• Sue Krienen and Flora Perez-Lucatero honored with Skagit Change Maker Award

    September 19, 2022

    On September 14, 2022, Sue Krienen and Flora Perez-Lucatero were recognized as the 2021 and 2022 Skagit Change Maker award recipients at McIntyre Hall for their significant contributions to the Skagit community and their action-oriented, boundary-crossing, solution-focused community work and “do it now” ethic.

    Their awards were presented during the annual Powerful Partnerships event organized by Skagit County’s Population Health Trust. With nearly 100 community members in attendance, the event celebrated Skagit County’s resiliency through the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted the newly funded priorities of the 2022 Community Health Assessment and COVID Recovery Plan, and served as a call to action for community members to act and make a difference in our community.

    The Skagit Change Maker Award, inspired by the life of Terry Belcoe, who passed away in 2016 from cancer, honors his life and continues his legacy of supporting the local community by acknowledging members of the community who are making a difference.

    “Terry convened people and inspired us to see the strength of speaking with one voice to strengthen our community. As CEO of North Coast Credit Union, he had plenty of work in his day job, but his heart was always about how to go beyond banking to improve peoples’ lives in Skagit County,” said County Commissioner Lisa Janicki. “Terry’s legacy will live on as we applaud those influencers who choose to serve the most needy without seeking recognition.”

    Krienen and Perez-Lucatero were two of the many worthy nominees for the annual Skagit Change Maker award and were selected unanimously by the five-person committee represented by Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC), United Way of Skagit County, Community Action of Skagit County, North Coast Credit Union, and Skagit County Public Health.

    Sue Krienen is committed to a multi-generational approach to community change through her philanthropy, service on countless boards and committees, and her impactful community work. As a long-time member and two-time Board President of United Way of Skagit County, Sue helped lead the transition to a key initiative approach, focusing on improving early childhood outcomes. Later, she led the development, funding, and opening of the Skagit Valley College - Sue Krienen Early Learning and Childcare Center to address the shortage of childcare facilities and promote the training of early learning professionals. “The project could not have come to fruition without Sue’s leadership, passion, and vision,” says Deborah Lancaster, former Executive Director of United Way of Skagit County.

    Additionally, Krienen served on the EDASC Board and is an alumnus of Leadership Skagit. Currently, Krienen is a Senior Advisor at Pilko & Associates and serves as Vice President of the Soroptimist International of Burlington. She continues to mentor upcoming leaders and facilitate turn-around operations for refineries.

    Flora Perez-Lucatero is an admirable leader grounded by her innate, evolving quest to serve others and empower them to reach their full potential. Her bicultural upbringing, her family’s ability to overcome personal hardships, previous experience working with at-risk youth, and understanding of her community’s migrant population pointed her in one direction. At the age of 26, Perez-Lucatero founded Children of the Valley (COV), a Mount Vernon based nonprofit that provides safe and supportive after-school programming for children. Sixteen years later, Perez-Lucatero now serves as the Executive Director of COV.

    With the belief that every action can create a ripple effect, Perez-Lucatero’s leadership has led to measurable success for COV students including improved school attendance and an overall increase in the school district’s graduate rate. But Perez-Lucatero’s impact is not isolated to COV. She also is an active community member, serving on numerous boards and committees including the Skagit Valley College Board of Trustees, the Skagit Valley Hispanic Multi-Disciplinary Board, the META Performing Arts Board, Madison Elementary School Site committee, the West View PTA, and the Mount Vernon-Conway Youth Baseball Board. Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, she was also successful in transforming COV’s fundraising efforts to support their five-year plan to expand the number of facilities in Skagit County.

    The Population Health Trust, United Way of Skagit County, EDASC, Community Action of Skagit County, and North Coast Credit Union were honored to once again have the opportunity to acknowledge and recognize community members who are making a difference.

    For information about the Change Maker Award or the Powerful Partnerships: Recovering Community Health event, please contact Kristen Ekstran at kekstran@co.skagit.wa.us or (360) 416-1524.

    Contact:
    Andrea Harrison
    aharrison@co.skagit.wa.us, 360-416-1500
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