2012 EWU Alumni Awards | Inspirational Young Alumnus

This award is designed to recognize up-and-coming leaders among EWU’s young alumni (graduates within the past 15 years). Recipients demonstrate a commitment to excellence in post-academic life and a significant or ongoing commitment to extraordinary work, research or volunteerism. Criteria:
  • Nominee has attained significant prominence through professional endeavor, research, volunteerism and/or involvement within the local or global community or the university.
  • He or she has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the service of others.
  • Special consideration will be given for those who demonstrate significant initiative by starting innovative service projects, research, businesses or other original enterprises.
  • The nominee must have graduated from EWU within the past 15 years (1997-2011)
  • The nominee must be an alum of EWU.

The Alumni Association honors Lance Kissler as the first recipient of the Inspirational Young Alumnus Award. Lance is a 2004 graduate of EWU and is currently the New Media and Marketing Officer at Spokane Teachers Credit Union. He is a board member and communications committee chair for the Inland Northwest Business Alliance and the Marketing committee co-chair for SNAP’s capital campaign. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the community, including the Northwest Credit Union Association Spectrum Award for STCU new media campaign in 2011, the Portland Business Journal “Top 40 under Forty” runner-up and the Washington State Combined Fund Drive poster and cover design contest winner to name a few.

Professionally, Lance is also very active. He has shared his knowledge of social media with numerous organizations over the past few years, including the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce, Bastyr University and Willamette Valley Development Officers Conference. Lance also serves as a guest lecturer on public relations and social media. Longtime coworker, Barb Richey, describes Lance as, “talented, compassionate, innovative, accepting, creative and a forward thinking. Lance Kissler is the type of person that can bring a diverse group of individuals together to work towards a common goal, and have fun through any challenge. He works hard, harder than most, but you would never realize it. He is the most well-liked individual I have ever met. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Lance Kissler is someone we should all learn to emulate. I’m proud to call him a co-worker and a friend.”

Lance shared with us his thoughts on receiving this award:

What was your experience attending the Alumni Awards?
I loved the event space, not just because it’s a beautifully renovated building but because it brought back memories of my first year at Eastern. I remember my feet being at the ground level where the arched portion of the windows were, back when the reading room was actually two levels and there were classrooms upstairs (on the third floor). That’s where almost all of my Honors classes were held. It was a great experience to have this “full-circle” feeling come over me…how I first started my journey at Eastern there in the fall of 2000, and then came back 12 years later to celebrate everything that has happened since then. I also felt very honored to be recognized among such an inspirational group of award winners. I thought to myself, “Wow, these people have accomplished so much. I can only hope to achieve as much as they have.”

What does it mean to you to be the 2012 Inspirational Young Alumnus award winner?
I’ve now passed through the pillars of my personal and professional life, where it’s no longer about having a role model, but being one for others. Now it’s my turn to give back to my fellow alumni, students and others, just as much as my mentors have done so for me over the past three decades. It’s my turn to make a difference in their lives, by showing support, providing guidance and to advocate for them to have just as much of an opportunity for success as I have had.

Do you have anything you would like to say to the 2012 graduates?
Find your passion and pursue it. Never stop. Find every opportunity to better yourself and the world around you. Embrace new ideas, but remember what life has taught you by paying tribute to history. Learning never stops…so take advantage of every workshop, seminar and conference that you can. Friendships can mean the world. Remember the friends you’ve made, seek out new ones and always look for events where you can network with your peers. Be a part of the community. Whether it’s by donating your time, talent or resources, know that there are others out there who are not as fortunate as us, and it’s our duty as a citizen to look out for our fellow men and women. And in everything you do, ask yourself why you’re doing it. What kind of an impact are you making?

What is your biggest take-away from this experience?
My journey has only begun. I have years ahead of me, and many more experiences to gain, along with a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. I have the opportunity to start something big every day.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Every day is a great day to be an Eagle!

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