We are beyond fortunate to have had Louise Chernin as our President & CEO for these last 19 years, leading us with her passion, experience, dedication, vision, and clarity to bring GSBA to a place of strength, depth, and breadth as an organization. Louise is responsible for an enormous share of that which constitutes the very heart and soul of GSBA, built with her unwavering commitment to our mission and to our community.
Happily, we continue that good fortune with Louise as we look forward to her sustained involvement with organizations fighting for social justice and economic equity, which includes her continued commitment to GSBA. She has never been afraid to speak out for equity and inclusion, and in fact, she typically leads the charge. Knowing Louise, I trust that will not change and she will continue to inspire and lead all of us in the coming years.
I am pleased to share that the GSBA Board put in place a succession plan many years ago, and we have already implemented key elements of the plan, including formation of a CEO Search Committee and the hiring of a search firm, Campbell & Co.
The Search Committee is comprised of Board and community members who represent GSBA’s varied stakeholders. I am excited and grateful for their eagerness to put in the considerable time, thought and dedication it takes to lead the Board’s search for GSBA’s new leader. The Search Committee Members include (* denotes current Board member):
- Carolyn Hojaboom*, Hojaboom Consulting, Search Committee Chair
- Carrie Carson*, Point B, GSBA Scholarship Fund Chair
- Brandon Chun*, Lavender Rights Project
- Stephanie Dallas*, GSBA Board Chair
- Jennifer Divine, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, former GSBA Board member
- Susan Fuller*, Law Office of Susan K. Fuller, PLLC
- Isyss Honnen, TRANSform Washington, GSBA Scholar Alum
- Dustin O’Quinn*, Lane Powell, Liaison from the GSBA DEI Task Force
- Tristen Pamphlet-Gardner, King County, Former GSBA Staffmember
- Jay Peterson*, Blue Wave Political Partners
- Mona Smith, Mona Smith, PLLC, Former GSBA Board Chair
- Steven Wakefield, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (ret.)
Additionally, we are including input from our 16 GSBA staff members to make sure their important voices and perspectives are included. A BIG thank you goes to each of them and to the Search Committee members.
I am also proud to announce that GSBA Deputy Director, Mark Rosén, will step in as Acting President & CEO if we do not have someone in the position before Louise completes her time at the helm. Everyone knows Mark as a thoughtful and passionate leader for GSBA, and we are thrilled that he is willing to serve in this way. This will provide a smooth transition period, should we need him in the role, most likely no longer than a few months.
In the meantime, we will continue our work to lift small business, our scholars, and the LGBTQ community, giving voice to social and economic equity. We look forward to our next chapter with new voices and new faces in our future as GSBA strides forth into the next decade!