The Board of Directors


“The world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories.”  –Muriel Ruykeser


Art and the act of creative expression are opportunities for people to experience agency, community, and change. Be a part of this change by joining the Grace Institute Board of Directors. We are specifically in need of members with skills in finance, legal expertise, project development, strategic planning, real-estate, outreach development, and diversity, equity and inclusion.If you would like to be part of building GI’s next phase of growth, please contact the Executive Director, Ashley Smith or the Board President, Becky Wong.



Alicia Cash (Secretary and Treasurer) is parent to a former art camper and now camp counselor. A member of the Grace community for many years, Alicia is passionate and caring in her unwaivering support of  Grace Institute and the community created and shared with children, youth, and artists in Portland.

Becky Ruotsi-Wong (President) brings 30 years of experience in accounting, office management, human resources, and hospitality to the Board. A member of the Grace community for over 50 years, Becky has served three years on the Board and many more as a dedicated and proud Grace Art Camp volunteer. She attended Pacific Lutheran and PSU, and has three adult sons.

Mike Bennison

Susan Germundson is a teacher at Irvington School and has been teaching for over 30 years. She is also one of the founding members of Grace Art Camp and has been a member of Grace Memorial since 1992. She and her husband, Curt, live on a small farm in Gresham and have two grown children.

Stephen Weeks is Associate Professor and Theatre Department Chair at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. He began teaching there in 1995. He has also taught at Reed College, Brown University, and the University of Washington. He has a Ph.D. in Drama and Humanities from Stanford University. At Lewis & Clark, he teaches dramatic literature, acting, directing, and play writing and directs plays. Along with his wife Denise and daughter Lily, he has been a proud member of the Grace community for over ten years. On the side, he loves running, hiking, movies, and rock music.

Tracy Suzuki is the parent of two Grace Art campers.  Her oldest daughter has been attending Grace Art Camp since 2013.  Tracy lives in Southwest Portland and works for an electrical contractor as a Project Coordinator.  She holds a BS in Business from Cornell University.  She is a lover of music, languages and cultures and has studied abroad several times.  Her favorite countries to visit are Italy, Sweden, Brazil, and Japan.

Martin Elfert, Rector of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, ex officio, is both an Art Camp parent and the Rector (i.e., the Senior Pastor) of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church. A former stage manager, Martin is convinced of the transformative power of beauty: in the words of the Egyptian novelist, Naguib Mahfouz, “Art is the language of the entire human personality.”

Ashley SmithExecutive Director, Grace Institute, ex officio