Historic Seattle Announces Leadership Transition
Historic Seattle announces that Kathleen Brooker recently stepped down from her position as the organization’s Executive Director on January 1, 2015. Ms. Brooker has transitioned into a new role as Director of the Historic Seattle Preservation Foundation to manage the completion of the organization’s capital campaign to restore Washington Hall, a historic community gathering place and current large project of Historic Seattle. In addition she will be working closely with the Foundation as it develops new initiatives for 2015.
“It has been a wonderful experience to lead this organization for the past seven years. It has been a pleasure to watch the growing support for Washington Hall, the 1908 Landmark that has been the focus of our preservation efforts during this time,” said Kathleen Brooker. “We have expanded our advocacy, outreach and easements work, and completed our restoration of the Good Shepherd Center. But I feel my biggest accomplishment has been to work effectively with an experienced and professional Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority Council and to build an extremely talented and hardworking staff. It has been a lot of fun, and truly satisfying.”
Ms. Brooker was Historic Seattle’s fourth Executive Director in 40 years. Prior to coming to Historic Seattle in 2008, she served as Executive Director of Historic Denver for 15 years. She took on the leadership role at Historic Seattle during the depths of the recession, steering the organization through challenging times. With her national credentials and breadth of experience in preservation leadership, she promoted collaboration and community partnerships, worked to improve organizational operations, increased membership, and directed attention to advocacy.
At its December 2014 meeting, the Council of the Historic Seattle Preservation Development Authority (HSPDA) adopted a leadership transition plan that named Kji Kelly as the new Executive Director effective January 1, 2015. Mr. Kelly has been with the organization since 2005, serving in different capacities, first as Asset and Property Manager, then Director of Real Estate, and since 2014, as Deputy Director. He brings extensive knowledge of the organization’s operations and expertise in real estate and construction management, specializing in restoring, adaptively re-using, and maintaining historic structures. As Executive Director, Mr. Kelly plans to further integrate HSPDA’s three major program areas of education, advocacy, and real estate. In addition, he plans to develop the Foundation to stimulate and attract economic support to save and adaptively re-use more buildings throughout the region.
“Historic Seattle is delighted to welcome Kji Kelly as its new Executive Director,” said Michael Herschensohn, HSPDA Chair. “During her seven years of outstanding professional service, Historic Seattle’s departing executive director Kathleen Brooker guided the organization’s work including preservation efforts for Washington Hall that will return it to community use. Kji brings to Historic Seattle the skills of a talented negotiator and a practicing preservationist. The Council looks forward to dynamic leadership from Kji and the completion of the Washington Hall capital campaign this spring, which Brooker will continue to lead as part of this seamless transition.”