Mentor List

Connie Kanter

Kanter, Connie

Job Title: CEO
Company: Samis Foundation
Industry: Non-Profit, Tech
Mentor Since: Fall 2015
Will Mentor: Graduate Students

Job Description

Chief Executive Officer for both the Samis Foundation non-profit and the Samis Land Co real estate company. Served on the board for 8 years before becoming CEO in 2019. Responsible for overall strategy, managing the board/staff relationships and grantmaking. Direct reports include the Director of Real Estate, Chief Financial Officer and two grants program officers.

Company Description

Samis Foundation is a non-profit foundation which earns income from its real estate portfolio to support Jewish education in Washington state and a variety of projects in the State of Israel. The foundation manages a real estate portfolio valued at $180 million and makes grants of $7 million a year.

Employment History

Arthur Andersen/Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) - public accounting and information systems consulting for manufacturing companies - between undergrad and MBA 1978-1981
Hewlett Packard Company - finance/accounting and supervisor roles - immediately after MBA 1983-1987 Andersen Consulting - information systems consulting for Boeing automated production facility 1988-1989 Physio- Control - finance director and chief financial officer for medical device company 1989-1993
Start up companies - transitioned to a few tech start up companies which didn't survive 1993-1996
Nesiya - started my own executive search firm for tech management positions 1996-1998
Married and kids in my 40's - 7 years out of the workforce 1998-2005
Seattle Hebrew Academy - business officer and development director for Jewish K-8 school 2005-2009
Clarisonic - controller for tech company in the beauty industry which was sold to Loreal 2009-2012
Seattle University - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Finance, business affairs, information technology and auxiliaries 2012-2019
Samis Foundation - Chief Executive Officer - 2019-current


University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, BS 1978 in accounting and decision sciences
University of Chicago, Booth School, MBA 1983 in finance and production CPA

Mentoring Objectives & Scope

Understanding the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead, discussing how to leverage your network and tap into your personal strengths to achieve personal success and fulfillment, managing change and influencing outcomes, leadership

When and where do you hold meetings with your students?

Virtual meetings during the pandemic after that anywhere between Pioneer Square where I work and Seattle U which is on my commute to/from home and work

Additional Information

Worked at Seattle U for 7 years as CFO/Sr. VP until 2019.