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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Wed. Jun. 7 - 5:12 am
Tue. 06/06/23
Bellevue School District Swears-In Dr. Kelly Aramaki as Incoming Superintendent
Bellevue SD - 06/06/23 5:24 PM

Aramaki progresses from student, educator, administrator, to now district leader – official swearing-in

BELLEVUE, Wash. — On Thursday, June 8, 2023, Dr. Kelly Aramaki will be sworn in as Bellevue School District’s 18th Superintendent. Led by school board members, Dr. Aramaki will take his oath of office at Wilburton Instructional Service Center, located at 12241 Main St. Bellevue, WA 98005, at 6:15 pm. He will begin the role as superintendent on July 1. The BSD community is invited to celebrate this special occasion.

Most recently serving as the Assistant Superintendent at the Bellevue School District, Dr. Aramaki has a long history in the field of education. Throughout his career, Dr. Aramaki has also served as a teacher, principal, and executive director of schools. In each role, he has shown dedication to the service of students and staff, collaborating with each group to create positive, inclusive and equitable school environments where students excel academically, socially and emotionally. Dr. Aramaki’s professional accomplishments include the National Milken Educator Award, 2013 Washington State Elementary Principal of the Year, and the 2013 Northwest Asian Weekly Visionary Award. 

In an address to BSD educators, Incoming Superintendent Dr. Kelly Aramaki shares his commitment to district staff, students and families, his vision for a future of flourishing in the Bellevue School District, and the five priorities that will help us get there. The five priorities are: 

  • Student and Staff Well-Being
  • Beloved Community in Bellevue
  • A Generation of Solutionaries
  • Innovation – Dream It. Do It.
  • Cultivating Joy

Dr. Aramaki also shared, “We have the opportunity in Bellevue to create what Dr. King refers to as ‘The Beloved Community.’ He describes the Beloved Community as a place where people truly care for one another, absent of hunger, poverty and hate. Our kids are asking for this in order to learn, thrive and belong. If we follow our kids’ lead, we have the chance in Bellevue to deliver on Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community.” 

On his family legacy of a collective 123 years and 5 generations in the Bellevue community — and a considerable amount of time in the school system, Dr. Aramaki remarked, “It is a dream to be able to serve as superintendent in Bellevue — the city where I live and grew up in. My family is one of the earliest Japanese American families in Bellevue, with my great grandfather having immigrated from Japan in 1900. Before WWII and the Japanese Internment, my grandfather graduated from Bellevue High School. After the war, my father graduated from Sammamish High School. I graduated from Newport High School. And I have a daughter who is a freshman at Interlake High School. I love the Bellevue School District and this community with its extraordinary diversity, culture and support for education. To be able to serve our community as superintendent is the greatest privilege and honor.” 

The Bellevue School District is a diverse and dynamic district in East King County, Washington. Its mission is “To serve each and every student academically, socially, and emotionally, through a rigorous and relevant education that is innovative and individualized. As a learning community that values one another’s humanity, we strive to provide courageous support for an equitable and exceptional education for all students.”   




Mon. 06/05/23
Urban League Hosts 38th Annual Career Connections Job Fair
Urban League of Portland - 06/05/23 12:56 PM

The Urban League of Portland brings together career seekers and employers from all sectors for the 38 th
Annual Career Connections Job Fair on June 8, 2023. The fair will be held in person at the Crowne Plaza
Hotel located at 1441 NE Second Avenue Portland, OR 97232. No-cost registration is required for job
seekers. All are welcome regardless of experience, race, age or physical ability.
Hundreds of diverse career seekers will have the opportunity to talk with potential employers who will be
onsite to discuss their companies and current job vacancies. The Urban League partners with
participating employers that are as diverse as the career seekers who attend. A broad range of positions
and industries will return this year.

To help career seekers prepare for the fair, the Urban League is offering workshops to help prepare
resumes and practice interview skills. Employers can also learn more about recruiting top candidates.
President and CEO of Urban League of Portland Nkenge Harmon Johnson, Esq. says the 2023 38 th
Annual Career Connections Job Fair will provide attendees the chance to connect with many of our
region’s best employers. “Our job fair offers a great opportunity for Urban League program participants
and community members to gain living wage employment in a variety of attractive sectors.”
In addition to job opportunities, the Urban League Career Connections Job Fair will feature giveaways
throughout the day including chances for registered attendees to win an iPads and other terrific prizes to
support their career path. Employers from across Oregon and Southwest Washington are returning as
sponsors including Central City Concern, Legacy Health, Northwest Natural, OHSU, Portland Parks and
Recreation, Trillium, and We Are Better Together.
CEO and President of Urban League of Portland Nkenge Harmon Johnson, Esq. encourages everyone to
register and share their talents with employers. “This event is not only for the unemployed, but also for
those that are currently employed and looking for a change,” she says.
Both career seekers and hiring employers may register on the Urban League of Portland’s website at
www.ulpdx.org. Also find information about recruiter sponsorship packages. Employers and job seekers
often say that this is the best career fair in the region.

About the Urban League: President Nkenge [pronunciation: neh-KENG-eh] Harmon Johnson, Esq., is
the third longest serving leader of the Urban League of Portland, began her service in 2015. Under her
leadership, the Urban League was recognized as the highly coveted #1 Nonprofit Workplace by Oregon
Business magazine.
The organization’s impact has grown by ten times since the start of President Harmon Johnson’s tenure.
With a dedicated team of professionals, the Urban League helps African Americans and others to achieve
equality in education, employment, health, economic security, and quality of life across Oregon and
Southwest Washington.

Thu. 06/01/23
Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards Community Grants to 78 Nonprofits
Umpqua Bank - 06/01/23 2:00 PM

2023’s first cycle of grants issued as part of $20MM philanthropic commitment following transformative merger with Columbia Bank

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., (June 1, 2023)—In its first community grants cycle of 2023, the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization of Umpqua Bank, under the parent company Columbia Banking System, Inc., has awarded 78 grants to local nonprofits across its footprint totaling $417,000.

Umpqua’s community grants this cycle support nonprofit organizations across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada, and are part of the Bank’s overall foundation and corporate giving program that has invested $17.4 million in communities since the foundation was formed in 2014.  

“Each of the nonprofits selected displays an exemplary service mindset and a deep commitment to improving economic prosperity for under-resourced individuals, families and small businesses,” says Randy Choy, vice president of philanthropy programs and managing director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “We’re honored to partner with them by investing in their critical work, and we look forward to supporting many more organizations in 2023 through our giving and volunteerism programs.”

This is the first of three grant cycles in 2023, and the first cycle following the close of the merger between Umpqua Bank and Columbia Bank in March of this year. Following the completion of the merger, Umpqua Bank and parent company Columbia Banking System disbursed $20 million to the charitable foundation to sustain the foundation’s historic charitable giving levels and activate millions more each year.

“The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation is central to how we will continue to show up in support of each and every community we serve,” says Umpqua Bank Chief Marketing Officer David Moore Devine. “We issued this initial $20 million disbursement to the foundation at the outset of our future together to strengthen our commitment and ensure we will continue investing in our communities with greater impact and scale in the years ahead.” 

This cycle’s recipient organizations were selected from among hundreds of applicants, with a demonstrated commitment to improving economic prosperity for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses in at least one of the following areas: college, career and technical readiness; financial competency; housing stability and homeownership; entrepreneurship and business expansion; small business support and financial guidance; family engagement and resiliency; vibrant and equitable neighborhoods; and technical and digital connectivity. 

Learn more, including application deadlines and guidelines for our next community grant cycles, at www.umpquabank.com/our-impact/partnerships/ 

The following recipients received grants between $5,000-10,000: 


Adelante Mujeres
Arts Council of Pendleton 
Assistance League of Klamath Basin
CASA of Douglas County
Childrens Healing Art Project, Inc.
Community LendingWorks
Connected Lane County
Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. 
Free Geek
Girls Inc of the Pacific Northwest
Housing Northwest, Inc.
Kor Community Land Trust
Neighborhood Nonprofit Platform (No One Left Offline)
Northeast Oregon Economic Development District
Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc.
Portland Housing Center
Reach Community Development, Inc.
Reedsport Church of God
Schoolhouse Supplies, Inc.
SE Works, Inc. (BankWork$)
SMART Reading
Wallowa County Business Facilitation


Asia Pacific Cultural Center
Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin
Communities Rise
Ellensburg Downtown Association
Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Seattle)
Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Tacoma)
Homestead Community Land Trust
Interfaith Hospital Network (Family Promise of Spokane)
Junior Achievement of Washington (Franklin County)
Junior Achievement of Washington (King and Spokane Counties)
Pizza Klatch 
SNAP Financial Services
South Sound Outreach Services
Swan Vocational Enterprises
Tacoma Urban League
United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties
United Way of Lewis County
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Vanessa Behan
Wing Luke Memorial Foundation
Youth Eastside Services


Boys & Girls Clubs of Contra Costa
College Track
Diablo Valley College Foundation
Financial Beginnings (California)
Friends of the Children-Los Angeles
Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
JVS-SoCal (BankWork$)
Mission Bit
Mutual Housing California
North Marin Community Services
Opportunity Junction, Inc.
Orange County Community Housing Corp
Petaluma Ecumenical Properties
Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services
Shelter Providers of Orange County, Inc.
Stand Up for Kids
The Tower Foundation of San Jose State University
TMC Community Capital
United Way of the Bay Area
Up Valley Family Centers of NAPA County
Valley Contractors Workforce Foundation
West Enterprise Center, Inc.
Womens Empowerment
Working Solutions CDFI
Yuba Sutter Economic Development Corporation
Zero 8Hundred, Inc.


Boise Rescue Mission
Habitat For Humanity International, Inc. (North Idaho)


Arts for All Nevada
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada


About Umpqua Bank 
Umpqua Bank is a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc., and a premier regional bank in the Western U.S., operating in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. With over $50 billion of assets, Umpqua combines the resources, sophistication and expertise of a national bank with a commitment to deliver personalized service at scale. The bank consistently ranks as one of America’s Best Banks (ranked by Forbes) and supports consumers and businesses through a full suite of services, including retail and commercial banking; Small Business Administration lending; institutional and corporate banking; equipment leasing; and wealth management. The company is headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and trades under the ticker symbol COLB on the Nasdaq. Learn more at https://www.umpquabank.com.

About the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation
The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization of Umpqua Bank, recognizes the importance of building healthier, more resilient, better connected and inclusive communities throughout the eight-state footprint. It works to strengthen the communities Umpqua Bank serves by investing in organizations and initiatives that expand access to education and create economic opportunity for individuals, families and small businesses. The foundation was formed in 2014 to demonstrate Umpqua’s deep commitment to the communities it serves and has distributed more than $17 million across the bank’s footprint.