Executive Q+A

Under Ed Murray, Seattle has become recognized nationally for promoting progressive policies like the $15 minimum wage, but he also sees the need for more centralization in the mayor’s office to implement better controls over the city’s large bureaucracy.

Larry W. “Chip” Hunter, a scholar of human resource management and industrial relations, became dean of Washington State University’s Carson College of Business in March 2015. He aims to make Carson College the premier place in the Northwest for an undergraduate business education.

Two years ago, when Urban Renaissance Group acquired Seattle’s Touchstone Corporation in a billion-dollar deal, Touchstone’s founders began transitioning out of the firm and installed A-P Hurd as president and chief development officer.

Mark Mader developed a passion for technology by observing how businesses make choices based on many variables. In nearly 11 years at Smartsheet, Mader has directed that passion toward making the ubiquitous spreadsheet less of a loathsome tool and more of a friendly facilitator via work collaboration software.

BECU, formerly the Boeing Employees Credit Union, was founded in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression.

Gus Simonds and his management team took the helm at MacDonald-Miller in 2006. The Great Recession hit two years later.

The founder and CEO of Pacific Market International has transformed PMI from a trading company into a product development and manufacturing business with more than 150 corporate employees in offices around the globe. Rob Harris has always been entrepreneurial. In grade school, he set up a retail store in his parents’ garage. In high school, he was the kid selling “adult beverages” from the trunk of his car.

David Rolf expanded the number of home-care and nursing-home workers in his Service Employees International Union (SEIU) chapter twentyfold — to 44,000 — in the past decade. He was a leader in Seattle’s push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and has received national attention by calling for labor unions to innovate.

Elena Donio became a Concur employee in 1998 when it acquired the company she was working for at the time. She became president of the Bellevue-based provider of travel-and-expense management solutions in 2014 when Concur was acquired by the multinational software firm, SAP.

Since ending her term as governor of Washington in 2013, Christine Gregoire has lived a somewhat less public life taking care of grandchildren, chairing the 2015 advisory committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and serving on the boards of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the William D. Ruckelshaus Center. She is coming out of semiretirement to head up a new initiative aimed at raising Seattle’s awareness of itself — and its international profile.