Hedgebrook’s team of staff members span two locations. Our retreat & headquarters are on Whidbey Island, and our Seattle office is located in Pioneer Square.

Amy Wheeler

Executive Director

As a playwright whose life was changed by the gift of a Hedgebrook residency, I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead this organization into an exciting new era.

Vito Zingarelli

Program Director

I’ve enjoyed my relationship with Hedgebrook and Whidbey Island since the early days of the Women Playwrights Festival with ACT Theatre I 1998; the ability to more fully serve Hedgebrook’s mission at this juncture in her maturation is a true joy.

Catherine Willis Cleveland

Director of Development & Outreach

A graduate of Northwestern University's Honors Program in Creative Writing, Catherine has a passion for storytelling. Having traveled to over 50 countries, she thrives on cross-cultural connections, and spending time with artists to celebrate and support their work! Catherine comes to Hedgebrook from a background of for-profit and not-for-profit leadership, which has spanned both Program Development and Fund Development for the Arts, Global Development, and Education for youth.

Julie O'Brien

Program Manager

I am delighted to be a part of this wonderful family. The beautiful setting, the dedicated staff, the supportive board and most of all the incredible women who find their way here make up this amazing, creative world. The Radical Hospitality lovingly practiced by Nancy Nordhoff from the beginning and carried out to this day bestows the energy making it possible. I am honored to be a part of this magic.

Cathy Bruemmer

Property Manager

It’s an extraordinary gift to work in such a beautiful well-crafted environment with a dedicated group of talented people. Harvesting big bowls of veggies for the writers is one of my great joys.

Denise Barr


I treasure the creative and nurturing environment of the Hedgebrook kitchen and feel honored to spend my time there. Planning, prepping and cooking a meal is a gift to be passed on. I find that everyone brings something wonderful to the table.

Harolynne Bobis

Administrative Assistant

When I was younger, I determined I wanted to work for organizations that nourished and encouraged its staff and the greater world. Hedgebrook does all of this and more. I’m so happy to be here.

Autumn Preble

Executive Assistant

In large and small ways my entire adult life has been about women’s empowerment. Now to have it all come together where the focus is on bringing the diversity of women’s voices into the world to help us all articulate the world we want to live in . . . Well, that is a meaningful place to spend my days. I’ve lived on Whidbey Island for 38 years and have known Hedgebrook since its beginnings. The world that Hedgebrook inhabits is so vital and interesting - what a privilege to be a part of it!

Yai Fatou Jallow

Development & Outreach Assistant

Growing up in a small West African country -- The Gambia -- my escape was through the world of books, the likes of Enid Blyton, and so many strong women writers helped carve me into being the woman I am today. Being a student of the Arts, books will always be my first love. Hedgebrook puts me in an environment where I see all these amazing writers flourish whilst working with outstanding people who I learn from everyday..

Gabrielle James

Development & Outreach Assistant

Gabrielle comes to Hedgebrook with over 10 years of management experience in early childhood education & youth development, where she’s held a broad range of responsibilities, and has been passionate about serving low income families. As a director for preschool and school age programs, Gabrielle provided program leadership which helped empower young people to learn in a space where creativity was honored and encouraged.

Kelly Ford Copenhaver

Head Housekeeper

Working at Hedgebrook is an inspiration on every level…once you are through the gates, the enchanted forest envelopes you, and you are held…it is a good place to be.

Seattle University Interns

We are proud to partner with Seattle University to provide hands on education to remarkable students.

Lilly Newell

Development Associate

I moved from Chicago to Seattle to study creative writing and arts leadership at Seattle University. Coming aboard the Hedgebrook team, I am continuously inspired by all the work the women at Hedgebrook do. It makes me feel empowered as a woman, a writer, and an arts leader.

Katie Chapman

Seattle University MFA Program Intern

I am excited to be serving Hedgebrook as part of my graduate studies at Seattle University. It is an honor to learn about and to help expand the support for this rich network of creative and empowered women writers.