Our Core Team
Erin joined Seattle Good Business Network as co-director in 2012. Passionate about sustainability and community development, previous roles run the gamut from producing green events and fundraisers to Peace Corp service in the Philippines; and from academia to US Senate legislative staff. She holds a BA in Political Science from UC San Diego, an MSW from UC Berkeley, is ABD, PhD in Cultural Anthropology. Erin heads up our Sewn-Goods Revitalization project, our emergent Community Capital program area, Green Business Outreach, and Champion Membership. | Contact Erin
Photo by Nataworry Photography
Andrea along with her husband, owned and operated Bluebottle Art Gallery and Store in Seattle from 2002–2010. Bluebottle built a reputation for being at the forefront of the DIY indie art, craft and design movement. From 2008 – 2015 Andrea hosted a small business conference for creative entrepreneurs called School House Craft. Each fall, leaders of the makers community came together for two days to learn new skills and find camaraderie for their small business ventures. Andrea is a firm believer that the vitality of our community is bound to those who find the passion to pursue independent business ownership. Andrea coordinates our Dine Around Seattle/Seattle Restaurant Week and Seattle Made programs. | Contact Andrea
Photo by Nataworry Photography
Nico joined Seattle Good Business Network in September 2017 as an intern and became a full-time member of our staff in April 2018, managing our Sustainability and Youth Programs. Her work involves creating pipelines to sustainability-focused resources, and increasing meaningful career and learning pathways for local, underrepresented youth. Some of her newer projects support circular economy initiatives and events that are geared towards transitioning our current linear economy, to a more socially and environmentally regenerative one. Her work is founded on her passion for sustainable and equitable urban growth, that has culminated in her BA in Urban Sustainability from Seattle University. She believes that a vibrant local economy is critical to building a circular one that facilitates symbiotic relationships between communities and their natural environment.
John is an experienced Consultant, specializing in content creation, community development, and brand expansion. With hands-on experience getting companies up and moving, John can evaluate possibilities for sustainable growth through community influence, trend spotting, and process development. His work has played a vital role in expanding companies social media presence, identifying PR opportunities, development of new marketing campaigns, and creating necessary brand relations. With experience in Marketing and Public Relations, John feels confident in being able to help with anything that might come up. John is also an experienced Photographer with photos in Refinery29, E! Online, The Food Network, Eater, Draft Magazine, Crave Hong Kong, Tastemade, Allrecipes, and Seattle Magazine.
Board of Directors
Michelle Rupp, CPCU is the second-generation owner of NRG Insurance, a Property and Casualty Brokerage located in Seattle and founded in 1942. NRG Insurance is a certified B corporation, a multiyear Alfred P Sloane award winner for workplace flexibility and is a B Corporation Best in the World multiple years for Employees. Michelle was named one of the top Women in Insurance nationally in 2015 as well as leading fundraising for the Women’s March in Washington State in 2017. NRG Insurance has always been proud to demonstrate non-traditional values in a traditional industry, from automation to sustainability to employee joy and engagement and customer delight.
Inderjeet Ramgotra is founder of the local small business Inner Renewal and the Healthy Path and is an acupuncturist and herbalist with a talent for supporting internal health conditions especially women’s health. Natural medicine has been Inderjeet’s sole professional pursuit. She has been traveling this path for over 30 rewarding years restoring health, vitality and balance from the inside out. In caring deeply for health and well-being, her passion for vibrant local communities and economies is engaged on the board of the Seattle Good Business Network where she works to support the impactful programs and leaders of the organization. In addition to serving her patient community, she has served as president at the Women’s Business Exchange of Seattle and currently chairs the East Asian Medicine advisory committee by appointment of the WA State Secretary of Health.
Debbie has been a professional in the Credit Union movement for 35 years and has extensive experience regarding the unique role and purpose of the cooperative credit union structure. Debbie served as Executive Director of the BECU Foundation, running and growing their Scholarship program for over 13 years. Debbie is currently the Cooperative Community Advocate for BECU, a strong community-based Credit Union in Washington State. She is also a certified Credit Union Development Educator through the National Credit Union Foundation since 1993, as well as earning her Caribbean CUDE and International CUDE designation, and currently, serves on the CUDE Advisory Committee of the National CU Foundation Board. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of Express Advantage, the non-profit organization established to assist and partner low-income credit unions.
A CIO/COO for hire specializing in enterprise skills and strategy for companies of all sizes. Grounded in enterprise data center, transport and infrastructure (cloud), with expertise in program management. Celia is SCRUM certified and specializes in creative innovative and open cultures for operational excellence in adaptive planning. Celia is known in the industry for her ability to deliver quick wins and meet present business demands while anticipating the technology and processes of the future. 23 years at Microsoft in various operational leadership roles prepared her to understand the challenges and solutions for small and large businesses. This deeper understanding enables a faster pace of value for clients needing immediate value in operational excellence, technology best practices, and net revenue improvement. Mapping processes, delivering programs and change management provide quick wins for small and mid-size companies that are experiencing the challenges with growth. Celia lives on Mercer Island, has a husband and three children and can be found rowing on sunny days.
Legacy Board Members
Special thanks to these previous board members who help us create the foundational building blocks of the organization.
Christine is an entrepreneur, non-profit manager, and experienced marketer. After receiving her MBA from the University of Washington, she spent six years working with online marketing companies, including goNextdoor, a company she co-founded. In 2002 she joined sustainability think tank Sightline Institute as managing director, where she was responsible for fundraising, strategic planning, and operations. Inspired by the “living economies” vision of BALLE, she co-founded Seattle Good Business Network in 2010. Christine is a BALLE Local Economies Fellow, and served on the City of Seattle’s Economic Development Commission. In 2017 Christine has taken the reigns as Executive Director at Yes! Magazine.
Leslie Christian has been a leader in social and environmental investing for more than 25 years. She leads Outside Investments, a division of NorthStar Asset Management. After spending the first part of her career in banking and on Wall Street, Leslie became passionate about using finance for the benefit of all stakeholders, and went on to serve as President and CEO of Portfolio 21 Investments. During her 17 years at Portfolio 21, Leslie co-founded the firm’s pioneering environmental mutual fund as well as Upstream 21, a uniquely-chartered regional holding company for socially and environmentally responsible businesses. In 1993 Leslie co-founded with her colleague and friend Linda Pei the Women’s Equity Mutual Fund (now part of Pax World). Leslie offers portfolio consulting and advisory services to individuals and institutions seeking to align their values and their money through an integrated capital approach to investing and philanthropy.
Jon Kroman established his own law and consulting practice after 28 years with the Seattle-based law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer, including over 20 years as partner. For many years, Jon has been heavily involved with sustainability in the regional business community. A central element of the transition to his own practice is the opportunity to provide cost-effective professional support to small and medium sized companies and other organizations defined by products, services and practices reflecting a fundamental commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
Special Project & Program Advisors
We are fortunate to be supported by a number of talented, expert advisors who assist us with various programs and special projects to support our local economy. Special thanks to these team members who help us build capacity and amplify our voice.
Clarissa San Diego is Founder and CEO of Makerologist, a maker technology agency that bridges the gap between companies and communities through creative technology experiences. She leads a collective of makers, educators, designers, engineers, artists, and writers who have come together under a shared vision of creating a maker ecosystem. They specialize in project based learning experiences through hardware kits, workshops, events, and public installations. At Makerologist, San Diego demonstrates her abilities in business development, industrial design, STEM education, and community building at a local and global scale. In her previous career, she served as a developer relations consultant for various tech companies. Her award winning work is published in academic journal, Technical Communication, and MAKE Magazine. Clarissa was also co-producer for numerous tech events including the Women Who Code CONNECT 2016 and the DevRel Summit conferences. Majority of her work focuses on matchmaking the needs between local communities and businesses through hardware education.
Gabriel-Bello Diaz is a Puerto Rican designer and teacher. As founder of Efficio he combines 3D printing and laser cut technology with leather to create high end leather products. With his background in architecture and robotic engineering he has developed educational programs and curriculums that encourage students to pursue a variety of STEM careers. Gabriel has been published in several books for his research in robotics and is currently working on his first solo publication on deconstructing public school education. He is also very passionate about empowering people of color and started an online fashion editorial, Hyena Culture, that highlights artists using their talent to strengthen and give back to their own community.
Kamal Patel, is a digital UX designer, entrepreneur, and systems thinker focused on circular economy, local food, and environmental justice. He has spent 6 years designing and building digital tools and physical infrastructure in support of resilient, local food systems in the Greater Seattle Area.
His past digital UX clients have included Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, GE Global Research, Amazon AWS and F5.com. Kamal uses design thinking tools and systems mapping to help build emergent solutions with a diverse set of stakeholders with similar visions of a more regenerative, just economy.
Behnosh Najafi, PhD, is a UX design researcher and strategist in the Seattle area with a decade of experience helping businesses, foundations and non-profits connect to their end-users. Her past clients have included Microsoft, Windermere Realty, The Allen Institute and Schools Out Washington.
Having had a range of clients and complex problems to solve, Behnosh enjoys working through ambiguous territory, and believes that design methodologies offer a robust toolkit for anyone seeking to make impact in their organizations and in the wider world. Behnosh received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology at the University of WA, Santa Cruz.