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Get to know Rose Gundersen


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Rose Gundersen has been the Vice President of Operations & Retail Services at the Washington Retail Association for the past three years. While most of our members who take advantage of WR’s Retro program know Rose as the leader of our top-notch claims team, few know about the path she took to get where she is today.

On a student visa from Hong Kong, Rose enrolled at the University of Washington’s journalism department and later transferred to their business school to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. After graduating, she used her Concentration in business information systems to land a job as a bank auditor for Seafirst Bank and later with Safeco. Rose later left the corporate world to raise her kids and be an entrepreneur with her own business as a financial planner, which she ran for a few years before moving to Olympia to help her husband start his small business.

Later, Rose pursued her executive law degree while homeschooling her children. While in the law program, she got a position as a policy intern for the Washington Attorney General’s office to research human trafficking. Rose’s second Concentration at UW was in business, government, and society, which came in handy after completing her law degree when Rose started a non-profit for human trafficking prevention.

Rose says that much of her business skillset was learned from her multiple entrepreneurial small business start-ups and years of building up the non-profit. Five years later, she left the organization in good hands with a strong director and competent board of directors. She took a job as the Small Business Liaison for the Department of Labor & Industries, and three and a half years later, Rose joined the team at WR.

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