Congratulations 2019 Bridge Fellowship graduates 

More than 100 leaders, colleagues, family, and friends celebrated the 27 employees who graduated from the 20-week Bridge Fellowship, King County’s intensive professional development program, at a ceremony in downtown Seattle.

King County Executive Dow Constantine gave the keynote address at the June 24 ceremony, speaking about the importance of providing genuine opportunities for employee development and advancement, and how the Executive Branch True North – Making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive – is connected to this focus.

“With the Bridge Fellowship, we are developing employees, helping them thrive at work and in their careers, so they are in the best position to lead the work of Making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive,” Executive Constantine said. “I am confident that as these employees continue through their King County careers, they will lead and serve King County with integrity and respect as we move closer to our True North, because of what they learned and contributed through the Bridge Fellowship Program.”

Pictured: King County Executive Dow Constantine with the 2019 Bridge Fellowship graduates.

Over the course of the program, participants engaged in classroom learning, group projects, presentations, and career development activities, as well as interviews and site visits to gain a deeper understanding of the County’s structure and priorities, develop new skills, and expand their leadership abilities.

Chief People Officer Whitney Abrams talked about the work she is overseeing of building a workplace culture that allows employees to be their best and do their best work.

“It’s a culture that encourages learning, and provides real opportunities for employees to develop and advance in the county careers,” Abrams said. “That’s why Executive Constantine launched our Investing in YOU strategy; so we have a plan to ensure that every employee has the tools, support, and opportunity to thrive in their careers. This Bridge Fellowship is a key piece of that strategy.”

The Bridge Fellowship has been delivering results for participants. Of the 46 graduates since 2014, 78% have received new roles, special duty assignments, or other stretch opportunities.

Executive Constantine sees the Bridge Fellowship as a concrete way to support employees’ career development and advancement goals.

“It’s helping us become a true learning and development organization, one that offers equitable opportunities for growth and advancement, no matter where you work, what you do or where you are in your career,” he said.

Other speakers at the graduation included Stacey McQuade-Eger, Director of the Career and Culture Division of the Department of Human Resources, Debra Baker, Bridge Fellowship Program Manager, and Bridge Fellows Jessica Tollenaar Cafferty, Jose Romo Ramirez, and Ladna Farah.

Congratulations to this year’s Bridge Fellowship graduates: Michelle Anderson (Transit), Porsche Austin (Transit), Nathan Brown (DNRP), Kerren Buchanan (Public Health), Ladna Farah (DAJD), Nickie Ford (DES), Emily Hart (DCHS), Abdirahman Hashi (DCHS) Anderson Jones (Transit), Tiffany Kalfur (DAJD), Saybre Locke (DES), Sarah Margeson (DNRP), Rocio G. Martinez Lopez (King County Council), Myranda Miller (KCIT), Delroy Mukungatu (DES), Francisco Pine (Transit), Julio Rodriguez (DNRP), Jose Romo Ramirez (Public Health), Kendi Rossi (Superior Court), Susannah Rowles (DNRP), Shonita Savage (Public Health), Mindy Tiangson (Assessments), Jessica Tollenaar Cafferty (Public Health), Tsengyang Vang (Transit), Waverly Williams (Transit), Rafael Munoz-Cintron (PAO), Grace Fisk (recently relocated to California).