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.
Melanie Matthews is director of capacity building and operations at both the Campion Advocacy Fund, a 501c4 created to accelerate the protection of wilderness and the end of homelessness, and the Campion Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to protecting wilderness, ending homelessness and building a strong, resilient nonprofit sector. Melanie previously served as managing director of the Empty Space Theatre and managed Kneehigh Theatre—one of the UK’s top theatre companies—and Malvern Theatres, a three-venue arts center in the UK, transforming it through a multi-million dollar redevelopment program. Melanie holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a BA (Hons) from Bristol University. She is also co-chair of the Grants Managers Network.
Mark Othoff grew up on a vegetable and grain farm in the Chicago area and came to Seattle for graduate school 20 years ago. He is an associate at Olson Kundig Architects, an award-winning firm with projects around the world and a strong connection to the arts in Seattle and beyond. Mark holds a Masters in Architecture from University of Washington and a BS in Architectural Studies from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and has lived and studied in Versailles France, Bogotá Colombia and Cuernavaca Mexico. He serves on the Professional Advisory Council at the University of Washington School of Architecture, where he is a regular guest critic.
NICOLE STELLNER, Treasurer
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
Terri Hiroshima is dedicated to making the Puget Sound’s business, arts and culture communities stronger, vital and more interconnected. She is vice president of communications at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and previously served as both executive director and director of marketing and external relations at Crosscut Public Media. She also worked in arts marketing for 18 years—as director of marketing and communications at Seattle Theatre Group, communications director at Seattle’s legendary Empty Space Theatre, and at One Reel where she promoted some of Seattle’s most beloved community celebrations, including Bumbershoot. Terri is a member of the Seattle Arts Commission. She graduated with a BS in Communications from Boston University.
Jennifer is a native Washingtonian and relocated back to Seattle in 2010 from Houston, Texas when she became the Commercial Portfolio Manager for the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority. She manages a team that oversees 220 year round tenants located in the nine acre Pike Place Market Historical District with the mission of incubating small start-up businesses. During her career, Jennifer has overseen over multiple development projects from design inception through construction completion and Property Management teams while working for a developer in Houston and at a Seattle based financial retail company. She is also active with the Downtown Seattle Association serving on the Urban Experience and Public Space Activation and Management Committees. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting with an Art History Minor from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Romelia (Romie) Beatriz Ponce 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.
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.
As vice president of client services at digital marketing agency POP, Erin West is focused on delivering best-in-class experiences for clients in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. She also served as POP’s vice president of program management for three years, managing a team of more than 25 project managers responsible for the delivery of world-class marketing and technology solutions. Prior to POP, Erin worked as director of marketing and communications at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She has given presentations on digital marketing in the arts, leading workshops for the Wallace Foundation, Opera America, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and the National Performing Arts Convention. Erin is a 2012 alumnus of Leadership Tomorrow and a summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern University.
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.
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, CPA
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!