The first year the Vancouver Business Journal held the Accomplished and Under 40 Awards, I was so thrilled to be selected as part of a cohort of locals who were working up to big things, even if they weren’t quite there yet.
I was just starting my career in Clark County, serving as a board director on my first non-profit board, planning my first auction event, raising money and awareness for causes I believed in, while also climbing the corporate career ladder.
Back then, I had no idea just what a huge role community involvement would play in my life and career.
The most impactful leadership lessons I’ve ever learned were through community involvement, and my deepest and most meaningful relationships formed as a result of my work in the community, as a result of working side by side to strengthen our community.
Far from being a nice resume-builder, my involvement with this community has shaped my life in ways I couldn’t have even imagined back in 2002.
Now, 16 years later, I found myself curious as to whether any of the other people in my cohort had received the same intangible rewards for giving back to their community through leadership as I did. So I opened up my LinkedIn Rolodex and got connecting.
To my deep pleasure (and no surprise at all), I found that the 39 other men and women selected for the original awards are still giving in their community. Many are also investing in the next generation of community leaders by mentoring at work and in the community.
Here are the highlights of what a few 40 Under 40-ers have been up to:
Todd Burchett – Todd has remained in the financial industry and serves as the Vice President and Relationship Manager, Commercial Real Estate, for HomeStreet Bank. He remains an advocate for fostering education, and also invests his time in mentoring young bankers to “find a cause they are passionate about, help as many as possible by giving their time early in their careers and remain committed to that cause over a long period of time.”
Tamara Fuller – You can’t miss Tamara’s name if you are driving around Southwest Washington or you have visited our new waterfront. She is listing many of our town’s most prestigious commercial properties. As the Vice President of Brokerage at Colliers International, she has seen significant changes in her industry over the past two decades. Tamara continues to be involved in the community giving her time with Rotary, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and Empower Women + Girls.
Matt Lewis – A leader in the homebuilding and construction industry, Matt is running a new division, Garrette Custom Homes, of Pacific Lifestyle Homes in Tacoma, where he owns a share of the company with Kevin Wann (another 40 Under 40 inaugural class member).
Juliet Laycoe – Juliet has continued to navigate the difficult legal challenges associated with death and divorce. She has chronicled this journey and is launching a new book she has written, “Divorce Wisdom: Smart Strategies for Anyone Contemplating or Experiencing Divorce.” Her book will be available for purchase early next year.
Tim Leavitt – If you have lived in Southwest Washington these past two decades, you’ve witnessed many of Tim’s leadership achievements. He is an engineer, professionally beginning his career at ESD 112, and is now the Director of Southwest Washington Operations for Otak. Tim was elected to the Vancouver City Council in 2003, later becoming Mayor and serving two terms until December 2017.
Nancy Retsinas – Nancy transitioned her law practice to follow her values and is now championing a collaborative, mediation-based approach to family law. She has become the regional expert providing training to other attorneys in Oregon and Washington, guiding them on how to embrace a collaborative approach. Her business has expanded to include communication and conflict coaching, facilitation and strategic planning to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Nancy has served on over a dozen non-profit boards.
It’s been a true honor to be a part of this community with the 40 Under 40-ers, and to work together to make Vancouver an even better place to live and work – I can’t wait to see what the next 16 years bring!
Lisa Keohokalole Schauer is the President of PointNorth Consulting, she serves as a Regent at Washington State University, is a Board Director for the Children’s Center and a co-founder of H-RoC, a Political Action Committee committed to electing non-partisan women to elected office.