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Movers & Shakers: Seattle’s Most Influential People of the Year 2019

Meet this year’s class of our Most Influential People: 35 Seattleites who are altering the fabric of our city

By Edited by Linda Morgan November 12, 2019

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This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue, as part of the Most Influential People of the Year feature. Click here to subscribe.

We are the crane capital of the country, and that means we are still growing at an astonishing—and sometimes unnerving—rate. With exceptional growth come exceptional people, and we celebrate them here. These luminaries help elevate the city  to new heights, seeking solutions to challenges that accompany transformations in housing, homelessness, city government, the environment, business, the arts and more. Our Most Influential People of 2019 differ in their backgrounds and areas of expertise, but they all share a positive vision for Seattle and our region and work tirelessly toward that goal.

Seattle Times Reporter Dominic Gates

Public Officials: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, U.S. District Judge James Robart, City of Seattle Hearing Examiner Ryan Vancil

Recompose Founder Katrina Spade

Arts Education Advocate Lara Davis

Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile

HistoryLink Executive Director and Cofounder Marie McCaffrey

Former General Director of the Seattle Opera Aidan Lang

Common Ground Music Project Founder Shontina Vernon

yəhaw̓ Curatorial Team, Satpreet Kahlon, Tracy Rector and Asia Tail

Outgoing CEO and President of the Bullitt Foundation: Denis Hayes

Ivar’s Seafood Restaurants President Bob Donegan

Southern Resident Orca Task Force

President and CEO of Visit Seattle Tom Norwalk

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

TransFamilies Executive Director Aidan Key

Spaceflight Industries CEO Curt Blake

Seattle NHL Team President and CEO Tod Leiweke

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith

Evergreens Founders Hunter Brooks and Todd Fishman

Social Justic Fund Interim Program Director Karen Toering

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream CEO Molly Moon Neitzel

Homelessness and Housing Advocates Colleen Echohawk, Matt Hutchins, Nicole Macri and Paul Lambros

Africatown Community Land Trust President and CEO K. Wyking Garrett

Sightline Institute Founder and Executive Director Alan Durning

Ones to Watch: Brady Walkinshaw, Aparna Rae and Sage Ke‘alohilani Quiamno, Harlan and Chad Robins, Ambika Singh, Carmen Best, Stephanie Formas, Guy Palumbo, Andrew Engelson, Jarret Stopforth, Yin Yu and Angela Dunleavy-Stowell

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Most Influential, Arts: Shin Yu Pai

Most Influential, Arts: Shin Yu Pai

Poet, author, podcaster

Pai is an award-winning author, podcaster, and the city of Seattle’s 2023-24 Civic Poet. She has spent more than two decades in the literary field, penning 13 books... Photo by Sung Park

Most Influential, Arts: Jose Iñiguez

Most Influential, Arts: Jose Iñiguez

Educator, musician

Jose Iñiguez discovered the art of opera through a PBS special. As a teenager, he came across a program featuring a tenor singing an aria while watching TV with his dad... Photo by Ashley Genevieve

Most Influential, Education: Quinton Morris

Most Influential, Education: Quinton Morris

Artist, educator

I’m committed to educating and helping students transform their lives through Key to Change. My goal is to expand the program to reach more students... Photo by Sung Park

Most Influential, Hospitality: J. Kenji López-Alt

Most Influential, Hospitality: J. Kenji López-Alt

Chef, author

López-Alt is a two-time James Beard Award-winner, with all three of his books making it onto The New York Times bestseller list. His latest book, The Wok, currently in bookstores, won him his second James Beard Award this year. Photo by J. Kenji López-Alt