The Yorker Online

York Neighborhood Association - Organizational Structure

Revised 2023-11-24 2240

The YNA is governed by a Board of Directors that meets at least every other month. The General Membership meets roughly quarterly*; meeting dates and locations are published in our newsletter The Yorker and posted on our home page.

* NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 response restrictions, YNA has greatly reduced the number of General Membership Meetings. Our Board and General Membership has continued to meet virtually during this time frame. We hope that, as of May 2022, YNA will be able to resume its more active General Membership meeting schedule in person as soon as safely possible.

If interested in our neighborhood activities and/or to receive announcements of such activities, please see our form at the bottom!

Mailing Address

York Neighborhood Association
PO Box 2662
Bellingham, WA 98227-2662

2023 Board of Directors

Officers & Executive Committee:


Vice President:



Board Members-at-Large:

Élan Engel

Jeremy Ferrera

John DeOrio

Kevin Cussen

Mars Lindgren

Megan Doyle

Thomas R. Scott


Chris Donaldson Vice President

Chris Donaldson

Chris and Lisa always dreamed of moving to a quaint neighborhood with a classic corner store. So when an abode in the York neighborhood became available, they jumped on it. Now they saunter into town (Mallard’s is a favorite), try their best to garden, and work extra hard to keep their dogs and kids out of trouble.

Chris is partner in Moment Films and enjoys playing beach volleyball, analyzing the production design in Downton Abbey, and eating. He looks forward to meeting more of his neighbors.

Colin Beazley President

Chris Donaldson

Colin, his partner Kristin, and two young boys Charlie and Wesley moved into the York neighborhood in August 2021. They remodeled a Victorian home on Humboldt where Kristin lived during her time at Western. The family enjoys listening to music, frequenting local parks, and cooking. Colin has his MBA from the University of Washington and leads the Professional Services teams at Smartsheet, a Bellevue-based technology company. Colin and Kristin spend their philanthropic time giving back to educational causes. Colin spent 10 years on Seattle-based YMCA boards, and Kristin is a school psychologist for elementary-school children.

Colin is currently the Board President and appointee to the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission. Colin looks forward to working with the Board on improving quality of life for all friends, families, and neighbors of the York neighborhood. He is particularly interested in maintaining the historic charm of the neighborhood, improving Rock Hill Park, and giving the York community a voice in broader Bellingham conversations. He enjoys meeting new neighbors and listening to their York stories. Say hello if you see him around the neighborhood!

Élan Engel

Elan Engel

After living in the York Neighborhood off and on for the last two decades, in 2014 Élan and his wife Ashley returned from traveling abroad on their sailboat to the York neighborhood, where they purchased and fully restored their 1900-built home. They now live there with their children Reed and Stella, fish “Blue Blue,” and dog Zephyr. The Engel family continues to enjoy boating on Lake Whatcom and in the San Juan Islands.

Élan works for a local financial-services firm helping to manage technology risk and looks forward to helping make the York neighborhood the best community in Bellingham. If you see them around, say hello; they know many of you and look forward to meeting folks they don’t. Bellingham and the York neighborhood are home.

Jeremy Ferrera

Jeremy Ferrera

Hello Yorkers! I am happy to be serving you as an at-large board member. I grew up in Snohomish and went to school at Western and graduated in 1999 with a BA in Elementary Education and Spanish. After teaching for three years in the Burlington School District, I moved to Japan in 2001, where I met my wife, Junko. In July of 2014, we got married, and she moved with me back to Bellingham. We bought our house at 1717 Humboldt Street three years later in 2017 (yes, the one with the cute smiling-frog statue in the front yard, just off of Meador).

I am a financial advisor with Edward Jones, and the Bellingham community is very important to me. I am serving on the board for the Whatcom Maritime Association. I am very active with various organizations around the harbor where my office is located. I’m also a member of the Bellingham Sister Cities Association, where I am able to stay connected with the ex-pat and international community in Bellingham. I volunteer teaching relaxation, meditation, and Reiki at Unity Spiritual Center on Telegraph Road and at the Center for Spiritual Living on Yew Street Road once a week. Junko and I enjoy gardening and hiking around our beautiful Northwest Mountains during the summer months and cooking ethnic foods year-round.

Feel free to get in touch anytime with any concerns or comments about our wonderful neighborhood.

John DeOrio

John DeOrio

John moved to Bellingham to join close friends and family in the summer of 2021. He and his family left NYC behind and settled in York because of the tight-knit community and proximity to all B’ham has to offer. Currently, John works for a global recruitment firm and hopes one day to set up a physical office within walking distance of York! When he’s not working, he enjoys cooking vegan food, biking, hiking, watching football, and discovering new music.

John was appointed to the Board in August 2021. He is Park Steward for Rock Hill Park.

Mark Ellis Walker Secretary

Mark Ellis Walker

I’m a 12-year renting resident of northern Iron Street (recently transported to Sunnyland, just across the creek) since fleeing Seattle in 2007 after 20 years. Professionally I’m a freelance graphic designer and editor by trade who wears a variety of other hats as situations call for them.

Before joining the board in late 2018, I took on the layout of The Yorker newssletter in fall 2016 and have enjoyed working with the YNA to help keep neighbors up to date on York’s status and activities.

And oh boy am I a cat person. I don’t drive, and thus I’ve earned the nickname of The Cat Whisperer from some neighbors along my grocery-run route between home and Fred Meyer, as I visit with (and know by name) nearly all outdoor kitties along the way. I grow catnip, so on summer afternoons it’s not unusual to see a trail of blissed-out cats lying on the sidewalk in my wake.

…By the way, Mark is also Co-Webmaster for the Yorker online! We can all see his impact in some of the layout and artistic flairs of the last couple years of York’s communication presence.

Opie Knechtel Treasurer

Opie Knechtel

Opie has had a 35-year goal to move back to the York neighborhood, but life keeps getting in the way! Recently escaped from a 24-year stint out in the county on acreage, she can now be found living and working out of a fixer-upper apartment in the downtown section of York neighborhood on Champion Street.

Someday she’ll retire, life willing, to her “granny” house on Humboldt Street. Until then, ERP software programming, several small-fry home businesses, food-lab projects, and camping with her husband and provincial one-eyed cat in the wilds of Eastern Washington keep her busy and out of trouble.

Thomas R. Scott

Tom Scott

Tom has been active in the YNA for almost all of the 30+ years he has lived in the neighborhood. He is a computer consultant and network engineer with On-Site Computer Services. His family includes wife Dondena, adult son Kelix (daughter-in-law Ali), and adult twins Sierra and Kyle. He is active in scouting and can often be seen out on a local field kicking a soccer ball when not “playing” with computers.

External Representatives:

Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commissioner: February 2021—February 2023

Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commissioner, Alternate (submitted for appointment): Term not defined

Traffic Liaison (to City):

Student Representatives:


      (room for more)

WWU Campus Community Coalition Representative:

Internal Representatives:

West York:

South York:

North York:

Committee Chairs:

Safety Committee Chair:

Land Use Committee Chair:

Transportation Committee Chair:

Historic Preservation Committee:

Wine and Roses Garden Club Coordinator:

Media Contacts:

The Yorker Newsletter Editor:

The Yorker Newsletter Layout: Mark Ellis Walker

The Yorker Newsletter Distribution: Mark Ellis Walker

The Yorker Webmasters: and Mark Ellis Walker

Listmaster (YNA List, Wine & Roses, et cetera):

Parks Contacts:

Harriet Spanel Park Steward:

      (Harriet Spanel Park, formerly Franklin Park)

Rock Hill Park Steward:

Play equipment at Harriet Spanel Park’s northwest corner
Playground equipment at Rock Hill Park

Play equipment at Harriet Spanel Park’s northwest corner

Playground equipment at Rock Hill Park

Interest Form & List Subscription Requests

Use this form to indicate your interest in being active in YNA and/or to request subscriptions to one or more of our email distribution lists.




Please subscribe me to the following lists:

YNA List general information and announcements about YNA and local interests
Harriet Spanel Park Friends notices about Harriet Spanel Park (formerly Franklin Park) work parties
Rock Hill Friends notices about Rock Hill Park work parties
Wine & Roses Garden Club the York garden club

I’m interested in these committees:

Dumpster Day Historic Preservation
Planning Committee zoning, etc. S.T.A.R.s Saturday Trash And Recyclers

Other ways I can help:

I want to be a Yorker Carrier for my block!