Washington Museum Association

WaMA is operated through the efforts of an all-volunteer Board of museum professionals and supporters from across Washington.  Board meetings are hosted each quarter by different museums throughout the state.

Freya Liggett
Curator of History
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane WA
Expires 2020; Not Eligible for re-election, Position 9


Freya is currently the Curator of History at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Linfield College. She also serves on the Heritage Capital Projects Advisory Panel and the review committee for the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau. Freya was the Museum Manager at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center (Moses Lake, WA) for over 11 years, and the Curator/Archivist at the Bayside Historical Society (Queens, NY) for five years. In 2019 she will celebrate 20 years in the museum field. Freya is passionate about small museums, and the communities they serve. Outside of work Freya enjoys spending time on the water. She has also survived several years of skate-time with the Long Island Roller Rebels, Columbia Basin Roller Derby and the Moses Lake Coyotes Hockey team.

Sadie Thayer1st Vice President
Sadie Thayer
Kittitas County Historical Museum, Ellensburg WA
Expires 2021/2022; Not Eligible for re-election, Position 11


Sadie Thayer is currently the Director of the Kittitas County Historical Museum in Ellensburg, a position she has held since 2010. She received a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies with a focus in Collections Management from George Washington University in 2009.  Prior to that, she obtained two Bachelor of Arts degrees (Anthropology with Museum Studies Specialization, and History) from Central Washington University in 2007. She has been very active in the Ellensburg Morning Rotary Club, where she served as President, 2017-2018.

2nd Vice President
Elizabeth P. Stewart.
Museum Director
Renton History Museum, Renton WA
Expires 2020; Not Eligible for re-election, Position 3


Elizabeth P. Stewart has been the Director of the Renton History Museum in Renton, WA since 2006. She was previously Research Historian for a state-operated African American history museum, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, in Annapolis, MD for six years. She has a B.A. from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in American History from American University in Washington, DC. While completing her degrees, Elizabeth worked at McKissick Museum in Columbia, SC and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.  She chaired 4Culture’s Heritage Advisory Committee from 2011 to 2013 and serves as a peer reviewer for AAM’s Museum Assessment Program.

Anna Goodwin
Collections Manager
Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale WA
Expires 2021; Eligible for re-election, Position 12


Anna Goodwin has been the Collections Manager/Registrar at Maryhill Museum of Art since 2013. Previously she served as NAGPRA collections specialist at the Museum of Northern Arizona, where she prepared archaeological materials for a major repatriation effort with the Coconino National Forest and the Hopi Tribe.  She has worked at museums throughout the country, including Fort Sumter National Monument, the Logan Museum of Anthropology, the Wright Museum of Art, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota. She received her Master’s degree in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University and her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Classics, and Museum Studies from Beloit College.

President Emeritus
Joseph Govednik
Museum Director
Cowlitz County Historical Museum, Kelso WA
Expires 2019; Not Eligible for re-election, Position 2


Joseph is the Director of the Cowlitz County Historical Museum. He holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology, and masters’ degrees in Anthropology, Museum Studies, and Business Administration. He has served with the Historical Commission for the City of Lacey and on the boards of both the Tacoma Waterfront Association and the Heritage League of Pierce County. Prior to working with Cowlitz County, Joseph worked with the Foss Waterway Seaport Maritime Museum in Tacoma, the California Academy of Science, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, California State University Museum of Anthropology, and the National Japanese-American Historical Society. Additionally, Joseph taught undergraduate Anthropology, Sociology, and Economics courses before moving to Olympia where he lives with his wife Erin and daughter Nora.  Joseph is an advocate for professional development, education, and community engagement.

Richard Castellano
Executive Director
Island County Historical Society, Coupeville WA
Expires 2019; Not Eligible for re-election, Position 8


Rick has been in non-profit business management for over 25 years.  He has served as the Executive Director of the Island County Museum in Coupeville on Whidbey Island since 2006.  Prior to that, he was General Manager of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad.  He also previously managed the Western Forest Industries Museum in Mineral, Washington.  Rick and his wife, Carol, are both Washington natives and Western Washington University Alumni.   Living in Greenbank, they cherish the beauty and rich history of their island community and of the Pacific Northwest.

Hillary Ryan
Communications and Programs Strategist
Western Museums Association
Expires 2021: Not Eligible for re-election, Position 4


Hillary Ryan is a seasoned nonprofit communications and marketing consultant with over ten years of experience. Ryan began her career with DDB Seattle working on major clients including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program, Marine Stewardship Council and NARAL. Ryan has provided strategic counsel for a variety of organizations including Museum of Glass, Seattle Children’s Theatre, United Way of Thurston County, Tacoma Museum District, Vashon Center for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission and Woodland Park Zoo. She is currently the Communications and Programs Strategist for the Western Museums Association. Ryan has a Masters degree in Museology from University of Washington and Bachelors of Arts from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Richard Beckerman
Chief Operating Officer
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA
Expires 2021; Not Eligible for re-election, Position 7


Richard Beckerman is an experienced executive with 30+ years of management experience in museum and nonprofit operations. He is currently the COO of the Seattle Art Museum. Beckerman has also served as President at Richard Beckerman Consulting, Past President of Pacific Northwest Organizational Development Network, Interim Executive Director of the Pacific Aviation Museum-Pearl Harbor, and COO & Vice President of Operations and Director of Operations at the Museum of Flight. He earned his MS in Management, Leadership and Organizational Management from Antioch University Seattle, and his BA in Art and Management from The Evergreen State College.

Katie Buckingham
Museum of Glass, Tacoma WA
Expires 2021; Eligible for re-election, Position 10


Katie Buckingham (Phelps) has worked in the Museum of Glass Curatorial Department since 2012, contributing to the full range of the Museum’s exhibition program and coordinating the Visiting Artist Residency program. In addition to her curatorial roles at the Museum of Glass, she has worked as an Audience Researcher for Seattle Aquarium, Emerging Curator at Kirkland Arts Center, Collections Assistant at the Museum of History and Industry and an Intern for both the Pilchuck Glass School and Bellevue Arts Museum. Katie earned her Masters in Museology from the University of Washington and Bachelor of Arts, with Honors, in Art History and Visual Culture Studies from Whitman College. She is passionate about working with content specialists to create exhibition interpretive plans that align with institutional mission and exhibition goals to enhance the visitor experience.

Patricia Leach
Executive Director
Whatcom Museum, Bellingham WA
Unexpired term ending 2019; Eligible for re-election, Position 5


Patricia Leach came to the Whatcom Museum nearly ten years ago and has accumulated more than 30 years of experience in the Museum field. She has served as Executive Director of numerous house museums; the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textile; the National Steinbeck Center in California; and the Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson in Nashville, Tennessee. She successfully obtained Smithsonian Affiliate status for the Whatcom Museum and has served on the Smithsonian Affiliate National Advisory Council for seven years. She has overseen two new museum construction projects as well as several restoration projects for museum historic structures, including Save America’s Treasures for the First Hermitage slave cabins while at The Hermitage. She serves on the AAM Accreditation Committee and is active in several Pacific Northwest community organizations. B.A. Anthropology, University of California, Davis; M.A. Public Administration, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California.

Brooke Wagner
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane WA
Expires 2021; Eligible for re-election, Position 1


With over 15 years in the fields of museums and galleries, Brooke is the Registrar at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) in Spokane. She has previously held positions at the Tacoma Art Museum, the Foster/White Gallery, the Burke Museum, and the Priest Lake Museu. She has her Master’s from the Museology program at the University of Washington and has been at the MAC for the last 9 years in one form or another. She loves keeping track of her thousands of super cool objects and her career goal is to make collections sexy. She resides in Spokane with her husband and son and when she is not working she is hiking, biking, running, reading or making.

Susan Rohrer
Director of Statewide Outreach
Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma WA


Chieko Phillips
Heritage Lead
4Culture, Seattle WA