Who We Are



HPIC is a volunteer-driven non-profit and the Board is no exception. All Board members are unpaid neighbors working to ensure the continued viability of HPIC for the good of our neighborhood.

Board Meetings are on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7pm.

President: Rhonda Smith | Board Member since 2007

Rhonda first started as a Trustee working with the old guard (and a HUGE set of keys!). After serving 1-1/2 years replacing carpet, sanding floors and fixing doors, Rhonda was elected as the Board President. At that time, the Board recited the Pledge the Allegiance to the United States flag and used a gavel to bring meetings to order. The flag remains, the gavel is now retired, but the spirit of Robert’s Rules lives on.
Rhonda’s leadership on the Board has since overseen a complete overhaul of the Board membership, a growth in club membership and dedicated volunteers, a 501.c.3 non-profit organization designation, and with the collaboration of many others, it has become a place where people want to be, a place that is the heart of the community. Rhonda’s greatest happiness has come from the many friendships she has made in the neighborhood. New friendships continue to spark and old ones grow deeper. These connections have become the backbone of HPIC and provide strength in the community. Rhonda has and will continue to collaborate with her many cohorts to make HPIC an even stronger presence and valued resource in the community for years to come.

Shannon Harris | Board Member since 2019

Photo and bio to come.

Julie Schickling | Board Member since 2008

Stewardship Focus: Strategic planning and programming, grant writing, web, technology and graphics  contributor.
Bio: Julie has lived in her Riverview home since 1992, and for many years the building with the big parking lot on the corner of 12th and Holden remained a benign mystery to her. Eventually she attended meetings there of the (now dormant) Riverview Neighborhood Council. At one of these meetings, Al Spry and Martha Mallett, Board members of the Highland Park Improvement Club at the time, came to ask for the neighbors’ help to keep the club going. At what seemed like the eleventh hour, a group of neighbors (many of the current Board) realized that they needed to join the club and become active members in order to help save it, or the club would be dissolved and its building sold. This core group of people worked through old ideas, new ideas and all kinds of challenges, and has become a group of friends, while adding new friends, volunteering together to make HPIC into the community gathering place it is now – a vital part of a great neighborhood.
Julie has a home office where she does CAD and graphics work for her small company, Teknograf. She enjoys gardening and is always curious to see what an unfamiliar plant might grow up to be.

Trustee: Kay Kirkpatrick | Board Member since 2008

Stewardship Focus: Garden maintenance and oversight, general building maintenance, Signage and Membership committee lead, Giant Garage sale organizer, Highland Park Uncorked and other HPIC event decoration lead.
Bio: Kay has lived in Highland Park since 1999. After years of walking by HPIC she started attending membership meetings there and came to that “ah-hah moment” realizing our neighborhood had inherited a free clubhouse. Not something you see every day in these times in the big city. All we had to do was take some responsibility for it, and enjoy it like those before us. The activities and connections she has made there have become one of her favorite things about Highland Park. Kay has an art studio practice in the neighborhood and does public art installations around the region, as well as working as a librarian for The Seattle Public Library.

Trustee: Nickie Jostol | Board Member since 2009

Bio: Nickie received the call to help save HPIC from being given to SSCC in 2009.  She was part of the initial group of newbies who worked tirelessly gaining the trust of the elders resulting in the club being given to the neighborhood under the Boards stewardship. She has given countless volunteer hours as a Trustee, Secretary and on various committees.  She continues to serve on the Board and looks forward to a new group of volunteers putting in time to keep this neighborhood gem growing.  She feels fortunate to be a member of this community of great neighbors.

Trustee: Billy Stauffer | Board Member since 2014

Super Power: Finding free stuff
Stewardship Focus: Architectural committee and general building maintenance.
Bio: Billy and his wife, Carolyn Stauffer, have lived in Highland Park since the spring of 2005. They are busy raising three young boys (Franklin 9, Wiley 7, and Sidney 5) and look forward to Corner Bar EVERY SINGLE MONTH! Billy has been very active in Highland park ever since moving into the neighborhood. He and his wife were captivated by the energy of the neighborhood and moved to action when the city of Seattle threatened to build a jail at the bottom of our little hill. It was during an HPAC meeting in 2010 when Billy became so incensed at the notion of this happening he was quoted saying, “he’d chain himself to a bulldozer before he let a jail get built anywhere near his Highland Park home.”  (WSB article here)
Since then he’s calmed down, but the 4 years after that meeting Billy and Carolyn became co-chairs of HPAC (until 2016) and led several other initiatives that hit home just as hard (homelessness, strange humming sounds, and Highland Park elementary, to name a few), too many exciting meetings to describe here. Billy and Carolyn were glad to have handed the reigns off to fresh energetic leaders while focusing on their family. Billy is an architect and a general contractor. In 2014, he was asked to join the HPIC board as a trustee and has been working together with the other members to reprogram and remodel the club to better suit its members.

Alex Wheeler | Board Member since 2024

Alex has lived in Highland Park since 2020. He joined the HPIC board with more than 13 years of nonprofit experience, both as an employee and volunteer. Originally from the Great Plains of Nebraska, Alex tries to embody the well known midwestern friendliness, and is thrilled at the community around HPIC. These days he likes to hike in the summer and cook in the winter. If you see him walking through the neighborhood with his Doberman Pinscher, Lincoln, be sure to say hello!

Amy Durgin | Board Member since 2024

Amy joined the Highland Park community in June of 2023. While exploring the trails at West Cress Park she saw a sign for volunteering with the HPIC and immediately reached out. Shortly after, she helped coordinate and set up the Trick Or Trees Halloween pet costume contest and free tree give-away. She also started joining the Thursday night gatherings at the Highland Park Corner Store. Neighbors were welcoming and friendly and she quickly started to see familiar faces between HPIC and the Corner Store gatherings. The community feel was immediate and she knew she wanted to get involved even more. Listening to HPIC members reminisce about the memories and relationships they’ve built through the community has been something truly special. While still a new member of the community, Amy is excited to build relationships and to support the continued growth of the HPIC. Apart from the club, Amy is a leadership coach and change management specialist. She enjoys spending time with her dog, Brock, working on her new home, and swimming or bicycling as much as possible.

Rachel Chernin | Board Member since 2024

Rachel has lived in Highland Park since 2006. She has loved the HP spirit and the strong connections people feel to this neighborhood. Rachel’s background is working in Finance and Operations with a local LGBTQ+ nonprofit, GSBA. She is excited to work this team to help rebuild the HPIC home. She and her family look forward to meeting even more neighbors at future community activities.

Nick Montrond | Board Member since 2024

Nick moved to Highland Park in 2019, drawn intentionally to the neighborhood because of friends who spoke highly of it, the allure of cool, locally-owned businesses, and the diversity. When he’s not on an adventure in the neighborhood with his partner and toddler, you’re likely to find him baking an ambitious number of cookies or enjoying a few games of bowling. Recently, Nick’s commitment to the community led him to take a step further by joining the HPIC board. As a new member, he is excited to bring weird ideas and energy to the table. Nick looks forward to learning from the experienced board members and to serve the community he has grown to love.