Pete Granger, President, Ex-Officio
Pete Granger is Board President for the WWCoalition. Pete has an extensive background in the commercial seafood industry, having fished commercially in Puget Sound and Alaska and has processed and marketed seafood products for several companies. Pete was sales director for Seafood Producers Cooperative in Bellingham, 1989-1993. Additionally, he served as executive director for several fisheries trade associations working on government relations and policies regarding the fishing industry. Pete also served on the board of the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association from 1997-2001. In addition to the Working Waterfront Coalition, he currently serves
on the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee. Pete recently retired as program leader of the marine advisory services for the Washington Sea Grant Program, a professional staff position at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Pete has a BS in oceanography and an MBA in international business from the University of Washington. He continues to fish commercially on Puget Sound as a reef-net fisherman at Lummi Island, near Bellingham. Pete and his wife, Debbie, live in Bellingham.
Jim Kyle, Vice-President, Commercial Fishing, GOVERNMENT Relations Committee Chair
Jim Kyle is Vice President of the Board and was a founder of the WWCoalition. He has served on numerous industry boards of directors and was formally the WWCoalition’s Board President.
Jim commercially fished his way through college, graduate school, an eight-year public school teaching career, and seined for salmon for over half a century. All his family members, wife Kathy and four children, worked on their seiner "Home Shore." During a low salmon price era, Jim and family operated a kayak mothership, Alaska wilderness charter service in Southeast Alaska. Home Shore was sold to son, Ben in 2015, and Jim and Kathy now take to the water on a slow single engine "pleasure" boat which is berthed in Sitka, Alaska.
Deborah Granger, Secretary, At-LArge
Deb Granger is Secretary of the Board for the WWCoalition and is one its founding members. Deb has been involved with the seafood/fishing industry for over 40 years. In addition to working as a high school educator (career counselor, English/Reading Teacher), Deb has worked in PR/Marketing, Fundraising, and Event Management throughout the US. After retiring from the University of Washington, Deb managed a 12-state aquaculture research consortium funded by USDA.
In addition to the joy of being a mom and a grandma (2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and 3 grandchildren), Deb loves commercial fishing on the Reefnet Boats off of Lummi Island and seeing the salmon from the head stand (yelling Give‘er Hell), and sharing camaraderie with the crew. Deb currently leads the community festival, Bellingham SeaFeast, a celebration of our maritime and commercial fishing sector that takes place on the banks of Bellingham Bay each September. Deb and her husband, Pete are looking forward to enjoying family, fun, and travel.
George Dyson, Treasurer, Ex-Officio
George Dyson is the WWCoalition’s Board Treasurer. His business, Dyson, Baidarka & Company, located at the head of the Whatcom Waterway, distributes kayak-building materials and designs. George settled in Bellingham after living on the coastline of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska from 1970 to 1989. George has worked on a wide variety of commercial vessels and has frequented many of the communities with which Bellingham shares its maritime past. George is also a professional historian who maintains a strong interest in the prehistory and early exploration of the Northwest Coast.
LAURIE RISKIN, Program Coordinator
Laurie Riskin is Program Coordinator for the WWCoalition. She has lived in Whatcom County for forty-three years while raising a family and building a varied work history. Laurie founded and directed Kids' Place Theater Arts Center and she served as Executive Director for the start-up of the Jansen Art Center. From 1991-2011, Laurie and her husband, Bill Snow were the co-founders and co-directors of the accredited, WellSpring Community High School. In her career as educator and in curriculum development, Laurie advocated for the ecological health of Whatcom Waterways and the community's sustainability. Laurie lives in the N Fork Valley on the Nooksack River amongst the eagles and the salmon.
Jay Chiabai, Marine Retail & Chandleries, Membership COMMITTEE Chair
Jay has worked in commercial marine sales for 11 years and has been connected to Bellingham's waterfront his whole life. He worked for Redden Marine Supply until 2016 and is currently the commercial sales manager at LFS. Prior to this time, he spent four summer's seining salmon and herring in Alaska.
Jay enjoys his early morning runs, golfing, and spending time outdoors with his wife, and son, Ethan.
Todd Shuster, Charter-Broker-Passenger
Captain Todd Shuster is a founding Board member of the WWCoalition. Captain Todd has worked on the water for over 30 years. For the last 15 years, he has been the owner and operator of Gato Verde Adventure Sailing in Bellingham. www.gatoverde.com Todd holds a 100 ton US Coast Guard license. He is a former US SAILING instructor and instructor trainer. He has taught wilderness sailing courses in Baja, Mexico for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and has run several sailing programs for universities, yacht clubs, and summer camps. Todd has spent most of his professional career in sailing and sailing education but other major experiences include work in the sport and commercial fishing fleets of Alaska, and five years live-aboard cruising.
Mike McKenzie, Ex-Officio
Mike McKenzie is a Board Director for the WWCoalition. He is the Co-Manager in charge of marketing and media relations for Bellingham SeaFeast.
Mike contributed articles to the Pulitzer Prize team at the Kansas City Star & Times, and received three other national awards during his journalism career there. McKenzie also served as adjunct instructor at U. of Alabama, Southern University, the Univ. of Kansas, and Texas A&M. Staging the Lummi Island Reefnet Festival in 2014 was a great moment of pride for him, as was his 3 years as Chair of the County-appointed Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee. Mike was also founding board member that established a foundation to save and support Beach Elementary School on Lummi Island.
Mike loves photography, reading, dogs, and writing articles as Editor of Business Pulse Magazine.
Lindsie Fratus-Thomas, At-Large Board member
Bio Coming Soon!
Jay Bornstein, At-Large Board member
Seafood Processing & Retailing
Bio Coming Soon!
Matt Hardin, Marine Trades
Bio Coming Soon!
Ellie Kinley, At-Large Board Member
Lummi tribal member, Ellie Kinley comes from a long line of fishers and tribal leaders. Her experience as a fisherwoman, and her deep and abiding respect for the natural and cultural resources of the Salish Sea, is reflected in her work both on and off the water.
As a Lummi tribal fisherwoman, Ellie is dedicated to the wise and sustainable management of our natural resources for present and future generations. When she is off the water, she has demonstrated time and again her fearless commitment to the environment by bringing to the attention of governmental officials, as well as leaders of industry, the current threats she sees to the Salish Sea.
Ellie is a tireless warrior for the environment, working across cultures daily. She serves on the Lummi Nation’s Fish Commission which provides advice and guidance to the tribe’s Natural Resource Department. Ellie is also a member of the Lummi Cultural Commission that works to protect and pass on the traditional knowledge and teachings of the Lummi Nation. In addition, she serves as the At-Large Member of the Working Waterfront Coalition that promotes the vitality and economic benefits of the working waterfronts for the people of Whatcom County. She is also a member of the Whatcom County Fisherman’s Association, working to promote relations between tribal and non-tribal fishers, and is on the Board of the Bellingham SeaFeast Festival that is dedicated to preserving and promoting the maritime heritage of Whatcom County.
Ellie and her husband, Larry Kinley, have been instrumental in bringing back ancestral Lummi reef-net fishery. The historical reef-net location at Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) was an anchor in the successful campaign to defeat the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Ellie was an inspired and inspirational presence throughout that campaign and continues to work to protect and preserve Xwe’chi’eXen.