Emerging Leaders Society


About Us

Members of the Emerging Leaders Society contribute their time, talent, and treasure annually to the community, and to Spokane County United Way. ELS members attend events focused on networking and professional development, as well as have hands on volunteer experience with local non-profit agencies. Members of ELS gain leadership experience by serving on their committee of choice (Events, Marketing, Membership, Spokane Philanthropy Awards, Strategic Planning, Volunteer). 

To create measurable community impact by engaging and developing philanthropic leaders through our partnership with United Way. 

The Emerging Leaders Society (ELS) was established by Spokane County United Way in 2013 to provide early-to mid-career professionals an opportunity to develop leadership skills, network with community-minded individuals, and elevate their commitment to making a difference in the community. Spokane County United Way saw the need to educate, develop, and invest in young professionals and the role they play in the future success of the Spokane community, thus the Emerging Leaders Society was born.

ELS Events and Registration

All Events moving to the Third Thursday starting in September

ELS is proud to announce that we are moving to a Third Thursday schedule beginning in September. Going forward, all events will be hosted on the Third Thursday of each month. Additional information on specific events is below – we look forward to seeing you soon!

Ongoing, Virtual: ELS is proud to present Off The Cuff, an interview series that will give a glimpse inside the leadership, careers, and passions of some of Spokane's most influential leaders. This series aims to connect our community with some of the most prominent leaders in Spokane. Follow us on Facebook to catch up on who we have already interviewed and keep an eye out for new interviews on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.

Serving with CEO events offer the opportunity for ELS members to donate their time to community nonprofits while also engaging and learning from local CEO speakers. The events promote direct volunteer service, networking, and leadership skill-building within ELS membership.

Save the Date: Upcoming Serving with CEO’s dates are:

  • September 16, 2021
  • November 18, 2021
  • February 17, 2022
  • June 16, 2022

More details will be posted on Volunteer Spokane as they become available.

Eagle Ridge Short Course: Join us at the Eagle Ridge short course for a night of fun and laughter at our annual Foot Golf tournament. Costume contest? Check. Team activity? Check. Opportunity to win a championship belt? Check. Teams of four will compete throughout the night for the chance to win a prize, you won’t want to miss out!

In partnership with The Spokane Journal of Business, the Emerging Leaders Society presents the Spokane Philanthropy Awards. The Spokane Philanthropy Awards are intended to highlight and celebrate those who are making a significant impact in addition to their public/private sector employment and/or retired status. 

Thank you to those who participated in the silent auction! Proceeds benefitted Treehouse, a partner agency that provides targeted and effective prevention and intervention programs for children/youth in need of assistance (in or out-of-school setting). It was a fun event, held at the Spokane Carrousel

Thank you to Nick Grow Music, Dan Mahoney who spoke on servant leadership, and to TEN Capital for hosting!

Are you new to ELS or interested in learning more? Come hang out for a night of fun activities with existing members!

Save the Date: Join us for our Annual Meeting on May 19, 2022. Our final event for the fiscal year, we vote in new board members and connect with local leaders.

Gather together on the grassy yard of Brick West to share in great conversations over a good beverage, with live music and a raffle supporting some of our favorite, local Spokane businesses. All proceeds from the sale of additional raffle tickets will to to Transitions.

Emerging Leaders Society Board Members 2021-2022

Emily Arneson
Spokane Transit Authority

Ty Browning
Spokane Philanthropy Awards Committee Co-Chair

Roshelle Cleland
Lutheran Community Services Northwest
Spokane Philanthropy Awards Committee Co-Chair

Kelly Hewson
Keller Williams Realty
Membership Committee Co-Chair

Cody Hines
Washington Trust Bank
Board of Directors Treasurer

Jamie Hoffman
Volunteer Committee Co-Chair


Kaileen Kersting
Hospice of Spokane
Volunteer Committee Co-Chair

Liza Kovalenko
Witherspoon Kelley

Jourdyn McClain
 Committee Co-Chair

Buffy Nustad

Justin Reed
 Committee Co-Chair

Amanda Richards
Committee Chair

Heather Schmitt
Gonzaga University

MJ Spadafora
Gonzaga University

Heather Sulpizio
Providence Health & Services

Rebecca Swenson
US Bank 
Events Committee Co-Chair

Sinead Voorhees
Whitworth MBA
Board of Directors Chair

Tyler West
Northwest Farm Credit Services
Board of Directors Chair Elect

Matt Wetzel
Umpqua Bank
United Way Board Liaison