Albers School of Business and Economics

Past Red Winged Leaders


    2013 Red Winged Leaders

     Molly Stearns
    2013 Red Winged Leadership Award Winner

    After earning her Masters at the University of Chicago's Division of Social Science with a focus on corporate social responsibility, Molly went on to work in corporate public affairs. She then went on to The Seattle Foundation where she directed their Community Grantmaking Program and worked to match local family foundations and individual donors with community needs. After 20 years with the Seattle Foundation and achieving the title of Senior Vice President, Molly accepted the role of Executive Director of the Foundation and Vice President of Fund Development at Overlake Medical Center Foundation which facilitates charitable giving to support initiatives at the nonprofit regional medical center. Molly also serves on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, the Metropolitan Seattle Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Downtown Bellevue Rotary Club.

     Lynette Johnson
    2013 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist  

    Lynette has been a lifelong entrepreneur, opening her first business – a flower shop – at the age of 22. She went on to run a successful photography studio for more than 25 years. In 1996, after seeing a family member lose an infant, and having the memory of another close friend's baby passing two decades before, Lynette began to photograph children facing life-threatening illnesses. Those services, which Lynette still performs today without payment, became Soulumination, a non-profit organization committed to offering photographs to families with a loved one facing life-threatening conditions. These families are provided with professional photographs, free of charge, as an enduring, positive record of the individual's life, as a loving legacy for the family. Soulumination now has more than 40 professional photographers and 120 volunteers in the Puget Sound who help fulfill its mission.

     Paul Shoemaker
    2013 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist  

     Paul holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Texas and a BBA in Accounting from Iowa State University. He then went to work for Microsoft and Nestle USA as a worldwide operations manager and a product manager, respectively. Paul is the Founding President of SVP (Social Venture Partners) International, and it has grown to 29 cities and 4 countries. SVP is a program that develops lifelong philanthropists, helps nonprofits build long term capacity by making strategic investments, and acts as a catalyst for finding volunteers and grants. The mission of SVP is to improve communities by connecting people with causes. Paul also served on the boards of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (2001-2007), Children's Alliance in Seattle, (1996-2000),Treepeople in Los Angeles, Microsoft Alumni Foundation, and Partners for Our Children. 

     2012 Red Winged Leaders

     Killian Noe
    2012 Red Winged Leadership Award Winner

    Killian Noe moved to Seattle in 1999 from Washington DC, where she co-founded and operated Samaritan Inns, an effective and comprehensive response to trauma,homelessness, addiction, and other mental health challenges. Killian Noe founded the Recovery Café in Seattle in 2004. Recovery Café and its School for Recovery serve men and women who have suffered trauma, homelessness, addiction and/or other mental health challenges. In this loving community, men and women experience belonging, healing and the joy of contributing. The Café and School for Recovery helps participants develop tools for maintaining recovery and stabilizing in mental/physical health, housing, relationships and employment/volunteer service.

     Dan Wall
    2012 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist

    The concept for Opportunity Knocks is based on the personal experience of Senior Vice President, Dan Wall, who began entry-level employment with Expeditors at 18 years old and worked his way to his current position.Opportunity Knocks seeks out high school students who are not currently considering going on to higher education for reasons such as lack of motivation or lack of financial capacity. The students are offered a part-time job with the opportunity to obtain a full-time job with benefits upon meeting or exceeding expectations of the position and graduating high school. Wall created Opportunity Knocks to formalize the experience in a way that allows it to be replicated throughout Expeditors and serve as a skilled talent source for the company. Wall seeks to prove his hypothesis that investing in an employee creates loyalty to the company—particularly when the individual begins with few prospects of success and a lack of personal career and/or educational direction.

     Jocquelyn Duncan
    2012 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist

    Jocquelyn Duncan is the Founder/Executive Director of "Work it Out", a nonprofit organization whose goal is to reach out to and support vulnerable youth. Her goal was the successful planning, execution, and implementation of a non‐traditional, small school model with an emphasis on personalization, collaboration, social action and hands‐on learning experiences that are relevant to the students lives. Jocquelyn grew up in the Central District of Seattle and as an adult, she saw the needs of minority groups and the disproportionate rates at which minorities were dropping out of high school. She made it her mission to ensure that high school drop-outs are given a second chance. She felt the need to start a new non-profit aimed specifically at graduating drop-outs, and this is how Work-it-Out Seattle was formed. She has formed a curriculum focused on "life skills" in addition to the academic requirements for graduation. This includes skills such as health, cooking, and household budgeting.

    2011 Red Winged Leaders

     Chris Fontana
    2011 Red Winged Leadership Award Winner

    Global Visionaries is a Seattle, WA based non-profit that empowers youth from diverse socio-economic, ethnic, racial, and geographic backgrounds to become active leaders and global citizens who promote social & environmental justice through community service at home and abroad. Global Visionaries provides life-changing opportunities and instills a lifelong ethic of service and philanthropy. Global Visionaries’ programs combine localized leadership training with “a cultural immersion trip to Guatemala, and local and international service projects focused on social justice and environmental conservation.”

     Shana Greene
    2011 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist

    Village Volunteers promotes self sufficiency in rural villages by partnering with programs to enhance economic and educational opportunities, food security, and health conditions, with respect for the environment and culture. Village Volunteers was founded in the belief that partnership is a key factor in the renewal and healing of areas plagued by poverty and disease. Committed to preserving autonomy and cultural heritage, Village Volunteers works in collaboration with village non-governmental and community-based organizations to support the achievement of their goals and objectives by integrating international volunteerism, sustainable community development projects, and program assistance.

     Danna Johnston
    2011 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist

    The Danna K Johnston Foundation addresses the needs of young women living with challenges that detract from their success through a program called “Successful Young Women.” Volunteers provide hands-on approach with youth to emphasize education and positive lifestyle choices. The foundation first formulates a “success plan” in the 9th grade of a student and teaches her study skills and tools to be successful in the classroom. In her sophomore year, a mentor and a community project are assigned. During the last two years of HS, the student get serious about college prep and the foundation provides various workshops which include scholarship/financial aid, college application, among other topics. Through out the whole program, a RN is there to counsel on health/wellness issues, role model and guest speakers come to inspire the students regularly, and parents are strongly encouraged to be involved with free coaching and tools to help them be a better parent.

    2010 Red Winged Leaders

     Rahwa Habte
    2010 Red Winged Leadership Award Winner 

    Rahwa is co-owner of the restaurant Hidmo Eritrean Cuisine in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. “Hidmo” means “home” and, for many, a sense of home is exactly what Rahwa is cultivating through her restaurant. Rahwa’s mission for the restaurant is not only to foster community, but also to increase the visibility and availability of art, music, media culture and cuisine in the Central District through socially responsible actions. Rahwa loves her neighborhood and is passionate about addressing different social issues affecting it, creating pride, cultivating a safe space and open dialogue for all, and fostering local creativity and talent.

     Dylan Higgins
    2010 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist

    Dylan Higgins was one of two finalists for the inaugural Red Winged Leadership Award. As CEO and Co-Founder of, he hopes to inspire us to save and invest in our futures and the futures of others. Dylan was called to promote saving as a path out of poverty while working in Ghana in the spring of 2008. Upon his return, he resolved to pair his professional skills as a technology executive and a lawyer with his desire to re-introduce the world to the power of responsible savings and investing. In October 2009, launched. The website currently features over 30 savers and provides a space for donors to read saver stories and make donations to help those in need reach their savings goals.

     Linda Ruthruff
    2010 Red Winged Leadership Award Finalist 

    Linda Ruthruff was also chosen as a finalist for the Red Winged Leadership Award. Linda is Executive Director of Street Bean Espresso, a coffee shop in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle that aims to “equip homeless and street involved youth to leave street life and sex trafficking through supportive employment.” Through Street Bean, Linda has created a meaningful and steady employment opportunity for street youth and provides employees with a renewed sense of purpose and pride. She implements sustainable business practices, serving fair trade coffee, sourcing from local suppliers, providing top notch training, and engaging the local business community.