Staff & Volunteers

Kristine Leander, Executive Director

Kristine Leander
Kristine () supervises the other staff and is responsible for running the Club. Her dedication and hard work are seen in the time she puts in to support the Club’s many activities. In spring of 2015, Kristine held numerous meetings that sought members’ input on what the future of the Club should look like. She recognizes the significance of this activity, and is putting a lot of effort into completing it.

Kristine is the granddaughter of Swedish pioneers in the Skagit Valley. She grew up on a dairy farm west of Mount Vernon, where she claims everyone was named either Olson, Benson, Johnson or Carlson. At 40, Kristine moved with her three daughters to Norway, where she earned a Candidata magisterii-degree (between a bachelor’s and a master’s degree) from the University of Trondheim. Upon returning to Seattle, she earned a Ph.D. at the UW, and has worked in health care and the adoption field.

Kristine is also the founder of the Leif Erikson International Foundation, a local organization that has given statues of Leif Erikson to Norway, Greenland and Newfoundland, Canada. She began her affiliation with the Swedish Club as a member of the Board in 2007, and oversaw the strategic plan that started in 2008. She came on staff as our cultural director in 2009, and was hired as executive director in 2012. Kristine’s daughters, sons-in-law and grandson all live in Seattle.

Doug Newlands, Facilities Manager

Doug Newlands
Doug () hires and manages the maintenance crew, who are on duty whenever the building is open. He is responsible for all rental agreements, and takes an active role in the monthly Building Committee meetings run by Larry Johnson, vice president of properties.

Doug came to the Swedish Club three years ago after spending nearly 20 years with King County as a project manager in the Department of Natural Resources and Parks. Prior to that, Doug was with PACCAR, working for its truck financing and leasing subsidiaries. When he is not working his day job at the Club, he builds custom chicken coops for urban farmers.

Doug has a daughter and son-in-law who live in Los Angeles, and a son who lives in New York City with his fiancée. He has lived in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood for 23 years. When he can find free time, Doug enjoys water sports, gardening, reading and cooking. His genealogy includes a Swede-Finn grandmother and a Greek grandfather on his mother’s side, and Scottish/Irish roots on his father’s side.

Eva Larson, Event Manager

Eva Larson
Eva () assists Kristine with day-to-day tasks at the Club. Eva also focuses on events large and small—including the annual auction, our most significant fundraising event.

Eva grew up on Vashon Island, surrounded by forests and beaches, and loves the outdoors and the great Pacific Northwest. Swedish culture has been a part of her life since the very beginning. Her grandfather emigrated from Sweden at the age of 6, and her grandparents instilled in her a great appreciation for her heritage. She attended Seattle First Covenant Church, founded by Swedish missionaries.

While studying at North Park University in Chicago, Eva was part of a group exchange program that toured Sweden. She lived and studied with Swedes in Jönköping, and traveled to Stockholm, Göteborg, Husqvarna, Björko, Karlstad, Nyköping, Växjo, Kosta and Örebro. She remains grateful for the opportunity and maintains that it shaped who she is today.

Eva graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and Scandinavian studies. She returned to Seattle in summer 2013 and was hired by the Swedish Club. She and her husband have recently become home owners.

Don Rauf, Music Coordinator

Don Rauf

Volunteer Projects

Anytime gardening. Join Power Weeding at the Swedish Club and make a difference! Your schedule, your choice–30 minutes or hours at a whack; your tools and gloves; our master plan. It’s guaranteed to be a go-green, contorting, bending, waist-whittling, heads down, tails up, knee-strengthening, quadriceps and biceps waking time. For more information, contact us or call 206-283-1090.

Closet chief. Do you love to organize or to plan space? The storage areas of the Swedish Club show the same strains as a home lived in by a family for 50 years. The closets are filled. Can you help us? Maybe you’re a retired architect or an engineer between opportunities and you’d like to help the Club organize its real storage needs within its existing space. There are storage areas on three floors and we need help to organize what should go where and/or move materials from one area to another. If you can help, please contact us or call 206-283-1090.

Yum! We always need help with our pancake breakfasts—cooking, serving and cleaning up.

To help on any of these projects, please call 206-283-1090 or