Board of Directors

Public Eye Northwest has six voting members on its board of directors, and three on its advisory board. Their biographies follow, alphabetically.

Bruce Biermann‘s career in business and finance spans 38 years. For Microsoft he oversaw integration of worldwide mergers and acquisitions, after serving as controller of the Advanced Technology Group and earlier supervising management reporting, forecasting and analysis, and accounting policies and procedures. He has founded or co-founded firms in law, corporate governance and business consulting, and automotive components, and helped guide start-ups or turnarounds for a resort company, a stock brokerage and a manufacturer of automated guided vehicles. He worked as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch and as a management consultant for Price Waterhouse. He is a graduate of the Wharton School with a double major in Finance and Accounting, and received his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law. He lives in Federal Way, Wash.

Kathy Gill is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communications at the University of Washington. She specializes in the study of human-computer interaction in the context of digital media. In particular, she is interested in the non-verbal language of objects, interaction design, and web site usability. Research questions she asks include: How do we achieve (and measure?) effective online communication? How do variables such as monitor size and resolution affect understanding? She teaches graduate courses in the Digital Media Master’s Program. At her blog WiredPen, she explores the world of convergence; some content is cross-posted at FlipTheMedia. She occasionally writes about politics at The Moderate Voice and Newsvine.

J. David Griswold is General Counsel and Managing Principal for Global Index Group, LLC, a start-up focusing on exchange traded investment products. Prior to joining Global Index Group, Mr. Griswold served as Associate General Counsel for Russell Investments for over 19 years, the last five of which he also served as Russell’s Director of Global Regulatory Policy, managing regulatory compliance worldwide. Mr. Griswold served as senior counsel to a variety of Russell’s businesses, including Russell’s funds administration business for a third party fund company that grew from US$2 billion to over $US200 billion under management during his tenure. Mr. Griswold was instrumental in the creation of Russell’s funds businesses in Canada, Australia and Singapore, and also served as senior counsel to Russell’s institutional brokerage business.  In his compliance role, Mr. Griswold was responsible for the creation of Russell’s global code of ethics.

Prior to joining Russell, Mr. Griswold was an attorney at the Seattle-based firm of Foster Pepper PLLC where he enjoyed a general business and securities practice. Mr. Griswold is current Chair of the University of Washington’s Department of Economics Visiting Committee. Mr. Griswold is a volunteer lecturer in the Economics Department, where he teaches on the subject of the economics of securities regulation. Mr. Griswold is a past member of FINRA’s District 3 Business Conduct Committee, the Washington State Securities Advisory Committee and the Tacoma Community College Center for Ethical Development Advisory Board. Mr. Griswold has a JD from the University of Chicago and a BA in Economics from the University of Washington.

Gil Picciotto is currently the Associate Vice President for Leadership Gifts at Washington State University. In this capacity Gil works directly with the President of the University to cultivate, solicit and steward major gift prospects for the institution. Gil also works as a member of the WSU Foundation Leadership team managing a development office that raises on average over $100 million dollars a year. Finally, Gil directly oversees the WSU regional development program which seeks to raise funds for WSU with constituents nationwide. Prior to coming to WSU in 2007. Gil served in a similar capacity at UC Santa Barbara (his alma mater) where they successfully completed a $500 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. Gil also has a background in Division I Athletics where he served as a lead fundraiser for UCSB prior to his appointment with the Chancellors office. Overall Gil has over 17 years in fundraising experience. Gil currently serves as a Board of Trustees member for Forest Ridge School in Bellevue where his wife Amelia is an Alumnae. Amelia and Gil have 2 sons Sam (4 years old) and Charles (7 weeks old) as well as a yellow lab named Barnum.

Erik Poulsen served as head of government affairs for the Washington Public Utility Districts Association, a consortium of 27 electric, water and telecom utilities across the state. He is a former West Seattle legislator who served 7 years in the state House and 6 years in the Senate, where he held several key leadership positions including Chair of the Senate Water, Energy & Telecommunications Committee and House Energy & Technology Committee Chair. A onetime aide to Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl and U.S. Rep. Les Aspin (whom you may remember as Defense Secretary under President Clinton), Erik has inside experience with politics and government that few people share. Before entering public office at the ripe old age of 29, he worked in corporate communications and as a consultant to several local public relations firms. A true cheesehead, Poulsen hails from a small town in Wisconsin along the Mississippi River. He earned both a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to the Seattle area in 1987. Erik has two grown sons, Soren and Dane, and now lives in Olympia.

Hon. Renee Radcliffe Sinclair is leading Strategic Initiatives for Apple Inc. in the western United States where she manages relationships with elected officials and community thought leaders around issues related to student achievement and technology.

Prior to joining Apple, Renee spent 14 years as a journalist, followed by four successful elections to the Washington State House of Representatives. While serving in the legislature, she garnered a number of prestigious awards and honors, including being named to the American Council of Young Political Leaders and as a fellow to the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.

Since retiring from public office, Renee has served in policy leadership roles with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Electronics Association, and now with Apple. She is a regularly featured speaker at national and international events and has published numerous policy opinions in local, regional and national publications.

Renee has served as a volunteer with a number of local government, humanitarian and workforce efforts over the years and continues to serve her community through a variety of policy-related, community-based activities.

Matt Rosenberg also serves on the board as a non-voting member. See his bio below, under “Staff.”

ADVISORY BOARD

Jacob Caggiano is an optimist when it comes to the power of technology to improve civic life. He is currently the Communications Strategist for the Washington News Council, a Seattle based non-profit whose mission is to promote journalistic quality and integrity in Washington State news media, and serve as an independent forum for media ethics. Some would consider him a jack-of-all-trades, with a background in theater, videography, music, and technology, but he prefers the term “Renaissance Man.” In the past he was the Production Manager for the CBS affiliate of Southeast Alaska, and has produced promotional videos for regional non-profits such as the Seattle International Rescue Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University with an emphasis on Journalism and Digital Media.

Mike Fancher retired from The Seattle Times in 2008 after 20 years as executive editor. During his tenure as executive editor The Times won four Pulitzer Prizes and was a Pulitzer finalist 13 other times. He is a co-convenor of Journalism That Matters Pacific Northwest and vice president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. He serves on an advisory committee to the Fordham University Graduate School of Business. Fancher served as a 2008-2009 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow in the Missouri School of Journalism. In 2009, he was a consultant to the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy and to the Aspen Institute’s Forum on Communications and Society. Also in 2009, the Western Washington Chapter of the SPJ cited Fancher for Distinguished Service to Journalism. He received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1968, a Masters in Communication from Kansas State University in 1970, and his MBA from the University of Washington in 1986.

Anthony Hemstad is Executive Director, World Trade Center, Tacoma. Anthony combines local roots with diverse international experience. Born and raised in Washington State, he worked for three U.S. Senators in Washington, D.C. – including Washington’s own Dan Evans and Slade Gorton. He worked on trade and foreign relations issues for Senator Evans. Anthony lived in Europe from 1990-2002. He was one of the founding faculty members and taught politics and government courses for the first private college in post-Communist Czechoslovakia. He later founded his own consultancy that grew to be one of the largest public affairs firms in Central Europe, with over 40 staff in four countries. His firm’s clients included many leading international companies as well as local firms, non-profits and government ministries.

After returning to Washington, Anthony served as Maple Valley’s City Manager prior to joining the World Trade Center in spring 2009. He is also an elected hospital commissioner in a suburban King County district. In that position, he has been a forceful advocate for open government and received a Key Award in September 2010 from the Washington Coalition on Open Government in September 2010. He currently resides in South King County with his Czech wife and two young children.

STAFF

Matt Rosenberg is the founder and Executive Director of Public Eye Northwest, and has 30 years experience in public affairs, organizational leadership and journalism. He has led publicly-funded citizens groups working to mitigate airport impacts in the Chicago and Seattle regions, and worked on a range of public initiatives and campaigns. He was a regular op-ed columnist for the Seattle Times from 2001 to 2004; a widely-published Seattle-based freelance journalist and blogger; a strategic communications and community outreach practitioner; and a reporter, opinion columnist and editorial writer in suburban Chicago. During college he was Assistant to the Chief Investigator of the Better Government Association in Chicago in the BGA-Chicago Sun-Times Pulitzer-finalist “Mirage” Tavern undercover investigation that documented political corruption and tax fraud.

Matt served as a staff senior fellow for three years (2007 through 2009) at Cascadia Center, the Seattle-based surface transportation think tank funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. At Cascadia, he developed a public education campaign using new and legacy media to highlight innovative surface transportation policy options for Central Puget Sound now being implemented. Matt spent 2010 as director of Countywide Community Forums in King County, a privately funded public engagement program which works with citizens and directly with county government to gather and promote collective intelligence on key policy issues.

There he founded the government transparency project Public Data Ferret, which mines online government documents and data to help produce originally reported spin-free articles archived by jurisdiction and topic. The Ferret project and its mother blog site, Social Capital Review, are now under the umbrella of Public Eye Northwest, and Ferret’s work has since February 2011 been featured in The Seattle Times online as part of the paper’s News Partners Network. Matt graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Sociology. Married for 25 years, he lives in West Seattle with his wife and two children.

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