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Board of Directors


The Grand Cinema is a nonprofit; our strategic direction is guided and informed by a board of volunteer directors, representing our communities, who meet monthly. 

The Grand's board comprises 13-17 members who help set policies, develop plans for the future, provide fiscal oversight, raise money, and advocate for the theater. (The board does not select films to be screened or involve itself in day-to-day operations.) Board members agree to serve a three-year term with the option of returning for a second term. 

Every year members of The Grand Cinema vote on new and returning board candidates to serve. Per our bylaws: "the current board shall present to the membership a slate of candidates for board positions. Members will vote, with opportunity to comment, by ballot to approve or disapprove the entire slate." 




The Grand Cinema current board of Directors roster

As approved by a member vote in March 2023


Kari Plog, President, Washington State Attorney General's office

KariPlogCropKari is serving her second term on The Grand's board.  She works for the Washington State Attorney General's Office, as the Senior Communications Consultant for the Public Affairs team. 
Kari spent years fostering community connections in Tacoma and Pierce County as an award-winning reporter for KNKX Public Radio and The News Tribune. She's also worked in higher education, as an editor at Pacific Lutheran University and a student newspaper advisor and adjunct instructor at the University of Puget Sound.


Kaarin Headshot - Cropped
Kaarin joined the Grand board in 2022. She has worked in philanthropy for over a decade, and currently serves as the Director of Major and Planned Giving at KNKX. Kaarin graduated from PLU and Gonzaga School of Law. After law school, she focused on planned giving and proceeded to make her career in philanthropy. She now identifies as a recovering attorney. Kaarin, her husband, and their two young children live in Central Tacoma. They love traveling and adventuring, and in pandemic times have especially loved rediscovering the Pacific Northwest.


Chase joined the Grand Board in 2020, in the middle of the COVID - 19 pandemic. Originally from Dallas, he spent a while in Washington, DC before meeting his wife and moving to the West Coast in 2017. Chase has been in global health for the past decade, working with government and non - governmental organizations to help improve healthcare systems in low-income areas. He plays music, bowls, and likes old film noir.


Joanne Lisosky, Secretary, Retired Pacific Lutheran University

joanne lisosky update

Joanne taught journalism and communication at Pacific Lutheran University for nearly a quarter of a century. She advised student media and was a co-founder of PLU's MediaLab. During her sabbaticals, she served three Fulbright awards teaching in journalism in Uganda, Azerbaijan and Trinidad. She also taught several PLU courses abroad in Australia, Uganda and Geneva. She co-wrote War on Words: Who Should Protect Journalists? and contributed several other articles focused on media literacy. She was executive producer for several award-winning student productions and even wrote/produced several documentaries herself, including Pieces of the Frame: What Made Springfield Grow, and Namibia Nine. She was awarded a Northwest Emmy in 2020 for producing, Peace Queen starring Melannie Denise Cunningham. She calls Tacoma's Stadium District home and appreciates a brisk walk to the Grand. She is an active member of the League of Women Voters and regularly audits classes at UWT in Spanish and Art.



Born and raised in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma, Jamika Scott is a writer, filmmaker, and advocate. As a founding member of the Tacoma Action Collective, she works toward building an equitable Tacoma and often incorporates her love of film into her social justice work.


Linda Tieman

Linda Tieman headshot website

A nurse by education and experience, Linda's been a resident of University Place for 32 years; has been involved with many non-profits here and nationally, in a variety of roles, from the Red Cross to the Washington Center for Nursing (the nursing workforce center for the state). Most of her career was spent in healthcare leadership in San Diego, Columbus Ohio and here in Washington. A movie fan all of her life and Grand member for many years, preferring small neighborhood theaters. She wants the Grand to thrive! She's a hopelessly smitten grandmother to a 2-year-old who lives with her parents in Marysville; Mom graduated from Curtis and Dad from Kent. She's traveled a lot in her life, solo and with her husband. She's an avid mystery reader. Recently widowed, she's grateful for a cadre of long term friends across the US and locally. Her favorite movie? Compulsion about the Leopold-Loeb murders.


grand_board_trustees_220719_IMG_8908I moved to Tacoma in 1999, and my partner and I lived in an apartment in the Wedge Historic District just a few blocks from The Grand. With only one income, movies at the Grand were one of the few forms of entertainment we could afford while she was in school, and I have many good memories of films we have seen there. I have spent most of my career in nonprofit philanthropy as a grant writer and Development Director for organizations in Tacoma, and I am currently the Senior Grants Officer for MultiCare Foundations. I'm a ceramic artist, a gardener, and I love cooking. I also spend an inordinate amount of time playing pinball and repairing/restoring the two pinball machines I own. I am excited about the community engagement opportunities that the Grand is exploring, and the growing diversity of films and festivals and educational opportunities that The Grand brings to the community. There are so many exciting opportunities for The Grand to grow and I am grateful to be part of helping the theater continue to thrive in Tacoma.

ELLEN PETERS, University of puget sound


Ellen is a long time arts lover and supporter, with particular affinity for theatre and film. Moving to Tacoma a decade ago, membership at the Grand was one of her first orders of business. Ellen is active in local theatre, having served on stage and off with Tacoma Little Theatre, empathos, Dukesbay, Found Space and Toy Boat. She has also worked as a film actor, though that was many years ago! She believes in the power of film to challenge, entertain, and find humanity, especially in a movie theatre where audiences have shared experiences. When she isn't baking, knitting, reading, or (of course) watching movies, Ellen is the Associate Provost, Institutional Research, Planning and Student Success at the University of Puget Sound.

Ryan Ann Davis, Smarthouse Creative

Ryan (@indieartsvoice) is a movie & arts lover with over fifteen years experience in the film industry and arts marketing. She is co-founder and principal at Smarthouse Creative, a boutique agency that offers strategy and marketing support to artists and creative projects. Ryan has worked in almost every aspect of the film business -- from production and festivals to distribution and exhibition. Ryan loves working on movies and projects that make the world a better place, either by bringing joy and entertainment to people's lives, or because they have a message of social justice or challenge viewers to think in new ways. When not in a movie theater or performance space, Ryan enjoys riding her bike, hiking, and exploring new places with her partner Eli.

Whitney Henry-Lester, Audio Producer/Editor/Sound & Production Designer

Whitney Henry-Lester
Whitney once got a C in a documentary film class because she spent too much time interviewing subway musicians and not enough time in class. She has been working with documentaries ever since. Whitney is an audio producer and editor. Her editing credits include a doc short nominated for an Oscar (Rehearsing a Dream), a podcast nominated for a Peabody (How to Be a Girl), and a 2022 duPont-Columbia award winner (According to Need). She has taught audio to high school football players, non-traditional college students and public radio newbies. And she hosted an audio artist residency in Lima, Peru. Whitney is originally from the Catskill Mountains, and Tacoma is her home base.

Sarah Jane Hoppe, The Human Society for Tacoma & Pierce County

Sarah Jane joined the Grand Cinema board in 2020. She grew up in Minnesota and moved to PNW in the 1990's to study music and visual art in college. Sarah Jane is the steward of @TinyArtGalleryOnCedar, a very small 24-hour art gallery featuring her paper collage and other art works by local creatives. She brings her development and fundraising experience to the Grand Cinema board and considers David Lynch's Twin Peaks series to be her love language.


Ellen Ito, Tacoma Art Museum


Ellen Ito is a culture worker and artist from Seattle, WA currently living and working in Tacoma, where she manages a museum collection and programs the art space SLIP. Interested in the intersection of foodways, culture and identity. In a committed relationship with ceramics and paint, with a wandering eye for glass.




Experienced, dedicated, strategic, and passionate professional advocate with a lengthy, demonstrated history of working in the government relations industry, particularly on behalf of non-profit organizations. Skilled in Coalitions, Networking, Policy Analysis, State Government, and Government Relations. Strong consulting professional deeply knowledgeable on public policy issues of affordable housing, homelessness, behavioral health, human services, health care, long-term care, revenue, budgets, local government, and environmental protection.

Masahiro Sugano and Anida Yoeu ali, filmmaker and performance artist


Filmmaker Masahiro Sugano and performance artist Anida Yoeu Ali run Studio Revolt, an artist-run independent media lab that produces films, videos, installations and performance projects around the world. While still residing in Chicago in 2010, they established their media lab after winning their first major award for their collaboration on 1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim, a short film and community response to Islamophobia. Based in Cambodia from 2011-2015 they became a prominent presence in the contemporary arts scene showcasing their works in screenings, exhibitions, and public art projects all over Asia. In 2016, they relocated to Tacoma after falling in love with the city’s promising art scene, waterfront location and diverse working-class neighborhoods. They both make the long commute to Bothell, where each serve as Senior Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington teaching art and influencing a new generation of creative thinkers and agitators.

Jess Lanzillo, Wizards of the coast


Jess Lanzillo began her creative journey with the still-unpublished tabletop game entitled Summer Camp, based on her pre-teen love of slasher films. She has since built her career and life around fandom, craft, a DIY ethos, and a dedication to accessible storytelling that everyone can see themselves in. Jess is currently the Chief of Staff for Wizards of the Coast, having previously served as the Vice President / Creative Director for the game Magic: The Gathering. She is excited for the opportunity to join a group passionate about growing the thriving community that the Grand Cinema serves here in Tacoma.


Derek Nunn

Derek Nunn Headshot

Returning to Tacoma after 15 years in the film & entertainment industry, Derek began working as a story consultant for various TV and film projects, script-doctoring and ghostwriting, whilst simultaneously grinding on film sets as a boom operator and working many of the most prestigious film festivals around the world. He later assimilated to the corporate side of entertainment, traveling the world as an assistant for ViacomCBS. With each opportunity, his proficiency for story and unique perspective has centered him in rooms with executives and personnel from Warner Brothers, MTV, Paramount Pictures, Vh1, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures, BET, Comedy Central and 20th Century Fox.



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