Meet the Redmond Historical Society Board & Staff
Society Officers for 2019-2020
Directors at Large
Staff and Support
Manager, Administration and Collections
Laura Lee Bennett
Redmond Library Liaison
Board President - 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.
John has served the Society as Vice President Finance for the two-year term, 2017-2018.
Executive Vice President - Margy Rockenbeck
Margy grew up in Pennsylvania, in a historic house near State College that her family still owns. That upbringing helped her develop lifelong interests in genealogy and historic preservation, and history in general. For her undergraduate education she attended her hometown school, Penn State, and got a bachelor’s degree in German. All of her graduate work was done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received a master’s in rehabilitation counseling and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology.
Most of Margy’s professional career was spent as a marriage and family therapist in private practice in Reno, Nevada. Her background led her to focus on disability issues as they relate to families; She worked with families dealing with traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.
Being in private practice allowed her to indulge several other serious interests-- real estate development (she did her own contract management and financial negotiations for three projects) and working pro bono for a number of causes she supported.
She served on the board of the Nevada Opera and became Vice-president for Fundraising and helped the opera to transition away from depending on things like luck, divine intervention and fruitcake sales to raise funds, and toward learning how to ask big givers for some serious money. During that period she was a registered lobbyist with the Nevada State legislature. Margy learned a lot from her Nevada Opera experience, including the universal struggles that organizations have with "founder’s syndrome."
She consulted with the ACLU of Nevada on fundraising, and served on its board, and also served on the boards of the Nevada Recycling Coalition, and of Regina Hall, a facility for troubled teen girls.
Finally, at various times she served as office manager for northern Nevada (everything but Clark County/Las Vegas) for a U. S. Congressional re-election campaign, assistant campaign manager for a U. S. Senate campaign, and campaign manager for a Nevada State Senate Campaign.
All of these experiences allowed Margy to learn to deal with a wide variety of people, including those with significant financial resources, in doing fundraising. She was also lucky enough to be sent for specific training in fundraising by the national Democratic Party.
Margy’s husband Dave and she retired early, in 1999, to relocate to Redmond at the invitation of our son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Laurie Rockenbeck. They had purchased the old Dincov place at the corner of 195th Ave NE and 95th St, and were building a house there; they now live on the property in a three-generation, two-house set-up.
Margy has served the Redmond Historical Society as a Board Member at Large in 2000-2003 then again in 2014-2015.
Vice President Finance/Treasurer - Indira Krishnaswami
After graduating with a Bachelor's of Commerce degree in India, Indira moved to Vancouver, Canada at the age of twenty. She studied programming at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and took advanced accounting classes at the University of British Columbia.
In Vancouver, she worked for a number of years as a Bookkeeper for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the International Union of Operating Engineers. She moved to Bellevue, Washington in 2013, where she lives with her husband and daughter. She loves traveling, gardening, reading, and spending time with her daughter, Suchita, who is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington.
In addition to volunteering at the Redmond Historical Society, she works as a bookkeeper at a local Dental practice and volunteers at the United Way as a Tax Preparer.
Indira has volunteered for the Redmond Historical Society for the past three years. She started volunteering as a Bookkeeper in September 2015 and was appointed Director at Large and Assistant Treasurer in February 2016.
Rachel Davis, Vice President of Collections Management
Rachel has been the Vice President of Collections at the Redmond Historical Society since April 2019. Originally from Edmonds, Washington, Rachel graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and a minor in Museum Studies from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. She eventually moved back to Seattle and got her Certificate in Museums Studies through the University of Washington. Museums and historical artifacts are two of her passions and she hopes to get her Masters degree in Museum Studies. Some of her other interests are Swing Dancing, reading, and traveling!
Deborah Oftebro, Secretary
Deborah was born and raised in the Chicagoland area, specifically Arlington Heights. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in Nursing. Worked at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital complex in Chicago before moving to Seattle in 1976, where she worked at Valley Medical Center and Harborview in Psychiatry. In 1981 became a Hospital Risk Management consultant for the WA Hospital Liability Insurance Fund traveling the state to 76 member hospitals for 9 years.
For 5 years she worked as Overlake Hospital’s inhouse Risk Mgr. Next she joined the family Kelley-Ross Pharmacy group as a licensed Pharmacy Technician for 10 years! With her nursing background she was able to administer flu shots when pharmacies began their vaccination programs.
Deborah enjoys playing competitive tennis and captains her local SACT Team & one of her USTA Teams. She also enjoys her 4 grandchildren, gardening & traveling. She has been a Hopelink volunteer for about 14 years at their Bellevue location.
Judith Simpson, Director at Large
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.
Paige Norman, Director at Large
Paige Norman joined the board as Director at Large, Membership in May of 2018 and has been a member of Redmond Historical Society since 2016. Paige has been involved in the Redmond community since moving here in 1987; including Cub and Boy Scouts, her sons’ sports teams, and auction chair for Faith Lutheran School. She became a business member of the Redmond Historical Society in 2016 when she was running her own Personal Chef and catering business. Paige is a nanny for several school-age children, volunteers for church youth group and is secretary for First Baptist Church of Redmond. With co-chair, John Oftebro, she organized the 2018 and 2019 Auction and Dinner; loves the Saturday Speaker Series program and is looking forward to helping the Society grow in membership!
ChuNi Kao joined the Redmond Historical Society (RHS) Board as a Director At Large in June 2018. ChuNi moved to Redmond in 1985 and raised her daughter and son here during that time. ChuNi was originally born and raised in Taiwan, Republic of China. She came to the United States to get her Master’s degree in Mathematics at Penn State. Afterwards, she moved to Seattle with her husband, who was getting his PhD at the UW’s Aeronautics and Astronautics program. ChuNi started her career as a Software Engineer and later advanced to tackling engineering management challenges. In 2017, after 17 years at Philips Healthcare, ChuNi retired from being a Director of Software and Services Innovation to focus on her other loves: gardening, history, travel, and the outdoors.
ChuNi also loves to volunteer. She found and managed the Washington Chinese School for over 10 years, teaching children to speak Mandarin. ChuNi also volunteers at the Seattle Chinese Culture and Art Association, and the Seattle King County Clinic. Given ChuNi’s interests and many years in Redmond, serving on the RHS Board as IT Chair seemed like a perfect fit. ChuNi hopes to help RHS modernize its IT operations to enable RHS to attract the next generation of historians.
-- U.S. Navy Supply Corps Officer, 1963 - 1966, Attained rank of Lieutenant
-- Auditor, Arthur Andersen & Co., 1962 - 1963 and 1966 - 1971, Certified Public Accountant
Partner, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Lincoln Property Company, 1971 - 1991
Sr. Vice Pres. & Chief Financial Officer, Vail Resorts Development Company, 1993 - 1999
Exec. Vice President--Real Estate Development, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, 1999 - 2001
Trustee, Washington State University Foundation, 1982 - 1998
Director, Delta Dental Plan of California, 1991 - 1997
Director, Colorado Ski Museum and Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, 1993 - 1998
Director, Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis, 1997 - 2002
Director, Chairman and Interim CEO, Vail Valley Medical Center, 1998 - 2009
Director and Chairman, Eagle River Fire Protection District, 2003 - 2012
Skiing and Water Skiing
Travel and Photography
Graduate of Washington State University with a BA in Business Administration-- emphasis in Accounting, 1962
Jo Ann Potter is a native of Upstate New York and graduated from the State University of New York/Oswego with a B.S. in elementary education. Boise, Idaho, was her first teaching position. When her husband, Dale, entered the University of Idaho as a junior, she completed a Master of Education degree. Upon graduation she taught in the Moscow, Idaho, School District. Dale then enrolled in the graduate School of Forestry at the University of Washington. During that time a daughter was born. In 1970, they moved to Redmond, first to Education Hill, where a son was born, and then to Rose Hill. Jo Ann returned to school at Seattle University for one year and got a fifth year certification in Montessori Education teaching in a Montessori school while her children were in preschool. For eight years she taught third and fifth grades in the Overlake Christian Church Day School. Returning to public education, she taught in the Lake Washington School District at Horace Mann on Education Hill and Lakeview in Kirkland. After 20 years of teaching, she was offered the position of Office Manager /Executive Assistant in the operations department of Overlake Christian Church. After two years, her husband’s employment involved traveling all over the country; she resigned to join him. Overlake then asked her to return temporarily during an administration transition. It was during this time that the Potters joined the newly organized Redmond Historical Society. In the beginning, Naomi Hardy, our founder, led very informal meetings. We met in the cabin at Anderson Park; about 20 people sat around tables, many of whom were the children or grandchildren of the pioneers, and told wonderful first person narratives of Redmond in the “old days.” The Society grew quickly and soon moved to the Old Schoolhouse. Jo Ann became hospitality/membership person. In those days, everyone did everything! When she was blessed with four grandchildren in five years, two of whom lived in Florida, she decided to “retire.” She and her husband were snowbirds for 14 years in Florida and attended meetings when home. In 2019 they decided to stay in Redmond year round. “Our first event when we came home was the Speak Easy Dinner. What a great way to become involved in the Redmond Historical Society again!”