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Craig W. Cole
Craig Cole is the President and CEO of Brown & Cole, Inc. (an investment firm), a business consultant, and the retired CEO of Brown & Cole Stores of Bellingham, Washington, a regional supermarket chain.
Mr. Cole graduated from Western Washington University's Fairhaven College. He was a state legislative aide and held management positions with the State of Washington and Foss Launch and Tug Company before joining Brown & Cole as Vice President in 1979, becoming its President and CEO in 1989. Mr. Cole has been a local elected official and has received several assignments from Washington's Governors, including appointment to the Governor's Kitchen Cabinet and Transition Teams, the State Human Rights Commission, Board of Trustees of Western Washington University, Governor's Commission on Early Learning, and the Governor's Commission on Employment of the Handicapped. He has also served on a blue ribbon panel on state school construction funding, on the State Public Lands Advisory Committee, and on the Washington State Energy Strategy Advisory Committee. In his home area of Whatcom County, he led a citizen task force in developing and implementing a long-range plan for preserving highly valued natural areas.
Craig served on the Board of Directors of Puget Sound Energy (Washington's largest energy utility), on the Washington Roundtable (an organization of 50 CEOs of Washington's top companies who are involved in shaping public policy), and now serves (by gubernatorial appointment) on the ten-member Board of Regents of the University of Washington. He is President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He formerly served as a member and Chair of the Board of Directors of Associated Grocers, Inc., of Seattle.
Brown & Cole is the recipient of numerous local, state, and national awards for entrepreneurship, strategic leadership, and public service. Craig has been named Citizen of the Year (Whatcom County Board of Realtors), Business Newsmaker of the Year (Bellingham Herald), Businessperson of the Year (Whatcom County Business Pulse Magazine), one of 100 newsmakers in a Century of Community History (Bellingham Herald), and Western Washington University's 18th Distinguished Alumnus (2002). He was also awarded the prestigious Spirit of America Award for Washington State for civic leadership (National Grocers Association); and, in 1994, he was spokesperson for a delegation of business leaders who met at the White House with President Clinton on the topic of healthcare reform. In 2004, he was given a "Builder of Bellingham" award by the City of Bellingham and Western Washington University. Craig has published articles and made presentations on leadership, human resources and corporate responsibility in several venues.
Craig and his wife, Sue, live in Bellingham, Washington, and have three daughters.
- Appointed by Governor Gary Locke from March 20, 2003 to September 30, 2007
- Confirmed by Senate on April 22, 2003
- Reappointed by Governor Christine Gregoire from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2013
- Confirmed by Senate on March 5, 2008