Dennis Seinfeld Emerging Leader Award

1) How does this person demonstrate leadership qualities, values, and skills in our community?

Robbi Firestone’s passionate commitment to local economic development distinguishes her as an exemplary leader. With relentless drive and entrepreneurial intelligence, this Entrepreneur/Artist possesses an uncanny ability to inspire and enroll others in solid, mutually beneficial ideas with a joyful nature, high integrity and determined, results oriented outcomes.

Robbi acts as a premier ambassador of Tacoma’s burgeoning arts and culture scene. Locally she is emcee and media spokeswoman for Tacoma Art Place, and contributes time and talents to Goodwill, Children’s Hunger Fund and Rainbow Center among others. Firestone is a Board Member at the Center for Spiritual Living and participated as a Big Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Pierce County, helping her ‘little’ to receive full scholarship to Charles Wright Academy!

An internationally respected artist, Robbi is a selfless leader in the national arts community, and outside of Tacoma acts an ambassador for Tacoma. She demonstrates Tacoma’s artistic sophistication by voluntarily emceeing and making significant five figure, original art donations to charity events from Bellevue and Seattle to Los Angeles, like this week’s Friends of the Children Gala. Others include Washington Wine Festival, PONCHO Arts Matter, Camp Korey, Dress for Success, ESPY Foundation, Hopelink and Rainier Scholars. Robbi’s philanthropic outreach touches Los Angeles Hollywood Arts Council where she served on the Board of Trustees, Hollywood Education and Literacy Project, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Women Helping Women, Women in Film, and New York City’s Literary Assistance Center.

A ‘conscious capitalist’, Robbi contributes 10% to local, philanthropic causes. Her lifelong focus on to ‘giving back’ began before she received her first national award for volunteering at 16 years old as The Atlantic Bell Volunteer of the Year. She believes ‘We are all here to help one another.’

  1. 2.      What specifically has the person done to enhance our community through his or her leadership activities?

Robbi Firestone vision is extraordinary. She promotes Tacoma nationally as “the #1 Arts Destination in the Pacific Northwest,” and inspires enthusiasm around that vision. Owner of a formerly Los Angeles based, renowned portrait business, she is passionate about being a viable source of revenue generation by attracting outside arts investment dollars into Tacoma.  Her international clientele ranges from US to Europe, Canada to South Africa.

A brilliant communicator, Robbi was elected Co-Chair of the Accelerator Program in the International Business forum Entrepreneurs Organization. She actively recruits Tacoma’s most stellar business owners to participate in this esteemed organization which supports the growth of Tacoma firms and creates jobs.

Robbi is also currently:

Creating ‘Pritty Gritty Tacoma,’ blessed by Tacoma’s Economic Development Department, City Council members and the Volcano—an festival and gala to embrace Tacoma’s industrial nature while broadening appeal to young, entrepreneurial women.

Instigating symbiotic relationships between artists and property owners to promote beautification of downtown (like NYC’s model of the 42nd street 1990’s turnaround).

Collaborating with the Robert Daniel Gallery to create theme oriented events to introduce buyers to the local art community.

Running a ‘business salon for visual artists,’ to take their efforts to the next level.

Robbi spends much of her time mentoring artists and consulting small business owners. She has counseled local political candidates on media and marketing, and collaborated with leading, downtown developers, business owners and city officials to create the first ‘real, walking art walk’ in the theatre district. In June this year, Firestone relocated her studio/gallery a block from the Municipal building to directly confront the growing perception that ‘artists can’t survive downtown.’

Robbi often says, ‘The rising tide lifts all boats,’ when asked why she spends so much of her personal time supporting downtown business owners.

National media outlets have cited Robbi Firestone as America’s Premier Contemporary Portrait Artist. A master oil painter, Robbi travels worldwide painting luminaries and their families. Her internationally renowned client base consists of members of the Weyerhaeuser clan, Grammy award winner ‘Kebmo,’ and lead singer of the best selling rock band, Mercy Me, as well as many prominent business people in the region.

Before earning her UW Tacoma BFA, Robbi attended Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. After art direction in top Manhattan advertising agencies, she produced media projects in Hollywood. She was paired with Chihuly, Firestone was the featured art experience for Seattle’s PONCHO 2008 Gala.
Robbi’s mission is to empower, enrich and inspire others to live a more authentic, self-expressive, joy filled life every day. She teaches from Portland to Vancouver, Los Angeles to San Diego.

Robbi Firestone is an exemplary, enthusiastic, visionary ambassador for the thriving culture and art of Tacoma, WA with constant intent on bringing revenue and respect to our city.

4. Please list two other references that we can call.   List people who have personal knowledge of the nominee’s leadership.

Dawn Lucien   (253) 272-7582

Jamie Chase   (253) 732-4369

Linda Danforth   (253)756-5544


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