.
Jesse R. Canedo is a technology advocate and global citizen. He believes in the ability for an internet-enabled, connected society to make science fiction’s boldest ideas a reality. His current role as Bellevue’s Economic Development Manager allows him to support the innovative spirit and technology-focused business community on the Eastside in bringing those ideas to life.
His support helps existing Bellevue companies to expand, retool, or enter new markets and also attracts new companies into the region.
Sharon Purcell, Marketing & Brand Management, Concure Oncology, “New Breast Cancer Treatment: The One-Time, One-Hour Ticket Back to Life”
Sharon has had a 25-year career in sales, marketing, business development and operations, working for both Fortune 100 companies like GE, as well as for start-ups. She has held leadership roles across multiple industries, and has a strong track record of driving business transformation and growth in highly competitive markets. She has dedicated the past five years to consulting with healthcare start-ups, leading brand management, sales, marketing, and communications.
Sharon has built business models and initiatives from the ground up, and has breathed new life into failing or stalled initiatives that led to explosive growth. In her 15 years with GE, she was responsible for contributing in excess of $1 billion to the bottom line. In addition to her primary responsibilities, she was a founding member of the GE Women’s Network, a business organization that fosters professional women’s development to attract, advance and retain successful women throughout the company. As a leader in the Network for 10 years, she helped fuel its growth, expanding the organization to 50,000 members globally where female leaders generated $50 billion in revenue.
William McDermott, Anti-Terrorism Specialist, Consultant, Investor & Mentor, “Terrorism Today and You”
Paris. Brussels. San Bernardino. Orlando. Istanbul. If you’re like most people, the names of these cities evoke images of the kind of terror that is sadly becoming all too common in our world. Our speaker, Bill McDermott, will share his unique perspective on terrorism today and how it affects you and me.
Bill worked for the Department of Defense for 17 years in a variety of roles. With the US Department of the Army, he served as a military police anti-terrorist specialist in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as special operations, nuclear weapons operations, and other security roles.
Michelle Bradley, Executive Director & Co-Founder, EKARI Foundation, “EKARI Foundation’s Impact in Malawi, Africa”
In the summer of 2007, Michelle Bradley’s life was deeply impacted when she traveled to Malawi, Africa, for the first time. During this trip she met Father Joseph EKARI Makina, who impressed upon her his passion for education as a primary tool to break the cycle of extreme poverty among his fellow Malawians.
In May 2009 Joseph was in a serious car accident that left him in a coma. That same year Joseph’s brother, Elias Makina, and Michelle co-founded EKARI Foundation, in Joseph’s name, to carry on his vision. Michelle resigned from her architecture career in 2010 after more than 10 years, in order to pursue her true passion for international community development.
Brian D. Stading, President-West Region, CenturyLink, “Innovation in Telecom: Networks, Devices, Security”
As President of CenturyLink’s West Region, Brian Stading has ultimate responsibility for the operational and financial success of CenturyLink markets in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. The West Region is one of four regions operated by CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S.
An energetic and engaging speaker, Brian offers top-level insights into the telecommunications industry as he oversees data, voice, and managed services through CenturyLink’s advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers serving businesses and consumers throughout the region. Data services include high speed Internet broadband and video (including Prism TV). Voice covers IP, landlines, and long distance. Managed services include hosting and Cloud services.
Emory Thomas, Jr., has served as Publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal — one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded city business publications — since July 2015. He was also Publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal from 2006 to 2011.
Under his guidance, PSBJ was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist and many times earned top commendations by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, as well as Sigma Delta Chi.
CDR Don Leingang is a Northwest native, raised in Tacoma, who graduated from Oregon State University in 1984, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He was commissioned an Ensign through the NROTC program in June 1984 and reported to Pensacola for flight school training in September. A helicopter pilot and former Commanding Officer of Navy Recruiting District Seattle, Leingang’s distinguished 24-year Naval career included leadership positions at the U.S. Naval Academy, Director of Air Warfare, Washington, D.C., and the Operations Officer at Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Mitch Friedman, Executive Director, Conservation Northwest, “The Amazing Recovery of Wolves & Other Carnivores in Washington”
Mitch Friedman is the Executive Director of Conservation Northwest, which he founded in 1988 after being an activist leader in efforts to save ancient forests. He was a founding board member of The Wildlands Network, Western Lands Alliance, and the Bellingham Bay Foundation, and is a widely recognized leader in nature conservation.
At Conservation Northwest, Mitch has led the effort to infuse landscape scale conservation biology into advocacy strategy. The success of this approach is evident in great gains protecting habitat connectivity between the North Cascades Ecosystem and wild areas to the south (Central Cascades, across the I-90 landscape), east (the Rockies), and northwest (BC Coast and Chilcotin Ranges), as well as recovery of native carnivores including wolves, fisher, lynx and wolverine.
William Smead, CEO/CIO, Smead Capital Management, “The Coming Housing Boom: What does it mean for U.S. Stocks & Bonds?”
William is the founder of Smead Capital Management, where he oversees all activities of the firm. As Chief Investment Officer, he is the final decision-maker for all investment and portfolio decisions, as well as reviewing the implementation of those decisions in the firm’s separate accounts and mutual funds.
William began his career in the investment business with Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1980. He left Drexel Burham Lambert in 1989 as First Vice President/Assistant Manager and joined Oppenheimer & Co., where he stayed until joining Smith Barney in 1990.