Staff & Board

Meet the team

Meet our hardworking staff and board! We’re passionate about books, writing, and helping anyone who wants to write create their best work.

  • Shahina Piyarali

    Shahina Piyarali

    President

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    Gary Luke

    Vice President

  • Tim Shea

    Tim Shea

    Treasurer

  • Mary Jo Newhouse Aspect Ratio 1 1

    Mary Jo Newhouse

    Secretary

  • Daniel Glasser Aspect Ratio 1 1

    Daniel Glasser

  • Lynn Grant Aspect Ratio 1 1

    Lynn Grant

  • Dottie Hall

    Dottie Hall

  • Elise Holschuh

    Elise Holschuh

  • Greta Hotopp

    Greta Hotopp

  • Georgia Mcdade

    Georgia S. McDade

  • Sharyn Skeeter

    Sharyn Skeeter

Shahina Piyarali

Shahina Piyarali

President

Shahina Piyarali is a leader in the Seattle literary and arts community focusing her time and energy on promoting South Asian culture as an expatriate. She has been living in Seattle for over 30 years and is a book reviewer for the Seattle-based publication Shelf Awareness. She serves as co-chair of the National Council of Graywolf Press, a leading independent publisher championing underrepresented and diverse voices. She has been the board president for Tasveer, a local social justice and arts organization, from 2018-2021 and serves on the board of Daarna, a Seattle nonprofit working to empower refugee communities. Shahina is a barrister from Lincoln’s Inn in the UK and practiced as an attorney in Seattle. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Law from SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies) at the University of London. In addition to her literary interests, she loves to cook and is a barre class enthusiast.

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Gary Luke

Vice President

Gary Luke held editorial and executive positions in the book publishing industry over four decades. He recently retired as the publisher at Sasquatch Books in Seattle. Gary worked as an editor of fiction and nonfiction books at Dell/Doubleday, Penguin USA, and Simon & Schuster when he lived in New York. Authors he has worked with include Shawn Wong, Brenda Peterson, Bruce Barcott, Nancy Pearl, Kate Lebo, Jonathan Raban, and Eric Liu. A fourth-generation Seattleite, he received a BA in English from Western Washington State College. He is a past board member of Artist Trust.

Tim Shea

Tim Shea

Treasurer

Tim Shea was born and raised in Montana and graduated from Montana State University as an accidental chemical engineer. Accidental because after six years and three colleges, chemical engineering fit his accumulation of credits. Moving to Washington immediately after graduation, he had a 42-year career as an engineer and economist. Now retired, he has the opportunity to pursue personal rather than professional interests. At one-time retirement plans included climbing mountains, rafting rivers, visiting the great cities of the world, reading thought-provoking books, and hopefully writing. Two knee replacements later, coffee shops and brew-pubs have replaced the mountains and rivers, but the rest of the retirement plans remain intact.

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Mary Jo Newhouse

Secretary

Mary Jo Newhouse is a long-time resident of Montlake. She spent her career practicing law in Seattle, primarily focusing on health care. Prior to law school, she worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. She grew up in Eastern Washington on the family farm which raised hops, fruit trees, and wine grapes. She and her husband have three adult children and two grandchildren. She most enjoys spending time with her family as well as reading and sewing for her grandchildren.

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Daniel Glasser

Daniel Glasser is a writer and satirist who has been an active member of Hugo House since 2015. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, his passion for writing has been stoked by a series of gifted teachers, starting in high school when he studied with Frank McCourt. He has lived most of his adult life in the Seattle area, where he previously worked as an engineer and engineering manager at Microsoft, specializing in developing software for real-time communications and social networking. He is the holder of more than twenty US patents. In addition to reading and writing, he enjoys traveling with his family and driving and cycling on back roads. He has a BS in computer science from Yale University and a certificate in literary fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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Lynn Grant

Lynn Grant is a writer who lives on Capitol Hill. She works as a developmental editor.

Dottie Hall

Dottie Hall

Dottie Hall is an aspiring writer who has benefited from multiple Hugo House courses. With her husband JJ Leary, she has co-authored a cookbook, Cooking with Your Snooks, to share the joy and rewards of cooking with your loved one. She is a retired high-tech marketing executive with over thirty years’ experience. The quintessential startup junkie, she led marketing at companies including Symantec, Tesla Motors, and Microsoft. She holds an MS in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA in journalism from Georgia State University. She has served on other nonprofit boards including the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation (current), New American Schools, and the Arizona Software Association as well as on various for-profit boards.

Elise Holschuh

Elise Holschuh

Elise Holschuh built her career in general management and marketing, working in product management and marketing strategy for General Mills, US Communications, and Foote, Cone and Belding. Her nonprofit experience has focused on utilizing her professional training on behalf of organizations that matter to her. Most recently she served several years as Board Chair for Path with Art, an organization whose mission is to help transform lives of people in recovery by harnessing the power of creative engagement. Her personal passion in the arts takes the form of writing, a pursuit that brought her to Hugo House for the rich opportunities offered, and then, for the opportunity to serve on the board.

Greta Hotopp

Greta Hotopp

Greta Hotopp specializes in financial leadership through critical inflection points, including the UW School of Law, a civic software start-up, and a Microsoft-embedded tech group, helping clients with expertise in capital management, technology transformation, operations, accounting, compliance, funding, contract negotiations and more. Her early career was in the capital markets –as a derivatives trader in London, San Francisco, and Kuala Lumpur; on the Board of the Malaysian Monetary Exchange; and broking foreign exchange to global hedge funds from Tokyo. She then became a columnist on the economy for a Japanese think tank, managed litigation support to prosecute trading-related financial fraud in New York, and ran a quarterly creativity and innovation get-together to catalyze interaction around ideas. She loves community spaces such as those Hugo House enables.

Georgia Mcdade

Georgia S. McDade

Georgia S. McDade, PhD, is a retired English professor who spent most of her career teaching at Tacoma Community College but also taught at Seattle Community College, University of Washington, Renton Vocational Technical School, and Lakeside School. She has volunteered at a number of elementary and high schools as both teacher and tutor and conducted writing classes for all ages. A prolific writer, McDade published Travel Tips for Dream Trips, questions and answers about her six-month solo trip around the world; Outside the Cave I, II, III, and IV, volumes of her poetry; and Observations and Revelations, a collection of stories and essays. Her writing can be found in Leschinews and South Seattle Emerald. Much of her time today is spent organizing events for the 28-year-old African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA); McDade was a charter member.

Sharyn Skeeter

Sharyn Skeeter

Sharyn Skeeter was fiction/poetry/book review editor at Essence and editor-in-chief at Black Elegance magazine. She’s taught at Emerson College, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, and elsewhere in the Northeast. She participated in panel discussions and readings at universities in India and Singapore. Sharyn has published magazine articles, poetry, and fiction. In addition to being on the Hugo House board, she’s on the board of trustees at ACT Theatre. Her debut novel Dancing with Langston (Green Writers Press) won Gold in the 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Awards in multicultural adult fiction.