Jill Sheley, executive director
Jill is native Texan and a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting. After working for five years as an auditor and consultant with an international accounting and consulting firm in Houston, Jill relocated to Seattle to serve clients in the Pacific Northwest. Since founding her management consulting company, S2 Advisors, in 1997, Jill has delivered value to clients by guiding strategic and tactical business planning and implementing complex process and technology improvements. Along with her husband, Jill moved to Winthrop in 2009 to chase her twin sons around ski trails, down the slopes of the Loup and on mountain biking trails all over the Methow Valley. She is a member of three book clubs. Jill founded the Junior Golf Program at Bear Creek, serves as the Treasurer of the Confluence Art Gallery in Twisp and has volunteered as a Nordic ski coach, an alpine race coordinator, a Guardian Angel and a high school English tutor. As much as she loves the Valley’s trails, her heart belongs to the community of Winthrop and the Methow Valley. She strongly believes in the power of public spaces to draw people together and envisions a library in which every single person feels welcome and delighted to enter the front door.
A favorite book: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
shannon huffman polson, chair
Shannon Huffman Polson is a leadership speaker and educator and an author. A native Alaskan, she graduated from Duke with her BA in English Literature before serving in the Army as an attack helicopter pilot and aviation leader. After earning her MBA at the Tuck School at Dartmouth, she worked for several years leading teams in international marketing and business management at Guidant Corporation and Microsoft. Shannon has served on the boards of the Alaska Wilderness League and Seattle Pro Musica. She and her husband are owners of Drop Zone Methow Co-work, co-founders of Methow Episcopal, and along with their two young sons have been residents of the Methow Valley for five years. Her children can be found nearly any time there is a children’s program at the library, and they are grateful that there are no late fees. She and her family enjoy Nordic skiing, hiking and cycling. After finding respite, inspiration and independence in the local library during a challenging time as a young teenager, Shannon sees a modern library as the heart of a community with the potential to truly transform lives and bring together our special valley.
A favorite book: West With the Night by Beryl Markham
bruce honsinger, vice chair
Bruce Honsinger is a fourth-generation Okanogan county resident. Out of college, Bruce trained as a journalist, working as editor for the Providence Journal before heading to medical school in Vermont and Utah to begin a career in medicine. In addition to business experience founding, growing and selling a large women’s medical practice, Bruce has served as member and Chair of the Idaho State Board of Medicine and Idaho State Board of Medical Discipline, as well as a national level officer for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Locally, he has served on the boards of Jamie’s Place and Classroom in Bloom. Bruce brings a passion for lifelong learning and community to our board, and a vision for the modern library as a center for community and learning. He and his wife Dianne have lived in the valley for over twenty years, launching their children from Liberty Bell High School.
A favorite book: The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
Dan Kaltenbach, treasurer
Dan is a senior executive with more than 20 years of financial/operational leadership experience, including roles as chief financial officer at several growth-focused, technology- and marketing firms in Seattle. Raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, Dan earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound, and an MBA from the University of Washington. He finds adventure in climbing and skiing in the Cascades, as well as biking and nordic skiing in the Methow with his family. The Kaltenbach family uses the current library heavily; the kids bike to the library often in the summer, after a stop at Sheri’s, of course. Dan’s wife Hilary works as the Program Coordinator for The Bush School campus in Mazama. Dan believes in the power of community through shared spaces and experiences that are open to everyone. He can't wait to get started helping FoWL build a library that will be a point of pride and access for the valley.
A favorite book: The Power of One, Bruce Courtenay
Wendy Sims, secretary
Wendy Sims has lived near Winthrop for fourteen years. She raised her two kids here and well remembers the day her son checked out his first chapter books from the prior location of the Winthrop library. As an occasional substitute librarian over the last several years, she sees first-hand the broad community the library serves and the need for expanded and diversified facilities. Prior to moving to the valley, she worked as an environmental engineer, air pollution control manager and a plant ecologist. She is an avid human powered recreationist and lover of wild places. Other hobbies include traveling, gardening and reading. Wendy has served on the Public School Funding Alliance and Methow Valley Nordic Team boards and volunteers extensively for other valley concerns.
A favorite book: The Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold
Boo Turner, Director
Boo Turner has been a marketing communications specialist for over 30 years. In 2006, she established Footloose Communications, a media relations business that serves clients in the outdoor sporting goods industry. In addition to media relations, she has broad experience in a wide array of marketing planning and tools, including creative design and development, graphic design, collateral, copy writing, digital marketing, guerilla tactics and events. She has been a part- and full time resident of Mazama since 2000, along with her husband Brent, son Evan and mutt Peco. She has contributed her efforts to the Methow Nordic Team among other organizations. Skiing, hiking, whitewater kayaking, reading, gardening, travel and swinging in the hammock are her passions.
A favorite book: The 21 Balloons, by William Pene du Bois
Char Alkire, Director
A native of the Northwest, Char became a part time valley resident in 2003. Fully retired after spending 40 years teaching in the field of science education, she and her husband of 44 years now call the valley home. Char has served on the board of the Methow Conservancy, serves on the board of Twispworks and has volunteered with numerous other organizations in and out of the valley. Char is looking forward to serving on the board of Friends of the Winthrop Library after having served on the advisory board, bringing the incredible resource of our new library to the Methow Valley. She also looks forward to taking her 4 grandchildren to the new library, two of which moved to the valley in 2018.
A favorite book: A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Shane Swanson, Director
Shane Swanson has been assisting technology-based companies in the area of intellectual property law and management for nearly 20 years. He served with Peace Corps Guatemala between obtaining his B.S. in Botany/Biology from the University of Washington and his J.D. from Seattle University. Shane recently left his partnership at a boutique IP law firm and founded Cascade Technology and Business Advisor (CTBA) to provide innovative IP and general counsel solutions for early stage technology-based ventures. Shane has been “escaping” to the Methow valley to run, ski, climb, bike, and hike since 1994 and now lives and plays here full-time with his wife Molly and dogs Bella and Nick. Shane is passionate about learning and believes that Winthrop’s new library has the potential to empower our community through greater access to information and public resources.
A favorite book: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
Carl and Roxie Miller, Shafer Museum, Honorary Co-Chairs, Capital Campaign
Tom Venable, Superintendent, Methow Valley School District
Richard Hart, Author, Historian
Mark Ryan, Attorney and President, Winthrop Chamber of Commerce
Ken Westman, long-time valley resident*
Ashley Lodato, Methow Arts
Craig Howard, Not-for-profit Consultant
Sarah Berns, Owner, Spring Creek Ranch
*Ken passed away in July, 2019. His spirit will forever be a part of this new library.
Friends of the Winthrop Library was founded in January 2017 with the passion, tenacity, hard work and vision of the following individuals: Shannon Huffman Polson, Pat Leigh, Sarah Berns, Nancy Juergens, Rachel Macmorran