Club Organization

Our U-M Club of Seattle is one of the best in the nation, thanks to the outstanding contributions of a local team of volunteers who are always working to strengthen the services we offer to the over 8,000 Wolverines who live in the greater Seattle metro area.

Our club's mission is to help local alumni stay connected to each other and to the University, and to be an active and contributing member of the greater U-M community.

Our all-volunteer staff is organized into two different groups. Our Board of Directors meets monthly, usually over dinner in a private room at a local restaurant. Friends of the Board are always welcome to attend our monthly meetings, but may be more selective about the timing and frequency of their involvement in club activities, while still receiving most e-mail communications sent to board members.

Board members are elected at our annual meeting held each May, with occasional vacancies filled by appointment throughout the year. Interested alums may join our Friends of the Board at any time.

Following is the complete list of our club leaders, including the results of our elections held at our annual meeting on May 15, 2019.

Please click on each board member's name to learn more about them and for contact info.

U-M Seattle Club Leaders
Name Role

Board Members

Michael Roberto

Wenting Guo
Vice President

Meena Beniwal
and Scholarship Fundraising Chair

Debbie Johnson

Herb Bowie
Past President ex officio
and Website Admin and Maintenance, and Emails

Ginny Rowley
Scholarship Awards Committee Chair

Judi Trainor
Sports Chair

Tracey Melville
Big Ten Liaison and Chair

Caroline Shao
Director at Large
and E-Mail

Claire Khouri
Director at Large

Jason Gomberg
Director at Large

Karla Kross
Director at Large

Naghma Husain
Director at Large

Pam Stoeffler
Director at Large
and Eastside Game Watch

Pauline Bowie
Director at Large

Rachel Firsht
Social Media

Position Descriptions

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 read on to see where you might best fit in our club organization. If you are interested in pursuing any of these volunteer opportunities, send us a note at We'd love to have you join us!

Governance and Administration

All of these roles work closely with other local volunteers and with Alumni Association team members based in Ann Arbor.

President and Vice President

These two roles work together to plan, schedule and conduct our monthly board meetings, as well as other club meetings, such as our annual meeting and one or two planning retreats during the year. These two also play prominent and varied roles in a wide range of club activities. An alum should generally be an active and contributing club volunteer for at least a year before taking on one of these responsibilities.

It's also important for these two roles to help recruit new volunteers, and to encourage membership in the Alumni Association


The secretary records and submits minutes of our meetings.


The treasurer initiates and records club financial transactions, in accordance with activities and spending limits approved by our board of directors, and prepares periodic reports on our finances to our board and cub members, and to the national Alumni Association.

Event Planning and Coordination

Our club offers a variety of U-M alumni events throughout the calendar year. Event coordinators must gather information on event costs, and propose a budget, a date, and a venue for each event. Once approved, the coordinator is in charge of establishing and monitoring registration for the event (or gauging interest in some other way, if registration is not needed for the event). The coordinator should supply event information to the communications team in order to promote the event. Coordinating with speaker(s) and the venue is another part of this role, as well as helping to check people in and host the event. Following the event, the coordinator will report to the board on the final results, in terms of costs, income, attendance and degree of enthusiasm.

In practice, two or more club volunteers often partner with each other in order to fulfill all of these responsibilities for a particular event.

General Event Coordinator

This role helps to plan and coordinate cultural, community, professional networking and other types of events. We generally have a number of volunteers who play this role.

Watch Parties

Football watch parties are our best attended events, and play a prominent role in our schedules during the fall, so we generally have two volunteers focused exclusively on these events.

Student Relations

We offer and participate in multiple annual events serving current and prospective students who are either from the Seattle area, or visiting here as summer interns. For many of these activities, we work hand-in-hand with the Alumni Student Recruiting program to help recruit distinguished local high school students to make Ann Arbor their home for the next four years.

Member Communications

We communicate with local alumni using a variety of media. Member communication plays two vital functions for our club. Most obviously, it plays a marketing function, encouraging local alumni to come out to our events. But less obviously, member communications helps to engage local alumni and reminds them of their membership in our local U-M community — even for those who rarely if ever actually attend any of our events.

Note that one volunteer may often fulfill two or more of the following communications functions.

Website Updates

Our club website at offers the earliest and most comprehensive reference information on all of our club activities. If anyone in our club needs to know information about an event or other activity, our website should provide a stable and reliable source for that information. Our website is built using Drupal, and content is generally provided using Markdown, although no prior experience with either of these is required, since someone can easily learn how to do website updates from a brief training session.

Website Admin

The Seattle club has its own domain name (, its own website and shared hosting account, and its own Drupal installation. This position requires familiarity with FTP and other website admin tools.


We use a listserv provided by the Alumni Association to send e-mail messages to our local alums. We generally send these out weekly. Each one goes out to a list of almost 5,000 local alums, so this is our most important and far-reaching communications medium. Each e-mail includes text describing upcoming events, photos or other graphics, and links to registration pages and other web resources with additional information about each event. Some prior experience with e-mail marketing is extremely helpful in order to play this role.


Some of our local alums don't even have a Facebook account, but others seem to use it as their primary communications medium. All of our events are posted to our Facebook page, in addition to appearing on our website and in our e-mails.


We use Twitter to some degree, but this is less critical to us than the other channels described above.


We use this primarily to communicate to local alums about Career Networking events.


We award several club scholarships each year to deserving local students. Activities to support this fall into two different categories.

Scholarship Committee

The Scholarship Committee communicates with students, reviews their applications, and selects scholarship recipients each year. The chair of the scholarship committee also serves as a member of our board.

Scholarship Fund-Raising

This role helps to raise additional funds for our scholarship.