The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Names 2013 Creative Leadership Awardees


The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Names 2013 Creative Leadership Awardees




SEATTLEDecember 10, 2013 - The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation today announced a new round of recipients for its annual Creative Leadership Awards, which recognize innovative nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Pacific Northwest who are taking risks and making a meaningful impact in their communities.

In its second year, the Creative Leadership Awards program recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate excellence, innovative approaches, and impact. Award recipients are creative, nimble, and bold and have implemented successful strategies to ensure their organization's long-term sustainability. Each awardee’s nonprofit organization will receive a $50,000 award from the Foundation.

“Creative leaders see change and uncertainty as opportunities,” said Susan M. Coliton, vice president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “These bold organizations and individuals are taking risks, and that allows them to succeed in their communities.”

The 2013 awardees are:

  • Lisa Daugaard, founder of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) in Seattle. In 2011, Daugaard created LEAD to give police officers another option before booking low-level drug or prostitution offenders into jail. Instead, through LEAD, officers can refer these individuals to social workers who work to stop the cycle of criminal activity.

  • Merris Sumrall, CEO of the Library Foundation in Multnomah County, Oregon. Like public libraries across the nation, Multnomah County Library faced a daunting challenge—the lack of stable, dedicated funding. A tireless leader, Sumrall and her organization brought together thousands of library supporters to achieve what some said was impossible – persuading politicians, philanthropists, opinion leaders and voters to support stable, permanent funding for Multnomah County’s award-winning library.

  • Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, Washington. In the face of system-wide budget cuts, this organization was committed to ensuring the customer experience wasn’t compromised. A team of collection management librarians and customer experience managers worked together to build and maintain a vibrant, relevant and customer-focused collection of books, movies and resources, allowing patrons to find what they want when they want it.

  • ReUse Works in Bellingham, Washington. This organization protects the environment by keeping appliances out of the waste stream while training and employing low-income workers. The business partners with 15 social service agencies and schools to provide work experience for low-income clients. The trainees help run the business which is 100 percent self-sustaining.

The awards are intended to shine a light on successful strategies that can be replicated by other non-profits, and tangible examples of how to implement sustainable change. These strategies include increasing the impact of the programs to benefit and advance their mission; implementing innovative business strategies or models that contribute to organizational sustainability; and involving multiple stakeholders in collaborative problem-solving to successfully address a critical community need.

Learn more about the Creative Leadership Awards program and recipients here.

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About The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Launched by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Jo Lynn Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $446 million to more than 1,400 nonprofit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, advance scientific and technological discoveries, and provide economic relief amid the downturn. For more information, go to

Ashley Wilson
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
(206) 342-2037