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Image: Amber Fouts

So, are you Ethan’s wife…are you his sister? Angela Stowell gets these head-tilting questions a lot. As co-owner and CEO of Ethan Stowell Restaurants she’s decidedly behind the scenes as the business brains. For over a decade, she and Ethan (her chef-husband, for the record) have expanded their homegrown legion of eateries—15 going on 16 restaurants—throughout Seattle. Ten years ago, she did it all: drafting wine lists, crunching numbers, doing payroll and invoices. Nowadays, though, Stowell focuses less on spreadsheets and more on investments, both for the company and the community.

“It’s our home here,” declares Stowell. “Let’s take care of it.” In 2011, the Stowells lost their unborn twins to a rare and deadly disease. The next year, she founded and became the event director of Eat Run Hope, an annual 5K and food fest that has to date raised $235,000 for fetal health. In its third year, it funded research that helps minimize the effects of spina bifida in fetuses as young as 12 weeks old. 

Stowell is a habitual board member—you start losing track after four—spanning the Washington Hospitality Association and Seattle Restaurant Alliance. She joined the United Way of King County board in 2015 and has since fought child hunger and youth homelessness. She also cochairs the advocacy group’s latest fundraising campaign. 

If it all seems like a lot, she returns to this: “I want to change the lives of the people who work for us,” like implementing paid parental leave years ago for an industry in which it’s notoriously tough to balance work and home life. As the mom of two young boys she knows that balancing act well.

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