U-M Club of Seattle: Board Leadership

The U-M Club of Seattle is supported by a group of all-volunteer staff who are on the Board of Directors. Our Board meets monthly, usually over dinner at Razzi’s in Greenwood, plan all of our events and campaigns throughout the year, and are 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 hope that you’ll say hello to us at local events.

Meet our current Board members!

Michael Roberto

Michael Roberto

 

President

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!

Wenting GuoWenting Guo

 

Vice President

Wenting Guo joined the University of Michigan Club of Seattle in 2018 and is currently serving as Vice President. She graduated in 2010 with a B.S.E. in Industrial and Operations Engineering. While at Michigan, Wenting was a Flag in the Marching Band and competed on the Ballroom Dance Team. One of her favorite memories is marching out of the tunnel of the Big House. Wenting moved to Seattle in 2013 and currently works as a Continuous Process Improvement Consultant at the Polyclinic. In 2018, she took a personal sabbatical and traveled to all 7 continents.

Meena BeniwalMeenaTreasurer and Scholarship Fundraising Chair

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. Meena moved to Seattle in 2014 and works in analytics at T-Mobile. She spends her time volunteering, playing tennis, reading, and traveling. Go Blue!

Caroline ShaoCaroline ShaoDirector at Large and E-Mail

Caroline Shao graduated from Michigan with her B.A. in Communication Studies and Minor in Sociology in 2016 and joined the Seattle Alumni Association as a Board Member in 2019. Caroline was a Campus Day Leader and Prospective Student Tour Guide while at Michigan and was also involved in Michigan Greek Life and the Residential College. Her favorite Michigan memories include exploring Main Street and ordering the late night special from Pizza House. She recently moved to Seattle to enjoy everything the PNW has to offer and to work as the Associate Manager of Events for Icertis. Go Blue!

Claire KhouriClaireDirector at Large

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 nights 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 Chief of Staff, Operations at Sound Transit. After doing the commute from Ann Arbor to Lansing on a daily basis for over a decade she now enjoys her 7 minute walking commute from Pioneer Square to the IDS.

Debbie JohnsonDebbie

 

Director at Large

Debbie completed her B.A. in Japanese Studies in 2010 and her M.S. in Information Science in 2012. After returning to her hometown of Washington D.C. after graduating, she moved to Seattle in 2015 and joined the University of Michigan Seattle Club as a board member in 2019. While at Michigan, Debbie was a foilist on the Michigan Club Fencing Team and was involved in Michigan Greek Life. Her favorite Michigan memories include football Saturdays, competing with the fencing team, and eating her way through the menu at Amer’s. Since moving to Seattle, Debbie has enjoyed getting outdoors, trying delicious restaurants, and exploring the city’s coffee shops. During the week, she is a consultant at Point B.

Herb BowieHerbPast President ex officio and Website Admin and Maintenance

Herb Bowie graduated from Michigan with his B.A. in English in 1973. While at U-M he worked on The Michigan Daily for the Arts section, writing reviews of rock music. One of his favorite Michigan memories is meeting film director Frank Capra when Capra came to speak at a festival of his films organized by one of Herb’s best friends. Despite his major, Herb went on to a successful career in Information Technology, starting with sorting punched cards and concluding with a role as a Manager of Engineering Systems at Boeing. Herb’s son also attended Michigan, starting in 2005, which led to Herb’s involvement with the U-M Club of Seattle when he moved here in 2006. Herb’s initial interest in serving on the club’s board was to help with the club website, but after a few years he was elected to the presidency, a role he filled for close to a decade. Herb now serves on the board as Past President ex officio.

Judi TrainorJudiSports 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 Buckley’s with trivia, t-shirts, and more! GO BLUE!!

Karla KrossKarlaDirector at Large

Karla (Rendz) Kross graduated from Michigan with two BS degrees in Architecture and Civil Engineering in 1991, only the second student and first woman to achieve this concurrent dual degree in the history of the university. Professionally, Karla has directed the construction and renovation of numerous resorts throughout North America. Karla relocated to the Seattle area in 2013 and immediately became involved with the UM Club of Seattle. She joined as a Board Member in 2019. While at Michigan, Karla joined Alpha Delta Pi and held social and recruitment positions with the sorority. She additionally served as Public Relations Chair on the Panhellenic Executive Board. Her favorite Michigan memories involve “all-nighters” at the architecture studio on North Campus, football games at The Big House, Wednesday nights at Rick’s, and food…specifically chapatis & shakes from Pizza Bob’s. She is looking forward to making new friendships with local alumni through the club. Go Blue!

Michael Tarlowe

Michael Tarlowe

Scholarship Awards Committee Chair

Michael Tarlowe graduated from Michigan in 1994 with a B.B.A. from the Ross School of Business. He has been involved with the Alumni Student Recruiting program since its inception and 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 committee.

Naghma HusainNaghmaDirector at Large

Naghma Husain graduated in 1997 from the Residential College with a degree in creative writing and women’s studies. Being very food motivated, she most treasures her UM memories of Stucci’s ice cream and Earthen Jar. She has lived in Seattle since 2012 and works at UW as a webmaster. She joined the Seattle Alumni Association as a Board Member in 2019.

Pam Stoeffler

Pam

Director at Large and Eastside Game Watch

Pam Stoeffler is a longtime member of the University of Michigan Club of Seattle and served as the President for many years until 2006. She graduated from Michigan in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has since gotten her Masters in Pediatric Nursing. Pam has lived in Seattle since 1980 and now works as a Public Health Nurse with Seattle King County. She is an avid sports fan and enjoyed her time at Michigan watching football, hockey, baseball, gymnastics, and much more. Pam now organizes and attends every Saturday Football Watch Party at JJ Mahoney’s on the East Side and hopes to see you there! Go Blue!

Rachel FirshtRachelSocial 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 GombergDirector at Large
Pauline BowieDirector at Large
Tracey MelvilleBig Ten Liaison and Chair

We’re always looking to expand our team. 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 planning, coordinating and attending local events.
  • Has some free time on evenings and/or weekends to volunteer in one or more of the capacities listed below.
  • 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 club@umseattle.org. We’d love to have you join us!

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