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June 2017

Realtors honor Bill and Jill Ruckelshaus as the 79th Seattle-King County First Citizens

Seattle-King County First CitizensPast inductees as Seattle-King County First Citizens gathered with other well-wishers at the Sand Point Country Club last month to honor Bill and Jill Ruckelshaus as the 79th recipients of the prestigious award.

Pictured are former Sen. Dan Evans and Nancy Evans (the 2003 First Citizens); Bruce McCaw (representing the McCaw Family, 2004); former Sen. Slade Gorton (2010); James Raisbeck (honored in 2007 with wife Sherry); Bill and Jill Ruckelshaus; former Seattle Mayor Norman B. Rice (2014); Herb M. Bridge (2001); and Bill and Mimi Gates (representing Mary Gates & Family, the 1995 recipients).

Individually and as a couple, this year's honorees have been described as "representing the epitome of public service." Speakers at the event praised them for the dedication to causes, community, and country, as well as for their devotion to family and friends. "Throughout their remarkable careers, their significant achievements in both public and private sector service have always been about the greater good," said one former First Citizen.

Jill Ruckelshaus is widely admired as a trailblazer, as a champion of women's rights, and for mentoring and motivating women to seek elected and appointed offices. She has served on several corporate and nonprofit boards and was named a 2014 Woman of Influence by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

In 2015, in recognition of his service to the country, Bill Ruckelshaus was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S. His distinguished career encompasses government agencies, nonprofits and corporations, including top positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Since its inception in 1939, the First Citizen Award (believed to be this region's oldest such recognition) has commemorated community leadership, volunteerism and public service. The annual civic banquet to honor recipients is a not-for-profit celebration of civic engagement presented by Seattle King County REALTORS® and partners from the real estate community. This year's partners were John L. Scott Real Estate and Windermere Real Estate.