Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Mike Vaska Chair Mike Vaska is chair of the Antitrust & Consumer Protection Practice for the prestigious Foster Pepper Law Firm in Seattle. He has recognition as Top Lawyer in the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and to the Washington Super Lawyers list. Mike’s activities include previously serving as chair of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, where he worked to establish a regional transit authority. He served as a treasurer and active speaker in a variety of statewide initiative campaigns addressing funding for roads, transit, and other projects, including most recently in opposition to Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033. In addition, Mike served as a Republican member of the King County Redistricting Committee, and on the Washington Conservation Voters board of directors. Mike’s awards include the Municipal League of King County’s Civic Award, and the Mainstream Republicans’ Daniel J. Evans Environmental Award. Mike received his A.B. from Stanford University with honors and distinction, and holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago.
Anthony Hemstad Vice Chair Anthony Hemstad currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Washington’s Treasurer Duane Davidson. He has experience working in public policy at the local, state, national and international levels. Anthony’s many accomplishments include having served as City Manager in Maple Valley, as an analyst for the Washington State House of Representatives, he worked for three U.S. Senators in Washington, D.C., and had his own public affairs consultancy in Central Europe that grew to be a market leader in a four-country region. Additionally, Anthony is the former President of the World Trade Center offices in Tacoma and San Francisco. Anthony holds degrees from University of Puget Sound, University of London, and University of Chicago and has been a university faculty member in China, Europe, and the United States.
Ronda Larson Vice Chair Ronda Larson is an Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney in Olympia. Ronda’s professional experience includes formerly serving as an Assistant Attorney General for Washington State for fourteen years. Ronda also served as a state board member of the non-partisan organization Women’s Political Caucus of Washington. Her public service includes previously running for the House of Representatives in the 22nd District. In addition, she has served on the Mainstream Republicans of Washington board since 2005. She currently chairs the Thurston County committee of that organization.
Kyle Curtis Treasurer Kyle Curtis works as a Financial Analyst for Liberty Mutual (Safeco) Insurance and serves as the King County Republican Executive Committee Secretary. He is also a board member of the Seattle Navy League, a nonprofit that supports the sea services and the men and women who serve, and enjoys assisting annually with the Seattle Seafair Fleet Week celebrations. Kyle is a graduate of the University of Washington with a focus in Finance and American Indian Studies. Kyle served as President of the Log Cabin Republicans of Washington (a group of LGBT Republicans and allies) for three years and currently serves as an emeritus board member. He grew up on the Yakama Indian Reservation and continues to keep close ties with his community. Kyle became active in Republican grassroots at a very young age where he helped to rekindle the Washington College Republican Federation with current Mainstream Executive Director Michael Harry.
Erin Richards Endorsements Chair Erin Richards is a professor of political science focusing on American institutions, state and local government, and women and politics at Cascadia College. She serves on the American Political Science Association Committee on the Status of Community Colleges in the Profession. Erin formerly served at vice chair on the executive board for the Mainstream Republicans of Washington and is a former member of the Women’s Political Caucus of Washington board of directors. She grew up in a political family and has been involved in numerous campaigns in several different states over the course of her lifetime.
Sam Reed Chair Emeritus Sam Reed served as Washington’s Secretary of State from 2001-2013. Prior to that position, he served as the elected Thurston County Auditor for five terms, as the Assistant Secretary of State, and as executive director of two gubernatorial commissions. In retirement, Sam is engaged in many civic and political endeavors. He chairs the board of directors for TVW, is chair-elect for the YMCA Youth & Government program, serves on the board of the Secretary of State’s Heritage Center Trust and chairs the advisory committee for the Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education, and Public Civility at WSU. Sam was the co-founder of Cascade Conferences in 1969 and a co-founder of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington (MRW) is 1990. He most recently served as chair the MRW board of directors. Sam was raised in Wenatchee, and attended Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane. Sam is a graduate of Washington State University, where he received a BA in Social Studies and an MA in Political Science.

Executive Director

Michael Harry Michael Harry serves as the executive director of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington. While attending Gonzaga University from 2011-2015 to study business, he led an effort to rebuild the Washington College Republican Federation, and was elected as state chairman for two terms. In that capacity, he served on the Board of the College Republican National Committee. This exposed him to research and implementations to influence the Millennial electorate, and the newfound role of technology in making inroads among the most poorly understood voter bloc. During the 2016 cycle, the Mainstream Republicans executed a voter program to assist GOP incumbents and challengers in the most critical races across the Puget Sound region. This independent expenditure campaign exclusively targeted Millennials in key legislative and executive races, the first of its kind in Washington State.

Board of Directors

Mike Armstrong Mike Armstrong is currently serving as a contract lobbyist in Olympia. His previous professional experiences include serving with distinction in the state House of Representatives representing the 12th district from 2001-to-2013, he was the External Affairs Director for the Chelan County Port District and the Facilities Manager for the Chelan County PUD, and he served as a member of the Wenatchee School District Board of Directors. Additionally, Mike served in various leadership capacities including assistant Republican whip, minority deputy leader, chair for the House State Government Committee and ranking minority member on the House Transportation Committee.
Gretchen Borck Gretchen Borck served as the Eastern Washington Outreach Director for Senator Slade Gorton from 1989-1992. She also worked as the Eastern Washington Campaign Director for Rod Chandler’s U.S. Senate campaign in 1992. Gretchen went on to work as a federal lobbyist in Washington D.C. as the Director of Issues for the Washington Association of Wheat Growers in 1993-2007. She formerly served as the Mainstream Republicans of Washington Board of Directors Secretary and Auction Chairman. Gretchen’s additional professional experience includes working for the Washington State Employment Security, the U.S. Forest Service, Borck Heavy Equipment Construction, the State Legislature, and was the Executive Secretary for the Pierce County Assessor/Treasurer. Gretchen attended Fort Wright College of Holy Names and is a graduate of The Evergreen State College.
Halle Burnhamn Halle Burnhamn is currently involved in all aspects of furthering Republican Candidates in the State of Washington. She most recently worked as the Business Development Manager at an Apple Game S/W company. Halle’s career started as an intern, and then staffer in Washington, D.C. for Republican Congressman Albert Johnson of Pennsylvania. She went on to work in Manufacturing IT Sales, Government Sales, and IT Recruiting. Halle is a Brazil native and was brought up overseas as an oil brat. Halle attended Syracuse University and George Washington University, where she studied Foreign Affairs. She is also a graduate of Griffin College with a degree in Computer Science. She is bilingual in Spanish, French, and some German.
John Christiansen John Christiansen is a retired probation and parole officer. He is in his sixth year on the Board of Directors of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington. John served about eight years on the conservative caucus. He also served on WFSE Corrections Policy Committee for about ten years, where he served as local secretary and executive board member at times.
Alex Hays Alex Hays runs his own political consulting firm, and is growing to become the largest in the state of Washington. His legislative victories in recent years has helped advance Republicans in Washington State. In 2016, he joined an exclusive club of GOP consultants who have led a victorious statewide campaign, including Washington State Treasurer Duane Davidson. Before and concurrent to starting AB Hays, he served as Executive Director of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington for nine years, Political Director of the WSRP in 2001, and on the staff of the Washington State House of Representatives from 1999 – 2001.
Lee Keller Lee Keller is a founder & CEO of the Keller Group, a strategic communications firm in Redmond. Her previous professional experiences include having served as U. S. Senator Dan Evans’ press secretary, Director of Communications for the National Wildlife Federation, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs for the Weyerhaeuser Company, Director of External Affairs for Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., and Managing Director of APCO Worldwide Seattle. During her time at Weyerhaeuser, Lee took a leave of absence to manage communications for Referendum 48, the campaign to build a new football and soccer stadium (now known as Century Link Field) in Seattle. While at Vulcan Inc., she was responsible for general strategic planning, counsel and external affairs, as well as community and governmental outreach for many of Vulcan’s projects. Some of her most notable projects include the construction of Century Link Field and Exhibition Center, development in South Lake Union, The Hospital Project in London, and the Experience Music Project.
Joan Kraft Joan Kraft is a founding member of Mainstream Republicans of Washington. Her other professional experiences include serving as the former Chelan County CC PR Chair, Vice Chair, Chair, State Committeewoman. She also served as the District Assistant for Congressman Sid Morrison, Wenatchee Office. Joan served on the Mainstream Board of Directors as the Vice Chair, Secretary, and Awards Chair. Joan held other positions in her career, including serving on the Slade Gorton campaign Chelan County Chair, Rossi Douglas County Chair, Bush Douglas County Chair, and Wyman Douglas County Chair.
Herb Krohn Herb Krohn is a railroad conductor and currently serves as his union’s elected Local Chairperson on Union Pacific Railroad. In addition, Herb serves as the elected Washington State Legislative Director for SMART Transportation Division, where he represents over 2,000 freight and passenger railway workers from across our state. He advocates for railroad public and employee safety, as well as transportation economic development issues, freight mobility, opposition to a SODO arena, export terminal developments, as well as railroad commodity neutrality. Herb actively joined the Mainstream Republicans of Washington movement in the 1980’s, and has served continuously since then. Herb’s previous professional experiences include working on numerous campaigns covering a wide range of public policy issues since the 1980’s. He played an instrumental part in the enactment of the City of Seattle’s first Whistleblower Protection Ordinance, and continues to work tirelessly on good government, public safety, human rights, cinema arts, and rail transportation issues.
Janette Maza Janette Maza currently works for Boeing, and is an active board member for the Mainstream Republicans of Washington. Her professional career includes over ten years of experience in federal and state government affairs and political operations. Janette served as a campaign operative in presidential, United States senate, and governor elections, as well as various other campaigns in the state. She previously worked for the United Nations Headquarters, where she supported the Permanent Mission of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the United Nations. Another one of Janette’s accomplishments include being employed by the Republican National Committee to work for the McCain-Palin 2008 Presidential Campaign in the state of Missouri, in addition to the gubernatorial campaign and Secretary of State campaign for the state of Kentucky. She then returned to Washington State as an intern for the Office of the Secretary of State.
Matt McCleary Matt McCleary currently works as a Program Manager at Microsoft for their Data and Analytics Team while he is a reserve officer for the U.S. Coast Guard. His prior professional experiences include working as an engineer and policy analyst. Matt is a University of Washington graduate with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, and holds a Master in Public Administration. Matt continues to serve on the Advisory Committee for UW Impact, the legislative advocacy arm of the UW Alumni Association.
Matt McCoy Matt McCoy is a longtime moderate Republican activist with dozens of campaigns. His professional career includes serving with the United Parcel Service to raising funds for the Eastern Washington University athletic department, the Special Olympics, and the West Plains Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he served as the director for Secretary of State Sam Reed’s Productivity Board. He ran a strong campaign for Spokane County Auditor in 1998, losing a very close race in a Democratic year. Matt currently assists State Senator Mike Baumgartner. He participated in several Cascade Conferences since the 1980’s, and served on the Mainstream Republicans of Washington board of directors three different times. Matt is a graduate of Central Washington University, where he studied political science.
Dorothy Milhollin Dorothy Milhollin served in the Republican trenches for decades. Her first political campaign was for State Representative Dan Evans’ governor race in 1963-64. Dorothy’s professional experience includes working for the State Department of Ecology for twenty-two years, where she spearheaded key projects and served as its public disclosure officer. She went on to serve as an officer for the Thurston County Republican Party, the Thurston County Women’s Republican Club, and the Thurston County Mainstream Republicans since 1996. Dorothy’s outstanding work on behalf of Republican candidates and organizations culminated with receiving the Thurston County Republican Party’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Dorothy has dedicated herself to the Mainstream Republicans of Washington board of directors for the greater part of two decades.
Louise Miller Louise Miller served in public office from 1978-2001. Her professional experience includes serving seven years as the Commissioner of Woodinville Water/Sewer District, with three of those years as Chair. Louise served six terms in the Washington State House of Representatives, including leadership as Republican Whip and Republican Floor Leader. She spent two terms on the King County Council, serving as Vice Chair for six years and Chair for two years. She also served as Vice Chair and Chair of the NCSL Women’s Network and Chair of the Arts, Tourism and Cultural Resource Committees for the NCSL. In retirement, Louise has chaired and served on many special task force committees for King County, including regional water resources, land use, parks and open space, roads and bridges and was a member of the King County Board of Ethics. She is currently the President of the Seattle Center Foundation, Vice-President of the Seattle Opera Board, member of the King County Parks Foundation, and member of the Board of Mainstream Republicans. Louise is a graduate of San José State University with a BA in Music. She taught music in Seattle public schools and had a private music studio.
Sid Morrison Sid Morrison served as a political leader in Washington State, representing the 15th District as a member of the Washington House of Representatives from 1966 to 1974, and the Washington State Senate from 1974 to 1980. He went on to serve in the Washington’s 4th congressional district for 6 terms from 1981 to 1993. Sid’s other professional experiences include serving as the Director of the Washington State Department of Transportation from 1993 to 2001. He also served as the co-chair for the Mainstream Republicans of Washington for ten years and chair on the Board of Trustees for Central Washington University. He currently serves as chair on the executive board for Energy-Northwest, the chair of Life Support, and chair of Central Washington State Fair Board. Sid attended Yakima Valley College, and is a graduate of Washington State University.
Ken Mortland Ken Mortland is a lifelong Republican, having started his leadership as PCO of a Northgate precinct of the 45th in 1966. His professional experience includes working on campaigns for Sam Reed, Doug Sutherland, Louise Miller, Kim Wyman, Duane Davidson, Kathy Lambert, Toby Nixon, and many others. Additionally, he is a 45-year veteran of WEA/NEA leadership, being a charter member of the NEA Republican Leaders Conference, a leader of NSEA & WEA, and is a current leader in WEA-Retired. During his 25+ years on the Mainstream Republicans of Washington board, he has served as the liaison between WEA & MRW, and in 2011 was co-recipient of the MRW Joel Pritchard Award along with then Attorney General Rob McKenna. Ken is a graduate of Central Washington University, where he earned his degree in Psychology with a minor in Education and Philosophy.
Kirk Robbins Kirk Robbins currently serves as the vice chair of the 36th legislative district Republicans. He is a retired attorney, and a member of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington board since the 1990s. Kirk is a past chair of the Ballard District Council and a longtime member of the Log Cabin Republicans.
Anna Salick Anna Salick is the Manager of the Northwest Region for the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University. Anna’s professional experience lies in public policy, political campaigns, and event planning. In her current role, Anna is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with lawmakers and their staffs, creating and cultivating relationships with local and state chambers, and activating U.S. Chamber members on key policy issues. She also develops grassroots legislative strategies and identifies emerging issues in the region to enhance the legislative agendas of and provide services to Chamber members. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
Gary Smith Gary Smith is a partner in Smith & Stark Strategic Solutions. He co-founded and was president of The Gallatin Group, a regional public affairs consulting firm. Gary’s professional experience includes managing communications for Slade Gorton’s campaign to return to the Senate in 1988, having chaired the campaigns of Jim Waldo in 1996 and Sam Reed in 1992, 2000, 2004, and 2008. Additionally, he worked for Sam Reed at the office of the Secretary of State in 1974, then for a constitutional reform commission, and managed government and public relations for a large cooperation. Gary currently represents the United States on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, serves on the board of Long Live the Kings, and is on the board of directors for the Seattle Aquarium Society.
Nathan Young Nathan Young currently works as a strategic analyst for a Fortune 100 insurance company in downtown Seattle. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University, and holds a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Economics and Marketing, as well as a minor in Political Science. He now serves as a PCO and Vice Chair of the 34th District GOP. Previous professional experiences include interning in the office of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, working in a law firm, serving as the President of the Gonzaga University College Republicans, acting as the College Chair for the Spokane County Republicans, and writing a weekly column as the Opinion Editor of the Gonzaga student newspaper. In addition, Nathan held various positions in numerous political campaigns on both sides of the state, including David Condon for Mayor of Spokane and Barbara Bailey for State Senate.