Executive Q+A

Since taking over in 2015 as CEO of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which administers the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, CEO John Wolfe has navigated stormy seas while simultaneously improving the operations of the fourth-largest container gateway in North America.

Harvey Kanter has taken Blue Nile, a struggling online jeweler, and returned it to a growth trajectory.

Leslie Alexandre, whose leadership of the state-funded North Carolina Biotechnology Center helped strengthen that state’s life sciences sector, hopes to revitalize Washington’s biotech sector as CEO and president of Life Science Washington.

Under Ed Murray, Seattle has become recognized nationally for promoting progressive policies like the $15 minimum wage, but he also sees the need for more centralization in the mayor’s office to implement better controls over the city’s large bureaucracy.

Larry W. “Chip” Hunter, a scholar of human resource management and industrial relations, became dean of Washington State University’s Carson College of Business in March 2015. He aims to make Carson College the premier place in the Northwest for an undergraduate business education.

Two years ago, when Urban Renaissance Group acquired Seattle’s Touchstone Corporation in a billion-dollar deal, Touchstone’s founders began transitioning out of the firm and installed A-P Hurd as president and chief development officer.

Mark Mader developed a passion for technology by observing how businesses make choices based on many variables. In nearly 11 years at Smartsheet, Mader has directed that passion toward making the ubiquitous spreadsheet less of a loathsome tool and more of a friendly facilitator via work collaboration software.

BECU, formerly the Boeing Employees Credit Union, was founded in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression.

Gus Simonds and his management team took the helm at MacDonald-Miller in 2006. The Great Recession hit two years later.

The founder and CEO of Pacific Market International has transformed PMI from a trading company into a product development and manufacturing business with more than 150 corporate employees in offices around the globe. Rob Harris has always been entrepreneurial. In grade school, he set up a retail store in his parents’ garage. In high school, he was the kid selling “adult beverages” from the trunk of his car.