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Feb 23, 2021

Office of Equity


Gov. Jay Inslee named Karen Johnson director of the newly created state Office of Equity. The Office of Equity, established by the Legislature, was signed into law by Inslee in April of 2020. The office will work with agencies to increase access to equitable opportunities in order to bridge opportunity gaps and reduce disparities. The office will also work with communities to develop the state's five-year equity plan. Johnson is currently the equity and inclusion administrator for the Washington State Department of Corrections. She also represents DOC on the statewide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.


Symetra Life Insurance, a national provider of employee benefits, has promoted Lisa Marecki to senior vice president of its Group Life and Disability (LAD) and Select Benefits voluntary benefits product lines. Marecki most recently was vice president of underwriting for LAD and Select Benefits. She will continue to be based out of Symetra's Enfield, Connecticut office. Marecki joined Symetra in January 2018 from AIG, where she was vice president and head of Group Life and Disability Product and Underwriting. Her career in group benefits includes nearly 25 years with The Hartford in a number of individual contributor and leadership roles.


TrueBlue announced that Taryn Owen and Carl Schweihs have been named to Staffing Industry Analysts' 2021 North America Staffing 100 list. The list recognizes the most influential people in the staffing industry and workforce ecosystem. Owen is the president of TrueBlue's PeopleReady, which specializes in on-demand labor, including providing highly skilled tradespeople. Schweihs is the president of PeopleManagement, TrueBlue's workforce management division, which specializes in on-site and contingent workforces. PeopleManagement connects companies with hundreds of thousands of workers, whether they are looking for part-time, temporary or full-time positions. This is the second consecutive year Schweihs has been named to the SIA Staffing 100 list.

Matt Hays, Consultant


Matt Hays started a new consulting firm — Matt Hays, Consultant — specializing in market research and analysis for construction, design and development firms. His services include tracking project leads, following market trends and helping with specific work pursuits. He is a 28-year industry professional who spent 24 years with Lease Crutcher Lewis in research and marketing. He also was part of the DJC SeattleScape blog team. His website is http://www.matthaysconsultant.com.

Construction Center of Excellence

Hunter McInelly of Auburn Riverside High School won the first We Build Washington! construction video contest sponsored by the Construction Center of Excellence. McInelly's video profiles how he built himself a desk to use while learning from home. His effort resulted in a $2,000 scholarship. The contest is open to high school students in the state.

Feb 19, 2021

State Librarian

Secretary of State Kim Wyman has appointed Sara Jones as the new Washington State librarian. Jones will oversee the Washington State Library, a division of the office of the Secretary of State. Among her responsibilities are developing and leading strategies that enhance public access to library materials, collections, and services; safeguarding the state library's role as a historical asset and repository for government documents and publications; and working with the Institute of Museum and Library Services to meet the needs of the state's libraries. Jones comes to Washington from Marin County, Calif., where she served as director of the Marin County Free Library since 2013. Previously, she held positions in Nevada libraries for 25 years.

People's Bank of Commerce

People's Bank of Commerce and Willamette Community Bank announced that all shareholder and regulatory approvals for the merger have been received and that the effective date for the merger will be March 1, 2021. Founded in 1998, People's Bank of Commerce is a locally owned and managed community bank headquartered in Medford. Willamette Community Bank was founded in 2003.

Puget Sound Partnership

Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Will Hall to the Puget Sound Partnership's Leadership Council, the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership. Hall has been protecting and restoring Puget Sound in many roles over the years. He wrote one of the first salmon recovery plans in the state, for the Snohomish River Basin. He established a marine resources committee that engages hundreds of volunteers in Puget Sound recovery. Hall has served on the Shoreline City Council for 11 years, including three as mayor. He has been active on many boards, including The Coastal Society, the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Association of Washington Cities, the Southern Resident Orca Task Force, and the Puget Sound Partnership Ecosystem Coordination Board.

Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman as filed a securities class action lawsuit against Keith Gill, MML Investors Services and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance over the price manipulation of GameStop stock. The lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, is brought on behalf of individuals and entities who during the period of January 22, 2021 through February 2, 2021, (i) either (a) purchased GameStop shares (b) purchased back an option on GameStop shares, (c) had an option for GameStop shares called away from them, (d) purchased GameStop shares to cover a short position, or (e) had their options expire, and (ii) suffered losses as a result of these transactions. The case seeks to recover damages caused by Defendants' violations of the federal securities laws. Additional information may be obtained at http://www.hbsslaw.com/investor-fraud/gme.

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