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Seattle Business Series Co-Chairs

Sandra E. Madrid, PhD

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Dr. Madrid is serving part-time as Special Assistant to the Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity at the University of Washington. She retired from the University of Washington School of Law in August of 2013. She joined the Law School in 1989 and served as Assistant Dean for Students and Community Outreach for over 20 years and also served as Senior Advisor to the Dean for Diversity and Community Engagement. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Washington and her B.A. from Colorado State University in Pueblo. Community engagement is a passion for Dr. Madrid and she has served on numerous boards and commissions. Currently she is member of the Board of Directors of United Way of King County (past chair) and the YWCA of Seattle/King/Snohomish Counties (Chair Elect). She also serves on the Advisory boards of several nonprofit organizations.
She has enjoyed her public service commitment and has chaired several boards, three at the national level, including the National Hispana Leadership Institute, National Council for International Visitors and the Law School Admission Council, Minority Affairs Committee. She also was a founding member and first Chair of the Washington State Hispanic Bar Association, now known as the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington.
Dr. Madrid has received numerous awards both at the local and national levels. Awards include but not limited to: City of Seattle Latino Heritage Award; Ambassador of the Year Award at the United Way Spirit of Caring Celebration; President’s Award of the Latina/o Bar Association; Spirit of Service Award from the Northwest Indian Bar Association; Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Western Washington; Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association Commission for Minorities in the Profession; Leadership Tomorrow Edward E. Carlson Outstanding Alumna Award; one of 75 Distinguished Leadership Award winners from the National Association for Community Leadership; Outstanding Non-Lawyer Award from the King County Bar Association; Champion of Diversity Award from the King County Bar Foundation and the Excellence in Diversity Award from the Washington State Bar Association. She has been a presenter for various venues and in May 2007 she gave the commencement address at her alma mater, CSU-Pueblo.

 

Richard Romero

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Richard Romero is the President and CEO of Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union. His introduction to banking came from his mother, who worked at a bank while he was growing up in Peru. Her understanding of how banks work greatly eased their transition when they relocated to the United States several years later. While he did not grow up with the same reservations and mistrust that some immigrants have of financial institutions, Romero did experience other challenges of moving to a foreign country and learning a new language and culture.

At the age of 17, he took a job at Kmart, where the boss insisted that his nametag read Richard instead of his given name, Ricardo. It was one of several pivotal moments growing up when Romero personally confronted the discrimination, sometime subtle and sometimes not, that he and families like his would face as first generation immigrants in the United States. While times have changed, he is still keenly aware of the challenges others continue to face. It’s why he’s an ardent believer in helping minorities and immigrants feel a sense of belonging and achieve financial well being.

Romero has worked at nearly every position in different financial institutions all along the West Coast – Great Western Bank, Fidelity Federal Bank, Washington Mutual, and Telesis Community Credit Union. Through hard work and unfailing commitment to service he was promoted to COO at Firefighters First Credit Union in Los Angeles and then CEO of SMCU in 2012.

In 2015 he received the Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Award. He’s also served on several local councils and boards including the Year Up Leadership Council whose goal is to develop the skills and education of low-income young adults, Leadership Eastside Board of Directors and The Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. He enjoys giving back by mentoring and providing career guidance, having worked his way through the ranks.

As a person who always enjoyed the LA sunshine, he thought he could never live in Seattle. Today, Richard and his family love all that the Northwest has to offer, and are glad to call it home.

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#LSBS #Seattle 5/26 7:30 am-3:30 pm

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