Members of the Board of Directors are volunteers. They are elected by members at the City Club annual meeting, scheduled just before the regular May meeting. Members serve up to three two-year terms.
The Board of Directors meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 a.m. unless that day is a holiday, e.g. Jan. 1, July 4, or the meeting needs to be rescheduled for the anticipated lack of a quorum.
Tanya Baumgart has lived in Bellingham, WA most of her life, growing up in the Alabama Hill neighborhood. She holds degrees in Mathematics and Civil Engineering Technology, and spent many years co-managing a family commercial fishing business, Island Investments Inc. with her husband, Jim Baumgart. Tanya is currently employed in the Accessibility Resources Department of Bellingham Technical College. Community service has always been a passion and years were devoted to PTA, PTSA, and Girl Scout Organizations (3 daughters) prior to finding an interest in politics. In 1994, a statewide initiative was on the ballot that, if passed, would have eliminated commercial fishing in Washington State. Together with a group of local fishing folks, Tanya started a political action committee called Washington Women for Commercial Fishing. This led to serving on various committees for Governor-elect Gary Locke. After successfully defeating the initiative, she joined the League of Women Voters®, a nonpartisan organization focused on voter education and advocacy. Serving on the League Board for over 20 years, Tanya held the positions of Co-President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Voter Services Chair, Forum Moderator, Webmaster, PR, Social Media, and Newsletter Editor. In her spare time, Tanya is the Treasurer for her women’s investment club, enjoys reading, and trout fishing. Tanya joined the Board of Directors in 2017.
Jane Bright is a graduate of Brandeis University and was a lifelong resident of Massachusetts until 2015 when she and her husband moved to Bellingham. It was the grandchildren.
Professionally she spent 28 years in executive positions in Human Resources at The Gillette Company and then at Fidelity Investments. Following retirement, she co-founded HealthLink, a regional environmental group formed to evaluate the high rates of multiple cancers in her community and assess the impact of living under the pollution of a coal-burning power plant. Following several years of advocacy with the State while acquiring a thorough understanding of the health effects from pollution, the State adopted the toughest pollution standards for coal plants in the nation. She received recognitions from both Governor Mitt Romney and the MA State legislature for her volunteer work. During her advocacy, her professional retirement ended, as her husband recruited her to run the business side of his software development and website company.
Since arriving in Bellingham, Bright has volunteered on numerous committees. She was elected President of the South Hill Neighborhood Association, serving for several years, and is still actively involved in upgrading the safety of train crossings across the Port and City. A sailor by marriage, she is active at the Bellingham Yacht Club where she has been elected to the Board twice. She joined the Bellingham City Club Program Committee several years ago and will assume the chairmanship in May of 2023.
She has been politically active in Bellingham, seeking to understand how laws and jurisdictions work in WA vs MA as well as to fulfill her commitment to civic responsibility and community. Bright believes it is important to leave the world a better place than you found it. Jane is chair of the program committee and joined the Board of Directors in 2023.
Jim Britain has a BA from WSU, a JD from Duke University and a LL.M. from Temple University. He and his wife Pat have lived in Bellingham since 1995. Before that, Jim was on the faculties of University of Dayton Law School and New England School of Law, a judicial clerk for the Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and practiced in the litigation department of the Cincinnati law firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister. He continues to engage in the full-time practice of law in Bellingham as an attorney with Barron Smith Daugert PLLC. Jim was the President Whatcom County Bar Association and Chairperson and Board member of LAW Advocates, which provides free legal services in civil matters to those in need. He has also been the President of, and Board member with, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. Jim joined the Board of Directors in 2018. Jim joined the Board of Directors in 2018.
Junga Cha: “My life and legal career have been focused on advancing the civil rights of people of color, women, people with disabilities, and other protected classes of people against employers, institutions, governments or corporations. I have always been passionate about justice and civil rights for people, bringing the strength and wisdom of my mother and ancestors to bear.
“Discrimination and violations of a person’s civil rights are never easy matters. Your legal advocate should listen to your individual needs, understand the critical ways racism or discrimination has caused harm in your life, and be able to educate the court and others on why it requires redress. I use my legal knowledge and experience to help guide my clients through our legal system and get results. Through the lens of my life experience growing up in an immigrant family and understanding of systemic racism, I put the legal system to work to get justice for my clients. Through my work, I meet people with rich life experiences and courageous stories. I love getting to know each of my clients and am truly honored that they share their stories with me.
“In the broader community, I volunteer with various community groups in Bellingham and serve on boards. Working with my community is important to me because when we lift from the bottom up, we lift up everyone. In my community work, my earnest dream is to build a better world together.
“The outdoors and nature call to me all year round in the Pacific Northwest, so you may see me with my partner and eager wolf pack of three dogs on Two Dollar trail, the Chuckanuts, Mt. Baker, Galbraith Mt., or the horse trails at Lake Padden. Though honestly, I am not sure I would go out into the rain, as much, if wasn’t for the dogs’ imploring, sad eyes.” Junga joined the Board of Directors in 2023.
Raymond Dellecker retired several years ago after a successful career spanning digital electronics design, technical marketing, and business development. His assignments included professional positions with Bell Laboratories, Siemens Electronics, and JTAG Technologies, a spinoff of Phillips. Upon retirement, Ray relocated to Bellingham and has become deeply involved with the community. He is a member (term ending June 2017) and past president of the board of Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County, serves as treasurer and board member of the Happy Valley neighborhood association, and volunteers regularly in a 4th grade classroom at Alderwood Elementary School. Ray helped form and is an active member of the Bellingham chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Engineering from Cornell University. Ray’s interests are cycling, downhill skiing, hiking, and reading. He and his wife Carol have three daughters (one in Bellingham) and five grandchildren. Ray joined the Board of Directors in 2017.
Gayle Helgoe: After graduating from Western Washington University, Gayle earned her Masters in Library Science from the University of Illinois. Following a career of thirty five years at the Bellingham Public Library, she retired in 2005 as Assistant Director. With a research interest in local history, she is the principal author of the website, www.fairhavenhistory.com. Community involvement includes past president of Soroptimist International of Bellingham, board member of the Whatcom Literacy Council, and memberships in the YWCA, Whatcom Museum, Whatcom County Historical Society, Friends of the Library, South Hill Neighborhood Association and the Whatcom Horticultural Society. National memberships in the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, Southern Poverty Law Center and Planned Parenthood. She has been a member of the City Club since 2000. Gayle joined the Board of Directors in 2018.
Natalie Knops, born and raised in Bellingham, received her Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College with a degree in Environment, Economics, and Politics. While at Scripps, she studied abroad in Vietnam, Morocco, & Bolivia researching climate change and the politics of food, water, and energy. After graduation, Natalie began her work with the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC), an educational organization that prepares high school students for future careers through experiential academic programming and leadership workshops. She created and developed the NSLC’s Marine Biology program, actively serves as an academic advisor for all NSLC programs, and builds and develops relations with NSLC’s domestic educator network. In addition to her work with the NSLC, Natalie worked as a Professional Bread & Pastry Baker at The Mazama Store while living in the Methow Valley. She is passionate about building learners’ academic engagement in educational contexts and the importance of interpersonal skills in teacher-learner relationships. She enjoys cross-country skiing, mountain biking, running in the Chuckanuts, and filling her camera roll with pictures of her two cats. Natalie joined the Board of Directors in 2023.
Forrest Longman has lived in Bellingham for nearly 20 years and has worked for the City of Bellingham as the Budget and Finance Officer since 2017. He is an alumnus of Western Washington University and earned a master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington after several years running his own yacht maintenance business. Forrest lives in Happy Valley with his wife, Sarah and two sons, Henry and Alden. Before small children commandeered all his free time, he helped create the Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center and Millworks Cohousing. For fun, Forrest enjoys playing with his boys, riding bicycles and sailing in the San Juans. Forrest joined the Board of Directors in 2019.
Maureen McCarthy graduated from Western Washington University in 1993 with a B.A. in English. After living and working in her hometown of Seattle, Maureen returned to Bellingham in 2002. Since then, Maureen has worked for Whatcom Transportation Authority, in communications, marketing and government relations. In addition to advocating for public transportation, Maureen is also an avid bus rider and commutes by bus to work every day. She also enjoys jogging, reading, cross-country skiing, kayaking, camping, and spending time with her family and pets. Maureen joined the Board of Directors in 2017.
Nina Nancarrow grew up on farm outside the city of Gig Harbor, Washington. She began violin lessons in second grade and became a member of the Tacoma Youth Symphony in middle school. She was an active member of the local Girl Scout troop through high school and a
member of the local Pony Club chapter. She attended the University of Puget Sound where she studied foreign language and international affairs. While there, she discovered a passion for the French language which led to international travel and friendships spanning three decades.
She moved to Bellingham in 2007 with her son, Colin, and quickly became involved with the Lowell Elementary School PTA and its “Green Grass” campaign. She met her husband, Matt, and his daughter, Genevieve, at a neighborhood potluck shortly after arriving in Bellingham. Nina has worked for many years as a full charge bookkeeper for a number of local companies and now has her own bookkeeping business. Now that both children are out of the house, Nina has resumed volunteer work, most recently for the Whatcom Unified Command. She and Matt enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, and long walks through the South Bellingham neighborhood where they live and work. Nina joined the board in 2020.
Zach Nordwell came to Bellingham from the Olympic Peninsula in 2001 to attend Western Washington University. In 2006, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and began working as a tax accountant at a Bellingham firm. In 2009, Zach left the firm where he started his career and began as an accountant at Larson Gross, a local Bellingham firm. Zach recently celebrated his 10-year anniversary at Larson Gross, and is currently a CPA Manager at the firm. Zach works with local businesses and individuals in Bellingham and the surrounding areas. Zach is married and he and his wife Sonja Nordwell are starting a family. In his free time, Zach enjoys following the Seattle Mariners, watching movies, hiking, and is a craft beer enthusiast. Zach joined the Board of Directors in 2019.
Allison Roberts grew up in Huntsville, Alabama and Burien, Washington, before moving to Bellingham in 2002. She graduated from Western Washington University with a teaching degree. She has worked as a middle school teacher, a coordinator for the Youth and Government program, and was an assistant during various legislative sessions. A bit of a generalist, Allison has done everything from selling World Book encyclopedias door to door to teaching preschool, planning educational exchange programs for international students and writing letters for budget analysts at the Governor’s Budget Office. She is passionate about connecting people to each other, to new information, and to solutions. She served on the Board of Directors for Wild Whatcom for six years. Since 2011, Allison has been a co-owner of Peak Sustainability Group, an environmental consulting company her husband, David Roberts, founded in 2011. Now semi-retired, you can find Allison in her garden, playing piano, making art, camping in an A-frame trailer, and exploring trails on her electric bike. Allison joined the Board of Directors in 2023.
Kay Sardo reports: “After a lifetime of public service and retirement from 12 years as executive director of the Opportunity Council and former presidency of the Bellingham City Club, I’m delighted to continue our work providing great programs to inform public discussion of issues of interest and importance to our community.” Kay returned to the Board of Directors in 2017.
Candice Wilson is Executive Director of the Lhaq’Temish Foundation, formerly known as Lummi Nation Service Organization, a tribally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit. The foundation’s mission is: ‘Nilh Xwenang Tse Schelangen Este Nexw Xwlemi’ (this is our way of life in Lummi) – a healthy, giving, and prosperous community to strengthen our people through cultural, social, and economic abundance.
Candice is the former Tribal & Community Liaison to the North Sound Accountable Community of Health and served on the Lummi Indian Business Council for nine years as an elected official for Lummi Nation, serving three of those years as the Vice Chairwoman. Candice has a Bachelor’s degree in Tribal Governance and Business Management from Northwest Indian College and is currently is pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration at Seattle University. Candice joined the Board of Directors in 2020.