Board of Directors

President Bob Rose

Bob Rose first became familiar with Zen teachings through the poetry of Gary Snyder. Inspired, he moved from Boston in 1970 and settled in northwest Washington, working as a carpenter and shipwright.  Advocacy work to protect Heart Lake on Fidalgo Island led to a long career conserving the state’s forest and farmlands.  He served as special assistant to the Washington Commissioner of Public Lands (1981-1993) and as Executive Director of Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland (1995-2006). Bob now works with Taylor Guitars to ensure a sustainable source of koa wood from Hawaii. 

Following a 2010 visit to the San Francisco Zen Center, he began practice with Red Cedar Zen, formally taking the precepts with Nomon Tim Burnett in 2014.  In 2016 he joined Mountain Rain sangha for a pilgrimage to Japan and has participated in numerous sesshins at Loon Lake and Red Cedar Zen with Zoketsu Norman Fischer. Bob served as Red Cedar’s tenzo for the past 5 years and was shuso for the 2021 winter practice period, leading the sangha in an investigation of Shi Tou’s Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage.  


Secretary Hannah Sullivan

Hannah Sullivan began practicing Buddhism in the Vipassana tradition with SN Goenka in 1983,establishing a regular home practice, and began to study Soto zen in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi in 2012, traveling to sesshins on Salt Spring Island, BC with Eihei Peter Levitt, and sitting regularly with the Red Cedar group at home in Bellingham, where she has held various service positions. In 2015 she received jukai (lay ordination) from Peter Levitt and Zoketsu Norman Fischer. She will be Red Cedar’s shuso for the upcoming 2022 winter practice period with the guidance of Sokaku Kathie Fischer and Nomon Tim Burnett.

Hannah has worked as a high school teacher in the public schools, a clay artist, a tree planter, and a health care practitioner, starting as an EMT in the Skagit Valley, retiring in 2015 from Whatcom Hospice, after 25 years as an RN for Peacehealth in Bellingham. She maintained a private practice as a licensed massage therapist, and taught yoga for 12 years. She lives with her husband, Gerry Cook, and spends as much time outdoors as possible.

Treasurer Ginger Harris

Ginger Harris became interested in Buddhism after picking up a Buddhist text in a Netherlands hotel room in 2009 and reading what the Buddha taught about suffering. She began studying Buddhism in its various forms and had the opportunity during that time to visit to several Buddhist temples in Thailand and Singapore. In 2010, she took an Introduction to Zen Meditation course series at the Houston Zen Center, and in 2011 attended a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh, where she received the Five Mindfulness Trainings. She also practiced for a couple of years after this with Lost Coin Zen, a semi-virtual Zen group from both Rinzai and Soto Zen lineages.

Professionally, Ginger is a mechanical engineer, and since getting her MBA is 2016, has worked primarily in business development. Currently she works for bp Cherry Point in Blaine, where she seeks to help bridge the gap from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. She has served as the Treasurer for both Bayou Village school in Houston in 2013, and for OPAL, a community beautification non-profit in La Conner in 2019.


Vice President Mary Durbrow

Bio coming soon.

Member John Wiley

John Wiley began practicing Zen in 1995 with the Bellingham Zen Practice Group which was later named Red Cedar Zen Community.  He has maintained a regular practice at home, attending sesshins, and filling various roles in the sangha.  He received the precepts from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 1998, was shusho in 2006 and received lay entrustment from Norman in 2010.

John’s career was in psychotherapy, first working at Bellingham’s Community Mental Health Center for 12 years, then in private practice for 27 years.  He retired in 2013.

Member Terrill Thompson

Terrill Thompson began practicing zen in 1988 at Kansas Zen Center in Lawrence (Kwan Um School of Zen, under Zen Master Seung Sahn). In the late 1990s his practice transitioned to the Soto Zen lineage of Suzuki Roshi, first at the Chapel Hill Zen Center in North Carolina, then at Red Cedar Zen Community (RCZC) when he and his family moved to Bellingham in 2001. Over his 20+ years in Bellingham he has maintained a steady practice and has been especially active in RCZC's Wilderness Program. He took the precepts with Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Nomon Tim Burnett in 2010.   

Professionally, Terrill has worked since the early 1990s in the technology accessibility field, dedicated to improving the accessibility of websites, videos, software, hardware, and other technologies for individuals with disabilities. Since 2001 he has conducted this work while employed at the University of Washington.  He has been active in multiple professional organizations, including EDUCAUSE (a nonprofit association focused on information technology in higher education), where he founded the IT Accessibility Community Group in 2007 and served as its leader through 2012; and Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN), a nonprofit association that he co-founded in 2002 and served as vice president from 2007 through 2010. 

Member Valerie Davenport

Valerie Davenport began her meditation practice with Red Cedar Zen Community in 2007 at the suggestion of her friend Christine Burkhart. Her practice became more steady a few years later, regularly sitting Wednesday evenings at the Dharma Hall on Forest St.

Valerie moved to Green Valley, Arizona in September 2014 but maintained her connection with RCZC. She sat meditation with a group in Green Valley and eventually found Sky Island Zen in Tucson. In 2017, she wanted to take the Precepts and felt her practice was rooted with RCZC and in November 2018 she took the Precepts with Nomon Tim Burnett and Shudo Christine Burkhart.

Valerie teaches body awareness classes in her community in Arizona. These include, traditional yoga and accessible chair yoga, posture awareness, balance, Sit and Be Fit, and guided meditation.

Ex-Officio Member Nomon Tim Burnett

Our Guiding Teacher is Nomon Tim Burnett. Tim has been a student of Zoketsu Norman Fischer since 1987 when he was a resident at San Francisco Zen Center's Green Gulch Farm. After sitting practice periods at Green Gulch and Tassajara Zen Monastery, Tim helped found the Bellingham Zen Practice Group in 1991. Tim was ordained as a Zen Priest by Norman in 2000, received Dharma Transmission in 2011, and was installed as Guiding Teacher of the sangha in April, 2017.

A person of wide-ranging professional interests, Tim has been a botanist, carpenter, elementary school teacher, writer, and computer programmer. In addition to his work at the Guiding Teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community, Tim is also Executive Director of Mindfulness Northwest where he offers the Dharma in the form of secular mindfulness to many in local communities and professions.


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