CWU News

Gov. Inslee Appoints Businesswoman Gladys Gillis to CWU Board of Trustees

Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Gladys T. Gillis, CEO and co-owner of Starline Luxury Coaches to serve on the Central Washington University Board of Trustees. Gillis will serve a six-year term that ends in September 2024.

Gillis is a CWU alumna (BA Industrial Technology, 1986) who has served on the CWU Foundation Board of Directors for the past three years.

Since co-founding Starline in 1998, she has built a multi-million-dollar passenger transportation enterprise across Washington State. The Starline Collection includes Starline Luxury Coaches in Seattle, Wheatland Express in Pullman, and A&A Motorcoach in Yakima, Tri-Cities, and Wenatchee. Gillis is continuing to expand the Starline Collection.

“I am proud of CWU for its efforts to help first generation college students get into college and stay through completion,” she said. “As a first generation college student from Washington State myself, I look forward to encouraging and supporting the continuation of those initiatives.”

Gillis said she was also supportive of the recent expansion of the university’s sports complex, including remodeling Tomlinson Stadium and the new track and field facility, along with the growth of the school’s aviation program, and the continued development of relevant degree programs that meet the needs of tomorrow’s workers and employers.

As a business owner—her company owns and operates 95 motorcoaches and has more than 150 employees—she is particularly interested in helping to ensure the university continues to operate efficiently and in a fiscally-responsible manner.

“We are extremely pleased to have Gladys join the board because of her background as a successful and innovative entrepreneur,” noted CWU President James L. Gaudino. “In addition to being a CWU graduate, she has been an active and valued member of our Foundation Board for several years, so she knows Central well.”

The Puget Sound Business Journal recognized Gillis as a “Women of Influence” in 2016 and named the Starline Collection one of Washington’s “Top Women-Owned Businesses” in 2014. Starline Collection also earned Seattle Business Magazine’s “Washington Green 50 Award” in 2011 and, in the same year, the “Environmental Excellence Award” of the Association of Washington Business.


Gillis is a member of the board of the Greater Seattle Business Association and a longtime member of the United Motorcoach Association in Washington D.C., for which she currently serves as chair of the board of directors.


She was a founding member and board member for the Motorcoach Marketing Council from 2008-2015 and was on the Washington State Joint Transportation Committee in 2010.


Gillis was honored to be selected to represent the motorcoach industry on the National Advisory Council on Tourism and Transportation Infrastructure in Washington, D.C., where she is helping to create the future of passenger transportation. Additionally, Gillis is a former member and chair of the World Affairs Council of Seattle.


Gillis began her career at Boeing Commercial Airplane Company. She held various leadership positions in Engineering, Quality Assurance, and Manufacturing, dealing with lean manufacturing, process engineering, and business process development.


Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,