Emerging Leaders Society

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About Us

Our Mission

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

Our History

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.

Who We Are

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). 

Get Connected

Interested in learning more? Check out our informational flyer. Or, email to be connected with a volunteer on our Membership Committee.

Ready to join ELS? Fill out your membership application.

Follow us on Facebook  and Instagram  to be the first to hear about upcoming events!

ELS Events Calendar and Registration 

Annually, the Emerging Leaders Society hosts a number of events, centered on networking, volunteerism, professional development, or some combination of the three! Check out our line up, and circle back often as we are always adding something new. Have a great idea? Reach out to us - email Amanda Hester with United Way!

The Emerging Leaders Society’s signature event is the annual Spokane Philanthropy Awards. ELS hosts this event each October in partnership with the Spokane Journal of Business to honor philanthropic individuals and organizations in the community.

Annual Event Calendar

January 21, 2021

NEW: Off The Cuff

Annual Kickoff / Join Mayor Woodward / Click here to learn member and sign up for this virtual event 6:30 - 7:30 PM


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 and Spokane County United Way's Emerging Leaders Society with some of the most prominent leaders in Spokane. Check out our Facebook page for a glimpse into our first interviewee. 


Board of Directors 2020-2021


Courtney Altringer
Wells Fargo Advisors

Emily Arneson
Spokane Transit Authority
Strategic Planning Committee Chair
United Way Board Liaison

JJ Brown
Community Volunteer
Marketing Committee Chair

Roshelle Cleland
Lutheran Community Services Northwest
Spokane Philanthropy Awards Committee Chair

Brennan Floyd
State Bank Northwest

Drew Henry
Revival Tea Company

Kelly Hewson
Keller Williams Realty
Membership Committee Co-Chair

Cody Hines
Washington Trust Bank

Kaileen Kersting
Hospice of Spokane
Volunteer Committee Chair

Lauren Nissen
Innovia Foundation

Buffy Nustad

Melisa Paul
Greater Spokane Inc.

Heather Schmitt
Gonzaga University

Tim Shustoff
Eagles Sports Properties at Learfield IMG College

MJ Spadfora
Gonzaga University
Events Committee Co-Chair

Heather Sulpizio
Providence Health & Services

Rebecca Sumner
US Bank 
Events Committee Chair

Michael Truex
Board of Directors Chair

Ryanne Truex
Hill International
Membership Committee Chair

Sinead Voorhees
Whitworth MBA
Board of Directors Chair Elect

Jeff Watson
Cetera Advisors
Board of Directors Treasurer

Tyler West
Northwest Farm Credit Services

Jesse Zumbro