Around the Table: Symetra, PSL Ventures, Windermere, and more

Sharing some recent stories and headlines from our member companies… 

Windermere donates $30K to Mary’s Place as part of Seahawks partnership

As part of the #TackleHomelessness campaign with the Seahawks, Windermere agreed to donate $100 to Mary’s Place for every Seahawks home game defensive tackle during the 2019 NFL season. Windermere presented Mary’s Place, which supports families on their journey out of homelessness, with a $30,000 check. Read more here.

Margaret Meister of Symetra named a Seattle executive to watch in ’20

Seattle Business Magazine named Symetra Chief Executive Officer and President Margaret Meister one of the 10 Seattle leaders to watch this decade. The employee benefits, annuities and insurance provider is taking major steps to become an iconic Pacific Northwest company as a sponsor of the Seattle Storm and Seattle’s new NHL team. “For us to really get to the level that we can get to, we need to make the brand investment and get the consumer-level recognition of who Symetra is and what we do,” Meister says. Leaders from Nordstrom and Starbucks are also included in the list.

Julie Sandler of PSL Ventures provides startup advice at panel discussion

At a recent panel discussion, speakers such as Julie Sandler, managing director at Pioneer Square Labs, offered startup advice to entrepreneurs who are raising funds while getting ready for a potential economic downturn. Sandler said “it’s a great time to be raising money” given all the capital available to startups. Sandler added that a company’s business fundamentals are of equal importance to the growth story. Read more here.

Roundtable members honor Black History Month

We’re pleased to share a sampling of stories from Roundtable member companies in celebration of Black History Month. Wells Fargo highlighted the history of William M. Robison, an express messenger in the 1850s who advocated for equal rights; Russell Investments celebrated the accomplishments of three 20th-century black economists; a Microsoft leader reflected on her family’s history; and Starbucks shared stories of four black partners.

Around the Table: WaFd, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, Microsoft & Boeing

Sharing some recent stories and headlines from our member companies… 

Brent Beardall and Mary Knell honored with 2020 Excellence Awards, Seattle Business Magazine

Congratulations to Brent Beardall and Mary Knell, both of whom were honored with a 2020 Executive Excellence Award from Seattle Business Magazine. As reported in the magazine’s January/February issue, “Under Brent Beardall’s leadership, WaFd has become one of the healthiest banks in the nation. Beardall has been CEO for only three years, but he’s held leadership positions at the bank – the largest based in Washington state – since 2001. He has been instrumental in the bank’s recent business and technological transformations.” Mary Knell is recognized for her 40 years in the banking industry and work to promote diverse leadership. As reported in the magazine, “In her first year as CEO of Pacific Northwest Commercial Banking for Wells Fargo & Co., Mary Knell led an effort to combine the company’s middle market and business banking groups into one organization. In that role – which she started in January 2019 – she is now responsible for all of the commercial banking operations in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Western Canada. She manages a team of more than 400 bankers who serve business customers with revenue between $5 million and $2 billion.” Read more of Mary’s story here and Brent’s story here. For a full list of winners, click here.

Starbucks announces new sustainability commitment to become resource positive

In an open letter to shareholders and customers, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced a bold aspiration to guide the company as it look towards its 50th anniversary in 2021. Starbucks aspiration is to become resource positive and the company has identified preliminary targets for reductions in carbon emissions, water use, and waste. “We must look ahead with a heightened sense of urgency and conviction that we must challenge ourselves, think bigger and do much more in partnership with others to take care of the planet we share,” Johnson said. Read more here.

Microsoft commits to be carbon negative by 2030

Microsoft has announced an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove its carbon footprint. By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975. “While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. Read more here.

Boeing employees make the holidays brighter

Boeing employees took the “Spirit of the Holidays” to heart this past holiday season, gathering more than 8,000 toys for families in need during the annual Boeing drive. Employees also raised more than $200,000 through donations, gift matches, and team volunteering for local nonprofits to share with Washington families. Read more here