2016 Community Impact Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations, Harriet Bullitt!
Harriet Bullitt
Washington state has three icons: Mount Rainier, the Columbia River and Harriet Bullitt. All are larger than life.  That declaration by Governor Jay Inslee at a 2013 dedication of Bullitt’s newly created Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth is a perfect description of the 92-year-old philanthropist, businesswoman and community leader.
“I don’t consider myself a philanthropist,” Bullitt says from her “spiritual” home in Leavenworth. “I don’t look at it as giving; I see it as sharing. … It’s important to me to be sharing what I have.”
A longtime supporter of the arts and environmental conservation in the Pacific Northwest, Bullitt has created a legacy of achievements up and down the state of Washington. In 1989, she and her sister, the late Priscilla “Patsy” Bullitt Collins, inherited ownership of King Broadcasting Company, which their mother Dorothy Bullitt had founded in the 1940s. Harriet founded Pacific Search magazine in 1966; it later became Pacific Northwest magazine and was folded into Seattle magazine in 1994. Her family foundation’s Bullitt Center in Seattle is designed to be the “greenest” building in the world. The Snowy Owl Theater, a performance center near Leavenworth, is the centerpiece of the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, a retreat created by Bullitt in 1995 from an old Catholic Youth Organization summer camp.
Bullitt also founded the Icicle Fund, a charitable foundation supporting the arts and environmental protection in the upper Wenatchee Valley. And she has served on many boards, including those of the Pacific Science Center, The Nature Conservancy, Reed College and the National Audubon Society. She is vice chair of the Bullitt Foundation board of trustees.
Bullitt affects the communities in which she lives by her very presence, says Werner Janssen, who has known Bullitt for 23 years and is writing a book about her. “Her reputation and positive actions precede her, so people are quietly anticipating new life when Harriet appears.”
Janssen describes her as “a humble leader who has strong convictions for what she feels is needed to allow nature and society to grow in a positive way through the use of friends and community.” 

Judges for the 2016 Community Impact Awards:
Anthony DiBlasi, Washington state and Seattle market president, Bank of America
Nicole Gupte, senior communications manager, Philanthropy Northwest
Jan Hendrickson, regional managing director, Ascent Private Management, U.S. Bank
Joe Lawless, executive director, Center for Leadership & Social Responsibility, University of Washington Tacoma
Michael “Luni” Libes, founder and managing director, Fledge Seattle
Joseph Sprague, SVP, communications and external relations, Alaska Airlines
Brian Unmacht, CEO, Bartell Drugs
Affshin Valji, partner, PwC

Bright Idea: Labor Saver

Bright Idea: Labor Saver

Forget email. Shyft Technologies makes shift swapping easy.

New legislation requiring Seattle businesses with 500 or more employees to schedule workers’ hourly shifts two weeks in advance will be a boon to some, but it could complicate the lives of many workers and employers.

Seattle startup Shyft Technologies has created a free smartphone app that simplifies the tangled dance of schedule shuffling by making it easier for employees to swap shifts and for bosses to get shifts covered on short notice. 

The app notifies all staffers automatically when open shifts are posted. Swaps can be approved right on the app. By matching in real time the hours when workers are available with the hours employees need work done, the app creates a more efficient market.

A worker or manager can easily add a bonus as an incentive to fill a shift on short notice, says

Shyft CEO Brett Patrontasch. “It’s a lot easier than email,” he observes. Meanwhile, workers can quickly change their availability status if they want to make more money or free up more time.

The Shyft app uses a combination of geolocation, financial transactions, machine learning and big data analytics to determine availability and pricing. The goal is to create an on-demand workforce that has more control over schedules while providing employers with the fluidity to operate efficiently.

As of late September, more than 12,000 Starbucks baristas, 3,500 Old Navy staffers and 7,500 McDonald’s employees were using Shyft’s app.

Founded in Toronto, the startup moved to Seattle in February to participate in the three-month Techstars mentoring program. This past summer, Shyft obtained $1.5 million in funding from Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group and other investors.