Dan Mork, 52, is mayor of Millwood and manager of the pollen production department for Hollister-Stier Laboratories in Spokane.
His mentor: LeRoy Hook was a biology teacher at West Valley High School. We designed our own experiments and wrote up proofs and theorems. He gave us a lot of independence. He gave me the idea to do something fun that you really like. He was sending the message that you can create your own research, create your own projects, direct your own work. That made me think I could do something with this in the future, and I eventually ended up with a job at Hollister-Stier.
What he still uses: I try to nurture people’s creativity and realize it’s not just my way of doing things. The people who work under me, I trust that they know what they are doing. I always try to listen to them, because they are the hands-on people.
How he passes it on: I use the lessons LeRoy Hook taught me with my kids and grandkids. I coach them, but I don’t have a preconceived script for them. I say let them learn, but let them have fun, too.