The Board

The Guild is governed by a Board of Trustees whose members have a variety of specialties in Pacific Northwest history. Trustees serve staggered three-year terms and select a President, Secretary, and Treasurer who serve two-year terms.

Pacific Northwest Historians Guild Board of Trustees, 2016

President William Woodward Bill holds an A.B. from Wheaton College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Georgetown University.  His specialties include 19th century U.S. social and political history and Pacific Northwest history, and his research interests include the militia and National Guard of Washington Territory and State and baseball in American culture.  He is a longtime statewide lecturer with the Speakers Bureau of Humanities Washington.

Vice President Judy Bentley Judy is emeritus faculty from South Seattle College where she taught English composition, literature, and Pacific Northwest History.  She is the author of many young adult biographies, including Free Boy, A True Story of Slave and Master, with Lorraine McConaghy, University of Washington Press, 2013.  She is also the author of two history guidebooks, Hiking Washington’s History and Walking Washington’s History: Ten Cities,  University of Washington Press, 2010 and 2016.  

Financial Secretary Dan Kerlee is a collector and local historian who is currently researching the Golden Potlatch.

Membership Secretary Quin’Nita Cobbins is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Washington.  She studies African American women’s history in the U.S. West with interests in migration, culture, politics, and urban life.  Her dissertation examines the political activism and leadership of African American women in Seattle during the last half of the 20th century.  Quin’Nita is also the current Webmaster for

Trustee Luci Baker Johnson  Is a freelance writer / historian with a expertise in Norwegian-American genealogical research, house histories, and PNW social history. She works half-time as Manager of Volunteers for Historic Seattle ( and volunteer weekly at various locations.

Trustee David Unger

Trustee David Williams David B. Williams is a naturalist, author, and educator whose most recent award-winning book Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography explores the unprecedented engineering projects that shaped Seattle during the early part of the twentieth century. He is also the author of two forthcoming books–Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City and Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Locks and Ship Canal, as well as the author The Seattle Street Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from the City and Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology.


The Guild is governed by a Board of Trustees serving staggered three-year terms. Nominations are accepted each fall for two new members, and they are elected at the January business meeting and annual banquet. The new Board then elects a president for a two-year term. Vacancies are filled by the Board and ratified by the membership of the Guild, upon 30 days notice, at its next regularly scheduled meeting.