Board Bios

San Juan Community Home Trust Board of Directors 2015-2017 

Steve Bowman – After 30+ years in the medical device industry, my wife, Diane Martindale, and I relocated to SJI in October of 2007 and moved into our home on the west side.  My background has been in sales and marketing for large and small companies around the US.  When we moved to the island I intended to retire but found I was not quite ready so I worked a series of jobs until finally retiring in 2013.  I have found retirement to be just right for me and I am actively involved in the community as a member of Rotary, a committed League of Women Voters board member and president of the Board of Trustees at San Juan Golf and Tennis Club.  I am a passionate golfer and enjoy playing year round, with the exception of when the greens freeze over.  We firmly believe that community service is a part of living on the island and have selected opportunities to be involved.  I look forward to being a part of the Home Trust Board and making a difference in the lives of islanders needing affordable housing.   Steve was elected to the Board in 2016.

Chary Caren has lived on San Juan Island since the fall of 2003 when she purchased land here, a house in Victoria through Nickel Brothers, and united the two in order to have a well-built, attractive and affordable home.  Before coming to San Juan Island she taught in communities with diverse populations: Appalachian children in Ohio, a Quaker school in Philadelphia, more than a decade in the Navajo Nation at Chinle, Arizona and additional years in Tubac/Tumacacori/Rio Rico, Arizona.  Along the way she has been co-owner of a small gallery in Tubac, Arizona and a board member of various civic and educational organizations.  She feels extremely privileged to be involved with the San Juan Community Home Trust when there is such a need for more permanently affordable housing and finds it particularly exciting now when the Home Trust is engaged in the recycling and rejuvenation of wonderful well-built homes to provide that needed housing.   Chary was elected to the Board in 2012 and serves as Secretary.

Sarah Crosby has lived on the island full-time since 1997, though has been coming here since the late ’70s.  Now retired, she has worked as a volunteer for many island organizations including the Community Theater and the Library as well as several other non-profits.  After a career first in banking and later in the travel industry, she turned her sights on politics and good government.
  Sarah joined the Home Trust board in November of 2014 and now serves as the Board Chair.  She is currently on the board of the League of Women Voters of the San Juans and has been its Program Chair for five years.  When not working with the Home Trust, League and other non profits she enjoys film, gardening, travel and reading above all.  Her interest in the Home Trust relates to feeling strongly that we are a stronger community if we all work for and with each other to build that community.  Having a population of diverse ages, economic levels, ethnicity, backgrounds and talents has the best chance of surviving well and rising to the challenges of our modern world.   Sarah is Chair of the Board and was elected to the Board  in 2014.

Attilio Galli has over 35 years of general and financial management experience – the last 20 in management positions in the fields of commercial and investment banking, as well as venture capital.  Prior to that, he was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Credit Officer in Tennessee and Houston-based financial institutions.  He also has been Managing Director and founding partner of an investment bank and for Citicorp/Citibank in assignments in the United States and overseas.  He has served on numerous boards including most recently, the board of directors of the San Juan Lion’s Club, the Gallatin Tennessee Lion’s Club, Nashville-based Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, Alliance Financial of Houston, The Greater Houston Small Business Investment Fund, and MESBIC Financial Corporation.  Mr. Galli was also one of the founding members of the Houston Technology Incubator.  Mr. Galli holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Louisiana State University in New Orleans and completed numerous training  programs at Citibank including Treasury Management, MBS Trading, Senior Credit Officer and International Trade Training.   Attilio was elected to the Board in 2016.

Gay Graham – Since graduating from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, I have had many opportunities, including full-time volunteering for the re-election of my Congresswoman from the 1st. District in Oregon and then serving as one of her staffers in the Portland office for two and a half years. I was elected to the Lake Oswego, Oregon, City Council and served for six years until I reached term limit.  Until 2005, when we bought a Cannery Village condo, my husband, Ron Hanson, and I had been island wannabes.  The “commute” from Lake Oswego to Friday Harbor grew very tiresome, so we sold our home of twenty-eight years, sold the condo and bought our home on Laughing Meadow Lane in 2013.  My volunteering here on SJI has primarily been focused on the philanthropic activities of Soroptimists of Friday Harbor with emphasis on fund raising.  The Household Essentials Program for the Family Resource Center was my brain-child, but it’s the FRC who ran with the idea and made it the success that it is today.  I am a member of the Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund and am currently coordinating the publication of a Community Resource Guide.  I believe that affordable housing is essential in strengthening our island’s economic health, viability and livability.   Gay was elected to the Board in 2016.

Robert Kleven, AIA, CPHC – Bob first visited the Northwest in 1986 with his wife and son and immediately fell in love with San Juan Island.  Avid sailors and outdoor enthusiasts, the Kleven family immediately sold their home in Florida and moved to the Seattle/Tacoma area to take advantage of all that the Northwest has to offer.  They finally ‘made the leap’ by moving  to Friday Harbor in January of 2015.  Bob has worked in the architectural field since the 1970s and became licensed in 1982.  He currently maintains licensure in the states of Washington and Alaska.  He has had long-standing interests in housing, energy conservation and sustainability, and he recently acquired Certified Passive House Consultant status.  He began his career as a hospital designer and planner, but for most of the last 35 years, he has worked primarily in the private sector on larger-scale multifamily residential, hospitality and commercial/retail projects.  He served as a Principal and Director of Design in a mid-sized firm for many years and then as Director of Architecture for a large development company.  Along the way, he provided custom design and construction document services to Habitat for Humanity families in the greater Tacoma area.  Bob believes in the importance of finding solutions that are affordable, comfortable, and a source of pride for the new owners and the community.  Years ago, he first became aware of the daunting housing affordability issue faced by workers in large cities and in remote destination communities, much like what we are seeing now right here on the island,  He believes we are further constrained by our relative isolation and, therefore, the importance of finding and providing permanently affordable housing opportunities is all the more pressing.   Bob was elected to the Board in 2016.

Dina Melic and her husband moved to Friday Harbor in 1998, after leaving their home in war-torn Bosnia and living for a time in Vienna.  With only two suitcases, they arrived in Friday Harbor where her husband, Faim, had relatives.  After gaining employment, renting first, carefully saving and then learning English, Dina and Faim were the first homeowners to move into Salal, in December of 2004.  For them, homeownership completed a long desired dream. Faim now conducts business as a skilled stone mason with employees of his own and Dina is a sought-after housekeeper, property manager, gardener and bookkeeper.  She and her husband have a son in high school.  Dina was elected an Ambassador for the National Community Land Trust Network in 2016 and is now one of 16 Ambassadors nationally.   Dina serves on the Home Trust Board as Treasurer and was elected to the Board in 2011.

Bridget Nyberg was raised in Cowlitz County and graduated from the University of Washington in 1997.  In the following years she worked in administrative and planning positions in Seattle.  Bridget moved to San Juan Island in 2002 and has since worked in numerous, varied settings.  She and her two lovely children are the very happy occupants of a Home Trust home, and she thinks it is very exciting to be a part of this great island effort – providing fellow community members an opportunity to own cozy, affordable homes of their own.   Bridget was elected to the Home Trust Board in 2016.

Chinmayo Ricketts has been a resident of San Juan County since 1974, raised her children on Stuart and San Juan Islands and now has grandchildren here. Through the years Chinmayo has had many varied jobs and vocations.  In total she has been (and still is!) an Artist, Art teacher, early childhood educator; she’s waitressed, hosted, catered, has been a cabinet maker and re-finisher, built boats, done sign painting, fished, gardened and booked music for a small café.  She now books music for the Port of Friday Harbor and does elder care.  Much of Chinmayo’s time has been spent in volunteering: she was a 4- H Leader, helped at the fair and volunteered at the schools.  She created and implemented Public Art in the form of tile murals and beach rock mosaics, working with large numbers of children and adults to complete these Public Art pieces.  In 2012 Chinmayo was thrilled to finally buy her own home in Sun Rise.  After living in her beautiful townhouse for a year she felt it was time to give back and joined the SJCHT Board.  She says she is “always amazed at the volumes of good work our board accomplishes.” Chinmayo served as Board Secretary from 2013-2015 and feels that being on the Board has given her and her community a voice.  In 2014, she was elected to become an Ambassador for the National Community Land Trust Network, one of 6 original Ambassadors nationally.  Six homeowners from CLTs all over the country were chosen and groomed to speak with members of Congress to advocate for more Federal funding for affordable housing in the 2015 Budget.  She continues to train as a CLT Ambassador to better serve her community and help others to experience the wonderful opportunities for the betterment of all through Affordable Homes.   Chinmayo was elected to the Board in 2013.

Steve Ulvi – My life has evolved entirely in the far west: raised blue-collar in the political crucible of the 1950s and 60s in the Bay Area of California, I hitch-hiked north to attend Oregon State in Corvallis and, subsequently, to live among towering firs in the Oregon Coast Range, where I finally succumbed to a longtime dream to make our way to Alaska via my old pickup.  My wife, Lynette Roberts, and I settled into the wild country around Eagle on the upper Yukon River to eventually raise a family in a small hand-built cabin, where we lived for a decade, then relocated – first to Eagle (pop. 125) and eventually to the outskirts of Fairbanks.  I earned a BS in Natural Resource Management from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  I worked for 25 challenging years with the National Park Service, where I was employed in positions from the ground up to key management roles in two immense and hauntingly beautiful wild parks in northern Alaska that were fraught with controversy.  In late 2006, we relocated to San Juan Island and we are just now completing an “owner-builder” homestead on eight forested acres.  Lynette and I have been married for 41 years and have two fine children with great spouses and 5 special grand girls.  My avocations center on gardening, fishing, power boating, hiking, camping, woodworking, writing, motorcycling and finding ways to become a provocative gadfly for issues of import that I feel are mired in socio-political inertia.  I have worked on many recreational trails here with the Trails Committee and Land Bank, am an Islands Oil Spill Response Association volunteer, a recent Red Cross volunteer.  The work of the Community Home Trust in providing affordable housing is a profoundly important effort in creating a resilient community that will flourish in the coming decades of change on San Juan Island.  I hope to be helpful, and in turn be inspired by the solidly crafted neighborhoods created, families served, and laughing kids who know that dreams forged in effort can come true.    Steve was elected to the Board in 2016.

Maia Yip – Maia (pronounced MEE-a) Yip was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and moved to the islands with her family when she was two years of age in 1976.  She has an accumulation of 25 years living in the San Juan Islands.  She served on the Lopez Homeowners Board for Innisfree as the Treasurer and is currently an Ambassador for Grounded Solutions, advocating for affordable housing in the San Juan Islands and its importance for the Nation.  She is delighted to enrich her contribution to the community by serving on the San Juan Island Community Home Trust Board.    Maia was elected to the Board in 2016.