Lynnwood mayor among Leadership Snohomish County honorees

Also receiving awards this year were a Snohomish Health District communicator and The Everett Clinic.

Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith

Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith

EVERETT — Leadership Snohomish County, a nonprofit that trains community leaders, honored Lynnwood’s mayor and the Snohomish Health District’s public affairs manager during this year’s annual awards event and fundraiser.

Since its founding 25 years ago, nearly 1,000 people have graduated from the group’s leadership classes.

Three awards were presented Oct. 13 at the event, which was held virtually this year: the 2021 Deborah Knutson Women in Leadership Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Community Partner Award.

This year’s Deborah Knutson Women in Leadership Award was presented to Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith for her efforts to boost the city’s economic growth.

Kathy Coffey Solberg, Leadership Snohomish County’s executive director, and Erin Williams, daughter of the late Deborah Knutson, presented the award in person to Mayor Smith during a surprise visit to Lynnwood City Hall. “Mayor Smith has done such a phenomenal job reinventing the city of Lynnwood and promoting economic growth,” Coffey Solberg said. The award recognizes a woman who has boosted economic growth. Smith term as mayor ends soon. She chose not to run for re-election.

The presentation can be viewed on the City of Lynnwood’s YouTube channel at

The Distinguished Alumni Award was also presented as a surprise, to Heather Thomas, public affairs manager at the Snohomish Health District.

“Heather leads with heart, sees the world through a lens of compassion and has a work ethic that rivals many I have seen,” said Coffey Solberg. “Leadership Snohomish County celebrates and wants Heather to know that she is seen for doing all of this during COVID times.”

The Everett Clinic received this year’s Community Partner Award.

“They continue to work to assure that equity is a core part of the definition of quality care and delivery,” Coffey Solberg said. “This ties in to all the ways that The Everett Clinic not only invests in the health of its business model, but the health of our community.”

This year’s event sponsors included Kaiser Permanente, The Daily Herald of Everett, Mountain Bank and The Tulalip Tribes.

Janice Podsada;; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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