DR. SARA LOPEZ
Dr. Sara Lopez serves as a Co-Director for the Center for Leadership in Athletics and Program Director for the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership (IAL) M.Ed. at the University of Washington. Sara previously worked for USRowing as a Regional Coordinator and then as Director of Rowing Services. Following two years in Atlanta as the Assistant Competition Manager for rowing at the 1996 Olympic Games, Sara returned to Seattle and worked to expand teams and competition events as a Region Director with Washington Special Olympics. Sara has been a rowing coach for over 30 years with various junior, collegiate and masters programs. Currently, she coaches Conibear Rowing Club, a competitive masters women’s team in Seattle out of the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center.
Board vice president
Sam began his rowing career thanks to his dad, who struck a bargain with him that he had to try the sport once and couldn't quit until two weeks were up. Although the first two weeks challenged him, he decided to stay for the immediate improvement it made on his life. He went on to study electrical engineering while rowing at University of Washington, where he became team captain, and, more importantly, met his wife Kelsey. That initial two-week bargain allowed him to become an Olympic rower in 2016 and then assistant men's coach at UW. He now works in commercial real estate brokerage. He enjoys cycling, hands-on house renovations, and spending time with his family and friends exploring the PNW.
Eric started rowing in high school at Culver Military Academy. In addition to learning how to love the erg when there were whitecaps on Lake Maxincukee, Eric also learned how rowing can change lives and provide a foundation for success in life. After Culver, Eric attended Indiana University, passed the CPA exam, and worked for six years in New York City assisting clients with mergers and acquisitions. He rediscovered his love for rowing after moving to Seattle in 2014 and joining the competitive Mixed and Men's sweep teams at the Pocock Rowing Center. Over the next four years, Eric competed in local and national regattas with PRC, but also learned about and helped the GPRF bring rowing to local students regardless of means. He currently works at Microsoft Corporation and focuses on International Tax Planning.
Elle has been on the GPRF board since August of 2019, and currently serves as the Board Secretary. A high school rower, Elle went on to row for Stanford, graduating in 2011. She earned a spot on the US National Rowing team in 2007, and won three gold medals in the women's eight in Beijing in 2008. Four years later, she returned to compete in the London Olympics and finished off her National Team time in 2016 at the Rio Olympics. Elle was born and raised in Maine, but currently resides on Vashon Island with her husband, two boys and two dogs. She works for an institutional real estate investment manager. Elle is passionate about reducing the barriers of entry in rowing, and creating more opportunities for youth to row on the water, across all communities.
Kirkland discovered rowing while in high school in Portland, Oregon. The sport made a big impact on his personal development. Looking to give back to something he is forever grateful for, he joined the Pocock Foundation Board in 2016. In his years in the rowing world, he has spent time as a rower and a coach. He helped build Sammamish Rowing Association's junior women's team into one of the strongest in the region in the early 2000's. Most recently, he spent time coaching masters, collegiate, and elite rowers at Pocock. As a Principal Solution Manager at Microsoft, Kirkland is in charge of driving large scale awareness, understanding, enablement and ultimately adoption of technology within the company. He is excited to apply this thinking to the mission of the Pocock Foundation to further scale out its impact in innovative ways.
Shirley joined the board in 2016. Her previous board expereince includes Seattle non-profits Pratt Fine Arts Center and YouthCare. She serves on the Pocock Foundation board now because she has a particular interest in sharing the benefits of rowing with youth. Her long term commitment to disadvantaged youth and many years of civic involvement both in Seattle and in her prior home in in Palo Alto, California make her an asset to the Board.
Mai currently serves at as the Chief Operating Officer of Seattle Goodwill and oversees a wide and critical scope of service for the organizations operations across Northwest Washington including information technology, asset management, financial operations, and risk management.
Mai joined Goodwill in 2018 and has focused on helping the organization modernize its systems and bolster its infrastructure to support its mission to provide free job training and education to help people improve their lives through work.
Nguyen was previously the Athletics Director of Finance/Chief Financial Officer for Seattle University Athletics department. Prior to Seattle University she served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure,
Nguyen has been recognized for her commitment to her community throughout her career.
She received the Denise Louie Education Center 2016 Dream Award for her dedication to early education for children and families in the Seattle area, ACLF Kip Tokuda Award from the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation in November 2012 and the Community Voice Award from the International Examiner in May 2007.
She has served as board president for the Minority Executive Directors Coalitions (MEDC), Asian
Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF), and Denise Louie Education Center (DLEC).
Nguyen graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Political Science and
Government and Master of Public Administration.
With a background in restaurant management and human resources leadership, John brings a lot to the board room table. His gregarious heart and passion for rowing helps John lead the board of the Pocock Foundation to have bigger vision for and impact on the region. Rowing has played a pivotal role in the growth of two of his family members, a niece who rows at University of California Berkeley and cousin who captains the women’s Varsity 8 at Wesleyan University. He speaks passionately about these intelligent, unselfish, accomplished and confident young women and they motivate him to serve on the Pocock Foundation Board today
Scott has coached and competed in both rowing & sailing worlds for a long time. He has also held senior leadership positions and technical official roles at multiple Olympic & Paralympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games and Rowing World Cup. Currently, he is a USRowing Referee and FISA International Umpire. You can see him at many of the races in the Pacific Northwest and at national team trials, national championships, and international regattas. Additionally, he is a USRowing Adaptive Rowing Technical Classifier. He is excited to lend a broad and deep rowing experience as well as a strategic mindset to the Pocock Foundation Board.
Cheryl began recreational rowing at Rowing Northwest and is thrilled to contribute her enthusiasm for the sport to the Renton Rowing Center as well as the Foundation. Growing up in Anchorage Alaska, Cheryl developed a passion for the great outdoors. She moved to Seattle after obtaining a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon and has worked as a Senior Planner for Seattle Parks and Recreation for 17 years, focused on storm water management and creek restoration- in short, keeping Seattle water bodies clean and beautiful.
Jill is responsible for the development, operations and service activities of independently-owned Windermere Real Estate offices throughout Western Washington. In addition, she assists over 110 local owners in financial and business planning services and is responsible for new Windermere affiliate acquisitions in the Western Washington region. Jacobi Wood has been with Windermere Real Estate for over 25 years and has participated in all aspects of the real estate business. She graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor's degree in humanities.
At the advice of her parents, Meg started rowing at Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge, MA. She went on to row at Connecticut College, where she was a recipient of the Anita DeFrantz Award for excellence in athletics. Although her favorite medal is from the Head of the Charles, Meg has competed (and coached) nationally and internationally for many years and has had some of the best experiences of her life due to rowing and the people she has met through the sport (Meg met her husband Peter next to an erg at the Pocock Rowing Center). She currently resides and rows in Seattle, WA and is the President of LuxuryRealEstate.com, the #1 website dedicated to high-end residential property.
Sohier has been on the GPRF Board since 2019. When he was a kid, his 2 uncles stuck Sohier in an Alden shell in the creek below grandma’s house in Kittery Point, Maine and let him go. That day, their passion for rowing became Sohier’s. Thanks to a completely supportive circle of family, coaches and friends, Sohier grew his love of sport and competition as a Nordic ski racer in high school. Then at Dartmouth College he was a 2-sport athlete on the ski team and finally getting to join the crew team. The ’92 crew went on to win Eastern Sprints, IRAs, and raced the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley. Post-college in ’93 he took-up sculling and won the Club Single at HOCR. Fast forward, the Dartmouth ’92 crew came back together in 2010 and took 2nd in the Alumni event at HOCR. Sohier rows with the active Master’s program at Sammamish Rowing. Sohier has served on the Board of USRowing. He is co-founder, President and CEO of Luum, a commute management platform for employers that encourages sustainable, active transportation. His D’92 crew team mate group text has been running for 10 years and is active daily. For Sohier, Rowing.Changes.Lives.
Eric Ledbetter started rowing in 9th grade at Lakeside School before being recruited to the University of Washington where he won three national championships as well as made the U23 national team. After finishing his degree in International Studies, Eric spent one season coaching the Columbia University Lightweight Men’s Rowing program, before starting a career in Seattle’s startup world. Eric now works in brokerage operations at Convoy, and utilizes his passion for the sport of rowing in his work for the GPRF.