Board of Directors

Washington Women’s Foundation is governed by a 20-member Board of Directors elected by the membership. President Beth McCaw and a small professional staff manage the Foundation’s work, in coordination with members serving on various committees.

Click below to learn more about our Board members:

Cherry McGee Banks | Sue Bennett | Christine CharbonneauGrace Chien | Kathleen Edwards | Carrie George Jodi Green | Peggy Hanel | Kate Janeway| Martha Kongsgaard | Ann KumasakaBo Lee Donna Lou | Patti Meyers | Laura Midgley | Nicole Resch | Jane SearingMary K. Stevens | Susie Tull | Emerita Board Members

Board of Directors

CherryBanks
Cherry McGee Banks, Ed.D joined the Foundation in 2008 and has been an active member of the Grant Committee and on the leadership team of the Discovery Days Committee. Cherry joined the Board in 2012 and currently serves as the Secretary of the Board. She is a professor of education at the University of Washington-Bothell and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. She has been published in numerous journals and is the associate editor of the Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, coeditor of Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives, co-author of Teaching Strategies for the Social Studies and author of Improving Multicultural Education: Lessons From the Intergroup Education Movement. Professor Banks serves on several national committees and Boards including the American Educational Research Journal's editorial Board and the Board of Examiners for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
 

Sue Bennett joined the Foundation in 1997. She has served as Chair of the Pooled Fund Grant Committee, Chair of the 10th Anniversary Committee, and a member of the Education Committee. Sue is currently the Senior Leadership Director for Leadership Tomorrow, an organization whose purpose is to cultivate, inspire, connect and engage an effective community of leaders. Prior to this, she was the Senior Learning Manager at Philanthropy Northwest, an organization that works with grant makers in six northwest states to promote effective, collaborative grantmaking. Sue has worked for corporations, foundations and not-for-profits and had a consulting business for many years. She has served on the boards of Child Care Resources, Planned Parenthood, Cancer Lifeline and the Reed Coleman Family Foundation. Sue also facilitates Parent Peer Groups for schools around Puget Sound and volunteers with Year Up Puget Sound. She graduated from Stanford University with honors. 

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Chris Charbonneau
Christine Charbonneau is a University of Washington history and political science graduate, and has been a national Planned Parenthood leader for over 30 years, more than 25 as CEO. In her tenure she has been instrumental in changing laws and health policy in a number of states. She co-founded Planned Parenthood Online – a resource that now connects 6M visitors around the world each month with needed health services and information; she also co-founded Planned Parenthood Laboratory Services Co-op, now processing labs for Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country. Chris serves on the national insurance Affiliate Risk Management Services Board, and is the Board Chair of Voxent, a national not-for-profit, technology services organization.  Twenty-six years ago, Chris and two other colleagues dreamt of manufacturing affordable contraceptive supplies to ensure access to quality products by low-income women; now, Chris chairs Afaxys, an international pharmaceutical company doing just that. Afaxys supplies Planned Parenthood affiliates, health departments, and health organizations serving low income women with birth control and emergency contraception.
 
Chris joined the Washington Women's Foundation in 2005. She’s been an active, founding committee member on our Impact Assessment Committee and chaired that committee in 2013-2014, and has spoken at a number of our educational programs about topics including her experience in advocacy work. Chris is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Board.
 
Grace Chien

Grace Chien is the former Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Western Washington, a recipient of WA Women's Foundation’s 2008 Pooled Fund Grant in Human Services. Active in community affairs she currently serves on the boards of the Washington Athletic Club, the Group Health Foundation, and Leadership Tomorrow where she is also the chair of the Curriculum Committee. She is an active member of Seattle Rotary #4 and is a past member of the Seattle Rotary Service Foundation and the Rotary Club. Previously, she has served on the Boards of the Alliance of Nonprofits and is a past appointee of the Governor on the Washington State Commission for National and Community Service. Grace received her Juris Doctorate and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She is an alumna of Leadership Tomorrow and the Executive Development Institute. Grace joined the Foundation in 2009, is chair of the Governance Committee and is Chair of the Board.

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Kathy Edwards

Kathleen (Kathy) Edwards joined the Foundation in 1996 and has served as a member of the Grant and Impact Assessment Committees. She was also a member of the Education Committee for 14 years, serving both as its Chair and as Chair of WA Women's Foundation’s Cabinet. She joined the Board of WA Women's Foundation in 2011 and currently serves as its Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. Kathy has a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems and has an extensive background in nonprofit finance. She worked as a governance and leadership consultant to nonprofit organizations for 20 years before retiring in 2005. She has also been involved in commercial real estate management and development. Kathy is the co-founder and current Board President of the Cedarmere Foundation, whose mission is to support the development and sustainability of small nonprofits in the Puget Sound region. Cedarmere’s grantmaking activity is based on the belief that the most effective way to enable nonprofits to deliver on their missions is to support their leaders and their infrastructure through capacity building grants. Kathy also serves on the Statewide Capacity Collaborative and is a member of the Wood River Women’s Charitable Foundation and PATH's Reach Campaign Committee.

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Carrie George

Carrie George has been a member of the Foundation since 1999 and has served as Grant Committee Chair and Discovery Days Co-Chair and as a member of the Membership Committee, Impact Assessment Committee, and Committee Cabinet. She currently serves on the Governance Committee. Carrie is also on the Board of Directors of Educurious and is a past member of the Mercer Island School Board. Professionally, Carrie is an Executive Coach with a focus on women’s career and leadership issues.  

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Jodi Green joined the Foundation in 2008. Born and raised in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, N.Y., Jodi was the first in her family to attend college, earning her bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1983. She was one of only three women to earn a bachelor of science in computer science in her graduating class.
 
After graduating, Jodi accepted a position with the Microsoft Corporation. For many years, Jodi led the Development team for Microsoft Word and was later instrumental in developing the first version of Microsoft Outlook. During her time with the company, Jodi’s leadership helped take Word from a $50 million product to nearly $1 billion.
 
Jodi is active in the community through her many philanthropic interests. She has served as a trustee in a leadership role for a variety of not-for-profits, including the Seattle Parks Foundation, the Seattle Public Library Foundation, and the Henry Art Gallery. She is the current Chair of the University of Washington Foundation Board and was on the 2014 Discovery Days Committee. Jodi is married to Dr. Mike Halperin and has two children, ages 24 and 19.
 
Peggy Hanel joined the Foundation in 2003. She is currently the Chair of the Committee Cabinet and, in this role, is an ex-officio voting member of the Board of Directors. She has served as a member and leader on the Membership Engagement
Committee, Impact Assessment Committee and Pooled Fund Grant Committee. Peggy has served as a Pooled Fund Grant Committee work group leader and recently completed three years as a member of the Grants Leadership Team. She has served the larger Seattle
community as a board member of several non-profit organizations including Childhaven, Rebuilding Together and Seattle
Arts and Lectures. Peggy is a graduate of St Louis University, School of Nursing.
 

Kate Janeway

Kate Janeway is a founding member of the Foundation. She is a Past Chair of the Board, serves on the Resource Development Committee and the Planning Committee. She also chaired the 2009 Strategic Planning Steering Committee and 2014 President Search & Transition Committee. Kate is an executive coach focused on sustaining the vision, commitment and resiliency of leaders. She has decades of experience leading Boards. She currently serves on the Boards of two nonprofits, The Nature Conservancy and The Frye Art Museum. Kate previously served on the Board of The Seattle Foundation for nine years as well as the Haas Foundation – now InvestEd – and The Orcas Island Community Foundation. Kate is a certified Hudson Institute Coach (CHIC). She holds a BA in American Studies and Humanities from Stanford University, a JD from Georgetown Law Center, and an MPA in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management from the University of Washington.

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Martha Kongsgaard

Martha Kongsgaard joined WA Women's Foundation in 1997, has served on its Board of Directors since 2010 and is the Board's Past Chair. Martha, an attorney, is Chair of the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership, a community-wide effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. She Chairs the Marine Resource Advisory Council for Governor Inslee and she serves on the advisory Boards of the UW College of the Environment, the UW Center for Human Rights, and the Ruckelshaus Center. Martha also is a founding Board member of IslandWood and is a past Board President of Philanthropy Northwest. She has helped lead numerous community campaigns and has spoken broadly about philanthropy and the environment for the past 25 years. Martha has been honored with the Nancy Nordhoff Civic Leaderhip Award by CityClub, Woman of the Year Award by Seattle University School of Law, the Environmental Hero Award by the Washington Environmental Council, the Seattle Aquarium Medal for leadership and lifetime achievement, and in 2015, was among the inaugural recipients of the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance Inspiration Award. The Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation, created with her husband Peter Goldman in 1988, supports Northwest environmental, social justice and arts organizations.  

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Ann Kumasaka joined Washington Women’s Foundation in 2012. She has participated in the Human Services Pooled Fund Grant Committee and the International Partner Grant Committee. She has had the pleasure of serving as co-leader of the 2016 Diversity Partner Grant Committee. A Seattle native, Ann graduated from the University of Washington and has been an art director and graphic designer for over 25 years. She is the founder and director of A.K.A. Design, specializing in visual brand development, magazine design and corporate annual reports. In additional to her interest in international and human rights issues, Ann is a passionate supporter of animal rights and the environment.  

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Bo Lee is a trusted advisor to private clients, endowments and foundations as a Senior Wealth Manager at BNY Mellon. Bo has been with the firm since March 2008 and has served as the Co-Chair of its National Diversity & Inclusion Council since 2011. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, Bo was a Partner and a Financial Advisor within one of the largest wealth management teams at Morgan Stanley. Bo has been an active member of Washington Women’s Foundation since 2010. She co-chaired the 2015 Emerging Issues Partner Grant Committee and has served as a Pooled Fund Grant Committee work group leader. In addition, Bo serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wing Luke Museum and Co-Chairs the Leadership Council for the PULSE Network of Overlake Medical Center. Bo earned a B.A. from the University of Washington with an emphasis in Economics and Art History. She lives on the Eastside with her family and enjoys cooking, travel and the arts.
 

Donna Lou

Donna Lou has been a member of the Foundation since 2005. Donna has served as Board liaison to the Diversity Partner Grant Committee (since its inception in 2010), a member of the Pooled Fund Grant Committees in 2005 & 2006, Secretary of the Board and was a member of the 2009 Strategic Planning Committee. She has served on the boards of The Seattle Foundation and College Access Now. She is currently a a board member for Team Read.

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Patti Meyers has been an active member of Washington Women’s Foundation since 2007, having served on the Grants Committee, the Cabinet and the Impact Assessment Committee, which she chaired in 2012. After a professional career in higher education administration at Claremont McKenna College, Patti returned to Seattle. She is past Board president of The Overlake School and Northwest Children’s Fund. Also, she is the immediate past president of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington and currently serves on its Board.
 
Patti, a Seattle native, received a B.A. in Political Science from Scripps College and a M.A. in Government from Claremont Graduate University.
 
Laura Midgley

Laura Midgley has been an active member of the Foundation since 2002, serving as Chair of the Cabinet, the Discovery Days Committee, the Pooled Fund Grant Committee and the Innovation Partner Grant Committee. Currently serving as the WA Women's Foundation Board liaison to the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN), Laura recently servied as the founding Board Chair of this national Network and works to connect organizations that use the WA Women's Foundation model. Reflecting her passion for early learning, Laura has served on the Board of Child Care Resources for 12 years, including a term as President, and PEPS, also as past President. Other past board affiliations include University Prep and Rebuilding Together Seattle, where she was a founding Board member. Laura has volunteered as a mentor to high school seniors with College Access Now, a court appointed special advocate for Family Law CASA and a host for AFS. Laura also is a member of the Wood River Women's Foundation in Ketchum, Idaho, which like WA Women's Foundation, is one of the dozens of organizations belonging to WCGN. Laura is currently the Chair of WA Women's Foundation's Governance Committee.

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Nicole Resch is a Talent Management consultant for the IT, Corporate Strategy, and Operations businesses at Microsoft. Nicole has been with Microsoft since 2006 and has been a leader for the global employee giving campaign since 2011. Prior to this, Nicole was living and working in Kampala, Uganda for Right To Play, an NGO focused on using sport for development in refugee camps worldwide. Nicole was the founding Board President for Upwardly Global and has been an active member of WA Women’s Foundation since 2013. She is currently the Vice Chair for the Discovery Days Planning Committee. She served on the Environmental work group of the Pooled Fund Grant Committee in 2013, the Partner Grant Committee in 2014, the Discovery Days Planning Committee in 2014 and 2015, and on the Brand Research Work Group earlier this year. Nicole earned her BA in Political Science from Vassar College and is a candidate for an MA in Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga University. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and son and enjoys running on Alki, reading science fiction and sea yarns, and experiencing the performing arts in Seattle with her mom…who is also a WA Women’s Foundation member!

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Jane Searing is a tax shareholder with Clark Nuber, P.S. in Bellevue, Washington. She leads the firm’s public charity and private foundation tax practice. Jane is a past chair and current associate member of the AICPA Exempt Organizations Technical Resources Panel. She served as chair of the panel during the years of the Form 990 redesign and continues to provide the IRS with input on continued improvements to the form. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a master’s of science degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University. A WA Women’s Foundation member since 2001, Jane is also Treasurer and board member of Seattle Philanthropic Advisors Network (SPAN), serves on Seattle Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council, is a member of the AICPA, Washington Society of CPAs, serves as an advisor to the boards of Life Enrichment Options and Cycle the Wave Foundation, and is an alpine Special Olympics ski coach with the Skihawks racing team. Jane lives in Issaquah, Washington with her husband and two boxers, Laila and Brandi. She has two adult children, and enjoys hiking and running half-marathons. 

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Stevens

Mary K. Stevens has been an active member of WA Women's Foundation since 2002, serving as Grant Committee Chair in 2007. She chaired the Cabinet in 2009 and 2010 and, in 2012 and 2013, was Board liaison to the Innovation Partner Grant Committee. Mary also has served on the Diversity Partner Grant Committee and is currently Chair of the Resource Development Committee. Mary is a past Board member of Casa Latina where she served as President, Plymouth Housing Group, and University Prep, where she co-chaired their first-ever Endowment Campaign. She is a current member of the Board of Directors of Para Los NiƱos de Highline. Mary has professional experience in fundraising at organizations dedicated to education and the arts, including ACT Theatre.    

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Tull
Susanna Tull was appointed to the WA Women's Foundation Board of Directors in January 2014 to fill a vacated seat. In 2011 and 2012, she served as an ex-officio member of the Board in her capacity as Cabinet Chair. Susie joined the Foundation in 2005 and has served as Chair of the Grant Committee and as Co-Chair of the Discovery Days Committee. Susie served on the Board of Seattle Pro Musica and is an active community volunteer. She has a communications consulting firm. Her focus for many years was on public transportation demand management. She is now the lead marketing consultant for an internet retailer.
 

Emerita Board

RhodaAltom

Rhoda Altom is a co-founder of WA Women's Foundation and past chair of the Board; she served on the Board of Directors until 2013. Rhoda currently serves on the Board of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund, founded and continues on the YWCA Endowment Guild and is an Emeritae Board Member and Past President of the YWCA Board. She is a Trustee of Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center and a Trustee of Health Team Northwest. Rhoda is President of Milestone Properties, a real estate investment firm.

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Julia Calhoun

Julia Calhoun has been a member of Washington Women’s Foundation since its inception in 1995 and has served on the Grant Committee and the Endowment Committee. She is the past President of the Board of Trustees for Treehouse, and a past Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Northwest Children’s Fund. Julia was also honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal as a Woman of Influence in 2007.

Mary Ann Ekman is a founding member of the Foundation and served as Treasurer of the Board. Mary Ann has served as Board president for the University of Washington Law School Foundation and the Pocock Rowing Foundation. She has provided pro bono legal and tax advice to Magnolia Helpline, SYC Rowing Foundation, Cascade Rowing Foundation, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, and Magnolia Lutheran Church. She is a former tax partner of Deloitte & Touche and a former partner of Karr Tuttle Campbell, P.S. She maintains her law practice in Seattle.

Anne Farrell is a co-founder of the Foundation. She was Chair of the Board from 2009-2011 and has chaired the Grant Committee, Governance Committee and served on the Finance and Education Committees. Anne is President Emerita of the Seattle Foundation. She has served on the Boards of many institutions including Seattle University, Seattle Symphony Foundation, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Leadership Tomorrow, Alliance for Education, Council on Foundations, the Seattle Public Library Foundation, REI, and the Pacific Northwest Grantmakers Forum (now Philanthropy Northwest). She currently serves as a Director of KCTS9 Television and Cornerstone Advisors.  

Sue Lile Hunter

Sue Lile Hunter, a co-founder of WA Women's Foundation, served on the Board until 2006, acting as Vice President from 1995-1997 and Treasurer from 1997-2003. Sue currently serves on the board of Facing the Future, and is an honorary trustee of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Sue has served on a variety of boards in the Seattle area including YWCA of King County, Washington State Hospital Association, Leadership Tomorrow, Junior League of Seattle, and United Way of King County. She is a co-founder of CityClub, and was a recipient of the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Community Service Award.

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Carla Lewis

Carla Lewis became President of Washington Women’s Foundation in April 2008 and led it to new heights in strategic philanthropy, member engagement and operational effectiveness. Prior to becoming President, Carla was actively involved in the Foundation as a founding member, and engaged in the Grant Committee and the Finance Committee for many years. She retired from her position in August 2014. Carla has extensive experience and expertise from her 25-year career working in the corporate world, with executive leadership roles in strategic planning, business management, finance, treasury and communications at Paccar and Microsoft. Active in the nonprofit arena, Carla serves on the Boards of Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Library Foundation, and the Microsoft Alumni Foundation. She has previously served on the Boards of Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle Opera, Forest Ridge School, Henry Art Gallery, Providence Medical Center and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Dorothy Mann

A founding member of WA Women's Foundation, Dorothy Mann served two terms on the Board of Directors beginning in 2004. She is currently a director of Virginia Mason Medical Center,  sits on the Seattle Art Museum Development Authority Council, and serves as Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. Dorothy is an adjunct professor in the UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Dorothy served 14 years as the Regional Health Administrator for US Public Health Service, where she was the ranking federal public health official in the Region. Dorothy is also a member of the Washington State Women’s Forum and a consultant on nonprofit governance with the Seattle Executive Service Corps.

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Pamela McCabe has been a member of the Foundation since 2000 and was a Board Member from 2008-2012. Previously, Pamela chaired the Communications, Grants, and Impact Assessment Committees, and the Committee Cabinet. She also participated on the International Grant Committee. An active community volunteer, Pamela currently serves on the Seattle Parks Foundation Board and the Lopez Island Family Resource Board. She has been a mediator with the Dispute Resolution Center of King County. Pamela has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, board chair for the Children’s Trust Foundation and counselor for Planned Parenthood. 

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Alison Oresman Wilson

A member of WA Women's Foundation since 1997, Dorothy Loucks Nelson served on the Board from 2004—2009. She has chaired the Grant Committee and was initial chair of the Impact Assessment Committee which she helped to establish.  Dorothy  led a task force which developed the Strategic Plan in 2005 and was Co-Chair of the Search Committee that recommended Carla Lewis as the new President of WA Women's Foundation in 2008.  Dorothy has chaired the boards of FareStart, Eastside Mental Health, United Way of Island County, and Amara Parenting and Adoption Services, in addition to other board memberships.

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Jeannie Nordstrom

Jeannie Nordstrom, a founding member of the Foundation, co-chaired the President Search Committee. An active community leader, Jeannie has served on the Board of the YWCA for many years and was board president during the years when they raised $42 million for new projects in support for women and children in the community. In addition to the YWCA, her lifelong passion includes the humane and ethical treatment of all animals. She has also served on the board of the Delta Society, Cancer Lifeline, IslandWood and The Market Foundation. Jeannie has been a division director for the United Way of King County and an elementary school teacher.

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GailRansom

Gail Ransom, member of the Foundation since 1997, served on the Board of Directors until 2013. Gail created and continues to serve on the Foundation’s Resource Development Committee. Gail’s firm, Ransom Development Services, has provided fundraising consultation to nonprofits for more than 30 years. She currently serves on the Boards of Rainier Scholars and the Peach Foundation. She is also involved with the Northwest Development Officers Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

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Judith Runstad was a founding member of the Washington Women’s Foundation. She served on the Board of Directors from 2010-2012 She has been an attorney with Foster Pepper, LLC for over 35 years, specializing in the areas of real estate development, land use and environmental law. She serves on the boards of Wells Fargo and Potlatch Corporation, and has been on a number of nonprofit boards including Seattle Art Museum, The Seattle Foundation and YWCA. 

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Faye Sarkowsky

Faye Sarkowsky, a co-founder of WA Women's Foundation, served on the Board until 2007. Faye has been an active community volunteer, serving as the president of the Seattle Art Museum, an honorary board member of the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, and served as the Commissioner of the Washington State Arts Commission. Faye was the first female chairman of both PONCHO and the Fifth Avenue Theatre Association. She has received numerous awards for her commitment to arts organizations and the community. Along with her husband, Herman, Faye received the PONCHO Founder’s Award, the Gates Volunteer Service Award from the University of Washington and the Jerry Pennington Award for Service from Children’s Hospital.

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Maggie Walker

Maggie Walker is a founding member of the Foundation, first Chair of the board and Planning Committee, two time grant committee member, and helped lead the development of the Foundation’s endowment. Maggie is past chair of many boards: Woodland Park Zoo Society, Henry Art Gallery, ARCS and UW Arts and Sciences. She is currently board chair of the Bullitt Foundation and MOHAI; vice chair of the Seattle Foundation; and president of the board of the Seattle Art Museum. She co-chaired the UW Arts and Sciences Capital Campaign as well as the campaign for Lake Union Park. Maggie also co-chairs the Cultural Task Force for the Prosperity Partnership and was a co-founder of Social Venture Partners.

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Colleen Willoughby

Colleen Willoughby is the co-founder of the Washington Women's Foundation and served as its first president from 1995 to 2008. Colleen has been instrumental in inspiring several other similar women’s philanthropy organizations across the country. She has served as President of the Junior League of Seattle as well as the board of the Association of Junior Leagues International. She has served on the boards of The Seattle Foundation, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center Foundation and the Saul and Dayee Haas Foundation. She has chaired the boards of Leadership Tomorrow, The Seattle Children's Home, and the United Way of King County. She is a founder of CityClub and currently serves as Vice Chair. She is an Emerita Trustee of Whitman College and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She is the WA Women's Foundation board liaison to the Impact Assessment Committee and serves on the Inclusiveness Initiative and Development committees.

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Alison Oresman Wilson is a founding member of Washington Women's Foundation, and she served on the Board from 2004 - 2014. Alison served on the Planning and Governance Committees, was past chair of Board, and was the first Chair of the Membership Committee. Alison is a journalist and award-winning food writer. Alison serves as an advisory Board member for UW’s Center on Infant Health and Development.