Jim Sheehan Receives University District 2021 Impact Award

Friday, December 3, 2021

Jim Sheehan, longtime Spokane resident, thoughtful and innovative property developer, and tireless advocate for human and environmental rights received the University District’s 2021 Impact Award at a community-wide event on December 3 to celebrate the 20+ years of community-building Jim set in motion along Main Avenue.

To name a few of Jim’s accomplishments in the University District:

  • He restored the old Saranac Hotel on Main Avenue which became the first LEED Platinum-certified building in the region.
  • He renovated the Community Building, the Main Market Co-op, and the Saranac Commons to provide vibrant retail, arts, and dining experiences as well as affordable space for nonprofit offices, childcare, and small businesses in downtown Spokane.
  • He founded the Center for Justice whose impacts ripple through the Inland Northwest from championing a clean Spokane River to class-action remedies and rule-making for the public good to coming to the aid of low-income, vulnerable individuals.

“Jim has been and continues to be a tremendous gift to the people of Spokane. Having first met Jim at a Saranac Building workshop in 2005, I was then, as now, impressed by his candor, thoughtfulness, big picture approach to development, and his big heart,” notes University District Interim CEO, Juliet Sinisterra.

Launched in 2017, the Impact Award honors those who serve by example, who are highly effective leaders and selfless collaborators, who inspire and spark social change, and who are deliberative, transformative, and truly invested in the well-being of the University District community. Previous recipients include Dave and Mari Clack (2017), Kim Pearman-Gillman (2019), and Dean Allen (2020).

Lindsey Myhre, University District board chair and STCU’s executive vice-president and CFO adds, “Jim may seem like a local humble philanthropist, but he is admired and respected on the national stage as a beacon of justice for indigenous communities, civil society, and environmental rights. His catalytic collection of brick-and-mortar environments in the District enhances connectivity and human dignity and provides homes for programs that target healthy families, healthy food, poverty law, government accountability, environmental protection, arts and culture, historic preservation, and sustained community dialogue. It is an honor to be Jim’s neighbor and to acknowledge his tremendous service and contributions to the University District.”

(Above: Jim and Lindsey Myhre, UD Board Chair; and the Community Building's festive foyer celebration)