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TAMMY YOUNG Vice President Human Resources, Alaska Airlines TAMMY YOUNG SPENT 24 YEARS IN THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTING industry before moving to Alaska Airlines in September 2012. Her responsibilities include talent acquisition and development, succession, compensation, and benefits for more than 10,000 employees. She joined the WAC in 1995, sits on the Board of Governors, and chairs the Food & Beverage Committee. Q How would you compare the business climate in the Pacific Northwest today to the climate two to five years ago? It's much more hopeful and confident. We are blessed to be the home of large established companies as well as emerging industries and enterprises. There is an air of cautious excitement again in the local business community. While we may never return to the same level of carefree optimism we had before the recession, most of the important economic indicators are pointing in the right direction. Q What lasting effects from the recession do you think will continue to impact businesses moving forward? Most businesses have recalibrated their operations to a "new normal." While we'd never wish for a recession, it certainly encourages cost discipline and careful decision-making. At Alaska Airlines, we've seen a nice bounce back in traffic, but we're also seeing more people capitalize on what we call "bleisure" travel—tacking a bit of fun and relaxation on to business trips to make for mini vacations. Q What business trends do you see emerging? I wouldn't categorize it as emerging, and it almost goes without saying: The influence of mobile is at the top of the list. The demand for mobile capability in the travel industry—both from consumers and our own employees—is staggering. Mobile capability has become the baseline expectation. In the coming year or two, I also think we'll see a lot of companies further engaging in employee wellness efforts because the payoff for wellness has been proven out. It's now a legitimate investment, not just a fad. My secret to success is: Positive personal energy! It has gotten me through a lot of challenges, including the battle I waged against cancer over the past year. My favorite place in the WAC is: That's a tough call. 5:30 am in the "medium lane" of Helene Madison Pool for solitude, or 7 am at the women's locker room "beauty bar" for socializing. Q You're uniquely positioned to speak to the hiring trends of one of the Pacific Northwest's most successful companies. What's the good news? We are very busy hiring right now, including for recruiting team members. Hiring recruiting talent is the true test of robust talent needs. We're also making a significant investment in technology professionals for our IT division and our e-commerce teams. We're hiring classes of pilots and flight attendants. We hire a lot of veterans. The military is a great source of talent for us. We are also seeing more and more employee referrals come through our doors. Employees may be hesitant to change jobs, but they're more likely to if a friend or family member has already tested the water. > FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | 29

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