Helpline House Board of Directors

Barbara Deines


Barbara came to the Helpline House Board in the spring of 2017. After twenty-five years of teaching on Bainbridge Island, she retired in 2016 and was looking for a new way to serve the community. Barbara had been interested in the work of Helpline since she came to the island in 1987. Helpline House does not just provide for those in need; it plays a vital role in creating well-balanced and healthy community. What better activity to get involved in? Besides spending time at Helpline House, Barbara also likes gardening, running, writing, reading and being with her family.

Michael Dorsey


Michael Dorsey grew up in Massachusetts. He did his undergraduate work at Wesleyan University, earning a BA in Theatre. He spent 10 years in Boston and New York, working as an actor when he could and in restaurants the rest of the time. Acting led to writing and then to a position as an editor. Having spent some time in psychotherapy for depression, and finding it the most rewarding work he had done in his life, he decided that he would like to share that experience with other people.


Michael met and married Suzette Ruys, a Bainbridge Island girl, while he lived in New York, and they both decided to move to the island.

He now works as a psychotherapist with the Front Street Clinic, both on Bainbridge Island and in Poulsbo. For the last four years, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Bainbridge Island Psychotherapy Guild. His original concentration as a counselor was in addiction issues, but he is interested in all aspects of health, mental and physical.

Mark Siler

Mark joined the Helpline House board in February 2018. Until retired in December 2016, he was the Chief Financial Officer of DESC (Downtown Emergency Service Center), a not-for-profit agency which
provides emergency shelter, mental health and substance abuse case management services to homeless women and men. DESC also owns and manages 1000+ units of permanent housing for formerly homeless adult women and men. I moved to Bainbridge in 1988 and Jackie and I raised 4 kids who graduated from Bainbridge High School. I have also volunteered with the National Park Service and the Poulsbo SEA Discovery Center.

Pamela McClaran


Pamela McClaran has been an Island resident since 2005.  She is a retired attorney whose law practice was concentrated on all aspects of estate and tax planning, including charitable giving and family enterprises.  Pamela’s work earned her many accolades, including being named among the Best Lawyers in America – Trusts and Estates from 2009-2017, making the Washington Super Lawyers list from 2006-2016, and being named one of the top 50 Women Washington Super Lawyers in 2007 and 2011. Pamela was made a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in 2004.


Pamela brings a wealth of Board experience having served on the boards of Cancer Lifeline, Humanities Washington, and Bainbridge Regional Library as well as the University of Washington Estate Planning Board.


She earned her JD from the University of Washington School of Law, where she graduated with honors.  Pamela is a member of the Order of the Coif, and was the Articles Editor of the Washington Law Review.


Pamela now enjoys spending time with her grandkids and exploring sketching, watercolors, and bookmaking.

Michael Wright

Board Member

Michael designed interior environments for 24/7mission critical facilities such a Police, 911, Fire, Transit and Military Communications Centers.  From 1986 until retirement in 2016 he was involved in the Association of Public safety Communication Offers, APCO, as member and on their Corporate Advisory Council and was a member of the National Emergency Number Association.  He is also an organizer of Gobblefest, a music for food charity event during the Thanksgiving season.

Joan Hemphill

Board Member

Joan grew up on Bainbridge Island, and is a fourth generation islander. She graduated from Bainbridge High School and interned at the Bainbridge Review and ABC News during college.  Joan graduated from the University of Washington School of Law and worked in criminal defense, representing members of the Tulalip Indian Tribe and defendants appealing their convictions in state court. Joan recently moved back to Bainbridge, where she lives with her husband and beloved spaniel.

Richard Gawlowski

Board Member

Richard was born on an air force base in Texas and spent his early years in Pittsburgh, his parents' home town.  Rich graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Juris Doctor degree from ASU College of Law.  He and his wife moved to Bainbridge Island in the late 1970s and started a family here.  He coached little league for 7 years and served on the Bainbridge Island Little League Board of Directors.  Since 1990, he has practiced litigation law with Wilson, Smith, Cochran, and Dickerson.

Jeff Wortley

Board Member

Jeff Wortley is the Manager for KeyBank’s Institutional Advisor Team. Prior to his current role at KeyBank Jeff was the Market Manager for Key’s Seattle Wealth Management Team. Jeff has a BA from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and is very is active in his local community. He is currently a member of the Seattle Estate Planning Council, treasurer for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and treasurer for The Benaroya Research Institute.

Karen West

Board Member

Karen West is a veteran writer and editor who has a passion for giving back to her community. She spent 25 years as a professional journalist and is currently a communications consultant and freelance writer.

She has worked for newspapers and magazines in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle, including 12 years at the Seattle Post Intelligencer. She lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband, Mike Spence, and the couple has two children, 22 and 18. She enjoys kayaking, hiking and early morning walks with her dog. 

Little known fact: Karen lived in Spain for two years, where she directed a foreign study program and spent nine months in Eastern Europe as a media consultant. 

Annie Hodges

Board Member

Annie moved to Bainbridge Island from the Midwest 7 years ago and is continuously inspired by the community's compassion and generosity. Annie has spent much of her

professional career in education and has almost two decades of experience with philanthropic fundraising and development. She focuses her philanthropic energies on education, food insecurities, and women's health causes. Annie is excited to join Helpline House's board and further serve her community. In her spare time, Annie enjoys hiking, gardening, running, and spending time with her husband, Ben, and daughter, Olivia.