About Us

Board of Directors

Chris Smith, KCSARC Board President
Grant Thornton LLP

Chris Smith is a Partner at Grant Thornton and leads their Advisory Practice in the Pacific Northwest.  He brings expertise in sales and marketing, operational excellence and organizational capability design in the software, insurance, retail, non-profit, education technology and telco industries.  He is an outspoken commentator on the importance of talent management and organizational culture, with articles published by the American Management Association, the Harvard Business Review and Seattle Business magazine. Before joining Grant Thornton, Chris spent 15+ years with large multinational and small boutique consulting firms. He received his B.S in Accounting and Management Information Systems from Saint Louis University.

Chris and his wife have two daughters and a son.  In addition to enjoying great food and travel, the Smith family supports many nonprofit and charitable organizations in the PNW.  Before joining the Board of Directors in 2013, Chris supported KCSARC since 2012.

Lawton Penn, KCSARC Board Vice President
Davis Wright Tremaine

Lawton Penn has been an employment lawyer with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP for 24 years, advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, including employment agreements, disability accommodation, workplace investigations and managing through the range of challenging personnel issues. She also holds the position of Client Service and Engagement Partner at DWT and is a member of the firm’s innovation team, DWT De Novo. In that role, she leads firm-wide client engagement efforts, looking for companies interested in develop transformative relationships with their lawyers through innovative and customized service delivery models.

Past roles and responsibilities at DWT have included:  Eight years on the firm’s Executive Committee, Chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group, and founding member the firm’s diversity committee. She served on the Board of Trustees for ACT Theatre from 1995 – 2003 and on the Board of Trustees for the ACT Foundation from 2004 – 2010. 

Lawton is a native of Seattle, earned her undergraduate degree in Economics from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles. She and her husband lead active lives, raising four girls.  

Carl Morris, MD, KCSARC Board Secretary
Group Health Cooperative

Carl Morris is the program director of the Group Health Family Medicine Residency and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.  His responsibilities include caring for his panel of patients at Group Health, teaching residents in the family medicine residency, and directing the program.  His research and policy interests include Graduate Medical Education  reform, Residency training in federally qualified health centers, the patient centered medical home in residency education, and primary care health workforce planning. Carl received his undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, medical degree from Harvard Medical School and residency training at SeaMarCHC/Providence in Seattle, WA.

Mark Lester, KCSARC Board Treasurer

Mark Lester has been on the Board of Directors at KCSARC since 2007. He has been with REI since 1999 and serves as Divisional Vice President of Retail Operations. He started his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers and has served as Chief Financial Officer in various companies since 1987. Mark received his B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University.

Mark and his family are very active with Edmonds/Meadowdale Young Life where he is on the Executive Committee and serves as a Volunteer Leader.

Sandy Dupleich
Dynamic Language

As a Partner of Dynamic Language, Sandy Dupleich has accumulated more than 27 years of experience in the language services industry. Dynamic is a Seattle-based language solutions company specializing in multilingual translation, desktop publishing, localization and interpreting services (both spoken language and ASL).  Sandy’s current areas of focus within the business include sales and marketing as well as overseeing the company’s operations, including Accounting and Information Technology. Sandy is currently serving on the Association of Language Companies’ Board of Directors as Immediate Past-President.  The ALC is the language industry’s only national trade association.  She is the immediate past-Chair for the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council's MBEIC (Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee) which supports educational and business opportunities for Minority-owned businesses in the Pacific Northwest.

Sandy has presented on the topics of “Disaster Preparedness and Recovery” for the Seattle Executives Association, the Association of Language Companies and the Translation Companies Division of the American Translator’s Association conferences.  In addition Sandy has presented on the topic of “Employee vs Contractor – Worker Classification Risks and Best Practices” at the Association of Language Companies conference and has provided mentorship for ALC members in her role as President on this same topic.  Sandy recently presented on the worker classification topic at last year’s RID conference in July 2011 (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf).

Jesse Franklin
K&L Gates

Jesse has been an attorney with K&L Gates LLP (f/k/a Preston Gates & Ellis) since October 1988. He is a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, where he focuses on construction law, consulting and litigation, and general business litigation. Prior to joining K&L Gates, he was a King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (Criminal Division) for five years where he spent two years working with the Sexual Assault Unit.

Washington Law & Politics has identified Jesse as a “Super Lawyer” from 2005 to 2011, inclusive. Jesse has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law since 2007. Jesse received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. He was a member of the UW Rowing Club, where, among other things, he and his teammates won the 1977 Grand Challenge Cup, Henley Royal Regatta, Henley, England. In 1999, he and his teammates were entered into the UW Husky Hall of Fame, Rowing. He is currently a Trustee for the Board of Rowing Stewards, University of Washington. He received his J.D. from Seattle University in 1983 where he served as the Class President.

Jesse and his wife, Katie, have a son and daughter. They live in the Ballard area of Seattle and enjoy skiing, soccer, and family time.

Shane Jones
Bridge Partners Consulting

Shane Jones is a technology consultant and advisor with more than 20 years of experience working with organizations ranging from startups and emerging companies to Fortune 500 industry leaders.  As a Senior Manager at Bridge Partners Consulting, Shane leads global initiatives to design, build, and launch cutting edge technology solutions. Shane’s consulting experience includes projects with Microsoft, Nike, and Wyndham Worldwide. Shane is also an active entrepreneur and mentor to technology startups including one of the earliest advisors to Box, a leading cloud storage company, and as the founder of Daptiv, a leading provider of cloud project management solutions that has generated more than $100 million in revenue from enterprise customers including Honeywell, Coach, and Virgin Australia.

Shane and his wife, Candice, live in Bellevue with their daughter Emerson-Jane and is an avid New Zealand All Blacks rugby fan.

Katie Meyer
Point B Consulting

Katie Meyer is a Consultant with Point B Consulting where she helps healthcare organizations achieve their strategic goals.  With a passion for operations and process improvement, she delivers exceptional business outcomes for her clients rooted in evidence and an unwavering focus on the comfort and safety of patients.  Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington and a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Ohio University.

A Seattle local, Katie enjoys spending time outside with her husband and Rottweiler puppy and has a passion for science fiction literature. 

Steve Nicholes
Community Volunteer

Steve Nicholes was an Executive Vice President/Partner and Director of Sales and Business Development for MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions (MMFS), a large mechanical design, construction, and service company in the Pacific Northwest. During his 30-year tenure at MacDonald-Miller, Steve has been involved with the design and construction of prominent commercial buildings in Washington and Oregon, along with other notable projects in Alaska, California, Arizona and New England. Steve retired from MMFS in 2015.  

In additions to his work at MacDonald-Miller, Steve has been involved in non-profit and industry work throughout his career. 

Steve has been married for 44 years and has been blessed with 4 daughters and 7 grandchildren.  His hobbies are riding his Harley, fly-fishing, and running. The highlight of his running career is making two trips to the prestigious Boston Marathon. 

Ryan Schafer

Ryan Schafer has served as Sr. Director of Accounting and Corporate Controller at Impinj since June 2013. He is responsible for global accounting and financial statement consolidation, SEC reporting, Tax reporting, procurement, treasury, and internal controls over financial reporting compliance. Prior to joining Impinj, Ryan spent 14 months at the Isilon Storage Division of EMC, a network attached storage company based in Seattle, as a member of the Financial Planning and Analysis Team. He began his career as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers after graduating from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Ryan and his wife, Stephanie, have a son and daughter.  They live in Shoreline and enjoy family time, fishing and generally anything outdoors.

Diana Schuetz
Grant Thornton LLP

Bio coming soon.




Steve Schwartz

Steve serves as Managing Director for JLL in Bellevue, WA. He provides over 26 years of real estate advisory and brokerage experience to his clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. Before joining JLL, Steve was Co-Founding Principal of Pacific Real Estate Partners Inc., the region's leading independent commercial real estate brokerage. Prior to his commercial real estate career, he was a Director of Institutional Bond Sales at PaineWebber (now UBS Securities) and a commercial banker at Manufacturers Hanover Trust (now JP Morgan Chase), both in New York. 

Professionally Steve represents many of the region's most prestigious corporations and owners in the development and implementation of real estate strategies. Throughout his career, he has completed the lease and sale of over eight million square feet of commercial real estate. 

Steve currently serves on Hopelink’s Campaign Advisory Board and is a periodic speaker and panelist at the UW Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies and UW Foster School of Business. Steve also sits on the Board of Directors at First Sound Bank, a business bank headquartered in Seattle. He previously served on the board of Wellspring Family Services, serving a term as Board President, and Jewish Family Services. He also co-chaired Wellspring’s $14 million dollar capital campaign. 

Steve is married to Pam. They have two daughters, Emilie (UW’16) and Sofia (UO ’18), and a yellow lab, Tucker. 

Mark Sidran
Community Volunteer

Mark Sidran is a retired attorney who spent most of his career in public service. He served ten years in the Criminal Division of the King County Prosecutor’s Office, including five years as the chief of the Juvenile Court Section. He was a partner in the former Mckay and Gaitan law firm for four years, focusing on civil litigation. In 1989 Mark was elected to the first of three terms as Seattle City Attorney, leading an office of 70 attorneys and 100 staff.  Among other things, he formed the first specialized domestic violence prosecution unit in Washington, teaming specially trained prosecutors and victim advocates.

Shortly after he joined the Foster Pepper law firm in 2004, Governor Gregoire appointed Mark chairman of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission. For four years he oversaw the UTC’s responsibilities for regulating the rates and service conditions for investor-owned electric, landline telephone, water and other utility companies. After leaving the UTC, Mark worked as an energy policy consultant.

Mark has previously served on the boards of the United Way of King County, the Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC) and the American Jewish Committee.

A Seattle native, Mark is a proud graduate of Franklin High School and holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Washington. He and his wife, Anais Winant, live on Vashon Island.

Lorraine Steed

As Senior Manager, Treasury at Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) Lorraine is responsible for developing the corporate short-term cash flow forecast, managing short-term investments & investment strategy, banking relationships, managing payment acceptance costs including merchant processing services & relationships, foreign exchange and overseeing daily cash management.  Lorraine also serves as an internal consultant to cross-divisional groups at REI for payment related projects & other corporate finance issues.  Before joining REI in 2006, Lorraine was a Unit Manager – Bank Administration for Safeco Corporation.   Lorraine has served on the board of the Northwest Association for Financial Professionals as Programs Committee Co-Chair and on the Finance committee.

Lorraine received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration - Accounting and Finance, from Washington State University, and earned her Certified Treasury Professional Certificate in 2006.

Lorraine enjoys time outside with her husband & family, (all WSU Cougs!) camping, hiking & kayaking.

Carole Tomko
Vulcan Inc.

An industry leader with experience in launching and rebranding networks and producing award-winning content, Carole Tomko joined Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions as General Manager and Creative Director in 2013. Vulcan Productions produces projects designed to entertain, inform and cultivate social change with powerful content and targeted impact campaigns around the critical issues of our time

Tomko served as President and General Manager of several networks at Discovery Communications. She launched and rebranded Discovery Health, FitTV, and Discovery Kids. As President and General Manager of Discovery Studios, she led television development and production, feature documentaries, talent development, casting, branded entertainment, and footage and music services.

Prior to her work at Discovery, Tomko directed development and programming for Time-Life Video & Television, and produced content for an array of media and entertainment companies including Orion Pictures, Editel and Westinghouse. In 2012, she launched Carole Tomko Media, a strategic advisory company to guide businesses in all aspects of content and media creation.

Tomko has been recognized multiple times by CableFAX magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Cable. She serves on the board for Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival; and she was also a board member for The Hub television network, the children’s network joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro. 

Lauren Venezia
T-Mobile US

Lauren Venezia is a seasoned legal executive with over 25 years of legal experience working in public companies, private practice, and government.  Currently, Lauren is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of T-Mobile US, Inc., a publicly traded wireless telecommunications provider headquartered in Bellevue, WA.  In addition to handling corporate strategy and technology transactions, she serves as an executive mentor and member of T-Mobile’s Women’s Leadership Forum.

Prior to joining T-Mobile in 1999, Lauren was Assistant General Counsel at Shurgard, Inc., a litigator in private practice, and served as a Staff Attorney in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

Lauren is a native New Yorker, and earned her undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Los Angeles and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.  Lauren currently lives in Seattle and joined the KCSARC board in 2013.

Kevin Wright
WSU Extension

Kevin Wright has worked in the field of education, youth development and volunteer management for over 30 years. Kevin has worked for Washington State University Extension in the 4-H Youth Development Program for the past 20 years. He serves as the King County Extension Director. Kevin has worked internationally and gave national leadership to 4-H programs supporting military youth experiencing the deployment of a loved one. At the state level he has facilitated professional development programs and organizational development.

Kevin earned his M.Ed. from Bowling Green State University and B.S. from the University of Toledo. He and his wife live in South King County and enjoy traveling.