MARYSVILLE — A Tulalip Tribes official who accepted the challenging task of helping the community heal after a tragic high school shooting in 2014 is the recipient of the 2019 Emerging Leader award.
Rochelle Lubbers, 38, who is the executive director of education for the tribes, was named the winner at a reception Thursday night at the Marysville Opera House. More than 100 people attended, including her husband, Ben Lubbers, her mother, Verna Hill, and her father, Leonard James.
Lubbers, who wiped away tears when she was announced the winner, thanked everyone and reached out to her fellow nominees.
“Someone told me yesterday — a tribal member — that ‘you’re not doing this alone, we’re doing this together,’” Lubbers said. “I’m sure it’s the same for other nominees — you come from groups and communities that support you, you’re doing a lot of work that you never wanted attention for.”
Lubbers was the tribes’ designated recovery manager after the shootings at Marysville Pilchuck High School on Oct. 24, 2014. A 15-year-old student killed four classmates and then himself.
In that role, Lubbers received training to facilitate trauma recovery. She has said she was committed to making sure that “the healing took place.”
The Emerging Leader award is sponsored by The Herald Business Journal and numerous partners, including accounting firm Moss Adams, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, Puget PR and Leadership Snohomish County. Begun in 2016, the award aims to recognize the next generation of leadership for the county.
Carrie Radcliff, advertising director of The Daily Herald, said it was a “tough task for our committee to narrow down the finalists.” She extended congratulations to all the participants on behalf of Josh O’Connor, president of Sound Publishing and publisher of The Herald, who could not attend.
Moss Adams partner-in-charge Rob Grannum told the crowd that the award is intended to honor “the quiet things … the selfless things” that all the candidates “do for the greater good.”
Today, Lubbers continues to use her knowledge and experience to develop tribal programs to promote education and prevent domestic violence.
She is a former board chairwoman for the American Red Cross in Snohomish County. In 2012, she became a member of the Tulalip Foundation Board of Trustees, the driving force in the development of the Hibulb Cultural Center. She has also served on the planning committee and as co-chairwoman for the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club Auction.
Last fall, The Herald Business Journal solicited nominations of people who are accomplished in their field and are working to make the county a better place to live and work. More than 75 were nominated, many of them multiple times.
The nominees were then narrowed to the top four: Lubbers; Ciera Graham, director of Everett Community College East County campus in Monroe; Ton Nguyen, youth initiatives manager for Workforce Snohomish; and Josh Taylor, tooling operations leader at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Other finalists were Anne Anderson, executive director of Lake Stevens Community Food Bank; Sara Boyle, director of Connect Casino Road; Julio Cortes, senior communications officer with the City of Everett; Sumit Karn, health aide specialist with Steps Toward Independence; Dan Kittle, attorney and shareholder with Lane Powell; Dan Leach, senior vice president of D.A. Davidson & Co. in Everett; Maxwell Mooney, co-owner Narrative Coffee in Everett; and Ambar Martinez, executive assistant to the chief diversity and equity officer at Everett Community College.
Janice Podsada; firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods