Sue Taoka is currently an Executive Vice President at Craft3, a nonprofit, non-bank community development financial institution. She is based out of the Seattle office, developing capital strategies to strengthen the resilience of distressed and immigrant communities and focusing on organizational infrastructure to improve the health and resilience of Craft3. For 14 years Sue served as Executive Director of the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), the major property management and community development organization in the Chinatown International District. Before that she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Norm Rice for housing, economic and community development, neighborhoods, parks, and libraries. And before that she led the International District Improvement Association. Sue was a founding member of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development, is a board member of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Seattle Investment Fund, the Friends of Little Saigon and the Seattle Investment Board. She has recently been appointed to the Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council by Governor Inslee. Sue earned her B. S. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.
Bill Block began his career in the other Washington as a law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court. He moved to Seattle in 1977 with a law practice focused on complex real estate transactions on behalf of both private and public entities including the King County and Tacoma Public Housing Authorities and the Seattle Chinatown International District PDA.
As President of AIDS Housing of Washington he helped create Bailey Boushay House, the first new skilled nursing facility for people with AIDS. As Chair of the Seattle Housing Authority he was involved in the HOPE VI redevelopments of New Holly, High Point and Rainier Vista. In 2005, he left the law to become Director of the Committee to End Homelessness, the public/private partnership implementing the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Seattle/King County.
In 2012 Bill became the HUD Regional Administrator for Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) and later a Special Consultant on Homelessness to HUD, returning to civil liberties law in 2017. His other civic involvements include service as a board member for DESC and the Mount Baker Housing Alliance and Chair, Seattle Center Advisory Commission.
Michael Brown is Vice President, Community Leadership at The Seattle Foundation. Before joining the staff of The Seattle Foundation, Michael Brown served as a legislative aide to Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver from 1997 to 2000. He also served as Deputy Director for the Washington Association for Community Economic Development, a nonprofit that provided training and technical assistance to community-based development organizations statewide. Michael holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Loyola University. He is the past chair of the Impact Capital Board of Directors, Vice President for Building Changes, and is a board member of Futurewise, the Washington State Budget and Policy Center and the King County Housing Authority. He also serves on the Interagency Committee for the Committee to End Homelessness in King County and is an advisory board member for Neighbor to Neighbor. Michael is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.
Doris Koo is a respected leader and seasoned executive in the community development sector. She recently retired from a 13-year career with Enterprise Community Partners, a leading national nonprofit specializing in affordable housing finance, advocacy and community development. She served in a variety of executive roles including that of president and CEO. Prior to her work with Enterprise, she spent seven years with the Seattle Housing Authority as Deputy Executive Director, leading efforts to build and preserve affordable housing, including the redevelopment of NewHolly and Rainier VIsta. In New York City, Doris led Asian Americans for Equality from an all-volunteer organization to the biggest owner and developer of low-income housing in New York City’s Chinatown and Lower East Side neighborhoods. Doris is a member of the governing council of Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority in Seattle. She was elected to serve on the national board of AARP in June 2014, after serving on the board of the AARP Foundation from 2012-2014. She has served on the Investment Committee of The Russell Family Foundation; Washington State Infrastructure Task Force, and on boards of the National Housing Trust and the National Low Income Housing Coalition. She has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago.
Ellen Kissman is a planner and policy analyst with more than 25 years of experience in Seattle. She has worked for the City of Seattle and the Seattle Housing Authority. Since 2006, her consulting practice has served the public and nonprofit sectors, offering grant-writing, program evaluation, and project management services. Ellen was part of the Seattle Housing Authority team that brought more than $100 million in funding awards to the Seattle area. She contributed to successful HUD grant applications for redevelopment at Rainier Vista, High Point, Lake City Village, and Yesler Terrace. As Asset Management Coordinator for Seattle Housing Authority she particpated in major restructuring that resulted in using resources more efficiently and effectively, in keeping with the Housing Authority’s mission. Her achievements on behalf of the people of Seattle include her leadership and contributions as a senior member of the team that prepared the first Comprehensive Plan, which is currently being updated. It is remarkable that the fundamental concepts on which this plan was based will continue to remain in effect for the next 20 years. Ellen earned a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College, a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
Principal of Virginia Felton Consulting since 2013, Virginia has worked within the government and nonprofit sectors throughout her career. She specializes in communication and consensus building, and has applied these skills in organizations including the Pike Place Market PDA, the Seattle Housing Authority and The Mountaineers. She led communication, marketing and property management functions at the Pike Place Market in the 1980s, including the beloved “Become a legend in your own tile” campaign. She served as executive director of The Mountaineers in the 1990s, increasing membership by 50 percent to more than 15,000 members. At the Seattle Housing Authority, Felton served as director of communications and strategic planning where she led strategic planning efforts over a ten-year period beginning in 2004.. Virginia has also held board leadership positions at The Whidbey Institute, Seattle CityClub, Northwest Bookfest and the UW Alumni Association. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Washington.
Brian’s background is in cultural and educational programing, international marketing, and event management. He spent more than five years living and working in Japan and is fluent in Japanese. Following his time as a Coordinator of International Relations (CIR) on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, Brian has applied his passion for cultural exchange and bridge building to numerous positions in Seattle. In international education Brian has worked on student programming at North Seattle College; was a teaching assistant and study abroad program co-director for the University of Washington; and served as assistant director of marketing for Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.). As the cultural and educational program manager at the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center (HBCC) in Seattle, Brian spent several years increasing outreach to Hyogo sister cities in Washington State, culminating in the 50th Anniversary of sister state relations between Hyogo (Japan) and Washington State. Brian is a board member of the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association, and a professional photographer who has worked with clients in the U.S. and internationally. He has a Bachelors of Arts in Japanese Literature from Carleton College and completed a Master of Arts in International Studies at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.