Executive Committee

  • Karen Rains

    Karen Rains

    President

    1. Tell us about your personal/professional background. I’ve been in the hospitality industry as an independent manufactur…

    More about Karen Rains ›
  • Kathryn Clark

    Kathryn Clark

    VP/Administration

    Kathryn ‘Katy’ Clark is an Interior Designer for B+H Advance Strategy. I have always been passionate that good design i…

    More about Kathryn Clark ›
  • Kelli Groh

    Kelli Groh

    VP/Development

  • Stephanie Poliakoff

    Stephanie Poliakoff

    Secretary

    What is the last book you read? I am actually in the middle of "Finding Your Way in a Wild World" by Martha Beck. She is one …

    More about Stephanie Poliakoff ›
  • Christa Jansen

    Christa Jansen

    Treasurer

    What was the last book you read? Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. It’s a super-insightful book on creativity and management…

    More about Christa Jansen ›
  • Sophia Yen

    Sophia Yen

    Past President/Parliamentarian

    1. What is one thing nobody would ever know about you? Casted as Ariel in Little Mermaid for school musical 2. Awards or…

    More about Sophia Yen ›
  • Cheri Bargen

    Cheri Bargen

    Executive Advisor

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Board of Directors

  • Kathryn Clark

    Kathryn Clark

    NEWH, Inc. Delegate

    Kathryn ‘Katy’ Clark is an Interior Designer for B+H Advance Strategy. I have always been passionate that good design i…

    More about Kathryn Clark ›
  • Sophia Yen

    Sophia Yen

    NEWH, Inc. Delegate

    1. What is one thing nobody would ever know about you? Casted as Ariel in Little Mermaid for school musical 2. Awards or…

    More about Sophia Yen ›
  • Erica Albertson

    Erica Albertson

    Scholarship

    How/why did you become involved in NEWH NW? After receiving my second NEWH NW scholarship and attending the Savor event la…

    More about Erica Albertson ›
  • Angela Wingert

    Angela Wingert

    Membership

  • Denise Durrell Aubin

    Denise Durrell Aubin

    Programming

  • Jennifer Haycox, LEED AP

    Jennifer Haycox, LEED AP

    Fundraising

    1.How/why did you become involved in NEWH NW? My passion for the Design industry has brought me to this organization. My co…

    More about Jennifer Haycox, LEED AP ›
  • Crystal Higgins

    Crystal Higgins

    Marketing

    Please select 2-3 questions below and tell us a little about yourself. 1. If you could check into any hotel in the world, wh…

    More about Crystal Higgins ›
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Committee Chair

  • Cassandra Lynn Bufano

    Cassandra Lynn Bufano

    Education

  • Cara Rude

    Cara Rude

    Green Voice

    Tell us about your personal/professional background: 14 years as an Interior Designer, ASID, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP and passio…

    More about Cara Rude ›
  • Dena Yamaguchi

    Dena Yamaguchi

    Chair/Scholarship

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Karen Rains

Karen Rains

President

1. Tell us about your personal/professional background. I’ve been in the hospitality industry as an independent manufacturer’s representative for almost 9 years and it’s flown by! I have a marketing background and ended up in the industry through my husband – an architect by schooling and career rep himself. I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life and really can’t imagine being anywhere but the beautiful Pacific Northwest. San Diego is the only other US city I’ve considered living, however Bucerias Mexico makes a wonderful winter home someday. When I’m not working I’m chasing my kids around, spending time outside as much as I can, and planning my next home renovation project. It’s a horrible addiction.

Kathryn Clark

Kathryn Clark

VP/Administration

Kathryn ‘Katy’ Clark is an Interior Designer for B+H Advance Strategy.
I have always been passionate that good design is THE driver for great experiences. Thoughtful and detail oriented design guides our interaction with and use of a space, and imparts to us a lasting memory. Hospitality Design excites me as it is the most direct way to engage with a user and create these positive impressions. Considerate, user-driven design can upgrade a date night spot to a special occasion destination or trick my brain into stepping a walk in the park up to a run. I have learned that the most successful end results are achieved through the collaboration of the teams that conceive of and build them. From ownership to general contractors to manufacturers along the way, it is important for designers to establish positive working relationships with everyone involved. Budget may be King, but attitude and perspective provide the counsel that keeps a project true to its vision.

Stephanie Poliakoff

Stephanie Poliakoff

Secretary

What is the last book you read? I am actually in the middle of “Finding Your Way in a Wild World” by Martha Beck. She is one of my favorite because I love exploring the “woo-woo” side of this crazy world.

If you could check into any hotel in the world, what would it be? And why? Four Seasons overwater bungalow in Bora Bora for two weeks; I would sleep for days straight, order room service, jump in the water, take long baths, yoga on the beach and repeat. It has been a dream for years. Can my doggies join us? (of course Barry is invited too)

Tell us about your personal/professional background: I have been involved in sales and national account management for over 13 years, and Seattle has turned out to be the perfect environment to launch my own independent rep group! I have worked diligently to align myself with companies that have exceptional products, excellent customer service/support and a high level of integrity. I am passionate about what I do, and have enjoyed getting to know this tightly knit Pacific Northwest community.

Christa Jansen

Christa Jansen

Treasurer

What was the last book you read?
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. It’s a super-insightful book on creativity and management by one of the founders of Pixar. I finished it with a new view of the design field and how we can leverage our talent to continually raise the bar.

What are some of your favorite hotels, restaurants and spaces in the Pacific Northwest?
The Nest at the Thompson Seattle has the best view in town. Delancey for pizza and a really genuine vibe. And the interior at the Butcher’s Table is gorgeous.

What is your favorite caffeinated beverage?
I’m a die hard mocha girl, but I always ask for half the chocolate. I love chocolate in coffee, but I don’t want it to taste like a dessert and have 350 calories.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
Traveling! I recently took a trip to Portugal and it was amazing…I love to immerse myself in another culture and learn about history, language, food and wine. Especially the wine.

Sophia Yen

Sophia Yen

Past President/Parliamentarian

1. What is one thing nobody would ever know about you? Casted as Ariel in Little Mermaid for school musical

2. Awards or recognitions? 3 international karate championship titles

3. Favorite caffeinated beverage? Soy caramel macchiato

4. What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? Running, biking, skiing, (pretty much anything active), traveling and exploring new places, having lunch/dinner outings with friends

Kathryn Clark

Kathryn Clark

NEWH, Inc. Delegate

Kathryn ‘Katy’ Clark is an Interior Designer for B+H Advance Strategy.
I have always been passionate that good design is THE driver for great experiences. Thoughtful and detail oriented design guides our interaction with and use of a space, and imparts to us a lasting memory. Hospitality Design excites me as it is the most direct way to engage with a user and create these positive impressions. Considerate, user-driven design can upgrade a date night spot to a special occasion destination or trick my brain into stepping a walk in the park up to a run. I have learned that the most successful end results are achieved through the collaboration of the teams that conceive of and build them. From ownership to general contractors to manufacturers along the way, it is important for designers to establish positive working relationships with everyone involved. Budget may be King, but attitude and perspective provide the counsel that keeps a project true to its vision.

Sophia Yen

Sophia Yen

NEWH, Inc. Delegate

1. What is one thing nobody would ever know about you? Casted as Ariel in Little Mermaid for school musical

2. Awards or recognitions? 3 international karate championship titles

3. Favorite caffeinated beverage? Soy caramel macchiato

4. What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? Running, biking, skiing, (pretty much anything active), traveling and exploring new places, having lunch/dinner outings with friends

Erica Albertson

Erica Albertson

Scholarship

How/why did you become involved in NEWH NW?
After receiving my second NEWH NW scholarship and attending the Savor event last July, I knew the NEWH gang was a different breed that I had to be involved with. I’ve chosen to stay involved because getting the NEWH NW scholarship was truly an answer to prayers and I want to see more and more students be able to finished their college careers because of what we do through NEWH. Plus, they’re a fun group to be friends with!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?
I love all things crafty. I constantly have some kind of project going, big or small, usually made of wood. My most recent obsession though is making concrete planters!

What is one thing nobody would ever know about you?
I’ve recently taken up scuba diving and I love working with power tools. You’ll usually find my hair done and nails well groomed, but the truth is that I love pulling up my sleeves and getting dirty. My favorite thing is understanding how things work and sometimes that means I must take them apart first!

Jennifer Haycox, LEED AP

Jennifer Haycox, LEED AP

Fundraising

1.How/why did you become involved in NEWH NW? My passion for the Design industry has brought me to this organization. My compassion for my design clients, encourages me to be more involved and give back.

2.What are some of your favorite hotels, restaurants, and spaces in the Pacific Northwest? There are so many fabulous places in the northwest, where do I begin? I would have to say, one of my favorite places is this private Bed and Breakfast in Leavenworth,WA. A tranquil town, which reminds me of my travels around Europe.

3.If you could check into any hotel in the world, what would it be? And why? Katslauttan Artic Resort, glass igloos in Finland so I could view the Northern Lights. They are so magical and this place would be unforgettable

4. Tell us about your personal/professional background. My educational background is in biochemistry, however I hold 2 bachelor’s of science degrees from Oregon State University. One in Interior Design, the Second in Housing Studies, which encompasses real estate, construction and urban development.

Crystal Higgins

Crystal Higgins

Marketing

Please select 2-3 questions below and tell us a little about yourself.
1. If you could check into any hotel in the world, what would it be? And why?
If I could check in any hotel in the world I would go to The Giraffe Manor in Kenya. I
have always wanted to travel to Africa and this stay gives you daily interaction with the
wildlife on the property. I love that they combine a once in a lifetime experience with
your overnight stay.
2. What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?
When I’m not at work I love adventuring with my girl friends. Weather its hiking Oyster
Dome, trying out a new brewery or wandering into unknown shops. I seek new
experiences and making memories with great friends
3. Favorite caffeinated beverage?
I love a foamy flavored cappuccino. They make me feel pampered and fancy.
Please email your bio’s with a headshot of yourself by the end of next week so we can get the
website up to date!

Cara Rude

Cara Rude

Green Voice

Tell us about your personal/professional background: 14 years as an Interior Designer, ASID, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP and passionate about design that creates a regeneration lifestyle through healthy materials and biophilic principals. I have spent the last 4 years educating myself and clients about the power of choice we have in the materials we specify and am thrilled to see the industry growing in knowledge and resources that create healthy spaces.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? Cuddling my newborn twins and adventuring withg my family of six; whether that be camping, fishing, hiking or biking through our beautiful Alaskan home.

What is one thing nobody would every know about you? I am a modern dancer with a great love for expressive movement and music that makes your soul come alive.