COLLEEN FUCHS `86
Executive director, joya child & Family development
(formerly Spokane guilds' school)
Working for Joya Child & Family Development is both a blessing and a huge responsibility that Colleen (Thompson) Fuchs `86 embraces with enthusiasm. Named Executive Director of Joya in July 2019, Fuchs says every piece of her life and career path led her to the leadership position she now holds. Joya is a nonprofit, comprehensive assessment and therapy center for children ages birth to 3 years old who have developmental disabilities and delays.
“I value people and relationships. Seeking the commonality we all share, regardless of background or place in life, and regardless of what brought them to Joya,” she said. Community goes hand-in-hand with the mission of Joya. “We are all part of a community. And as a part of that community, we are privileged and accountable.”
That seed was planted by her family and her experience at Gonzaga Prep. “It’s the path my family set me on. It’s where I learned how to be who I am. There was a depth to my education at Prep. A well-roundedness that is all about caring for other people.”
With Joya, there is such an opportunity for more, better services. To that end, Joya has embarked on a capital campaign to build a brand new facility in Spokane’s University District that will double its capacity and meet a growing need for their services.
“We’ve always been frugal, but there’s a greater need,” she said. “This place couldn’t have a better mission.”
WENDY GREGORY `14
Executive Associate at Touchmark
When Wendy Gregory chose Sullivan Park Assisted Living for her community service the summer before her senior year, she had no idea the retirement industry would be so interesting. “I’m fortunate – I found my passion really quickly,” she says. “I’m in the minority because most people don’t.”
After earning her degree in business administration from the University of Montana and persistence in pursuing opportunities in the retirement industry, she secured a job at Touchmark on Spokane's South Hill. Touchmark saw that passion and potential in Gregory too, selecting her to be among 5 young professionals who are learning the business in a new 3-year executive training program.
Gregory says her path to success at Touchmark is thanks in no small part to her Gonzaga Prep education. “The core behind everything Prep stands for and the sense that it holds you to a responsibility that when you are in class you show up on time, when you get there it’s time to roll. Leading into college I just felt so ready for all of those tests, Prep really does structure you for that.”
And as a leader on the soccer field and the basketball court, she had to learn balance with academics at Prep. “That’s so huge, especially being a young adult, stepping into a career. It’s a big change.”
Evidence she’s passionate about her chosen career, “Sometimes I have to remind myself of the business aspects of the job,” she says.