Leadership awards recognize economic development efforts

Among those honored by Leadership Snohomish County was the founder of an Everett business incubator.

Diane Kamionka, executive director of the Northwest Innovation Resource Center. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Diane Kamionka, executive director of the Northwest Innovation Resource Center. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

EVERETT — The former founder and CEO of an Ohio software firm, who now calls Washington home, has been honored by Leadership Snohomish County for her efforts to help local inventors and entrepreneurs find their footing and flourish.

The Deborah Knutson Women in Leadership award, which recognizes a local woman leader, was presented to Diane Kamionka by Leadership Snohomish County. The nonprofit, which supports and trains community leaders, held its annual Leadership Day event last month at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

Kamionka, the interim executive director of the Northwest Innovation Resource Center, has helped establish TheLab@everett, an innovation center and business incubator that will serve startups, inventors and existing businesses. Kamionka moved to Washington in 2004 and established the Innovation Resource Center in 2010.

TheLab at 1001 N. Broadway in Everett is to open within weeks.

Named for the late leader of the Snohomish County Economic Development Council, Deborah Knutson, the award is presented to a woman in the county who shares “passion for job growth and economic development,” said Kathy Coffey, Leadership Snohomish County’s executive director. The 20-year-old nonprofit fosters and trains community leaders.

The award was presented to Kamionka by Knutson’s daughter, Erin Williams.

“Under the leadership of Diane Kamionka, the Northwest Innovation Resource Center works with entrepreneurs and inventors to identify the strategy, tools and community resources needed to bring their products and business ideas to life,” said retired Boeing executive John Monroe, who nominated Kamionka for the award.

A scholarship fund in Deborah Knutson’s name, honoring a commitment to economic development, was awarded to Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jen Egger.

“Jen works hard to help startups and small businesses connect with resources that can help them grow and succeed,” Coffey said.

The 2018 scholarship covers the tuition for Leadership Snohomish County’s nine-month leadership development program.

“Our first class graduated in 1998 and includes many community leaders,” Coffey said.

Josh Estes, managing partner at Pacific Northwest Regional Strategies, called the program a “building block for positive change that will carry our community forward for generations to come.”

It “builds a network of allies and friends, so that in our most difficult times, we know that we are never fighting alone,” said Estes, an alumnus of the program.

Adrianne Wagner, vice president for quality improvement at The Everett Clinic, received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

“Adrianne is a former LSC board member, and she takes her clear voice, grounded perspectives and sincere passion for LSC wherever she goes because she is authentic, committed and has a gift for seeing new ways to accomplish things,” Coffey said.

Kamionka, of the Northwest Innovation Resource Center, presented the Mentoring Leadership Award to Heidi Ray, director of capital projects, facilities and security at Funko.

“The best leaders are the most generous,” Kamionka said. “For a leader to share what she or he has learned or experienced with entrepreneurs can be critical to their success. Heidi Ray not only shares her knowledge, but her energy, enthusiasm and creativity are contagious and motivating.”

Premera Blue Cross received LSC’s 2018 Community Partner Award. Its sponsorship of Step Up, the largest racial equity event in the region, was the primary reason Premera was chosen, Coffey said. This year’s Step Up event drew more than 600 participants. “Their charitable work benefits the entire community,” Coffey said.

Past Community Partner Award recipients are Everett Community College and Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.

Leadership Day 2018 sponsors included the Tulalip Tribes, Kaiser Permanente, Sno-Isle Libraries, Snohomish County, Seahurst Electric, McKinstry, Herald Media, The Everett Clinic, Mountain Pacific Bank, City University of Seattle, Community Transit, BECU, Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and the City of Everett.

Erin Williams is the daughter of Deborah Knutson, for whom a Leadership Snohomish County award is named. A Nov. 6 story in the Herald Business Journal incorrectly characterized their relationship.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, poses with a production electric engine, the magni500, at the  company's new office on Seaway Boulevard on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Maker of electric airplane engines gets $74M NASA grant

MagniX of Everett is one of two companies tapped to advance electric propulsion systems to power aircraft.

Rendering of the new terminal that Propeller Airports plans to build at Paine Field in Everett. The terminal, which will serve the general aviation community, will replace Castle & Cooke Aviation's existing building at the Snohomish County-owned airport. (Propeller Airports LLC)
Propeller Airports to acquire Castle & Cooke at Paine Field

Propeller, which owns the nearby passenger terminal, plans a new complex for private aviation.

A Boeing 737 Max 10 prepares to take off in Seattle on June 18, 2021. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Chona Kasinger.
Boeing cash shines while 787’s factory woes weigh on results

Restarting Dreamliner deliveries that have been halted for months is key to a financial turnaround.

Everett Farmer’s Market canceled Sunday due to weather

Organizers cited a high-wind advisory. It is to reopen Oct. 31 for the final market of the season.

David Simpson (left) and Scott Murphy.
Port of Everett candidates spar over transparency

An incumbent, David Simpson, is challenged by Everett City Councilmember Scott Murphy.

FILE - In this May 26, 2020, file photo, a sign at the headquarters for the Washington state Employment Security Department is shown at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's rush to get unemployment benefits to residents who lost jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak left it vulnerable to criminals who made off with hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Washington’s unemployment rate in September was 4.9%

Employers added 17,600 jobs last month, a 7.3% increase over August.

With the Olympic mountains in the background, the first passenger flight by Alaska Airlines Flight 2878 departs for Portland on opening day of the Paine Field Terminal on Monday, March 4, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Alaska Airlines stalls plan for extra flights in Everett

Business has been sluggish, but the airline says it will offer 12 flights a day at Paine Field in the new year.

Hillside homes in Mukilteo are seen from the ferry line on Oct. 20. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
Mukilteo asks for input on housing density, and it’s complicated

Here’s a guide to what voters should know about the advisory ballot measure. What does it actually do?

People hold signs in protest of the vaccine mandate after Boeing announced it would terminate workers who do not comply on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Some Boeing workers protest in Everett over vaccine mandate

The Boeing Company announced earlier this week that its workers must be vaccinated by Dec. 8.

FILE - In this file photo dated Monday, March 11, 2019, rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The number of deaths in major air crashes around the globe fell by more than half in 2019 according to a report released Wednesday Jan. 1, 2020, by the aviation consultancy To70, revealing the worst crash for the year was an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX on March 10 that lost 157 lives. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, FILE)
Former Boeing test pilot pleads not guilty in 737 Max case

He’s the first person to be charged with a crime in connection with the Indonesia and Ethiopia crashes.

FILE - In this March 14, 2019 file photo, Ethiopian relatives of crash victims mourn at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south-east of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia. Relatives of some of the passengers who died in the crash will mark the two-year anniversary of the disaster on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, by seeking a reversal of government orders that let Boeing 737 Max jets fly again.  (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, File)
Boeing pilot involved in Max testing is indicted in Texas

He’s accused of giving the FAA false information about systems that played a role in two deadly crashes.

Top (L-R): Kim Daughtry, Steve Ewing. Bottom (L-R): Gary Petershagen, Marcus Tageant.
Developers court Lake Stevens council incumbents with over $20K

Over half of the campaign dollars for four candidates came from people tied to real estate or property development.