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Best of the Best 2015

While last year may have already begun its fade into history, the stars of Advancing Leadership's 2015 dinner continue to be shining examples of community leadership in action.

Since it's kickoff in 2011, Evening with the Stars has brought together Federal Way's best and brightest servant leaders to celebrate their successes, inspire new leaders and support our future work. This year's event continued the traditions of celebrity servers, inspiring alumni speakers and an intense dessert auction.

In addition to recognizing an individual alum who is doing amazing work, this year's Evening with the Stars also included a competition for best AL class! This new award required class members to work together and show that they - collectively - were maximizing their Advancing Leadership training at work, in the community and in their lives.

And the Winners Are...

The 2015 recipient of the Bob Wroblewski Servant Leadership Alumni Award (aka the Bob Award) is Andy Hwang, AL '00.

Andy received two separate nominations for this award. Cathy Schrock, AL Board Director and Civilian Operations Manager at the Federal Way Police Department spoke to his incredible mentorship as the city’s police chief. She explains that when he stepped into this position, he made it a top priority to ensure a positive and inclusive work culture and to win the trust of the department and the public.

“Chief Hwang provides opportunities for all members of the police department to aspire to be leaders, and grow with the organization. He clearly defines expectations of future leaders, with a strong emphasis on the importance of servant leadership.

As Police Chief he is fully aware of the challenges Law Enforcement are facing nationwide. Andy is regularly leading discussions regarding regional, state and national events that have been negatively effecting the profession. He is committed to preparation and proactive activities that continue to instill his confidence in the organization and ensure that policies and practices to prevent these types of challenges in Federal Way. He is never afraid to proactively engage with the community and tackle these difficult subjects.”

Lori Santamaria, AL ’10 and a Bob Award winner herself, brought the perspective of a community member to her nomination:

“Andy is humble, confident and steadfast…He never lets his title get in the way of his volunteer work and service to others. Andy attends events in the community as a citizen and proudly brings his lovely wife along. What a great example for our citizens, youth and community to see.”

The runners up for the 2015 Bob Award are LeAnn Taylor, AL '11, Lydia Assefa-Dawson, AL '03, Chrysti Zimmerman, AL '10 and Jon McIntosh, AL '99.

The winner of the 2015 Best Class Award is AL 2004! Accepting the award on behalf of their class were Michael Gintz and Kim Hensley. Other AL ’04 members are: Scott Butterfield, Robin Corak, Tricia Davis, Marcia Denton, Kim Egge, Stacy Flores, Jodi Glandon, Michael Gordon, Christi Hnat, Adina Lake, Patricia Larson, Trise Moore, Heather Morrison, Shelley Puariea, Keith Schenkel, Lisa Skari, Donna Smith Palms, Francie Thomas and Jay Thomas.

Factors considered in determining the winning class included the class contributions to Advancing Leadership in the past year (volunteer hours and donations), community volunteer hours, professional advancement and participation on governing boards of any kind. The classes also had the opportunity in their applications to explain how they applied their AL training in meaningful and lasting ways. For AL 2004, their class project has continued to be a phenomenal group achievement: creating Advancing Leadership Youth.

Runners up for Best Class were AL 2014 and AL 2013.

If you missed Evening with the Stars last year, don't make the same mistake again. Mark your calendar now for October 1, 2016. Until then, shine on AL Nation!