NICOLE STELLNER, President
Nicole is originally from the Minneapolis area where her love of the arts was developed through formative experiences at the Walker Art Center, Children’s Theatre Company and the Guthrie Theater. She has been an arts patron, supporter, volunteer and advocate her entire life – and after over 20 years in the corporate world doing strategic planning and finance is using those skills to contribute to the nonprofit arts community. Nicole has a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, an MBA from the University of Washington and is pursuing a Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Washington. She is currently Board President of Annex Theatre.
Leah is a Shunpike founder and currently serves as editor in chief of City Arts, a magazine dedicated to creative life in the Seattle area. A native of suburban Detroit, she studied journalism and creative writing at Northwestern University. After brief stints in Rome and Los Angeles, she moved to Seattle in 2001 and launched RIVET, a nationally circulated indie magazine that she edited until 2008. Prior to her work at City Arts, Leah was brand and editorial director at Pyramid Communications, where she consulted with dozens of nonprofits, including Seattle Art Museum, On the Boards, Intiman Theatre, The Seattle Foundation and KEXP.
BRIAAN BARRON, Vice-President
Briaan L. Barron is a Brand Manager at Seattle Chocolate Company and is founder of the brand design and consulting company Branding By Bri. She is passionate about uniting art and storytelling with strategic thinking to empower first-time entrepreneurs. Briaan is a Sarah Lawrence College graduate and is a Seattle native.
CHRISTENA COUTSOUBOS, Secretary
Christena Coutsoubos is a Director at Building Changes, overseeing Strategic Communications, Relationship Management and Development. She works closely with the Board of Directors, staff and partners to engage passionate supporters in the vision of reducing youth and family homelessness.
Christena has 20 years’ experience in volunteer engagement, development, communications, program leadership and management, and direct service in the nonprofit sector. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Barnard College in New York, and a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.
KATHY GATTON, Treasurer
Kathy works for Kemper Development Company (Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, Lincoln Square, and the newest development Lincoln Square 2) where she is involved in budgets, forecasts, and internal valuations. Prior to Kemper Development, Kathy has held Controllership roles at Bentall Kennedy and University Village. Her public accounting alma mater is Bader Martin in downtown Seattle where she focused on real estate and non-profit clients. Kathy has served on various committees and boards with the Empty Space Theatre, American Society of Women Accountants, and the Washington Society of CPAs. Go Huskies! Go Hawks!
Jared is a labor and employment attorney at Garvey Schubert Barer who has called Seattle home since 2005. In his law practice Jared provides practical advice on complying with the intricate and overlapping network of federal, state, and local employment laws and resolving employment disputes. Jared is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Stanford University, where he received his undergraduate degree in Human Biology. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Jared is pleased to have found a new home rich with natural beauty and creative energy. He lives in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle with his wife and two young daughters.
Kevin K. Maifeld is the Founding Director and Professor of the Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership program at Seattle University. He previously served as the Managing Director of the Seattle Children’s Theatre from 2001 to 2007. Before moving to Seattle, Kevin served, for seven years, as the Managing Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and was Co-Chair of the Theatre Management/Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of Alabama. While at ASF, Kevin produced the Tony Award nominated musical, Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues that enjoyed a successful Broadway run and toured nationally and A Lesson Before Dying at the Signature Theatre in New York. Prior to joining ASF, Kevin served as Executive Director of the Denver Center Theatre Company for more than four years managing a four- theatre complex and the National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado at Denver. Kevin holds an MFA degree in Arts Management from the University of Alabama and a BS degree in Accounting from the University of Denver.
Blair Payson is a Principal with Olson Kundig. Since 2004, Blair Payson has worked on projects ranging from architectural to exhibit design and from art installations to set design. He takes great satisfaction enabling collaborators and in the craft of making. Prior to moving to Seattle in 2004, Blair worked as an architect in Paris, France.
Leilani Lewis is an arts administrator who is passionate about visual arts, community and social justice, and specializes in bridging communities and sparking conversations on the arts and social impact. She has curated art shows at the Ethnic Heritage Gallery, Columbia City Gallery, and Lucid Gallery and several other locations. She has also served as a judge for the Congressional Arts Competition, Onyx Fine Arts Collective, Artist Trust Edge Award, SAM’s Naramore Student Art Competition, and the Creative
Romelia (Romie) Beatriz De Hillary is an attorney at Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest private operating foundation focused entirely on child welfare reform. Romie’s current practice focuses on organizational risk and compliance, insurance, contracts and human resources practices. Before joining Casey, she worked in a small hardworking civil litigation firm where she gained valuable hands-on experience with construction defect, insurance law and personal injury cases. Originally from dry Tucson, Ariz., Romie has made Seattle her home. She enjoys running and spin class, tequila tasting, walking her pit-bull, home remodel projects and cooking.