Nearly 150 members and supporters associated with eastside leadership organizations gathered Thursday night at the 1st Annual “Leadership Eastside Network” Awards to celebrate the achievements of six Eastside community leaders.
The event also marked the official launch of the Leadership Eastside Network, a group which for the first time joined alumnae and board members of Leadership Eastside Development Program with former graduates of its predecessors, Advance Bellevue and the Leadership Institute.
James Whitfield, President of Leadership Eastside, said in his remarks he was “thrilled” to see members of the Eastside leadership community all together in one room. “Leadership on the Eastside has always been about relationships, leaders from many walks of life coming together for our region’s good,” he said. “Tonight it’s a privilege to finally see our organizations come together to support our community’s leaders, and to sit here among so many of the Eastside’s best and brightest.”
Announced at the gala were the winners of the Community Choice Award, as chosen by Leadership Eastside supporters by social media voting campaign. They were:
- Gina Estep is the Community and Economic Development Director for the City of North Bend. With Gina's hard work and innovation, North Bend has positioned itself as a player and destination location in Washington State tourism.
- Claire Petersky is the Executive Director of Eastside Friends of Seniors. Claire works tirelessly to enrich the lives of eastside elders and ensure they live in greater health, safety and dignity.
Previously announced award winners included:
- Doreen Marchione, former CEO of the Eastside community assistance organization Hopelink, won the Sustainability Award for her tireless efforts on behalf of Eastside residents.
- Annalee Luhman, Catalyst Award, was honored for her foundational work in creating LE's innovative community leader development program.
- Pat Hughes, recipient of the Diversity Award, was recognized for her work in promoting the Gracious Space Initiative, which gives a path for people of diversity to come together, find common ground and work toward a greater good in their communities.
- Dale King , GLY Principal, accepted the Vision Award on behalf of GLY Construction, Vision Award. GLY, one of the largest locally-owned general contracting firms in the region, was honored for its commitment in donating at least two percent of its profits annually to charitable organizations.
Attendees at the black tie optional gala, held at The Harbor Club in Bellevue, were welcomed by Leadership Eastside Board Member Michael Nesteroff. Presenters at the awards included Linda Benson, Realize Redmond; Drew Magill, Boeing Corporation; Dan Leahy LIOS Graduate College of Saybrook University; Andy Barlass, Umpqua Bank; and Jeff Borgida, Republic Services.
Whitfield noted the event could not have taken place without the contributions of Umpqua Bank and Republic Services. Umpqua Bank, which is the Pacific Northwest’s largest community bank and is recognized as one of the nation’s strongest financial institutions, was voted Top Corporate Citizen by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce for 2011. Republic Services, formerly known as Allied Waste, has been providing Washington residents and businesses with collection, recycling and education since 1927. Through its educational efforts, Bellevue’s recycling rate has reached nearly 70% percent, and some “Star Recycler” business customers are now recycling at a nearly 90 percent rate.
Leadership Eastside brings together leaders from more than two dozen East King County communities. Its mission is to “inform, equip, and connect our community’s greatest assets – its leaders – in order to meet our community’s greatest needs.” Leadership Eastside also offers the region's premier three-year leadership enrichment program to better equip future leaders. In addition, the organization serves to inform leaders through its State of the Eastside (SOTES) communications, and through the LE Network, connect them with like-minded high-performance, passionate and visionary leaders to shape the Eastside.
For information regarding Leadership Eastside, or the first annual LENi Awards, please visit www.leadershipeastside.com.