WAC Magazine

August 2014

Issue link: http://www.wacmagazine.com/i/352688

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Page 28 of 60

AUGUST 2014 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | 31 KIP SPENCER BRINGS DOWNTOWN EXPERTISE AND LOVE FOR OUTDOORS TO WAC'S TOP POSITION HAD KIP SPENCER STAYED on the Olympic Peninsula, his childhood home, chances are he would have been a third generation lumberman. Early mornings among foggy timber stands could easily have replaced the path Kip took instead. In many ways, the 2014–2015 Chairman of the WAC Board of Governors is the most unlikely commercial real estate professional downtown Seattle has ever seen. Even when his family moved to Tacoma, the call of the forest was never far, just across the old Narrows Bridge that took him back to the Elwha River, a place he grew up casting live bait for trout between two aging dams that have since been demolished. It wasn't until college that urban life stuck. Kip found his way to the south bank of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Seattle Pacific University offered the intimacy he sought but provided something else, too. In Port Angeles, Kip grew up fascinated by the Seattle skyline. During frequent trips to the city for medical treatment needed by his sister, he stood mesmerized at the windy bows of the big ferryboats that drew slowly across Puget Sound. "I've always had a passion for commercial real estate," he said during a recent interview at his office in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood. "The irony is that it started when I lived in Port Angeles." Staring at the skyline, a boy's daydreams gave rise to what would become the man's career. Kip didn't just want to admire the tall buildings he saw. He wanted to know their names. Eventually, he also wanted to know their tenants and how much they paid per square foot. But that all came later. At Seattle Pacific, Kip met Ron Boyce, one of the top urban planning professors of his time. It was the mid-1980s, an era of dramatic change to the Seattle horizon. Between 1985 and 1989, the Columbia Center, KIP SPENCER WAC Chairman, 2014–2015 WAC member since 1990 Board of Governors, 2002–2008, 2010–present (Chairman Elect, 2013–2014) Executive Committee Treasurer, 2012–2013 Finance Committee Chair, 2012–2013 Membership & Marketing Committee, 2001–2005, 2009–2012 (1st Vice Chair, 2003–2005, 2011–2012; 2nd Vice Chair, 2010–2011) House Committee, 2005–2009 (1st Vice Chair, 2005–2008) Bylaws Committee, 2002–2005 Athletic Committee, 1997–2001 leader M A R K E T Written by DARRICK MENEKEN Photography by BARBARA KINNEY

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