Husky Leadership Initiative

2018 Leadership Firesides Bios

Kathy Hsieh
January 11

Kathy is the Cultural Partnerships and Grant Manager at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and oversees community-building, funding and racial equity programs. A change agent in transforming the City’s arts funding program through a racial equity lens, she helped the agency earn the Seattle Management Association’s first Race & Social Justice Management Award. A leader with the City’s nationally recognized Race & Social Justice Initiative, she has presented on numerous national panels, and is an adjunct professor on Asian American Theatre for the University of Washington.
Kathy is also a theatre artist and award-winning actor, playwright, director and producer with a special focus on work that creates visibility and opportunities for, and highlights the talent and contributions of, artists of color. She has been honored by the National Association of Asian American Professionals in Seattle as their Artist of the Year and as an actor by ArtsFund in 2003, featured in The Dramatist Magazine as “50 to Watch” in 2007, received A Special Award of Recognition by The Seattle Theater Writers Gypsy Awards for Excellence in Playwriting and Verizon’s Asian Pacific American Bash’s Innovator Award in 2012, and is the 2015 International Examiner Community Voice Awardee in the Arts.

Franklin Donahoe
January 18

Franklin Donahoe is Chief Information Security Officer at Mylan Pharmaceuticals. He has more than 25 years of experience in cyber and physical security, as well as military service in the United States Marine Corps. He is the former Director of Information Security Architecture and Design and Risk Management at T – Mobile USA and manager with Deliotte and Protiviti consulting firms and also the former CISO of Costco Wholesale. Franklin has experience developing and executing strategy, operations, and budgets for the protection of enterprise information assets and managing security programs.

He is the Principal and Founder of Donahoe Advisory Group, a cybersecurity consulting firm offering executive level consulting as well as deep technical security penetration testing for IT, industrial and IOT systems.

Franklin is the Commissioner for Washington State African Affairs and holds a BA degree from the University of Washington and two MS degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.

Luis Rodriguez
January 25

Luis is the owner of “The Station and “The Wine Station”, a beloved coffee shop and wine bar in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, but as their mission states “we have always been more than just a coffee house and a wine bar”. These businesses are a home to artists of all disciplines, and the owners, staff and customers empower youth workers and advocates, elders and children and activists of all kinds.

Rodriguez, who is from Mexico, believes in the importance of community, and has said that he can sense the need for community here in Seattle. He and his wife, Leona, are committed to creating spaces that are welcoming to people of color, the LGBTQ community and for people experiencing homelessness. In general, their vision is to create an equitable café that also serves as a community hub.  The Station is well-known for its annual block party, a free celebration of Beacon Hill’s culture, which on average sees crowds of over 2,000. According to Seattle Weekly “In a city faced with rising rents and cultural homogenization, the Block Party is a rare showcase of the state of the culture, or at least in the neighborhood that Rodriguez calls home.” The event features only local talent, with music that is exclusively hip-hop.

Sumona Das Gupta & Jaebadiah Gardner
February 1

Sumona Das Gupta is a healthcare attorney within the Seattle community and currently manages the compliance and regulatory affairs program within the UW Medicine Department of Pharmacy. Prior to joining UW Medicine, Sumona served as the Compliance Officer for Valley Medical Center and worked as a corporate law associate at K&L Gates in Seattle, WA. As a UW graduate, Sumona stays connected to the Husky community by mentoring students in the Immigrant Families Advocacy Project that helps individuals who have been victims of domestic violence obtain independent legal status in the U.S. and volunteers with the Northwest Immigrant Rights project on asylum cases.

Sumona graduated from the University of Washington in 2005 with a degree in Biochemistry and subsequently from the School of Law in 2009 with a specialization in healthcare law. As a student, Sumona helped lead a student organized multi-year project that involved partnerships with University administration and fundraising that resulted in a permanent moment on central campus dedicated to diverse communities. Sumona is the past president of the South Asian Bar Association of Washington and created the free community legal clinics in the Greater Seattle area to provide free legal resources to marginalized and disenfranchised communities. Sumona currently serves as the Vice-President of the Multicultural Alumni Partnership, which assists in the management of a scholarship endowment focused on awarding scholarship to students of color at the University of Washington. Sumona also serves on the Washington Initiative for Diversity as its Education Chair, which is an organization started by the Gender and Justice Commission of the Washington State Supreme Court.

Originally from Tri-Cities in Eastern Washington, Sumona has called Seattle home for the last 16 years and currently lives with her husband Vikash in West Seattle.

Jaebadiah Gardner is the Founder & CEO of GardnerGlobal, Inc. and the Managing Partner for Onpoint Real Estate Services, LLC, a full-service real estate brokerage firm in Seattle, WA. He oversees the property management and development divisions, which include residential, multi-family, condo buildings, and private and non-profit clients. Jaebadiah is the driving force behind business development, real estate development, and acquisition opportunities.

Before moving to Seattle, Jaebadiah grew up in Small Gate, California, a small neighborhood wihtin the Los Angeles area. After moving to Seattle, he earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. As a student, he self-initiated a year-long project that involved lobby UW’s top administration, together with fundraising that led to the concept and design of a permanent monument on the central campus. Later, he earned a JD degree from Western Michigan Cooley Law School.
Since its founding, GardnerGlobal, Inc. has grown from a team of one to nine, currently owns two companies, and is heavily involved in the community fabric of Seattle. In addition, Jaebadiah is developing a 115-unit affordable housing building and a 70-unit apartment building in Seattle. His focus is building business through investments, partnership and community. You can find him on social media repeating the mantra #BIY (Believe in Yourself).

Magdalena Fonseca
February 8

Magdelena Fonseca is the Interim Director for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity’s (OMA&D) Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center.

Magdelena has been particularly instrumental in leading OMA&D’s efforts to better serve and support undocumented students on the UW campus. Her early work in this area started quietly, but as time passed and laws changed, she helped bring greater visibility to both the needs of undocumented students and the ways in which faculty and staff can serve as allies. Her efforts have been led by the creation of the Kelly ECC’s Leadership Without Borders Center which offers a space for connecting undocumented students to campus and community resources, as well as leadership development resources and peer advising.

Fonseca’s contributions extend into the community as well. She is co-chair of the UW Latino/a Faculty Staff Association and through a partnership with a Seattle organization called YouthCare, has volunteered at a transitional home center where undocumented unattended youth stayed until being united with family.

Anita Johnson Connell
February 15

Dr. Connell completed her undergraduate degree, medical school and residency program at the UW, and has given back to her community both professionally and philanthropically. Since 1982, Dr. Connell has run her own private OB/GYN practice in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. She delivered babies until 2004 and now focuses primarily on surgery and office gynecology at her Johnson Connell Clinic for Women in the Nordstrom Tower. Among the highlights of her very successful career was delivering the youngest son and grandson of one of her UW mentors and friends, Dr. Samuel E. Kelly.

While she was an undergraduate student at the UW in the late 1960’s, Dr. Connell was among a group of African-American and minority students who chartered the first Black Student Union and in doing so, helped build a springboard for the development of what is now OMA&D. When she began her studies at the UW Medical School, she was part of the largest class of women to have ever been accepted to the program, but was just one of three African-American females. She overcame the challenges of opening up her own practice during a time when few female doctors even practiced in the Seattle area.

On top of juggling a solo practice and raising her family, Dr. Connell makes sure to always remain accessible to the community. She has been a keynote speaker for various events, raising awareness of women’s health issues and education. In addition to serving as a member of various professional associations, her most recent community involvement has focused on working with the Seattle chapter of Links, Inc., a predominantly African-American women’s organization that gives back to the community in many ways.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson
February 22