The 2014 Community Impact Awards: Lifetime Achievement



Paul Allen

Paul Allen’s business achievements are the stuff of local legend:

• The Microsoft cofounder and Vulcan chairman is the man behind the transformation of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

• He rescued the Seattle Seahawks in 1996 and turned the football team into the region’s most successful sports franchise.

• He is the driving force behind a host of world-changing ideas and organizations.

To date, Allen has donated more than $1.5 billion to charitable causes. A large chunk of that money has been spent close to home, including major grants to the University of Washington and Washington State University. Since 1988, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has provided almost $500 million in support of “bright spot” organizations in the Northwest and beyond, focusing on education, arts and culture, libraries and financial empowerment. 

Allen’s community spirit permeates all of the organizations that he oversees. Since 2013, Vulcan has given almost a half-million dollars to local corporate sponsorships, supporting nonprofits in education (Rainier Scholars, the Museum of History and Industry), human services (Goodwill Seattle, Downtown Emergency Services Center), arts and culture (Seattle International Film Festival, ArtsFund) and environmental sustainability (Climate Solutions, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance).  

In South Lake Union, Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate has undertaken more than 24 projects and created a vision for a sustainable, walkable community that has catalyzed more than $5 billion in development and infrastructure investments, doubling the number of neighborhood jobs to 35,000. That increase has resulted in an estimated $100 million in new, recurring tax revenue for the city of Seattle. Ten thousand more new jobs are expected in the next decade. 

It’s hard to imagine this city — or this region — without the labor and the largess of Paul Allen. Thanks to his vision, his dedication and his spirit, Washington is culturally, socially and economically a richer and more diverse state. 

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