Kirin Bhatti • Director
Kirin Bhatti lives at the nexus of work, play, and social activism. Part entrepreneur, part artist and part educator, Kirin is both dreamer and doer. Born to a large Punjabi Indian family outside of Toronto, ON, Kirin is well versed in the art of joyfully communicating and connecting with others, building bridges across and within communities while articulating an equitable lens in her work. She has spent 7 years working at schools across North America as a teacher, program developer, director and everything in between. Working within education Kirin realized and honed her innate ability to build, market, and successfully grow innovative, fun ideas that address systemic gaps. With a desire to utilize her skills across different sectors Kirin founded Purna Playground, a creative strategy and marketing firm that allows her to help mission driven individuals, non-profits and small businesses execute their wildest ideas out in the lived world, from the nitty-gritty to the grandiose.
Sheila Brown • Secretary
Sheila Brown believes in personal and societal transformation, sustainability and simple living, and the arts as a way to celebrate, build and heal communities. In her work life (currently as Education Program Supervisor at Camp Long), Sheila's passions include environmental restoration, cross-cultural and multi-cultural understanding, outdoor recreation and science. Sheila has also developed and managed programs and facilities, and promoted public-private partnerships. In her personal life, her interests include choral and acoustic music, Buddhism and other spiritual traditions, exploring awareness through the body, history and new developments in science, and spending time with friends and her border terrier. Sheila is tri-lingual and has lived and traveled throughout Latin America and Europe.
Wendy Johnson • Director
Wendy is a family practice doctor, health activist, and erstwhile photojournalist/photograffeur. Her interest in creative expressions of social justice led her to start blogging about it at "Artivizm." Although she dreams of a job which combines all these professions and avocations, she currently works as Medical Director of a community clinic in Santa Fe, New Mexico while staying connected to the earth by tending her small piece of a 100-year-old-orchard along the Santa Fe River and keeping locally raised bees. Until recently, she was working in global health in Seattle. She still teaches several on-line and blended classes in the University of Washington's Executive Master's in Public Health program. Wendy began her global health career in the mid 90s, working alongside traditional midwives in Guatemala. Throughout her professional life, she has worked with marginalized populations in the US and internationally--serving as Medical Director of the Cleveland Public Health Department; managing Mozambique programs supporting expansion of public-sector HIV services; and providing medical care to immigrant and indigenous communities from Chiapas, Mexico to the Olympic Peninsula. More of her documentary photography can be seen at "artivizm.org."
Bob Redmond • President
The Common Acre founder and Executive Director, Bob has had careers in social service, media, arts, and agriculture. After working intensively with the homeless and mentally ill, Bob moved into the arts via Real Change street newspaper (as editor) and community radio station KBCS 91.3 FM (as Music Director). An early host of the Seattle Poetry Slam, Bob co-founded the Seattle Poetry Festival and its non-profit parent Eleventh Hour Productions, and did production management at Paul Allen's Experience Music Project. Founding Program Director of the Capitol Hill Arts Center, Bob subsequently curated arts programs for the Bumbershoot Festival from 2004 - 2010, and served as Program Director of Town Hall Seattle in 2011-12. As an artist, Bob produced the theatre project "Fringe the Puyallup!", was a writer-in-residence for the Richard Hugo House, and produced the guerilla haiku project SLUG. Besides work with The Common Acre, Bob runs the beekeeping adventure Urban Bee Company.
Nathan Royston • Vice President
Born a sweet tooth, Nathan is living a life-long love affair with chocolate. After earning his bachelors degree in physics, Nathan moved to Seattle on a whim in 2006 and found a job on the ground floor of newly-opened Theo Chocolate. In the subsequent eight years, Nathan grew his role with the company to his present position as Theo's cocoa sourcing manager where he helps define and implement Theo's sustainable sourcing practices and frequently serves as the face of the company in interviews, presentation and discussion panels. In 2012 he spent three months consulting on a cocoa development project working with rural farming communities in Tanzania for TechnoServe, a US-based NGO. Nathan is currently inspired by his work at a for profit entity creating positive change in the world. Nathan also loves a good dance party!
Renée Russak • Director
A partner with Social Venture Partners, Renée is also an independent consultant to non-profit organizations, coalitions and foundations focused on improving the capacity of non-profits to work efficiently, equitably and collaboratively on shared goals to measurably advance equal opportunity and strengthen communities. Prior to her community work Renée spent over 10 years in the corporate sector as a Manager and Director of diverse project teams building online media brands (Microsoft Network, Expedia) and developing the key internal and external business partnerships required for their success.
Leah Tivoli • Director
Leah cares deeply about creating livable cities and reducing the impacts of urbanization on the natural landscape. She currently works as a Strategic Advisor for City of Seattle Parks and Recreation doing policy and performance work. She has also managed the Natural Resources and Environmental Stewardship operations. Previously, Leah lived in Montreal, Quebec working as an environmental scientist at the Centre for Indigenous peoples’ nutrition and environment. Leah has a Masters of Science degree from the School of Community Medicine and Public Health and a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School at the University of Washington. She has Bachelor degrees in Environmental Science and Management from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. Leah lives in Capitol Hill and enjoys jogging through the parks, skiing, sailing, and mountaineering.
Jennifer Zeyl • Director
Jennifer is a Seattle-based Theatre-Maker. Since 2004, she has designed for Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, The Empty Space (Louis Slotin Sonata), Benaroya Hall (Brundibar), The Village Theatre (Little Shop of Horrors), Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and numerous others.
A founder and Co-Artistic Director (2004-2008) of Washington Ensemble Theatre (The Ensemble), Jennifer serves on the Board of Directors of the National Network of Ensemble Theatres (NET) and the Committee of the Whole at Smoke Farm, an interdisciplinary artist's residency facility. The recipient of 2006 Stranger Genius Award in Theatre, Jennifer was named "Best Scenic Designer in Seattle" by Seattle Weekly in 2005 and received two 2006 Seattle Times Footlight Awards for her designs of Winter's Tale at Seattle Shakespeare Company and Swimming in the Shallows for The Ensemble. Local directing credits include In Disdress and In Disdress Now: REDUX by Marya Sea Kaminsky, 100 Heartbreaks and Here's What Happened, with "Awesome" the band and blahblahblahBANG! A Pistol Fit in One Act: an original adaptation of Hedda Gabler commissioned by On the Boards. Jennifer holds a MFA in scenery design from the University of Washington and a BFA in theatre design and directing from the University of Rhode Island.
Flight Path A(RT) Team
Amy Baranski • Media, Communication, Sagacity
Amy Baranski is a communication professional with over ten years experience working in media relations and managing internal communications for small businesses and Fortune 500s. She is an avid small space gardener and is currently an intern with the King County Master Gardener program. A writer, Amy was founding Director of Communication at the Capitol Hill Arts Center, and helped produce the 2007 Seattle Poetry Festival.
Kate Fernandez de Leon • Curation, Production, Old Machines
Kate Fernandez de Leon is a visual artist and cultural entrepreneur who has been spreading the gospel of letterpress for nearly ten years. She teaches printing throughout the Northwest, consults for the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, WI, and is the co-founder of the Abactor’s Hideout, a print shop at Smoke Farm in Arlington, WA. She holds a BA in Comparative History of Ideas and a Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Washington and studied typography and design at the School of Visual Concepts.
Rod Hatfield • Photo, Video, Sunsets
Rod Hatfield is a multidisciplinary artist and entrepreneur producing dynamic video, photography and events for corporate, rock, fashion and art worldwide. The founder of the Oh10 New Media Center and Co-founder of Spaceboat TV, Rod earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Popular Culture and Liberal Studies from Bowling Green State University while concentrating on film and poetics at the University of Colorado and the Naropa Institute. Rod studied directly with American avant garde masters Stan Brakhage, Harry Smith, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti and has worked with clients as varied and prestigious as the United Nations, SFMoMA, VH-1, MSN, XBOX, and The Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy.
Bob Redmond • Project Direction, Curation, Midnight Oil
Flight Path B(EE) Team
Dave Schiefelbein • Beekeeper
Growing up in rural Minnesota, Dave Schiefelbein was rarely indoors. His childhood back yard was cornfields and hay barns. As a young adult he graduated to climbing remote mountains for his outdoor fix. Documenting those climbs with a camera led to a career in photography where his specialty was creating images that were artistic interpretations of the natural world. Dave loves work that is attached to nature. Beekeeping suits him well. His photographs and articles related to beekeeping have been published in Bee Culture, American Bee Journal and the Wall Street Journal.
John Woodworth • Beekeeper
A beekeeper since 2007, and a current board member of the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, John Woodworth became interested in bees after taking a introductory class with his daughter at a local beekeeping supply store. Soon one hive became two, then four, then eight, then sixteen. (He is committed to keeping the number under 24!) John calls his operation Back Alley Honey — a nod to the original first hive location and his mission to provide quality natural honey to the needy. In addition to his participation with Urban Bee Company, all of the honey produced at his apiary at the Goat Hill Giving Gardens is donated to the Pike Place Senior Center. Outside beekeeping, John is a principal at a small architectural practice located downtown, specializing in affordable housing and historic preservation.