Alumni Spotlight: Redge Campbell (LK97)

Redge Campbell, LK1997

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
The opportunity to apply for Leadership Kitsap was presented to me by Pete Schlicher, my boss, at Harrison Medical Center. The Leadership Kitsap program was fairly new and I knew very little about the program. I was the Rehab Director at Harrison when I went through the program. Since then, I have maintained connections with some of my Leadership Kitsap classmates.

What is your current role?
I am the Regional Director of Operations and Marketing Integration for the Kitsap Region and Tacoma Behavioral Health for Kaiser Permanente of Washington. My areas of responsibility include the region between Forks and Gig Harbor areas. I am responsible for coordination of services, health plan performance, and coordination of quality care that meets Kaiser’s expectations.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
It allowed me to connect with the Kitsap community outside of healthcare. In doing so, I changed my approach as a Rehab Director. It is easy sometimes to have a very narrow vision on what we do in our jobs. Going through the Leadership Kitsap program helped me realize other issues in our community outside the walls of Harrison. At the time, I was narrowly focused on rehab. Leadership Kitsap opened opportunities in my career which led to my becoming the Director of Medical Imagining, Radiation, and Oncology.

After completing the program, I connected with Carol Whitehead at the time the Superintendent of the Bremerton School District.  We were concerned about injury prevention in the schools including keeping employees safe at work. I also joined the Holly Ridge board for four years after I graduated the Leadership Kitsap program. Leadership Kitsap broadened my horizons on viewing the impact healthcare can have on the community. It expanded my horizons around what you need to do to give back to the community.

What was your favorite Challenge Day and why?
“Healthy Community Day” was one of my favorite challenge days. Learning about the economic disparities in our community during the luncheon really impacted me. Another day I enjoyed was “Public Safety Day” when we toured the jail. “Military Day” was eye opening as well when we toured a nuclear submarine and the shipyard.

What was your group project?
My group learned how to write “HTML” code and made an online resource guide for recycling information attached to the county’s recycling program. At the time, there wasn’t a recycling service in Kitsap County. We created the website to promote recycling options in the community. The World Wide Web started in 1994, so three years later this was a ground-breaking project; we were first learning what the web was and how to search the web. We also printed brochures with the website included.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
Leadership Kitsap is the single best opportunity to experience a broad range of representation in our community. It brings together twenty five people from all areas of the community. Leadership Kitsap opens the door to become engaged in one’s career and to work together with others to improve the community.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend people who are in leadership positions early in their career who are engaged and the future senior leaders of the company. Those who complete the program will encourage other leaders to become engaged; eventually, they will be in a position to get involved in making decisions for organizations.

In my current role, as the Regional Director of Operations and Marketing Integration for Kaiser in the Kitsap Region, I’m leveraging my experiences with the Leadership Kitsap program in order to understand the needs of those to whom we deliver services.  Having relationships with people outside of healthcare, I am better equipped to communicate with the Kitsap residents to address the healthcare barriers they may have had with their plans or know a good approach to integrating the services Kaiser provides.

Kaiser is a community-based organization. Its goal is to step in and provide services removing barriers to health plans. Recently, we had a Kaiser Team work on the “Homes for All” campaign building a tiny cottage. I meet with Susan Turner, the Kitsap Public Health Officer, to discuss suicide prevention in schools.  In addition Kaiser wants to be involved in Kitsap through community-based flu shots, pediatric immunizations, and suicide prevention. The company is researching ways to improve residents’ health in the state of Washington. Kaiser is the third largest 503C in Washington State and gives to the communities it serves through the Group Health Foundation. Some other ways Kaiser is looking into contributing to the community is through nutrition, access to healthy foods, trails, and a training program to stop bullying.

Having gone through the Leadership Kitsap program and being a long-term resident in Kitsap County, I’m now in a role where I’m excited to make a positive difference in our community through Kaiser.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, November 2017

Alumni Spotlight: Rick Tift (LK00)

Rick Tift, Class of 2000

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
The opportunity to apply for Leadership Kitsap was advertised in the shipyard, and I thought it looked interesting and beneficial to my understanding of the community. At the time, I was a Senior Materials Manager and was fortunate enough to be selected to represent the shipyard in the Class of 2000. After graduating the class, I became the Leadership Kitsap Alumni Chair from 2001-2002, and later I was elected to the Leadership Kitsap Foundation Board. I served on the Board of Directors for six years with one of the years as president.

What is your current role?
Currently I am the Executive Director for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. I have a wide range of duties, including outreach with the local community and being an advocate for PSNS&IMF.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
Leadership Kitsap helped broaden my perspective and my knowledge of the community beyond the shipyard fence line. It became a catalyst for me to increase my community involvement. After graduating from the program, I applied for and was selected to be a member of the Kitsap Sun’s editorial board; it was the first local board in which I was involved. Eventually I was asked or nominated to participate in other Boards, sometimes as a representative of my employer and other times as a private citizen.

What was your favorite Challenge Day and why?
“Governance Day” was my favorite challenge day, during which we had a chance to meet local elected leaders.

What was your group project?
My group project was “Garden in a Box.” It was a step-by-step guide to making public spaces into gardens. At the end, we did a mock project on the hillside near the intersection of Burwell and Callow Streets. We created a “Garden in a Box” for each city mayor in Kitsap County and presented it to them at the graduation dinner.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
Leadership Kitsap is a very worthwhile and beneficial program for both the participants and the community. Young, up-and-coming employees often ask me about training or experiences that would help them advance to becoming an executive at PSNS&IMF. Often, my first answer is, “Have you considered participating in Leadership Kitsap?” I can’t recommend it highly enough.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend people who want to learn more about our community and make a difference. Many of our fellow citizens are anxious to be part of positive change in our community but don’t know where to start. What you can learn at Leadership Kitsap helps open those doors and identify ways to be active and helpful. I also encourage potential volunteers to seek out opportunities that suit their talents and passions. For example, some might be drawn to serve on boards, while others would rather serve their fellow men and women face-to-face, such as working in a thrift store or distributing supplies at a food bank. We need people serving in both roles, but what’s most important is to pick a role and get started. Leadership Kitsap can be the catalyst that helps you find your niche.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, October 2017

Alumni Spotlight: Jay Mills (LK Board 2005-2009)

Jay Mills, LK Board 2005-2009

What is your current role?
I have been the Executive Director of Kiana Lodge since 2003. My favorite task is to host events because it is an opportunity to bring friends and families together for weddings, memorials, business retreats, etc. An important value of our culture is to be a “good host” and to make others “feel welcome.” The tribe spent millions of dollars to restore and maintain the unique location, grounds, and buildings at Kiana.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
The Leadership Kitsap Board connected me to a variety of community leaders coming from diverse backgrounds. Being involved in Leadership Kitsap as a board member has helped me host events at Kiana Lodge. It is great to see the Leadership Kitsap class members make an impact in our community through ongoing self-sufficient projects. Hosting graduation at Kiana Lodge is an honor.

What is your favorite Challenge Day and why?
My favorite Challenge Day is “Arts and Recreation.” For many years we hosted the Challenge Day here at the lodge. I taught the class members to cook salmon on a stick in the traditional tribal way and to bake clams on the beach. It is wonderful to host at Kiana lodge and to share the Suquamish tribal culture.  Explaining the process of smoking salmon is dear to me because my great grandmother taught me how to do this. I’ve been working with the Chief Kitsap Academy high school students the last few years teaching them how to catch, filet, and cure the fish.

What was your favorite group project?
As a board member, I enjoyed seeing the completed group projects at graduation each year. Some projects that stand out in my mind are the backpacks containing food and toiletries for homeless kids, free dental checks for kids, and the safety handles installed in the showers for the disabled and elderly who needed assistance.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
Leadership Kitsap has been successful in bringing together community leaders from different races and religions to complete a common goal each year in group projects.  Seeing the completion and continuance of the projects in our community is rewarding.  Many of the Leadership Kitsap graduates sponsored by the tribe have grown in their careers and have become leaders in tribal government.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend those who want to develop themselves, are committed to their work, have a good work ethic, and are committed to their community. Being willing to share and to actively participate in the Leadership Kitsap program is a must. Leadership Kitsap’s development of leaders is in line with the tribe’s values.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, April 2017

Alumni Spotlight: Angie Silva (LK09)

Angie Silva, Class of 2009

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
At the time, County Commissioner, Steve Bauer, strongly encouraged me to participate as he thought it would be beneficial for me. At first, I hesitated because it required a lot of personal commitment, and I value my personal time. I’m so grateful I participated because I met a lot of people and gained a more comprehensive view of Kitsap County, the challenges we face as a community, who is helping to shape it, and what I can do to help.

What is your current role?
I am the Senior Policy Analyst at the Kitsap County Commissioners Office. I do professional policy development, project management, and develop diplomatic solutions to complex and politically sensitive projects involving multiple interested parties. Every day I have a new problem to solve and challenge to overcome. I also work with citizen advisory committees, community groups, interested parties, and the general public in conducting research, formulating recommendations and coordinating the implementation of strategic and long-range planning activities in parks, policy, and public works arenas.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
The Leadership Kitsap program helped me see the importance of volunteerism and philanthropy for my personal and professional growth. It assisted me in working with people from many different perspectives in order to complete a project that was positive and impactful to the community.

What was your favorite Challenge Day and why?
My favorite Challenge Day was “State Government Day” in Olympia. At the time, we had the privilege of meeting Governor Christine Gregoire. It was eye opening to see what it takes to be a strong leader and to hear her speak to our class. During the Challenge Day, we were able to see how the business of the state is negotiated and operated. Regardless of our views as individuals, we learned how much influence state government has on our lives locally and how to stay involved.

What was your group project?
Elementary; there were three, two-week sessions where students tracked their daily physical activity. Our activity trackers were handed out to the students in P.E. and the teacher discussed what levels of activity to track. We decided to have the kids sign a pledge card to be a member of the 2009 “Kids Get Active”. We encouraged them to be involved in activities such as bicycling, jumping rope, skating, walking, dancing, gymnastics, swimming, running, basketball, soccer, baseball, football, etc.

Our community issue focused on the facts that 26% of Kitsap County kids were overweight and that 79% spent more than 3 hours in front of a television, computer, or some kind of idle activity. The kids would track their activities with a parent signature on their activity tracker and turn it in for raffle tickets to be entered to win prizes such as dance lessons, jump ropes, Skateland tickets, sports equipment, Ice Arena and pool party for those involved in all three sessions.

We collaborated with the CKSD Health Advisory Council, Kitsap County Health District, Cottonwood PTSA, Kitsap Gets Active Coalition, Gail Smith-Cottonwood’s P.E. Teacher, Paul Nash-Cottonwood’s Principal, and some nursing students from Olympic College. Project results were 827 hours of physical activity for six weeks, 30-60 minutes per day increase in activity and the school’s interest in continuing the program.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
This is a wonderful program for up and coming leaders in an organization because it will give them the skills and professional network to create a positive impact within their organizations. Leadership Kitsap is an investment in your organization and the people you rely on for a comprehensive view of various programs, activities, and groups in Kitsap County. It teaches us on how to find solutions to problems in our community for a positive impact.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend entry-level employees who show signs of natural leadership abilities. You are investing in your organization and in future leaders of Kitsap County.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, May 2017

Alumni Spotlight: Deborah Horn (LK96)

Deborah Horn, Class of 1996

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
I was working at Hospice of Kitsap County as the first community relations director. The executive director asked if I would be interested in the program. I thought going through the program would be a good resource for me, especially since I was a fairly new resident to Kitsap County.  In 1995-1996, I was the first Leadership Kitsap scholarship recipient.

What is your current role?
I am the Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Kitsap, a 44-year-old community-based nonprofit that provides healthy, nutritious meals and more to Kitsap County seniors. I am responsible for planning, organizing and directing program operations. My job includes implementing the program, hiring and overseeing staff and volunteers, obtaining resources through community outreach, grants and fundraising. Every week, we serve hot, nutritious meals at 10 community dining sites and directly deliver healthy meals to medically-homebound seniors in their homes. We provided almost 60,000 meals and served over 4,400 seniors last year.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
Leadership Kitsap was a springboard for me to get to know more about the community in which I chose to live, work and raise my family. I was born and raised in Hawaii and moved here in 1991. Going through the Leadership Kitsap program allowed me to learn more about the community and how to collaborate with a diverse group of organizations.

What was your favorite Challenge Day and why?
My favorite Challenge Day was “Military Day.” We had the opportunity to tour the aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln.  We also toured a submarine at Bangor and explored the base at Keyport Naval Undersea Warfare Center. It was an honor to be able to participate in “Military Day” because it gave me a connection to the three generations of my family who were civil service employees at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. Many of the Challenge Days have changed since I graduated from one of the first classes.

What was your group project?
At the time, the whole class did one group project because we were a smaller group. We developed a database of volunteer opportunities for United Way. We converted two four-inch binders full of paper forms into a computerized program that was more assessable and easily updated. It was neat to do one group project as a whole class because it resulted in synergy and created a strong bond with all the class members. After graduating from the Leadership Kitsap program, many of us kept in touch and continue to do so today in our professional contacts and personal friendships. In the past, at the Leadership Kitsap Alumni socials, we would have competitions about having the most class members at the social. Our class of 1995-1996 won many times because we had become such a closely-knit class.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
Leadership Kitsap was good to me. It introduced me to various organizations and businesses in Kitsap County. I also have been able to maintain many of the contacts I have gained from Leadership Kitsap as our paths in the community continue to cross.  Going through the program helped me in my career roles with Hospice of Kitsap County, Peninsula Community Health Services, and now as the Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Kitsap.  I have been honored as an early recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award, and continue to be involved in my community through Soroptimists.  Recently, I completed a two-year term as President of the Washington State Association of Senior Nutrition Programs. Leadership Kitsap has taught me leadership skills that have helped me in all my roles.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I believe in lifelong learning, and would recommend Leadership Kitsap to individuals who want to develop or improve their leadership skills, learn more about the needs and resources in Kitsap County, and truly make a difference in our community.

Deborah is actively involved with various professional and community organizations, and spends her spare time traveling and creating stained and fused glass art.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, May 2017


Alumni Spotlight:
 Teresa Taylor (LK08)

Teresa Taylor, Class of 2008

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
My employer’s wife, Janice Castle, was a Leadership Kitsap Alumna. She strongly believed in the program and benefitted from being involved. The Home Builders Association sponsored me in the class of 2008.

What is your current role?
I am the Executive Vice President of Kitsap Building Association (KBA). I started working for the Home Builder’s Association in 2006 and was promoted to my current role in 2011. My job is primarily to advocate for the construction industry in Kitsap, but as a small non-profit corporation I have typical business owner-like responsibilities (bookkeeping, human resources, marketing, etc.) as well as an active Board of Directors that require my support and attention.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
The Leadership Kitsap program developed my confidence. I was able to interact with classmates from many different industries in the community. My work in the small group project was most beneficial to me because I was able to work with strangers not in my normal work sphere of influence to achieve a common goal.

What was your favorite Challenge Day and why?
My favorite Challenge Day was “State Government Day” in Olympia. Our class was able to meet with the Supreme Court justices. I enjoy any visit to the Capital. It is a beautiful place with incredible architecture.

Another Challenge Day I enjoyed was “Arts and Recreation” involving the Squamish tribe. It was eye opening to hear Leonard Forsman speak about the tribe; the scrumptious clam bake on the beach was a highlight. Any day at Kiana Lodge is a great day!

What was your group project?
My group was involved in bringing to elementary classrooms a hands-on guide to linking science to careers. We made presentations to four different classrooms; a Sheriff’s Department representative discussed forensics, and a marine biologist discussed marine biology as a career. We linked the work they do to what the science students were learning in school. At the time, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) was a new concept.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
When you look at the leaders in Kitsap County, there is a common theme among them as alumni of Leadership Kitsap. They all actively invest their time in the community either paid or unpaid. Many LK Alumni receive community involvement awards such as “Women of Achievement,” Rotary, and “20 under 40.” Leadership Kitsap Alumni play a strategic role in our community.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend more private business owners or senior managers in private business to be involved in Leadership Kitsap. This focus would generate more diversity in the class. It would also develop the Leadership Kitsap program for future managers who would gain a better understanding of Kitsap County. Networking with other leaders in our community would be a benefit.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, February 2017

Alumni Spotlight: Harriette Bryant (LK05)

Harriette Bryant, Class of 2005

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
Linda Joyce, former YWCA director went through the Leadership Kitsap program in 2004. She shared how much she was learning from Leadership Kitsap and I thought about going through the class to learn how to lead with passion and be more involved in our community. In 2005, my church Emmanuel Apostolic Church sponsored me with the support of my mentor and pastor, Bishop Larry Robertson.

What is your current role?
I am the founder and President/CEO of OurGEMS. OurGEMS works with school counselors to identify ladies who need mentoring ages 11-21 and from 6th grade to their first year of college. We work with the ladies on achieving academic success, learning leadership skills, teaching them how to act like ladies, how to build resilience from ACES, how to deal with bullying, and having a good social connection through the OurGEMS program. We are essentially a sisterhood of girls and young women who are currently in 15 schools in 5 different school districts. I currently work with 2 other co-founders Vicki Collins, Vice President, and Anjelia Neuson, Secretary of OurGEMS in mentoring the young women.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
Leadership Kitsap inspired me to reach my full potential as a leader. It taught me to lead with passion, to share insights with others, and to train future leaders in Kitsap County. It helped me get my voice and connected me with other leaders in our community.

What was your favorite challenge day and why?
My favorite challenge day was the overnight opening retreat held at the Seabeck Conference Center at the beginning of the class year. I remember the totem talk where every class member brought in a personal object and shared a story about their life that was represented by the object or totem. The totem discussion helped us connect as a class, and we learned more about each other as individuals and leaders. To know each other’s story made us feel close to one another.

What was your group project?
TeenFest 2005 held at the Silverdale Kitsap Mall. It was an event held for teens to have fun and to connect in our community. We had a fashion show, with many local vendors represented, music, and TeenFest t-shirts which we designed. We wanted to provide the teens and families more community connections, resources, and show our teens how they can have good clean fun in our community.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
Leadership Kitsap will inspire you. It will teach you to use your mind as a leader. It will teach you how to communicate better. You learn more about the many avenues that can help you give back to your community. It teaches you how to build better relationships, gives you a good perspective on diversity and integrity. It brings togetherness within the group and great community projects.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend community members and colleagues who want to grow as a leader. This program is for strong like minded people that aren’t afraid to make change in their lives, workplace, and community. I would recommend LK to everyone that is willing to mentor and pass on the great experiences of what the LK program has done for them.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, December 2016

Alumni Spotlight: Sheriff Gary Simpson (LK97)

Sheriff Gary Simpson, Class of 1997

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
Mike Davis in 1996 was hosting a leadership class of 14 people in the squad room. It looked like  an opportunity to be engaged in the community and connect the office to the community. I said I wanted to be in next year’s class. I’m a Leadership Kitsap graduate of 1997.

What is your current role?
I’m currently Sheriff of Kitsap County and was planning on retiring four years ago after being with the office for 30 years. I had some family commitments but felt I had a responsibility to the community to ensure the sheriff’s office evolved with the public’s current needs and expectations. I wanted to give our personnel a chance to develop in their careers and to help them learn how to grow our office to fit the needs of the community. Also, as Sheriff, I am able to meet with legislatures to make them aware of how the laws they make affect law enforcement and what laws need to be implemented or re-evaluated.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
Leadership Kitsap helped broaden my awareness of the community and to connect to other industries in order to understand how Kitsap’s industries affect one another and can come together to create a vital community. The program has helped me prepare our office for the   next generation of deputies and officers. We strongly support the Leadership Kitsap program. Many of our agency’s members who have been students have advanced in their careers. We’ve had 17 graduates from the program over the years and have a current class member expected to graduate in June 2017.

What was your favorite challenge day and why?
It is hard to say which was my favorite challenge day because all of the days “challenged” my current way of thinking and made me consider other aspects of our community. Education day was one that stood out in my mind where we had the opportunity to meet with the superintendents of the schools.

What was your group project?
My group learned how to write “HTML” code and made an online resource guide for recycling information attached to the county’s recycling program. The World Wide Web started in 1994, so three years later this was a ground-breaking project, we were first learning what the web was and how to search the web. We also made printed brochures with the website included.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
It is an opportunity to bring professionals together to improve their businesses, themselves, and the community we live in.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend people who want to grow in their career, expand their thought processes, and unselfishly want to dedicate themselves to making our community better.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, November 2016