Julio Cortes is the senior spokesman for the city of Everett and is a Top Four Finalist in this year’s Emerging Leaders Awards. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Julio Cortes is the senior spokesman for the city of Everett and is a Top Four Finalist in this year’s Emerging Leaders Awards. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

In Everett, he’s found a home base for countywide involvement

Julio Cortes made a difference at Cocoon House and now works to promote the city and the region.

This is one of the top four 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.

Name: Julio Cortes, 34

Senior communications officer, City of Everett

Julio Cortes, the City of Everett’s senior communications officer, continues to strengthen his ties to the city.

Cortes is one of two returning Emerging Leaders candidates who made the Top 12 list last year, too.

This past year, he and his wife moved to Everett and bought a home.

“We have been working here for 10 to 12 years. Now my wife and I have chosen to live here,” said Cortes.

When he graduated from college and moved to Snohomish County more than 10 years ago, he viewed Everett as a “pit stop on the way to Seattle.”

Now his support for Everett and Snohomish County is unwavering.

Since 2017, he’s been the spokesman for the City of Everett and is in charge of advertising and marketing efforts to support economic development.

Before then, he spent eight years working at Cocoon House, first as a case manager and later as public relations manager for the Everett-based nonprofit, which offers shelter and programs for homeless and at-risk teens and young people.

In 2017, Cortes and his co-workers at Cocoon House helped secure a $2.75 million grant for the nonprofit’s new Colby Avenue Youth Center in Everett at Colby and 36th Street.

“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,” a nominator wrote.

Cortes grew up in Wapato in Eastern Washington.

As a teenager, his family and sports kept him anchored.

“In middle school and high school there was a really big gang problem there,” Cortes said. “My family made a point to get to know my friends, invite them over and try to steer them, as well.”

Sports taught him about leadership and “helped me get a college scholarship,” he said.

Cortes serves on the boards of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Leadership Snohomish County and Snohomish County Tourism Area. He is a member of the Everett School District’s Fiscal Advisory Committee.

Everett? It’s a Goldilocks city, said Cortes. “It has something for everyone.”

“We 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.”

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

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