Profiles

Brian Unmacht spent six years working at his father’s drugstore company and, after college, 27 years at REI, before becoming only the fourth CEO in Bartell Drugs’ 126-year history. Now he’s intent on using local partnerships to make Bartell a strong competitor to the national drugstore chains.

As much as we’d like to think otherwise, Seattle is not yet a hotbed of venture capital activity. Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said as much in an interview earlier this year with The Seattle Times.

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.

Adriane Brown is comfortable being uncomfortable. Roxie Schescke gains more by letting go. Megan Meade doesn’t believe asking for help is a shortcoming. These women have used those life lessons in their trajectories to the top of a competitive business world in which women have been characterized as being “everywhere and nowhere.” It’s a male-dominated environment that to this day still preserves a glaring gender gap, widespread discrimination and a lack of diversity.

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.

Becoming a tattoo artist was an improbable choice for Shannon Perry, the owner of Valentine’s Tattoo Co. (valentinestattoo.com) on Capitol Hill.
“The funny thing is that I have a needle phobia,” Perry says. Fortunately, she draws a distinction between drawing blood and just scratching the epidermis.

Last summer, Norwegian Cruise Lines approached the Port of Seattle with a plan. The company wanted to expand its Alaska cruise business by using much larger ships and wanted the port to upgrade Pier 66 so the 5,500 people on board each ship and all their luggage could be quickly loaded and unloaded. The port was interested.

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.

Shepherding the Bellevue company from independent enterprise to corporate subsidiary while keeping an eye on growth.