Kim Zentz to speak at SSIP


May 20, 2024
School of Engineering & Applied Science

Kim Zentz is a civil engineer with a career spanning executive, entrepreneurial and project leadership across utilities, transportation, tech-based economic development, higher education, and clean-tech startup companies. Her leadership positions include founding CEO of Urbanova a civic innovation partnership in Spokane, CEO of Innovate Washington, CEO of the Spokane Transit Authority, founding president and COO of Avista Labs (now ReliOn/Plug Power) and several executive positions for Avista Utilities. Zentz also served as director of urban innovation for Washington State University (WSU) and previously served as director of the Engineering and Technology Management online graduate program for WSU’s College of Engineering and Architecture.

Zentz was the lead grant writer, principal investigator, and the founding CEO of the Inland Northwest Center for Energy and Decarbonization (INTENT). She also helped found and served on the advisory board of the BUILT Cluster (Buildings, Utilities, and Infrastructure Living Together - focused on equitable decarbonization of the built environment) a statewide innovation cluster led by the Washington Cleantech Alliance. She provided consulting advice and grant writing services to the Atlas Agro Pacific Green Fertilizer Plant – a $1 billion green hydrogen project planned for central Washington and an anchor tenant of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub. Zentz served on the Governor’s Clean Energy Leadership Council and helped establish the Smart Buildings Center. She has chaired the Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) Transportation Advisory Committee and serves on the Equity Working Group. She has assisted the City of Spokane on its Environmental Justice and Equity Task Force and led the Energy, Infrastructure and Mobility Working Group for the University District Board’s 2023 strategic plan update.

She has provided leadership in the community on the boards of The University District Development Association, Spokane County United Way, Mobius Discovery Center, and Greater Spokane Incorporated among others. Kim holds a BSCE from the University of Idaho and a Master of Engineering Management, from WSU. In 2020, Zentz was inducted into the University of Idaho Academy of Engineers. In 2022, Zentz was honored with the Spokane University District Impact Award and in 2023 she received the Distinguished Career Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers Inland Empire Section.

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