The Alumni of the Leadership Kitsap program have gained a broad perspective on Kitsap community issues and have developed the leadership skills necessary to make a valuable contribution to a wide array of community boards. Alumni of the Leadership Kitsap program represent a cross-section of private, public, and non-profit sectors.


Alumni Spotlight: Harriette Bryant (LK05)

Harriette Bryant (Class of 2005)

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
Linda Joyce, former YWCA director went through the Leadership Kitsap program in 2004. She shared how much she was learning from Leadership Kitsap and I thought about going through the class to learn how to lead with passion and be more involved in our community. In 2005, my church Emmanuel Apostolic Church sponsored me with the support of my mentor and pastor, Bishop Larry Robertson.

What is your current role?
I am the founder and President/CEO of OurGEMS. OurGEMS works with school counselors to identify ladies who need mentoring ages 11-21 and from 6th grade to their first year of college. We work with the ladies on achieving academic success, learning leadership skills, teaching them how to act like ladies, how to build resilience from ACES, how to deal with bullying, and having a good social connection through the OurGEMS program. We are essentially a sisterhood of girls and young women who are currently in 15 schools in 5 different school districts. I currently work with 2 other co-founders Vicki Collins, Vice President, and Anjelia Neuson, Secretary of OurGEMS in mentoring the young women.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
Leadership Kitsap inspired me to reach my full potential as a leader. It taught me to lead with passion, to share insights with others, and to train future leaders in Kitsap County. It helped me get my voice and connected me with other leaders in our community.

What was your favorite challenge day and why?
My favorite challenge day was the overnight opening retreat held at the Seabeck Conference Center at the beginning of the class year. I remember the totem talk where every class member brought in a personal object and shared a story about their life that was represented by the object or totem. The totem discussion helped us connect as a class, and we learned more about each other as individuals and leaders. To know each other’s story made us feel close to one another.

What was your group project?
TeenFest 2005 held at the Silverdale Kitsap Mall. It was an event held for teens to have fun and to connect in our community. We had a fashion show, with many local vendors represented, music, and TeenFest t-shirts which we designed. We wanted to provide the teens and families more community connections, resources, and show our teens how they can have good clean fun in our community.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
Leadership Kitsap will inspire you. It will teach you to use your mind as a leader. It will teach you how to communicate better. You learn more about the many avenues that can help you give back to your community. It teaches you how to build better relationships, gives you a good perspective on diversity and integrity. It brings togetherness within the group and great community projects.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend community members and colleagues who want to grow as a leader. This program is for strong like minded people that aren’t afraid to make change in their lives, workplace, and community. I would recommend LK to everyone that is willing to mentor and pass on the great experiences of what the LK program has done for them.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, December 2016



Alumni Spotlight: Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson (LK97)


Sheriff Gary Simpson (Class of 1997)

How did you hear about LK and become involved in it?
Mike Davis in 1996 was hosting a leadership class of 14 people in the squad room. It looked like  an opportunity to be engaged in the community and connect the office to the community. I said I wanted to be in next year’s class. I’m a Leadership Kitsap graduate of 1997.

What is your current role?
I’m currently Sheriff of Kitsap County and was planning on retiring four years ago after being with the office for 30 years. I had some family commitments but felt I had a responsibility to the community to ensure the sheriff’s office evolved with the public’s current needs and expectations. I wanted to give our personnel a chance to develop in their careers and to help them learn how to grow our office to fit the needs of the community. Also, as Sheriff, I am able to meet with legislatures to make them aware of how the laws they make affect law enforcement and what laws need to be implemented or re-evaluated.

What impact did the Leadership Kitsap program have on your career?
Leadership Kitsap helped broaden my awareness of the community and to connect to other industries in order to understand how Kitsap’s industries affect one another and can come together to create a vital community. The program has helped me prepare our office for the   next generation of deputies and officers. We strongly support the Leadership Kitsap program. Many of our agency’s members who have been students have advanced in their careers. We’ve had 17 graduates from the program over the years and have a current class member expected to graduate in June 2017.

What was your favorite challenge day and why?
It is hard to say which was my favorite challenge day because all of the days “challenged” my current way of thinking and made me consider other aspects of our community. Education day was one that stood out in my mind where we had the opportunity to meet with the superintendents of the schools.

What was your group project?
My group learned how to write “HTML” code and made an online resource guide for recycling information attached to the county’s recycling program. The World Wide Web started in 1994, so three years later this was a ground-breaking project, we were first learning what the web was and how to search the web. We also made printed brochures with the website included.

What do you want people to know about Leadership Kitsap?
It is an opportunity to bring professionals together to improve their businesses, themselves, and the community we live in.

What type of people would you recommend that would most benefit from the experience of participating in the Leadership Kitsap program?
I would recommend people who want to grow in their career, expand their thought processes, and unselfishly want to dedicate themselves to making our community better.

Interview conducted by Marie Singleton, November 2016



2016-2017 LK Alumni Association

Co-Chairs: David Emmons (LK14) and Theresa Smith (LK08)

Class Representatives:
Audrey Barbakoff (2016)
John Hurley (2016)
Dedra Miller (2015)
Karen McKay Bevers (2014)
Audrey Wolf (2014)
Melody Sky Eisler (2013)
Sunny Wheeler (2013)
Kate Nunes (2012)
Connie Zapp (2012)
Jackie Brown (2011)
Cindy Purser Drover (2011)
Mike Eilmes (2010)
Kelli Warren (2010)
Jennifer Forbes (2009)
Irene Carper (alt) (2008)

Become a Leadership Kitsap Alumni Association Member or renew your membership HERE!

Roger Zabinski (2007)
Mindy Hager (2006)
Randy Crenshaw (2005)
Tamra Ingwaldsen (2004)
Denise Ledingham (2003)
Maurice Correia (2002)
Connie Mueller (2001)
vacant (2000)
Pamela Martin (1999)
Janis Castle (1998)
vacant (1997)
Michael Savage (1996)
Angela Sell (1995)
Amanda Cheatham (2008)

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For over 20 years, Leadership Kitsap service projects have helped to strengthen and transform the entire community. Each year, our service projects significantly impact the lives of thousands of Kitsap County residents. Explore the positive impact of Leadership Kitsap service projects through our Community Impact Map.


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