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Costco CEO Speaks at Northwest University

Costco CEO Speaks at Northwest University

Jim Sinegal, the CEO and co-founder of Costco, spoke at the monthly event of the Northwest University Business Association (NUBA) on Wednesday, March 2. NUBA is a student organization founded and started by NU students who want to establish connections between NU students and companies and professionals in the Seattle area.

Mr. Sinegal co-founded Costco in 1983. He is considered an atypical CEO because the company spends no money on broadcast advertising, treats its employees extremely well, and his CEO salary is relatively modest for a company its size. 

“NUBA has had great success in bringing high quality Christian speakers from businesses and corporations around Seattle in the year and half since it was founded,” stated Brad Brown, the NUBA President.  “The evening with Jim Sinegal was the culmination of more than a year of planning, and it couldn’t have turned out better.”

More than 150 students, staff, alumni and community members attended the packed event in the Health and Sciences Center at Northwest University. Mr. Sinegal shared a detailed look into the process and success of Costco, throughout its nearly 30 year history.

Costco shares at least one geographic connection with Northwest University. Northwest’s main campus is in Kirkland, Washington. Costco started in Kirkland, and “Kirkland” is the brand for much of Costco’s privately labeled merchandise.

At the end of his presentation, NUBA, on behalf of Northwest University, honored Mr. Sinegal for his generous support of the College Success Foundation. The CSF has enabled over 100 students to attend Northwest University over the last ten years with more than $1 million in scholarship awards. Maxwell Mooney, one of the CSF scholarship recipients for 2010-2011, delivered a personal message of gratitude. Mr. Sinegal was presented with a token of gratitude from Northwest University in the form of a 1983 John F. Kennedy Half Dollar (for the year Costco was founded), inscribed with a quote from JFK: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

After the event, Mr. Sinegal remained to answer individual questions, shake hands and take pictures with students.

“These opportunities are the kind of personal interaction that NUBA events provide, which you won’t find elsewhere,” said Brad Brown.

The next speaker will be Brian Chapman of at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, in Room 104 of the Health and Sciences Center.

Brian is currently responsible for’s affiliate marketing channel. He’s technology roadmap, business development, marketing and fraud teams. Prior to joining Amazon, Chapman managed a nine-figure online media and promotions budget to drive customer acquisition for AT&T.

Students, alumni, staff and community members are welcome to attend.

Posted on Saturday, April 2, 2011