Each Daily Biz Brief leading to August will share stories from the remarkable members of the 2015 South Sound 40 Under Forty group, the 13th year of individual recognition for talented young people.
Andrea Tull has a strong professional record of accomplishments, but maintains that her job does not define her. “Though I love what I do for a living” — government relations director for Coordinated Care — “I find what I do in my personal time probably more defines me as a person,” she described to this program’s judging panel.
You might find her as a reading tutor and board member for Communities in School Tacoma, where she also chaired Stuff the Bus campaign, fundraising auction, golf tournament and luncheon. Andrea is an ambassador board member for Emergency Food Network and active with the alumni council at University of Puget Sound. Many of these engagement activities surround her passion for social justice and education. As a first-generation college graduate in her family, she realizes the importance of offering all young persons the chance to exceed their roots.
“I believe success is not how much money you make,” Tull wrote, “but it is about the difference you make in other people’s lives.” And by that score, Andrea Tull clearly belongs in the 2015 Class of 40 Under Forty.
Like Andrea, honoree Kristiné Reeves enjoyed early success engaged in public service as a regional aide to Sen. Patty Murray, then becoming a leader in veterans and military affairs. That path continued into her current role as the governor’s lead for Military & Defense Sector under the state Department of Commerce.
A self-described “small town girl from Moses Lake” who grew up in poverty, sometimes hungry and without a home, Reeves is most passionate about opportunity. She works to ensure that every child has the opportunity for education and community support. Kristiné also remembers her first real mentor, a high school English and Journalism teacher who made sure that she understood integrity and character, by modeling it every day.
Veterans, retirees and their families in Washington are benefiting from her focus, which brought a $4.8 million grant to their programs in her first year on the job. Kristiné Reeves stands tall within this year’s ranks of 40 Under Forty.
Whitney Kershner, a financial advisor with Edward Jones’ Olympia office on Littlerock Road, is another young leader who serves — on the foundation board for Behavioral Health Resources, Women’s Leadership Council, YWCA and Soroptimist International. She is also well-known and respected in the pursuit of equal rights for gay and lesbian couples.
“Overcoming the perceptions about being young, female and gay from clients, coworkers and the general public” has been her biggest challenge, Kershner wrote to the judging panel. “To resolve this, I provide impeccable service and maintain my values in every situation.”
Her nominator may have had that in mind when he pointed out Whitney Kershner as a great leader and great community asset worthy of selection to this year’s 40 Under Forty class.
Andrea, Kristiné and Whitney will be on the baseball field with 38 other “All Stars” as co-workers, family and friends gather August 4th for the evening celebration of 2015 “40 Under Forty.” Timberland Bank sponsors this Business Examiner recognition program. Ticket information is available at this link.