Those Who Make This Work:
We are a team of committed people
who believe in the vitality and possibility
that every community offers.
Original Founding Team
Jerry Millhon Founding Member
Former Director of the Whidbey Institute, Jerry with a team of inspired people (see below) held the first Gathering of Thriving Communities in 2012. In brief what we were exploring was how to celebrate those people who were inspired by a felt need that in spite of any challenge could be surmounted. The outcome over time would create new energy and connection within that community. We now hold the question of how can these outcomes be shared and replicated in any community. Bio available. Contact Jerry
Lynn Willeford Founding Member
A social entrepreneur who has started and run five successful local nonprofit organizations with strong community acceptance. Lynn is the co-inspirator for Thriving Communities. Co-owner for 36 years of an independent digital movie theater showing mainstream and independent films.
Stephan A. Schwartz Founding Member
Stephan is the columnist for the journal Explore, and editor of the daily web publication Schwartzreport.net in both of which he covers trends that are affecting the future. He also writes regularly for The Huffington Post. Distinguished Consulting Faculty of Saybrook University and Research Associate of the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory of the Laboratories for Fundamental Research.
Julie Dougherty Winger Support Staff
Julie’s focus is on external relations and story editing. With a background in Museum Studies, Julie has an interest in informal education and importance of nonprofits and Whidbey Island life.
Beth Alexander Web Design, Support & Managment
Website and Graphics Development. Beth has been designing web sites, blogs, and online community environments, since 1999. Her technology experience spans a broad range of skills.
Advisor Team Includes:
Jim Anderson Advisor
Jim is the founder and President of Key-Connections, a leadership development coaching and consulting company located in Evergreen, Colorado. For the past twenty plus years Key-Connections has allowed Jim to focus his attention on creating and applying tools to support individuals and organizations in developing self-awareness, strengthening leadership skills, and consistently achieving desired results.
Andrea Caupain Advisor
As Centerstone’s Chief Executive Officer since 2008, Andrea has worked passionately to make a positive impact on issues of racial equality and poverty. “The Seattle Community of Practice, led by Centerstone, is building a vibrant and thriving Black Community, through the cultivation of collaboration and inspiring leadership”
Bill Koenig Advisor
Bill brings myriad relevant experience, ranging from directing Organization Systems Renewal Northwest to working in the realm of community health. He has been founder, president, and chief executive of several successful start-up companies in the world of media and technology, and has consulting experience with companies ranging from the Ford Foundation to Yale University.
Gretchen Krampf Advisor
Director of the Thriving Salish Sea Project, New Stories. Gretchen is a catalyst for positive, proactive change in small and mid-size organizations seeking successful solutions for integrating people, process, and technology.
Rhea Miller Advisor
Staff with Lopez Island Land Trust has served over 10 years as County Commissioner of San Juan County, with an emphasis on environmental protection and sustainability in housing, agriculture, and people. She has a long history as a community organizer with international experience.
Dale Nienow Advisor
Former ED Center for Ethical Leadership Seattle WA, Dale creates Gracious Space where people can work across boundaries to form collective leadership. He is known for helping people open up to deeper dialogue and new relationships that will move groups and communities forward on their compelling issues.
Anne Stadler Advisor
Anne has more than 50 years of service in community organizing, cross-cultural peace-building, and leadership. She is a co-founder of Honoring Beloved Community, an initiative that is designed to reveal compassionate actions.
Aimie Vallat Advisor
Aimie’s passion for storytelling and social change work has allowed her to work both in the non-profit sector and as a Producer/Director in the film industry for over twenty years. Aimie created Reel Witness Productions with Noah Dassel in 2009 and their latest award winning short documentary, PRESENT MOMENT. She has screened at over a dozen film festivals around the world and on PBS. She has produced 2 documentaries about women in our refugee and immigrant communities. www.reelwitness.com
Jeff Vander Clute Advisor
Jeff accelerates spiritual (r)evolution for individuals, transpersonal collectives, and whole systems. He coaches change agents committed to “beaming the change” by simultaneously transforming themselves, their enterprises, and the world; and he works subtly to awaken the inner heart of organizations and humanity. He is fully committed to supporting the realization and full expression of LOVE.
Katie Rains Advisor
Katie has been part of the Thriving Communities movement since 2013. She has a background in public health, social services, and community organizing and is passionate about the generative cross-pollination that occurs when people tell their stories and inspire each other to bring their gifts to the table. In 2008, she was the founding director of the Washington Free Clinic Association, where she worked with generous healthcare providers and self-organizing communities to create and support access to medical care in communities across the state. She is currently the Executive Director of GRuB (Garden Raised Bounty) in Olympia. GRuB grows healthy food, people, and community and Katie believes that GRuB's work is healthcare, and is an essential facet of growing thriving communities across our region.
Caroline Cumming – Caroline’s focus has been on producing social action media, and advocating for truly independent media that addresses the need for dramatic environmental and social change.
Barbara Dunn – Barbara is a passionate believer in the power of music move people and to create change. She has a psychotherapy and music therapy practice in Seattle. Barbara is an author, musician and recording artist, and co-leads a monthly community singing circle at Healing Circles in Langley. www.barbaradunn.com
Anne M Jess – The Doodle Biz Visual Facilitation and Graphic Recording. She has been our visual/ graphic artist from our very beginning.
Marnie Jackson – Communications Manager Whidbey Institute