February 2017

From this Issue

Tom Kundig is a principal and owner at Olson Kundig, the Seattle architecture firm and design practice founded on the idea that “buildings can serve as a bridge between nature, culture and people.”
Nancy: What does an architect do? 

Seattle businessman Joshua Green did a lot of things right when he built his fortune during the Gold Rush era. The shipping fleet he created was the precursor to the Washington State Ferries system. The insurance company he started became Safeco Corporation.

Despite its origins in the rugged north country, Alaska Airlines is a button-down shirt and wingtips. As recently as five years ago, it distributed Bible verses with its in-flight meals. Virgin America, meanwhile, with a provenance linked to the flamboyant entrepreneur Richard Branson, is more T-shirt and flip-flops.

When the 89th Academy Awards celebration begins on February 26, Roy Price is sure to be in the audience. If early predictions are accurate, he will be anticipating an award or two for "Manchester by the Sea," a film that’s been the smash hit at all four major North American film festivals this season.

Governing a company is different from running one, notes Alaska Air Group board member Phyllis J. Campbell. An effective board asks the right questions, and one that’s diverse makes that possibility more likely. “It’s sometimes messier,” Campbell says of the gender and racial mix of Alaska’s board. “We don’t always agree, by definition. That’s what diversity brings to the table.

The Executive Excellence Awards recognize CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CTOs, executive directors and other inspirational leaders for modeling exemplary behavior in the day-to-day operation of complex corporate ecosystems as well as in the larger context of providing a moral compass.

By the time Roy Whitehead arrived at Washington Federal in the late 1990s as the prospective successor to the savings bank’s CEO, he knew a thing or two about steering a financial institution through tough times.

In Tucker Moodey’s view, it’s comfortable to collaborate among people who share the same skills but more successful when you work across fields.

T-mobile’s CEO doesn’t mince words, and when John Legere took the helm in 2012, he didn’t make a lot of friends. At an early press conference, he vowed to “redefine a stupid, broken and arrogant industry.”

When Scott Porad joined to run the technical infrastructure that matched dog owners with providers of pet sitting and pet walking services, he thought it would be familiar. He had already built many e-commerce sites with internet pioneers like Starwave, and Cheezburger Network. But keeping dog owners happy was nothing like dispensing online cat humor.

By the time Scott Svenson and his wife Ally launched their fast-casual pizza chain, they had already started and exited two successful enterprises in London.

While most executives find success through building relationships, Darryl Rawlings prospers by redefining them.

Unlike many financial leaders after the banking crisis, incoming CEO Benson Porter had to manage expansion.

Staying close to home has worked pretty well for Budd Gould, who founded his first restaurant in Bellevue in 1969.

Discipline and persistence, traits that help Pioneer Human Services’ clients build productive lives while bearing a criminal history, come naturally to CEO Karen Lee, a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

What happens when a disrupter encounters disruption of its own? Real estate brokerage Redfin stormed the gates of an entrenched industry in 2006 through a lower-fee, internet-fueled model, refunding a portion of agent commissions to homeowners. Like the company’s founders, CEO Glenn Kelman was steeped in software development, and he saw inefficiencies to slash.

When Ardine Williams was hired to recruit the people who would help build out Amazon’s Web Services division, she didn’t have to think too hard about an underrecognized source for talent.

He may be at the helm, but Stein Kruse feels more like a steward of the 143-year-old cruise ship franchise.

It’s not hard to see the impact Ada Healey has had on Seattle in the past 15 years. Just take a stroll down Westlake Avenue or Mercer Street in the heart of South Lake Union.