Board of Directors
Kate Blystone Cornwall Park Neighborhood. Director of Futurewise Whatcom, the local chapter of a statewide nonprofit that works to protect forests, farms and waterways while building livable communities for future generations. 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. Joined the board of directors in 2013.
Alice Clark. Executive Director of Pickford Film Center, the nonprofit organization that operates Bellingham’s two independent movie venues – the Pickford Film Center and Limelight Cinema. Alice is also the organizer of several community events, including the Sunnyland Stomp and the Bellingham Wig Out and recently began selling her handcrafted, artisan pies at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market. Her passion is in building community – whether through film, neighborhood events or even a piece of good pie. Alice has a B.A. in Graphic Design and Illustration from WWU. Joined the board of directors in 2013.
Carol Comeau. Grew up in San Marino, CA, and went to the University of Oregon, graduating in 1963. She and her husband, Dennis, moved to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1965, where they lived until August 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. Former Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Bellingham, 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.). Founding board member for the City Club of Bellingham in 1993. Rejoined the board of directors in 2011 and currently President.
Dean Fearing. 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.
Julie Guy. Julie’s career includes 40 years in TV and radio finance and management after 5 years in public accounting with a CPA certification. She has been active in Bellingham since 2003, including service with Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood as board treasurer and co-founder of the Cordata Neighborhood Association. Julie currently serves on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Her past experience also includes the Mayor's Neighborhood Advisory Committee and Treasurer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Whatcom County. Joined the board of directors in 2012.
Nancy Jordan. A small business owner and non-profit executive serving community and economic development, Nancy Jordan is currently the Executive Director for Lummi Nation Service Organization/Ventures Partnership, and, with her husband, Travis, co-owner of Sound Wise Studios. Nancy has a background in commercial and agricultural lending and she serves on the Boards of the Northwest Agricultural Business Center and Home Port Learning Center. Joined the board of directors in 2013.
Don Keenan. Sehome Neighborhood. Served on the City of Bellingham’s Community Development Advisory Board, officer of the Sehome Neighborhood Board for the last three years, member of the Leadership Board of the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access and has been an active member of the City Club’s Program Committee since early 2009. Formerly Executive Director of the Opportunity Council for 15 years and Deputy Administrator for Bellingham for seven years under mayor Mark Asmundson. Joined the board of directors in 2011.
Judy Kleinberg. Columbia Neighborhood. Freelance writer. Joined City Club in 2007 and board of directors in 2009.
Dan Rass. 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. Lummi still is Dan’s primary client. 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 North American board member of the Union for Reform Judaism, which has about 900 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. Joined the board of directors in 2013.
David Roberts. Moved to Bellingham in 2002 to work for the Department of Natural Resources as their regional supervisor in charge of state owned aquatic land. In that role he managed shoreline leasing, development, restoration and clean-up activities across the seven Northwest counties of Washington, including Bellingham Bay. Prior to coming to Bellingham, he worked on a wide range of air- and water-related issues for the Department of Ecology in Olympia. In 2011 David started Kulshan Environmental Services, whose mission is to help clients find durable, long-term solutions to environmental challenges. David has been active in local and civic activities for many years, including the Olympia Planning Commission and Parks Board, Bellingham’s Watershed Advisory Board, People for Lake Padden and leadership in his homeowners association. David enjoys and appreciates the community dialogue and exploration of ideas provided by the City Club. Joined the board of directors in 2013.
Mary Kay Robinson. Mt. Baker Neighborhood. Vice President and Manager of Banner Bank, Downtown Bellingham Branch. She has served on numerous community boards including Communities in Schools, Whatcom Tech Prep consortium, and LAW Advocates. She was also Executive Director of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra and currently serves as an ambassador for the Bellingham/Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce. Joined board of directors in 2010.
Peter Ruffatto. Moved to Bellingham in 2003. Attorney for the City of Bellingham representing various City departments such as Fire, Parks, and Human Resources. He also serves as the City’s Risk Manager and represents the City in tort and civil rights litigation. Peter is an active member of our community, including graduating from the Leadership Whatcom Program in 2009. Joined board of directors in 2010.
Barbara Ryan. Edgemoor Neighborhood. Retired at the end of 2009 after 12 years representing Ward 6 on the Bellingham City Council. Prior to politics, Barbara enjoyed a career in public relations for non-profit organizations. Financial advisor with Waycross Investment Management Company. Joined the board of directors in 2011.
Bill Schenken. Samish Neighborhood. Consultant for Northern Economics where he specializes in economic analysis, sustainability and information technology. Joined the board of directors in 2011 and is currently Vice President.
David Webster. David moved to Bellingham in 1999, where he continued his consulting firm that specialized in public-private partnerships and work with local, regional and national foundations and non-profits. He has started three non-profits and served on the board of eight others. From 2003 to 2008, David was the Executive Director of Northwest Youth Services. In 2008, he became the City of Bellingham's Chief Administrative Officer under Mayor Dan Pike, a reprise of the role he had held for the City of Milwaukee, WI in the '90s. Currently, David is the Interim Director for Early Learning & Family Services at the Opportunity Council. As a local volunteer, he has worked with Whatcom Literacy Council and Explorations Academy. Joined the board of directors in 2012.
Alexandra Wiley. Sehome Neighborhood. Community volunteer in the Arts. Joined City Club in 2003 and the board of directors in 2008.
Dean Wright. Dean is the president of Connell Wright Media Inc., a media consulting business he formed with his wife, Joan Connell, after moving to Whatcom County in 2010. As a consultant, he has worked with clients in the United States and Europe. Before forming his own business, he was based in New York as global ethics and standards editor for Thomson Reuters, the international news service. Earlier in his journalism career, he served as editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com. He believes strongly in community service and the need for institutions that can be centers for civic-- and civil--discourse. He joined the Whatcom Museum Foundation board in 2010 and serves as its president this year. Joined the board of directors in 2012.