Board of Directors

Robin Barker

Robin Barker was a professional librarian, graduating from University of California, Berkeley, with a Masters in Library Science.  She came to Bellingham in 1980 to work for the Whatcom County Library System, and retired from WCLS in 2012 as Support Services Manager.  Robin served on the boards of Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood and the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center and chaired the boards of both organizations.  She was active in the local chapter of the ACLU for several years until it was disbanded.  She is a charter member of the City Club, thanks to the invitation of Dick Beardsley.  She is Co-chair of the City Club Membership Committee and manages the membership database.  Robin joined the Board of Directors in 2016.

Kate Blystone

Lettered Streets Neighborhood. Program Director at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Kate oversees all the education and advocacy work at the organization including programs for clean water, clean energy, and sustainable schools. She is a graduate of Western Washington University and Eastern Washington University where she received her Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. She is a professional planner and a former board member for Washington Conservation Voters, the American Planning Association’s Washington Chapter and Bellingham City Club. Kate moved to Whatcom County in 1999 from Spokane and after a few moves to and from Bellingham, she vows never to leave again. She and her husband, Vern, have no children but dote lovingly on their two cats, Leia and Oscar and their dog Jasmine. Joined the board of directors in 2013.

Carol Comeau

South Hill Neighborhood. Grew up in San Marino, California, and went to the University of Oregon, graduating in 1963. Carol and her husband, Dennis, moved to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1965, where they lived until 2012. They moved to Bellingham in September 2012 to be closer to their son Chris and his family, who live in Bellingham, and their son Mike and his family, who live on Bainbridge Island. Carol worked for the Anchorage School District for 38 years and served as a teachers’ aide and playground aide, an elementary teacher and principal, executive director of elementary education, assistant superintendent for instruction, and 12 years as superintendent of schools. She is eager to get more involved in Bellingham community affairs. Joined the board of directors in 2013.

Patricia Decker

South Hill Neighborhood. Grew up in Portland Oregon. Moved to Bellingham from Eugene, Oregon in 1991 to take the position of Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Bellingham. Subsequent positions with City of Bellingham were Waterfront Futures Project Director for the City and the Port of Bellingham (2002-2004) and Manager of the Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District (2005-2007). Retired from City of Bellingham 2007. Patricia has a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, both from University of Oregon. She is Vice-President of Communitywise Bellingham, a non-profit organization. Patricia was a Founding Board Member for the City Club of Bellingham in 1993. She rejoined the board of directors in 2011 and currently serves as President.

Dean Fearing

Fairhaven Neighborhood. Born in Anacortes, Dean Fearing is a Northwest native. After high school, Dean served five years in the U.S. Navy. He then followed his love of travel, living in Taipei, Taiwan, and parts of Holland and France before moving to Bellingham to raise his two daughters. Dean graduated from Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College with a degree in Sustainable Design & Development. After graduation, he worked at the REStore and became their first director, managing REStores in Bellingham and Seattle. In 2008 Dean joined Kulshan Community Land Trust and now serves as the Executive Director. He is passionate about housing issues and has been actively engaged with many organizations in the community. He was a founding board member of Sustainable Connections and RE Use Works/Appliance Depot. He also was a founding committee member of the BIAWC Built Green Committee. Currently Dean serves on the board of the NW Community Land Trust Coalition and Recreation Northwest. Joined the board of directors in 2013.

Bill Freudenberger

Bill Freudenberger has lived in Bellingham since 1969. He earned a BSME and a MS in Industrial Administration from Purdue University. He enjoyed a 30 year career at Intalco retiring from management in 1999. That allowed Bill and his wife Jayne to better pursue their other passions, traveling widely and actively supporting the community they love. Bill served both as Treasurer and President of the Whatcom Literacy Council Board. He was previously a member and Treasurer of the Bellingham City Club Board during its critical growing years. He worked many years with United Way on their Planning and Allocation Committee. Bill is recognized by many in the community for his regular volunteer work at the Bellingham Public Library helping people with their tax returns. At 13 years and still going, this time consuming work with AARP’s Taxaide program underlines his commitment to community.

Joe Garcia

Dr. Joseph E. Garcia is the Bowman Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies & Director of the Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership at Western Washington University.  He also serves as the Director of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/a/Hispanic and Native American Scientists’ (SACNAS) Summer Leadership Institute.  He previously was on the faculty of the Department of Management and then as Associate Dean and founding director of the College of Business and Economics’ Center for Excellence in Management Education. 

In addition to leadership, Dr. Garcia’s scholarship and teaching interests include management education, diversity in organizations, and organizational behavior.  He serves as a reviewer and on the editorial board of several academic journals in management and management education and is a member of the Academy of Management, has served as the Vice-President of OBTS: Teaching Society for Management Educators, and as President of the Management Faculty of Color Association.

Dr. Garcia is the recipient of numerous awards; including the OBTS Distinguished Service Award and the Peter J. Frost Mentoring Award, the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior Division’s Exceptional Leadership and Service Award, the Western Washington University Diversity Achievement Award and the SACNAS Professional Service Award. With Professor Karen Hoelscher, he is the co-author of the American Council of Education Series text “Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education.”

When he is not at work, Joe can be found enjoying family, hiking, climbing or skiing.  While he hails originally from Brooklyn NY, he has lived in Bellingham for over 30 years. Joe joined the Board of Directors in 2014.

Simi Jain

Simi Jain was raised in Albany, NY and graduated with a B.A. in government and environmental studies from Bowdoin College in Maine. A love for the water and mountains brought her to Seattle, WA after college where she worked for a media consulting non-profit organization focused on northwest environmental issues. Simi returned to New England to attend Vermont Law School. There she earned her J.D. and Masters in Environmental Law. In 2005, she settled into Whatcom County and is an attorney practicing in the areas of land use, municipal, real estate and environmental law and is a shareholder at Carmichael Clark, P.S in Bellingham, WA. Simi served as Whatcom County Bar Association Treasurer in 2008 and is currently a board member of the Whatcom Land Trust where she has served for four years. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, skiing and hiking on the many trails around Whatcom County.

Nancy Jordan

Whatcom County. A small business owner and non-profit executive serving regional community and economic development, Nancy Jordan is currently the Administrative Director for Lummi Nation Service Organization/Ventures Partnership, and Finance Manager with the Northwest Agriculture Business Center. In addition, since 1998, she is co-owner of Sound Wise Studios, with her husband, Travis. Nancy has a background in commercial and agricultural lending and she serves on the board of Home Port Learning Center. Along with her undergrad degree in Animal Science/Business from Oregon State, Nancy is a graduate of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program (Class 14), and has completed Stanford’s Executive Program in social Entrepreneurship. She joined the board of directors in 2013.

Amy Kraham

Amy Kraham was born and raised on the East Coast and graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from Brandeis University. In 1990 she earned a law degree and masters in International Law from Duke Law School and moved to Seattle to practice law at Davis Wright Tremaine. In the mid-90s Amy moved to Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Reservation, where her husband, Gib Morrow, had taken a job with the Indian Health Service. In 1998, after working at DNA Legal Services  representing low income Navajo and Ute tribal members in commercial and domestic violence matters, she and Gib and their two daughters moved to Bellingham, where she began working as an Assistant City Attorney. Amy practices in the areas of environmental law (focusing on waterfront cleanups), affordable housing and economic development. She was a founding member of the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee and its representative to the Northwest Straits Commission for many years. She enjoys running and hiking with friends, reading, Tuesday night dates with her husband, traveling, and watching movies at The Pickford. Amy joined the Board of Directors in 2016

Dan Raas

Alabama Hill Neighborhood. Dan Raas and his wife, Debbie, have lived in Bellingham since 1976, when Dan was hired by the Lummi Nation as its first Reservation Attorney. He continues to represent Lummi. Dan serves as an appellate judge on the Tulalip Court of Appeals, the Upper Skagit Court of Appeals, the Nooksack Court of Appeals and the Sauk-Suiattle Court of Appeals. He was the president of the Whatcom County Bar Association, and was a founding board member of LAW Advocates, which provides legal advice to local low income individuals. Dan was a founding trustee of the Washington State Bar Association Indian Law Section. He has been active in many local community organizations, and served as the president of the Samish Council: Camp Fire Boys and Girls. Dan served as president of Congregation Beth Israel and was on its board for 15 years. He is a member of the North American Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism, which has about 875 member congregations throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. In his spare time he performs with What the Chelm, the largest and oldest klezmer/Israeli band in Whatcom County. He joined the board of directors in 2013.

David Roberts

South Hills Community near Lake Padden. Moved to Bellingham in 2002. He spent most of his career working for the State Departments of Ecology and Natural Resources in a variety of roles involving management of State-owned lands and environmental protection. In 2011 David started Kulshan Services, a consulting firm whose mission is to help clients find durable, long-term solutions to environmental and community challenges. Much of his current work is focused in Whatcom and Skagit counties. David has been active in local and civic activities for many years. He enjoys and appreciates the community dialogue and exploration of ideas provided by the City Club. He joined the board of directors in 2013.

Stan Snapp

Stan Snapp moved his family to Bellingham in 1967 to attend WWU, graduating in 1971. He joined the Bellingham Fire Department in 1974, worked his way up and retired as Services and Training Division Chief in 1997. Stan’s volunteer career in my community has included, United Way fund raising and board service, 12 years. He has chaired the local Red Cross board and the Sister City Committee for Tateyama, Japan. Stan was appointed and chaired the Greenway Advisory Committee, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Watershed Advisory Board. He was elected to the Bellingham City Council in 2007 where he chaired several committees and was elected to officer positions, including President of the Council in 2011. Stan retired from elected office at end of 2013 and is currently a board member and Past President of the Opportunity Council board.