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Thompson Hotels Seattle Influencers X Lillian Sherman


The Community Connector 

Pike Place Market is not only the cultural and culinary epicenter of the city, but is also a thriving community hub where everyone is welcome to enjoy the beauty and bounty of Seattle. The Pike Place Market Foundation, lead by Executive Director Lillian Sherman, is dedicated to helping the low-income neighbors who work, learn and live in and around the Market. “I love the amazing diversity of people and subject matter that I get to interact with daily,” says Sherman, who started as an event planner before being drawn to the fundraising and development side of non-profits. Here she shares how a first time visitor can best enjoy the market, how you can help out the foundation, and more. 

What’s the best way to experience Pike Place Market as a first timer to Seattle? 

1) Give yourself plenty of time to wander and explore! There are so many wonderful little stores and things to see that simply walking down the street will be wholly inadequate.
2) Come hungry and give yourself permission to try a lot of different kinds of food.

What are the most important issues affecting your low-income neighbors?

This is a pretty long answer, but the issues are the same in all low-income neighborhoods. How do you reach communities in need? We work primarily through the service agencies and residential staff in market to connect people to what they need. Our blog has a number of great stories including stories about our safety net which is pretty unique to our community.

How would you spend your dream day off in Seattle?

I would spend it on a boat in the water (sound or lake).

Do you have any exciting projects coming up in late May and June that you can share with us? 

The construction of the new Market Front expansion continues to be the most exciting and visual project to watch during through the summer. It is essentially out the front door of the hotel and will add 35,000 square feet of more market to love including beautiful new plaza space, more craft and farmer spaces, and new restaurants.

How can our hotel guests support the foundation and the work you do?  

The simplest way for anyone to support our work is to put some money in Rachel the Piggy bank, the foundation’s beloved mascot who sits under the clock. I also encourage people to “Write your name into Market History” by visiting