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Advisory Council

The WSU Health Sciences Spokane Advisory Council consists of members appointed by the Vice President for Health Sciences and the president of the university. The council’s primary mission is to foster closer ties between WSU Health Sciences Spokane, its alumni, the community, the region and the state. Council members participate in an advisory role and are not part of the formal governance of WSU. The Council meets quarterly.

Council members

Kelly Fukai , Chair
Regional Affairs – Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Kelly FukaiKelly was born and raised in Spokane, and is a proud “Spokanite.” She currently manages the Regional Affairs at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories where she identifies and prioritizes issues and promotes the company’s values and principles of operations to communities and governments at the regional, state, and local level.


Alisha Benson
President and CEO, Greater Spokane Incorporated

Alisha BensonAlisha Benson is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI). Alisha has been with GSI for 12 years. During her time at GSI, she has held roles as Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer, COO, VP of Education & Workforce, Executive Director of Spokane STEM, and Membership Director.


Elaine Couture
Providence Health & Services, Executive VP; Regional Chief Executive Washington & Montana, Providence Health Care, Chief Executive

Elaine CoutureElaine Couture oversees the nationally recognized Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital; two critical access hospitals in Colville and Chewelah; adult day health, 500+ physician multi-specialty and ambulatory practices, numerous joint ventures and hospitals in Missoula and Polson, Montana; Walla Walla, Olympia, Centralia, Everett and Richland, Washington. In addition, Couture serves as the chief executive for Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), Engage – a health technology company, and St. Luke’s Rehabilitation hospital.


Betsy Cowles
Chairman, Cowles Company

picture of Betsy CowlesBetsy Cowles is the chairman of Cowles Company, a fourth-generation family-owned media, forest products, real estate, and insurance company headquartered in Spokane. She directly oversees the broadcasting, insurance, and real estate divisions of the company, which includes television stations in Washington and California; insurance clients in the Pacific Northwest and several mid-west states; and downtown Spokane’s River Park Square retail development and office buildings and other developments in Spokane Valley.


Lars Gilberts
Spokane University District CEO

Lars GilbertAs the University District’s CEO, Lars is responsible for carrying out the mission and goals of The University District, providing strategic leadership, forming tactical partnerships and collaborations, managing the financial well-being of the organization, moving projects from creation to completion, and overseeing operations and staff.


Rich Hadley
Retired President/CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated

Rich HadleyRich Hadley is President Emeritus of Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the region’s chamber of commerce and economic development council, where he served as President and CEO for 21 years.


Rustin Hall
President/CEO, ALSC Architects

Rustin HallRustin is the President/CEO of ALSC Architects P.S., a Spokane / Coeur d’Alene architectural firm that has served clients locally, nationally and internationally for over 70 years. He joined the firm in 1993 after spending nine years practicing in the Seattle area, and joined the ownership of the firm in 2000. Rustin, his five business partners and staff of 45 provide master planning, pre-design/feasibility studies, architectural and interior design services for higher education, municipal, K-12, sports and recreation, government and private clients. Throughout his career, Rustin has focused on developing his expertise in integrated project delivery, leadership development and community support through volunteerism.


Latisha Hill
Director of Business Development for Avista Corp.
Latisha HillLatisha Hill is the Director of Business Development for Avista Corp. and a Senior Vice President for Avista Development, a subsidiary of Avista Corp. As a Senior Vice President at Avista Development, Latisha works to build economic vibrancy on behalf of the company. She is responsible for directing the strategic development and operations of non-utility properties to maximize return and contribution to the broader regional economy. She has more than two decades of experience working alongside communities, driving economic development, and leveraging her specialties in regional systems planning and policy.


Manuel Hochheimer
Assistant Vice President Corporate and External Relations, Numerica Credit Union

Manny HochheimerManny has over 15 years of Financial Industry experience that includes roles in Branch Administration and Regional Management, Commercial and Private Banking, Financial Advising and Investments, Legislative and Government Relations, Mergers and Acquisitions, External Relations, and Business, Economic, and Community Development. He has a diverse background in leadership, operations, development, lending, underwriting, sales, marketing and communications, and executive management.


Tom Johnson
Retired president/CEO of STCU

Tom JohnsonTom Johnson retired as President/CEO of STCU in 2017, having been associated with the credit union for over 23 years, first as a member of the Board of Directors, then as an executive, serving his final seven years as CEO. Prior to STCU, Tom served as Vice President for Business Affairs at Whitworth University for 17 years.


Jim Kolva
Owner at Jim Kolva Associates

Jim KolvaJim Kolva is the owner of Jim Kolva Associates, a management consulting firm in Spokane. He assists clients with land use policy, environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act, and renovation of historic buildings in downtown Spokane.


Katherine Morgan
Senior Vice President, Spokane-Idaho Market Manager, Bank of America

Katherine MorganKatherine serves as the Spokane-Boise Market Manager for the Bank of America Local Markets Organization. In this role, she supports the local market goals of connecting businesses, families and individuals to the banking and investment teams that will help improve their financial lives. She also supports efforts to deploy Bank of America’s resources in the market to strengthen the community.


Tom Reese
Spokane Branch Manager, URS Corporation

picture of Tom ReeseTom Reese is the Spokane branch manager for URS Corporation, which provides engineering, construction, and technical services to public agencies and private sector companies around the world.


Susan Stacey
Chief Nursing Officer, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center

susan-stacey-for-webSusan Stacey is the Chief Nursing Officer at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s hospital.  In this role she oversees patient care in all areas of the hospital including the emergency and trauma services, adult critical care, adult acute care, women’s services, psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital.


Amber Waldref
Former Spokane City Council Member

Amber WaldrefAmber Waldref represented District 1 for the Spokane City Council. In that role, she was a member of the Spokane Transit Authority Board, the chairs of the Board of Health, Public Works Committee and the Spokane Regional Transportation Council.