Distinguished Alumni Award

The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award nominations are now CLOSED.

2022 Distinguished Alumni Award

Jessica Wakefield

2022 Distinguished Alumnae Recepient Jessica Wakefield

The Foundation is pleased to announce Jessica (Jess) Wakefield, CFSP, as the recipient of the 2022 LWTech Foundation Annual Distinguished Alumni Award! We formally honored Jess at Commencement on June 17, 2022.

Jess has worked in the funeral service industry for over a decade, providing peace and comfort to families in the greater Seattle area. She is currently serving our community as the Location Manager at Sunset Hills Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Bellevue, Washington. A passionate leader in the industry, Jessica also serves as President of the Washington State Funeral Directors Association (elected in 2018). During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jess played an integral role in advocating for funeral professionals including ensuring access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and recognition of funeral professionals as first responders in the vaccine schedule. 

A strong believer in continuing education, Jess is always looking for new things to learn in addition to sharing her extensive industry knowledge in areas such as high-profile natural disasters and mass casualty events. She consistently mentors and provides opportunities to student interns to ensure the growth of the funeral profession in Washington State. Jess is a donation champion for Donate Life Washington, an organization that saves lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation, and an active member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice and Lake Washington Institute of Technology Funeral Services Advisory Board. She currently serves as co-host of the Washington State Funeral Directors Association’s Podcast “Member Talks” in addition to volunteering on various committees including public relations, government liaison, and the Bill Martin Scholarship Committee.

Jessica earned an Associates of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in 2011 and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Environmental Science and Policy from The Evergreen State College in 2005. Jess also holds a prestigious Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) certification from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.

In her free time, Jess and her husband of 19 years enjoy hiking, traveling and visiting Disneyland. Congratulations to Jess on this distinguished honor!

About the Distinguished Alumni Award

Established by the Lake Washington Institute of Technology's (LWTech) Office of the President in 2013, this is the highest honor the institution can bestow upon an alumnus in recognition of professional accomplishments as well as service to the college and/or the community.

The winners of this award exhibit the qualities of community and professional leadership that are symbolic of the mission of LWTech. They promote excellence, inspire others to reach their potential, encourage personal growth, and promote the enrichment of life through education and community service.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies at least one of the two following criteria:

  • Has achieved success in their business, profession, military, or other vocational endeavors
  • Has achieved success in their community, civic and/or volunteer activities

A distinguished alumnus is selected each spring from nominations received from the community. Each year's award recipient is honored at the LWTech Commencement ceremony held in June.

To be eligible for this prestigious award, nominees must have earned a minimum of 15 quarter credits from LWTech. Additionally, winners will be selected based upon notable achievement in his/her career, military or vocational field, outstanding service to the community and/or LWTech, and inspirational impact.

Past Winners