RHS

About RHS

RHS FOUNDERS

The first meeting of the Redmond Historical Society was called to order at 1:00 PM by Naomi Hardy, acting president. Twenty-two people attended the meeting. Naomi Hardy introduced Miguel Llanos who was acting treasurer and Margaret Wiese who was acting secretary. Attendees then introduced themselves and spoke briefly about their interests. An informal discussion followed. Charles Payton talked about forming an historical society. Articles of incorporation must be filed with the state to qualify for status as a non-profit group. Then a mission (general purpose of the group) and a vision for its future should be developed. Naomi Hardy suggested that specifics of this be discussed at the next meeting. And the rest was, as they say, history.

Saturday Speaker Series

10:30 a.m.  Second Saturday • September to April (no program in December or January)

Old Redmond Schoolhouse  Community Center • 16600 NE 80th Street, Redmond WA

$5.00 Suggested Donation for Non-Members

Speakers subject to change

 

program_speaker_WEBJoin us for the Redmond Historical Society Saturday Speaker Series. Programs range from residents speaking about childhood memories of growing up in the area to regional experts on such topics as the history of local logging, the Lake Washington shipyards, or a discussion of slavery, Civil War, and the Northwest.

 

The Society hosts six speakers a year (February-April, September-November). Programs are scheduled on the second Saturday of each listed month, 10:30 am-noon, in the Cotterill Auditorium at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center (ORSCC) at 16600 NE 80th Street, Redmond, WA, the same building that houses the Society Office.

 

Each program includes a presentation on some aspect of Redmond, regional, Eastside, or statewide history. Redmond Historical Society offers our Saturday Speaker Series at no charge to members and a suggested $5 donation to the public.

 

The Societyhopes to increase awareness of the activities of the organization and the important work of historical preservation. Preceding the program, we will say a few words about some aspect of the work of the Society. A few items of Society business may also be conducted, such as acknowledging a special volunteer or a Lifetime member.

 

The Society's annual membership meeting is held in January as a part of the Saturday program.

 

Click button below to read about our  Saturday Speaker Series programs, September through April.

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Board Member Biographies

 

Executive Committee

Board President - Joe Townsend

Joe has volunteered for the Redmond Historical Society since 2008 when he was appointed as a Director at Large and as Chair of the Governance Committee. The Governance Committee, working closely with the Board of Directors, gained approval of a five-year Long Range Plan that ran through 2013, reached consensus on the revised Society Bylaws that were approved by the Membership in 2009, introducing the Society’s current Committee Structure, and lead the effort to publish the Board-approved Society Operating Procedures. Joe was Elected V.P. Finance in 2010 and reelected in 2012. During that time he significantly revised the Society budgeting financial reporting procedures. As a member of the Executive Committee, Joe was instrumental in bringing forward the 2014-2017 Long Range Plan and Actions Plans.

 Joe is a graduate of San Jose State University, with a BA degree in Economics. He has also completed graduate work in Risk Management through the Insurance Institute of America. Joe served in the U.S. Navy where he attained the rank of Lieutenant, filling various line officer roles, including Chief Engineer. He is the recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal.

Joe was employed by Safeco Commercial Insurance for 32 years, ending his career as an Assistant Director on the Home Office staff of Safeco’s Risk Services Dept. He is a Retired Certified Safety Professional and holds a diploma as an Associate in Risk Management. During his safety career, Joe was active in the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) where he volunteered at the local chapter and National Board of Directors, with one year as V. P. Finance and a member of the Society Board's Executive Committee.

Following his career with Safeco, Joe joined Seattle Goodwill Industries as their Risk and Safety Manager for four years.

Joe has received Awards such as ASSE Region I, Safety Professional of the Year 1998; Charles V, Culberston, Outstanding Volunteer Achievement, 1996; Puget Sound Chapter's Safety Professional of the Year, 1987. Joe was elected ASSE Fellow in 2003.

Following a profitable run as a Risk Management consultant, Joe now operates a small business restoring and retouching photographs.

Joe has lived in Redmond, WA with his wife Doris since the mid 70's, where they raised two daughters. Prior to Redmond, Joe and Doris lived in the Denver area and Southern California.

 

Senior Vice President - Mary Hanson

Mary Hanson, a resident of Redmond since 1984, has served on the Redmond Historical Society Board as Membership Chairman and in 2009 was elected Society Secretary. Mary is from Lind, Washington and graduated from Washington State University. She is retired from Group Health after 33 years and plans to continue to volunteer for the Redmond Historical Society.

 

Vice President of Finance / Treasurer - John Oftebro

John is a Washington native and Redmond resident since 1974.  After graduating with a pharmacy degree from WSU, John practiced in the Seattle area until joining Kelley-Ross Pharmacy in downtown Seattle.  During his ownership over the next 34 years, John grew the business to six locations with a diversity of services including compounding, hospice, and long-term care, and was an early adopter of numerous practice advancements and technology applications.  He also devoted time to mentor interns, externs, establish a community residency program at Kelley-Ross and currently teaches an entrepreneurial class at WSU.

 John’s early involvement in pharmacy associations led to co-founding and past presidency of the North King County and Eastside local associations, board member and past president of the Washington State Pharmacy Association.   He is a past president of the American College of Apothecaries (ACA), and held memberships in APhA, NCPA and other pharmacy organizations as well as holding leadership positions in his church and various community organizations.

 Since retiring in 2008, John remains active in volunteer work and has been the president of the Washington State Pharmacy Foundation since 1988.  He also serves as a WSU Foundation Trustee and is a member of the WSU Dean’s Advisory Committee at the College of Pharmacy.

 

Vice President of Collections Management - Halee Turner

Halee Turner joined the board as Vice President of Collections Management in 2017. She holds a BA of Liberal Arts from New College of Florida, with a concentration in British and American Literature. She enjoys working with small nonprofits and cultural institutions. This has allowed her to develop a broad set of skills and interests. Her experience with collections comes from not only a lifetime of museum patronage, but also her experience at the Florida Maritime Museum (FMM). In addition to marketing and program development, she worked on a number of exhibits at FMM, including "The History of Cats at Sea".

 

Secretary – Sayeda Haq

Sayeda Haq joined the Redmond Historical Society Board of Directors as Secretary in February 2018.

Sayeda’s family moved to Lynnwood in 2015, after living in the Greater Boston area for about 25 years. Originally from Bangladesh, Sayeda came to the US as a graduate student at Boston University. After completing her Masters in Economics, she worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva and at the World Bank in Bangladesh. She returned to the US to pursue a PhD in Health Services Research at Brandeis University, a research university based in Waltham, MA. Then, she worked as Health Financing Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an independent agency of the federal government responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.

She currently works for the Knowledge Globalization Institute as a Senior Research Consultant, where she collaborates with scholars, academics, policy makers, and non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders to expand educational programs for global citizens. She was the campus coordinator for Americans for Informed Democracy at Brandeis and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. She loves to spend time with her daughter Samina, who is pursuing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Sayeda enjoys travelling and visiting museums, and takes deep interest in the local history of the places she visits.


Directors At Large

Judith Simpson

Judith joined the Board in 2013. She has lived in Redmond since 1974, raising her three sons on Education Hill close to schools and the Little League fields. While her sons were growing up, she was involved with their activities — Scouts, PTA, etc. and continued to be involved in the community serving on various boards and commissions. Currently Judith is a member of Evergreen Healthcare Community Advisors, Friends of Emerald Heights and a volunteer with the Redmond Police Department. In 1986 she and her husband purchased an acre that was part of the 75 acre Sanders Farm on the Redmond-Woodinville Road and had a home built there where Judith continues to reside.


Indira Krishnaswami - Finance


Debra Pelletier - Philanthropy

Debra holds Bachelor of Science in Commercial Recreation and Marketing and a Master’s of Science in Public Administration from San Jose State University. She holds certificates from Clemson University in Leadership and Marketing ecommerce from Bellevue College. Debra has worked in the public sector specializing in Government Services: Parks and Recreation & Tourism for twenty-two years.  As a Manager, she oversaw park developments, community events, initiative campaigns, historical projects, fund development, construction, and programming. In addition, Debra co-owned a construction company and has a background in General Contracting. Debra brings to her work a broad knowledge of project management to include the development and implementation of large complexes projects and events, management essentials, corporate culture, and customer service. She has her PMP (Project Management Professional) certification from the Project Management Institute and holds her project management certification from Bellevue College. She is in the final stages of her change management certification and Lean Six Sigma.Debra has extensive background in professional instruction through National Recreation and Parks Association, Washington Recreation Parks Association, Smartpath llc, and a professor at Bellevue and Edmonds College.  In recent years Debra has focused on contract/consulting projects specializing on business readiness, change management, and strategic planning with cross functional team issues. Past clients have been from a multitude of industries such as T-Mobile, Evergreen Speedway, Snohomish County Fair, Pacific Plumbing, and Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro.When asked to give a quote, Debra stated… “I am so honored to be a part of the Redmond Historical Society – and working with the Redmond community once again!

 

Brian Burck - Philanthropy

Brian Burck joined the Board as a Director At Large in January 2018. His family moved to Kenmore in the 1940s and that is where he was raised. Always active in sports, Burck played soccer at 60 acres as a child, and played for a semi-pro local football team, the Eastside Express, in 1986-1989, where they played their home games at Redmond High School. Brian attended Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He has been a VP of the PTA in the Federal Way School District, served on multiple non-profits, and coached football and track at the middle school and high school levels. A resident of the Grass Lawn Park area, Brian is the business development manager for Inabia Solutions and Consulting, an IT development company in Redmond. He is also a business coach, helping others to hold fundraisers and develop projects that impact their communities through Landmark Education. Brian’s current project is developing a social purpose corporation called Project Transform Gyms, which trains and employs the homeless in the arena of health clubs/gyms. His interests range from genealogy, sports, and fitness to spending time with his two grown children: his son Aunders, who works at Home Depot, and daughter Alaina, who is serving two years with the Peace Corps in Rrëshen, Albania.

Society News Archive

As an active organization, we have our own on-going history. Periodically, we are the subject of a local news story referencing, for example, an exhibit or our annual History Hero Awards. Below you will find a list of articles and other documentation related to the past activities of the Redmond Historical Society and its members:

Other Events

Sponsors

The Redmond Historical Society has been fortunate to have local business partners who share with us the value of preserving Redmond's history. These Business members have demonstrated their willingness to get involved in the expansion of Redmond with historical sensitivity. We want to thank the following Business Members for their continuing generosity:

4Culture
4Culture, the cultural services agency for King County, Washington is committed to making our region stronger by supporting citizens and groups who preserve our shared heritage. In recent years, Redmond Historical Society has received grants from 4Culture in support of collections care, special projects and equipment as well as sustained support.
Nelson Legacy Group

The Nelsons are native to Redmond. In the early 1950s, W.C. Nelson, Sr. made his first real estate purchase in Redmond, Washington. Over the years he added office and retail holdings in Redmond, Kirkland, Kent, Renton, Tacoma, and eastern Washington.

Recently they made a generous $1000 donation in the support of Redmond Historical Society’s  mission.
RedmondLogo The City of Redmond is the most significant sponsor of the Redmond Historical Society, providing office and program meeting space in the Old Redmond Schoolhouse, as well some printing and mailing services. Over the years, the Society has received Historic Preservation Grants in support of our efforts to catalog our artifact and archive collections with the eventual goal of making them available online.
BC_PropertyLogo In 2013, owner and developer of The Bellevue Collection, Kemper Freeman, Jr., generously made a five-year commitment to make an annual $1,000 donation to the Society. Freeman's support reflects his close ties to Redmond, having spent fourteen summers working at the farm at Marymoor while growing up.
Happy-Valley-Grange-322

In 2014, Happy Valley Grange #322 generously made a $1,000 donation and in 2015 the group duplicated that donation and committed to a full five-year annual $1,000 donation to the Society. The Happy Valley Grange was founded in 1909, and the organization is still active today as a community service organization, meeting in the historic Happy Valley Grange building, which was built in 1912. Duane Isackson is master of the Happy Valley Grange. He and his wife Joanne are Members of the Society.

MSFT_logo_small Microsoft is the world's leading producer of computer software. Microsoft was incorporated in 1981, but the company's roots go back at least as far as 1975, when the first commercially available personal computer appeared on the cover of Popular Electronics.
nintendo In 2013, Nintendo of America generously made a five-year commitment to make an annual $1,000 donation to the Society. Nintendo chose Redmond for its American headquarters in the early 1980s, making it one of Redmond's earliest high tech companies and an influential part of the city's history.
RED_RedmondReporter The Redmond Reporter is Redmond’s own community newspaper and is delivered, free of charge, to more than 25,000 residents every Friday. The thriving publication covers everything Redmond, including city government, important school issues, the vibrant arts and entertainment scene, the growing business district ,events and most important the residents, who shape this community. Redmond Reporter is one of the generous partners for us!

Redmond Business Members

The Redmond Historical Society has been fortunate to have local business partners who share with us the value of preserving Redmond's history. These Business Members have demonstrated their willingness to get involved in the expansion of Redmond with historical sensitivity. We want to thank the following Business Members for their continuing generosity:

 

 ValaLogoBlackSmallHeader2 VALA, Venues for Artists in the Local Area, Eastside is a 501c3, non-profit arts organization based in Redmond, WA, committed to connecting artists to artists, artists to the community, and the community to art. 
 caldwellbanker Coldwell Banker Bain (CB Bain) has been helping people buy and sell their most important investments in the Pacific Northwest since 1972.
 Ben-Franklin

The owners began their Ben Franklin Variety store on May 29, 1975 with 5 employees. The business became an entertainment, activity-driven business dedicated to outstanding customer service and innovation. From 1986 to 1996, the staff grew from less than 30 to more than 80 dedicated, creative people.

nintendo In 2013, Nintendo of America generously made a five-year commitment to make an annual $1,000 donation to the Society. Nintendo chose Redmond for its American headquarters in the early 1980s, making it one of Redmond's earliest high tech companies and an influential part of the city's history.
 BC_PropertyLogo In 2013, owner and developer of The Bellevue Collection, Kemper Freeman, Jr., generously made a five-year commitment to make an annual $1,000 donation to the Society. Freeman's support reflects his close ties to Redmond, having spent fourteen summers working at the farm at Marymoor while growing up.
Happy-Valley-Grange-322

In 2014, Happy Valley Grange #322 generously made a $1,000 donation and in 2015 the group duplicated that donation and committed to a full five-year annual $1,000 donation to the Society. The Happy Valley Grange was founded in 1909, and the organization is still active today as a community service organization, meeting in the historic Happy Valley Grange building, which was built in 1912. Duane Isackson is master of the Happy Valley Grange. He and his wife Joanne are Members of the Society.

MSFT_logo_small Microsoft is the world's leading producer of computer software. Microsoft was incorporated in 1981, but the company's roots go back at least as far as 1975, when the first commercially available personal computer appeared on the cover of Popular Electronics.
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Cedar Lawns Memorial Park and Funeral Home is a member of the national network of Dignity Memorial® funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. The only cemetery in Redmond, we are proud to serve the needs of our community.

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HyGen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leading independent wholesaler of prescription and specialty pharmaceuticals located in Redmond, Washington. The company was founded in 1993 with the goal of becoming trusted partner to independent pharmacies, long term care facilities and mail order pharmacies across the nation.

UrbanDakota

Urban Dakota Creative is a graphic designer and production artist with a marketing background. Design to make eye appealing and engaging while keeping feasibility of both design, printing and production costs while working from initial concept, proofing to completion of final product within determined deadline.

The FTI Group

The FTI Group is a family-owned business specializing in high-security checks and documents.

de Jong Sawdust and Shavings

Cory de Jong II and his ten-year-old son started Cory de Jong & Son, Inc in 1950 with one delivery truck that delivered sawdust and shavings to local farms. Sixty-Eight years later Cory de Jong III, his daughter Shannon (The Girl) de Jong and great grandson Cornelius de Jong IV continue Cory Sr's legacy that we all know today as de Jong Sawdust & Shavings and de Jong's Avondale Bark & Topsoil. Now with multiple locations (Redmond and Lake Stevens) we're still supplying local farms with animal bedding and quality landscape products for satisfied customers all over the Puget Sound area.


If you are interested in joining Redmond Historical Society as a Business Member, go to this page.

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