Mary Alice Heuschel
Kathy Elser ‘89
College of Business Kathy Elser is senior vice president and chief financial officer for the Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU). Elser, who earned her CWU bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1989, has led BECU to unprecedented growth during the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression. BECU had an 80-percent increase in net income, a 7.8-percent increase in deposits, and 7-percent increase in loan originations last year. Elser was named “CFO of the Year” by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2012. Elser is very active in the community, serving on the boards of Prime Alliance Solutions, Inc. and the CWU College of Business Advisory Board. She also has volunteered with the Seattle Chapter of the Washington State Society of CPAs and King County Chapter of Credit Unions.
Mary Alice Heuschel ‘97
College of Education and Professional Studies Governor Jay Inslee agrees with CWU: Mary Alice Heuschel is a remarkable woman. In November, the governor named Heuschel chief of staff—one month after CWU honored her as a distinguished alumna for 2012. Heuschel earned her principal’s certificate and program administrator’s certificate from CWU in 1994. As superintendent of the Renton School District, she garnered wide recognition for bringing to the district a quality-improvement system similar to Lean, a private-sector method for continuous improvement. She was Washington State Superintendent of the Year and a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year, and she served as deputy superintendent for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Penny Hitchcock ‘75
College of the Sciences Penny Hitchcock graduated from Central in 1975 with a degree in biology from the College of the Sciences. Hitchcock has served as the chief of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Program at the National Institutes of Health, and was a senior associate at the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Currently, Hitchcock is the chief scientist for BioWatch, a federal program set up to detect biological terrorist attacks in the United States. Hitchcock was unable to attend the celebration. Lindsay Andreotti, a member of the Alumni Association board and a graduate of the College of Sciences, accepted the award on her behalf.
Nominate a Peer Nominations for next year’s awards celebration can be submitted by alumni, former students, friends, faculty, and staff. Final selection is made by a committee that includes representatives from CWU’s administration and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. There are no restrictions on the number of nominations that can be submitted by an individual. Please visit cwu.edu/alumni for more information.
c W U connections
Central Washington University