|Walter R. Briggs, President
Walter is a UC Berkeley graduate with a Master’s degree in Wildland Resource. He joined the Celtic Arts Foundation (CAF) Board in March of 2012. He and wife Linda (an accomplished violinist and aspiring Scottish fiddler) live in Olalla, Washington and have been longtime supporters and participants in CAF programs. Walter has spent considerable time cattle ranching in Nevada and the High Sierra, and served in the U.S. Army. From 1983 to 2013, he served as the U.S. Navy’s forester for the entire west coast, administering the Navy’s forest management program from Alaska to Arizona. Walter has served as Board President since 2015.
|Patty Dunn, Vice President
Originally from Southern California, Patty enjoyed a career as a municipal planner in California; she is now retired and living in Anacortes with her husband. An avid fiddler, Patty actively participates in Washington Old Time Fiddler Association events and Scottish and Irish fiddling sessions and workshops. She has also participated in the Celtic Arts Foundation’s Winter School six times. Patty joined the board in 2014 and has been serving the role of Vice President since 2015.
|Jan Gould, Treasurer.
Jan is a retired Certified Public Accountant who served as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of First Sound Bank in Seattle until 2014. Along with fellow Board Member Tyrone Heade, she served on the Board of the Mastery of Scottish Arts Organization prior to the merger with the Celtic Arts Foundation. Jan became involved in Scottish cultural activities when her husband decided to become a bagpiper in his middle age. She very much enjoys Scottish music and arts, both as a spectator and assisting the organization in pursuit of its goals.
|David Ryberg, Secretary
David is a stock broker with McAdams Wright Ragen. He joined the board in 2004 but was active with the CAF long before. He has served as Board Secretary since 2015. While Dean of Students at Skagit Valley College in the early 1990s, he was instrumental in the creation of the Robert Burns Scottish Evening event as well as the first Skagit Valley Highland Games. Dave has been directly involved with a number of arts organizations in Skagit County.
|Tyrone Heade, Board Member
Tyrone Heade has served on the CAF Board since 2008, and was President between 2013 and 2015. Tyrone earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication with a minor in Engineering Physics from Oregon State University and specialized in niche marketing strategies for law, architecture, and graphic design firms in his former career. Since 1994, Tyrone has followed his heart as a full-time Highland Piper and instructor through his company, Bagpipe Entertainment, Inc. During this time he has served as Cathedral Piper in Residence for St. James and St. Mark’s Cathedrals. Tyrone was the founding piper of Seattle's Elliott Bay Pipe Band and has performed as their Pipe-Major since 2003. Tyrone was also one of three founding members of the Mastery of Scottish Arts School in 1996.
|Jim Monroe, Ph.D., Board Member Jim is a proud and active member of the Clan Munro society of North America and has been a tireless volunteer for the Skagit Valley Highland Games since attending his first event in 1995. Retired from the faculty of Skagit Valley College, he is an active member of the Skagit Valley Chorale. In 2004, Jim was selected as President of the Skagit Performing Arts Council.|
|Marilyn McLean, Attorney at Law, Board Member. An original board member, Marilyn is an attorney for the Lummi Tribal Nation and an original Board Member of the Celtic Arts Foundation. She has strong Celtic ancestry; the Scottish side of her family immigrated to Prince Edward Island from Scotland and the Irish portion of her family were Northwest pioneers. Marilyn has loved the sound of the pipes since childhood and is passionate about the importance of the arts and Celtic traditions.|
|William "Bill" Babb, Board Member
Born in Houston, Bill’s family moved to Los Angeles at an early age. He later earned a B.A. degree from Seattle University, where he met his wife, to whom he has now been married almost 45 years! They make their home on Camano Island with Bill working as a logistics consultant for a transportation company based in Fife, Washington. His Celtic roots come from both Scotland and Ireland, with ancestors first arriving in Nova Scotia and Maine. After having attended several Skagit Valley Highland Games events over the years, Bill got involved as a volunteer and continues to actively market and promote the event to potential sponsors. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2014.
|Skye Richendrfer, Executive Director.
Skye holds a master’s degree from Seattle University in Non-Profit Leadership, and served as the Mayor of Mount Vernon, Washington from 1996 to 2003. He started playing bagpipes at the age of seven and later attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he led the student run bagpipe band for three years. He competed at the professional level as a solo piper and at the world-class level on several occasions while he was a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. He is the founder of the Celtic Arts Foundation, and in January of 2004, became its first full-time Executive Director. In 2008, Skye received the Washington State Governor’s Heritage Award recognizing his “significant contribution to the creativity and the cultural heritage of Washington State." Last June, Macalester College awarded its Distinguished Citizen Award to Skye, recognizing his contributions and accomplishments in the public and non-profit sectors.
Emeritus Board Members
The Celtic Arts Foundation is very fortunate to have had many generous and thoughtful community-minded people serve as Directors since 1997. Board members are elected from the general membership of the Celtic Arts Foundation. Here, listed cronologically based on the years of their service, are our emeritus Board Members:
- Mr. William J. (Bill) Toomey, CPA – co-founder of Celtic Arts Foundation
- Ms. Mary Scott
- Judge John M. Meyer
- Mr. G. Michael Riedel
- Ms. Melissa Chittenden
- Mr. Scott Peterson, October 2005 – May 2011
- Mr. Craig Sjostrom
- Ms. Jill Hilde
All remain active and engaged participants in our programs and organization, and we thank them for their service.