Event Aims to Celebrate Innovation and Expand Access to Education

BELLEVUE, Wash. – On October 21, 2011, City University of Seattle will host its third annual Innovations Gala. This event will be held at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, Washington.

Like CityU of Seattle’s mission, this event celebrates innovation and aspires to open new doors and improve access to education. For nearly 40 years, CityU has been committed to changing lives for good through education. We are thrilled to celebrate two local innovators, and introduce a keynote speaker who is a living testament to providing educational access and opportunities.

This year, we are presenting two Innovations Awards. The awards are going to:

DreamBox Learning. DreamBox is dedicated to helping students achieve better and faster math proficiency through intelligent adaptive learning™. Their mission is to radically transform the way the world learns by providing better educational tools for parents, teachers, coaches and administrators. Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO and president of DreamBox, will be accepting this award on behalf of DreamBox.

Dr. Kathy Johanson. A decorated philanthropist, seasoned business woman and a CityU faculty member and alumna, who is committed to ending the cycle of abuse toward women by offering scholarship opportunities through the sale of O Wine, is also an award recipient. Kathy is the co-founder and owner of O Wines, which donates 100 percent of its net profits to helping low income, high potential youth with a scholarship to any college in Washington state. As of this year, Kathy’s organization will have funded 40 scholarships.
Following these awards, we will hear from the Executive Director of Student and Family Support Services of the Kent School District, Israel Vela. CityU alum, he has been an educator for over 24 years, serving as a classroom teacher, staff development educator, elementary school principal and special services director. Throughout his time in education he has become known as a proactive leader whose actions exemplify true professionalism, conviction and innovation. To close, we will hear from a CityU student whose career path and life is being changed by the education she is receiving from CityU.
Throughout the evening there will be philanthropic opportunities for people to donate their time, expertise and/or money to a CityU scholarship fund.

This event is open to the public. To find out more about CityU of Seattle’s Innovations Gala, please go to

Press Contact: Tarsi Hall, CityU of Seattle PR/Communications Manager | 206.518.1843

Published October 13, 2011



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