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Celebrating Corporate Philanthropy in King County

Puget Sound Business Journal and Seattle Foundation Honor Healthy Community Corporate Champions


May 17, 2017

Seattle Foundation was proud to be the presenting sponsor for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2017 Corporate Citizenship lunch in partnership with the Seattle Foundation on May 17 at the Sheraton Seattle.


Tony Mestres speaking at PSBJThis event recognized eight Healthy Community Corporate Champions, companies who are making a significant positive impact in the region. Each was honored for its contributions in one of eight categories that make up a healthy community: Perkins Coie for arts and culture, Inspirus Credit Union for education, Holland America Line for health and wellness, BECU for economic opportunity, Walsh Construction Co. for neighborhoods and communities, REI for environment, Tom Douglas Restaurants for basic needs and Tableau Software for global giving.


Seattle Foundation President and CEO Tony Mestres urged leaders to take this ethic of giving and investing in community back to their companies. “I am convinced that the private sector’s civic leadership is going to be the great game changer,” he said to an audience of more than 500.


The Foundation launched the awards with the Business Journal to celebrate companies that are working toward a healthy community by investing in one of eight elements essential to creating a stronger, more vibrant community for all.


The event also recognized 75 companies in divided into small, medium and large categories for the highest philanthropic giving in Washington state. Emory Thomas, Puget Sound Business Journal president and publisher, note that the collective giving in the room represented a total of $1.9 billion, as well as one million hours in volunteer service.


Leaders from each of the Healthy Community Corporate Champions shared a story about their investments in community. Tom Berquist, senior vice president of marketing and cooperative affairs at BECU, said the credit union’s “Closing for Good,” which closes all of its branches for a day to teach financial literacy to high school students, starts with checked out students who wonder why they’re there. It ends, he said, with engaged kids who realize that their hypothetical budget can’t accommodate a BMW, and who start meaningful conversations with their parents about spending, saving and financial planning. “It takes all of us to make a big difference,” said Berquist, who urged companies to be part of the collective impact.


Congratulations to all the winners!




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