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Our Staff

In addition to the faithful service of our volunteers, a dedicated and committed team of staff serve at the Seattle Seafarers' Center. They exude a deep love and passion for maritime ministry in Seattle, and they are grateful to all of you for your support of time, donations, and prayer. Say hello to them here!

Deacon Joey De Leon, Interim Executive Director

Deacon Joey is the heart of the Seattle Seafarers Center. Hailing from Manila in The Philippines, he is a Catholic Deacon with the Archdiocese of Seattle, and has been serving as our Senior Port Chaplain for over 5 years. Deacon Joey has a heart for serving the seafarer community and mentoring our staff and volunteers. 



Julia Cooper, Interim Director 


Julia is originally from Rhode Island, where she grew up sailing and cultivated a love for the water. She studied English and Computer Science at Tufts University. Before moving to Seattle, she worked in Greater Boston in the software industry as a usability engineer. While completing a service year at SSC in 2021-2022 through the Episcopal Service Corps, Julia developed a passion for visiting ships, connecting with seafarers from all over the world, and raising the visibility of seafarers in the community. She is excited to continue working with the tight-knit team of staff and volunteers at SSC in welcoming and serving seafarers in Puget Sound.


Former Leadership

Cristi -- a headshot.jpg
The Rev. Cristi Chapman



Cristi served as Executive Director of the Seattle Seafarers Center from 2021 until September 2022.

Rev. Christi will be going forth to be the rector of St. David's Episcopal Church in Friday Harbor, WA. 

Ken Hawkins



Ken served as the Executive Director of the Seattle Seafarers Center for 12 years. Ken retired from the Center in February 2021. 

Our Board

Dave Stockert 

David Stockert grew up in Dayton Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Northern University. After two years in the US Army, Dave settled on a job in the Pacific Northwest for Procter and Gamble, sales division. After 10 years Dave moved to a career for Holland America Cruise Line. After 30 years he retired and began driving the van for ship crew. He wanted to give back to crew who helped him for many years with ship promotion events. He has been a member of the board since 2017 and has served as President of the board since 2019.

Joe Cotton

Joe Cotton is currently the Director of Pastoral Care and Outreach for the Archdiocese of Seattle.  He oversees chaplaincy programs in jails, prisons, hospitals, and ports throughout Western Washington.  Joe has served on the board of directors for the Seattle Seafarers’ Center since 2018 and supervises the archdiocesan Seafarers’ Ministry, which is the Catholic portion of the center’s ecumenical partnership.  Joe has been a professional lay minister for over 20 years, serving as a parish youth minister, social worker, international missioner, and juvenile detention chaplain.  Joe holds a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Seattle University.  He has been a member of the board since 2019.     

Kristen Schultz

Kristen has more than fifteen years of experience as a production underwriter for Falvey Cargo Underwriting.  During that time, she has written cargo and stock throughput policies for a variety of risks in the general merchandise, technology, and life science industries.  She has been an approved Continuing Education instructor since 2011 and is currently approved in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska to present Falvey’s Cargo 101 course.


Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from Oregon State University.  She holds a Washington State Producer’s License and is working towards a AMIM designation.  Kristen is married with two children, and she loves hiking on the weekend with her husband and their dog.   She has been a member of the board since 2022. 

Michele Barutha

Michele Barutha is a seafarer and has been a member of the board since 2020.  She has served as the Secretary of the board since 2021. Starting in 2004, Michele has sailed onboard a variety of vessels including research vessels, training ships, and passenger vessels. In 2015 she graduated from the MITAGS Maritime Apprenticeship Program. After successfully completing the 28-month apprenticeship, Michele went on to obtain her USCG 3rd Mate Unlimited License and is now a member of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. She currently holds her Second Mate Unlimited and 200 ton NC Masters license.

Since 2019, Michele has also been training the next generation of apprentices as an Instructor at MITAGS. She is not only a USCG-approved instructor for a variety of maritime courses, but also an advisor and mentor for new apprentices entering the industry. When not in the classroom, Michele still sails on commercial contracts and is actively pursuing her Chief Mate's license.  She also participates in outreach programs to help educate youth about the maritime industry.
Dan Irwin

Dan has been a member of the board since 2016 and has served as Treasurer of the board since 2016.  Biography to follow.     

Jack Ipsen

Jack has been a member of the board since 2022. Jack started with the Seafarer Center when he was a rising sophomore at the University of Washington. He worked as a summer intern in conjunction with AOS. From there he continued to work as a summer intern throughout his time in college. He has worked with many nonprofits in the past, but this one is by far his favorite. He feels so connected with this community and he is excited to continue to work with seafarers on the board. Since first starting with the center, he has graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science, and has commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Army National Guard as field artillery officer. He is married to his wife Kayla and they currently live in Kenmore.

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