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.
2014-2015 Washington Museum Association Board
Joseph Govednik Expires 2016; Eligible for re-election
Foss Waterway Seaport, Tacoma WA
Joseph is the Curator of Collections at the Foss Waterway Seaport’s Maritime Museum in Tacoma. He holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology, and masters’ degrees in Anthropology, Museum Studies, and Business Administration. He also serves as on the Historical Commission for the City of Lacey, on the boards of both the Tacoma Waterfront Association and the Heritage League of Pierce County. Prior to arriving at the Seaport, Joseph worked at 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.
Elizabeth P. Stewart. Expires 2017; Eligible for re-election
Renton History Museum, Renton WA
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.
Cyndi Upthegrove Expires 2016; Eligible for re-election
Highline Historical Society, Burien WA
Cyndi has been the the Managing Trustee for the Highline Historical Society since retiring from KC Enterprises, Inc., a marketing and fundraising firm headquartered in Seattle. Prior to that, she worked for the Museum of Flight variously as the Volunteer Coordinator, Marketing Manager, and the museum’s registered lobbyist in Olympia. She is a also a member of the Visiting Committee for the University of Washington School of Social Work, the Board of Trustees of MiraMed Institute, and Past President of the Board of Trustees for the Pediatric Interim Care Center.
Colleen Schafroth Expires 2017; Not eligible for re-election
Maryhill Museum of Art
Richard Castellano Expires 2016; Eligible for re-election
Island County Historical Society, Coupeville WA
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.
Jacqueline Cook Expires 2016: Eligible for re-election
Repatriation Specialist/Collection Manager
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Jacqueline Cook is the Repatriation Specialist/Collection Manger in the History/Archaeology Program of Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and her BA from Central Washington University. Jackie has worked in cultural resource management and museums for 30 years. Before returning to the Colville Reservation, Jackie worked for the Umatilla Tribe in Oregon, the Washington State Capital Museum, and the Yakima Valley Museum. Currently, she oversees all of the repatriation activities of the Colville Tribes and serves as the Collection Manager for the federal, state, and tribal archaeological collections curated in the Colville Tribal Repository.
Freya Liggett Expires 2017: Eligible for re-election
Moses Lake Museum & Art Center
Freya Liggett has been the Museum Manager for the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center since 2007. A West Coast native, Freya returned to Washington State after five years as the Curator/Archivist for the Bayside Historical Society in Queens, NY. She holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Linfield College, and studied Archaeology as a graduate student at Stony Brook University. Freya specializes in exhibit research and design. She is passionate about social media and the trends and forces shaping the future of museums and non-profits. She is a fly-fisher, ex-roller girl, and weekend home improvement warrior. Other interests include an unhealthy obsession with wiener dogs, mammoths and Bigfoot.
Sadie Thayer Expires 2018; Eligible for re-election
Kittitas County Historical Museum, Ellensburg WA
Sadie Thayer has worked in the museum field since 2005. She is 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. During her studies there, she interned for the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian), the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Park Service. She also interned and volunteered at local museums frequently during her studies at Central Washington University, where she received two Bachelor of Arts degrees – Anthropology with Museum Studies Specialization, and History, in 2007. She is also active in her local Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club.
Lisa Toomey Expires 2018; Eligible for re-election
Chief Executive Officer
Hillary Ryan Expires 2018; Eligible for re-election
Communications & Events Director
United Way of Thurston County
Graduating from University of Washington’s Master’s in Museology Program in 1997, Ryan has been working in the nonprofit arena for awhile. She has honed her communications and marketing expertise while leading change at a variety of organizations. Past experience with organizations such as Shoreline Historical Museum, Denver Museum of Natural History, MOHAI, Museum of Glass, Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Olympia Family Theater and Hilltop Artists.
Richard Beckerman Expires 2018; Eligible for re-election
Chief Operating Officer
Seattle Art Museum
Past Board Members