Board and Staff

**lists in alphabetical order

Jeanette BestJeanette Best
Founder | Past President

Jeanette was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She moved to California and received her master’s degree in art from San Francisco State University. In California, she taught English, art, and English as a Second Language. She worked as a stockbroker while serving as president of the board of a few non-profit agencies and the Independent Association of Financial Planners.

Jeanette moved to Port Ludlow in 1990 when she found her wished for home and studio on Mats Mats Bay. She taught watercolor and design for Peninsula College. Jeanette currently serves Northwind Arts Center as president of the board and for 18 years as the director of Art Port Townsend.

Sandy EherenmanSandy Eherenman
Board Member | Corporate Secretary

After recently retiring from a career as Chief Executive Officer of a non-profit in Alaska, Sandy left the Land of the Midnight Sun after 33 years and moved to Port Townsend with her husband Phil. Growing up in Minnesota, she graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, with a degree in Secondary Education and Fine Arts and the aspiration of being an art teacher. As Corporate Secretary of the Board, Sandy brings her years of experience and knowledge of non-profit management to Northwind Arts Center. Outside of her volunteer work, you can find Sandy on the bike trail, expressing her creativity in the garden, or having her patience tested on the golf course

Polly LylePaulette (Polly) Lyle
Board Member | Development Chair

Polly comes from a Utah family, but grew up all over the United States (including Ephrata, Washington) because her father worked for the U.S. Air Force. Polly put herself through college by working as a cardiology special procedures assistant, and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a chemistry major and mathematics minor. Her career took her to the Philadelphia suburbs where she worked for a major pharmaceutical company as a research chemist, then as a clinical research administrator, and, finally, as a medical writer. After visiting her father in Port Angeles and Sequim over the years, she realized that Port Townsend provided wonderful opportunities for an active and caring community life, outdoor activities, and proximity to her West Coast family. She moved to Port Townsend in 2007.

Polly’s technical writing and fundraising background enables her to serve Northwind Arts Center as Art in the Library Curator, Advancement Committee member, Facebook Editor, and past Board Secretary.

Nancy Machette
Board Member

Thya MerzThya Merz
Board Member | President

Thya is an artist, small business owner ( and former educational leader. She and her husband, performer Bill Brennan “The Natural Science Song and Dance Man”, moved to Port Townsend from New York City in July of 2014.

Thya has spent 28 years in education including 12 years of teaching art and 16 years as an educational leader. Through her career as an artist / educator she was able to feed her twin passions of art making and organizational development. She is drawn to Northwind by its mission of “Connecting the Community Through the Arts” and is particularly interested in expanding Northwind’s reach into underrepresented members of our community. []

Karen PuttermanKaren Putterman
Board Member | Volunteer Coordinator

Karen worked as a dental hygienist for over forty years. A few years before retiring, while living in Connecticut, she took up weaving – and has been weaving ever since. Karen got involved with Northwind Arts Center during the first annual Art Port Townsend event, and has been hooked ever since.

Karen is in charge of volunteer docents and makes sure Northwind Arts Center is staffed during open hours.

Gail RodgersGail Rodgers
Board Member | Operations Chair






Nancesca Schroff
Board Member


Jean StastnyJean Stastny
Board Member | Treasurer

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Jean and her husband, Mitchel Osborne, moved to Port Townsend in 2006 after living in New Orleans for over 30 years. Jean is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University. She spent most of her working career as a paralegal, working for a maritime insurance defense law firm. Since moving to Port Townsend, she has been active in the American Association of University Women (AAUW), for which she will serve as co-president from 2016-2018, and the University Womens Foundation (UWF), for which she served as Treasurer for four years. Jean’s husband is a professional photographer. She and Mitchel have always been interested in the arts, and the strong artistic community is one of the things that drew them to relocate to Port Townsend.

Michael DAlessandroMichael D’Alessandro
Executive Director 

After a 12-year career in Architecture, Michael left the profession to pursue a second career in the arts. With degrees in fine arts, design and art history, he comes to Northwind Arts Center with a unique blend of talents. A writer, publisher, teacher and nonprofit manager, Michael moved to Washington in 2014 from Portland, Oregon where he was the Community Resource Coordinator for an arts nonprofit, the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). He has worked at the Froelick Gallery in Portland, and has taught creative writing and publishing at Marylhurst University and the IPRC. He has an MFA from Naropa University and is the publisher and editor of bedouin books, a small press specializing in new literature. Michael teaches a poetry workshop at the Writers’ Workshoppe in Port Townsend, where he lives with his partner and three children. []

Jay HaskinsJay Haskins
Gallery Manager

I was born in Indiana in 1934 to military family. After moving around for a number of years the family settled in Santa Monica, California where I grew up. Upon graduating from high school in 1952, I attended the Art Center School in Los Angeles for 3 years then studied independently with a couple of different artists.

During this time I took a job with a local boatbuilder and for a brief while I worked days and made my art in the evenings and on weekends. In time I struck off on my own as a marine woodworker and eventually, with a friend, began a boat design and building business near Marina Del Rey, California. I was able to do some sailing with friends on the weekends but by this time I was married, with a son, so what with work and family I had mostly put art on hold, although I still found time to occasionally to do some art and go to galleries. After 20 plus years of building boats for others, and even one for us, our boatyard and shop area was rezoned so we closed it down and took over a sailmaking business which we had until just before moving north.

I discovered Port Townsend, Washington on a vacation trip in 1978 and we soon decided to move here, which we did in late 1979. And, after 17 years of marriage I found myself single once again. I soon returned to my love of art and began painting once more. Since moving here I’ve done a number of things including about 8 years of picture framing and, for the last 20 years, playing music in a marimba ensemble. In 2006 some friends and I founded Corvidae Press, a local printmaking studio. For the last 12 years or so I’ve been gallery manager at Northwind Arts Center.

Dominica Lord-Wood
Program Coordinator

Dominica Lord-Wood provides administrative support to the Executive Director and Northwind Staff. Supports the coordination of the activities of the following programs: Artist Showcase, Exhibit Gallery, Northwind Reading Series, Arts to Elders, Art in the Library, Art in the Jefferson Healthcare Hospital, and Through the Wall. Assists with Exhibiting and Teaching Artist programs. She maintains the Artist Directory database. Dominica coordinates the Artist Contracts between exhibit programs. She creates and distributes Northwind's monthly newsletter, as well as an Art Newsletters for the artists. She is also the Treasurer for the Port Townsend Art Commission.


Bill MawhinneyBill Mawhinney
Northwind Reading Series Host

William Mawhinney was born in Avalon, Pennsylvania, in 1939. He earned an English degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1963 and moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he worked various gigs as proofreader, preparatory school master and construction estimator. After 20 years at Raytheon as facilities engineer, technical writer, newsletter editor and corporate trainer, he and his wife, Wanda, an abstract painter, retired to the forest west of Show Low, Arizona. While there, he led monthly poetry circles at a local library, volunteered as a poet in elementary school classrooms and offered poetry workshops and readings throughout the Southwest. Chased from the woods by a wildfire, he now lives in Port Ludlow, Washington, and talks with herons while combing the Olympic Peninsula beaches. He organizes and hosts Northwind Reading Series in Port Townsend and has performed poetry in local retirement homes through an Arts to Elders program. His first book, Songs In My Begging Bowl, appeared in 2002 and Cairns Along The Road, his second collection, in 2011. He was elected Angel of the Arts by the Port Townsend Arts Commission in 2011.

Glenda Meek

Harvey PuttermanHarvey Putterman | Arts to Elders Director

Harvey was an English teacher at Plainville High School in Connecticut for thirty-three years, the last sixteen of which he served as Chairman of the English Department. Since retiring to Port Townsend in 1997, Harvey and his wife have been associated with the Youth Music Fund, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to provide scholarships to attend music enrichment programs. The majority of fundraising is accomplished by having monthly concerts at sundry venues. During the last seven years, Harvey assumed the position of President.

Gay Stack | Graphic Designer

Before moving to Port Townsend in 2004 Gay operated a San Francisco Bay Area print shop. She also founded, edited and designed the small but somewhat well regarded literary/arts journal Estero A West Marin Quarterly. Published almost quarterly — with 11 issues appearing between the Summer of 1992 and the Spring of '96 — its focus was mainly on regional bits featuring the labors of local contributors. Estero was delighted to include in its pages the work of up-and-coming Marin poets and also work from more well-known poets, such as Brenda Hillman, Fran Quinn, and Robert Bly. She has worked as a graphic designer with diverse clients from nonprofits, business and the arts for more than 30 years and enjoys the challenge of creating graphics that aim for visual appeal, effective communication and successful results.

Volunteer Staff

Jinx (Madeline) Bryant

Jinx is not only a working artist, but also finds time to be the program director of 2017 Showcase exhibition.





Leslie Roubal | Webmistress

Leslie did not come to Port Townsend to retire, yet. She loves to work, especially at challenging technical communications projects. She is helping non-profit organizations and individuals with their computer-related needs. She thinks it's fun to solve problems!

Susan Sawatsky