Date: Friday Jan 12, 2018
Time: 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM
Location: Hemingson Center at Gonzaga University 702 E Desmet Ave Spokane, WA 992580087 Get Directions
What does it look like when education and business work together?
Our region is filled with strong partnerships to build a thriving talent pipeline. Having a skilled workforce makes your business succeed, and helps our region continue to grow.
This month, we have some incredible speakers heavily invested in strengthening the talent pipeline of our region. Speakers include: Bruce Williams, GeoEngineers; John Dickson, Spokane County; Melissa McFadgen, NAC Architecture, and more! With expertise from business owners to school representatives and more, you'll hear how strong education programming prepares students for future success, and grows our regional economy.
Meet the Presenters
Yolande' Powell Collins, Spokane County Clerks' Office
My Mother is from a small rural village in Thailand and my father from a small southern town of Illinois. I was born in Japan and was raised around the world. Ever since I was a little girl I loved cooking. And began working in Kitchens at the age of 15. I soon attained my Culinary Arts Degree in Honolulu Hawaii at the age of 25 and continued to work in this field.
I soon moved to Spokane in 2004, and during this time, being a single parent, I underwent hardship due to a family law case. As I was constantly at the Courthouse due to my case I was trying to understand the issues of law here in Washington State. That is when I decided to go to back to school. With the Paralegal Program offered at Spokane Community College. I was able to not only obtain an internship with the County but was eventually hired at Spokane County Clerk’s Office.
Through my own hardships and struggles, education furthered myself into a career of working for our Judicial System.
Chris Davis, Lewis & Clark High School
I was born and raised in the Spokane area. I received my BA in Mathematics with a minor in physics from the University of Washington. I then continued on to receive my MA in Secondary Mathematics Education from UW. I taught high school math in Bellevue for 1 year before returning to Spokane to work at Lewis and Clark High School. I am in my 10th year of teaching math, physics and pre-engineering at LC. I have also owned and operated a wedding venue with wife Aubrey for the past 5 years.
John Dickson, Spokane County
John is Spokane County’s Chief Operations Officer, a role that he began in March 2013. He’s leading significant operational improvement activities across Spokane County government to make it more ‘Lean’, effective and customer-focused. Since February 2014, over 500 improvement projects have been initiated and run by county staff that are resulting in significant annual savings/avoidances. Previously, John worked for the military side of Boeing for over 20 years and held senior leadership roles in the Sea Launch, B-2 bomber, and F-22 Raptor programs. He left Boeing in 2006 to become Berg Integrated System’s General Manager, a start-up company in Plummer, ID that fabricated large fuel bladders and expandable shelters for the US Army. His government career began in 2010 when he became WA State Employment Security Department’s Regional Area Director overseeing the WorkSource Spokane Employment Center. He has also been a Dale Carnegie leadership trainer since 2003 and was ranked as the #2 trainer in the world (over 3,000 trainers) in 2005.
Hannah Gibson, Student
Currently a freshman at Whitworth University double majoring in Biology and Biochemsitry, and a dancer on the side. 2017 graduate from Spokane Public School and participant in College Success Foundation.
Rebecca Matlack, Coffman Engineers
Rebecca is a licensed civil engineer with Coffman Engineers a multi-discipline engineering firm in downtown Spokane. She graduated from Washington State University (WSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2009. She has served as the local chapter president for the American Society of Engineers and is a member of the local Design/Build Institute of America group. While at WSU, Rebecca served as the President of the Society of Women Engineers and has continued her efforts to recruit, encourage, and engage women into STEM careers. Rebecca likes to visit schools to speak directly with students about pursuing engineering after high school, and has helped Coffman Engineers host GSI’s Business After School program for the last three years. Her career has been focused on alternative project delivery methods, stormwater management, and utility systems. She has had the privilege of working with the US Air Force, local municipalities and universities, global industrial firms, and distinguished architects. Rebecca is originally from Lake Stevens, Washington, but has made Spokane her home for the last seven years. When she’s away from the office, Rebecca enjoys white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, and gardening.
Melissa McFadgen, NAC Architecture
Melissa McFadgen, AIA, LEED AP is a Principal with NAC Architecture and has dedicated her 17-year career to designing educational facilities. She has been involved in over 25 Pre-K through 12 school designs, including facilities for Spokane, Central Valley, Cheney, Mead, Deer Park, Pullman, and other area school districts. She was a proud participant in the Teaching The Teachers program in April 2017.
With more than a dozen of her projects having received design awards, Melissa was recently honored as one of the Inland Northwest's "20 Under 40." Melissa holds a Bachelors of Environmental Design and a Masters of Architecture from Montana State University. She has been a licensed architect since 2002 and has focused her career on creating spaces that truly impact the communities in which they reside.
Bruce Williams, GeoEngineers
Bruce Williams has provided environmental consulting services to clients throughout the western U.S. since 1985. As a principal scientist, Bruce is responsible for the technical direction of GeoEngineers’ environmental projects out of Spokane, and serves on GeoEngineers’ Board of Directors. He has been actively involved with advancing education in our region and currently serves on committees and/or boards for Eastern Washington University, Mead School District Project Lead the Way, Spokane MESA, Spokane STEM, and Greater Spokane Incorporated.