The Guild 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.

Board of Trustees, 2017-18

President:  William Woodward is Professor of History at Seattle Pacific University.  He holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University.  His specialties include 19th century U.S. social and political history and Pacific Northwest history;  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. Contact Bill at


Vice President:  Judy Bentley 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.  


Recording Secretary:  Candace Lein-Hayes received a  BA in Education and a MA in History from Western Washington University. She worked in the Archives/Records Management field for 30 years, first at the Washington State Archives, and for 26 years, at the National Archives and Records Administration in Seattle. She is a member of the Northwest Archivists, Seattle Area Archivists, and serves on the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board.


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 J. Baker Johnson is a nearby historian, a freelance writer, and a citizen archivist at the National Archives in Seattle, where she has been a weekly volunteer since 2000. She had an 18-year career working for the American Red Cross in St. Paul and Seattle, in which she traveled the country responding to natural disaster events. For the past decade she was the Manager of Events and Volunteers for Historic Seattle, working closely with Program Director Lawrence Kreisman. She created the popular Digging Deeper Series, which provided behind-the-scenes tours of many archives in and around Seattle. She wrote the “Clubs and Associations” chapter in the book Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill: Propriety, Profanity, Pills, and Preservation (Documentary Media, 2014). She followed that with an article on the career of an early-1900s embezzler at the U.S. Assay Office on First Hill (“A Fortune in Gold [Dust]: How a Seattle Assayer Skimmed a Klondike Fortune”), which was published in the Spring 2015 issue of the National Archives’ Prologue Magazine. A 25-year resident of Ballard, she is passionate about Pacific Northwest built environments and social history. She was a weekly columnist for the Norwegian-American Weekly newspaper, and is a frequent contributor on She has been the historian for the Sons of Norway Leif Erickson Lodge in Ballard. She is the archivist for Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, for which she researched and published a weekly Centennial Communiqué during the congregation’s centennial year in 2015.


Trustee:  David 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.


Trustee:  Catherine Cocks is a senior acquisitions editor at the University of Washington Press, where she acquires projects in Pacific Northwest history (including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska), western history more broadly, environmental history, and Native American and Indigenous history. After earning her PhD at the University of California, Davis, she published two books, Doing the Town (2001) and Tropical Whites (2013), and several articles. She welcomes book proposals at


Trustee:  Nicole Robert earned her PhD at the University of Washington, researching representations of race, gender and sexuality in U.S. history museums. She currently works in Public Programs at the Museum of History and Industry. Her research produces new theoretical frameworks for finding and sharing under-represented histories, putting that theory into practice through several collaborative history projects, including the Women Who Rock project and the Queering the Museum project. A committed educator, Nicole participates in formal and informal teaching at local universities and community groups on the topics of feminist studies, cultural studies, museum administration and ethical history research.


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.