The Seattle Floating Homes Association relies on volunteers to stay afloat. The FHA Board of Directors is a group of volunteers responsible for making sure the Floating Homes Association remains true to its mission, safeguards its assets and operates in the public interest. The Board constantly asks the question: Does the FHA mission continue to serve the intended constituents? If not, the board works to refine the mission. The following FHA members make up the volunteer Board of Directors from the four regions around Lake Union and Portage Bay.
- President: John Leness – Eastlake
- Vice President:
- Treasurer: Karen Mooney – Westlake
- Secretary: Janet Williams– Westlake
Members at Large:
- Portage Bay – Tom Campbell, Courtney Cooper, Susan Chatlos-Susor, Raanan Schnitzer and Joan Rosenstock
- Eastlake – Erik Johnson, Sarah Morlidge, Blair Robbins, Peter Erickson, Butch Smith, Sharon Morken, and Elliott Wolf
- Jann McFarland– Eastlake 206-323-3489
2020-21 Board Member Bios:
President – John Leness has lived on The Lake Union dock for seven years. He currently serves as treasurer for his dock and as a Chairman and President of Southworth Company, a manufacturer of specialty technical papers, cards, and gifts. John is also a lifelong sailor and oarsman.
Vice President –
Treasurer – Karen Mooney is a native Seattle-ite who still enjoys exploring the city. She’s an avid boater and enthusiastic participant in the Duck Dodge on Lake Union. Karen’s professional background includes 20 years as President/Owner of an aviation company and a long career as a CFO.
Secretary – Janet Williams moved here a year and a half ago from New Jersey. She lives with her elderly cat at 2466 Westlake and has a son in Eastlake. She spent her career at a university back east and now works part-time as a research consultant (in psychiatry). Her favorite causes are preserving the environment (including keeping Lake Union clean), the empowerment of women, and the protection of animals.
Incumbent Board Members:
Sarah Morlidge who downsized from a large, suburban Sammamish house to a floating home on Roanoke Reef three years ago, hails from England and works as Technology & Communications Director at a private school on the Eastside. Sarah loves Washington’s scenery and sense of space and has no plans to leave. Living on Lake Union means her spare time is spent on the water, with or without dog, husband, and children.
Peter Erickson has lived on a houseboat since 1972, married to Brigitte Bertschi (Bertschi School on Capitol Hill) he has raised two kids on a floating home as part of the Log Foundation Co-op at 2025 Fairview Ave East. He’s a water person who swims daily in a wetsuit that turns Lake Union into his private year-round pool! While attending the UW Masters Program in architecture in the 70’s Peter built, re-built and sold 9 floating homes. An architect by training (attending UW Masters Program) but a real estate developer by trade, from 1981 to 2005 he developed properties in Pioneer Square and Belltown, but has recently returned to Lake Union and Portage Bay to do infill development that tries to meet the objectives of the community council and hopefully enriches the neighborhood. It’s his interest to work with the FHA for governmental ordinances and land use regulations that respect the history, character and needs of the floating home community.
Courtney Cooper lives on Portage Bay. She is a realtor and knows the houseboat community well. She has worked extensively on the tour since 2010 with both volunteers and more recently made the ticket and posters for the last two tours.
Elliot Wolf has owned a houseboat since 1971 and currently lives at Flo Villa. He is the founder and owner of the oldest self-publishing house in the nation and has been publishing books for 46 years. He appreciates life on the water and even commutes to work at his office just east of the University Bridge on his Arabian Water Donkey (jet ski) every day.
Michael (Butch) Smith has lived with his family on a houseboat on DOX, since 1983. He is an attorney and has worked for Disability Rights Washington since 1991, advocating for people with disabilities. He is also an avid musician, who plays guitar, mandolin, dobro, and too many other instruments to count!
Sharon Morken was born and raised in the Seattle area. She has always been drawn to living on the water. When her son was 9 he promised to grow up and earn lots of money so he could buy her a boat to live on! About 4 years ago Sharon changed her vision a bit when the opportunity to move into a floating home became a reality! It is definitely a lifestyle that she loves! Sharon worked in hospital nursing of various areas for 38 years and retired from that 2 years ago. Her husband thought she had too much free time on her hands, so a year ago they purchased a houseboat that she renovated and is now managing as a rental. In her real free time, Sharon enjoys being on the water or just looking at the water, yoga, golf, skiing, biking and ballroom dance. She also has 4 kids, 7 grandkids that keep me busy too! Sharon is looking forward to pitching in and offering whatever she can to the FHA.
Joan Rosenstock formed the Portage Bay Condo Assoc. in 1988 and lived on the docks from 1984 to 1991. She has built 3 new floating homes and owns another one that she currently rents out. Originally from upstate NY, she has lived in Seattle for 38 years and enjoys hiking, skiing, bridge, and golf. Professional background includes land use and transportation planning, and policy adviser specializing in project implementation.
FHA BOARD ROSTER
President: John Leness
Secretary: Janet Williams
Treasurer: Karen Mooney