The Rev. James Speer ’73 has been named priest-in-charge of St. James Episcopal Church in Higganum, Conn. An economics major at Puget Sound, he felt called to the priesthood in 1975 and earned a divinity degree from Vancouver School of Theology at the University of British Columbia. He has served as pastor to Native American and non-native communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and several U.S. states.
Pacific Business News named Russell Lau ’74 its Business Leadership Hawaii Career Achievement Honoree for 2022. Russell is chair and CEO of Finance Factors, Ltd., an industrial loan company (in Hawaii it’s called a depository financial services loan company). He’s also chair, president, and CEO of The Finance Enterprises, a holding company that includes Finance Factors, Finance Insurance, and Waipono Investment Co. He lives in Honolulu.
Margret Riddle Kingrey ’75 is author of a new book, Alaska Stories: A Memoir, billed as a “travel log of romance, adventure, and spiritual quest.” Margret earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy at Puget Sound and taught OT before retiring. She earned her M.F.A. in writing from the University of Nebraska in 2019, and lives in Blair, Neb.
Roosevelt (Ted) Mercer Jr. ’75, a retired Air Force major general, is CEO and executive director of Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, which owns and operates the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Va. “We launch rockets for government and commercial customers,” he explains. “We are one of only two locations that launch rockets to resupply the International Space Station. It is an exciting business and I love every minute of it. We actually do deal in rocket science!”
Elaine Woodworth Stanovsky ’76, P’10, retired in January as bishop of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church. She served as bishop in eight different states, and always “made space at the table for new voices,” according to a Faith Foundation announcement about her retirement. “She’s shown us that women belong in the pulpit, the cabinet, and the boardroom,” the announcement said. “She’s used her power and privilege to fight injustice by offering safe sanctuary for queer pastors, speaking out against racism, and prioritizing new church starts that reach underserved communities.” At press time, a crowdfunding effort in her honor (faith.foundation/circle) had raised more than $66,000 to support the Circle of Indigenous Ministries.
Pastor June Fothergill ’77, who led the Ebbert United Methodist Church in Springfield, Ore., for 10 years, retired in July 2022. Before arriving in Springfield in 2012, she had been a pastor at churches in Wasco, Ore.; Boise, Idaho; and Middleton, Idaho. In retirement, she’s working to establish transitional housing for homeless women in Springfield, according to a profile of her in Eugene Weekly.
A book by Russ Stoddard ’81, Rise Up: How to Build a Socially Conscious Business, was named No. 1 in StartupSavant.com’s “Top Startup Books for Social Entrepreneurs” in October. Russ is founder and president of Oliver Russell Company, a social impact branding agency that is a certified B Corporation, meaning it meets certain standards for helping solve social and environmental issues.
PacRim alums Paul Dieter ’82 and Meg Sands ’82 joined forces as Team Loggers for a pickleball tournament at Normandy Park (Wash.) Community Club in October. Paul reports that they dominated the round robin, finishing undefeated, and are “ready to challenge any and all PacRim alumni.”
Niki Fox Elenbaas ’82 and her husband, Jamie Elenbaas ’82, send greetings from their catamaran, s/v Grateful, which they’ve sailed in the waters of five continents since their retirement in 2016. They recently welcomed Rufus Woods ’80 (middle photo at right) for an Atlantic crossing: He joined the crew in Cabo Verde, off the west coast of Africa, for a 16-night sail to Grenada, in the Caribbean. Niki and Jamie are now planning a circumnavigation that they’ve been talking about since their third date. They write about their sailing adventures at Facebook.com/svGrateful and post to Instagram under the handle @goodshipgrateful.
Four Generals Brewing in Renton, Wash., was recently named Small Brewery of the Year 2022 at the Washington Beer Awards. The brewery is owned by Michael Hudspeth ’82 and Mary Michener Hudspeth ’83, along with their son, Ross (he’s the brewer). Opened in 2016, Four Generals specializes in German-style beer, a style the Hudspeths decided to pursue after visiting 13 breweries in Germany. For now, the beer is available only in their tasting room located in the Old City Hall in downtown Renton, though plans are underway to build a larger production facility to help in distribution.
In August, Andrew Johnsen ’86 and Wende Dwyer-Johnsen ’88 celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on the Oregon Coast, at their new home on the beach. They still live and work in Fort Worth, Texas, but now have an escape from the hot Texas summers. After 15 years leading state and local government affairs teams at BNSF Railway, Andrew took early retirement in 2020 and started a consulting firm; today, the Columbia Group has three other partners and has clients in Texas, the Northwest, and points in between. In October, Andrew also began his term as chairman of the 13-county North Texas Commission. Wende, Andrew, and their sons have been active in their parish church, All Saints’ Episcopal, and its day school, which both boys attended and where Wende serves on the school board and church vestry. While they’ve lived in D.C., Boston, Olympia, and Fort Worth, Wende and Andrew want their Logger friends to know that the Northwest has always been home.
Ann Putnam P’91 is the author of a new novel, Cuban Quartermoon (Emerson Street Press). Ann is a Hemingway scholar who has made more than six trips to Cuba as part of the Ernest Hemingway International Colloquium; she also taught in the English department at Puget Sound for a number of years. She lives in Gig Harbor, Wash.; website: annputnamwriter.com.
Col. Aeneas Gooding ’93 retired Jan. 1, 2023, after more than 29 years in the Air Force. He commanded security force squadrons at three different Air Force bases and served on the staff of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He also served with U.S. Central Command in Qatar and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and commanded the 509th Mission Support Group at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, supporting the U.S.’s only B-2 stealth bomber wing. As his final assignment, he commanded a detachment at the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center at Hurlburt Field, Fla., in support of Air Force Special Operations Command. Additionally, he managed financial services and resources, engineering, force protection, and security for more than 18,000 AFSOC personnel and $7.4 billion in command infrastructure. Aeneas and LeeAnne, his wife of almost 25 years, have settled in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Rochelle Nguyen ’99 has been appointed as the first-ever Asian American state senator in Nevada. She’ll fill the unfinished term of a state senator who retired. Rochelle majored in comparative sociology at Puget Sound and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She had been serving in the Nevada State Assembly, representing the 10th district, which includes a portion of Las Vegas; she was appointed to the assembly seat in 2019 and won election in 2020 and 2022.
Caitlin Quander ’05, a shareholder in the Denver law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, has been appointed to the Denver Planning Board. The board advises the mayor and Denver City Council on land use matters including planning and zoning. Caitlin earned a communication degree from Puget Sound and a law degree from the University of Denver.
Steven Baker ’06, who majored in business administration and minored in economics at Puget Sound, was named chief philanthropy officer at the Minnesota Jewish Community Foundation and Minneapolis Jewish Federation. He also is a 2022–24 fellow at the Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership, and recently became a certified family philanthropy advisor. He lives in Minneapolis.
Ben Lee ’06 and his wife, Jen Salisbury, started a nonprofit mobile library on Vashon Island. Their aim is to foster a love of reading and to promote literacy by delivering books to the island’s young people, with an emphasis on kids whose families lack resources to get to the local public library. Their bookmobile is a converted Japanese fire truck that plays jingles while they drive. “It’s like the ice cream truck, but cooler,” says Ben.
Brian Marrs DPT’07 is director of a new physical therapy clinic, Sound to Summit Physical Therapy, in Bellingham, Wash. It’s the second location for Sound to Summit; Brian previously directed the clinic in Mount Vernon. He is an orthopedic clinical specialist and also serves as a clinical instructor for PT students.
The University of Colorado Denver has named Rachel Gross ’08, an assistant professor of history, as its Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow for the current academic year. She advises the chancellor and her senior leadership team on implementing the university’s strategic plan. Rachel majored in history and Spanish at Puget Sound, then went on to get a master’s and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has a book forthcoming from Yale University Press, Selling Nature: The Outdoor Industry in American History.
Carolyn Ham ’08 recently published a journal article, “A Home by Any Other Name: Building an Understanding of Infection Prevention in Small Residential Care Facilities,” in the Public Policy & Aging Report. The article explores the unique infection prevention needs of small facilities. She also presented the research at the Gerontological Society of America’s annual scientific meeting in November.
Hanna Kregling ’11 has joined Nail Communications, an award-winning creative agency in Providence, R.I., as a senior creative. She’ll be focused on conceptual design and art direction for key clients, including the pet food brand Natural Balance. Previously she worked at agencies in the Boston and New York metropolitan areas, including Ogilvy, Allen & Gerritsen, and Momentum Worldwide. She majored in theatre arts at Puget Sound.
Ariel Downs ’12 graduated in May 2022 with her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the conservatory at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Her research focused on the Pre-Raphaelite Aesthetics of Claude Debussy’s cantata “La damoiselle élue” and opera Pelléas et Mélisande. As part of her graduate work, she also produced, directed, and starred in a film of “La damoiselle élue,” which can be viewed on her website, arieldowns.com.
Darcy Nelson ’12 shared stories and songs as part of a TEDxWomen event in Denver. She hopes that her topic, “Music is Medicine,” helps lessen the stigma of talking about addiction and encourages people to explore healthy coping mechanisms like music and meditation. You can find her TEDx presentation on YouTube. She also has created a website, darcynelson.com/be-well, for people curious to explore connections among mind, body, and mood.
Herrera Environmental Consultants has hired Liza Holtz ’13 as an environmental designer, based in the firm’s Portland, Ore., office. A natural sciences major at Puget Sound, Liza recently earned a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon. She’s especially interested in the design and management of landscapes that are sustainable, inclusive, and meaningful.
Alicia Matz ’14, a Ph.D. student in classics at Boston University, is co-editor of a special issue of the journal Thersites on “There and Back Again: Tolkien and the Greco-Roman World.” Thersites bills itself as the “journal for transcultural presences and diachronic identities from antiquity to date.” Matz also contributed an essay to the issue, on “Ents, Sacred Groves, and the Cost of Descration.” Kathryn Stutz ’18, a Ph.D. student in classics at Johns Hopkins University, also contributed a paper to the issue, on “G.B. Smith’s ‘Elzevir Cicero’ and the Construction of Queer Immortality in Tolkien’s Mythopoeia.”
Zachary Hamilton ’15, who graduated with a degree in violin performance, released a new EP, You’re My Favorite. The short album includes an arrangement and accompanying video of the Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond,” which he wrote and performed for his senior recital. Zachary, who also has a master’s degree in viola from the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, in the Netherlands, released a viola cover of comedian Bo Burnham’s comedy bit/song “Can’t Handle This (Kanye Rant).” Website: zacharyhamiltonmusic.com.
Michellie Hess ’16 graduated in November from the University of Glasgow in Scotland with a master’s degree in political communications. At Puget Sound, she was a politics and government major with a minor in French.