OUR TEAM

Meet Our Staff

Rachel Schaeffer bio photo

Rachel Schaeffer

Rachel Schaeffer works to expand statewide access to the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk with Ease program, with a particular emphasis on rural communities, thanks to funding from the state Dept. of Health. Any given week, she might also be working on communications, partnerships, advocacy, and fundraising to support Feet First’s operations. Rachel has a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Washington’s Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program, and she aims to bring a dose of health prevention to her work in walkability. In her free time, she works on local housing justice issues and enjoys forming a sense of place in her Wallingford neighborhood.

Meet Our Board Members

Jon Cowin

President

What would Washington look like if every individual could get around and accomplish daily tasks by walking or biking? If everyone was empowered to get out and be more active? How can we bring safe, accessible, walkable spaces to every corner of Washington state? 

Jon joined Feet First out of a passion for walking and to promote the general health benefits of an active lifestyle. With the emergence of Feet First’s Walk with Ease program and statewide network, Feet First is getting closer to improving people’s lives throughout Washington. Jon currently resides in Kirkland after having lived in Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, and Kent.

John Stewart bio photo

John Stewart

Vice President

John Stewart is a Board member, past Board President, and a Feet First volunteer since 2000. Having lived car free as a frustrated pedestrian, he’s worked to advance Feet First’s mission to make Washington communities walkable. 

Walking sits at the center of so many things, and communities that are walkable are healthier, and more FUN! As a parent, John has a longstanding interest in Safe Routes to School. John has worked on Feet First’s Neighborhoods on Foot maps, led dozens of walks, and is a big fan of the Neighborhood Walking Ambassador program. He’s also an avid Mariners fan.

Rob Fellows

Rob Fellows

Secretary, Chair of Policy Committee

Rob Fellows is a board member and Chair of the Policy Committee. Rob grew up in a car-captive suburb and was motivated to take up transportation planning to reduce the environmental, community, and isolation effects of car-captivity (even though he likes to drive when it makes sense). Among other priorities, he would like to help Feet First connect practitioners, activists, and developers – people shaping communities – with practical resources to transform car-centric sprawl into vibrant walkable communities. Rob works as a transportation planning manager at WSDOT and is President of the Greenwood Community Council in Seattle.
Mike Ingram headshot

Mike Ingram

Treasurer

Michael Ingram is a professional transportation planner. He values the freedom and mobility, health benefits, and community connections of walking. Mike wants to make a choice to walk more viable in communities across the state, so all can enjoy the benefits of walking in comfortable and safe conditions.
Yingying Huang headshot

Yingying Huang

Yingying believes that increasing a network of walkable streets can improve one’s freedom of mobility and access to opportunities. She grew up in a walkable city where she walked and took transit to and from school, parks, and friend’s homes by herself from a very young age. In her mind, public transportation, walking, and biking are not only better for the environment, but also help build more connected and diverse communities whose members can live their fullest lives. Yingying is a transportation planner at WSP Inc. during the day. Besides her work and volunteering, she also enjoys gathering with friends and families, traveling, and learning about different cultures.

Kirk Hovenkotter

Kirk is the director of the Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association, the advocate for better biking, walking, and transit in Redmond, Washington. Its members represent over 100,000 people who come to Redmond every day. During his six years at TransitCenter, he developed the nationally recognized leader on transit policy. He advised mayors, county executives, and transit agencies on effective approaches to bus network redesigns and fare policy. He has spoken about ridership trends and what makes transit useful in national outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Governing.
Julia Reitan bio pic

Julia Reitan

Julia built a 25 year environmental career with the Sierra Club and continues her commitment as chair of the Washington State Sierra Club executive committee. She also has training in landscape architecture, which drew her to Feet First. 
Re-envisioning streets to be great places for people on foot is a special interest of hers. She and her husband now live in Belltown and walk to many places. “As a kid, I walked to school every day. Getting where I need to go on foot just feels right.”

Jim

Jim Davis

Chair of Development Committee

Jim has been with Feet First from its origins in 1995. He has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington (1992). Now retired, Jim was a transportation planner for King County, for a time overseeing their sidewalk-building program. He currently lives car-free in the very walkable Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle. In his spare time, Jim enjoys bicycling, studying history, and listening to Ms games.

Thank you for your donation!

Feet First utilizes NetworkForGood.com to process donations.

Your donation will help us to:

put on neighborhood walks and provide walking resources

raise awareness throughout Washington about the benefits of walkable communities and rights of the pedestrians

host events and programs focused on improving walkability