Dr. Joel Domingo

Dr. Joel Domingo is Associate Professor and Academic Program Director in the School of Applied Leadership at City University of Seattle. He has a long history of leadership and teaching in several education, community, and civic organizations.  His work focuses on exploring issues of leadership, developing strong ties between schools and communities, and creating socially transformative practices.

Dr. Domingo completed a fellowship at the University of Washington’s Center on Human Development and Disability examining the impact of disability on the family and coordinated efforts to bring greater collaboration among medical professionals, schools, service providers and parents of children with disabilities. He also served in the Washington State Governor’s Office developing community leadership capacity in diverse and underrepresented communities across the state and did extensive policy and academic research on the effects of school, family and community partnerships.

Dr. Domingo has served on several nonprofit boards and committees including the Seattle Special Education PTSA, the UW Center on Human Development and Disability, the Washington State Family and Community Engagement Trust, the Seattle Public Schools Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Committee, and the Experimental Education Unit at the University of Washington’s Haring Center. He regularly volunteers at both his children’s’ schools as well as the local children’s hospital. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in theology, and a doctorate in educational leadership.


James Heugas

James serves as Regional Director at Washington Charter School Development. Prior to joining WCSD, James worked within the Ernst & Young Commercial Real Estate Advisory group. As a senior consultant he provided his clients with a range of strategic development, cost assessment/management, and risk analysis services focused around their commercial real estate holdings. James leverages this experience, as well as eight years as a practicing civil engineer in the Bay Area, to bring solutions based focus to the challenges of developing school facilities. James has an M.B.A from from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a Masters in Engineering from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.


Steve Mullin

Steve is president of the Washington Roundtable, a public policy research and advocacy group comprised of senior executives from major Washington state companies. Prior to being named president in 2004, Steve served as the Roundtable’s vice president, and in that capacity he coordinated the organization’s extensive work on K–12 standards, assessments and accountability. He also served as the primary liaison between the business community and state policymakers on education reform issues. Prior to joining the Roundtable, Steve was the founding executive director of Partnership for Learning, a business-supported nonprofit organization dedicated to building public awareness and understanding about the need to better prepare students for college and work. He also worked for several local public affairs consulting firms, as a U.S. Senate staff member in Washington, DC, and as a legislative staff member in Olympia. Steve graduated from Middlebury College and the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.

Importantly, Steve advocated in Olympia for charter legislation from the mid-1990s to 2004, culminating in the successful passage of a charter law that ultimately was overturned via referendum. Steve is one of the original board members of WA Charters.


Steve Smith

Currently serving as the Executive Director at the Black Education Strategy Roundtable, Steve Smith has an extensive background in higher education administration overseeing offices of admissions, student affairs and community relations. He has been an active member with K-12 and higher educational initiatives at regional and statewide levels to improve the educational outcomes of students.

Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the College Success Foundation’s Tacoma office supporting the educational success of underrepresented middle and high school students. He also co-facilitated the Tacoma College Support Network, a collaborative collective impact organization that worked to ensure graduating high school students had plans for their postsecondary vocational, military or college education.

Steve is on the Pierce College Board of Trustees and has served as a board officer for numerous civic, healthcare, social and educational nonprofit boards. He holds an MA in Educational Counseling and BA in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University.



Jim Spady

Jim is the Board Chair & Legal Counsel at Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. A longtime charter advocate for charter public schools in Washington state, in 1999, Jim was nominated to serve on the “A+ Commission,” where he served for six years, helping to make the state’s K–12 educational system more accountable and effective. Jim is also one of the original board members of WA Charters. Jim and his wife Fawn together wrote, filed, funded, qualified and led the first ballot initiative campaign (I-177) to bring charter public schools to Washington State.  Although this campaign was unsuccessful, it energized previous legislative negotiations in 1997-2004 in Olympia that culminated in the passage of a charter school law in 2004.  Although the 2004 law was overturned by referendum, in 2012, Jim was involved with the successful Initiative 1240, when a majority of voters approved high-quality charter public schools in Washington state. Jim graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 1983, magna cum laude.


Carolyn Chuong Holgate

Carolyn is a Senior Technical Product Manager at Amazon. She currently works on Amazon’s team that launched a COVID-19 testing lab and provides regular testing to the company’s warehouse and other frontline workers. Carolyn has also developed products in Amazon’s retail technology space as well as within Kindle and Alexa Education. Before joining Amazon, Carolyn was a consultant at Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit focused on changing educational outcomes for underserved students. At Bellwether, Carolyn supported K-12 education clients—including charter schools— on strategic planning, grant writing, and financial forecasting. Carolyn also worked at Mathematica Policy Research where she measured the effectiveness of social policies using impact evaluations and data analytics.

Carolyn previously served as the founding board treasurer of Why Not You Academy (formerly Cascade Public Schools), a public charter school south of Seattle. She began her career teaching in Venezuela as a Fulbright Fellow. Carolyn holds an M.B.A. from the UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business and a B.A. from Brown University.


Juan Cotto

Juan Cotto is the Director of Social Impact at BloodworksNW, Western Washington’s blood health, blood research and blood bank institute. Prior to joining BloodworksNW, Juan spent 12 years at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, where he worked to increase awareness of cancer research in minority communities. He was also Chair of the Fred Hutch Diversity Council and coordinated numerous programs to keep the conversation about diversity relevant on the Fred Hutch scientific and research campuses. A lifelong Seattleite who grew up in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of South Seattle, Juan attended Western Oregon State College where he graduated with a degree in Social Science and has completed his coursework at the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Public Administration.

Juan has served as Head Football Coach at Highline High School for five years and has also coached at Franklin High School and Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. Juan serves on numerous nonprofit boards including Sound Mental Health, the Children’s Campaign Fund, the Workforce Development Council, the Seattle Urban League, and Seattle Pony League Baseball. He currently serves on the Board of El Centro De La Raza where he was the President of the Board from 2016 through 2018.

Juan lives in the Leschi neighborhood of South Seattle with his wife and their two children.