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.
Clo Copass, Office Manager
Clo joined the YES! staff in the fall of 2013. A long-time YES! reader, she’s excited about the opportunity to be part of the YES! team. She has a professional background in historic preservation and, prior to a stint as an at-home parent, worked to preserve a sense of place in King County’s rapidly developing rural areas. She has been a dedicated volunteer at the Odyssey multi-age school on Bainbridge Island. Clo and her family enjoy biking and exploring the Pacific Northwest from the mountains to the shores. She earned a BA in History from Stanford University and a MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.
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 joined YES! in 2010 as an editor and writer for yesmagazine.org. Originally from Minneapolis, she earned a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has covered issues related to human rights, women's empowerment, and international development in the U.S., India, and the Philippines. She also works as a freelance multimedia producer and is the founder and editor of Human Goods, a website that covers human trafficking in context.
Miles Johnson, Software Developer
Miles joined YES! in October of 2012. A Bainbridge native, Miles grew up with an appreciation for Puget Sound. After several summers traveling the west coast, he returned to the northwest to run a small business providing technical support for local companies. Low-impact living and supporting local economies is important to Miles. His interests include playing ukulele, longboarding, and cooking.
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.
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
After a brief stint as a copy editor, Rebecca Nyamidie came to YES! 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 moved to Bainbridge Island with her husband and son to be close to the YES! office and enjoys living in such a beautiful, interesting place. A Dedicated Friend of YES! for some time herself, Rebecca loves helping others discover the joys of supporting YES! in these times full of opportunity for real change.
Dean Paton, Executive Editor
Dean is an award-winning journalist and scriptwriter. He became Seattle Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in 1999, when he covered the World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle, and he has written extensively on issues of education, transportation, health care and technology. In addition, Dean is a video producer and earned an Emmy for co-writing a television documentary on nuclear disarmament, “A Question of Survival.” Dean also teaches noncompetitive social dance (think waltz, swing, foxtrot and cha-cha) and since 1999 has directed the Valse Café Orchestra, an ensemble he founded to play music for large balls and other dance events.
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.
Yvonne Rivera, Customer Service Manager
Yvonne comes to YES! with strong interests in business, technology and education. Prior to joining PFN, Yvonne was a contract administrator for Boeing and taught math, technology, and Spanish at Silverwood School in Poulsbo. Most recently, she taught GED classes to students at the Kitsap Adult Center for Education and at the Suquamish Education Tribal Center. Yvonne earned her BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and an MS in Higher Education from Walden University. She is a native of New Mexico and identifies Portugal and Northern Spain as her favorite travel destinations.
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. She is learning about labor issues, and hopes to see YES! become a union workplace.
Robin Simons, Development Manager
Robin Simons joined YES! as Development Manager in October 2014. She is a longtime YES! reader and brings to her position an extensive background in nonprofit management. She has worked with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Boston and Denver Children’s Museums, and most recently the Kitsap Humane Society, helping organizations strengthen both their programs and their operating procedures. She is also the author or co-author of nine nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics, from raising a child with a disability (After the Tears, Harcourt Brace, 1987) to making games, science projects and art out of recycled materials (Recyclopedia, Houghton Mifflin, 1976).
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, Editor in Chief
As co-founder and editor in chief 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. Outside of work, Audrey loves to do fiber and metal arts and crafts, volunteers for various organizations, enjoys traveling, 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.