Craig Olson

Craig Olson

He’s always among the first to step up and volunteer

When Clothes For Kids needed a new heating system, Craig Olson donated one and had it installed.

This is one of 12 finalists for the Herald Business Journal’s annual Emerging Leaders award, which highlights and celebrates people who are doing good work in Snohomish County. The winner is to be announced during an online event on Thursday. Meet the other finalists.

Craig Olson, 31

Vice president of sales at Washington Energy Services, Lynnwood

When a local nonprofit, Clothes For Kids, needed a new heating and cooling system, Craig Olson stepped in to help.

Olson, the vice president and a third-generation owner of Washington Energy Services in Lynnwood, donated a new system to the agency and had it installed.

If that wasn’t enough, he then organized a clothing drive at the company that delivered 185 coats to Clothes For Kids.

That level of involvement isn’t unusual for Olson, who grew up on Camano Island and attended schools in Stanwood.

Said a nominator: “He and his spouse, Courtney Olson, are always the first to volunteer and lend a helping hand without hesitation. He is always willing to attend charity events, and gives educational talks on energy efficiency.”

Olson is up front about his life and upbringing.

“I’m a lucky guy,” he said. “I was able to go to college and not accrue debt. I have been able to participate in a successful family business since graduating college.”

Others might leave it at that. Olson feels the need to do more.

“Because of my circumstance, I have the ability to give more than I receive and make meaningful, positive impacts in my sphere of influence,” he said.

He credits his family, especially his mother, for delivering the message when he was growing up that everyone needs to serve their community.

“My mother has been a great influence. She’s on the Sno-Isle Libraries board, the board at Providence Medical Center and the Camano Island Senior Center,” he said. “She taught me to get out there and try to give back.”

Olson’s volunteer activities include emceeing fundraisers at the Stanwood Community Resource Center, helping on race day at the Stanwood/Camano Soap Box Derby and fundraising for Clothes For Kids and Cocoon House.

“I think Snohomish County is a fortunate county,” said Olson. “I think we live in one of the best counties in the United States.”

This year, Olson added another volunteer activity to his calendar — one that he’s particularly proud of.

“My application at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County was approved,” Olson said. “I’ve got a Little Brother now — a nice young man, 10 years old.”

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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