CENTRALIA’S SEAN SWOPE ENTERS COMMISSIONER RACE
CENTRALIA, WA, MAY 21, 2020 – On May 15, Centralia’s Sean Swope entered the race for County Commissioner. “We are at a pivotal point,” he said. “We cannot afford to remain stagnant. The time has come for action. If we work together, we can realize a renewed vision that maintains everything we already love about Lewis County – and expands to make it even greater than previously imaginable.”
Strengthening the economy is of critical importance to Swope, who is no stranger to economic hardship. He grew up in the one-horse town of Paradise, Texas, where “opportunity never knocked.” His family lived in poverty, suffering under the weight of hopelessness and helplessness. When Swope was just 15-years-old, a fire destroyed their home.
The displaced family migrated to Centralia Washington, where Swope found a supportive community that encouraged him to pursue his dreams. This uplifting experience inspired young Swope to pass on the favor. After graduating from Centralia High School in 1999, he enrolled in a local discipleship training program in conjunction with Berean University, earning a degree in Youth Ministry and Theology.
Swope went on to serve religious communities in Vancouver, Washington, and Kansas City, Missouri, where he enjoyed teaching and supporting youth, the way his mentors had taught and supported him. After several years, Swope returned to Centralia to serve as the youth pastor of his home church.
Here, he fell in love with and subsequently married his best friend’s sister, Suzi Angove, a Rochester native. Starting a family compelled Swope to step onto a new career path. Fueled by a desire to break the cycle of poverty that had marked his childhood, he educated himself in graphic design, videography, web design and marketing.
The mastery of these skills created so much demand that Swope started his own business. In this role, he was instrumental in helping countless other small businesses achieve stability and economic prosperity. He was also able to support his wife, Suzi, as she successfully built her own company in the green beauty and lifestyle sector.
Swope was also one of the pioneering team members at Seeking Health, which is owned by Dr. Ben Lynch, a highly respected genetic researcher and author of Dirty Genes. During his six years at this multi-million dollar company, Swope progressed from a graphic designer to a project manager, overseeing the marketing budget and allocating resources for a variety of projects and programs.
Swope’s media expertise helped Seeking Health place #1 in Washington State in INC Magazine’s 2015 fastest-growing businesses category. This placed them 37th in the nation, including #7 in the health sector. “You have to work hard to achieve this level of success,” Swope said. “The key is to be intentional, stay focused on the strategic plan, collaborate, adapt and break the vision down into achievable goals. When you combine a good strategy with hard work, you’ll find success. A winning environment is achieved by being intentional in producing that kind of environment.”
In 2017, the opportunity to work remotely allowed Swope and his family to move back to Centralia. Here they bought a house and settled down to raise their three children in a nurturing community. In January of 2020, he accepted a position doing design, IT and web management for Twin Transit.
When COVID-19 hit, Swope was instrumental in helping deliver over 700 meals per week to local seniors. “It was an honor,” he said. “This community is remarkable in the way they respond to challenges and work together to overcome them. I’m glad to be a part of that. By working together, we can turn opposition into opportunity.”
As a county commissioner, Swope will use his vast skillset to focus on business recovery, economic growth, and strategic planning. “We can do better with what we have,” he said. “My entrepreneurial experience has taught me that if we examine spending and expenditures, we will find holes. By filling these holes, we will strengthen our county and get small businesses back on their feet. So often the solution isn’t more money; it’s using the resources you have more wisely. We can do this through evaluation, innovation, collaboration, and by incorporating new technology.”
Swope is also passionate about helping Lewis County’s rapidly growing senior population. “Lewis County is a great place to live and an especially wonderful place to retire,” he said. “We need to make sure that our seniors have the resources they need to make their golden years the best ones yet. If we do, our whole community will benefit.”
A new day is dawning in Lewis County. What it brings will depend largely upon the leadership we put in place. “We can’t continue to do the same things we’ve always done,” Swope said. “There is too much at stake. We have some incredible opportunities waiting to be realized. It’s time to move forward.”