Next group of leaders shows their stuff

Leadership Eastside’s (LE) Class of 2010 shared its Community Project Presentations at Lake Washington Technical College (LWTC) May 8.

Leadership Eastside’s (LE) Class of 2010 shared its Community Project Presentations at Lake Washington Technical College (LWTC) May 8.

LE classmates and alumni are business people and volunteers from Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Bothell, Kenmore, Sammamish, Issaquah and other Eastside communities united in their enthusiasm to get connected, gain leadership skills and make a difference.

An Urban Farmers presentation praised individuals and organizations bringing donations of fresh produce from private yards and community gardens to food banks. That project team included Bellevue’s Jason Popp, a Microsoft employee; Bothell’s Chris Bailey, representing Premera; Issaquah’s Jennifer Spall of Wal-Mart; and Sammamish resident Irmgard Tank, representing The Boeing Company.

“Diverse Public Spaces more third places in Eastside communities” addressed the need for gathering places such as Crossroads Mall and farmers’ markets where people of all ages and cultures can comfortably mingle. Entertainment, educational opportunities and ethnic foods are ways to draw them in, as well as ample seating, access to public transportation and proximity to other resources, said LE team members including Bellevue’s David Funk of The Boeing Company and Juan Hernandez of Hopelink.

LE project team members for P.E.P. (Philanthropy Experience Project) mentored teams who fundraised for a wide range of charitable and humanitarian causes.

Examples were “Nothing But Nets,” in which Redmond High School students purchased 200 mosquito nets to prevent malaria in Africa; a group of Bellevue teens who sponsored a 4-year-old cancer patient through Sparrow USA; the Girls Group at Redmond’s Old Fire House Teen Center, providing safe drinking water for more than 100 children in Third World countries; a Keystone group from Bellevue’s Teen Center who gave toiletry kits to Tent City residents; and three girls from Redmond High School who did babysitting to buy water-purifying Life Straws for children in Africa.

Adults on LE’s P.E.P. Squad team included Redmond’s Tony Gee of Microsoft; Bellevue’s Michael James of Symetra Financial and Mollie Purcell of city of Bellevue; Issaquah’s Cindy Bezanson of The Boeing Company; and Julie Metteer of the Kirkland Downtown Association.

Lin Zhou, manager of corporate and continuing education at LWTC Redmond, along with Redmond’s Terry Claypool of the King County Library System and Issaquah’s TJ Ginthner of The Boeing Company, were among members of the VOTE Project Team which is striving to register voters, especially non-or-limited English speakers. The group distributed “VOTE!” toolkits with supporting materials in English, Spanish/Portuguese, Mandarin, Hindi, Russian and Korean.

A Workforce Housing presentation featured Redmond’s Alice Chao and Sammamish resident John Kaschko, both of Group Health Cooperative; Nancy Corning, representing University of Washington, Bothell; Kenmore’s Stacy Liedle of Centex Homes and other LE participants. They described how organizations such as ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing) and Habitat for Humanity help low-income families achieve the dream of home ownership and combat NIMBY (“Not In My Backyard!”) prejudice from more affluent residents.

The May 8 Community Project Presentation concluded with LE’s Building Community team, highlighting strong connections through community organizations. Those team members included Bellevue’s Dan Speicher of CH2M Hill and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce’s Shari Carter.

To learn more about Leadership Eastside, visit