Gene Duvernoy, President, Forterra, “How We Live, Work, and Play on Our Lands Today and What It Means for Tomorrow”
Gene Duvernoy has spent more than 30 years working on land conservation and building community, founding Forterra (then called Cascade Land Conservancy) in 1989 in his attic. Since then he has led the organization to national prominence by creating bold, innovative, and successful programs that improve the quality of life for all residents.
When you’re young and impressionable, in junior high school, and you watch in horror as your family home burns to the ground in less than 20 minutes, it forever changes you. “From that moment on, I determined in my mind to fight fires,” says Brett Miller. “By age 16, I was a member of the Williams, Oregon, Volunteer Fire Department. It was the beginning of a 17-year career.”
In 1998, Brett joined the Army National Guard. He says he felt right at home because the high-tension, adrenaline-filled environments for the military and for fighting wild land fires are very similar. Deployed to Iraq in 2004, Brett barely made it home alive.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, “Critical Legal Issues Facing the State of Washington”
Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s 18th Attorney General. As the State’s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules. Bob is focused on standing up for consumers and defending taxpayers, supporting law enforcement to keep our communities safe, protecting our environment, and advocating for our veterans and military families.
Sheriff John Urquhart has served the citizens of Washington State as a police officer for nearly 40 years. His career has included stints as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Master Police Officer, Sergeant, street-level vice/narcotics detective, public information officer and administrative aide to two sheriffs. He has investigated everything from shoplifting to homicides. In 2012, he was elected as the 33rd King County Sheriff, in a special election, and re-elected in 2013 to a full, 4-year term.
There will be no guest speaker this week at our noon meeting at Maggiano’s. Instead, we will be holding our Annual President’s Celebration, passing batons, giving out thank yous, and honoring outgoing President Rick Taylor, and hailing incoming President T.J. Woosley for the new Rotary Year 2015-16.
Benson Porter has more than 25 years of experience within the financial services industry and became the President/CEO of BECU in May 2012. His prior experience includes serving as the President/CEO of First Tech Credit Union, Board chair of Essex National Securities, Chief Administrative Officer for Washington Mutual, and legal counsel positions with Key Bank and the Washington State Senate. He currently serves on the Boards of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle/Des Moines, COOP Financial Services, CU Direct, and Whitman College.
Patrick Bannon, President, Bellevue Downtown Association, “Core Work: Envisioning Downtown’s Future”
Downtown Bellevue had Patrick at “Hello.” He joined the BDA in 2005 as communications manager and remains deeply inspired by the city’s people and places, its shared vision for transformative growth, and the countless benefits of a thriving downtown. As BDA president, Patrick leads the organization’s full-time team and works closely with the board and members to advance the BDA’s strategic plan.
Since Concur Technologies was founded in a two-person Kirkland apartment 22 years ago, it has grown to become an Eastside success story.
- In May 2013, Concur moved its headquarters from Redmond to Bellevue.
- In December 2014, SAP acquired Concur for $8.3 Billion.
- Today, 30 million people use Concur Travel and Expense management solutions.
Elena Donio became President of Concur in December 2014 after serving in a variety of leadership roles at the company, including head of worldwide sales and marketing, head of product management, and her most recent position as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Worldwide Small & Midsize Business (SMB), a business unit she helped create.
John Schneider enters his sixth season as General Manager of the Seattle Seahawks having been named to the position January 19, 2010. In his role, he manages all aspects of the Seahawks roster and draft process while working collaboratively with Pete Carroll in all facets of the football operations department. Schneider’s philosophy is one of building through the draft while creating a competitive culture through a mix of youthful playmakers and veteran leadership. He is charged with piecing together a younger roster that will breed a sustained winning atmosphere for years to come.
Edward B. Murray, Mayor, City of Seattle, “Seattle and Eastside Cities: Advancing Regional Priorities”
Edward B. Murray became Mayor of Seattle on January 1, 2014, and promptly set the tone for his administration by signing an executive order raising the minimum wage of City government employees to $15 an hour, along with a vow to deliver the same raise to all minimum wage workers in Seattle. He followed through on that promise within the first six months on the job by convening a committee, comprised of business, labor, and non-profit stakeholders, to work out the terms of a deal that would benefit all involved and set the highest minimum wage in the nation. For this work, he was named one of Politico Magazine’s “50 thinkers, doers, and dreamers who really matter in this age of gridlock and dysfunction.”
Roger Stark, MD, FACS, Health Care Policy Analyst, Washington Policy Center for Health Care, “Alternatives to the Affordable Care Act”
Dr. Roger Stark is a retired cardiac surgeon and a health care policy analyst at the Washington Policy Center, one of the largest state-based think tanks in the country. He is the author of numerous health care studies, including The Impact of Federal Health Care Reform on Washington State and the book “The Patient Centered Solution.”
James Jiambalvo, Dean of the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business and Kirby L. Cramer Chair in Business Administration, “Experiential Learning, Flipped Classrooms, and Other Innovations in Business Education”
Jim Jiambalvo has been leading the Foster School since 2005. During his time as Dean, the School has completed two new buildings and received a gift that resulted in renaming the School as the Michael G. Foster School of Business. Prior to becoming Dean, Jiambalvo taught accounting for Foster Students and executives from many of the regions top companies, including Alcoa, Boeing, Microsoft, and Tyson.
Paul Merriman, Retired Founder, Merriman Wealth Management, “10 Investment Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future”
Paul Merriman is the retired founder of Merriman Wealth Management, a Seattle-based investment advisory firm, and a nationally recognized authority on mutual funds, index investing, asset allocation and both buy-and-hold and active management strategies. He is also the author of numerous books on investing: “Financial Fitness Forever,” “Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money,” and three free e-books at paulmerriman.com: “Get Smart or Get Screwed: How to Select the Best and Get the Most Out of Your Financial Advisor,” “101 Investment Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future,” and “First Time Investor: Grow and Protect Your Money.”
Robert Dugoni, New York Times & #1 Amazon Bestselling Author, “The Dynamics of Becoming an Amazon & NY Times Best-Selling Author: an Insider’s View of Forces and Trends in Publishing”
Robert Dugoni is the #1 Amazon and New York Times Bestselling Author of eight novels. His latest, My Sister’s Grave, was the #1 Amazon bestseller for two months, and Amazon, Library Journal, and Suspense Magazine all chose it as a 2014 Best Book of the Year. Dugoni is also the author of the best-selling David Sloane series, The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder One, and The Conviction, as well as the standalone novel Damage Control.
Dr. Lisa Chin, Executive Director, Year Up Puget Sound, “Investing in Hope: Year Up Transforms the Lives of Young Adults by Connecting Them With Meaningful Careers”
Lisa is the founding Executive Director of Year Up Puget Sound, a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18‑24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate internships. Lisa has led Year Up Puget Sound from the time it opened its doors to the first 27 students in March 2011 to growing to a staff of 35 that serves 160 students each year.
“In today’s rapidly changing environment, we are uniquely positioned to serve customers through multiple touchpoints — whether it’s in-store or online, full-price or off-price.” — Mike Koppel
Together with the executive team and by focusing on the customer experience in store and online, Mike Koppel and his team have improved short- and long-term operating performance, strengthened fundamentals, increased free cash flow, and gained market share. Mike has served as chief financial officer of Nordstrom since 2001, supporting all facets of the company’s financial operations.
Ron Sher is the founder and CEO of Sher Partners, a family real estate development, management and investment firm. One of Ron’s projects was the redevelopment of Crossroads Shopping Center, of which he was the managing partner from 1988 to its sale in 2013. Concurrent with the sale of Crossroads, Ron sold many of his shopping centers to two publicly-traded real estate investment trusts. Ron is particularly interested in adding to the vitality and health of communities. Most of his recent investments have been in that area. He is the former owner of Elliott Bay Book Company and the founder and majority owner of Third Place Company, the parent company of Third Place Books and the Honey Bear Bakery.
Mark Reis, Managing Director, Seattle Tacoma International Airport, “Sea-Tac Airport: Continuing to Facilitate Regional Economic Growth”
Mark Reis is the Managing Director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), the 14th busiest passenger airport in the United State, providing service to over 37 million passengers in 2014. He was the Deputy Managing Director of Sea-Tac Airport from 2000 to 2004. Prior to that, Reis was the General Manager of Commercial Development at Sea-Tac and Director of Finance for the Port of Seattle, as a whole. He has worked for the Port since 1988.
Robbie Bach, Retired Microsoft President, Entertainment & Devices Division, “Xbox Revisited: Strategy, Leadership, and Civic Engineering”
Robbie Bach joined Microsoft in 1988 and over the next 22 years worked in various marketing, general management, and business leadership roles. He played an important role as a marketing leader in the successful development of the Microsoft Office business, and as Chief Xbox Officer, he led the creation and development of the Xbox business. Bach retired in 2010 as Microsoft’s President of the Entertainment and Devices Division.
Richard S. Conway, Jr., Dick Conway & Associates, “Washington State and Local Tax System: Dysfunction and Reform”
Dick Conway is principal of Dick Conway & Associates, a Seattle firm engaged in regional economic research and consulting. He is also co-publisher of The Puget Sound Economic Forecaster, a quarterly newsletter on the regional economy.