Who Are We?
Is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit festival centered on premier Northwest seafood and, originally founded on a three-year seed grant from the City of Bellingham Tourism Commission (travel and tourism tax allotments). Bellingham SeaFeast has flourished as a community event supported by both public and private entities and individuals across Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest.
The Bellingham/Whatcom County region has three legacy industries at its roots: Agriculture, Forestry and Wood, and Commercial Fishing/Maritime Trades. Bellingham SeaFeast showcases the maritime sector and its booming economic impact locally, regionally, and internationally.
The festival operates through a dedicated Board of Directors, a small staff, and scores of committed volunteers.
The event revolves around the finest seafood, entertainment, competitions and games, educational activities, and numerous interactive tours and hands-on learning about commercial fishing and our working waterfront.
Board of Directors
Rob Fix, Chair - Port of Bellingham
Jay Bornstein, Vice Chair - Bornstein Seafoods
Barry Hanson, Treasurer - HUB International
Doug Thomas, Immediate Past Chair - Bellingham Cold Storage
Ginny Broadhurst - Salish Sea Institute
Casey Diggs - Boundary Bay Brewery
Loren Kapp - Commercial Fisherman
Ellie Kinley - Lummi Nation
Drew Schmidt - San Juan Cruises
Tara Sundin, Ex-Officio - City of Bellingham
Sandy Ward, Ex-Officio - Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Deb & Pete Granger | Founders
With the help and support of her husband, Pete, Debbie Granger is the heart & soul behind Bellingham SeaFeast, seeing the potential for this now premier waterfront festival from the get-go. After a successful career as a counselor in Bellingham Public Schools, Deb managed the Western Regional Aquaculture Center at the University of Washington for over six years. Today at SeaFeast, Deb is focused on recruiting volunteers and securing sponsorship. On a sunny, summer day you can find her standing up high on the gears off of Lummi Island fishing for salmon. You can reach Deb at email@example.com.
Liz Purdy | Executive Director
Liz returned to her Northwest roots to lead SeaFeast in May of 2018, hired as Executive Director in the winter of 2019. She brings a decade of community-based non-profit experience with her; before the salt water lured her to the shores of Bellingham Bay, she worked as a Campaign Organizer for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in Bozeman, Montana and Trout Unlimited in Southeast Alaska. Her favorite waterfront activity is a summer evening run through Boulevard Park with a rewarding Boundary Bay brew at the end. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elma Burnham | Program Manager
Elma’s first involvement with Bellingham SeaFeast began when she volunteered for the inaugural 2016 festival. Her involvement grew from there, and she officially joined the team in February 2018 to plan for the September waterfront weekend. Elma spends each summer in Bristol Bay, Alaska setnetting for sockeye salmon. Once she’s good and tired from the fishing season, she hurries back to soak up the remaining PNW summer and bring SeaFeast to life. Elma is particularly focused on the collaboration with downtown Bellingham and FisherPoets-on-Bellingham-Bay. Her favorite waterfront activity is beachcombing, especially looking for sea glass. You can reach her via email at email@example.com.