New: 2018 Chair’s Report

Thirty-five years ago, in the Washington Roundtable’s inaugural year, then-chairman George H. Weyerhaeuser wrote, “Our purpose is to work to improve the future of the state of Washington.” Three and a half decades later, the Washington Roundtable is more focused than ever on making this state a better place to live, work, and do business.

Today, we release our 2018 Chair’s Report, our annual assessment of progress on state policy issues that our members believe matter most. In the report, Roundtable Chair Betsy Cowles writes about the two areas where we have focused most of our energy over the last year: promoting statewide economic growth and preparing Washington’s young people for success in their home state.

Four headlines from this year’s Chair’s Report:

  1. A postsecondary credential—such as a degree, apprenticeship, or certificate—is essential to compete for most jobs available in our state. In 2015, we set a goal that, by the high school class of 2030, 70 percent of Washington high school students will go on to attain a postsecondary credential by age 26. It is estimated that only 40 percent of our high school students hit that benchmark today. Drastically increasing enrollment of high school graduates into postsecondary programs at two- and four-year institutions is essential to reaching the 70 percent goal. To that end, lawmakers this year increased funding for the State Need Grant, a financial aid program for low-income students, and expanded eligibility for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship and College Bound Scholarship programs.
  2. Lawmakers took multiple steps toward promoting diversified and inclusive growth. Lawmakers enacted legislation requiring adoption of rules for the use of mass timber products for new building construction, which has the potential to catalyze manufacturing and spur job creation in rural areas. Additionally, the Legislature created a program to provide scholarships to rural students pursuing postsecondary education in high-demand fields and invested in a statewide tourism marketing fund focused in part on rural, tourism-dependent counties.
  3. The McCleary ruling is now resolved. We applaud lawmakers for their tenacity and commitment to provide better educational supports for Washington students. This year, they made adjustments to the 2017 McCleary package, including providing full funding for school employees in 2018-19. The Supreme Court responded positively, and the legal phase is now complete. On to pursuing better outcomes for all kids.
  4. The state resolved key rural water rights issues. Lawmakers came to an agreement to address the water rights issues that arose from a 2016 Supreme Court ruling in the Hirst case. The state also committed to appropriating $300 million for water mitigation projects through 2033.

Click here to read the full report. Thank you, Chairman Cowles, for your leadership this year and your commitment to making Washington a better place to live, work, and do business.

Around The Table: McKinstry, PNNL, Starbucks

In ‘Around The Table,’ we highlight member news and share information on industry trends. This week, we shine the spotlight on McKinstry, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Starbucks.

McKinstry’s Hiring our Heroes Fellowship Program Featured in Contractor Magazine

In 2016, Seattle-based McKinstry welcomed its first Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program cohort. The initiative was launched in 2011 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to “assist military veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses in finding meaningful employment opportunities in a 21st century workforce.” Contractor Magazine recently covered the program at McKinstry and how the fellows have brought “tremendous value” to the organization. Read the full article here.

UW, PNNL to Host Energy Research Center Focusing on Bio-Inspired Design and Assembly

The United States Department of Energy has awarded an expected $10.75 million, four-year grant to the University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and other partner institutions for a new interdisciplinary research center to define the enigmatic rules that govern how molecular-scale building blocks assemble into ordered structures — and give rise to complex hierarchical materials. The Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales, or CSSAS, will bring together researchers from biology, engineering and the physical sciences to uncover new insights into how molecular interactions control assembly and apply these principles toward creating new materials with novel and revolutionary properties for applications in energy technology. Learn more here.

Starbucks Joins Pearl Jam to Raise Funds for Unsheltered Families in King County

As Pearl Jam gets ready for their much-awaited Home Shows later this week, Starbucks is inviting customers to donate to the band’s Home Fund, which will support a range of organizations in King County, Washington working to move people to stable housing and keep people from becoming unsheltered in the first place. From July 31 through August 12, The Starbucks Foundation will match 2:1 every dollar customers donate to the Home Fund through the Starbucks® mobile app or online at up to $500,000, all to address the crisis of unsheltered families and children sleeping outside. With this donation, The Starbucks Foundation’s support over the last two years alone for unsheltered families in King County will total more than $3 million. Learn more here.



Around The Table: Boeing, Wells Fargo

In ‘Around The Table,’ we highlight member news and share information on industry trends. This week, we shine the spotlight on Boeing and Wells Fargo.

Boeing Announces Additional $350,000 Grant to “A Better Chance” Nonprofit Partner
Credit: A Better Chance

Boeing recently announced an additional grant award of $350,000 to “A Better Chance” (ABC) – a nonprofit organization working to increase the number of well-educated young minorities in the United States. Grant dollars will help fund the College Preparatory Schools Program (CPSP) and Alumni Relations program. “This additional investment, along with our previously announced commitment, will help lift up our young people and in turn improve our local communities,” said Tim Keating, executive vice president of Government Operations at Boeing. “Our relationship with ABC is stronger than ever, and we hope this show of support enables the organization to further its impact, bringing educational equity to children across the county.” Learn more here.

Wells Fargo to Invest Nearly $2 Million in Rainier Valley
Credit: Wells Fargo

HomeSight and the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund announced nearly $2 million in grants and lending capital from Wells Fargo at the Summer Othello-bration event on June 16th. The funds will be used to help improve the Othello/Rainier Valley community and create more diverse small business ownership in South Seattle. Wells Fargo is working with HomeSight and its South Seattle community partners On Board Othello, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, and the Multicultural Community Coalition to implement a comprehensive, resident-driven neighborhood plan that includes a meal program for seniors, technical assistance for neighborhood small businesses, and an online media clearinghouse. Learn more here.



Meet Our Newest Board Members!

The Washington Roundtable is pleased to welcome five new members to serve on our board: Brent Beardall, President & CEO of Washington Federal; Tod Leiweke, CEO & Team President, Seattle Hockey Partners; Kerri Schroeder, Commercial Credit Executive, Bank of America; Michael Senske, President & CEO, Pearson Packaging System; and Steve Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Docker Inc. These members bring decades of leadership experience that will greatly serve our board as we tackle some of the biggest challenges we’ll face as a state in the coming years. Welcome aboard!

Brent Beardall
President & CEO, Washington Federal

Brent Beardall is the President & CEO of Washington Federal, a national bank headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The company manages $15 billion in assets and 240 offices located in eight western states. On April 1, 2017, he became only the sixth CEO in the bank’s 100 year history. Beardall joined Washington Federal in 2001 as Vice President & Controller. In 2003, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer, a position he served in for eleven years, until being named Chief Banking Officer, where he was responsible for all client-facing activities of the bank he was awarded the title of President in 2016.

Beardall received a Masters Degree in Professional Accounting from Brigham Young University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Washington State. He completed Stanford University’s Executive Program in August 2013. In 2012, he was recognized as “CFO of the year” by the Puget Sound Business Journal and currently serves on the boards of the United Way of King County and YMCA of Greater Seattle. He lives in Sammamish with his wife Jennifer and children Thomas (19) Caitlyn (17) and Jack (11).

Tod Leiweke
CEO & Team President,  Seattle Hockey Partners

Tod Leiweke is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and team president for Seattle Hockey Partners. Leiweke is responsible for building a world-class NHL franchise, in anticipation of Seattle being awarded an expansion team. He will also be responsible for the redevelopment of the Arena at Seattle Center.

Prior to being appointed CEO in April 2018, Leiweke served as Chief Operating Officer of the NFL for three years. From 2010 to 2015, he served as the CEO of Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment where he was responsible for all business operations of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena. During his tenure, the Tampa Bay Lightning progressed from non-contender to Stanley Cup Finalist.

Previously, Leiweke was the CEO of the Seattle Seahawks and Vulcan Sports & Entertainment where he oversaw all business and administration functions of the club. In his final season with the Seahawks, Leiweke played an instrumental role in recruiting Pete Carroll and John Schneider to the Seahawks, which resulted in a 2014 Super Bowl win. He launched the Seattle Sounders FC, which set the standard for all Major League Soccer teams to follow. Tod also led the King County United Way 2009 Campaign that reached the goal of over $100 million dollars raised. That campaign was capped with a climb, and summit of Mount Rainier with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Kerri Schroeder
Seattle Market President, Bank of America

Kerri Schroederis the West Region Commercial Credit executive for Bank of America’s Global Commercial Banking and Business Banking groups. In this role, Schroeder is responsible for leading the team that underwrites and approves credit for companies from $5 million to $2 billion in revenues for the western United States. In addition, Schroeder serves as the Market President for the Seattle market. As Market President, Kerri is responsible for connecting the banking and investment resources offered through our eight lines of business to companies, families and individuals in Seattle. Kerri also leads the effort to deploy Bank of America’s resources to address social and economic concerns and build strong communities.

Schroeder has 23 years of experience in the banking industry. Prior to her current role, Schroeder served for four years as the national credit executive for Bank of America’s Specialized Industries group which covers clients in the healthcare, education, not-for-profit, sports and restaurant sectors. Since joining Bank of America in 1999, she has held a variety of executive and management positions serving commercial clients.

A first generation Irish-American, originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Kerri is an active member of the Seattle community having served on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations over the years, including most recently Atlantic Street Center, an organization that helps disadvantaged families raise healthy, successful children. She is part of the bank’s diverse leaders sponsorship program and is involved with The Global Ambassadors Program through Vital Voices. In addition, she is on the Steering Committee for the Power of 10 program, and she is on the Special Olympics 2018 USA Games Committee. Kerri is also is the executive sponsor of LEAD for Women in Seattle. She resides in Sammamish, Washington with her fiancé and their four sons.

Michael Senske
President & CEO, Pearson Packaging Systems

Michael Senske joined Pearson Packaging Systems in 1997. During his tenure at Pearson Packaging Systems, he has held a wide variety of positions including Director of Business Development and Vice President Sales & Marketing. Mr. Senske assumed the role of President in 2003. Prior to working at Pearson Packaging Systems, he worked in the Product Support Services division of the Consumer Division Unit at Microsoft Corporation.

Mr. Senske graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, and he is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program. Mr. Senske currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Washington Business (AWB). He is also on the Board of Directors of Colmac Holding Company.

Steve Singh
CEO & Chairman, Docker Inc.

Steve Singh is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Docker, the company that is transforming the way applications are built, shipped and managed. Before joining Docker, Steve was SAP’s President of the Business Network and Applications group with end-to-end global responsibility for new growth areas of the company and served on the SAP board of directors. Singh joined SAP in 2014 through the acquisition of Concur, which he co-founded. Concur, one of the first SaaS solutions on the market, is an industry leader in travel and expense (T&E) management.

Before joining Concur, from 1993 to 1996 Singh was General Manager of the Contact Management Division at Symantec Corporation, an international technology firm focused on protecting information and computer systems. Prior to that, he co-developed ACT!, a pioneering contact management solution which was eventually acquired by Symantec. Singh began his career in technology with Apple Computer. Singh currently serves as chairman of the boards of Center ID and Talend. He is also a member of the boards of Washington State board of trustees for The Nature Conservatory, at ModuMetal, Dharma Platform, and the Singh Family Foundation. In addition, Singh is on the advisory board for the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and is a strategic director in Madrona Fund V.

Meet the rest of the Washington Roundtable board members here.