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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.

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    Linda Breneman

    President

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    Linda Johnson

    Vice-President

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    Robin Hyerstay

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    Eric Magnuson

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    Rebecca Mann

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Linda Breneman

President

Linda Breneman grew up in beautiful Eastern Washington. Because she loved stories, she went to the library every week and read vast quantities of fiction. She moved to Seattle and worked as a salesclerk, a food server, and a mail carrier while earning her degree in Communications from the University of Washington. After working as technical writer in the aerospace and software industries, then studying creative writing at the UW, she co-founded Richard Hugo House, Seattle’s literary center, and served as its first board president. After stepping down from the board in the early 2000s, she focused for a couple of decades on writing and philanthropy. She’s served on many nonprofit boards, including the University of Washington Foundation Board, Grantmakers in the Arts, Town Hall, and Clarion West. Her poetry, essays, and stories have appeared in magazines like Seattle Review, Poetry Northwest, Geek Wire, Litro, Ascent, Burrow Press Review, and Jersey Devil Press. She also publishes a website for videogaming families, Pixelkin.org.

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Linda Johnson

Vice-President

Linda Johnson was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She received a BA in Economics and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.  Linda started her career working in the banking industry in both Boston and Seattle and then switched to high-tech at Visio Corporation.  She is currently a Community Volunteer who has served on a variety of boards and committees, including the board of the Seattle Aquarium, MOHAI, Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation and is a member of the Washington Women’s Foundation.  She was the first board member when Richard Hugo House was formed, served on the board for ten years and is excited to be back on the board.

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Robin Hyerstay

Robin Hyerstay grew up in Seattle and has always been an avid reader.  His lifelong passion is giving back to the community.  In addition to serving on the Hugo House board in the late 1990’s, he was previously the board president of AIDS Housing of Washington and board president and a co-founder of the University of Washington Business School Alumni Association.  Robin is currently the Director of Development for the largest suicide prevention crisis line in the country, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.  A lover of adventure travel, he spent a month driving 1,200 miles across India in a rickshaw and can’t wait to do it again.  Robin has a BA in Business from the UW and an MBA in Finance from NYU. 

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Eric Magnuson

Eric Magnuson moved to Seattle from his native Wisconsin in 1993 for grad school at the University of Washington. Eric previously received a BA in Journalism from the University of Minnesota and went on to live and work in Texas, Vermont, California, and Ethiopia. Eric’s work as a writer, teacher, and advocate for a vibrant local arts scene brought him to Hugo House in 2007. Eric’s current book project (a narrative nonfiction history of the modern global fur trade) contrasts nicely with his work as a nostalgia merchant (running a Seattle music and sports history tour company). 

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Rebecca Mann

Rebecca was born and raised in Wollongong, Australia by parents who immigrated from Malaysia and the United Kingdom, by way of New Zealand. She started her career as an attorney in the United Kingdom and Belgium working on public law, international trade, and antitrust matters, and moved to Seattle in 2012 to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rebecca is a passionate fan of West Ham United Football Club in the English Premier League, does not ski despite being married to an alpinist, and is a keen distance runner whose lifelong goal is to run a sub-three hour marathon. On weekends, she is usually baking with her toddler and leaving boxes of misshapen cookies on the doorsteps of neighbors. Rebecca holds Bachelors of Economics and Law from the University of Sydney, a Masters of Public Administration from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oxford.