Patricia Bell (left), President

Patricia is a retired California public school educator of 37 years.  Her experience included: classroom teacher, media specialist, reading specialist, learning specialist and elementary school assistant principal in addition to working as a reading consultant for Houghton Mifflin publishing company.  She has been an active community volunteer for over 50 years, and has lived on Bainbridge Island since 2003. Patty joined AHB Board of Directors in 2010 and has been the Chairperson for Bainbridge in Bloom (2011 – 2018) as well as serving as the Board of Directors President.  Other community work includes serving as a Bloedel docent (2004 – current) and as a founding board member of SWERV. Some of Patty’s pastimes include volunteering, yoga, traveling with family, gardening, knitting and quilting.





Pernell Tyus, Vice President

Pernell Tyus is a retired Hollywood Director of Photography. Over a 30-year career, his credits include many major motion pictures and nationally known television shows, documentaries and commercials. He previously served on the board of the Society of Operating Cameramen. His interests include photography, gardening, reading, traveling and exercising. A Bainbridge resident since 2005, Pernell has taken a leadership role with several AHB programs, including Bainbridge in Bloom and Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival.





Claire Hicks, Treasurer

Claire’s professional background has been in the non-profit sector where she worked as the Associate Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in the Pikes Peak Region of Colorado.  Her work included grant writing, data base management, program development, staff supervision and volunteer recruitment and training and oversight. She also worked for DVERT (Domestic Violence and volunteer Enhanced Response Team) a federally funded multi-disciplinary intervention model.  Claire raised three children and was involved in numerous committees supporting the arts and athletics. On Bainbridge Island, she has volunteered at Islandwood and at St. Barnabus Episcopal Church. She holds a B.A. in English from Emory University and enjoys knitting, pottery, good literature and gardening.  Her garden was featured in the 2015 Bloom Garden Tour.





Linda Semlitz, Secretary

Linda maintains a private practice in Child Psychiatry on Bainbridge Island and was previously a child psychiatrist serving indigent children at Kitsap Mental Health Services in Bremerton.  She lived and worked in Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo) from 1995 – 2014. During that time she worked as a Medical Director and Director of Medical Affairs for Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, a pharmaceutical non-profit mental health organization in Tokyo that provided mental health treatment and disaster response after the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.  She currently serves on the board of an international mental health organization, the Global Fund for Mental Health, previously named US-TELL. She enjoys reading, hiking, sailing and woodworking.






Mike Lewars

Mike Lewars received a BSE from Princeton and an MBA from Stanford. He is a retired business executive and served on the AHB Board since 2006 (with a hiatus in 2017) as a Board Member, Treasurer, and President. Mike was Director of Product Supply for Proctor & Gamble for Asia (1995 – 2000) and North America (1990 – 1995). He is a member of Bainbridge Island Rotary (Grants Committee Chair for 8 years), the Bainbridge Planning Commission (member for 10 years, Chair for 4 years), Alumni Schools Committee- Princeton University, and the Bainbridge Schools Foundation Board of Directors.  He enjoys golf, theater, symphony, and traveling with his wife, Nancy. Most importantly, he enjoys giving back through service and philanthropy.



Linda Kramer Jenning

Linda Jenning is a veteran journalist who continues to freelance since moving to Bainbridge in 2017. In Washington, D.C., she taught journalism at Georgetown University, served as the DC editor for Glamour magazine, and earlier worked in the Time Inc. bureau for People. She started her journalism career at the Associated Press and covered politics in Oregon and worked at KOIN-TV before moving to DC. She is a graduate of Smith College and earned a master’s in writing from John Hopkins. Linda is past president of the Journalism and Women Symposium and serves on the advisory council of Running Start, a DC-based nonprofit that motivates and trains young women to run for office. Linda volunteered on the 30th annual Bainbridge in Bloom committee and enjoyed getting to know more about Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and she has been delighted to discover such a rich cultural community on Bainbridge. She enjoys working in her garden, playing tennis and traveling with her husband Steve.


Kate Melia-Morichetti

Kate is a fourth generation Kitsap County resident who grew up in Silicon Valley. After spending many memorable summers here with her family, she moved permanently to Bainbridge Island in 2014 with her husband, Laurent. During her twenty years as a design professional, Kate worked as a Residential Interior Designer, started her own design firm, wrote a weekly interior design column for Media News Group’s Bay Area publication of “The Los Gatos Weekender”, and worked on several independent film projects. She recently combined her love for design with her love for filmmaking, and culminated it into a career in Production Design. She currently works on film projects in both Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Kate became involved with Arts and Humanities Bainbridge when her garden was featured in the 2018 Bainbridge in Bloom Garden Tour. She enjoys working in the garden, traveling the world with her husband, and writing screenplays.


Carl Sussman

Carl works as Branch Manager for Realogics Sothebys International Realty on Bainbridge Island and has been involved with Real Estate since 2000.  He previously worked as a chef/owner of Winslow Way Café, 1990 – 1999. His interests include painting, cooking, real estate, chamber music, gardening and community service.  In the 1980’s his art was selected for an Art in Bloom poster and Poets-and-Artists Calendar. He has volunteered with the Bainbridge Community Foundation for its community grant cycle for the past two years.  Carl is currently serving as the Chair for AHB’s Public Art Committee.






  • Jenny Coates
  • Matthew Coates
  • Barb Magusin
  • Christopher Snow
  • Debbie Vancil