Leadership Eastside event assembles leaders to grade the Eastside

After a wide-ranging discussion hosted by Leadership Eastside in the Old Redmond Schoolhouse lunchroom on February 9, more than 200 of the Eastside’s community leaders have issued a report card on the State of the Eastside. The attendees awarded B’s for Education, the Economy, and Neighborhoods and Community, and C’s for Basic Needs, Environment, Health and Wellness, and Arts and Culture.

To launch the discussions, a panel of Norman Rice, President and CEO of the Seattle Foundation; John Marchione, Mayor of the City of Redmond; and Stacy Graven, Executive Director of Meydenbauer Center, gave their assessment of areas where the Eastside is doing well and where it needs to improve. Rice pointed to Hopelink making a difference in people’s lives and Leadership Eastside working throughout the area in civic engagement as “gold in the hills”. Rice said, “These organizations reflect resources on the Eastside that are galvanizing a bottom-up, rather than top-down response.” Mayor Marchione said the Eastside is doing well compared to other communities, but can do more. Graven noted that the economic impact of tourism is continuing to increase, but cutbacks in state funding have raised the stakes for the Eastside to keep that economic stimulator going.

Members of LE’s Leadership Enrichment Program facilitated table discussions by attendees from throughout the Eastside, including King County Council members, city council members, business executives, non-profit executive directors, college presidents and other concerned community members. At the end of the luncheon sponsored by The Seattle Foundation and Republic Services, LE President and Executive Director, James Whitfield summarized the charge to the LE program participants.  “It’s clear  the Eastside is not doing as well as we would like.  The reason our community supports your participation in Leadership Eastside is because they’re counting on you to help our region get A’s.”

LE will publish the final 2012 State of the Eastside Report published in early March. Organizations that wish to include additional data in the report should submit it to sotes@leadershipeastside.com by February 16.

LE also is accepting nominations for participation in its cutting-edge leadership enrichment program, which provides community-oriented hands-on exposure to practical, fresh leadership strategies while meeting community needs.  Business, government, and non-profit organizations that seek to recognize and develop high-performing managers and executives can learn more about LE and complete a nomination form at www.leadershipeastside.com