This past October, the world lost a business and philanthropic giant with the passing of Paul Allen. Here in the Northwest, his absence will be deeply felt. Among his many achievements, Allen co-founded Microsoft; founded Vulcan Inc., Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Allen Institute for Brain Sciences, and Allen Institute for Cell Science; and was owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. There doesn’t seem to be an industry that he hasn’t touched, expanded and improved, including the meetings and events industry, particularly in the Seattle area.

In 1998, Allen rescued Seattle Cinerama from demolition, purchasing it and then embarking on a multimillion-dollar revitalization project. In 2014, the venue underwent another major renovation. In addition to hosting film festivals and showing classic and first-run movies, Cinerama has become a popular destination for private events, such as holiday parties, corporate meetings and teambuilding workshops.

In 2000, Allen opened Experience Music Project—now the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)—literally changing the architectural landscape of the city thanks to its edgy Frank Gehry–designed building. The 140,000-square-foot museum and event venue celebrates popular culture from music and cinema to science fiction and fantasy.

In 2004, he opened the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum in Arlington, Washington. The museum was later moved to Paine Field in Everett, Washington. Home to more than 60 aircraft, vehicles and artifacts, the museum showcases the rare treasures of military technology.

Allen’s Living Computers Museum + Labs in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood opened to the public in 2012. The museum and private event space boasts an interactive collection of vintage mainframes and machines.

And in 2015 and 2017, Allen founded the Seattle Art Fair and Upstream Music Fest + Summit, respectively

His contributions to Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and the world are incalculable; his genius will be dearly missed. For more information on Allen’s legacy visit

This year’s three inductees into our annual Hall of Influencers are the brains behind our region’s most spectacular events and joyful celebrations.


This jewel of the Inland Northwest is full of charm. 


Looking for a secluded getaway for a business retreat or private event? We found five for you.