The People of Sunnyside Village
The people of our community have worked hard to ensure we have a beautiful, healthy, and sustainable place to live. The homes are well thought out and nearing construction. The land supports us, and the gardens nourish us.
And perhaps not surprisingly, what we have come to find out is that as wonderful as our plans and spaces are – the people that have come to join in our little piece of the Pacific Northwest are so much more than our physical landscape.
We really are our own best neighbors! We work together, and we play, and we visit, and we share meals. We even survived a pandemic together! So, this page is dedicated to the people of our community – and perhaps your future neighbors.
Further down the page are short bios on each of us – we are a pretty diverse group. Our life experiences varied and interesting. Its fun getting to know each other as we begin to settle into our post pandemic home and work life.
Now is the best time to join, and select your new home and its location, as together we continue to make decisions about the development of our community.
I guess we did a pretty good job picking our tag line. Sunnyside Village – More than a home. A community for life!
Jennie and Dean
Jennie (she/her) and Dean (he/him) are our founders. Jennie is a semi-retired Family Therapist and Dean is a retired engineer. They bring a value of deep interest in producing good food for the community, working in the garden together and sharing food.
They are long time members of the local Unitarian Universalist church, which is 3.5 miles away.
Environmental issues are of primary importance to Dean and Jennie and they were founding members of 350 Everett, a local environmental action group.
Jennie: “For me, cohousing is an antidote to loneliness and isolation. It’s a diverse group of supportive neighbors and friends who like helping each other, spending time, working and playing together.”
Dean: “I want to live in cohousing because I appreciate the value of community in my life. Having people around to chat over a cup of coffee, people who will help me, and people I can lend a hand to, young and old.”
Sherie and Joe
Sherie has a background in interior design and is an avid gardener. She is at the site nearly every Saturday afternoon, working on the garden or the orchard. Joe is a history buff. He is a great cook. We’re all looking forward to his soups.
Mary grew up on a farm in Oregon where her family grew and preserved most of their own food. That early life experience is a treasured part of her heritage. And the community aspect of cohousing has been a long-standing dream of hers. So, no surprise that a major element that attracted her to Sunnyside Village Cohousing is the community garden, orchard, and emphasis on growing and preserving food. She enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, cooking, learning, and sharing a good meal with good friends.
“What first drew me to Sunnyside, other than it being a cohousing community, is the emphasis on gardening and maintaining open green spaces. Now that I’ve been part of the community for some time I can say an additional draw is relationships with the community members who are are warm-hearted, interesting, and fun to engage with.”
Miriam grew up in Iowa but has lived from coast to coast and border to border. She is a retired educator and has worked in nature centers as well as public schools. Her interests include hiking, camping, reading, and cooking. She is already keeping an eye out for recipes that can be scaled up for community meals!
“I am choosing cohousing because I want to live in a community where I can make connections and contributions. I want to be able to borrow a cup of sugar or bring chicken soup to a neighbor.
Life can be both brilliant and hard. When things are brilliant, we need to pass on to others our joy and light. When things are hard, we need to draw on others’ strengths and wisdom. A cohousing community helps make this happen.”
Vicki and Paul
Vicki grew up in various parts of Washington and California, and is now a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). Paul grew up on a farm in New Zealand, and is now a software consultant. They met in a commune in Oregon and have been interested in community ever since. They have been exploring cohousing for the past couple of years.
They love to go walking and hiking with their two dogs Danny and Pedro. Paul has a Little Free Library that he built. Vicki makes “concoctions.” Sometimes Paul likes how they taste. Sometimes not. More for Vicki!
Farishta has been an avid flower gardener all her adult life. She has baked and cooked since she was about 10 years old and enjoys trying new recipes. She cans fruit, makes freezer jam, enjoys reading, knitting, watching TV, taking walks, traveling, and visiting with friends.
In the early 1990s she discovered the Dances of Universal Peace and has been leading the Dances for the past 30 years. She has been a Western Sufi in the Ruhaniat order since the early 90’s. She hopes to lead the Dances on a regular basis when we are living at Sunnyside.
She was interested in Cohousing in the 1990’s, but her longtime (now deceased) partner was not so inclined. What appeals to her about Sunnyside is the beauty of the setting, the cottage concept rather than apartment style dwellings, and the community we are actively co-creating. She would love for more young adults to join us, especially some with children!
Bev is a native of Charm City (Baltimore). Although she’s traveled far and wide, she has been interested in settling in a cohousing community. She dabbles in family history research, writing and art and has a Bachelors in Science in Psychology from Towson University. She served the aging community at a Master’s level, as a licensed social worker. She hopes to write more living history plays about her ancestors after having written a documentary play about siblings of Vietnam Veterans.
I am a semi-retired nurse and have lived in cohousing for 9 years and prior to that lived in spiritual communities for 4 years. Currently I am a volunteer for the Friends of the Columbia Gorge and the Mount Saint Helens Institute as a hiking steward. Both organizations promote the sustainability of these areas and educate others about the importance of protecting them.
Cohousing brings back the values of sharing and connectivity as opposed to isolation and competition; it is an important movement growing in momentum to support the environmental and housing issues facing society today.
Tasha and Cameron
Tasha works as a program manager and has arguably too many hobbies and interests: personal finance, knitting, crochet, sewing, reading, playing the recorder, hosting websites, and making things with essential oils. She is fluent in Spanish and learning Korean. Cameron has a background in data analysis, IT support, live video production and YouTube content creation. His main hobby is gaming: video games and Magic the Gathering. He also enjoys cooking and handcrafts like block printing and book binding. Some activities they enjoy together and with friends are video and board games, camping, bike riding, and volunteer income tax preparation
Kristin is joining us from the Bay Area in California, but has strong connections to the PNW since she grew up in Issaquah and has family and friends in the Seattle area. Kristin recently fulfilled a long time ambition to become an educator and currently teaches high school math in San Jose. In her previous career in climate change policy, Kristin managed an academic journal, Climatic Change, consulted on municipal environmental policy, and served as an Environmental Quality Commissioner.
Kristin enjoys hiking, yoga, bicycling, and building Legos. She is really excited about making yummy vegetarian and vegan meals, helping with the garden, raising chickens and exploring the protected watershed alongside Sunnyside Village. She is also looking forward to rediscovering her love of skiing when she returns to the area.
Ayne grew up in Pennsylvania but has lived in California for over half of her life. She is a psychotherapist. Her hobbies include knitting, singing, painting and hiking. She has been considering cohousing for a few years but the timing has never been right. She is looking forward to being an active member of this vibrant, goodwilled community and learning how to build a catio on her back porch at Sunnyside.
Paula and Hugh
Paula and Hugh moved from Virginia to Oregon over twenty years ago. After raising their family in a traditional neighborhood, they decided to pursue cohousing for the next phase of life. Hugh is an electrical engineer; Paula is a clinical psychologist. They have two young adult children who will (hopefully!) be frequent visitors.
They love spending time outside: cycling, hiking, Nordic skiing, camping/backpacking, gardening, birding, and just sitting on the front porch. Hugh recently started kayaking and looks forward to exploring the waterways near Marysville. Their indoor interests including watching soccer, board games, reading, baking, cooking recipes from around the world, knitting (Paula), and woodworking (Hugh). They look forward to sharing connection and resources with their Sunnyside neighbors.
As a lifelong resident of Houston, Becky often dreamed of retiring and leaving the big city to live in a semi-rural area on several acres with five to ten close friends, each with their own individual cottage, sharing a common house, organic vegetable and flower gardens with arbors and gazebos, surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Though she dearly loves Texas with its mild winters, great friends and family, the more she learned about Sunnyside, and after meeting its founders, community members and explorers on Zoom, she quickly realized she had found exactly what she was searching for – an environment to thrive and remain active for years to come in this welcoming multigenerational cohousing community where many share an intention to age in place.
Becky will relocate with her beloved canine companion, Hansa, an 11 year-old Weimaraner who loves everyone he meets, and both are excited to explore the wonders of the Pacific Northwest.
Hailing from Seattle, Kim describes Sunnyside as the “missing piece of the puzzle” for what she envisioned for her future. She has spent almost two decades practicing as a Physician Assistant and almost three decades as a clinical researcher.
She enjoys gardening, learning new ways to preserve the harvest, trying new and interesting foods, travel, crafting, good company, and hanging with her French Bulldogs.
Tina and Mike
We have lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 35 years. Both of us have been professionally involved in wildlife conservation and environmental education through our work in the Zoo community. Tina has previously worked at the Palm Beach Zoo and is currently working at Woodland Park as an Animal Care Manager. Mike has worked at the San Francisco Zoo, Houston Zoo, San Diego Zoo and is currently working at the Woodland Park Zoo.
We enjoy exploring State and National Parks. On the sports scene, we enjoy heading down to San Francisco (Mike’s hometown) for Giants and Golden State Warriors NBA games. We can also be found at T-Mobile Park for Mariners games, Funko Field for Everett Aquasox games and Joe Martin Field for the Bellingham Bells.
I am a Northwest native, and lifelong resident of the 4th Corner. Now retired, I am a librarian with an undergraduate degree in World Folklore and Mythology. Not surprisingly, reading is one of my favorite pastimes along with gardening, walking, kayaking, pedal boat, swimming, and generally being outside, especially with water involved.
Lifelong learning is one of my objectives, and at the recent Sunnyside campout I learned about what3words, an initiative assigning 3 English words to every 10 foot square on earth. I now enjoy my morning coffee at “cookie geek rightfully” and it is all the more delicious for that. A porch is a key element in my lifestyle, one of the reasons I like Sunnyside. My favorite living places have been those where I have neighbors I enjoy, another big attraction of Sunnyside.
My favorite sport is Rollerderby, and I am a non-skating official for Jet City Rollerderby – my derby name is Aunt T Maim. I know a number of stories, and a few good jokes, which I will share when asked.
My dog goes with me whenever reasonable; I am well known to be a “dog person”, but not to the exclusion of other animals, I like cats very much as well.
Cathy grew up in the New York metro area but has lived in Northern California for most of her adult life. The majority of her rewarding career as a physician assistant has been spent working at community clinics. Some of her hobbies include hiking, birding, traveling and listening to live music (especially Americana and Indie Folk).
She’s been interested in cohousing ever since attending a presentation about it given by Katie McCamant in the mid 90’s. She fell in love with the PNW during frequent visits to Sequim, WA where her parents spent their retirement years. Becoming a member of the SVC community with its warm, dynamic, interesting members and beautiful location has been a welcomed opportunity!
Growing up in Seattle, our neighborhood was our family. All the neighborhood kids played and worked together, and on weekends wherever you were at dinner time, chances are that’s where you joined the family for a meal. Enjoying the outdoors naturally lent itself to exploring the woods, and closer to home working in the garden – growing flowers and veggies in our precarious Northwest weather!
After graduating from Washington State University, and two years in the Peace Corps, I met my longtime companion, enjoyed a career in healthcare, and a second one working as a grant writer in the non-profit world.
As I approach retirement and begin to think about downsizing my house and my life, co-housing feels like a natural fit – once again hanging out with the neighbors, playing, working together, and enjoying meals. Life is pretty sweet.
Clare is originally a Michigander, who made her way to Washington in 2006 by way of Washington DC and Germany. She has worked on climate change policy for nearly 30 years, first at the US EPA and Department of State, later at the UN Climate Change Secretariat, and currently as an electricity sector consultant on state level carbon and clean energy policies in the West.
Clare loves to travel and bought a teardrop trailer during the pandemic so that she can explore more of the US. She also enjoys just about any type of outdoor activity, including hiking, biking and kayaking, and is an avid rower. She is looking forward to continuing all these activities after moving to Sunnyside. If weather is not conducive, you’ll probably find her in the common house working on a jigsaw puzzle, knitting or torturing other community members with Irish fiddle tunes…
Jo grew up in England and Australia and has lived in Northeast USA for over forty years. Besides being a therapist and writer, raising two sons and a few Labrador retrievers, she and her late husband also raised sheep for many years in northwest Connecticut. Jo has long been interested in co-operative communities and in Sunnyside has found the perfect answer for her many loves – a community to share important and day to day occasions with, a community garden, proximity to the spectacular coast and forests of the Cascades, and beautiful ecologically responsible cottage design that still allows for private individual life.
She can’t wait to join members on walks, hiking trips, kayaking in nearby waters, painting expeditions, as well as simply sipping tea on a front porch.
Bio coming soon…
Like most young professionals, I’ve spent many years studying and working in very urban settings. So when it was time to find a simpler way of life, with more space and closer to nature, I was lucky enough to have found Sunnyside.
The project has everything that I wanted in my future home including being surrounded by nature with plenty of space for gardening and the opportunity to design my own cottage.
Although at first, it was scary to commit to a home that hasn’t even been built yet, the members proved again and again that this is the community I wanted to be in. I want to be a Sunnyside neighbor!
Trish & Doug
Trish & Doug will arrive at Sunnyside Village from their longtime residence in Palo Alto, California. Doug was born (at home!) and raised in Northern California. Trish was born and raised in wild and wonderful West Virginia. They met at the University of California, Irvine, where Doug studied Electrical Engineering and Trish studied Social Ecology.
Trish: “I want to have the opportunity to support my Sunnyside Village neighbors, right along with me and Doug, to age in place (regardless of move-in age!) with as much health, joyfulness, and optimism as possible – those aspirations have a much better chance of a full realization in a community like this!”
Doug: “I have a very interesting day job as a medical device engineer, and along with that, I am looking forward to applying my practical skills to things that might be needed around the community. I get a lot of satisfaction out of building/fixing things and solving problems.”
Linda Ann & Mike
Mike grew up in West Seattle, camping and exploring across Washington with his family. He trained as an RN in Seattle, spent 20+ years as an ER nurse in Anacortes, followed by a stint in Oncology/Cancer Care in Mt. Vernon where he still works a couple of days a week.
Linda Ann, raised in suburbs of Chicago and Detroit, gratefully now considers Western Washington her ‘real’ home. Now retired, she first taught children with complex special needs, and then, at WWU in Bellingham, educated teachers-in-training about ‘assistive technologies’ to support their future students.
Mike is an avid outdoorsman and is looking for others to join him as he kayaks local waterways and mountain bikes nearby trails. Sunnyside’s community will benefit from his constructive ‘puttering’ and creative ‘build-it / fix-it’ skills.
Linda Ann, a ‘home-body’, enjoys casual arts (watercolor, ZenTangle) and ‘detail-oriented’, computer-based projects (digital photo albums, etc.). She brings to the community a penchant for collaboration and experience with assistive technologies, which may benefit those of us who are approaching ‘middle-age’ and beyond.
Mike and Linda explore the NW in their small RV (love Vancouver Island!), with jaunts to California and the Southwest. While traveling, they enjoy kayaking, hiking/walking, e-biking, together. They are grateful to have found Sunnyside Village at such an opportune time in their lives and are looking forward to the camaraderie of community life.
Bio coming soon…
Lynne was born and raised on Long Island, New York which is along the Long Island sound and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a 40 minute drive into New York City. She loves the diverse ethnic culture and the arts in NYC.
She has lived in Northern California, in both Berkeley and Sebastopol for many years (over 40 years). She has always recognized the benefits of cohousing and living in community but didn’t think she would find one until she heard about Sunnyside. She was very drawn to the fact that it’s not yet built and is in the development phase (although missed a lot of the initial development). Thanks to Jennie and Dean, they manifested a dream Lynne also had of buying land and starting a cohousing community!
Lynne loves painting and paints abstractly. NYC had a strong influence on her painting style. She enjoys painting even if the result isn’t magnificent or something she’d hang on her wall. She loves music and singing, designing living spaces, travel and spending time with family and friends. She also loves children and animals, creative activities, cooking soups and making salads, movies, growing flowers and would love to grow strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. She loves fruit trees and hopes to contribute to the orchard at Sunnyside.
She started her career in community mental health in her early twenties vand made her way to being an individual, couples and group therapist. Lynne is really eager to live in an environmentally conscious group of people who value and love being in nature.
Alison, Matt & Autumn
Alison and Matt both grew up in the Pacific Northwest: Alison in Oregon City, Oregon, and Matt in Spokane, Washington. They met in college in Arizona, lived in Madison, Wisconsin for nine years, and moved back to the Northwest in 2018 to be closer to family. They became familiar with co-housing through friends who lived in co-housing in Madison and were thrilled when, looking for a home of their own after spending the last five years renting, they discovered the Sunnyside community. They like the Sunnyside model because it offers both the privacy and ownership of a separate home as well as the built-in community full of people who value community the same way they do. Their daughter, Autumn, is three years old and is excited about the idea of living on “the farm,” as we’ve taken to calling it.
Alison is a program director for a regional nonprofit and has spent 17 years working for nonprofits fighting for housing justice and food sovereignty. Matt is an urban planner who works on major land use and housing issues for a wide range of local cities and counties. Although hobbies and interests have taken a major backseat with a full-speed toddler in the house, Alison loves reading, yoga, and spending time in nature; Matt loves mountain biking, baking bread, woodworking, and playing music. Together, they like rock climbing, gardening, canning, and more.
Kim & Tom
Tom and Kim both grew up in the Midwest. Tom was raised on a farm in Iowa and Kim grew up on Lake Michigan in a house that’s now part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. We met in college at the University of Chicago and eventually received degrees in English, Economics and Business. We moved to the Seattle area in 1979 and have been here ever since. Tom spent 37 years in the forest products industry, while Kim focused initially on tourism and then nonprofit fund development for Tacoma’s local pediatric hospital. Somehow, we managed to raise 3 children, two daughters and a son who lives in Marysville. We retired a few years ago and last year we sold our home of 30 years in Tacoma and are now “farming” our acreage on the Key Peninsula (SW of Gig Harbor WA).
We love gardening, cooking, being outdoors and watching the local wildlife. So far this year we’ve spotted osprey and eagles, a local bear, a river otter, a dozen deer (3 fawns), and a coyote. We are still waiting for the Orcas to come by again this summer though we did spot some spooky black false orcas.
Kim is an avid reader and Tom likes to tinker with “stuff” (old cars, lawnmowers, shortwave radios…. OK, most of my stuff doesn’t work). We also dabble in mosaics, pottery, cycling, and photography. And don’t forget barbecue, making beer and sauerkraut.
Patrick is an engineer in the electronics industry with a longtime interest in cohousing. He currently lives in Everett, where he volunteers for several organizations involved in historic preservation and downtown revitalization. As a hobby he enjoys renovating his historic home.
Kirstin and Troy
Both Troy and Kirstin are active members of the Democratic Socialists of America and of The Episcopal Church. Kirstin works as a freelance editor and prefers editing romance novels. Troy works in IT and previously worked as a sound designer for video games. The two of them currently live on a small farm that includes orchard trees, sheep, chickens, and two cute Nigerian dwarf goats.
Dawn & Amber
Amber is a competitive pinball player, frequently found at tournaments around Seattle and occasionally in neighboring states and provinces. She’s a fitness enthusiast, with a focus on both exercise and healthy eating, currently enthralled with her new Peloton. A former computer programmer and an avid gamer, she enjoys both video games and cooperative board games. Amber grew up in Massachusetts and is now quite well traveled, thanks to globetrotting with Dawn.
Dawn loves to travel and is often off wandering around other countries exploring the local foods and culture. She also relishes in the Pacific Northwest summers and spends the warmer months in the mountains hiking and backpacking and out on the water kayaking. In between adventures, Dawn enjoys cooking almost as much as she enjoys eating. Her other hobbies include teaching ESL, jigsaw puzzles, reading lots and lots of books, and working on her Spanish fluency and Mandarin basics.
Jodi was born in Seattle and raised in Shoreline WA. She currently works for Kaiser Permanente, but has had myriad employment experiences including project manager, nonprofit publishing, school bus driver and security at Ste. Michelle concerts.
“A few years ago, I envisioned a cooperative community just like this one, including the garden, orchard and chickens. Now that I have gotten to know the people of Sunnyside, it is hard to imagine living anywhere else. The thoughtfulness, values, and intentionality of the members are what makes this a community, not just a place to live.”
Jodi hopes to co-buy or rent a Sunnyside Cottage with someone. If you can afford part, but not all, of a Sunnyside Cottage, please contact me through the community!
Jodi likes to travel, bike to work, take long walks, garden, cook gluten free food, and have deep and interesting conversation. She hopes to publish her children’s picture books someday.
Sarah is a long-time former producer for public radio station KCRW and freelance arts reporter for NPR. She currently writes the weekly Culture Watch column for Santa Monica Daily Press and spends her free time advancing the cause of sustainability in food production and distribution and food justice through her non-profit volunteer work.
Bio coming soon!
Jodi and Dwight
Bio coming soon!
Lynn and Kim
Colleen has long been interested in intentional community and is delighted to actually know and spend time with her neighbors. She embraces the values of Sunnyside Village Cohousing and is thrilled to find a cohousing community in close proximity to her kids and grandkids.
She finds cohousing the perfect antidote to the isolation that is so common to today’s city dwellers and, as an introvert, loves having her own space while being part of an active community.
Becca, Joshua, and their son
These three goofballs love community and have lived in many different communal iterations for the last 40 years. Most recently with 4 generations under one roof!
This family’s happy place is sharing food, creative, themed events, and movie nights with their community.