Northwest Workforce Council adds new board members

The Northwest Workforce Council announced the addition of new members to its board May 9.

The council’s business-member majority works in close association with local elected officials to provide oversight of the workforce development system in Island, Skagit, Whatcom and San Juan counties. It sets strategic direction and goals for the oversight system and monitors the performance of a wide array of employment and training programs operating within the region.

The council and its partner organizations work with economic development entities to ensure the vitality of the region’s labor force and economy. Sector and geographic distribution of the Council’s membership is determined by the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

The organization is online at

Northwest Workforce Council board additions 

-Nancy Steiger, CEO and chief mission officer for PeaceHealth, Whatcom region

Steiger has led PeaceHealth’s operations in northwest Washington since 2007. Previously she spent five years as CEO of San Mateo Medical Center following service as chief operating officer at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital/St. Joseph Health System, both in northern California. She received her master’s degree in nursing at the University of California-San Francisco. Nancy is the author of “Self-Care Nursing: Theory and Practice.”

-Greg Baker, superintendent of the Bellingham School District

Baker comes to Bellingham Public Schools from Portland, Ore., where he served as a deputy superintendent. He has also served as an intern and special assistant to the superintendent of Boston Public Schools and as an administrator for Spokane Public Schools. He began his career in Alaska as a teacher and assistant coach. Baker received his doctorate from Harvard University; a master’s degree in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University; and a master’s degree in secondary education from Western Washington University. He earned his bachelor’s degree with distinction from Gonzaga University.

-Hart Hodges, vice president at Waycross Management Investment

Hodges is responsible for investment research and statistical analysis at Waycross. He is also an associate professor of economics at Western Washington University, where he is director of the Center for Economic and Business Research. His research interests include health economics, local economic development, and natural resource and environmental economics. Hodges received his doctorate in economics from the University of Washington, his master’s in environmental management from Duke University, and his bachelor’s from Williams College. He is past president of the Association of University Business and Economic Research and a member of the National Association of Business Economists.

-Gregg Davidson, CEO of Skagit Valley Hospital

With 30 years of experience, Gregg Davidson serves as CEO of Skagit Regional Health, which includes Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Regional Clinics. Gregg holds a bachelor’s  from the University of Washington and a master’s of in health care administration from Trinity University in
San Antonio. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a board-certified health care executive. He currently serves as the ACHE regent representing the state of Washington, as delegate to the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board and as a board member on the
Washington State Hospital Association.

-Tom Rizzo, refinery manager at Shell Puget Sound Refinery

Rizzo was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. In 1981, he earned both a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and an MBA in finance from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. He started with Shell in 1981 as a process engineer at the refinery in Wood River, Ill., and has held several positions within
Shell during his 30 years with the company.

-Jamie Stephens, San Juan County Council member

While his term began in January 2011, Stephens has been active in the San Juan Island communities since arriving 14 years ago. After a career as business manager at Mancini & Groesbeck in Salt Lake City and Seattle, Jamie and his family moved to Lopez Island, where they owned and managed the Edenwild Inn. From 1999 to today, he has managed residential and commercial real estate on Lopez Island. He received a degree in American studies and
communications from the University of Notre Dame in 1978. He also attended executive finance classes at the Wharton School at the University of = Pennsylvania.

-Jack Louws, Whatcom County executive

Louws began his term as executive in January 2012. He previously served four years on the Lynden City Council and eight years as Lynden’s mayor. Louws has chaired the Whatcom Council of Governments, Small Cities Caucus and Growth Management Advisory Board, has and served on boards of
the Whatcom Transportation Authority, the Economic Development Investment Council and the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. He is the owner of Louws Truss and served as its CEO from 1982 to 2010.



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