Following a national search, Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon has named Julie Putterman, a Chicago-based diversity consultant, as the county’s new inclusion manager.
Putterman, with more than 25 years experience in diversity issues, will be responsible for increasing cultural competence among staff as well as building strong relations with diversity and inclusion groups throughout Snohomish County and the Puget Sound region.
“After an exhaustive search of candidates, I’m pleased to have Ms. Putterman here at Snohomish County. Her past experience working on diversity issues in Chicago will be a strong base upon which we can continue to build our own inclusion programs,” Reardon said. “As our population grows and changes, so, too, must we change and find newer and better ways to serve our residents.”
This means working internally and externally to better understand the needs of different people groups calling Snohomish County home as well as continuing to increase opportunities for diversity and inclusion within county government, Reardon said.
For the Chicago Public Schools, Putterman designed and facilitated comprehensive school and community based strategic planning to improve a number of underperforming schools located in Latino and economically challenged neighborhoods. One of the keys to successful planning was brokering new relationships within and among the schools, as well as with nonprofit agencies and other groups reflecting a wide range of cultural perspectives and lifestyles.
While director of community ventures with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago, Putterman provided leadership and program management for community organizing, human rights issues and government accountability. Her oversight led to better affordable housing and economic-development initiatives.
“Driven by a passion for social justice, I’ve spent many years organizing and community building on a wide range of diversity issues in Chicago and Washington, D.C.,” Putterman said. “I’m thrilled to be working with the County Executive and staff to continue learning about Snohomish County, while supporting the thousands of concerned residents and businesses who are committed to broad inclusion and greater civic engagement in this vital area of the Pacific Northwest.”
During her full-time professional career, Putterman also has run a successful planning and policy consultant business with clients such as the Chicago Coalition of Site-Administered Child Care Centers, Chicago Partners for Children, Centers on Families and Public Policy, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute.
“Understanding better how to serve and work with different groups of people will make us more effective and efficient,” Reardon said. “Everyone who lives in Snohomish County benefits from this.”
Snohomish County’s diversity goals, as adopted in 2012 by the county’s Diversity Council, include recognizing the increasing diversity of the county’s residents; providing equitable and high-quality services; reflecting the diversity of residents in the workforce; being alert to and respectful of cultural and personal differences within the workforce and the community; and striving to have a culturally competent workforce.