This is one of 12 finalists for the Herald Business Journal’s Emerging Leaders award, which seeks to highlight and celebrate people who are doing good work in Snohomish County. The winner will be named at an event on April 11. Meet the other finalists.
Name: Julio Cortes
Profession: Senior Communications Officer, City of Everett
Julio Cortes once viewed the city of Everett as a stepping stone.
“I was going to use Everett as my pit stop on the way to Seattle,” said Cortes, a graduate of Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Ten years later, Cortes’ devotion to the city and Snohomish County is unwavering.
Cortes is a member of the Everett School District’s Fiscal Advisory Committee and the County’s Tourism Promotion board.
Since 2017, he’s been the spokesman for the city of Everett, and in charge of advertising and marketing efforts in support of the city’s economic development activities.
Before that he spent eight years working at Cocoon House, first as a case manager and later as public relations manager.
The Everett-based nonprofit offers shelter and programs for homeless and at-risk teens and young people.
In 2017, Cortes and his co-workers helped secure a $2.75 million grant for the nonprofit’s new Colby Avenue Youth Center at Colby Avenue and 36th Street. The center is expected to open this year.
A nominator described Cortes as “a passionate advocate for underfunded and marginalized communities.”
Said the nominator,“From his contributions while working at Cocoon House to his service as an elected member of the City of Lynnwood’s Human Services Commission, Julio has contributed his voice to ensure teens and youth are included in long-term strategic planning in our community.”
Cortes faced his own teenage trials in Wapato in Eastern Washington, where he grew up.
He credits his family and sports for keeping on the right track.
“In middle school and high school there was a really big gang problem there,” he said.
“My family made a point to get to know my friends, invite them over and try to steer them as well.”
“Sports taught me about leadership and helped me get a college scholarship,” Cortes said.
He likes to describe Everett as a Goldilocks city. “It has something for everyone,” Cortes said.
“We do have issues just like other cities but we’re so many more things than those problems,” he said.
“We have a walkable downtown. You go east and there’s some of the best hiking in the country. You go west and there’s the water,” he said.
“I can’t wait to see where we’re going to be in five to 10 years.”
Janice Podsada; firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods