606 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 Get Directions

Our Team

It takes a village to run a non-profit cinema! Many of the front line team members who sell tickets and serve up popcorn and concessions are part of our dedicated volunteer force. Below is a full list of administrative and organizational staff who work behind the scenes to make great things happen.

Grand Cinema Staff

Staff Headshot Banner v2 2021

Philip Cowan
Philip Cowan, Executive Director

Born in Dallas, Philip has lived in Tacoma since 1998. After working in minor league baseball for ten years, the last eight of those for the Tacoma Rainiers, Philip was named Executive Director of the Grand Cinema late in 2006. Prior to his job at the Grand, Philip served as a volunteer and board member for the cinema. His favorite part of the job is watching and picking films for the Grand. When not at work, you may find him traveling to new places or watching movies with his teenage daughter! 

Wade Neal, Assistant Executive Director
Wade Neal Headshot

Wade is the Assistant Executive Director at The Grand Cinema and TFF. He is an an intellectual property and entertainment attorney, a professional musician with 10+ years experience in the music industry, and an advocate for nonprofit causes. Wade served on the board of The Grand Cinema for four years prior to working for the organization, and is a former treasurer and director serving the board of the Tacoma Community College Foundation. He is currently a commissioner for the Tacoma Arts Commission. 

At The Grand, Wade oversees theater operations and runs various events and programs throughout the year. With respect to TFF, he oversees the work of and provides support to the Director and the TFF team in connection with submissions, film traffic, and filmmaker relations. 

Marlee Myers
Marlee Myers, Membership + Donor Manager

Marlee first joined the team as a volunteer in 2013, was hired as a part-time house manager in 2014 and has held several different positions within the organization since then, currently serving as our Membership Manager. Her favorite part of her job is interacting with volunteers and patrons and ensuring everyone has a fantastic theater experience. 
She believes The Grand is a fantastic place for meeting interesting people and relishes being able to interact with such vibrant members of the community. She also has a passion for film festivals and visits several throughout the year including Sundance! When not watching movies, you can probably find her trying to keep up with her toddlers.

Rachel Marcele
Rachel Marecle, Director of Community Development

Rachel joined The Grand in 2007 from the sports entertainment industry, bringing her expertise in team sponsorship and corporate relations to the art house and festival. Working in partnership and sponsorship development for more than a decade, Rachel loves to build collaborative partnerships in service to the community.  
Rachel works with businesses at a local and national level to find creative and successful sponsorship and marketing strategies in support of Grand Cinema programs and projects. She enjoys working with a small, passionate, dedicated team and sees The Grand Cinema is an invaluable, trusted community resource.

David Dinnell, Tacoma Film Festival Director and Programmer
David Dinnell credit Mia Ferm

David joined the team at The Grand in the spring of 2018 after completing his tenure as visiting faculty at the California Institute of the Arts. He has curated and organized several hundred film programs, artist retrospectives, exhibitions and performances. 
His work includes a 16mm series celebrating Canyon Cinema’s 50th year screening internationally in 2017 and 2018; five seasons for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Cinema; co-programmed the 11th & 12th editions of the Media City Film Festival; the Flaherty NYC Film Series in Fall 2014; programs for the Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento in Buenos Aires. He most recently presented film programs at UnionDocs in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles Film Forum; San Francisco’s ATA; the Light Field Film Festival; and Cinema Project in Portland, Oregon. Dinnell was a programmer at the Ann Arbor Film Festival for ten years and Program Director from 2010 to 2016.

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Ernest JasminMarketing Manager

Ernest joined The Grand in Spring 2021. He has been active in the regional arts scene for years, having covered entertainment as a staff writer and multimedia content creator for Tacoma’s News Tribune and a freelance contributor to South Sound Magazine, Seattle Weekly, the Weekly Volcano, and other publications. The Grand has long been one of his favorite places in Tacoma, and he creates content promoting the great films and events the theater has coming up.

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Paul RichterDirector of Education

Paul Richter is a writer, improviser, actor and filmmaker who has lived in- and loved- the city of Tacoma for 15 years. He is a member of the local improv troupe, Muh Grog Zoo, a frequent participant in the Grand’s 253 Film Competition, and a true believer in the power and beauty of telling stories on film. He has worked in youth development his entire career, specializing in arts education and programming. He is thrilled to be a part of the Grand Cinema Family and to develop programming to support people of all ages in our community to learn, grow and tell their stories.

Oliver Johnson, Graphic Designer

Working first with The Grand as a photographer for the Tacoma Film Festival, Oliver was hired as our Graphic Designer in December 2019. Coming to Tacoma for college at Pacific Lutheran University, Oliver stayed and continues to fall in love with the creative community here more and more every year. He is stoked that his job as Graphic Designer gives him the opportunity to design for the community and that it can serve as a platform to spotlight members of that community wherever possible.

Gini Liley, Bookkeeper

For more than a decade, Gini has helped support the work of The Grand through a variety of administrative roles like keeping track of finances and accounting, and providing customer service to our members. Previous to that, she served as a Grand volunteer - if anyone knows their way around The Grand and its history, Gini does!

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Ken Crowell, Operations Manager 
Ken volunteered here for two years before being hired as a House Manager in 2017 and then took on the volunteer coordinating role in 2019. An engineer in his previous work, Ken uses his eye for order to ensure that you have a great experience from the time you enter our doors to when the credits roll. Away from work, you might find Ken at the gym (he used to own a fitness center!) or wrangling his spirited golden retriever, Scout.

Volunteer email:

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Naarah McDonald, House Manager
Naarah has been watching films at The Grand for the last 20 years and joined our team as a House Manager in February 2018. She loves that her job helps showcase exceptional independent films and community activities that further the creative spirit of the local film industry. A part of the local industry herself, Naarah does theatrical costuming work for local theater companies, and when she is not at The Grand, you can visit her at the boutique and textile maker space she runs in downtown Tacoma!

Pat.c Noriega, Lead Projectionist
Pat.c Noriega
Pat.c worked as a projectionist at a number of movie theaters in Texas before joining The Grand. She also worked as an engraver. When she mentions it, a surprising number of people say that they envision her chiseling away at marble tombstones. Sometimes she doesn’t correct them. 

Pat.c loves working for The Grand - not only is it a place to see great films, but also a hub for meeting all sorts of fun and interesting people. Her wife, Helen, is also a volunteer here!

Lisa Fruichantie, Projection Consultant
Lisa Fruichantie Headshot

Lisa Fruichantie (Seminole/Creek) was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, and has worked as a fashion designer, stylist, costumer, community organizer, film projectionist, event and festival planner. Prior to her first day of work, Lisa had never set foot in The Grand Cinema! One day in 2004, a projectionist ran into her business with a film reel problem. Lisa offered a solution and, an hour later, was offered a job by the theater’s director at the time. She is our longest-standing employee!

You can currently find her at ALMA as their Executive Director (just down the street!), but we can sometimes coax her into working a shift at The Grand here and there.

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José Candido, Projectionist
José joined The Grand Staff as a projectionist and house manager in 2016. He brings The Grand a great deal of theater and projection know-how, having worked with AMC Theaters for over 12 years. 
José finds that when he likes a movie or tv show, he’ll watch it over and over until he has it memorized. When he’s not at The Grand or watching movies, he likes to hang out with friends and play video games.

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Wendell Ratliff, House Manager & Projectionist
Wendell brought their background in audio production with them when they joined the Grand in 2016. Since then you’ve probably seen Wendell selling tickets, pouring beers, and frantically running through the lobby whenever there’s a technical glitch. You’ve also probably heard their music before every film! 
Wendell loves that disoriented feeling stumbling out of the theater and back into reality after a really good film.

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Dianté Neagle, Projectionist
A movie loving projectionist and comedian/filmmaker. When not at The Grand, you can find him hosting and performing at local comedy shows!

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Bonne Dorrell, Bartender
Your friendly local barkeep and master of ceremonies with a passion for storytelling in all its forms, Bonne put his roots down at The Grand Cinema in 2018 after years of patronage and volunteering. Bonne also works as a local performer, though will never admit to being a good actor, not unlike bartending, but will wholeheartedly agree that he’s such a delight to work with and is constantly grateful for the never-ending opportunities to behold, share and create a good story. Unless you want your beer warm, don’t get him started on director Giuseppe Tornatore or maestro Ennio Morricone!

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Kegan Ross, House Manager & Bartender
After volunteering with The Grand for several years, Kegan started working as a bartender in 2019 and then a House Manager in 2021. Having long been a fan of the 253 Film Competition, he finally competed himself with a group of his friends earlier that same year (creating the short “How Not to Make a Short Film”) and looks forward to participating again. In addition to learning more about filmmaking, he enjoys writing and listening to music in his downtime.

To reach any administration staff member, please call 253-572-6062, or email

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