Lanie McMullin commends Trinity's service to local community, openness to diversity at Leadership Lecture

Feb. 26, 2013

Tuesday night, Trinity hosted Lanie McMullin, Executive Director of Economic Development for the city of Everett, as its second speaker in this year’s Leadership Lecture Series.

McMullin spoke to an audience of students, college staff and members of the community about her passion for building community in Everett and beyond.

Full of humor and wisdom, McMullin’s lecture focused on seven important things that make a healthy community, be it a city or a college. These include celebrating oneself, embracing diversity and inclusion, engaging in philanthropy and volunteerism, avoiding the scarcity model, communicating, being love-based rather than fear-based, and looking at all perspectives.

Audience members laughed at McMullin’s stories and resonated with her words as she talked about being a “passionate doer” with her many contributions to cities and organizations all around the country. McMullin credits growing up in a small town, Snowflake, Ariz., as the starting place for her desire to build and strengthen communities. It was there that she first experienced the kind of power and support members of a healthy community can offer to each other.

“There in Snowflake is where my passion began, my love of community,” McMullin said.

She encouraged her audience to celebrate their own strengths and accomplishments, while also looking out for the needs and passions of others.

“Anything you can do to make someone else win, you should do. You will rise with it,” she said.

She also stressed inclusion and the importance of diversity in a healthy community.

“If you’re doing it right, all voices have to have a place at the table, no matter how hard that is sometimes,” McMullin said.

Working for the mayor’s office in Everett, McMullin has been the lead strategist in recruiting and retaining indigenous growth in city businesses. Believing that the best economic development strategy is to make a memorable city where today’s workforce is clamoring to live, she has championed gathering spaces, festivals and events, and parks and plazas. McMullin is also the executive director of the Everett Performing Arts Center. Since 1998 she has been responsible for increasing events and economic growth.

Trinity’s Leadership Lecture Series, which is subtitled “Changing and Shaping Culture,” aims to host speakers who have been significant leaders and people of influence in their chosen professions, and whose work has transformed or shaped culture in a significant way.

McMullin has been an agent of change in Everett, relying on both her passion for the arts and her faith in the public process to bring about growth, development and revitalization. Her message to her audience was honest and inspiring, particularly for the many college students who attended the lecture.

“I loved Lanie McMullin’s focus on community and her reminder to be open to other people’s perspectives. For a healthy community to grow, we have to foster diversity and be open and supporting of each other,” said Kaja Harrison, a senior at Trinity majoring in Intercultural Studies.

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