Annual Breakfast & High Ground Award

The Annual C3 Leaders' Community Breakfast at The Bellevue Club is a gathering of C3 Members and business leaders who come together to share stories about transformation in Community, Commerce, and Culture.  We also recognize the Annual High Ground Award Recipient, a leader who brings the good news and values of Jesus to the marketplace and seeks to take the "High Ground" in all areas of his or her life.

The High Ground Award

Stories about people that have chosen to use their unique gifts to glorify God are both inspirational and instructive. Ralph Palmen is such a man. His life inspired C3 Leaders to create an annual award to recognize a leader who has used his or her gifts over their career to bring the values of Jesus to Commerce, Community and Culture.  This is the mission of C3 Leaders.


  • The person and/organization s/he leads has made a significant and sustained positive impact in the community and the market place; They’ve taken the HIGH GROUND.
  • The Person of Jesus is appropriately reflected in the organization/activity
  • Persuasive evidence exits the person is following the lead of the Holy Spirit in their High Ground pursuits
  • The person has been the or one of the primary leaders/influencers
  • Does not have to be a member of C3
  • Does not have to be a local person
  • Not a C3 board member or employee


  • To inspire and encourage Christian leaders to:
  • Be more purposeful and passionate in living the C3 mission and vision;
  • Recognize a person or organization that “takes the HIGH GROUND” and by so doing encourages others to use their gifts of leadership and influence to impact the marketplace with the values of Jesus.

2018 Award Recipient Jack McMillan

Jack McMillan led Nordstrom through a phenomenal growth curve of business, changing the landscape for luxury retail and demonstrating generosity at every level. Nordstrom has become a brand for excellence, service, and grace. Jack not only led this incredible company to the top but he has a lifetime of demonstrating compassion and care for the urban poor and a Jesus like love for others. Jack is a reconciler, a friend, and a leader in the Seattle region. Those serving the urban poor recognize that Jack is in their corner with a big heart. Jack seeks to see men and women everywhere learn that Jesus loves them and can transform them.

2017 Award Recipient Jim Larkin

Jim Larkin is the president and CEO of Romac Industries. Jim graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Business Administration which is also where he met his wife Barb of 41 years.  Together they raised two sons, Matt and Josh, and they are now enjoying their six grandchildren.

2016 Award Recipient George Toles

George Toles is a Seattle legend. NBA public announcer, marketing guru, radio personality, networker extraordinaire, and community leader. George was an NBA public address announcer at about a thousand games – two seasons with the Detroit Pistons and nineteen with the Seattle Sonics.  In addition to his sport side announcing, Toles had an outstanding career as a marketing executive, and is founder of His Deal, a twice-a-month luncheon in downtown Seattle where men can discover the person of Jesus in a safe, relaxed environment.

2015 Award Recipient Kendra VanderMeulen


Kendra was the first recipient of the High Ground Award. Bob Nuber, Chair Emeritus shares  some of the reasons she was chosen as the inaugural person to receive this award for having ascended to the High Ground of her profession. Here are just a few of her many accomplishments: Kendra helped pioneer the wireless industry having served as SVP of the Wireless Data business for AT&T Wireless (formerly McCaw Cellular Communications) and EVP of Mobile at InfoSpace . Kendra served as COO and President of the Communications Group of Convergys (formerly Cincinnati Bell Information Systems). Kendra was the recipient of the 1999 Catherine B. Cleary award as the outstanding women leader of AT&T. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors at both INRIX and B-Square, and has previously served as a board member of a number of other companies. Kendra holds a B.S. Degree in Mathematics from Marietta College and a M.S. in Computer Science from Ohio State University. She has been married to Bill Snider for 34 years and has two grown children, Rich Snider and Bess Navarrete, as well as one grandson, Oliver Navarrete.

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“It was great to reconnect with old friends, meet new people and hear powerful testimonies. It is all about Christ and Community and reaching out to as many as we can. I know that has been the mission of C3 Leaders and so many others in the room. It was an honor to participate.”