Emerging Leaders: Happy Hour with a View and New Friends

Victoria PetersonGuest blogger Victoria Peterson is a volunteer on the Emerging Leader Marketing Committee and a human resources professional with Nordstrom Canada. Check out her recap of the latest event for Emerging Leaders.


The Emerging Leaders networking event was a perfect way to spend a Wednesday afternoon sipping sauvignon blanc and chatting with 100 other King County young professionals. I was blown away by the friendliness of the group who gathered on the Russell Investments tower rooftop yesterday. Everyone was genuinely interested in getting to know more about United Way of King County Emerging Leaders and also about each other. I have been to these networking events before and Seattle can sometimes be a not so friendly city (I feel I can saying that growing up a Seattle girl who sometimes does not say hi to her fellow bus riders in the morning). This however, was not the case. I never once felt like I needed to go check that 911 “work email” by myself on my phone. It was actually the opposite. I met and got to know some really interesting people. Here are just a handful:

  • One person works for the Seattle School District and we talked about the gentrification in the outer Seattle neighborhoods and the impact it had on students in her school.
  • I also met someone who just moved back to Seattle a week ago from traveling the world and was now job searching. We ended up talking about her passions for environmental issues and I was able to share that the company I work for had a social responsibility position that might be open. She also gave me some tips on how to come to an agreement with my husband on our next vacation.
  • Plus, I met someone who works for the same company I do, who shares my passion for the work United Way does, and is going to connect with me so we can brainstorm how we can spread information about United Way throughout our company.

Emerging Leader groupTo top off the event, Sandy Cavanaugh, CEO Private Client Services at Russell Investments–our generous host/United Way board member/all around awesome leader, spoke briefly and to the point. United Way is full of people  who are determined to solve our community’s toughest challenges; challenges we see every day while working downtown. It is an organization that bands arms with the community of King County, rolls up its sleeves and actually makes change happen. Rafael Grijalva, Emerging Leader and fellow United Way board member also spoke and reminded us that we all attended this event because we care about our community and want to be involved. What better way to do that than with other like-minded Emerging Leaders? It was truly encouraging to see an event like this be such a success (see for yourself in the photos!) in bringing a diverse group of people from companies all over King County together in the name of community, networking and sauvignon blanc of course. If you want to know more about Emerging Leaders, sign up here to begin receiving the monthly email with ways to plug in.

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