Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Washington for 2022. From the Pacific Ocean to snow-capped volcanic mountains, Washington is known for its spectacular beauty. In addition to its nature, the state nears the top of the list for best state economies, ranking third for economic activities. This year’s awardees are leading within some of the state's largest industries including forestry, trade, aerospace, and agriculture. They offer significant contributions and achievements in the organizations they serve.

Among this year’s awardees are Patchen Haggerty, Partner of Perkins Coie, who manages global trademark and domain name portfolios and trademark enforcement programs for market-leading companies; Kelly Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer of The Honest Company, whose decades of management and finance experience comes from working for some of the country’s top retail and consumer brands; and Nina Morrison, Senior Vice President of Community Experience at Talking Rain Beverage Company, who oversees the long-term strategy and synergy for all community-facing touchpoints and creative services for the company’s portfolio of brands.

We acknowledge this year’s awardees for their success, tenacity, and resilience. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Washington for 2022.

 

2. Suluh Lukoskie
Partner and Principal, EY

Suluh Lukoskie, Principal and EY wavespace leader based in Seattle, helps clients to reimagine what’s possible for their business by reframing their thinking to solve problems faster, together. With a focus for building human-centered, design thinking-based innovation experiences with clients, Suluh works directly with senior executives across industries on strategic initiatives impacting business, strategy, operations, and technology. She responds to a broad set of client needs from exploring the art of the possible to co-creation of new business models, products and services. Suluh also leads EY’s wavespace as-a-service offering, which enables and accelerates transformation by helping clients build their own onsite wavespace workshop experiences and capabilities to innovate, build and scale their disruptive innovations

Over the past 20 years, Lukoskie has led transformative experiences for clients across retail, consumer packaged goods, health care and life sciences, travel, telecommunications and manufacturing, asking better questions to help them think differently about technology and its impact on operations and strategy. Previously, Lukoskie was a director of global innovation at Avanade, and before that, an manager of commerce services at SAP Ariba. Earlier in her career she worked with Covad Communications as a public relations specialist. Lukoskie earned an undergraduate degree in political science and communications from Santa Clara University.

 

3. Denise Merle
SVP & Chief Administration Officer, Weyerhaeuser

Denise Merle is a Senior Vice President and Chief Administration Officer at Weyerhaeuser Company. Weyerhaeuser owns nearly 12,400,000 acres of timberlands in the U.S. and manages an additional 14,000,000 acres of timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. The company also manufactures wood products. They are responsible stewards of land for multiple uses, including recreation, conservation, economic development, and different forms of renewable energy.

During her nearly 40-year career, Merle has developed deep expertise across multiple functions, including finance, audit, M&A, human resources, and information technology. She is an experienced board member of multiple local and national organizations and drives successful financial and human capital strategies that align with business goals. Merle earned an MBA from Seattle University and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Pacific Lutheran University.

 

6. Kate Lucente
Partner, DLA Piper

Kate Lucente is a Partner at DLA Piper, a global law firm capable of taking care of the most important legal needs of clients wherever they do business. With offices throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, they represent more clients in a broader range of geographies and practice disciplines than virtually any other law firm in the world. Lucente focuses her practice on data governance and management strategies, and compliance with state, federal, and international laws related to privacy and security, data protection, communications, e-commerce, marketing, and advertising.

Lucente has spent the past 15 years with DLA Piper. Prior to that, she served with Bank of America in Jacksonville, Florida and before that she was an account executive at Cox Communications. Lucente graduated from the University of North Florida with an undergraduate degree in communication and from the University of Florida with a master’s in communications and with a JD in law.

 

7. Isabelle Portilla
Divisional VP of Product Strategy & Design, REI

Isabelle Portilla is a transformational product leader with 17 years of expertise in the Outdoor and Active industries within both softgoods and hardgoods. She currently serves as the Divisional Vice President of Product Strategy and Design for REI. Portilla leads with clarity and vision. She balances a growth mindset and business sophistication that delivers on financial and brand objects. She compliments financial outcomes with values-based strategies that prioritize climate impact, customer centricity + inclusion. Portilla is known for building teams that effectively incorporate data, research, and inclusive design principles. She has a track record of progress, building and evolving brands through realizing their products highest potential. With experience within global and DTC brands, Portilla works seamlessly in complex organizations, bringing clarity and leadership to her direct teams and the cross-functional teams she partners with. She is a strategic and creative leader with operational strength and the capacity to move teams to action and excellence.

Outside of her work, Portilla is personally committed to growing access and awareness to arts and outdoor education for under-resourced communities. She is currently a member of the board of directors for Youth in Focus, an organization preparing the next generation of creative thinkers to meet the emerging needs of a global society. She has also served as an on-going mentor for the Camber Outdoors Professional Mentoring program, guiding young leaders through a year-long program that supports leadership growth and DEI principles. She has also participated as a mentee in the Camber Outdoors MENtorship program partnering executive male leaders to create advocacy and allyship alongside up-and-coming female leaders.

 

8. Pallavi Mehta Wahi
Co-US Managing Partner & Seattle Managing Partner, K&L Gates

Pallavi Mehta Wahi is a passionate advocate for the Seattle business community and the people and companies who help the region thrive. She is co-United States and Seattle managing partner of K&L Gates, an integrated global law firm with 45 offices spanning major U.S. cities including world capital and financial centers. She also serves as the firm’s diversity committee chair and co-chairs the firm’s India practice. As an experienced litigator, Pallavi practices complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on corporate and intellectual property litigation.

Pallavi leads the Seattle office at K&L Gates which comprises nearly 200 Seattle attorneys who advise and advocate for the interests of clients with a full spectrum of legal services for emerging, middle-market, and capital market companies, as well as nonprofit, government, and private clients. With noted legal leaders in corporate transactions, litigation, data privacy and security, electronic discovery, intellectual property (IP), employment, benefits, bankruptcy, real estate, energy and environment, land use, and tax, K&L Gates serves clients in technology, health care, retail, energy, financial services, manufacturing, consumer products, and telecommunications and infrastructure and more. In addition to her practice, Pallavi is an avid writer, speaker and community champion. She is the current Vice -Chair and incoming chair of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Chamber’s Community Development Roundtable, on the boards of the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, and actively involved in the International Women’s Forum and many other organizations. Pallavi is regularly recognized for her contributions to both her clients and community.

 

9. Patchen Haggerty
Partner, Perkins Coie

Patchen Haggerty is a Partner in the Trademark, Copyright, Internet & Advertising Practice, and a member of the firmwide Management and Executive Committees of Perkins Coie LLP. Haggerty manages global trademark and domain name portfolios and trademark enforcement programs for market-leading companies. She also guides clients in the protection, development, commercialization, licensing, assignment and sale of intellectual property rights and assets. In her practice, Haggerty regularly manages trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings, concurrent use proceedings and trademark application appeals before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings. Her background in trademark enforcement matters includes dispute resolution and administrative actions around the world.

Haggerty first got her start in 2003 as an associate at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. From there, she went on to Dorsey & Whitney LLP as a partner, her most recent position prior to joining Perkins Coie. She was previously named the 2018 Seattle Trademark “Lawyer of the Year” by US News/Best Lawyers, is ranked one of the "World’s Leading Trademark Professionals" in the World Trademark Review 1000, is ranked in IP law by Chambers USA, is recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers Magazine, and has been recognized as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine. She maintains an active profile as a presenter and author on emerging issues in trademark, copyright, and IP legal protections. Haggerty graduated from Indiana University School of Law with a JD and from Purdue University with an undergraduate degree in communication and journalism.

 

11. Nina Morrison
SVP of Community Experience, Talking Rain Beverage Company

Nina Morrison is the Senior Vice President of Community Experience at Talking Rain Beverage Company, the Washington-based company behind bestselling sparkling water brand, Sparkling Ice® beverages. For over 26 years, Morrison has been committed to bringing Talking Rain's purpose of Creating Connections with Every Sip to life through strategic communications, impactful philanthropic work, and purpose-driven campaigns. As the head of Community Experience, Morrison oversees the long-term strategy and synergy for all community-facing touchpoints, including public relations, communications, social media, influencer relations, and creative services for the Talking Rain portfolio of brands.

Morrison is passionate about connecting the organization's business initiatives back to its corporate purpose and pillars and creating a positive social impact within the community. In 2020, her team helped lead the national Cheers to Heroes campaign, designed to celebrate and give back to America's everyday hometown heroes. Under her leadership, Talking Rain developed a robust influencer and partnership network to transform the way the Sparkling Ice brand connects and engages with consumers. An optimistic and empathetic leader, Morrison believes that balance is the key to success. She motivates her team to achieve both personal and professional growth by remaining engaged and curious while finding passion in every project. Morrison currently serves on the Seattle Children's Corporate Leadership Council, the Board of Trustees for the World Trade Center, the Washington Aisles Alliance Advisory Committee, the UW Medicine Center Vaccine Institute Development Council, Spare Key Board Director, and is a member of the International Women's Forum.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

14. Margaret Arakawa
Chief Marketing Officer, Fastly

Margaret Arakawa began her professional career 30 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Marketing Officer of Fastly, a cloud computing services provider. Fastly’s edge cloud platform enables the best of the web to thrive, and helps deliver better online experiences. As CMO, Arakawa works closely with company leaders to drive strategy and business execution while leading the marketing organization across brand, communications, demand generation, and product marketing.

Arakawa joined Fastly after 20 years at Microsoft where she was appointed to roles with increasing responsibility driving business strategy, product planning and product marketing in the global Windows, Security, and Cloud & Enterprise business groups. Most recently she was responsible for leading the multi-billion- dollar US Windows & Surface business. Arakawa graduated from Northwestern University with an MBA in marketing and strategy, and from the University of Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in applied economics.

 

15. Kelly Kennedy
Chief Financial Officer, The Honest Company

Kelly Kennedy is the Chief Financial Officer of The Honest Company. The Honest Company is a mission-driven, digitally native brand focused on leading the clean lifestyle movement, creating a community for conscious consumers, and seeking to disrupt multiple consumer product categories. Since its launch in 2012, Honest has been dedicated to creating thoughtfully formulated, safe and effective personal care, beauty, baby, and household products, which are available via honest.com, third-party ecommerce partners and approximately 32,000 retail locations across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Kennedy brings more than 25 years of experience in management and finance, working for some of the country’s top retail and consumer brands, in private-equity backed start-up ventures, large public and private companies, and family-owned businesses.

Previously, Kennedy served as CFO for Bartell Drugs, the beloved Pacific Northwest pharmacy chain with 67 locations and as CFO and director at Sur La Table, the iconic Seattle-based cooking school and kitchenware retailer. Prior to Sur La Table, Kennedy was CFO at See's Candies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Kennedy earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in economics from Middlebury College.

 

16. Kate Harmon
VP of Learning & Development, Washington Trust Bank

Kate Harmon is the Vice President of Learning and Development at Washington Trust Bank. Harmon joined Washington Trust in 2012 and is responsible for driving organizational learning through the process of creating, retaining, and transferring knowledge within the Bank. She has more than 20 years’ experience in learning and development, coaching, and consulting spaces. In her current role, Harmon leads the Learning & Development consultants who are responsible for division-wide Instructor Led Learning and Online learning experiences. Collaborating with senior management, and internal stakeholders, she further offers counsel and acts as subject matter expert on people and team effectiveness, employee engagement, turnaround, and culture transformation.

Prior to joining Washington Trust Bank in 2012, Harmon worked as senior manager of leadership, sales, and professional development at Washington Mutual Bank. In this role, she initiated a leadership development program to foster a more effective business culture based on continuous personal and professional development, instituting an internal training system and development mentoring that measurably improved time management, employee effectiveness, and process ownership. Harmon led learning and development for the Northwest Division and supported learning goals across the U.S. She holds an undergraduate degree from Northwest Nazarene University. She further acts as advisory board member on the Education/HR Committee, and The Emerging Leaders Committee for the Washington Bankers Association. She is also a board member for the Girls Scouts of America, certified program facilitator of various Ken Blanchard Companies workshops, Change Management Ambassador, and a certified life coach.

 

17. Heidi Robbins Brown
VP of Corporate Strategy, CNSI

Heidi Robbins Brown is the Vice President for healthcare policy and programs within the Office of Corporate Strategy at CNSI. With locations throughout the U.S. and in India, CNSI employs a world-class team of technologists, healthcare subject-matter experts, and program managers, all of whom have experience with large scale, mission-critical information technology implementations. They deliver a broad range of health information technology enterprise solutions and customizable products to a diverse base of state and federal agencies. Robbins-Brown, who has 25 years of experience as a healthcare executive strategist, is known for being an expert in state and federal health information technology trends, policies, and market growth.

Prior to joining CNSI, Robbins-Brown served as a principal for HMS where she provided senior consulting services within the publicly funded health care insurance arena with emphasis on Medicaid health reform, cost containment, program integrity and large information systems operations and analysis. Prior to that, she served as a deputy agency director for the Washington State Health Care Authority and a deputy assistant secretary for the State of Washington, DSHS. Robbins-Brown graduated from Seattle University School of Law with a JD in law and politics, and from Gonzaga University with an undergraduate degree in political science and government. She is a recent graduate of UCLA’s Anderson School of Executive Management, Women in Governance certification program and is on the Bellevue College Advisory Board.

 

20. Pam Fritz
Chief People & Culture Officer, Rad Power Bikes

Pam Fritz is the Chief People and Culture Officer of Rad Power Bikes. Rad Power Bikes is North America's largest electric bike brand and they’re building a world where transportation is energy-efficient, enjoyable, and accessible to all. In her role, Fritz leads end to end people and talent functions including recruitment, business partnership, total rewards, HR operations, performance management, learning and development, employee communications, employment brand and culture. She has a strong track record of building to scale and accelerating growth in technology, retail and service businesses in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

Prior to joining Rad Power Bikes, Fritz was the head of global talent and SVP for Axiom where she led recruitment, retention, learning, and operations in support of a team of 1500+ across 17 global markets. She previously served as a strategy consultant for Caromb LLC and was an SVP for Expedia. Fritz graduated from Harvard University with a degree in international tax law and from The London School of Economics and Political Science with an undergraduate degree in economics.

 

21. Renait Stephens
CEO & Publisher, Study in the USA

A global marketing and strategy expert, Renait Stephens has extensive experience in the field of international education. She is the Chief Executive Officer and publisher of Study in the USA, which runs on a simple mission to provide the best possible information about U.S. education to international students and connect them with reputable schools. Over the last decade, Stephens has steered the growth of Study in the USA from a niche industry to a global multimedia company, promoting U.S. education institutions to more than two million international students every year.

A firm believer in lifting others up, under Renait’s leadership Study in the USA donates regularly to regional education conferences in the United States and abroad to provide travel grants. Most recently, the company launched a scholarship program for international students. Stephens has received awards from Apex and the Western Publishing Association, along with recognition as an SBA Small Business Person of the Year Semi-Finalist. She studied at Royal Holloway, University of London and graduated from The Evergreen State College.

 

22. Margaret Cerrato-Blue
Partner, Fox Rothschild

Margaret Cerrato-Blue is a Partner of Fox Rothschild. Over the past 100 years, Fox Rothschild has grown to 950 lawyers with offices coast to coast. Their lawyers provide a full range of legal services to public and private companies centered around several core areas including employee benefits, entertainment, financial restructuring & bankruptcy, intellectual property, labor & employment, litigation, real estate and taxation and wealth planning. Cerrato-Blue represents commercial and manufacturing clients in environmental, natural resources, and litigation matters. She focuses her practice on Washington and California regulatory compliance and defense, including compliance and defense related to California’s “Proposition 65” chemical warning law, OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), as well as related to recent and emerging Green Chemistry laws in various states. She also represents clients on environmental cleanup at legacy remediation sites, such as at harbors and airports.

Cerrato-Blue began her career in 1992 at White & Case in Los Angeles as a commercial litigator where she focused on insurance recovery for environmental response costs. She has also practiced as a solo, general practitioner with an emphasis on civil litigation and as a commercial litigator and environmental law attorney at Riddell Williams P.S. in Seattle, Washington. Cerrato-Blue graduated from Georgetown University with an undergraduate degree foreign service and a JD, and from the University of Washington with a master’s degree in international studies.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

24. Michelle Clements
Chief People & Culture Officer, Seattle Hospitality Group

Michelle Clements is a senior human resources executive with strong business acumen and a mission to unleash both organizational and human potential. She brings a diversity of thoughts, skills, and experiences which make a business stronger while enriching lives. Currently, Clements serves as the Chief People and Culture Officer for the Seattle Hospitality Group (SHG), a holding company focused on the travel, hospitality, and tourism industries in the greater Pacific NW with the mission to “Invest in the Places We Love”.

Prior to joining SHG, Clements served as the CHRO leader for Seattle University where she is a proud Alumni of the Executive MBA program. Her career experience includes having served as the CHRO for over a decade at REI. In addition, she served as the CHRO at Puget Sound Energy and for over a decade at Eddie Bauer. Her career began in customer-serving operations which led to her ultimately overseeing a chain of 300 retail stores nationwide. Over the past 25 years, Clements helped take a company public as a senior leader, drove the vision for building and fostering great places to work, she has led through rapid growth—opening hundreds of stores nationally and internationally—as well as downsizing organizations with care and compassion for employees impacted; she has experience building diversity and inclusion programs from the ground-up and creating cultures of inclusion, high engagement and retention, establishing employee brands recognized on Fortune’s, Top 100 Companies To Work For in America. Clements has also served on non-profit boards, Leadership Tomorrow, Susan G. Komen, and University of Washington’s Foster School of Business as an advisor. In addition, she has been a contributing member to both regional and national CHRO consortiums.

 

26. Alexandra Lozano
Founder & CEO, Alexandra Lozano Immigration Law PLLC

Alexandra Lozano began her professional career 15 years ago. Today, she is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alexandra Lozano Immigration Law, the largest humanitarian immigration law firm in the United States serving the Latino community exclusively. They are best known for their groundbreaking work with VAWA I-360 cases, particularly those for male clients, and T Visas for victims of human trafficking. The firm also handles other complex cases, such as relief post-deportation and post-criminal convictions. Lozano is an advocate for immigrants and the injured.

Additionally, Lozano is the Founder of the international lawyer network, AMIGA Lawyers. AMIGA's purpose is to support mother immigration attorneys with a community of resources and information to build successful businesses, create winning cases, and live holistic lives. They provide coaching, classes, and digital resources to bring value to members’ lives personally and professionally. It is a community for inspiration, motivation, and encouragement for mother immigration lawyers. Outside of law, Lozano is the Co-Founder and Partner of INVEST in the U.S., whose mission is to help investors find businesses with a proven track record for success that will allow them to make money and apply for the E-2 visa. Lozano graduated from Seattle University School of Law with a JD.

 

29. Jennifer Sunshine Steffens
Chief Executive Officer, IOActive

Jennifer Sunshine Steffens is the Chief Executive Officer of IOActive. Steffens is responsible for all aspects of the company’s global business and strategic vision. She brings a wealth of industry and business experience to the company, having been an early member of several successful startups. IOActive is a trusted partner for Global 1000 enterprises, providing research-fueled security services across all industries. Its cutting-edge security teams provide highly specialized technical and programmatic services including full stack penetration testing, program efficacy assessments, and hardware hacking.

Earlier in her career, Steffens was a director at Sourcefire, where she helped build and grow the business from $250K to an over $35M run rate in just four years. Working closely with the CTO, Steffens helped commercialize the open-source Snort technology and build several service offerings around the research initiatives. Prior to joining IOActive, she came to Seattle to help the struggling startup GraniteEdge reinvent itself. She spearheaded initiatives to restructure the company and developed a product strategy to drive early market penetration that ultimately secured two additional rounds of funding. With over 15 years of industry experience, Steffens has also held senior management positions at Ubizen, NFR Security, and StillSecure. She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Mary Washington.

 

30. Elise Groves
CIO & Associate Athletic Director of Technology, University of Washington Intercollegiate Athletics

Elise Groves is a Chief Information Officer and Associate Athletic Director of Technology at the University of Washington Intercollegiate Athletics. She first joined the organization in 2015 as an IT director. In her role, Groves provides leadership, vision, and management of the Strategic Technology Direction within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) which comprises more than 200 FTEs, 200 PTEs, 650 student-athletes and a $130M budget. She is responsible for aligning the strategic technology vision within the overall business strategy of the organization. Groves is a CIO enthusiast and strategist that is effective at identifying core needs and a leader who strives to develop and empower the people she works with every day.

Prior to her current role, Groves was a project manager in the Information Technology Career Foundation Rotation Program (ITCFP) within the Program Management Office of Boeing. Groves earned an undergraduate degree in human centered design and engineering from the University of Washington. She also serves on the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Advisory Board for the university.

 

31. Janet Morgan
VP of Omni Channel Sales Northwest, SagaCity Media

Janet Morgan is the Vice President of Omni Channel SalesNorthwest for SagaCity Media. SagaCity Media is the parent company of the preeminent lifestyle media brands in American influencer cities, outdoor and tourist regions, and mountain towns including Aspen, Vail, and Park City. In their respective markets, Houstonia, Seattle Met, Portland Monthly, and Sarasota Magazine produce the largest-selling city magazines, most-visited local lifestyle websites, and industry-dominating numbers of engaged social media followers. Morgan is known for her integrity and professionalism. She is highly skilled in effective management practices, building strong teams, customer service techniques, and advertising sales coaching/training.

Morgan has over 25 years of progressive and varied media experience in print, specialty publications, digital and sales training/management with companies like Advance Local, Gannet, McClatchy and CoStar/Apartments.com. She earned an undergraduate degree in English from Eastern Oregon University.

 

32. Carolyn Lesser
General Manager of Engineering, Microsoft

Carolyn Lesser is a General Manager for Engineering with Microsoft. She first joined the company in 1996 as a software design engineer intern within the Office division and then ultimately upon graduation from college as a developer in 1999. Over the years she has acted as a leader for the organization, leading teams of software engineers, UX designers, program managers, data scientists, and service engineers to deliver modern online learning experiences via the cloud.

Lesser is known for being a partner across multiple teams and organizations to ensure quality of solutions and accessible user experiences. Her career has included work on applications, operating systems, and the cloud. She’s shipped every version of Windows from Windows 2000 to Windows 8.1 growing to a first level manager role as development lead. Much of the time was spent focused on Windows desktop application installation and servicing technologies for which she was awarded multiple patents. Later she co-led the creation of the HTML5 Windows store app platform, bringing the power of Windows to web developers. She couldn’t resist the opportunity to become involved in learning, tapping into a passion she had in college where she led a 5th grade girl computing club at the local elementary school. This led to her eventually landing her current role as Engineering GM in Worldwide Learning.  In 2008, Carolyn played one year of professional women’s tackle football as the starting strong safety for the Seattle Majestics in the Independent Women’s Football League. More recently her sporting pursuits center around youth development, especially coaching and mentoring kids through volunteer activities for her kids’ sports teams and school events. Carolyn earned an undergraduate degree in computer science from Virginia Tech.

 

33. Becky Erickson
Head of Strategic Account Engagement for Public Sector, Amazon Business

Becky Erickson is the Head of Strategic Account Engagement for the Public Sector at Amazon Business. She leads vision and strategy for strategic government, education, and non-profit customers to help them reinvent their procurement processes using Amazon Business’s B2B marketplace. She has 15 years of tech startup and product development experience.

Prior to Amazon, Erickson worked at Microsoft leading product marketing for an ecosystem of 3D & Mixed Reality apps and new technology incubations. She also worked at Disney Consumer Products managing brand and retail strategy for go to market launches. Erickson holds an MBA with a concentration in technology and entrepreneurship from UCLA Anderson.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

36. De’shanel Childs
Vice President of Virtual Care, Propeller Health

De’shanel Childs is the Vice President of Virtual Care and Customer Experience for Propeller Health. At Propeller Health, their mission is to empower every person living with a chronic respiratory disease to take control of their health so they can live a better life. As a leader in digital health and therapeutics for asthma and COPD, they work to improve clinical outcomes, healthcare costs, and quality of life by supporting patients in managing their condition with their healthcare provider. Childs has over 11 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She began her career in 2011.

Prior to joining Propeller Health, Childs was a director of operations for Anthem where she was accountable for the successful delivery of the health plan’s operational performance, ensuring state’s contractual requirements were consistently met. Before that, she served as a senior manager with Centene Corporation, as a medical operations supervisor with TriWest Healthcare Alliance, and a Medicare programs operations supervisor with HMSA. She first got her start with the Washington State Health Care Authority before moving on to become a compliance auditor with Aloha Care. Childs graduated from the University of Washington with an undergraduate degree in health care leadership and from Western Governors University with an MBA in health care administration and management.

 

37. Lisa Stirgus
SVP & Chief Experience Officer, Harborstone Credit Union

Lisa Stirgus is a Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer with Harborstone Credit Union. She first joined the organization in 2018. Harborstone Credit Union provides financial services and is a trusted source of financial help within the state. Stirgus has nearly 20 years of experience within the financial services industry. She began her career in 2003.

Stirgus first got her start as a personal banker with Wells Fargo. She later rose to leadership positions and eventually served as an SVP where she oversaw the management of 38 banking locations throughout South Seattle, the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, and Central/Eastern Washington with $1.3B in deposits and 375 team members. In addition to her roles with Harborstone Credit Union, she is a principal with List Consulting where she helps businesses learn the sustainable solution for growth by showing how to lead through people. Stirgus graduated from Capella University with an undergraduate degree in psychology.

 

38. Colleen O'Brien
Chief Communications Officer, Armoire

Colleen O'Brien is a Chief Communications Officer with Armoire. She first joined the company in 2022. Armoire is a clothing rental membership built for working women. Its sophisticated algorithm delivers personalized clothing recommendations and continuously improves with selections, likes and dislikes, and reviews, giving better recommendations every time. Members have access to 75,000 clothing items and hundreds of designer brands that Armoire scours in the fashion universe to find the best styles for their personalized closet, including top designers and new brands. O’Brien is an accomplished marketing executive with over a decade of experience leading strategic internal and external communications for companies of all sizes, from Fortune 50 corporations to early-stage startups.

Previously, O'Brien led brand marketing, content creation, and communications strategy for Microsoft's venture fund M12, which invests globally in early-stage enterprise software companies. Prior to joining M12, she held several marketing and communications roles across Microsoft, most recently as the executive communications manager for the head of Microsoft Azure, while the team grew from 4,000 to 14,000 employees. She produced and hosted Microsoft's Women in Business and Technology podcast, which has been streamed half a million times, and served as a spokesperson on the weekly YouTube series Microsoft Unboxed, which has been viewed over 150k times. O'Brien earned an MBA from the University of Washington Foster School of Business and graduated cum laude from Harvard College with an undergraduate degree in film production and a minor in studies of women, gender, and sexuality.

 

39. Carey Serfontein
Partner & General Manager of Digital Win Room, Microsoft

Carey Serfontein serves as a Partner and General Manager of the Digital Win Room (DWN) for Microsoft. She first joined the company in 2011 as a director for enterprise commerce solution management. In her current role, Serfontein leads a global team of strategists who develop solutions possible for Microsoft's most important customers. DWR unlocks the value of Microsoft to empower customers, digitally transform their business and maximize investments.

Prior to DWR, Serfontein was GM and site leader, leading a 450+ global team enabling fulfillment and revenue processing for the largest commercial, OEM, public sector, and advertising markets. Her teams worked with account teams to manage revenue from opportunities to invoice, supported product launches, and maintained programs and processes, ensuring Microsoft could transact using the technology of tomorrow. She also carried leadership for the Reno office community investments aligning with core values and partnered with local government and nonprofit organizations, and businesses to bring technology, opportunity, and careers to Nevada. Serfontein also worked in Redmond, WA leading the Central Services organization and served as Chief of Staff and trusted advisor to the MBO leadership team. Prior to MBO, Serfontein spent four years in enterprise commerce where she led complex launches for commercial enterprises, small and medium-size businesses, public sector offers and programs. She has also owned her own successful management consulting practice focused on strategy, change leadership and consumer business transformation. Serfontein holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.

 

41. Tammie Chang, MD
Medical Director of Provider Wellness, MultiCare Health System

Dr. Tammie Chang is an author, speaker, and fierce national advocate for cultural change in healthcare. She is a practicing board-certified pediatric hematology/oncology physician at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington, the Medical Director of Provider Wellness for MultiCare Health System, the Co-Founder of Pink Coat, MD, a platform dedicated to helping women physicians to thrive in their lives and careers, and the Founder and Program Director of ELEVATE, the American Medical Womens Association’s (AMWA) National Leadership Development Program for Women Physician Attendings.

Chang is the author of the bestselling Boundaries for Women Physicians, the co-author of the bestselling How to Thrive as a Woman Physician, together with her Pink Coat, MD co-founder, Luisa Duran, and the founder and host of the LeadHER Podcast for Women Physicians.
Chang earned an undergraduate degree and MD from Brown University, completed a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Massachusetts, and completed her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is a certified leadership coach and received her coaching certifications from the Co-Active Training Institute and the International Coaching Federation. She has additional training and certifications from John Maxwell Leadership, Gallup CliftonStrengths, and Crucial Conversations, and is a Playing Big Facilitator.

 

42. Su-Zette Sparks
Senior Managing Director, CBRE

Su-Zette Sparks is a Senior Managing Director for Americas Consulting of CBRE. She first joined the company in 2018 as a senior director of organizational design and change management. In her current role, Sparks’ focus is working with organizations to foster transformation, change, and authentic leadership in a fast paced and dynamic workplace. Her unique approach empowers organizations to build cultures of innovation, trust, and inclusion so that leaders can drive business outcomes that are aligned with mission and purpose. She brings passion, persistence, and over 20 years of extensive experience in people centered approaches.

Prior to joining CBRE, Sparks led organizational transformation, culture change, leader and team development, and change programs for Russell Investments globally and later as a consultant across multiple industries and continents. She has spoken on panels for University of Washington (CRE), CoreNet, CREW Seattle, and the Urban Land Institute and has had the privilege to teach a graduate course in Organizational Culture and Transformation at Seattle University. She is co-founder of her own coworking space; honored as Commercial Interior of the Year in 2016 by NAIOP in addition to being recognized for Women in Innovation at MOHAI.

 

43. Tania Fernandez de Castro
Managing Director, Bridge Partners

Tania Fernandez de Castro began her professional career 25 years ago. Today, she is a Managing Director with Bridge Partners. Bridge Partners works with some of the world’s largest and most innovative tech, telco, and SaaS companies to unlock billions in revenue. In her current role, Fernandez de Castro is responsible for helping develop and drive the growth segment sales, solutions, and delivery strategies. As part of the senior leadership team, she leads a high-performing sales and delivery team known for their innovation and reaching high customer SAT.

 

Fernandez de Castro first got her start in 1997 as a regional director for Latin America at Green River Community College. From there, she went on to the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development as international senior manager where she assisted state companies in identifying and pursuing new business opportunities in strategic international markets in order to enhance their market share in the international scene. Fernandez de Castro graduated from The Evergreen State College.

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44. Nicole Mackenzie
Managing Director, Williams Kastner

Nicole MacKenzie is a Seattle based Member and the Managing Director of Williams Kastner. Williams Kastner is a Pacific Northwest Regional law firm with a reputation for trial and litigation expertise, supported by exemplary service in the areas of business and real estate transactions, labor and employment, securities, intellectual property, environmental and land use, and regulatory matters for local, regional, national, and international clients since 1929. MacKenzie maintains an active practice, developing and implementing defense strategies and litigating matters in state and federal courts for national product manufacturers both as local and National Coordinating Counsel.

MacKenzie became the firm’s Managing Director in January 2021 and helped lead the firm to one of its most successful years, including being among the first to transition to a hybrid office model. Beyond providing top-notch client service, she is a champion of leading by example, ensuring the happiness and well-being of the firm’s employees, and supporting a richly diverse and inclusive culture. She has also been a presenter in various contexts and has been active in the community, serving on the board for non-profit organizations and as both VP and president of the PTSA at her son’s school. MacKenzie joined Williams Kastner in 2014. She graduated from Yale University and Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College and is admitted to practice in Washington, Oregon, California, and Virginia.

 

46. Rebecca Uusitalo
General Manager, Urban Renaissance Group

Rebecca Uusitalo brings 25 years of full cycle real estate experience to her role as General Manager at Urban Renaissance Group. Uusitalo is a highly motivated, experienced professional with a diverse real estate background including development, strategic repositioning, operations and management of assets. At URG, she is responsible for the overall strategic direction for a diverse 750,000 square-foot portfolio in Seattle and Denver, including Class-A high rise and several historic assets. In her role as GM, she is committed to providing successful client solutions, well-balanced perspectives on assets and superior customer service. She leads a team of dedicated property management professionals to ensure optimum asset performance.

Prior to joining URG, Uusitalo served as a GM at Cushman & Wakefield/Commerce, where she provided leadership and guidance for the Puget Sound region property management teams responsible for direct operations of approximately 800,000 square feet of office space. In addition to her roles with URG, she is a current member of BOMA International and serves as the Pacific Northwest Regional VP. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Metropolitan Improvement District Ratepayer Advisory Board. Uusitalo holds an undergraduate degree in human development from the University of California, Davis.

 

48. Tija Danzig
Senior Director for U.S. Programs, Americares

Tija Danzig is the Senior Director of U.S. Programs for Americares, overseeing health programming that improves climate and disaster resilience, helps communities recover from emergencies, and provides critical COVID-19 educational resources for safety net health care providers serving low-income, uninsured, and under-insured patients. Since 2021, Danzig has played a critical role in Americares response to the COVID-19 pandemic, spearheading a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded project to reinforce COVID-19 vaccine confidence among health care personnel in free and charitable clinics and federally qualified health centers across the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Danzig also led recovery efforts in response to the December 2021 Midwest tornadoes that devastated Kentucky.

Danzig has over 15 years of experience working with non-governmental organizations, as well as national and international governments, including more than a decade in the global health sector. Before joining Americares, she spent several years as an advisor to the Mayor of the City of Spokane, Washington supporting creative solutions to improve the homeless crisis response system, advancing community development and affordable housing initiatives, and improving health access and outcomes to meet the needs of the region’s most vulnerable. During this time, Danzig spoke at national conferences and shepherded transformative programs to end youth and young adult homelessness. Danzig has worked in the Middle East and Africa, including leading projects in disaster risk reduction, food security, drought relief, and health integration. Of great achievement was her work in the design of a shelter protocol that USAID’s then-named Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance called “a model for emergency shelter best practice”. She also served in the Peace Corps in Botswana, working on projects that focused on helping communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. Danzig earned a master's degree in public administration from Eastern Washington University and an undergraduate degree in psychology and international studies from the University of Washington.

 

49. Jennifer Wong
Head of Sustainability, Convoy

Jennifer Wong is the Head of Sustainability of Convoy. She first joined the company in 2018 as their head of marketing. Convoy is a digital freight network solving problems in the $800B trucking industry. They partner with the best trucking companies and shippers to move millions of truckloads, rethink freight fundamentals, and design innovative solutions that address supply chain inefficiencies.

In addition to her roles with Convoy, Wong is the founder of the Seattle NFT Museum, designed to bring together artists, creators, collectors, and the broader blockchain community. She is also an adjunct professor for the University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business where she teaches entrepreneurial marketing and serves on the advisory board of the Master of Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics program. Wong graduated from the University of Washington with an undergraduate degree in communication. She has earned professional certificates from the NYU Stern School of Business, Yale School of Management, Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the University of Washington.

 

50. Erin Norberg
Head of Sales - Americas, Era Software

Erin Norberg is a Seattle Native and has had great success as both an individual contributor in enterprise sales as well as leading national enterprise sales teams. Today, she is the Head of Sales for the Americas for Era Software. Era Software’s observability and analytics products, EraSearch and EraCloud, help organizations manage their data in real time, at a high scale, and at up to 90% lower cost than alternatives. Era Software helps modern IT and security organizations eliminate operational complexity and innovate faster with unified access to observability data.

In addition to her role with Era Software, Erin is known through the PNW tech community as an enterprise sales enthusiast, and holds numerous cloud computing certifications. She brings great knowledge and has a history of proven success increasing company profitability and execution on behalf of commercial, enterprise and global companies. Erin was also invited to be a speaker at Worldwide Sales Kickoff during her time at AWS and VMware, and received President's Club during her time at VMware.

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