Meet Our Head Judges:
Chris McFaul, CEO, Horizon Hospice and Palliative Care
AGORA Awards Honorary Chair
Chris McFaul is the husband of 31 years to his wife Renate and father of four children. He received his BA in Business from EWU and his MBA from Seattle University. Previously, Chris worked for 17 years with GSK, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. He now serves as the CEO at Horizon Hospice.
In 2010, Horizon Hospice joined GSI and was nominated for AGORA in January of 2011. According to Chris, his involvement with AGORA can be best described as WHIRLWIND experience! The scrutiny the judges bring forced him to synthesize and hone in on different areas of his organization. This challenge pushed Chris to make his company PROVE its excellence and really left an imprint.
Today, as he looks back, he is still amazed at winning the 2011 award amongst all the amazing companies in Spokane. He also still loves to "check under the hood" of other firms. This includes analyzing strategy and borrowing and adapting great ideas. Chris McFaul continues to challenge his team to improve and raise the bar of excellence.
Marshon Kempf, Owner, Mountain Dog Sign Company
Marshon Smith Kempf has been a head AGORA judge for the past two years and has had an active role in the evolving AGORA process. She is a Washington State native and owns Mountain Dog Sign Company with her husband Steve, a retired Air Force F-16 pilot. Mountain Dog is a full service sign company, offering consultation, design, fabrication (on-site in their Liberty Lake location) and installation of all types of custom signage. The company’s current mascot is “Jack Frost” a 115 lb Bernese Mountain Dog, born Christmas Day 2015.
Dianne LaValley, Senior Vice President/ Senior Staffing Manager, Robert Half International/Accountemps Division
Dianne has been with RHI for the past 19 years. She began her career in 1997 in her native city, San Diego. Dianne moved to Spokane in 2003 to raise her two boys and make her husband happy to be in a 4 season state!
Dianne has been involved with judging Agora awards for over 7 years, and has been involved with GSI for 13 years. She is the type of person who is always “on”, so there is never an issue reaching Dianne for a 911 need, or a 411 anytime of the day or evening. With Accountemps, Dianne specializes in the placement of accounting and finance professionals on a temporary, temporary to hire, and permanent basis. She thrives in this role because she is well connected in the community, a "go to" for anyone needing accounting or finance help with their company, and will point any knowledgeable professional looking for work in her field in the right direction.
With her outgoing nature, Diane loves being involved in Agora because she has the chance to get to know companies at a deeper level and meet new people all the time!
Meet Our Category Judges
Robin Benton, HUB International Northwest
Mary Berry, YMCA of the Inland Northwest
Brady Cass, Asuris Northwest Health
Ray Corwin, Umpqua Bank
Jeff Grimes, Bank of America
Steve Harman, Merrill Lynch
Joni Hay-Smith, Coeur d'Alene Casino
Elizabeth Huckaby, DataPro Solutions, Inc.
Amy Knapton, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
Maxine Lammers, Whitworth University
CallyAnn McKinney, Inland Empire Paper, Co.
Ruth Rittermann, Eclipse Engineering, Co.
April Smith, GeoEngineers, Inc.
Lindsay Smith, BDO USA, LLP
Scott Tate, Tate Technology, Inc
Michelle Widner, Bernardo-Wills Architects, PC