Business forum raises $130K for scholarships

Jim Sinegal, the co-founder, director and retired president and chief executive officer of Costco, speaks with WWU alumna and KING 5 TV news anchor Joyce Taylor at the WWU Business Forum April 26 in Seattle. Courtesy photo

WWU President Bruce Shepard speaks at the Seattle Business Forum on April 26. Courtesy photo

Western Today staff

Jim Sinegal, the co-founder, director and retired president and chief executive officer of Costco, was the keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Western Washington University Business Forum on Friday, April 26, at the Seattle Sheraton.

The event raised about $130,000 from event sponsorships, table sales and gifts. All proceeds go to WWU student scholarships.

Prior to co-founding Costco – the fifth-largest retailer in the United States and the country’s largest membership warehouse chain – with his business partner Jeff Brotman in 1983, Sinegal spent almost 30 years in retail, starting as an 18-year-old college student. Under Sinegal’s leadership, Costco became the first company to ever grow from zero to $3 billion in gross sales in less than six years, garnered a net profit in 2012 of $1.7 billion, and posted the lowest employee turnover rate of any retail chain.

The WWU Foundation hosts the Business Forum each year, featuring a noted business leader as keynote speaker. This event brings together corporate and civic leaders, alumni, and parents and friends who are interested in the University and business trends, with all proceeds going towards WWU student scholarships.

Sponsors of the 2013 Western Washington University Business Forum include title sponsor Moss Adams LLP, event sponsor Wells Fargo, and presenting sponsor Costco Wholesale.


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