Six Extra-Interesting Things to Know About Gordon McHenry, Jr., Our New Leader

By United Way of King County Posted on September 5, 2019 In News

Gordon McHenry, Jr. is the choice as United Way of King County’s new CEO.

If you want a deep dive on why he’s such a terrific pick, read our press release. This post is for facts that are maybe more interesting, and often more fun! (Thanks to Parent Map for unearthing some of what follows when they named him one of their annual superheroes)

He’s a Seattle native.

They exist! He grew up on Beacon Hill in a then-phenomenally diverse neighborhood: people not just of different races, but other classes. His dad, pictured with Gordon Jr. below, was the first black engineer promoted into Boeing management.

Give Big advertisement featuring a photo of Gordon McHenry, Jr. sitting on his father's lap with a quote: I tream of a world where all houses are homes whoese foundations are love, honor and support of family and community.

He’s a husband and a dad.

His wife, Dorina, is an exec with the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County. His children, all thriving young adults, are Mariesa, Alexander and Austin.

He was a Boy Scout.

His troop number: 14. It instilled in him a lifelong love of hiking and the outdoors. So, too, his fellow Scout and still-friend, Glenn Nelson. The son of a Japanese immigrant, Glenn recalls that when Gordon and he enrolled together at Seattle U., they virtually had to drag other students of color out on weekend hikes.

Gordon McHenry Jr., left, with his in an early 1970’s photo with his still-friend Glenn Nelson
Gordon McHenry Jr., left, with his in an early 1970’s photo with his still-friend Glenn Nelson [Photo credit: Glenn Nelson]

He has personal heroes.

Top of mind for Gordon are Nelson Mandela, Benigno Aquino, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and his (deceased) father, the first Gordon McHenry. Says Gordon Jr.: “I respect my heroes for their courage, ability to inspire others to act for the greater good, and selflessness in the face of physical danger, emotional duress or being perceived as unpopular.”

There’s a quality that he most admires most in others.

“Curiosity; a sincere interest and desire to learn from others.”

He’s a reader.

Two titles he’s found memorable: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan and America’s Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation by Kenneth Davis.


Alice Fong :)
September 5, 2019

Welcome to the family! Look forward to seeing what you'll do at the United Way of King County helm!!! :)

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