Directions | WTC Seattle

Puget Sound Economic Summit

Moving Us Forward Together

After reviewing the latest data and projections, learn what steps you can take to help pave the way for a more equitable and inclusive recovery.


Marie Kurose

CEO, Workforce Development Council of Seattle - King County

Marie Kurose was named Chief Executive Officer in May 2019. She brings to the role more than 30 years of experience leading workforce development initiatives in the region, working in community-based organizations, private philanthropy, and major public institutions, including the City of Seattle and most recently the Port of Seattle. Ms. Kurose also served nearly seven years at the WDC—known at the time as the Private Industry Council—working as a Project Manager to implement initiatives that included partnering with agencies to establish the first centralized dislocated worker program site.

Throughout her career, Ms. Kurose has demonstrated a commitment to engaging and partnering with communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and other community stakeholders. She has led efforts to unite community, philanthropic, and public-private partnerships in effective working relationships, and to improve collaboration with diverse systems and community organizations.

Shannon Loew

Founder, FIX Impact Development

Shannon Loew is an entrepreneur in real estate and design who utilizes place and development to have positive social impact on how we grow and live. He has created sustainable supply chain systems for global fisheries and the mining industry, designed new formats for grocery retail, and written economic development and land-use policy for cities. In 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, he founded FIX, a Seattle-based strategic real estate consulting company that solves complex urban problems with systems solutions, utilizing human-centered design. Clients have ranged from global real estate funds to bespoke local developers, cities, and public agencies. He has prior careers in communications and as an architect, working in Europe, Africa, and nationally with IDEO, Nike, IBM, McKinsey, and the City of San Francisco. His latest company is Hatchback Cottages, a new housing venture that provides homeowners with a turn-key solution for backyard cottages. Shannon is committed to civic engagement, having chaired the Seattle Design Commission and as a member of Leadership Tomorrow’s Curriculum Committee.

Brian McGowan

CEO, Greater Seattle Partners

Brian P. McGowan is the President and CEO of Greater Seattle Partners - a public/private partnership created to advance economic growth and competitiveness for the Puget Sound region. It focuses on attracting new investment, promoting international trade and growing existing industry clusters.

Prior to this, McGowan was the CEO of the Atlanta Beltline Inc. and worked as a Principal with the global law firm Dentons. McGowan was also appointed to lead Atlanta's Development Authority - Invest Atlanta. While in this position, he fiscally stabilized and rebranded the organization to be a catalyst for economic growth.

McGowan was appointed by President Obama in 2009 as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce. In this capacity he was the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. McGowan was also appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as California’s Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce.

Mayor Victoria Woodards

City of Tacoma

Victoria Woodards has called the “City of Destiny” her home for nearly her entire life. She is a proud graduate of Tacoma’s Lincoln High School and served as a soldier in the United States Army. Before becoming Mayor in 2018, she served for seven years as an at-large member of the City Council. During that time, she launched the City’s Equity and Empowerment initiative which led to the establishment of its Office of Equity and Human Rights. She also brought partner organizations together for then President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and spearheaded the City’s Project PEACE initiative which bridged community members with the Tacoma Police Department.

Mayor Woodards has been selected to serve in a number of national leadership roles that allow her to share information with other cities across the country and bring best practices back to Tacoma. At the National League of Cities, she serves on the board of directors and as co-chair of the National League of Cities Council on Youth, Education, and Families. At the United States Conference of Mayors, she serves on the advisory board; as vice-chair of the Committee on Jobs, Education, and the Workforce; and as co-chair of the Women Mayors Leadership Alliance.

Moderated By

Molly Shen

News Anchor, KOMO News

Molly joined KOMO 4 News in 1997. She's won Emmy awards for her live reporting and anchoring and was named the Journalist of the Month by the website Women’s e-news in May 2005. Women's e-news recognized Molly for her work in the community raising awareness for the need for free counseling services for sexual assault victims.

Molly regularly volunteers her time as an emcee for various community groups including Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Home and LifeWire (formerly Eastside Domestic Violence Program.) She is on the Honorary Board for Harborview’s Children’s Response Center, serving children who are victims of sexual assault or other trauma and is a prior member of the Board of Directors for Starlight Children’s Foundation, serving seriously ill children and their families.

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