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 on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at Barrister Winery. 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. 

Invite a friend and come celebrate the holidays with us at our annual Jingle ‘n’ Mingle event! Proceeds from this event will benefit a Spokane County United Way partner agency.

Join us for our first event of the calendar year. We use this time to network and hear from a local leader. 

Register HERE

Kick off the March Madness season with our fun 3-on-3 tournament.

Thank you to everyone who Joined us for our Annual Meeting this year, and a special thank you to Mary McDirmid from Mass Mutual, who led a discussion on confidence and grit when returning to the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic.


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.

Thank you to those who attended Beers with Peers at Brick West Brewing Co. in 2021. Proceeds from this event were donated to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

Save the Date: Grab a drink and visit with other ELS members at Beers with Peers on July 21, 2022. Our feature networking event offers the opportunity to meet ELS leadership, committees and prospective members. Make sure to stick around for the chance to win prizes from our raffle! Proceeds from this event will benefit a Spokane County United Way partner agency.

Emerging Leaders Society Board Members 2021-2022

Courtney Altringer
Wells Fargo Advisors

Emily Arneson
Spokane Transit Authority

JJ Brown
Community Volunteer
Marketing Committee Chair

Roshelle Cleland
Lutheran Community Services Northwest
Spokane Philanthropy Awards Committee Chair

Kelly Hewson
Keller Williams Realty
Membership Committee Chair

Cody Hines
Washington Trust Bank
Board of Directors Treasurer

Kaileen Kersting
Hospice of Spokane
Volunteer Committee Chair

Liza Kovalenko
Witherspoon Kelley

Buffy Nustad

Kaitlyn Richardson

Heather Schmitt
Gonzaga University

MJ Spadafora
Gonzaga University

Heather Sulpizio
Providence Health & Services

Rebecca Swenson
US Bank 
Events Committee 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