Board of Directors

Sue Bell, Kirkland Arts Center board member
Sue Bell spent her 30+ year career as a retail corporate merchandising and marketing executive with companies such as The Gap, Eddie Bauer, The Body Shop, and Blue Nile, from which she retired as Senior Vice President in 2012. She finds fulfillment in leveraging her business expertise in the non-profit environment of the Kirkland Arts Center, where she has been a ceramics student and enthusiastic advocate since 2013. She also serves on the board of directors of Artful Home, a direct retailer specializing in art, decor, and apparel handmade by American artists.
John Adams, Kirkland Arts Center board member
With his wife and fellow architect, Anne Adams, John is  the owner of Adams Architecture, a Seattle-based architecture practice founded in 2014. The firm endeavors to create buildings that are compelling and thoughtfully executed; direct yet beautiful; contextual and intriguing.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in design of the environment from the University of Pennsylvania, John obtained his master’s of architecture with distinction from the University of Michigan. John was instrumental in the development of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, coordinating the design of the curtain wall system and overseeing the project cost-estimating effort.  In Seattle, he has worked on a number of commercial projects including Brouwer’s Cafe in the Fremont neighborhood, office building design for Salmon Bay and several medical/dental buildings. John has also executed a number of luxury residential projects thoughout the country.

John likes to get his hands dirty remodeling his Seattle home and whenever possible going fly fishing in Michigan. But more typically reads avidly about theoretical physics, zen buddhism, and cooking the perfect rack of barbecued ribs.

Rohit serves as a Finance Director at Microsoft Inc. He is a finance professional with experience in technology, advertising, consulting and energy and utilities industries. He is a CPA, Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Chartered Accountant, Information Systems Auditor and, Certified Global Management Accountant. He is also a student of the Ceramic Arts program at KAC.
Jesse Freedman works as a program manager on Google’s campus in Kirkland, where his team focuses on the next generation of search technologies. Before joining Google, Jesse worked as a marketing manager at Amazon and before that as a high school history teacher.

Jesse was raised in Providence, R.I., and completed his undergraduate degree at Amherst College. He holds a master’s degree – also in history – from Oxford University. At Google, Jesse manages a program designed to highlight the work of local artists; he’s also involved with Historic Seattle, where he serves as a volunteer coordinator for the organization’s young professionals group. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Ashwin Gonibeed
Ashwin Gonibeed is a 15 year veteran of T-Mobile currently leading Business Development efforts within Financial Services. Prior to this, Ashwin held leadership roles in engineering, customer service and sales.

Outside of T-Mobile, Ashwin is an active angel investor/advisor – a founding member of the WEMBA 38 Angels Fund, a mentor at TechStars and an investor in Prapati, a smart grid focused startup in India. Ashwin has an MS in Engineering from the University Of Central Florida and an MBA from the Wharton School Of Business.

Serving on the Board of the Kirkland Arts Center allows Ashwin to utilize his business skills to give back to the community and indulge his passion for the arts. He is currently taking a drawing class at KAC, which painfully reminds him why he maintains a day job.

Tori Campbell Nelson was an award-winning broadcast journalist for nearly 3 decades. She was co-anchor of Mornings on 2, the #1 morning newscast in the San Francisco market for 19 years. She covered all the top stories of the day, and regularly hosted interview segments with a variety of guests, such as Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Christie Brinkley, Drew Barrymore, Ben Stiller, and photographer Annie Leibovitz.  Before getting into television, Nelson worked as a radio anchor, reporter and producer in San Francisco and the New York metropolitan area.

Since moving to Kirkland in 2015, Nelson has gotten involved in a variety of organizations, including the Kirkland Women’s Club, Daughters of the British Empire, St John’s Church and now the Kirkland Art Center. She is also doing volunteer voice-over work, reading online news articles for people who are blind. Nelson graduated from Hamilton College in upstate New York with a degree in French Literature. Her favorite hobbies are plant-based cooking, traveling, reading historical fiction and hiking.

Marcelo Prieto is a Redmond resident and a 13 year Microsoft veteran where he is a Sr. Principal Program Manager. Marcelo’s focus during the last several years, has been to improve tools and policies supporting Microsoft’s growing Cloud business. Prior to Microsoft, Marcelo was a business development and strategic planning leader for large players in the Telecommunications industry.

Marcelo grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. He has an undergraduate degree in Electronics Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and a MBA from INSEAD in France. Outside of work, Marcelo helps his wife Karin relocate dogs in need from Texas to the Pacific Northwest and is an enthusiastic watercolorist and student at the KAC. As a member of the Board of the KAC, Marcelo looks forward to contributing his business experience and life-long passion for the arts to help the center fulfill its mission.

Role of the Board

The Board of Directors plays a vital role in the leadership of Kirkland Arts Center. The Board provides the guidance and support necessary for KAC to fulfill its mission, vision, and goals. Board members actively participate in areas such as finance, marketing, fundraising, and strategic and event planning.

Contact the Board

Please direct any inquiries relating to the Board of Directors to the KAC Board President. To nominate a qualified individual or receive an application, please email our Executive Director.

There are opportunities to join the KAC Board of Directors

Join the Board

KAC is seeking to fill one or more new Board of Director positions.  We are looking for candidates who are visionary leaders committed to KAC’s mission and share our commitment to nonprofit excellence.

In particular, we want board candidates with real world skills and experience in finance, business management, arts education, technology, legal governance, or nonprofit leadership. This is a tangible opportunity for a committed individual to make a difference on behalf of the arts community in the Puget Sound.

Prior board experience is desired but not required. Board positions are unpaid. Board meetings occur at KAC’s offices in Kirkland. Consistent attendance is expected.

Advisory Council

  • Susan Pappalardo, Co-Chair
  • Brad Weed, Co-Chair
  • William Ballantine
  • Carol Belval
  • Merrily Dicks
  • Judy Harris
  • Joan McBride
  • Margaret Meister
  • Suzy Mings
  • Michael Monroe
  • Susan Thurston
  • Joan Wrench

Guidance Council

  • Rick Nicholson
  • Phil Sandifer
  • William G. Snead
  • Tracy Thorleifson