Meet the people who make YES!
Rod Arakaki, Audience Development Director
Rod joined staff in the Fall of 1999, first as interim Associate Editor for the Winter issue of YES!, and then as Network Coordinator, helping to develop the State of the Possible retreat series. In 2002, he became Operations Manager, in 2007, Business Manager, and in 2009, Audience Development Director. Prior to joining PFN, he was a full-time parent to his daughter for three years and Senior Program Manager at NeoPath, a Redmond, Washington medical device development firm for seven years. He lives with his wife and their two children in a cohousing community on Bainbridge Island. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Sharon Booth, Circulation Design Manager
Sharon enthusiastically joined the staff of the Positive Futures Network in the summer of 99, following a search for more meaningful livelihood. Her previous career experiences include assistant art director for a silkscreen company; camera and videotape operator and master control operator for commercial television stations; and environmental workshop coordinator. Away from work, she focuses on family and friends, maintaining a simple lifestyle, and spending as much time as possible outdoors. She attended Pomona College in Claremont, CA and has a BA in Art from Rice University in Houston, TX.
Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn, Creative Director
After 20 years as newspaper editor and art director, Tracy joined YES! in 2006, in time to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a redesign and reinvigoration. She works with both the Editorial Team and the Audience Development Team to bring to life the powerful ideas of YES! with photos and graphics. Tracy's favorite hobby these days is to use her home and family on Bainbridge Island as a test kitchen for the magazine's ideas. She has learned to commute by bicycle, grow organic vegetables, raise chickens and children, freecycle, de-corporatize her money, and vote.
Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager
In May 2008, Jing joined YES! as its education outreach manager. She was drawn to the publication because of its mission to inform, inspire and empower people to work for positive change. Prior to joining YES! Jing was a senior public affairs consultant for a Northwest public relations firm and an education policy analyst with the Washington State Senate Democratic Caucus. She has freelanced as an editor, copywriter and consultant, and has done community and media outreach for various organizations and companies. Jing cherishes the three times she’s lived in the U.K. through her husband’s Fulbright Teacher Exchanges. Outside of work, Jing enjoys her two book groups, sweating at the gym, and traveling to nearby and faraway places with her family. Jing lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband Barry and her children, Isabelle and Keats. She has a BA in Political Science and a BA in Speech Communications from the University of Washington.
Susan Gleason, Media and Outreach Manager
Susan joined YES! in March of 2003. With nearly twenty years as a media activist, media-maker, trainer, and community organizer, she maintains an unyielding commitment to the importance of independent and community media. Susan was involved for several years with the Seattle Independent Media Center, served on the SCAN Community Television board (Seattle & King County public access), and is a founding and active director with the public interest group, Reclaim the Media. She was also a founding director of the Seattle-based Earth on the Air Radio Works and the Vashon Island community webcast (www.voiceofvashon.org). She DJ'd and produced for several years at WMPG (90.9 FM, Portland, Maine) and has produced independent features for KBCS (91.3 FM, Bellevue/Seattle) and IMC Radio. Susan has a BA in Communication and has held a variety of professional marketing positions in independent book publishing, new media development, and the nonprofit sector.
Christa Hillstrom, Web Managing Editor
Christa Hillstrom is new to the Northwest. A native of Minnesota's lakes and forests, she also lived in New Zealand, Mexico, Scotland, and India before coming to Bainbridge Island. She has an MS in journalism, and has reported in Chicago and India on social activism, sexual violence, human rights, global health, and immigration. While filming a documentary about tuberculosis among the destitute of Delhi, she was struck by how migration, poverty, and disease in the Global South are directly influenced by lifestyles at home. Inspired to connect with others exploring solutions from the ground up, she joined YES! She writes about modern-day slavery and exploitation for her blog, Human Goods.
Derek Hoshiko, Online Marketing Manager
Derek Hoshiko joined YES! in July 2011. Since moving to the Puget Sound in 2004, he has helped lead Seattle Good Business Network by co-managing Think Local Seattle, a buy local program. He worked with Central Co-op to establish a network of cooperatives and an annual conference called SLICE. He also established a network of Eat Local Now! partners who worked to promote and help build a sustainable local food economy. In 2007, he co-founded Web Collective, Inc., a Seattle-based employee-owned cooperative that served hundreds of values-aligned non-profit organizations, government agencies, and businesses including building YES! Magazine’s Plone website in 2009. Derek uses his skills and passions to play a more direct role in creating a better world—in the economy, business, personal responsibility, and the media.
Fran Korten, Executive Director
Fran Korten joined the Positive Futures Network in April 1998. She is delighted to be part of a team helping nourish people’s sense of what is possible at this time when we are pressing the limits of our planet’s resiliency and people’s tolerance for oppression in an interconnected world. Her passion is to use YES! to help people see the best of what we humans can become and to feel themselves to be agents of change in the unfolding drama of our time. Before joining YES! Magazine, Fran served as a grantmaker for 20 years in the Ford Foundation’s offices in Manila, Jakarta, and New York, where she supported community-based approaches to the sustainable use of land, trees, and water. She has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and taught at the national university of Ethiopia and at Harvard University. She lives with her husband, David Korten, on Bainbridge Island, Washington, where she bikes to work. She and David have two children and two grandchildren.
Jessica Lind-Diamond, Development Manager
Jessica Lind-Diamond has been at YES! since 2007. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, in Human Rights and Hispanic Studies. After living in Uruguay, Chile, and Connecticut, she's happy to have returned to Seattle. She loves getting to know YES! readers and supporters, and particularly enjoys planning great parties for a great cause. She also enjoys growing her own vegetables, playing the piano, riding her bike, and turning anything that grows into chutney. Jess passionately supports local economies, independent media, and life, in general.
Bridget McCarthy, Fulfillment Assistant
Bridget moved to Washington from the San Francisco Bay area with her husband. She spent the last six years owning and operating The Eagle’s Nest in downtown Poulsbo, a Native American and First Nations art gallery. Bridget has forged relationships with many artists and cares deeply about promoting the rights, art, culture, and language of indigenous people. She has a degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband as well as art, music, and independent films. She is very excited to join YES! Magazine and to work for an organization that represents her values.
Paula Murphy, Fulfillment Manager
Paula joined YES! Magazine in December 2007. Growing up land-locked in the mid-west, Paula always had a strong desire to get to know the wet half of our planet—which she satisfied by studying oceanography and marine biology, and by becoming a certified master scuba diver. Her time on dry land is spent raising her children, Christopher, Emerson and Marina, advocating for cloth diapers, attachment parenting, and the family bed. She is a strong supporter of the Waldorf school on Bainbridge Island and also volunteers as a seamstress for local theater productions. Being a part of the staff at YES! supports Paula’s interests in making the earth a cleaner, more sustainable planet for her children and future generations.
Rebecca Nyamidie, Development Coordinator
Rebecca Nyamidie first did some copy editing for YES! in the fall of 2008. She came to work for the development team as a contractor in the late spring and then as full-time staff starting in July, 2009. Rebecca has a B.A. in Linguistics from San Diego State and a graduate degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Washington. She has taught English in the U.S. and Japan, and has worked in a variety of fields including product control, software testing, desktop publishing, and technical writing. Rebecca recently moved to Bainbridge Island with her husband and son to be close to the YES! office. A Dedicated Friend of YES! for some time herself, Rebecca is excited about helping others discover the joys of supporting YES! Magazine in these times full of opportunity for real change.
Madeline Ostrander, Senior Editor
Madeline assigns and leads the development of many of YES! Magazine’s feature stories and liases with writers and contributing editors. From concept to production, she spearheaded the magazine’s first-ever profile issue recognizing the nation’s foremost innovators and activists—the “YES! Breakthrough 15” (Winter 2012). She also led the production of the Fall 2012 issue, “It’s Your Body,” and the Summer 2010 issue on water, one of four issues that were considered in the magazine’s nomination for “general excellence” by the Utne Reader. Madeline also blogs on climate justice and frequently interviews notable thinkers and “stars” for YES!, such as James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Eve Ensler, Billy Bragg, Dar Williams, and Joel Salatin.
Madeline is an award-winning writer and editor. In 2012, she received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism to report on climate change in California. She has been a writing fellow with Seattle’s Jack Straw Foundation and a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island. Her work has also appeared in The Nation, High Country News, and The Sun Magazine. As an editor, she has worked with some of the nation's leading writers and journalists on articles that have won recognition from the Society for Professional Journalists, the Media Freedom Foundation, and Project Censored. She holds a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and received an Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2008 from Illinois State University.
Doug Pibel, Managing Editor
Doug has written for YES! since 1998; he was one of the original writers for YES! But How? He tends an organic garden where he grows heirloom vegetables and saves seeds. He aspires to expand his garden. He used to be a lawyer with a small-town general practice. He's been known to write opinion columns for small newspapers and internet publications. Both his degrees (the first was in English Lit.) came from the University of Washington.
Valerie Schloredt, Associate Editor
Valerie joined YES! in the summer of 2010. She grew up in Seattle, studied English and journalism at the University of Washington, then moved to the U.K. During the 25 years she lived in London, she worked as a writer, communications manager, and editor, most recently promoting reform of criminal justice policy. She also raised a daughter, created a garden, renovated a flat, and organized a leaseholder’s association. Valerie is delighted that her position at YES! is an opportunity to learn more about, and contribute to, grassroots movements for sustainability and social justice.
James Trimarco, Web Editor
James Trimarco has been involved with YES! since 2008. Before moving to Seattle to work full-time for the website, he lived in New York City, where he was active in the struggle to protect urban communities. He helped to organize incoming shipments of supplies during Occupy Wall Street’s encampment at Zuccotti Park, and participated in local occupations in Brooklyn when the encampment was over. He has a BA in anthropology and was employed as an ethnographer and data analyst at the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training. In his free time, James enjoys composing electronic music and gardening where it’s least expected.
Sarah van Gelder, Executive Editor
As co-founder and executive editor of YES!, Sarah leads the framing and development of each issue of YES! and writes a column introducing each issue. She also heads up the online editorial work and blogs at YES!, and Huffington Post. Sarah writes articles and conducts interviews for YES! Magazine, and speaks on leading-edge innovations that show that another world is not only possible, it is being created. Topics include the new economy, climate solutions, alternatives to prisons, food, water, peacemaking, health care, happiness, and more.
As part of her community involvement, Sarah co-founded Suquamish Olalla Neighbors, which builds bridges between Native and non-Native residents of the Port Madison Reservation. She co-led a statewide effort to return the home of Chief Seattle to the Suquamish Tribe and is a member of the board of directors of the tribally-chartered Suquamish Foundation.
Sarah has traveled in Latin America, India, China, and Central America. She was a founding board member of Winslow Cohousing, and previously was a television and radio producer, a community organizer, founder of a cooperative of food co-ops that linked organic farmers to urban markets. She has two young adult children.
Audrey Watson, Finance & Operations Director
Audrey joined the staff in Fall of 98 as manager of Marketing and Outreach, moved to Online Managing Editor in fall of 2002, and to Finance & Operations Director in 2009, where she combines her interests in communication, sustainability, social justice, and technology. Previously she worked as a product marketing manager for Microsoft and as a marketing manager, developer manager, and systems analyst for various computer-related companies. She sings in the Tree Frog Chorus, loves to do fiber and metal arts and crafts, and lives in Winslow cohousing. Audrey holds a BA in Applied Math from the University of Michigan, an MS in Computer Engineering from Stanford University, and an MA in management and consulting from the Leadership Institute of Seattle.
Michael Winter, IT Manager
Founder of The Winter Group, Michael Winter has been an IT professional for over 20 years working as a technologist and project manager for a variety of Government agencies and private companies. Michael also holds a private pilots license and enjoys flying helicopters and a variety of fixed wing aircraft. Achieving independence from fossil fuel energy, climate change and general environmental sustainability are important issues for Michael and are driving forces behind his working with YES! to use technology to help bring the YES! message to everyone.
Gretchen Wolf, Office Manager
Gretchen joined the compassionate staff of PFN in December of 2008. The opportunity to work for YES! came at a pivotal time in her life when she was looking for ways to expand her knowledge of the world around her and to contribute to positive change. Her experience working in the veterinary field as an office manager had prepared her for her role at YES! where she is hoping to continue her interest in communications while working in a supportive environment. When not commuting by bike to the island for work, she finds joy in camping, hiking, yoga, walking her neighborhood of Greenlake, and spending time with her girls. Her goal is to lead an adventurous life and to explore different cultures through travel.