Club Leadership

The U-M Club of Seattle is supported by a group of all-volunteer staff who serve on our Board of Directors. Our Board meets monthly, often over dinner at Razzi’s in Greenwood, plans all of our events and campaigns throughout the year, and is elected at our annual meetings, which are typically held in May. Our Board Members come from all different backgrounds but all share one thing in common – an unwavering passion for the University of Michigan! We look forward to meeting you at some of our local events.

Meet our current Board members!

Kathy Ehrlich – President

Kathy (Preston) Ehrlich, a 7th generation family member to attend Michigan, graduated from the School of Business in 1985 with a B. B. A. Rather than returning to Edmonds after graduation she moved to Los Angeles where she promptly got involved with the LA Alumni Club. She worked for Prudential Mortgage for a few years before moving on to place accounting personnel in temp and/or perm positions. She did this until her first son arrived in 1992 and was grateful to be a stay-at-home mom for many years before returning to work part-time as a bookkeeper in 2000. As her 3 boys got older, she took on more clients and has been working for herself for over 20 years. Adam, Jesse, and Noah eventually left the nest and Kathy was happy to return home to Edmonds, WA in 2016. She enjoys trivia nights, football watch parties, walking/hiking, volunteering for Tax Aide as well as Friends of the Edmonds Library, and visiting her boys whenever her schedule allows! Fun fact – Kathy’s middle and youngest sons also attended Michigan, and both conveniently graduated in 2019.

Casta Guillaume – Vice President

Casta obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Education and Psychology in 2020. She joined the Seattle Club as a board member in 2022 and currently serves as the Vice President of the chapter. While completing her graduate degree at U-Mich, Casta was “active” in intramural sports, participating in dodgeball and serving as a self-appointed cheerleader for broomball and the intramural co-ed basketball champions of the graduate student league in 2013. While at UofM, she co-founded the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workgroup for People of Caribbean and West Indian Descent (PCWID), which focused on fostering a collaborative environment where faculty, students, staff, and community members could engage with the interdisciplinary field of Caribbean Diasporic studies and culturally based social activities. Additionally, she served as president of the Black Student Psychological Association. New(ish) to Seattle, Casta enjoys eating yummy things, laughing, singing often but not well, and volunteering. She is the proud child of Haitian immigrants. Go Blue!

Claire Khouri – Secretary

Claire Khouri graduated from Michigan with her B.A. in Political Science in 2003 and her Masters in Public Administration from the Ford School of Public Policy in 2016. She recently moved to Seattle in 2018 and joined the Seattle Alumni Association as a Board Member in 2019. Claire was active in the Residence Halls Association and was the VP of the Association during her undergrad years. Her favorite Michigan memories include studying in the Grad Library with her best friend and night out with friends at Ashley’s, the Brown Jug, and Dominick’s (to name just a few). Claire spent almost a decade and a half working in Michigan politics and policy as a legislative aide in the Michigan Senate and most recently as the Deputy Director of Strategy for Governor Snyder. She is currently the Deputy Executive Director of Portfolio Management and Integrity at Sound Transit.

Meena Beniwal – Treasurer

Meena Beniwal graduated from Michigan with a B.A in Economics in 2009. She was previously involved with the Milwaukee Chapter of the Alumni Association of Michigan and served on its Board for four and a half years, including the President for a year and a half. Meena joined our Seattle Club as a Board Member in 2018 and is the current Treasurer. While at Michigan Meena was involved in various organizations, cheered on the maize and blue, enjoyed studying on the 3rd floor of the UGLi, and took evening snack breaks at Pancheros. She spends her time volunteering, playing tennis, gardening, reading, and traveling. Go Blue!

Judi Trainor – Sports Chair

Judi Trainor, nee Vander Molen, graduated from Michigan with a B.S. in Physical Therapy and a certificate in Physical Therapy in 1978. She lived in Bursley her freshman year, then in South quad for the next three where she was an RA. Highlights of that include being a member of the UM Skydiving team where she made over 200 jumps, set 2 records, and won 1st place for UM in collegiate RW (making patterns in the sky). Biggest bummer: they were never able to jump into the Big House. Judi moved to Seattle in 1981 to try someplace new and joined the board immediately – she has held every board position over the years, including president when Seattle won its first ‘’Best Club award’’. Some highlights include the 1983 UW vs. UM football game and meeting Bo Schembechler, Coach Fisher, and President Duderstadt during the 1989 Final Four games. During this time, Judi has raised her two children and a granddaughter, and has worked as a Physical Therapist and now runs the game watch parties at Old Stove Ship Canal with trivia, t-shirts, and more! GO BLUE!!

Pam Stoeffler – Eastside Sports Chair

Pam is a long-time board member, and organizes and hosts our game watch parties on the other side of Lake Washington.

Michael Roberto – Past President (Ex Officio)

Michael Roberto graduated from Michigan with a B.S. in Chemistry and Minor in Astrophysics in 2009. He joined the Seattle Club as a Board Member in 2016, and has taken on the role of President in 2019. Michael was involved with the Student Astronomical Society, which gave planetarium shows as well as free star viewings shows throughout the year on the roof of Angell Hall. After obtaining his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington in 2014, he’s worked as a chemometrician and project manager for companies supporting analytical measurement analysis for the chemistry industry. Meanwhile, he’s been hiking, camping, and eating his way through the Seattle area, and has started a family here as well. Go Blue!

Herb Bowie – Past Past President (Ex Ex Officio)

Herb Bowie graduated from Michigan with a B.A. in English, which he was then able to parlay into a lengthy career in software development, which began with the sorting and collating of punched cards, and ended with leading a transition to agile development practices for a major American aerospace manufacturer. Herb wrote rock music reviews for The Michigan Daily when he was in Ann Arbor, which later led to his authoring and publication of the website. Herb and his wife Pauline moved to Seattle from Arizona in 2006, shortly after their son’s matriculation at U-M. Herb initially joined the Seattle club’s board in order to assist with the club’s website but eventually became the president, a position he retained for something close to a decade, before finally stepping down to turn the leadership position over to a new generation. Of late he has been doing website updates and weekly email newsletters for the club, as well as organizing and leading various club events.

Rachel Firsht – Social Media

Rachel Firsht graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with double majors in Asian Studies and International Studies. While at Michigan, she was involved with Greek Life, the Michigan Community Scholars Program, and LSA Student Honor Council. Rachel joined the Seattle Club in 2017 and is currently the Social Media Manager for the Club. She moved to Seattle in 2017 and loves trying new restaurants in the city. She earned her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern California in 2020. For fun, Rachel loves traveling and sharing her passion for U of M!

Jason Gomberg – Director At Large

Jason is a frequent organizer of outdoor frivolity for the club, including hikes and snowshoe trips in the local mountains.

Michael Tarlowe – Scholarship Awards Chair

Michael Tarlowe graduated from Michigan in 1994 with a B.B.A. from the Ross School of Business. He has served on the Roby M. Burley Scholarship Committee since 2009. Michael did an earlier stint on the U-M Club of Seattle Board and re-joined in 2020 when he became Chair of the Scholarship Awards Committee. Michael started his own independent record label, Virt Records, in 2001. His label featured such artists as Vienna Teng, whose music has been featured of late on promotional videos for the University of Michigan, such as this one.

Tracey Melville – Big Ten Liaison and Chair

Tracey helps to coordinate occasional events with the larger Seattle Big Ten community.

Pauline Bowie – Director At Large

Pauline is a passionate and frequent organizer of a wide variety of events for our Seattle alumni.

Rohan Sharma – Director At Large

Rohan Sharma graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors in Computer Science in 2022. At Michigan, Rohan was a drivetrain engineer for Michigan Electric Racing, involved in Mapleseed, a team which designed long-range wireless sensors, and served as a mentor for the Underwater Vehicle Design team. His favorite memory from Michigan was tubing down the Huron River in the summer breaks. Rohan moved to Seattle in the summer of 2022 and currently works at Amazon as a software engineer. He joined the Michigan alumni association as the newsletter coordinator and later moved into becoming a director at large. In his free time, Rohan enjoys being active outside, be that with tennis, hiking, pickleball, running, biking, jiu jitsu or skiing. He also likes electronic music and exploring spots around town with his friends.

Lucy Sannes – Director At Large

And Perhaps You…?

We’re always looking to expand our team. Although our primary board elections are held in May at our annual meeting, the board can and does add qualified, motivated candidates throughout the year.

In general, we’re looking for local alums who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Interesting in meeting, engaging and working with a diverse group of local U-M alumni;
  • Interested in working with local high school students interested in attending Michigan;
  • Interested in planning, coordinating and attending local events;
  • Interested in working on our marketing and communications team, to let alumni know about our events and other activities;
  • Has some free time on evenings and/or weekends to volunteer in one or more capacities;
  • Still feels strong ties to the University of Michigan;
  • Interested in feeling a strong sense of worth and accomplishment by engaging with and giving back to the greater U-M community.

Does that sound like you? If so, then send us a note at [email protected]. We’d love to have you join us!

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