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When you think of philanthropic leaders in Everett who have helped to shape its future—chances are, Phil Johnson is one that immediately comes to mind.
As a lifelong Everett resident, Phil cares deeply about his community. He is known for his long record of generous support to local organizations and causes that improve quality of life in his hometown. The most recent is a $1 million donation to the Campaign for Providence.
“I am humbled that hard work and good fortune have placed me in a position where I am able to give something back to the community,” shared Phil. "Access to health care through a state-of-the-art Medical Center is an essential need for people in any community, and we all must take a share of the responsibility to ensure that we have systems in place in our community to meet that need.
Phil is the founder of Millstone Coffee—one of our great local success stories. Phil started the Millstone in 1981, and through hard work and his entrepreneurial spirit, it became a household name. He sold Millstone to Procter & Gamble in 1994 and then started Cascade Coffee, one of the top coffee roasting and supply companies in the country, where he still serves as chairman today.
While they have a home in Hawaii and travel extensively following their recent marriage, Phil and his wife Kelly call Everett their home. Kelly relocated to Everett from California where she works in the hustle and bustle of the music industry, rubbing shoulders with some of Hollywood’s most elite.
Kelly says the couple's philanthropic goals are in harmony. "Phil and I both believe that it is important to give to projects that are community based, and that truly make an impact,” she said.
“Like Phil, I believe that everyone has a responsibility to support their community in whatever way they are able to. It might be money; it might be time; it might be something else. But whatever way you can help, it's important that you do it," says Kelly.
The Johnson’s $1 million gift was not their first to Providence; Phil also gave $1 million in support of the Providence Community Cancer Center Campaign a few years ago which was no surprise to Kelly. “Phil is just one of those guys who sees a need, and always steps up and contributes to make this community better,” she added.
Marshall and Katherine Cymbaluk toured the new Medical Tower while it was still under construction—dusty and noisy with exposed steel beams and cords hanging from the ceilings. From the top of the Tower on a sunny March day in 2010, they could see Snohomish County— their home for 40 years —for miles, from the mountains in the east to the beautiful Puget Sound to the west. It was clear this project would take health care to a new level.
That March day was the beginning of a decision to invest in a healthcare initiative that will leave a lasting legacy in our community. Their commitment of $5 million for The Campaign for Providence was an extraordinary gift resulting in the naming of the building— the Marshall and Katherine Cymbaluk Medical Tower.
The Cymbaluk's gift is the largest gift that Providence General Foundation has ever received and is one of the largest philanthropic gifts ever made in Snohomish County.
Both Marshall and Katherine have strong ties to Providence and their community. Marshall was one of the founding members of the original Providence Hospital Foundation, and Katherine was a former nurse at Everett General Hospital, before it merged with Providence in 1994. It was this fondness for Providence and a love for their community that spurred their generosity.
Marshall says he and Katherine decided that this was the right project and the right time for them to come forward in support. They realized that investing in health care—one of the most essential services in any region—was a way they could have a real impact on their community.
Long-time friend of the Cymbaluks and member of the Campaign's Executive Committee, Bob Drewel, was extremely moved by the incredible generosity of Marshall and Katherine's gift.
"This level of giving is unprecedented and simply transformational. It certainly will inspire and motivate others to step forward and be a part of this historic project," Bob said. "Their philanthropic investment in the future of health care for our region will be the legacy they leave to their community. It is only fitting that the Tower be named in honor of their support."