Walt Bowen – President

Walt retired from Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in 2008 where he worked as a program manager. Walt has been active in civic and political organizations.  He served as President of the Olympia Kiwanis and the Eastside Neighborhood Assoc.  He is a musician and currently is the President of the Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Society and co-director of their major Westcoast jazz festival. Walt is a graduate of Seattle University with a major in Political Science and Journalism and is a US Army Veteran. Walt is married and resides in Olympia with his wife Karen.


Dave Cheal – Vice President

Prior to retirement, Dave Cheal worked 23 years as a staff attorney for various Washington State Senate and House committees, including judiciary, financial institutions and housing; four years private practice in Seattle and Honolulu; two years as Deputy Attorney General, Territory of Guam; two years public school teaching; seven  years on the staff of the American Friends Service Committee, a national Quaker social service agency.  Dave was raised on a farm in Michigan; he has been married 26 years to Linda Murphy and they have 3 stepsons, and 5 granddaughters.




Maria Chiechi, Secretary Treasurer

Executive Assistant for Adult Family Home Counil of Washington State.



The Directors-at-Large consist of members elected for the purpose  of bringing needed expertise to the Board of Directors.  Each Director-at-Large shall be entitled to full voice and vote.

IMG_4687Judy Parent – Director at Large

Judy retired from the State of Washington, Attorney General Office after 17 years.  When Judy graduated from Washington High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, she had no idea she would live and  work in the State of Washington.  She transferred to Washington as result of the acquisition by the the Olympia Brewing Company by Hamm’s Brewery, were she had worked for eight years.  She worked her way up to Corporate Secretary before that company was taken over by another brewery.  She has one son, 2 grandsons, 2 great grandsons and a great grand daughter.


IMG_9445-150x150Denny Johnston – Director at Large

Denny retired from the State of Washington, Department of Corrections (DOC).  He is a Washington State University graduate with a major in Political Science and is a a ardent fan of the Cougars.  Denny is a member of the Eagles and likes to play Golf. Denny and Bonnie (who also retired from DOC and loves to travel) live in a Victorian home with their cat in Olympia.


IMG_3296Dwight Trager – Director at Large 

Dwight retired as  Building Inspector from the Thurston County Resource Stewardship Dept. in 2011.  He also worked as a General Contractor doing remodels and new home construction for six 6 years and in 1973 and 1974 worked for Community Development and the Employment Security Department.  Dwight is married to Tammy who works for Thurston County and they have three Children and six Grandchildren three Great-Grandchildren.  Dwight is an Officer and member of the Board of the Retired Public Employees Council 2 and a SHIBA Volunteer.



Nancy Heley – Director at Large


Phyllis Farrell – Director at Large





Karen Bowen – Office Manager   —

Karen retired from the State of Washington DSHS in 2007 where she worked as a Project Manager in Information Technology. Karen is a former member of the Olympia Heritage Commission and a member of the Olympia Genealogical Society. Karen is a graduate of Seattle University with a major in Humanities.  She loves to write, paint, cook,  and garden.  Karen resides in Olympia with her husband, Walt and her two cats, Hestor Tu and Nhu Trois

Diana Schwartz –  Administrative Asst. – Volunteer 

Diana grew up in New York in Westchester County and attended George Washington University, Bard College and received a BS from Columbia University College of General Studies in Comparative Literature and a MA in School Psychology from University of Utah.  Diana worked for 30 years for the Fairfax County Public Scools in Fairfax, Virginia.  She has a son and a daughter and two step-daughters.  Diana move to Olympia in 2005.  Volunteer activities have included South Sound Senior Center in Olympia, Voter Registration Organizer for the Obama Campaign, Signature gathering for the 594 Initiative and volunteered for the last two years for the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby focusing on the Senior Lobby Legislative Committees and Legislative Bills during the last two Legislative Sessions.


Kate Schroder – Administrative Asst. – Volunteer

Kate grew up in Seattle, Washington and attended the University of Washington.  Kate is married to Steve Schroder and has a daughter, and a son.  Kate has volunteered at the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby focusing on the administration and maintenance of the Senior Lobby website.

About Author: Washington State Senior Citizens' Lobby