Chris Capossela and Leigh Toner Step up as 2019–2020 Campaign Chairs

By United Way of King County, on September 12, 2019 | In News

We’re excited to welcome an awesome duo as our new campaign chairs, the husband and wife team of Chris Capossela and Leigh Toner.

Chris has had a long career at Microsoft, including as Bill Gates’ speechwriter. Today he holds the position of Chief Marketing Officer.

How will he find time to also be our campaign chair? “Careful planning!” he says. “And I have great role models in past Microsoft executives who have done it, including Brad Smith [President of Microsoft] and Jeff and Tricia Raikes, leaders who helped United Way achieve some impressive fundraising goals.”

Leigh is an active and committed community volunteer, presently serving on the Board of Trustees at Seattle Girls’ School. She and Chris are proud parents to two young daughters.

The couple have been strong supporters and advocates for United Way for almost three decades. Leigh explains that United Way speaks to their deep belief in education as a path to economic opportunity and social equity.

“Chris and I have had so many opportunities, and they trace back to chances we had early in life to discover and develop our potential,” explains Leigh. “Every young person deserves that.”

“What’s great,” Chris adds, “is that United Way sees that obstacles can arise all the way to college graduation, and so they’ve developed effective programs to intervene at every stage in a child’s journey.”

These education programs and more: Take a look at why the Seattle Times editorial board is encouraging the community to give to United Way.

Chris and Leigh are also effusive when it comes to talking about United Way’s programs for the leaders of tomorrow.

“We’re so impressed by how United Way is connecting to adults in their 20s and 30s and getting them involved, including in work on homelessness, something else we’re passionate about,” says Leigh. “We’re excited to help make Emerging Leaders 365 even bigger.”

Emerging Leaders at North Helpline food bank organize food donations.

Chris has something in common not only with past campaign chairs from Microsoft, but also with two more recent United Way of King County chairs: Restaurateurs Ethan Stowell and Angela Stowell.

Like Ethan and Angela, Chris has spaghetti sauce in his veins. Growing up in Boston’s North End, he worked alongside his two brothers, mother and father at his family’s Italian restaurant. The family’s apartment was just upstairs.

Even then, hints of Chris’s professional future could be discerned. Seeing that the restaurant needed a reservation system, he built one himself using an IBM PC and dBASE for DOS.

Resourcefulness like that should serve us very well in the year ahead.


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