Council Executive Committee
Kate Krafft, Chair
Kate has been actively involved with local historic preservation projects and advocacy efforts for many years. She currently works in partnership with architect Chapin Krafft providing historic preservation consulting services. Kate previously worked for local historic preservation programs and staffed the Ballard Avenue Historic District Landmarks Board, Pike Place Market Historical Commission and the King County Landmarks Commission. She has been involved with Historic Seattle since 1974 and most recently assisted with the training of volunteers at the Landmark Nomination Workshops. Kate also serves on the editorial board and is a contributing author for Shaping Seattle Architecture (UW Press 1994, 1998, 2014). She earned a B.A. in Art History (with an emphasis on Architecture History) from the University of Washington.
Japhet Koteen, Vice Chair
Japhet comes to Historic Seattle with a wealth of experience in business strategy and economic development, real estate development and finance, community and retail placemaking, energy efficiency and green building program management. Among other things, he was raised on a goat farm, worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, and started a hotel business in Mexico. He currently works with foundation and impact investment to develop a stronger regional food economy. He holds a masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington.
Rick Sever, Secretary
Rick is an expert in residential design and wood building practices, and is the principal of Sever Residential Construction, specializing in pre-1960s homes. He has been a member of Historic Seattle since 1990 and an active volunteer from the very beginning. In 1995 Rick co-founded the Historic Seattle ‘Preserving Your Old House’ program. Rick served as the Public Development Authority Treasurer and the chair of the Historic Seattle Audit Committee. He serves as a Technical Advisory Board Member for The Wood Construction Center at Seattle Central Community College. Rick holds a B.A. in Art History with an emphasis on Architectural History and Design from the University of Washington.
Connie Walker Gray, Treasurer
Connie has over 15 years of experience as a professional architectural historian and historic preservation advocate. She currently works for Confluence Environmental Company, growing a cultural resources management and historic preservation line of business. A longtime southeast Seattle resident, she contributes to her local community by sitting on the Columbia City landmarks review committee and chairing the Orca K-8 school playground renovation project. Her prior employment as a “single shingle” architectural historian and a cultural resources specialist for the Washington State Department of Transportation resulted in wide-ranging and thorough expertise in survey and inventory of historic resources throughout the northwest, business development and management, interagency consultation regarding controversial projects, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Connie has a master’s degree in urban planning and a certificate in historic preservation planning from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in history and Spanish from Indiana University.
Alyssa merges her interests in sustainable and affordable housing through architecture and development. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and has an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute). She is a registered architect and a LEED Accredited Professional with ten years of experience in the design and project management of multi-family housing developments in Seattle. She recently crossed the bridge from architecture to development to join the development team at Bellwether Housing, the region’s largest non-profit affordable housing provider. Alyssa believes that the sustainability of stable communities inherently begins with the preservation of the existing city fabric.
Mary has played a leadership role in developing and implementing growth management and transportation strategies in Washington State, and was executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council for 12 years. Prior to that, she was the executive director of the Washington State Growth Strategies Commission and held various planning positions in local government. Mary has received numerous state and national planning awards and was named the 1997 King County Municipal League Public Official of the Year. Mary served on Historic Seattle’s Council in the 1980s, and returned to the Council in 2004. She also served on Seattle’s Landmark Preservation Board for seven years. She has an M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of Washington.
Pete is the founder and managing director of Pete Mills Consultants. He was formerly Congressman Jim McDermott’s liaison for business, trade and environmental issues, and he worked for Governor Inslee while he was in Congress. Previous experience includes public relations, fund development, and program administration. He organized medical missions to Latin America with his dentist and led a project to re-create the once renowned “totem fireplace” in the New Washington Hotel (now Josephinum). Pete has spent time as a tour guide in the Arctic, a backcountry ranger in the Cascades, a filmmaker, political organizer and campaign manager. Pete is in his third term on Historic Seattle Council and was chair throughout 2007 and 2008. He holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Western Washington University and a graduate degree in Public Administration from Seattle University.
Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from CalPoly, a Masters of Architecture from UW, and is completing a Master of Science degree in Architectural History and Theory with a certificate in Historic Preservation. He served on the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board between 2011 and 2017 and was an active member of the Architecture Review Committee, lending his finance experience in the negotiated process of preservation within a municipality. As a Historic Real Estate Development Professional, Jeff was frequently involved in reviews of financial hardship submissions for the proposed demolition of designated landmarks. Jeff is enthusiastic about vernacular architecture and is an advocate for the modest and rural structures that make up the majority of the Pacific Northwest built environment. As a designer, preservationist, and investor, Jeff’s experience has taught him that owning a historically significant resource may be viewed as an opportunity with unique and irreplaceable potential and not as a hindrance to property or business development.
Mike is the Director of Research at Preservation Green Lab. He holds a Ph.D in Planning Policy and Design and an MURP in Urban and Regional Planning from UC Irvine. His graduate school research and studies focused on the relationships between urban design, inequality and social exclusion, and public policy. Although Mike works for a national leader in historic preservation, his background lies in community economic development and urban planning. Mike looks forward to helping put the work of Historic Seattle in a broader policy context and to relating preservation more directly to Seattle residents of all backgrounds.
Valerie is involved in neighborhood planning and community development in Seattle’s Chinatown – International District (CID). She is the Healthy Communities program manager at InterIm Community Development Association. In this role, she oversees the implementation of the CID 2020 Healthy Community Action Plan, which aims to improve the health, safety, and livability of the CID. She also serves on the board of the International Special Review District to promote, preserve and perpetuate the cultural, economic, historical, and otherwise beneficial qualities of the CID. Prior to working in Seattle, she worked in immunizations and tuberculosis control. She also previously co-founded and co-directed a housing, public health, and climate resilience initiative called Nurses for Cool and Healthy Homes. Valerie is interested in the intersection of urban planning, public health, and environmental justice. She holds masters degrees in urban planning and public health from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of arts degree in public health from UC Berkeley.
Krista practices architecture at Bassetti Architects, a firm whose portfolio includes historic preservation, education, and civic projects. She has worked on preservation projects in Detroit, Indianapolis, Casper (WY), Seattle, Vancouver (WA), Olympia, and Elkins, WV, the latter included restoring wood windows with her fellow AmeriCorps members. Krista earned a masters in architecture with a concentration in history and preservation and a masters in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While in graduate school, she completed two summer internships
with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, during which she reviewed National Trust Loan Fund applications. Krista has been active as a volunteer in Seattle and is
currently serving a second term on 4Culture’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.
David is president of Catalyst Strategies, a community and economic development firm working with organizations that represent Seattle’s neighborhoods and business districts. David’s background is in urban environmentalism, sustainability, and economic development. Most recently he served as deputy director of the Alliance for Pioneer Square and before that as a legislative aide to Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, focusing on land use, historic preservation, and economic development issues. He also served as director of Allied Arts, advocating for place-making on the Seattle Waterfront and the arts. Previously he worked at Pyramid Communications, primarily assisting nonprofits with strategic planning and message development. As a member of the environmental community David worked for the League of Conservation Voters as their northwest regional director, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group as executive director, and Washington Citizens for Recycling as communications and development director. His volunteering includes terms on the boards of the Transportation Choices Coalition, King County Conservation Voters and Allied Arts of Seattle.