Board of Directors 2017-2018
Rebecca Johnson is a management consultant and federal grant writer for migrant and community health centers. Though most of her professional work is outside of Whatcom County, she’s been active in the local non-profit sector for over 25 years with a focus on human services and women’s issues.
Rebecca has served on a number of local boards and commissions including Northwest Youth Services, Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood, Evergreen AIDS Foundation, City of Bellingham Capital Advisory Group, AAUW, Whatcom Housing Advisory, Bellingham/Whatcom Commission Against Domestic Violence, and PTAs. She is a member of the WES group and health care committee, and looks forward to supporting the launch of the LWV position study group.
Rebecca has a Masters in Non-Profit Leadership from Seattle University, a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Washington State University. She is married to WWU political science professor Vernon “Damani” Johnson, and has two adult children.
Karen Funston is a founding partner of the law firm of Buri Funston Mumford, PLLC. She focuses her practice on employment law, all forms of business law, and nonprofit law. She previously served as the Interim Director of Equal Opportunity Services at Western Washington University.
Prior to earning her law degree at the University of Washington, she worked in local nonprofits including Womencare Shelter, Bellingham Food Bank, and the Whatcom County Food Bank Network. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Western Washington University and worked for the Whatcom County Public Works Department learning real world skills like forklift driving. She has been involved in managing numerous political campaigns including serving as campaign co-chair for Whatcom County's first female Superior Court Judge.
Karen and her husband have two grown sons. She has been involved in a variety of community organizations including Washington Attorneys Assisting Community Organizations, Whatcom Community Foundation, and Bellingham High Band Boosters. In her leisure time you can usually find her pulling weeds in her yard or knitting.
Allison Aurand is Communications Director for the Timber Framers Guild, an international non-profit organization; the owner-operator of Flying Change Stables, LLC, just south of Lynden; and mother to 1- and 4-year old boys. She spent her previous career working in land use and agricultural policy issues, in both the private and public sector. She worked throughout the Mid-Atlantic region on comprehensive strategies to bridge economic, family, and land use issues related to agriculture, and worked with a coalition of organizations to lobby for the successful passage of a statewide farmland protection program in Virginia.
She moved home to Washington and continued working on the same issues while Director of the Skagit Farmland Legacy Program, in addition to her responsibilities to the County related to farmland preservation and local land use policy and planning. While working for Skagit County, Allison developed the policy and framework for the Washington Office of Farmland Preservation, and served as the sole lobbyist for the related bill, which passed in 2007. Allison has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College (MA). She serves as Vice President and Communications Director for LWVBWC in 2017.
Donna Williams was born and raised in Denver, CO, and graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. She spent most of her career in public accounting, for many years operating a family kitchen and bath business in Eagle, CO. After living and working in Colorado for 20 years, and raising two sons, she moved to Bellingham in 2007. Donna is a music lover, and is a member of two community bands as a clarinet player. Donna serves as LWVBWC’s Treasurer in 2017.
Heather MacKay Brown has lived in Lynden with her family since 2005. She grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa to complete her college education. Her career has been mostly in the public sector, as a water and environmental policy specialist. She served for several years as senior specialist scientist in the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry working on water quality standards, national water policy, and water law, and then as a research manager at the Water Research Commission of South Africa, where she managed national portfolios related to water policy, water law and governance, and water in the environment. She chaired the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from 2005 to 2012, and was a member of the Panel’s international working group on water resources and river basin management. Her local work has focused on water and agriculture in Whatcom County, helping farmers and planners find ways to protect and enhance both working farmlands and water resources.
Heather has a BSc in Physics and Applied Math from Rhodes University and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Port Elizabeth. She has taught high school science and math, graduate programs in several universities, and professional training programs in water management.
Heather joined the LWVBWC in 2014 and has helped to develop toolkits on gun safety and climate change for the League. In her spare time, she enjoys finding her way around many hiking trails in Whatcom County, sailing the coastal waters with her family, and exploring local riding trails with her horse.
Kirsten Barron practices in the areas of business and employment law at Barron Smith Daugert PLLC, where she has worked for almost twenty years. After graduating from law school in 1991, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Lawrence S. Margolis, United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC, and the Honorable John A. Petrich, Court of Appeals, Div. II in Tacoma, Washington. Kirsten then worked as an associate with a business/real estate law firm in Northern Virginia for several years. With a yearning to return to the Northwest, she was appointed as the Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Grays Harbor County. After several years in Grays Harbor, she came to Barron Smith Daugert, formerly Brett & Daugert, in Bellingham, WA.
Kirsten has been a volunteer for Law Advocates, the Whatcom County volunteer lawyer program, for almost 20 years. She has served on its board as a voting and non-voting member for fifteen years and its chair for three years. She is the past chair of the Washington State Access to Justice Board and currently serves as a committee member. She is also a board member WFC Rangers Soccer serving as its vice president. She volunteers at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Sehome High School.
Kirsten has three children who play a lot of sports and a very understanding husband.
Annette Holcomb grew up in Illinois and was fortunate to live in many interesting places during her adult years. She taught junior high school, worked on the support staff of a community mental health center, and for the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Stanford University. Her last and longest employment was in information systems & technology at Safeco Insurance in Seattle. She and her husband chose Bellingham as an excellent place to spend their retirement years and moved here in 2009.
She was first involved with the League of Women Voters on the Big Island of Hawaii and then again in Seattle where she was an active member of the board for several years. She earned a BA in History from Cornell College, studied computer science at Clark County Community College, and earned a certificate in teaching English as a second language. She taught English and citizenship preparation classes in Bellingham and in Seattle.
She is the mother of two grown sons, has two granddaughters and a supportive husband.
Judy Hopkinson retired from Baylor College of Medicine (TX) as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in 2008 and moved to Bellingham with her husband. Judy has a doctorate in botany/cell physiology, taught college in Ohio prior to her time at Baylor, and has contributed over 100 research articles, book chapters, and presentations related to her research in human reproduction and lactation to her credit.
She also worked with the Texas Department of Health to develop and present a highly successful breastfeeding support training program or care providers throughout Texas and elsewhere. Judy joined the LWVBWC in 2014 after attending the series of programs on water issues in Whatcom County.
Janice Keller is a communications professional with experience in city, county, and state government agencies. Since 2001, she has worked for the City of Bellingham, with four mayors, two dozen city council members, and hundreds of city workers and community members on a wide range of city service priorities. Janice is currently the Communications, Community Relations, & Programming Manager for the Bellingham Public Library.
She is married to J. Bruce Smith, an estate planning attorney and partner at Barron Smith Daugert, and is mom/stepmom to their three college-age children. Janice has a Bachelor’s in Journalism from WWU and a Master’s in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College; both experiences inspired her long-time interests in government information, accountability, and transparency. Janice serves on the board and as Editor of our League newsletter, The Voter.
Joy Monjure has been a resident of Whatcom County since 1979. Married 42 years, she raised two sons and is a grandmother of three. Joy retired in 2009 after 23 years as Communications Coordinator with the City of Bellingham Public Works Department. Her job focused on informing our community about the services of the Public Works Department, with a focus on protecting our water resources. Upon retiring, she opened Field of Greens, a small organic farm stand in Everson. She closed the farm stand in 2015 and began a career in real estate.
Joy served for 10 years on the Everson City Council and ran for state legislator in 2014. As a strong advocate for sustainable farming, she initiated the Whatcom Farm Map & Guide and annual Fall Harvest Dinner. Her community work has included Lake Whatcom Watershed Forestry Forum, Whatcom Watersheds Information Network, radio host of Water Whys on KGMI, Lake Whatcom Pledge Program, Whatcom County Flood Hazard Management Committee, Everson Lions Club, Bellingham/Whatcom Commission Against Domestic Violence, Coalition for Healthy Communities, Leadership Whatcom, Whatcom Council of Governments, and Everson/Nooksack Chamber of Commerce.