Board & Staff
Goosefoot appreciates the trust placed in us by so many in our community!
Goosefoot Board of Directors
Our board members represent many facets of South Whidbey.
Goosefoot is a “supporting organization,” a nonprofit and public charity all rolled into one. This designation allows us to earn and distribute profits from the Goose Grocer and the properties we own.
Our board includes leaders from three “supported organizations.” While each organization receives some financial support from Goosefoot, they are completely self-governed. Their contributions to Goosefoot as board members are substantial as they represent areas of expertise necessary to making the best funding decisions we can as grant makers. Our supported organizations are:
- South Whidbey at Home, a membership-based organization dedicated to helping residents aged 55+ to remain in their homes and active in the community
- Whidbey Island Nourishes, a volunteer-powered nonprofit dedicated to nourishing youth on South Whidbey Island by providing no-cost, ready-to-eat healthy meals.
- Whidbey Watershed Stewards works with the Whidbey Island community to promote watershed stewardship, habitat enhancement, and environmental education for all ages.
Together, our board guides Goosefoot’s focus and actions, with an eye to the future.
2014 – present
Leigh’s professional background includes real estate (in the form of design, commercial appraisal and residential construction), and very small-scale specialty food manufacturing/distribution.
Outdoor activities drew him to the northwest in 1988 from New England and experiencing the northwest wilderness continues to be a driving force. Island living has been divided between Bainbridge Island from 1990-1996, and Whidbey Island from 1996 to present. With four children grown and now living in the region, Leigh and his wife Michele continue with ongoing community activities from their Maxwelton Valley home. Leigh’s other nonprofit work includes: The Whidbey Island Waldorf School, Sound Water Stewards (and associated organization projects), and Hearts & Hammers.
2022 – present
Kevin owns and operates a small farmstead in Bayview with his wife Jenny and two young daughters. They raise and sell pastured livestock; chickens, pigs, turkeys, and sheep, have a large kitchen garden, and have been planting hundreds of fruit, nut, and fodder trees. He runs his own regional sheep shearing business serving over 150 flocks in the Puget Sound area. He has decided to spend his life on Whidbey Island for both its beauty and its amazing community. He has been involved with Whidbey agriculture since 2012 and hopes to develop, support, and encourage regenerative and resilient farming systems.
2010 – present
Bob is a retired engineering project manager who worked primarily in the international metals industry. His concern about wildlife habitat preservation and sustainable living practices has motivated him to be actively involved with various organizations including: Whidbey Watershed Stewards, The Nature Conservancy, Sound Water Stewards, and Whidbey Camano Land Trust. He enjoys the Pacific Northwest’s unique natural environment; exploring its many beaches and wilderness trails. Occasionally, he and his friends try their luck on the golf course or at some remote fly-fishing spot, where they enjoy the beautiful scenery. Bob and his wife Carol have lived in Langley since 2001.
Karen Larsen Gordon
2022 – present
Karen discovered South Whidbey Island in the 1970’s and cherishes finally calling it home. Professionally, Karen owned and operated travel agencies, and upon earning a certificate in Natural Resource Management from U.C.S.D, changed gears and became Executive Director of an environmental organization in San Diego. She also was an active docent for 3 ecological reserves.
Settling in 6 years ago in the Mutiny Bay area offered multiple opportunities to continue her volunteerism. As community service has been a major part of her life, assisting at Senior Thrift, monitoring for Whidbey Audubon, working with children at the Outdoor Classroom – Whidbey Watershed Stewards – and most recently helping seniors at South Whidbey at Home fill her days.
2015 – present
Betsy teaches second grade at South Whidbey Elementary. She was a member of the Clinton Hall Board, whose mission is to maintain itself as the center of Clinton civic life. Betsy moved in 2003 to a small farm in Clinton. Her two children graduated from South Whidbey High, enjoyed successful college careers and now look forward to their visits back to the farm.
Upon moving to Whidbey, Betsy’s goal was to become meaningfully involved in the community. Conversations on the sidelines of children’s soccer games and in the audiences of student concerts eventually evolved into the work she does now.
2008 – present
Candace brings values learned growing up in the beautiful & tight knit Skagit Valley among farmers, small businesses, loggers, adventurers & community volunteers. A 3rd generation Washington native & UW grad, she is delighted to be back in the Northwest with its strong sense of place. As a Realtor, she can serve her clients while nurturing the sense of community on Whidbey Island. Candace is a past President of the Goosefoot Board & the Whidbey Island Association of Realtors.
2021 – present
Patrick’s career is focused on corporate finance and organized leadership, guiding organizations to become more efficient. He is currently helping First Interstate Bank build an engaged commercial and nonprofit banking business. To further his experiences, in 2021 Patrick realized his goal of earning an Industrial/Organizational Leadership PhD.
Since moving to Whidbey in 2017, Patrick has become involved with many local organizations focusing on building community, providing essential services/economic development for the underserved, and promoting environmental sustainability. Aside from his work, Patrick enjoys conversations and just spending time with his wife Melissa, play time with his Australian Shepherd Addie, with regular visits from his Seattle based daughter Shanleigh and her fiancé Eric.
2017 – present
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Pam has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1996, when she and her husband relocated to Pullman, Washington to join the Washington State University faculty and staff. Her positions there included Administrative Manager of the College of Communication and Manager of Board Relations for the WSU Foundation.
After having a vacation home on South Whidbey for 4 years, Pam moved here full time in 2009. Following retirement, Pam joined the Whidbey Island Nourishes (WIN) Board of Directors and currently serves as Board President. Pam dedicates her time to WIN, her dog Mia, gardening, and visiting her grown daughters and granddaughter in St. Louis.
2017 – present
Ted moved to Whidbey in 1976 with his wife and two small children and bought a rundown log house surrounded by 12 acres of blackberries. When not working on their house and land, he worked for Edmonds Community College teaching adults new work skills.
He is now retired and his children have left and started families of their own. Faced with the question of what to do after his wife died, Ted started volunteering his time. He joined the board of Whidbey Island Nourishes (WIN) and when the opportunity came along to serve on the Goosefoot Board, he said yes!
2018 – present
Chris spent his forty-year career in city government serving as the Community Development Director for the cities of Carlsbad and Chula Vista, California, Tempe, Arizona, and most recently for Bellevue, Washington. In that role, he oversaw planning, housing, economic development, and other municipal areas. He and his wife, Beth, raised two sons, Andrew and Nicholas. They enjoy gardening, hiking, fishing and being a part of the wonderful social fabric of Whidbey Island. Like many before them, they wish they had discovered Whidbey and it’s nurturing natural environment many decades ago.
2021 – present
Clyde Shavers grew up in Washington State and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2013. He commissioned into the nuclear submarine community and later transitioned as a public affairs officer in 2015 stationed in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Clyde graduated from Yale Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 2022. As part of his studies in environmental law, Clyde worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) addressing issues involving safe drinking water, clean-fuel vehicles, deforestation, and regenerative agriculture.
He is a board/committee member of the Skagit Friendship House for Mount Vernon’s homeless and working poor, Whidbey Veterans Resource Center (WVRC) for Veterans and their families, and UNICEF Next Generation for vulnerable children here and around the world. He established the Yale Coalition to End Homelessness to collaborate with local organizations on addressing core challenges to Connecticut’s homelessness.
2018 – present
Jean had multiple careers before finding her heart-work in organization change. Her professional path included youth groupworker in New York City, soft fabric sculptor in Portland, carpenter in the Bay Area, architect and high-end construction manager in Seattle. Completing a second Master degree at 50, she then established a consulting practice in organization change and leadership development. Jean taught graduate courses in organization change at Antioch University Seattle. She holds a BA in Psychology from Pitzer College, Claremont, California, a Master of Architecture from University of Washington and a Master in Whole System Design from Antioch University Seattle.
Jean and her spouse Dyanne live at the Red Door Farm with 18 years of joy growing their own food and now taking tear-drop camper road trips in between.
2020 – present
A native of Illinois, Marcia headed to San Diego in 1971 with a newly minted BS in Medical Technology. She earned a Master’s degree in Immunology and launched a 20+ year career in immunodiagnostics R&D. A bike touring vacation through the San Juan Islands in the early 1980’s inspired a move to the PNW. An old house in Langley on a two-acre property has kept her busy for 32 years with many remodeling projects and garden care. Marcia is a professional-level woodworker, an amateur genealogist and an active community volunteer. She was among the first planners for South Whidbey at Home (SWH) and represents that organization on the Goosefoot Board of Directors.
Our staff are visible in all sorts of places! Participating in community meetings. Teaching business workshops. Facilitating collaborative efforts. Maintaining our historical buildings and properties. Socializing at street dances and art openings. We like to get around!
Look for these folks and know they’re working hard for our South Whidbey community.
Fredde Butterworth (2015)
Facilities & Property Manager
Fredde is a Pacific Northwest native and has lived on Whidbey for 30 years. He has worked in the construction industry most of his career and has been a builder on Whidbey for much of it. When he’s not working he enjoys learning about all sorts of things, hanging out with his wife Linda and playing drums in a local band.
Mariah Beard (2022)
Mariah is a long-time Islander, having grown up here and returning after college to raise her daughter. She previously worked for Good Cheer for many years and is thrilled to be back with an organization that gives back to the community that helped raise her.
Mariah is constantly on the go, between spending time with her family, working to turn her childhood house and property into her dream home, housesitting, and traveling. In her downtime, you can often find her with a book in her hand or planning for her next home project.
Rose Hughes (2021)
Rose has an insatiable love of learning and teaching about economics as the art/science of collective decision-making about resources – something each of us do every day. This focus has created a career spanning from bookkeeping for entrepreneurs to administering statewide development loan funds, from being a farmworker to advocating with international finance initiatives for sustainable and equitable agriculture across the global south, from teaching local citizens “financial integrity” to working in municipal finance.
For nearly 20 years Rose kept an admiring eye on Goosefoot, and made the leap when the Finance Director position was created in 2021. In her “spare time” she’s running a management consulting firm with her life and business partner, mentoring youth, serving on civic committees and as a volunteer deckhand on the historic Schooner Suva.
Elise Miller (2023)
Elise has devoted her nonprofit career to accelerating social change for the common good. For over 25 years she directed, founded and transformed nonprofits with national and international reach, primarily leveraging strategic initiatives with multiple stakeholders to improve environmental health for vulnerable populations. She also served as the interim executive director of Hedgebrook, the noted international women writers’ retreat center on Whidbey, and is a certified Leadership Coach for nonprofit leaders.
The compounding and myriad crises facing our world today have compelled Elise to devote her nonprofit experience more on the local level where it is critical to implement innovative initiative to build thriving and resilient communities. Given Goosefoot’s visionary work does just that on South Whidbey, she couldn’t be more delighted and honored to serve her own community in this way.
When she’s not at her desk, you’ll find Elise training for triathlons, reading insatiably, practicing meditation and cheering her son on at wrestling tournaments.
Marian Myszkowski (2005)
Director of Programs
After graduating from college, Marian left Washington State for the East Coast. She spent 20+ years working for nonprofit educational and arts institutions, including the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, D.C), Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA), and Boston Architectural College (Boston, MA). She returned West in 2003 and found herself on Whidbey Island with no intentions of staying. She found Goosefoot and never left!
In her spare time, she enjoys the creative outlets of art and theater, both as viewer and as a participant. Marian has shown her photography on Whidbey Island and in Boston, and has also performed improv in both locations. If you consider playing live tournament poker a sport, then she’s also an athlete. Of sorts.
Rachman Ross (2020)
Facilities & Maintenance
Rachman grew up in Los Angeles CA working mostly in restaurants and coffee houses by day and then performing live music as a drummer by night. He moved to South Whidbey in 1997 where he worked at the Smiling Dog coffee house at Bayview Corner for many years as well as doing landscaping.
Communicating positivity through his work and music are elements closest to his heart. In his spare time he’s usually practicing drums or in the company of his cat.
Stephan Ross (2017)
Facilities & Maintenance
Stephan, originally from Los Angeles, worked as a cook and musician. He moved to South Whidbey Island in 1996 to start a new life and since then he has worked as a cook, grounds keeper, landscaper and musician.
When he is not at work, he puts a huge amount of time into pursuing his music. Stephan is a bass player/song writer and has performed all over Whidbey Island, Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest. He enjoys the island life and the roots he has established here on Whidbey.
Sami Postma (2017)
Events & Education Coordinator
Sami has been working to support the small business community since she moved to Whidbey Island in 2012. After years of working with the Economic Development Council as a business mentor, events planner, and social media guru, she joined the Goosefoot team. She also has her own business doing marketing and web design.
Sami likes quiet time at home, with books, video games, and too much work. She also enjoys traveling, and geeking out with other nerds at conventions around the country. Even “free time” usually includes focus and dedication—ask her about her cross stitches some time!
Sandy Whiting (2013)
Outgoing Executive Director
Sandy started working with nonprofit organizations over 30 years ago, when she lived in Boston, MA. She’s also worked as an accountant, gallery owner, and graphic designer. And she is an artist, currently working in oils and cold wax in her studio in Clinton. She has shown her work in Boston, the SF Bay Area, and on Whidbey Island.
Sandy moved to Whidbey Island 17 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA, with Susanne, her life partner, and good friend Nancy. They bought a 6-acre farm in Clinton, and named it “Sweetwater Creek Farm” after the creek that ran through their back woods. Wallee, a handsome yellow lab, and CoCo, an energetic white mutt, enjoy life on the farm, chasing rabbits and running in the woods.
She enjoys working in her studio, reading, digging in the garden, and walks on the beach. However, her all-time favorite sport is Corn Toss, and she even has an in-house tabletop version for the winter months!