Dean Allen awarded UD 2020 Impact Award

Monday, June 1, 2020

Dean Allen, CEO, McKinstry, has been awarded the University District's highest honor, the 2020 Impact Award.

The Impact Award is given to individuals or organizations that truly stand apart in service to the University District. Recipients must inspire and empower, embody thoughtful leadership, and consistently exhibit selfless collaboration.  They are responsive to community needs and take game-changing risks to positively impact future generations. Previous Impact Award recipients include Dave and Mari Clack and Kim Pearman-Gillman who have also left enduring marks on our work and landscape.

Dean has a longstanding commitment to Spokane and the University District. Here are the highlights of Dean's contributions in our area:



  • Dean leads McKinstry, a national force in designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining high-performance buildings, employing more than 2,100 staff and tradespeople across the United States.
  • McKinstry is a major player in creating safe, efficient, and attractive healthcare environments and as such serves patients, the health and medical community, and higher-ed students and faculty engaged in healthcare environments.
  • McKinstry is a powerful partner in renewables, delivering turn-key energy source solutions and as such serves consumers, communities, utilities, R&D and tech industries, etc.
  • Dean’s own personal investments and company priorities have elevated Spokane and specifically the UD for nearly two decades; historic preservation (SIERR), sustainability, business innovation, support for higher education.


Dean's Service

Community Catalyst and Trailblazer

  • Innovation in Spokane
    • Taking an extremely challenging site (SIERR) and transforming it into the location of one of the most beautiful and energy-efficient buildings in our area took commitment and made a powerful statement about what is possible in Spokane and McKinstry’s commitment to the community.
    • Establishing a McKinstry Innovation Center in Spokane supported not only new business ventures and commercialization but also contributed to an evolving conversation in Spokane about public and private support for business and education.
  • Catalyst Building Vision and Execution
    • “But for Dean” the Catalyst Building would not exist.
    • Catalyst will be the first office building in the state constructed out of environmentally friendly cross-laminated timber (CLT) and will be connected to an energy resource sharing eco-district planned for the development.
    • Dean’s vision was to demonstrate the possibilities of the integration of economic vitality, regional sustainability, and energy efficiency by leveraging the legacy industries of the region (such as timber) and the innovation happening in the construction and education sectors.
    • Dean invested big and early in sustainable building features include a gray water system for rainwater recovery, low flow plumbing, showers to encourage commuting by bike, and smart building management to maximize building operations efficiency.
  • Gonzaga UW Health Partnership Building (RHPB) Collaboration
    • “But for Dean” the RHPB would likely not have moved forward so quickly.
    • This project brings to life the vision of Dean and Spokane community leaders to develop a life sciences industry cluster that, like the Catalyst building energy cluster under construction, is expected to spur growth through innovation and collaboration between academia and industry.
    • RHPB will benefit the dynamic faculty and students at Gonzaga and UW while creating an innovation hub that expands Spokane’s research capabilities through partnerships with local companies and nonprofits focused on delivering rural health care access in our region and beyond.
    • The building itself will be a model of efficiency in the built environment, demonstrating that important buildings can also be gentle on the environment and serve as exemplars for others to follow.

Thoughtful Leader and Selfless Collaborator

  • In addition to his work at McKinstry, Dean has served the community in a variety of industry and philanthropic roles. Dean works with virtually every college and university in Spokane. In addition to the partners previously listed, he serves as co-chair for Eastern Washington University’s capital campaign.
  • Outside the realm of facility systems, his passions revolve around global health and education, driven by the idea that all children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.
  • Dean currently serves on the Leadership Council of PATH and is a board member for the Washington Roundtable and Seattle Children’s Hospital. He is also the Founding Board Chair of Washington STEM.


What Sets Dean Apart

  • Dean monitors the future and sets major, hairy, audacious goals in motion.
  • Dean is one of the most visionary, collaborative, and risk-savvy business leaders impacting the UD.
  • Dean is supremely gifted at putting innovative people and deals together.
  • Dean is creating “firsts” in the UD and far beyond with Catalyst and Katerra.
  • Few if any builder/developers in the PNW are pushing the envelope of sustainability and energy efficiency like Dean.
  • Dean has deep connections and a robust network of partners at every level of government, business, and academia.
  • Dean is known and works on a global scale and can bring international attention to UD development.
  • By education, training, and background, Dean, more than most, knows how to bring together the resources, people, and capital to grow the UD’s health, education, and research complex.
  • Dean and McKinstry understand and prioritize placemaking and how to (re)activate land and properties.
  • Dean and McKinstry were very “early in the UD”, investing foundational time, talent, and treasure (by way of KPG especially).