Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

February 18, 2015

Colleen Fukui-Sketchley To Receive UW’s 2015 Odegaard Award

Colleen Fukui-SketchleyColleen Fukui-Sketchley, diversity affairs director for Nordstrom, has been named the 2015 recipient of the University of Washington Charles E. Odegaard Award.

Established in 1973, the Odegaard award honors individuals whose leadership in the community exemplifies the former UW president’s work on behalf of diversity. It is the only University and community-selected award, and is regarded as the highest achievement in diversity at the UW.

The award will be presented at the 45th annual EOP Celebration, Fête and Honors hosted by UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program (FEOP) on Thur., May 7. The dinner and scholarship fundraiser will be held at the Husky Union Building on the UW Seattle campus (5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. dinner).

“Through her leadership role in the private sector and dedicated service on UW volunteer boards, Colleen’s advocacy for diversity has made a tremendous impact both on campus and in the community,” said Sheila Edwards Lange, UW vice president for minority affairs and vice provost for diversity. “We are proud to celebrate her selfless commitment to social equity and education.”

eNews Button Spring 2015Fukui-Sketchley has been employed by Nordstrom since graduating from the University of Washington in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication. Her tenure began with a part-time sales position while she was attending the UW and after gaining experience in a variety of departments, found her calling in diversity affairs.

For 16 years, Fukui-Sketchley served as Nordstrom’s corporate diversity affairs specialist until being promoted to her current role in 2012. Her work focuses on developing and executing a comprehensive approach to diversity and inclusion through initiatives that support the entire company. She enhances Nordstrom’s commitment to diversity by weaving strategic elements into people, product and service initiatives.

A second-generation Husky born and raised in Seattle, Fukui-Sketchley’s deep commitment to giving back has been inspired by her family’s long-time efforts to do the same.  For over 12 years, she was a member of the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program (FEOP) Board of Trustees which promotes academic excellence for underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged students at the UW. Her FEOP tenure included terms as its president and vice president.

For six years, Fukui-Sketchley served on the UW Alumni Association (UWAA) Board of Trustees and was the youngest and first Asian American woman appointed UWAA president in 2010-2011. She helped launch UW Impact, UWAA’s legislative advocacy program, and continues to serve on its legislative advocacy committee.  She was also a member of the advisory committee that developed Viewpoint, an award-winning diversity magazine published by UWAA in partnership with the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity.

Fukui-Sketchley is a board member for the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, a national leadership consortium, and the U.S. Business Leadership Network, a national disability organization. She is currently serving a four-year term as an appointed member of the Governor’s Taskforce for Disability Employment which will provide a roadmap for increasing the employment of people with disabilities in the state of Washington.

“My number one goal is to ‘leave it better than I found it,’’ said Fukui-Sketchley, the youngest woman to receive the Odegaard Award. “This means elevating the topic of diversity at every opportunity and leveraging the power of leadership positions I’ve held to further the cause. I am incredibly honored to receive this award and will remain steadfast in my commitment to the UW for decades to come.”