Leadership Denver was a life changing experience for me as a young corporate executive concerned primarily with my next promotion. It introduced me to my community and a cohort of young leaders passionate about making a difference. It helped make clear a mission for service that has shaped my life since participating.
When I got to Federal Way 16 years ago, I found a young civic infrastructure without the benefit of a leadership pipeline. One of the most rewarding things about my service as superintendent was to work arm in arm with extraordinary community leaders at city hall, the fire department, Boys & Girls Club, and the chamber of commerce. We decided 14 years ago to prepare the next generation of leaders and launched Advancing Leadership. Gail Pierson, a board member that hired me, was the founding director. Terri Hickel took over after a year and the program continues to grow in size and quality. Over 500 alumni are making Federal Way a better place to live, learn, work, and play.