Irene Gonzales, Vice Chair
Expiration of term: 09/30/2015
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.
Erin Harms, Student Trustee
Expiration of term: 06/30/2013
Senior Erin Harms has been appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on The Evergreen State College’s Board of Trustees. Her term began on August 6th, 2012 and will continue until June 30th, 2013. Erin succeeds Wilbert Raul Piña as the Student Trustee.
Erin grew up on a small, multi-generational family farm in northwest Oregon, where she raised a purebred flock of Dorset sheep, Berkshire pigs, rabbits, and heritage breeds of chickens. While in high school, Erin was heavily involved with the National FFA Organization, serving as the chapter Reporter, Secretary, Vice-President, and President, and as the District Secretary her senior year. She won a variety of awards in FFA, culminating with earning her State Farmer Degree and the State Sheep Proficiency as a senior. Erin was also a member of the National Honor Society for two years, and was the chapter’s Secretary. She graduated from Canby High School with an Honors Diploma and Certificate of Advanced Mastery in both Agriculture and AP English.
Since enrolling at The Evergreen State College, Erin has pursued both cultural and gender studies, focusing her past several years on political economies and human trafficking. She has sat on multiple committees for the college, including a Dean hiring task force and the Diversity & Equity Committee. She has also worked as a Student Ambassador with the Office of Admissions since her sophomore year.
Erin is slated to graduate with her Bachelor of Arts in June with the class of 2013.
Keith Kessler, Chair
Expiration of term: 09/30/2013
Keith Kessler is a plaintiff's personal injury attorney with the Hoquiam and Seattle law firm of Stritmatter Kessler Whelan Coluccio. Over the past 30 years, Keith has achieved several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of brain and spinal cord injury survivors, as well as the families of victims of wrongful death. He focuses his practice largely on product liability, highway design and aircraft crash cases.
His recent articles have focused on open government, calling attention to the failure of our state and local governments to provide the public with collision reports that are essential to an evaluation of the safety of our roads, as well as on the topic of hazardous cable guardrail systems.
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.
Keith serves on the Washington Supreme Court's Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. He is a member of the Washington Trial Attorneys Political Forum, and was its Chair from 1993 to 1995.
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 listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995.
Expiration of term: 09/30/2014
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, Secretary
Expiration of term: 9/30/2012
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.
Expiration of Term: 9/30/2016
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.
Term of office: October 26, 2012 to June 30, 2015
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.