Denis and his wife Patty reside in the Kennydale neighborhood. They have two grown daughters living in Renton and Covington. Prior to being elected mayor, he was the owner and president of Puget Sound Publishing Co. in Renton with publications that included the Renton Reporter, Kent Reporter, Auburn Reporter, Business Report and Renton Magazine.
Denis is the past president (2012-2014) of Sound Cities Association of King County (SCA), an organization that represents 38 cities with a population of more than a million residents. Denis is past chairman of the Greater Renton Chamber of Commerce, past president of Renton Rotary, a past board member of Renton Technical College Foundation and Renton Community Foundation, and has served on the Downtown Renton Association.
Prior to starting his company in Renton, Denis co-owned a publishing company in Seattle that included seven community newspapers. He also served as vice-president of Pacific Media Group in Seattle and was former publisher of the Kirkland Courier in Kirkland and the Sammamish Valley News in Redmond.
During his publishing career, Denis earned more than 250 state and national journalism awards in photography, editing, advertising and newspaper design. He served on the boards of six chambers in Seattle and the Eastside; was appointed to the Seattle Mayor’s Small Business Task Force; served as president of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association that represented 110 weekly newspapers and small daily newspapers throughout the state; and was a board member of Camp Fire Boys and Girls of East King County.
Denis currently serves on several boards and committees including:
- Communities In Schools of Renton Advisory Committee
- Chair of the Renton Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Ribbon Panel
- Chair of the Renton Firefighters' Pension Board
- King County Flood Control Zone District Advisory Committee
- Board of Directors of the Washington Newspaper Publisher Association Foundation
- Executive Board Member of the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC)
- Administrative Board Member (past chair) of South Correctional Entity (SCORE)
- Board member (past chair), Valley Communications Center (9-1-1 dispatch center)
- Board member of Sound Cities Association
- Member of Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Advisory Council
- Steering committee member of Aerospace Works in Washington
- Member of King County Regional E-911 Leadership Group