Board of Directors

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 Thursday 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.

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 Chair of the City Club Membership Committee and manages the membership database.  Robin joined the Board of Directors in 2016.

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.

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 a partner in Britain / Krell 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.

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.

Bruce Disend reports:  I was the founder of Bellingham City Club, but have been in the Seattle area for several years.  My wife, Claudia, and I recently returned to Bellingham to retire and be near grandkids.  While in Bellingham, from 1979-95, I was a Board member and President of Bellingham City Club, Whatcom County Planned Parenthood, Mt. Baker Chapter Red Cross, Kulshan Kiwanis and was a member of Bellingham Bay Rotary.  When not volunteering, I served as Bellingham City Attorney under Mayor Tim Douglas and as a Civil Deputy Prosecutor for Whatcom County.  In the Seattle area, I was senior partner of a law firm that exclusively represented municipalities, and also served as the in-house City Attorney for Shoreline and Puyallup.  My law degree is from Boston University and I earned a B.A from Franklin & Marshall College.  I began my legal career at the Community Legal Aid Society of Wilmington, DE, and worked in a private law firm in Wilmington.  I knew Joe Biden before he was JOE BIDEN.  City Club has a special place in my heart and it would be an honor to return to the Board.  I rejoined the Board of Directors in 2018.

Jayne Freudenberger is a 50-year resident of Bellingham.  She has been chair of the City Club’s program committee for several years.  She is also a 12-year member of the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County: seven years as a board member, five years as president, two years as a State Board member, and currently co-chair of the Climate Change Committee.  Other activities: small business owner for 17 years; president of the Eldridge Historical Society; eight years on the Bellingham Public Library Board of Trustees (three years as President); and seven years on the board of the YWCA, followed by four years on special projects like the Dorothy house. Jayne is married, with two children and four grandchildren.

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,  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.

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.  Simi joined the Board of Directors in 2015.

Monea Kerr, a recent graduate of Western Washington University, earned two bachelor’s degrees: one in communication studies and another in public relations. She is originally from Sequim, Washington, where the Native American tribe she is affiliated with, Jamestown S’Klallam, resides. Monea began her career with the City of Bellingham in 2017 as the communications intern for the Mayor’s Office and loved the opportunity to get to know the ins and outs of local government. She currently holds a position as Legislative Assistant for the Bellingham City Council. Her favorite part of her job is getting the chance to engage with her community. Prior to working for the City, Monea worked at Lummi Nation Tribal School where she mentored youth through Western’s Compass 2 Campus program as a lead mentor. In her spare time, she enjoys adventuring, experiencing live music, trying new food, watercolor painting, traveling to places near and far, and spending time with her family and friends.

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.

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.

Maureen McCarthy spent her early childhood in Hilo, Hawaii, before moving to Seattle with her family at age eight. She attended Western Washington University and worked for several summers as a tour bus driver in Skagway, Alaska. She graduated from WWU in 1993 with a B.A. in English. Maureen then lived in Seattle for nine years, working as a marketing and communications director for several Alaska-based cruise lines. She returned to Bellingham in 2002. Since 2002, Maureen has been the Communications and Marketing Manager for Whatcom Transportation Authority. In addition to promoting the benefits of riding the bus, she enjoys these benefits herself, and rides several times per week. She also enjoys jogging, reading, cross-country skiing, kayaking and spending time with her husband, her family, and their many pets.  Maureen joined the Board of Directors in 2017.

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.

David Roberts 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.

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.