The Peace Builder Awards are a distinct honor, highlighting remarkable efforts of people putting the pieces together for creative conflict resolution in our homes, our schools, and our community. Nominate a community member or group for contributions to local peace building this year. 

The selection committee is looking for nominees (individuals, groups, or projects) who have contributed to peace building in Whatcom County in one or more of the following ways:

  • Creatively resolving a conflict
  • Contributing to peaceful dispute resolution
  • Promoting reconciliation/healing
  • Building understanding between divergent people/groups
  • Contributing to increased peace, collaboration, and trust  

Please also note our nomination criteria: 

  • Nominee must live in Whatcom County
  • Previous award winners will not be considered

Check out this complete list of Past Peace Builder Award Recipients and videos of past recipients. Awards will be presented at the 16th Annual Peace Builder Awards on November 16th, 2018.

Nomination Deadline: August 10th, 2018

2017 Peace Builder Award Recipients 

Downtown Bellingham Partnership: Collaboration
For their commitment to foster relationships and nurture unity among businesses and the community at large

Karen Aislinn, PeaceHealth Medical Group: Healthcare
For building peace through exceptional emotional and social support for her patients and their families

Stephanie Lewis, Whatcom County Juvenile Court: Public Servant
For helping youth and families reduce conflict, connect, collaborate, and link with community resources

Whatcom Community Foundation: Organization
For its Project Neighborly initiative, bringing the community together to promote connection, neighborliness, and understanding

Portage Bay Partnership: Creative Conflict Resolution
For creative conflict resolution efforts between the Lummi Nation and Whatcom Family Farmers, resulting in a cooperative approach to improve water quality

Lindsey Karas, Sterling Meadows Apartments: Empowerment
For her steadfast commitment to the well-being of youth in the Sterling Meadows community

Homeless Outreach Team, Opportunity Council: Program
For building peace by creating connections, and meeting basic needs of some of our community’s most vulnerable

Bridge Builders: Cultural Connections
For their efforts to foster understanding and spaces of communion and connection between all faiths in Whatcom County

2016 Peace Builder Award Recipients 

2015 Peace Builder Award Recipients

  • Bruce & Cyndie Shepard, Western Washington UniversityPublic Servant AwardFor leadership and commitment to equality, empowerment, and communication.
  • Care Transition Nurses, Lynden Christian Healthcare Center Rehab Program, Healthcare Award For bringing peace of mind, body, and spirit to patients, families, and caregivers through compassionate and excellent communication, conflict resolution, and negotiation skills.

  • Geof Morgan, Collaboration Award - For strengthening our community, facilitating collaboration, and empowering individuals and organizations to creatively problem solve, and create lasting connections that affect positive change.

  • George Guerrero, Community Care Award – For building peace by helping to meet basic needs of the Lummi community through a variety of community services programs.

  • Heidi Alford, Advocacy & Inclusivity Award - For nurturing generations of peace-builders, encouraging openness, understanding, and acceptance among our community, and for helping ensure a safe and welcoming environment for our LGBTQ community members.

  • Whatcom County Support Officers, Nonprofit Award - For bringing peace to community members in times of tragedy.

  • Mehar Singh, Youth Award - For building community at Shuksan Middle School through collaboration, creativity, and communication.

  • Bellingham Public Schools, Education Award - For helping students learn to resolve conflict productively, reducing out of school suspensions, and incorporating restorative practices into their discipline model.

2014 Peace Builder Awards Recipients:

  • Maniac Coffee Roasting & Hammerhead Coffee Roasters, Creative Collaboration Award - For their efforts to step outside of a traditionally competitive business model and explore how collaboration can be mutually beneficial.

  • Sue Parrott, Bellingham-Whatcom Co. Commission Against Domestic Violence, Violence Prevention Award - In recognition of her decades of effort coordinating people, organizations, systems, and policies to affect positive change for those impacted by abuse.

  • Mayor Kelli Linville & County Executive Jack Louws, Public Servant Award - For their willingness and commitment to model collaborative leadership and proactively work together for the betterment of Bellingham & Whatcom Co. 

  • Betsy Gross, People for Lake Padden & Sierra Club, Volunteer Award - For her ability to bring people with diverse interests together to work toward a common goal of improving our environment and bettering our community.

  • Lindsay MacDonald, Sehome High School, Education Award - For her dedication to helping ELL students feel safe, secure, and connected. 

  • Alice Clark, The Sunnyland Stomp, Community Award - For her ability to unite a community through art, creativity, and shared experience.

  • Noemi Ban, Sharing is Healing; NW Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education (WWU), Hope and Healing Award - For her willingness to transform her pain into messages of healing, hope, and tolerance for others. 

  • Teen Council, Mt Baker Planned Parenthood, Youth Award - For helping to bridge the communication gap between adults and youth.

2013 Award Recipients 

  • Lydia Place - Organization

  • Denise CoStanten, Brigadoon Service Dogs - Volunteer

  • Ruth Holbrook, Consumer Protection Div. WA State Attny General’s Office - Public Servant

  • Kulshan, Chuckanut & Boundary Bay Breweries, Collaboration Beer - Creative Collaboration

  • Kid’s Council Northwest - Youth

  • David Sawicki - Community Member

  • Dr. Bree Johnston & the Palliative Care Team, Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center - Health Care

  • Pastor Joel Langholz and the Happy Valley Neighborhood Association - Program

2013 Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest Winners

  • Carey Stokes

  • Rudy Zurcher

  • Zachary Naf

  • Nate Bezanson

  • Ana Zurcher 

2012 Peace Builder Award Recipients

 Peace Builder Awards Gala 2012

YOUTH PROGRAM: Aimee Frazier, Girls Explorers’ Club

For founding and leading the Girls Explorers’ Club and thereby building peace by modeling collaboration, communication, and respect for selves, others, and our environment. 

ORGANIZATION: Julia Bozzo, NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center

For her vision and leadership in the creation of the NW Therapeutic Riding Center, a nonprofit which builds peace by promoting awareness, empathy, and compassion through its riding programs. 

ARTS: Pam Kuntz of Kuntz and Company

For building peace through artistry, empowering people to find their voice, promote understanding and communication, and encouraging community dialogue through dance and theatre. 

HEALTHCARE: Denise Katterhaggen

For her role in transforming the provision of healthcare services for patients in our community and building peace by helping to create a shared vision and sense of responsibility amongst diverse service providers. 

COMMUNITY MEMBER: Galen Emanuele of Pass the Hat and Upfront Theatre

For his building peace through the Pass the Hat organization which provides critical support to people at a time when they are most in need, and for the communication and collaboration skills he teaches and employs through improvisation workshops and shows at the Upfront Theatre.

EDUCATION: Ted Pratt, WWU Dean of Students

For building peace through his daily activities, striving for awareness of diversity, meeting challenges and barriers with a desire for understanding, and for increasing community connection between WWU and the surrounding community and within the university itself.

For a full list of Peace Builder Award Winners over the years, contact Iris at