Winter 2012
Vol 4, Issue 1

Advancing Leadership logo 
 Envision eNews

Left:  Alice Stevenson, AL '12, posed for the Hello Neighbor project during December's Servant Leadership Day.
You've been busy in 2011!  We've heard so many great stories about the leadership roles our grads are taking on all over Puget Sound and beyond. As we celebrate your successes, it is also gratifying to know that the investment the Advancing Leadership program has made in you is being paid forward through your service.

Because of you, our vision of an ever-expanding network of diverse, collaborative, passionate leaders is truly a reality in both our local and regional communities.  Thank you for investing yourself in others - it's paying off!

Yours in service,

Teri Hickel

Executive Director 
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Take Advantage of AL's Social Media Benefits for News & Networking

 Advancing Leadership's social media presence is stronger than ever  - are you taking advantage of it?  


 If you are an alumni of AL or ALY, get credit for it on LinkedIn.      

Becoming a member of our alumni-only group let's your collegues and future employers know that you have in-depth leadership training. It also links you to our extensive leadership network, which you can access for business, community and personal partnerships.


If you're on Facebook, 'liking' the Advancing Leadership Facebook page gives you access to the latest news, including photos, alumni accomplishments, & links to articles in other media. You can also post on the page if you have news to share, need a business or community contact, or are recruiting volunteers for a project.


While you're online, visit our updated website.  It's is easier to navigate and has lots of new information, photos and links to keep you informed and connected.  See you in cyberspace!

Modeling The Way: Stepping Up as MSC's New CEO

Robin Corak, AL '04
Robin Corak, AL '04 has been named the new Chief Executive Officer for the Multi-Service CenterAlthough based in Federal Way, MSC serves low-income families and individuals throughout South King County.  Robin has worked for MSC, most recently as its Chief Operations Officer, for 10 years. In the current economic climate, Robin has her work cut out for her.  When asked what she saw as her biggest challenge, she cited "the ability to serve the huge need that exists throughout South King County during an era of reduced funding. One of my areas of focus as the new CEO will be to continue looking at how we can find ways to reduce reliance on government funding in order to build greater sustainability for the agency."


An important part of maintaining success for any non-profit agency is developing a strong network of community support. In addition to her work experience, Robin has benefited both personally and professionally from her involvement in Advancing Leadership, both as a participant in 2003-4, and as an ongoing volunteer who has supported AL as a site host, presenter, consultant, interviewee and alumni event participant.  " my  AL experience has helped me prepare for leading MSC in this position. The principles that we learned - such as those from The Leadership Challenge- as well as the ability to apply these principles in a hands on project has been invaluable in my professional growth. In addition,  AL helped me to learn a great deal more about Federal Way and to connect with some amazing leaders, many of whom I have collaborated with for years following my graduation from AL."


Robin has been purposeful in charting her leadership path, but she firmly believes it's a journey no one should attempt alone. "Find a mentor. I was fortunate to have a knowledgeable, supportive mentor who shared her insights and experiences with me and helped me to broaden my horizons. There are some great mentors in our community, and if you can find an AL alumni who is willing to be a mentor, even better!"  She also advises other developing leaders to be open to unexpected turns along the way. "It is important to search for opportunities, take risks, and make the most of what is given to you.  I have found that opportunities often exist in the most unlikely of places and in some of the most daunting challenges we face."  Finally, Robin reminds us to be open to others. "the ability and desire to work with and learn from people from all walks of life is critical. We live and work in an increasingly diverse area and one's capacity to "encourage the heart" and "enable others to act" are vital to an emerging leader's success."

Join One Day Federal Way 2012 for The Homeless on Feb. 21
ALY '12 at MSC

On Tuesday, February 21st - a school holiday following President's Day - the 32 ALY high school students will host One Day Federal Way 2012, a community-wide walk with activities along the way to encourage participation from people of all ages and abilities.  The walk will be held rain or shine, to emphasize the importance of shelter during unpredictable winter weather.


Students are encouraging their high school peers to lead the walking and fundraising efforts, but also hope to gain support from local businesses, service groups, individuals and families who want to help their neighbors who lack permanent housing.  By partnering with Reach Out Federal Way, ALY is supporting efforts to help people find permanent housing, health care, job training and stable employment.


The premier sponsor of One Day Federal Way 2012 is Comcast in Washington State.  Comcast has been a funding partner of the Advancing Leadership Youth program since its inception in 2004.  This year, Comcast is providing $7,500 in support to ALY. This sponsorship will cover event expenses, so all funds raised by the students can go directly to Reach Out.


Details on times, activities and how to get involved can be found at the Advancing Leadership Youth: Current Class page on our website or on Facebook One Day Federal Way 2012 event page.


Encouraging The Heart: Alum Seeks Input for Alzheimer's Book
Tara Sorenson, AL '03

Do you know someone suffering from Alzheimer's Disease? Have you lost a loved one and wish you could talk to them one more time? Alumnus Tara Sorenson, AL '03, is using personal experience and the desire to connect with others to write her first book - a three-part chronicle of real-life stories about Alzheimer's.  And she wants to hear from you.


Tara describes her inspiration this way: "My Mother & best friend JoAnn, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 7-1/2 years ago. Because it was all new to me, I really didn't have a lot of reference material.  I Googled articles, but what I really wanted was to hear someone else's account of their journey.  In 2008, I made the decision to address situations that one might encounter along this progression, by documenting my own experiences and creating a book out of my notes."


Tara's writing expertise is what led her to Advancing Leadership.  She provides marketing & design services, and the Multi-Service Center was a web client.  She loved what they did, and gave back by creating the Annual Crab Feed - concept, event planning, sponsorships and all.  MSC returned the favor by sponsoring her participation in AL. In her words, "Advancing Leadership was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had to-date."


Although she sees professional benefits from participating in Advancing Leadership, Tara says her personal growth during the program is what she most values.  "I learned that it was OK to say "no";  I came to appreciate that things are not always as they appear;  I learned to let others take the lead, which is extremely difficult for me;   I became a more fearless individual and realized that if you try something and it doesn't succeed, you are a success for merely trying and I made myself a promise, to do something important and meaningful.  The book is my 'important and meaningful'."


Pending a final name, the book is currently titled "The JoAnn Project". Tara is seeking submissions in the form of tribute stories (from people who have a loved one afflicted by Alzheimer's) and love letters for closure (from people who have lost a loved one - not just from Alzheimer's).  For more information, visit the Special Projects page on Tara's website, or The JoAnn Project Facebook Page.  We're excited to follow this labor of love, and will let you know when the book is published.


Challenging The Process: A New Path for ALY Alum
Rediet Mulugeta, ALY '06

One of the leadership lessons that can be undervalued is challenging your own process. It is this very act - being open to a new idea or direction in your own life - that can lead to growth as an individual and a leader. 


Rediet Mulugeta, ALY '06, has discovered this firsthand.  When she graduated high school, she was determined to go into nursing.  During her freshman year at Seattle Pacific University, she was exploring extracurricular activities and heard about a service trip offered over winter break to visit an organization called Urban Promise.  She decided to sign up, and spent two weeks in Camden, New Jersey working in local classrooms and learning about the root causes of social disparities in that community. 

The experience was pivotal.  As Rediet explains, "After the trip, I was influenced to take the time to think about . . . what I wanted to do for the rest of my time studying at SPU. The next year I began to see that my passions within nursing were not in the sciences, but were simply about learning, helping, and being with people from all walks of life. At the end of my freshman year, I applied for a leadership position with Urban Involvement (UI) taking SPU students once a week to White Center to tutor kids in partnership with a community organization called Neighborhood House. Then in the summer of 2010, I committed to going to Kigali, Rwanda through Seattle Pacific Reachout International (SPRINT) partnered with Rwanda Partners."


In reflecting on her involvement in Advancing Leadership, she recognizes a connection between the impact of the program and the ultimate direction she chose in college. "ALY was a great foundation for my time spent in service locally, nationally, and globally," Rediet explains.  "From the food bank to the nursing home, we saw that a community needs lots of agents who are passionate and committed to doing their part in helping the community grow and flourish. . . being a part of ALY and having the opportunity to learn together with ambitious future leaders from different schools made this lesson much more memorable than learning it just in the classroom."


Rediet is now a senior at SPU, majoring in Global Development Studies and working as the student coordinator for UI. "Learning about the disparities within communities in Seattle, Camden, then later in Rwanda, one thing that my heart realized was that pain was deeply rooted there, but when the right person or organization comes to work with these hurting communities, a lot can be done to bring full healing and reconciliation."  Upon graduation, this passionate ALY alum plans to continue her new path supporting community development both locally and overseas; by continuing to be open to new inspiration,  she undoubtedly has many adventures ahead.


AL Grad is Federal Way Chamber Volunteer of the Year
Brett Thomas, Pete Gonzales, AL '08 & Volunteer of the Year,
Cindy Ducich, AL '10, Lori DeVore, Chamber Board Chair & AL '05,
Jan Owen, AL '99 & Dan Shea, AL Board President.
Congratulations to volunteer extraordinaire Pete Gonzales, AL '08, on his selection as the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce's 2011 Volunteer of the Year.  Pete has devoted hundreds of hours in the past year to community service, particularly in his work as a mentor to six students and his board work for Federal Way Communities in Schools.

Among the other nominees were Dan Shea, Advancing Leadership's Board President, Jan Owen, AL '99 and Cindy Ducich, AL '10, along with Brett Thomas.  The award was presented by Lori DeVore, AL '05 and Chamber Board Chairperson.  Last year's Volunteer of the Year was also an AL alum - Jon McIntosh, AL '99.

Alumni in the News

Danny Peterson, AL '11, is the newest elected member of the Federal Way Public Schools Board of Directors. Danny also continues to volunteer with both the AL and ALY programs.
Paul Bucich, AL '07, has been elected to serve as a Sumner School District Board Director. He is an active volunteer in his home community of Bonney Lake.

Eric Lee, ALY '11was recently awarded the Korean-American Council of Washington's (KAC - WA) Future Leaders scholarship. Eric is on the day team for this month's ALY '12 Education Day program.

Isaac Wani, ALY '10, has been nominated to military service academy of choice by Rep. Adam Smith. He is also a finalist for the ActSix scholarship. ALY alum Christian Dawson, ALY '08 and Alex Koslov, ALY '10 received this scholarship in 2010 and 2011, respectively.  Isaac has continued to volunteer with AL and ALY, including helping with Evening with The Stars. Good luck Isaac!

Thanks for Making Evening with The Stars a Success!

AL eve with stars

Our first ever dinner and auction, Advancing Leadership's Evening with the Stars, was a huge success - thanks to our enthusiastic alumni and partners.



Over 200 people attended the Oct. 1st event.  They enjoyed a family-friendly spaghetti dinner, served by local dignitaries, including Federal Way City Council members, Federal Way Municipal Court judges, South King Fire & Rescue Commissioners, the Federal Way Public Schools board president and the mayor.  Auction items were donated by local and regional businesses, alumni and city leaders.  AL and ALY alumni provided musical entertainment, and ALY grads helped decorate and serve.


The event was put together by the Advancing Leadership Alumni Committee, an all-volunteer group of board directors and alumni.  The fundraising goal was $10,000.  Because of your generous support, we raised over $12,000, including significant contributions to the Mike McIntosh Memorial Scholarship Fund.


The Alumni Committee is already working on the 2012 Evening with The Stars event.  We hope you'll plan on joining us this fall to reunite with your AL and ALY buddies, enjoy great food served by local stars, and support our shared goal of well-trained, well-informed, well-connected leaders who represent the diversity of our community.

Advancing Leadership is proud of our corporate partners:

      FWPS  Starbucks logo   Comcast logo   GlobalScholar logo

Weyerhaeuser logo       Highline CC          St. Francis Hospital          Multi-Service Center