Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties is pleased to introduce the newest members of its Board of Directors, starting with news of the appointment of Kat Sims as Board Chair in 2022. We would not be as successful of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate without the hard work and dedication of these individuals and we are honored they have chosen to support our mission of ensuring everyone has a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.
Kathleen “Kat” Sims – Board Chair
Kat Sims has been a Habitat for Humanity SKKC Board Member since July 2018 and was appointed Board Chair in 2022. Sims is an attorney at Fikso Kretschmer Smith Dixon Ormseth PS and former executive director at Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS). Her career has been dedicated to addressing issues at the intersection of real estate, land use, sustainability, and the environment. She has counseled many of the Northwest’s well-known developers and later served in vice presidential roles for Plum Creek Timber Company and its 2016-merged company, Weyerhaeuser. After graduating from University of Illinois, she earned her Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.
Abby Solomon – Board Member
Abby Solomon has been driving awareness, advancement, and improved treatment for low-wage workers and disenfranchised populations for more than 20 years. As Executive Director of SEIU 775 Benefits Group, she’s transforming in-home care through portable training, health, retirement, and job-matching benefits. Solomon earned her Master of Social Work from Brown School at Washington University and a bachelor’s in Sociology from Humboldt State University. She became a certified home care aide in 2020.
Lucas DeHerrera – Board Member
As a manager of land use and permitting for Blueprint Capital, Lucas DeHerrera provides project feasibility studies and permitting services for its member builders. He previously spent 14 years at Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development, seven of those as a senior land use plan reviewer. DeHerrera is drawn to causes that support social action, economic empowerment, and poverty alleviation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Community, Environment & Planning from the University of Washington.
Elena Harnish – Board Member
A Certified Financial Planner™, Elena Harnish has held various securities licenses, as well as credentials as a life insurance, disability, and long-term care agent. She has worked in financial services since 2000. Currently, Elena is a stay-at-home mom to her two young daughters. Like Habitat’s mission, Elena is passionate about causes that provide individuals and families pathways to permanent housing. In addition to her Habitat service, she also serves on the Board of the Harnish Family Foundation.
Claire Verity – Board Member
As the Washington market president for Regence Blue Shield, Claire Verity brings her strategic vision for work grounded in partnerships, collaboration, equity, and growth. She has long served on Northwest nonprofit boards, including Northwest Center, All Hands Raised, and the American Heart Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington. She was honored as a 2021 Women of Influence in Washington. Verity earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Leadership from St. Catherine University.
Kirstin Sandaas – Board Member
Kirstin Sandaas brings her significant financial acumen to the Habitat Board. Her career spans 16 years with Saltchuk Resources, 13 of those spent at its subsidiary Foss Maritime as CFO. Prior to that, Sandaas worked at Optiva Corporation (makers of the Sonicare toothbrush) and various public accounting firms. She retired in May 2021 as CFO at the Seattle Foundation and currently serves on the boards of the Perigee Fund and the Northwest Maritime Center. She holds graduate and undergraduate accounting degrees from the University of Washington.
Kristin Frossmo – Board Member
Kristin Frossmo is an accomplished retail executive, with a history of leading complex, customer-focused businesses over the past twenty years at Nordstrom. She is passionate about solving problems for consumers, building and leading high-performance teams, and driving innovation and growth. Frossmo also serves as Co-Chair of the Seattle Walk to End Alzheimer’s and is a Club Advisory Board member for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club.
Jen Creighton – Board Member
Jen Creighton is the owner of Brightpath Consulting. With more than 20 years of experience working in development and construction projects in the Greater Seattle area, Creighton has a vast network of partners in the design, development, and construction industries. Born and raised in Seattle, Creighton is a graduate of the University of Washington Construction Management program and Seattle University Executive Leadership Program and Executive MBA programs.
David Hackney – Board Member
David Hackney is the State Representative for Washington’s 11th state legislative district and is a committed advocate for all people. An admitted member of the Washington State Bar, Hackney has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the Department of Justice, taught trial advocacy at the National Advocacy Center, and practiced as a war crimes prosecutor at The Hague in the Netherlands while working with the United Nations. Hackney is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law, on the boards of Tabor 100 and the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation, and a Commissioner on the Washington Human Rights Commission.
Patience Malaba – Board Member
Patience Malaba is the Executive Director of the Housing Development Consortium (HDC) of Seattle-King County, a 200-member association focused on affordable housing. She has a proven track record for developing strategic partnerships, effective advocacy, and a deep knowledge of housing policy. Patience co-chairs Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC)’s Regional TOD Advisory Committee, Chairs the Seattle Redistricting Commission, co-Chairs the Eastside Housing Roundtable and serves on the PSRC Growth Management Policy Board. She is the recipient of the Bullitt Foundation Environmental Fellowship Award, Homestead Community Land Trust’s Cooper Legacy Award for the Black Home Initiative policy advocacy work to increase black homeownership and the Driver’s Union Innovators for Fairness Award.
Alex Wu – Board Member
Alex is a principal at the law firm Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson PS and an experienced trial lawyer, focusing his practice on business, securities, and real estate litigation. In real estate and land use matters, Alex works with clients to resolve issues as they arise and document their property rights. Before attending law school and joining HCMP, Alex worked in the biotechnology industry as an entrepreneur and research scientist working on computational biology, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical target discovery, and development of biological threat detection devices for defense and national security applications.