Building for the real world:
What diversity looks like for businesses built in Kitsap
This month we’re looking at the Big “D” — Diversity, and what it means to build a business for the real world from and beyond Kitsap. Questions on our mind:
“I want to build a diverse team, but honestly, I don’t know if that’s even possible here in Kitsap.”
“Does it even matter? Isn’t this whole diversity question just a passing fad?”
“What does ‘diversity’ actually look like to local businesses and their teams in their day-to-day work?”
“How have businesses been successful in growing their team’s awareness of equity and inclusion, and creating a company culture that supports that?”
Joining us are Alisha Weiss of Skyhawk Press, Lucretia Robertson of Women Who Rise, and Nick Johnson of Libro.fm—all local leaders are deep in the trenches of building strong companies who have juicy thoughts to share on diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to doing business in and beyond Kitsap.
Alisha Weiss is an accomplished engineer-turned-entrepreneur who has made a name for herself in the graphic design and sports merchandise industry. Growing up in an Air Force family, she never lived anywhere longer that 3 years at a time. After several years of working in her dream job at Boeing, Alisha began to feel restless.
Alisha began taking evening classes in graphic design and began experimenting with creating tshirts and other merchandise for her favorite sports team, Liverpool Football Club, as a hobby. Fast forward to today, Alisha now runs both her own graphic design company, Skyhawk Press, and the Anfield Shop, Liverpool FC’s official licensed store in North America, from her Poulsbo HQ.
The pandemic presented Alisha with a pressing challenge: How do you run a sports company when there aren’t any sports? While others may have sat back, Alisha leaned in, launching the Poulsbo Strong campaign, which aimed to provide local small businesses with cash to stay afloat and continue operations during the shutdowns. By the end of 2020, Skyhawk Press distributed nearly $50,000 directly to businesses in Poulsbo, further expanding the program to Kingston and Bainbridge Island.
Alisha lives in Poulsbo with her husband and three kids, and was named as one of South Sound Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 in 2021.
Women Who Rise
As a “talent cultivator and change instigator”, Lucretia Robertson is deeply interested in ensuring women make and take space as their own advocates, and is fortunate to have opportunities to connect women to what matters to them.
An experienced strategic leader and advocate for equity, Lucretia is the principal of Clarity Partnerships, a black-owned, women-led micro-consultancy firm that works with organizations desiring to elevate women’s visibility in leadership.
More recently, she is the founder of Women Who Rise, a nonprofit dedicated to elevating women-powered leadership by providing women of color, in informal and formal leadership roles, with access to positive mentorship, leadership development, board governance training and tools for confident and resilient leadership.
Connect with Lucretia on LinkedIn.
Download Lucretia’s Lighting Talk presentation slides below.
Nick is the Cofounder and Creative Director of Libro.fm.
Founded in 2014 with the goal to make it possible for customers to buy audiobooks through their favorite independent bookstore, giving them the power to keep money within their local economy, create jobs, and make a difference in their community.
Nick graduated from the University of Washington in 2003, and spends his free time with his wife and two daughters, or zooming around on his Italian scooter.
Connect with Nick on LinkedIn, or by email.
Download Nick’s Lighting Talk presentation slides below.
Special thanks to our partners
The Lunchtime Lighting Talks series is offered through the Matchstick Lab Microbusiness Accelerator program at Vibe Coworks. Funding for the Microbusiness Accelerator has been provided by the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA), thanks to a grant made by the Washington State Department of Commerce.