Table of Contents
Meet the Board
The Alliance Board of Directors consists of a diverse mix of Pioneer Square professionals and residents.
Nelson & Nelson PLLC
Jane Rakay Nelson is a real estate attorney who has more than three decades of experience handling numerous real estate financing, lease and acquisition transactions for nonprofit and for profit clients. She is a resident and has an office in Pioneer Square.
Jane has been active in several professional and community organizations, having served as chair of the Downtown Seattle Association Board of Directors, co-chair of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Business Affiliates Board, chair of the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club Board and member of the Board of Directors of the Woodland Park Zoo. She is also on the board of the Pioneer Square BIA.
Grant Wojahn joined the Alliance board in 2019. He is an alumnus of the Pioneer Square BIA board, having served as Treasurer as well as heading up the Finance committee. He is the Director of Human Resources for LT Partners, a marketing & consulting services firm.
Stephen P. VanDerhoef
Steve has been connected to Pioneer Square almost his entire life. From attending the first sports event in the Kingdome (a Sounders game) as a child and a thousand games since, to starting his legal career serving as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at 3rd and James, to his current post as a partner at a law firm that has been in the Collins Building at 2nd and James since 2001, he has been excited about and dedicated to Pioneer Square and its residents and businesses. Steve advises corporate and individual clients on a full range of complex commercial disputes and risk management. His practice focuses on litigation and resolution of disputes based upon securities, financing, fraud, complex contract, real estate, closely-held companies, and intellectual property.
CFO, Marchex Inc
Leila Kirske is the Chief Financial Officer of Marchex – a leading conversational analytics company that connects the voice of the customer to business. Leila is responsible for finance and administrative operations. She has held senior financial executive roles at Tune, Varolii, Washington Mutual, and Bsquare. Leila has more than 25 years of experience driving finance, accounting and administrative activities in the technology and telephony industries. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a Certified Public Accountant. Leila holds a B.B.A. Degree from the University of Washington. Her interests include promoting local businesses, enabling technology start-ups and historic preservation.
Property Owner/Samis Land Co and BIA Ratepayer Board
Adam Hasson is the Senior Property Manager for Samis, a real estate company with 11 building in Pioneer Square. He is the co-chair of the Design Committee at the Alliance for Pioneer Square and former member of the Pioneer Square Preservation Board. His interests include urban design, promoting local retailers, alley activation and historic preservation.
Martin Smith Inc
Ryan Smith is a Principal of Martin Smith Inc, a commercial real estate investment and operating company specializing in office properties in Seattle. With approximately 1 million square feet under ownership/management across 20 buildings, Martin Smith Inc holds a leading position in the Northwest commercial real estate marketplace. In addition to serving as Board Co-Chair of the Alliance for Pioneer Square, he is also on the Board of Friends of Waterfront Seattle, as well as the Board of the Downtown Seattle Association.
Salone is the Vice President of Development at Urban Visions and a licensed architect with over 25 years of industry experience. Her professional commitments have involved serving several industry organizations including four years on the Seattle Design Review Board (Northeast Board); course instructor for five years for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) teaching Architect’s Licensing Exam courses; Design Fellow with Architecture for Humanity (AFH) where she consulted for Rumi Schools in Hyderabad, India; and member of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Management Practices in Construction. A graduate of the University of Washington, she holds a Master of Science in construction management and a Bachelor of Arts in architecture.
The Pastry Project
Heather Hodge is the Cofounder and Culinary Director of The Pastry Project. Founded in 2019 and located in Pioneer Square, The Pastry Project is a social enterprise providing job training and mentorship to individuals facing barriers to entry in the baking and pastry industry.
Heather has worked in the food and beverage industry for twenty years, and throughout her career has focused on improving benefits and compensation standards for employees as well as repairing inefficiencies and reducing costs. Heather lives in Seattle’s Central District with her husband and enjoys foraging wild mushrooms and shellfish, producing elaborate meals, and studying the world of wine.
Hudson Pacific Properties
Jennie Dorsett joined Hudson Pacific in 2013 and serves as Vice President, Operations for the Pacific Northwest region. She is responsible for overseeing 2.2M sf of property operations throughout Pioneer Square and the Denny Triangle.
Jennie relocated to Seattle from Sarasota, Florida in 2001 and started her CRE career with Samis Foundation at the Smith Tower. She currently serves on the board of directors for BOMA Seattle and also serves on BOMA’s executive and finance committees. Additionally, Jennie is a recent new board member of the Metropolitan Improvement District.
Jennie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.
Justin Nikbakhsh is the Vice President of Financial Operations at Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands and one of the largest wood products manufacturers in North America. Justin has spent most of his career in or around Pioneer Square, starting at KPMG in Public Accounting in the early 2000s, and more recently at Weyerhaeuser, which has its Headquarters in Occidental Square.
Justin has nearly 20 years of experience in finance, audit, systems, and technology across multiple industries and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a graduate of Washington State University and holds a Master of Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He currently serves on the Seattle University Accounting Advisory Board and the Puyallup Schools Foundation.
Ex Officio Non-Voting Member
National Park Service
Small Business Owner
Although not a Seattle native, Jen Kelly fell in love with Pioneer Square shortly after moving there in 2009. After living in the neighborhood for just a few months, she decided to start a blog called “The New Pioneer Square” that could show people the positive aspects of the neighborhood and help build a strong community of Pioneer Square residents. A few years later, she had a daughter, who is now a precocious young lady who loves the city, and helped Jen to get more involved in making Seattle a more family-friendly city. In 2014, she and her husband opened a fast-casual restaurant in Smith Tower, called SPROUT. She hopes to continue to be an activist for Pioneer Square, get residents more involved in facilitating change, and share the realities of living in Seattle’s first neighborhood.
Resident & Business Owner
From 1990 until 1994, Mr. Royer served as Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and as Lecturer at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to his appointment at the Institute of Politics, Charley Royer served as Mayor of Seattle for twelve years. He was elected Mayor in 1977 following a career in newspaper and television journalism. During his three terms as Mayor, Mr. Royer became a national spokesman for American cities in housing, the arts, health care, energy, civil liberties, and the needs of children and youth. He served as President of the National League of Cities in 1983 and was named one of the top 20 American Mayors in 1988 by U. S. News and World Report.
In 1989, Seattle was named one of the ten best-managed cities in the nation by Business Month Magazine and Mr. Royer received the 1989 Distinguished Urban Mayor Award from the National Urban Coalition. Charley was named the 2011 Downtown Champion at the Downtown Seattle Association 53rdAnnual Meeting in June 2011; the first time the award was bestowed on an individual. A resident of Pioneer Square, Charley is co-chair of the Alliance. He also serves on the Downtown Seattle Association Board of Trustees and on the Board of the Public Facilities District for Safeco Field.
President Daniels Real Estate
Kevin Daniels is a founding board member of the Alliance for Pioneer Square. He is President of Daniels Real Estate. His development team has received two National Preservation Awards and numerous local & state awards for their work. He was named as the first recipient of the Urban Hero award from International Sustainability Institute, and received the Washington State Special Achievement Award and the Judge’s Choice Award from the National Association of Office & Industrial Properties for his work to save the historic First United Methodist Church in Seattle.
The American Institute of Architects has made him an honorary member in Seattle for his body of work. Mr. Daniels serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Trust for Historic Preservation where he is vice-chair of the Preservation and Audit Committees. He also serves on the Board of Regents for Gonzaga University. Until recently he served on the board of the Gonzaga Business Forum that sponsors Seattle Trek’s annual luncheon and Gonzaga’s Annual Vintner Dinner & Auction in Seattle. Mr. Daniels serves on the boards of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Seattle as a board emeriti.