Board of Directors
A leadership team with a passionate belief in the power of choral music, our board is committed to enabling Seattle Pro Musica to maintain artistic excellence and a sound fiscal foundation.
Joy Portella, President
Joy Portella is president of the Seattle Pro Musica board, and serves on the marketing and development committees. She also sings as a soprano with Pro Musica, and has been a choral singer for more than 25 years. Joy is the president and founder of Minerva Strategies, a consultancy that inspires action and positive change through smart communications.
WES KIM, vice president
Wes Kim joined Seattle Pro Musica as a singer in 2011 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2013. From early on, he's produced engaging videos to promote our concerts and events. He now heads up the Marketing Committee where he helps to set broader marketing strategies for the choir. Outside of SPM, he’s a Lead Copywriter at AT&T and an award-winning filmmaker.
Rick Johnson, TREASURER
Rick Johnson is the Director of Finance and Administration at the Seattle Aquarium. In this role he manages all financial functions including accounting, investments, financial reporting, cash flow, annual audits, insurance, payroll, compliance and legal matters.
Prior to his move to the conservation and environment world, Rick worked for more than 30 years in nonprofit performing arts organizations. These included Seattle Opera, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas and other arts centers, ballet, theater and opera companies. Long active as a choral singer, Rick sang for 20 years in John Alexander’s Pacific Chorale, has sung in the Seattle Opera chorus and is a member of Seattle Pro Musica and choirs at University Unitarian Church. He joined the board in 2016.
katy sarff, corporate secretary
Katy Sarff started attending SPM Board meetings as a singer and a member of the Auction Committee in 2015, and was elected to the board in 2016. Katy is the Office Administrator and Bookkeeper at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, a Reconciling In Christ Congregation of the ELCA, located in Seattle, WA. When she isn’t singing, rehearsing, working, or volunteering in the SPM Office, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, and their two dogs, Dougan and Dobby.
Beth Alley joined the Seattle Pro Musica board in 2016. A non-singing member, she is passionate about music and its ability to bridge generational, cultural, and ethnic divides. Beth has worked for a non-profit health care organization for over 20 years, and is currently the Chief of Staff for ancillary and nursing services. As a board member, she brings a wealth of project management, financial, and strategic planning experience and skills.
Jeannine Black joined the board in 2016 and serves on the Development Committee. A singer herself, she is passionate about the many positive qualities associated with choral singing as an art form and wants to continue enhancing Seattle Pro Musica’s visibility and cultural excellence. Jeannine has a diverse background that includes legal recruiting, entertainment, and real estate. She currently is a Master Esthetician with Alliance Healing Arts in Seattle.
Anne Clamoungou is a telecommunications professional who has lead Information Technology, Operations and Human Resources people and projects in in the greater Seattle area for over 20 years. She is passionate about building amazing teams that thrive through collaboration, creativity and compassion. She’s also dedicated to fostering peace, culture and education as a Peace Corps volunteer, PTA President, Seattle Public Schools Closing the Achievement Gap committee member, volunteer organization development consultant to local non-profits, and as a Buddhist women’s leader. She is honored to continue this tradition with Seattle Pro Musica. And, oh yes, Anne is crazy about music and says that her first Seattle Pro Musica concert was “an out of body experience” that hooked her for life.
Laura Patton-Ballard joined the Seattle Pro Musica Board in 2011 and chairs our Membership Committee. As such, she is the liaison between the Board and the singers. She started singing with the choir in 1997 and has loved every minute of it. She is a family practice physician, now retired, and has a particular interest in the power of singing and other forms of artistic expression to enhance the health of individuals as well as the community.
Mary Redman joined the board in 2014 and serves on the development and auction committees. While she does not sing in Pro Musica, she sang with the Northwest Girlchoir for 7 years in her youth and plays the flute. She is a biostatistician and faculty member in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Briana Schwartz has been volunteering with Seattle Pro Musica for over fifteen years. From auction 'fish-bowl-girl', to CD salesperson, to Christmas concert bar tender, she has played several roles as non-singer. She is delighted to expand her involvement as a new member of the Board of Directors. In addition to her work with SPM, she is an accountant and works part time with Ghost Light Theatrical, a local fringe theatre.
Jacki Sullivan recently moved to Seattle to join the incredible community at St. Thomas School in Medina, where she works as a music and drama teacher and private vocal and piano coach. She's originally from the East Coast, where she served as the head of performing arts at several independent and public schools and worked as a private vocal and piano coach for children who work in Broadway, TV, and Film. When she isn't cultivating the next generation of music-lovers, Jacki enjoys hiking, reading, skiing, cooking, and spending time with her greatest compositions: her daughters Anastasia, Regan, and Delaney.
Hannah Won has been singing in choral groups for over a decade and joined Seattle Pro Musica as a singer in 2013. In 2016, she was elected to the Board of Directors. Previously, she has served on the board of a non-audition community choir - two years as Treasurer. Prior to joining the SPM board, she was a member of the Diversity Task Force, which explored the role of diversity in fulfilling SPM's mission statement. Outside of singing, she is a Project Manager of Software Development at CUSO Financial Services.
Seattle Pro Musica Advisory Board
Dean Arnold, Past Board Member and Leader of Strategic Planning
Keith Axelsen, President Emeritus
Mona Dworkin, President Emeritus
Samuel F. Dworkin, DDS, PhD, President Emeritus
Mike Evans, President Emeritus
Phil Haas, President Emeritus
Noreen King, President Emeritus
Teena Littleton, President Emeritus
Terri Lords, President Emeritus
John Schilling, President Emeritus
Dale Whitehead, Past Board Member and Auction Advisor
Artistic and Administrative Staff
Karen P. Thomas, Artistic director & Conductor
Karen P. Thomas has served as the artistic director and conductor of Seattle Pro Musica since 1987. With Seattle Pro Musica she has produced ten critically-acclaimed commercial CD recordings, and has received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. She has appeared as guest conductor at the Bergen International Festival, International Conference on Women in Music, the Alliance World Festival of Women’s Singing, Festival Vancouver in Canada, the NPR radio show Saint Paul Sunday, and at the American Guild of Organists National Convention and the American Choral Directors Association NW Division Convention, among numerous others. Read Karen's full bio.
KATIE SKOVHOLT, executive DIRECTOR
Katie Skovholt holds an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University, as well as a Bachelor of Music Education degree. She is a member of Chorus America and the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium and has served on the Board of Directors of the Tahoma Girls Choir. Ms. Skovholt is active on national conference panels and committees and most recently represented Seattle Pro Musica as part of the national cohort of the Intrinsic Impact Audience Project, a two-year study of choral music audiences done in partnership with Chorus America and arts consulting firm WolfBrown. Prior to joining the staff at Seattle Pro Musica, Ms. Skovholt worked for Pacific Lutheran University's School of Arts & Communication.
Ms. Skovholt is also in demand as a soprano soloist in the Puget Sound region, hailed for outstanding and expressive singing. Recently, she was a featured vocalist on the 2015 GRAMMY Award-winning album Winds of Samsara. In addition to her position with Seattle Pro Musica, she serves as Director of Music for Richmond Beach Congregational Church.
Will Myers, Administrative Assistant
Will Myers began singing with Seattle Pro Musica in 2011. He attended Pacific Lutheran University on a vocal music scholarship, and has been a contributing member of the Pacific Northwest's musical community since the age of 7. He has previously performed with Tacoma Youth Chorus, Pacific Lutheran University Chorale, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Opera, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma Little Theatre, and Tacoma Symphony. He has studied voice with Vicki Melton and Barry Johnson.
HEIDI J. KIM, SOPRANO SECTION LEADER
Heidi J. Kim, soprano, has had a varied career as a soloist and member of some of the United States’ most prestigious professional choirs. She has sung with Conspirare, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers with whom she appeared on the GRAMMY-nominated CD, Evocation of the Spirit. She co-founded Portland Pro Musica (Maine), an early music vocal chamber ensemble that debuted in 2004 to critical acclaim. She has sung for many internationally renowned conductors including Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, James Conlon, Peter Schreier, and Placido Domingo. She is currently a member of the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choir in addition to serving as soprano section leader for Seattle Pro Musica.
Kevin Kralman, Tenor Section Leader
Kevin Kralman, a musician active in the Seattle area, has been with Seattle Pro Musica since 2003. He appears regularly with ensembles locally and abroad, including the Seattle Symphony, where he has performed under countless renowned conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Itzhak Perlman, and Dale Warland. Kevin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Music from the University of Puget Sound, where he studied voice and conducting and performed in several vocal ensembles.
Jenn Newland, Stage Manager
Jenn Newland joined Seattle Pro Musica as a singer in 2001, and has proudly served on the board and as Auction Committee chair in the past, and now as Stage Manager. Jenn's priority is ensuring performance management details are presented in a focused manner, allowing the singers more time to enjoy the part they love best - singing unique and challenging music beautifully, so as to touch the souls of our audience members.
In her professional life, she is the Property Manager for Hill Street Investment, LLC and Rain Shadow Properties and Investments, LLC, and also works part time as a Limited Practice Officer for First American Title.