Community Council Board

The community council board consists of 9 members. 

The sectors mentioned with each board member are those areas of special interest to
the board member. The board member does not represent these sectors. Rather, the
purpose is to have the board member connect with these sectors to understand their
issues and needs and encourage participation in the Community Council meetings. This
will result in greater visibility and understanding of community issues specific to each
sector, and action on those issues.

The Board meets the 1st Monday of the month, beginning at 7:30 pm. If you would like to attend a board meeting, please send an e-mail to and you will get a copy of the agenda and a link to attend the meeting.

John Affolter

Position: Board member 
Sectors: Education, Recreation
Committee: Activities

Education: BAS- U. of Md., BFA-Cornish, MFA- City College, NYC, MED-WWU,
Teaching : 15 year special education Seattle School District.
Administration: 3 years assistant principal, house administrator, academic dean SPS.
Fine artist: Arts in education King County, and Vashon Island
Community Actions
Started Vashon Seals as head coach
Co-founder of Vashon Teen Center
Grant writer and project manager of Ober Park renovation project
Washington State Health and Safety Network research committee (Vashon branch)

Kyle Britz

Position: Clerk
Sectors: Affordable Housing, Education, Health and Human Services, LGBTQ, Youth

Born and raised on Vashon with a multigenerational family.
The majority of my 40 years have been living on the island, with some internships living abroad.
I’m an Advocate with The DOVE Project, for 6 years providing direct service for our community with wellness support, harm reduction & safety plans. Beginning as a Prevention Specialist and former Facilitator of Vashon Teen Council.
-Events Manager at the OpenSpace for Arts and Community, 4 years.
-LMT, Washington State HealthCare Provider, 18 years.
-Shipping and receiving, grounds maintenance and assembly with Olympic Instruments Inc.
I participated in the Youth-Adult-Dialogues for 10 years. These were great ways to encourage intergenerational dialogues and a platform to hear each other in our community to find common ground.
I first attended the VMICC last century with my grandmother Pat. I grew up attending Island meetings and neighboring councils with the Puyallup, Muckleshoot and Duwamish.

C. Hunter Davis

Position: Board member, in charge of hosting Webex meetings
Sectors: Culture (art) and history, Faith, LGBTQ

I have lived nearly 40 years on Vashon. It is truly an honor to live here and to be able to be part of this Council. In my former life, I headed up a mediation/arbitration program that resolved disputes between businesses and consumers. In addition, my partner (a bee keeping musician) and I have raised, or maybe they have raised us – three children, two dogs seven cats, two horses, an unknown number of hens and bees, and an annual (not always successful) garden here on Vashon. I have been part of Vashon Allied Arts Board, Partners In Education, Vashon Maury Island Heritage Museum, the Harbor School, Pony Club, The Episcopal Church and many fun organizations like Free Range Choir, Garden Club, Audubon, and Land Trust.  My passions are creative writing, people, learning, anything and everything outside, and solving issues collaboratively.

Diane Emerson

Position: Vice President 
Phone: 206-567-5492
Sectors: Business, Environment
Committee: Co-Chair, Communications Committee (website team)

I grew up in Minnesota. I have a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology, and an MBA in marketing management. I worked 17 years in the specialty chemical industry, where I became Director of Marketing for HB Fuller Company, a Fortune 500 adhesive manufacturer, and served on several boards.  Later, I spent seven years volunteering full time in the USA, New Zealand, France and India for many causes. Along the way I gained skills in Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication and permaculture.

Vashon became my permanent home in 2013. I met an Islander (Michael Laurie) and we married in 2014. Together we run Garden Green, an effort to help people garden organically, plus we jointly run a small plant nursery of native and medicinal plants. I also run a landscaping business – Emerson Gardening Services.

Sectors: I have strong connections to the environment sector, between the Garden Green effort, and membership in VIGA, the Fruit Club, the Garden Club, and more. In 2019, I organized a community forum on pesticides and the recycling effort for the Strawberry Festival, washing out and sorting recycling right on the street. In my first year on Vashon, I generated no waste, only recycling. I organized a Permaculture Design Course on Vashon in 2014. At our home, we strive to follow these permaculture principles: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle.

I also have strong connections to the business community. I am an active member of the Vashon Chamber of Commerce. I have long been a proponent of buying local and have been buying pretty much only locally grown food (WA and OR) at the grocery store since 2012.

My service to the community through the Community Council  is a very high priority in my life.

Gavin Kovite

Position: Secretary
Sectors: Education, Youth, Old Time Vashon
Committee: Communications Committee member – outreach team

Hello, islanders! VHS teacher here – I teach Senior English, Freshman English, and AP Literature at the High School. My wife and I live in Vashon Center and had our first child, Oona, earlier this year.

I’ve played in several Vashon Island bands, and done shows with Drama Dock and Vashon Events fundraisers.

I served in Iraq as an infantry platoon leader, and later graduated from NYU Law and served as an Army JAG attorney. I worked as an administrative lawyer, international law advisor and a criminal prosecutor.

I’m a published novelist and short story writer.

Michaella Olavarri

Position: Board member, and Co-chair, Communications Committee (Outreach team)
Phone: 209-324-0646
Sectors: Latino Community Outreach, Business, Food, Youth, Health and Human Services –  Mental Health

Interests are business community, Youth, Latino Community, Affordable Housing, mental illness

I was born in Santa Ana, California, but was raised in Mount Lake Terrace, WA until the age of 6.  I then moved to Mexico for about one and a half years with my mom and siblings.  We lived in Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Chiapas, and Guadalajara. Most of my childhood was spent in California, and visiting my dad and other family here in Washington State.

I am the mother of seven children, and grandmother of 13. Although I have only been living on Vashon Island for five years, I have become a part of this community. 

I am a small business owner here on the Island, have always been active in reaching out to youth, have been active within the communities that I have lived. I am the recipient of the Community Spirit Award for the Soquel/Capitola Chamber of Commerce. 

I’m looking forward to being a part of this team by advocating and working for things important to our community.

Rachel Rome

Position: Board Member
Sectors: Equity, Social Justice and Inclusion, Transportation
Committees: Communications Committee member – website team, and Board Liaison, Equity Committee. Rachel was also named to be on Vashon’s Ferry Advisory Committee to Washington State Ferries

Rachel  Rome is an urban planner and transportation planner with over ten years of professional experience in design development and review, including both private and public sector projects. She also has experience with zoning and public outreach, among her many skills. 

Nicholas Simmons

Position: Treasurer
Sectors: Environment, Recreation, Safety
Committee: Communications Committee member – website team

Lifelong island resident, class of 2002. Work experience split between construction (mostly carpentry), IT (mostly linux, some web dev) and the Burton Water Co. I have always volunteered my skills when I can to help those in need, see here: – more embarrassing photos available upon request.


David S. Vogel

Position: President
Phone: 206-291-7494
Sectors: Affordable Housing, Business, Culture (art) and history, Food

I went to H.S. in NYC, college and law school in MA, then worked as a law clerk in Montgomery, Alabama for legendary Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr., who became my mentor and friend. I moved from Montgomery to Seattle in 1983, then to Vashon in 1984. From 1986 to 1993, I served as President of the VMICC and remained on the Board till 2001 when my second child was born. I have Co-Chaired the Vashon Town Plan Committee and Vashon’s Street-Naming Committee and served on the Boards of The Harbor School and Vashon Household. In 2008 I moved to San Luis Obispo County, California to accommodate my ex’s auto-immune disorder when our kids were 12 and 7, and I stayed there till my son entered college this past fall. Soon after moving back home to Vashon I started the process to bring back the VMICC.