Trustees' Biographies | The Evergreen State College

Trustees' Biographies

Fred Goldberg, Vice Chair

Expiration of term: 09/30/2020

Fred GoldbergFred Goldberg was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Jay Inslee March 20, 2013.  A philanthropist, Army veteran, banker and entrepreneur, Fred helped found Saltchuk Resources, a global logistics company, currently the largest private company in Washington State.  Recently retired from active management of the company, Fred continues to serve on the Saltchuk board.  As a banker, Fred saw the evolution of the Thurston County State Bank into Puget Sound National Bank and then into Key Bank, serving in various leadership roles throughout the decades.  He currently serves on the board of Columbia Bank.

Fred has deep roots in Olympia, where he operated his family's third-generation furniture business, volunteered at the Washington State Capital Museum and helped the Panorama City retirement community regain financial stability in the 1990s.  His leadership commitment to community, education and global health issues is manifest in his extensive service to organizations such as the Civil Service Commission of Olympia, Providence Saint Peter Foundation, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, The Evergreen State College Foundation and the University of Washington Alumni association.

As a mentor, he has worked with students at UW's Graduate School of Business and officials at the Gates Foundation.  In addition to his service at Evergreen, Fred currently serves on the boards of Panorama City and the Initiative for Global Development, which focuses on relieving poverty in Africa by co-coordinating investment by world funds.


Irene Gonzales

Expiration of term: 09/30/2015 Dr. Irene Gonzales

Irene Gonzales serves as Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Services for Spokane Public Schools in Spokane, Washington. In this capacity she mentors, supervises, and evaluates 17 principals. She proudly partners with principals in guiding the district's instructional initiatives to improve student achievement through the examination of academic achievement data and setting a plan of action. She supports approximately 8,000 students each and everyday in her role. Prior to joining Spokane Public Schools, Irene served as an elementary principal for 13 years in Yakima and Walla Walla.

Irene's connections to higher education are vast. She has been an adjunct professor for Whitworth University's educational graduate programs for the past two years. She also serves as an advisor to the WSU President's Council and the WSU National Education for Women's Leadership Council; is a member of Gonzaga University's Institutional Review Board for Human Subject Research, WSU Cougar Admission Support Team and is in partnership with the University of Washington's Center for Educational Leadership (CEL).

In addition to spending time in higher educational institutions, she is an active community member; she serves as Vice-President of the Hispanic Business Professional Association Foundation, is a board member of YWCA and a member of the Inland Northwest Latino Chamber of Commerce.

She has been blessed with many honors. As Irene completed her doctoral studies she was chosen as the WSU Student Commencement Speaker. In addition, she was awarded the David L. Clark National Award for Excellence in Educational Administration Research, and the WSU Chancellor's Award for Academic Excellence. Other notable mentions are: Washington Association of School Administrators – Doyle E. Winter Scholarship; Walla Walla Public Schools – Graduate of Distinction; Rotary – Paul Harris Fellow and Group Study Exchange Team Leader to Sweden; Milken Family Foundation National Educator, and an Olympic Torch Relay Runner chosen as a local community hero.

Irene received her bachelor's degree in Education from Washington State University, her master's in Educational Policy and Management from the University of Oregon, and her doctorate in Educational Administration from Washington State University. She also is a member of numerous professional organizations.

She is married to Kirk Hirota, a professional photographer and has two daughters, Camina and Kimiko.

Rhianna Hruska, Student Trustee

Expiration of term: June 30, 2017

Rhianna Hruska

Rhianna Hruska is a first-year Master of Public Administration student at Evergreen. She has a B.A. in environmental studies and anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master of Environmental Studies (MES) from Evergreen.
Rhianna has previously served as a representative on the Gʷídəq Student Union and as chair of the Clean Energy Committee. Since 2012, Rhianna has participated in conferences, lobby days, and actions with the United States Student Association, University of California Student Association, and the Washington Student Association. While at Evergreen, she has also presented at the Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference and attended the national conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Her areas of interest in MES include sustainable agriculture, entomology, urban ecology, ornithology, and fisheries.
After earning her MES degree she plans to apply for a position in a state agency. She eventually wants to pursue a PhD in environmental studies or environmental anthropology.

Keith Kessler

Expiration of term:  September 30, 2019Keith Kessler 2013

Keith Kessler is a plaintiff's personal injury attorney with the Hoquiam and Seattle Law Firm of Stritmatter Kessler Whelan, representing brain- and spinal cord-injury survivors.  He focuses his practice largely on highway and product safety.  His recent articles have addressed the need for open government.

Keith is a Fellow with the American College of Trial Lawyers, having been selected from among the top 1% of trial attorneys in the United States and Canada. He has served as President of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, President of the invitation-only Damage Attorneys Round Table, and President of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Washington Chapter.  He is a member of the Washington Supreme Court's Pattern Jury Instructions Committee.

Keith was honored as “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association in 1994, and as “Outstanding Plaintiff Trial Lawyer” by the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers in 2002. He has been peer-selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995, and was selected as Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year, Personal Injury Litigation - Seattle, Washington in 2011.  Keith received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Washington in 1972.


David Nicandri, Secretary

Expiration of term: 09/30/2020

David Nicandri was formerly director of the Washington State Historical Society, serving from July 1987 to October 2011. A graduate of State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh, and the holder of a Master’s Degree in history from the University of Idaho, David formerly served as the chief curator of the Washington State Capital Museum. David was also elected three times to the Tumwater, Wash. city council, and was adjunct faculty at The Evergreen State College.  He has served as a consulting historian in a number of capacities, including three terms as a speaker in the “Inquiring Mind” program at Humanities Washington.

David is the author of numerous books and articles, including: Olympia’s Forgotten Pioneers: The Oblates of Mary Immaculate (1972); Italians in Washington State: Emigration, 1853-1924 (1978); Northwest Chiefs: Gustav Sohon’s Views of the 1855 Stevens Treaty Councils (1986); and a contributing editor of Washington: Images of State’s Heritage (1988), the official centennial illustrated history of Washington; and most recently, River of Promise: Lewis and Clark on the Columbia (2010) published by the Dakota Institute and distributed nationally by Oklahoma University Press. He has published many book reviews including those that can be found in Western Historical Quarterly, Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Overland Journal, and the Oregon Historical Quarterly.

In May 2001, David received an honorary doctorate from Gonzaga University in recognition of his tenure and leadership of the Washington State Historical Society. The University of Puget Sound granted David an honorary doctorate in May 2007, and his alma mater, SUNY Plattsburgh, has named him a distinguished visiting alumnus.

Recently retired as Director of the Washington State Historical Society, David is currently researching Captain James Cook’s 18th century search for Northwest Passage and exploring that quest’s relevance to present-day issues of climate change.


Anne Proffitt

Expiration of term: 9/30/2018

Anne Proffitt was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Christine Gregoire in November, 2006. A strong advocate for Evergreen and its distinctive education, Anne studied public administration and psychology at the college. After graduating from The Evergreen State College in 1976, Anne's successful 21 year career in technology culminated at the Microsoft Corporation as Director of Customer Services and Sales for Microsoft Technical Support. Anne's Microsoft business experience and Evergreen education bring a unique perspective to the Board of Trustees position.

Joining Microsoft in 1989, Anne's career included positions in both the sales and support divisions. She started in the US Sales and Marketing Division as the Information Center Manager. This position afforded her the opportunity to work directly with every product group in the company and create the pre and post-sales direct customer experience for all new products. In 1991, she was a founding member of the start up team building a new Product Support Center in Dallas, Texas. During her Microsoft career, she also directly participated in every significant Windows and MS-DOS launch, starting with Windows 3.0 in 1990 and ending with Windows 98. Leaving Microsoft in 1998, she now owns Beach Fire Glass on Whidbey Island.

Gretchen Sorensen, Chair

Expiration of Term: 9/30/2016Sorrenson

Gretchen Sorensen has worked to transform organizational challenges into measurable, positive results. With twenty-five years of global multi-sector experience, Gretchen's problem- solving and organizational development skills have helped catalyze a broad range of initiatives and innovative business solutions that cross sectors and industries.

In 2006, Gretchen launched an independent consulting practice focused on the new economy. Gretchen’s expertise in strategic initiatives and partnerships, communications, philanthropy, advocacy and policy help her clients translate paradigm-shifting ideas and discoveries into tangible value for funders, public policy makers and the marketplace -- bringing accelerated benefits and return on investment.

Gretchen has served in numerous leadership positions, in both the public and private sectors. She has served as a member of biotech visionary Dr. Leroy Hood’s team at the Institute for Systems Biology; a technology company executive; in senior legislative and policy positions on Capitol Hill and as an advisor for two Presidential campaigns. She served as Regional Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration and White House Liaison for the Pacific Northwest region during the Clinton Administration. At Turner Broadcasting, she led the corporate communications efforts throughout the Asia-Pacific region. She currently serves as senior strategic advisor to organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors that are engaged in the life sciences, global health and environmental sustainability.

Gretchen is a graduate of The Evergreen State College. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and is currently a member of the Woodland Park Zoological Society's Board of Directors, the Community Development Roundtable and the Global Health Nexus, Seattle working group.

James Wigfall

Expiration of term: September 30, 2021
James Wigfall

Jim Wigfall is vice president of Shared Services Group (SSG) Business Support to Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) and Boeing Capital Corporation (BCC).  He reports to the SSG president and is a member of the Shared Services Leadership Team.  Wigfall works with the BCA and BCC executive teams and is accountable for SSG performance in support of their operational and strategic business plans.

Prior to this assignment, from October 2005 to December 2010, Wigfall served as vice president of SSG Supplier Management with responsibility for the purchase of all non-production goods and services for The Boeing Company. He joined Boeing in 1986 in a variety of positions, which included leadership of the Supply Chain Services organization; director of Information Systems Process Councils at Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Commercial Airplanes Information Systems director for Manufacturing, Quality Assurance and Supply Chain Systems; director of Enterprise Computing Operations and Support at Shared Services; and director of the Year 2000 (Y2K) program for Commercial Airplanes.

Active in the community, Wigfall is a member of the Board of Directors for several organizations -- Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, King County Library System, Evergreen State College and Special Olympics Washington. Wigfall was named a Seattle YMCA Black Achiever 1990-2000. Wigfall is also the Boeing executive representative for the National Society of Black Engineers and received the Career Achievement in Industry Award from Career Communications Group at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards in February 2009.

Born in Los Angeles, Wigfall lived at various locations across the United States as a military dependent. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics/Computer Science in 1982 from The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C. He served four years in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1986 as a captain in the Signal Corps in Augusta, Ga. He obtained his Master's in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, specializing in Aerospace.

Outside of work, Wigfall writes fiction, is an avid professional sports fan and enjoys playing sports.