Lowry appoints Mary McKnew to Liquor Control Board

OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry today named Mary McKnew to the Washington State Liquor Control Board. McKnew, 40, will fill the position held by Mike Murphy, whose term has expired. She is an attorney and holds a master's degree in public administration.

In making the appointment, Lowry said McKnew's extensive experience working with state and local governments will serve her well in her new role.

"Mary has years of experience working on alcohol and substance abuse issues and fetal alcohol syndrome and will make that a high priority on the Liquor Control Board," Lowry said. "She knows the legislative process firsthand and she knows how to work with people. Mary will be an outstanding addition to the board."

McKnew has served as a policy assistant for both Gov. Lowry and former Gov. Booth Gardner. In her current role, she advises the governor on issues related to finance, insurance, non-criminal legal concerns and general government, and works on the governor's regulatory reform efforts.

The newly appointed board member also serves on the Governor's Diversity Team, working to change state agency culture to better reflect and serve the state's varied ethnic, race, gender and disabled populations. She manages the Americans with Disabilities Act implementation project.

McKnew has been an active member of a number of nonprofit groups that deal with disability issues, including the Washington Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities and South Sound Options.

In 1994, McKnew was asked by President Clinton to participate in a United Nations planning conference in Geneva, Switzerland on cities and communities. During the week-long conference, participants drafted a policy document describing goals for the world's communities, dealing with such issues as public safety, environmental standards, and discrimination.

Prior to joining the Gardner administration, McKnew served as staff director of the Snohomish County Charter Review Commission and was a research associate/project director for the National Association of Counties in Washington D.C.

The Liquor Control Board is responsible for controlling the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol throughout the state, including oversight of the state's 164 retail liquor stores. Specific tasks include education, enforcement, licensing and implementation of a controlled distribution system.

McKnew joins board members Nate Ford and Jack Rabourn on the three-member panel. She will begin her term Feb. 19 and serve through January 2001. McKnew will earn $66,803 annually.

Today, the governor also announced that Nate Ford will serve as board chairman.

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For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.