Friends guided kayak tour of the Elliott Bay Seawall under the light-penetrating surface.

Image by Rhoades Clark courtesy of DSA.

Who We Are

Waterfront Park is the joint effort of the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, and Seattle Parks & Recreation. Friends of Waterfront Seattle is the City of Seattle’s nonprofit partner helping to build, fund, program, and manage Waterfront Park and ensure its lasting success.

Image by Nicole Dansereau

Image by Nicole Dansereau

Friends of Waterfront Seattle is dedicated to creating and sustaining a Waterfront Park for all. 

Following the public-benefit partnership model, Friends of Waterfront Seattle educates the public about the park and its benefits, raises philanthropic funds to build and support operations of the park, and partners with the City to manage and program the park in perpetuity.

Our goal is to realize the public’s vision for a waterfront park where all communities can share cultural, recreational, and civic experiences in a safe, beautiful environment.

Friends is a founding member of the High Line Network, a movement in cities across the world to reclaim underutilized infrastructure and re-imagine it as public space.

Image by Robert Wade

Image by Robert Wade

The vision for Waterfront Park was conceived through a community‑wide effort.

The design of Waterfront Park was created with community input and collaboration at its core. Programming the park is made possible through consistent collaboration with community partners, and we invite you to get involved. Interested in partnering with Friends?


Mary Bass

Wells Fargo

Carol Binder

Community Volunteer

Tom Byers

Cedar River Group

Chris DeVore

Founders’ Co-op

Gene Duvernoy


Stephanie Ellis-Smith

Phila Engaged Giving

Leonard Forsman

The Suquamish Tribe

Olive Goh

Citi Private Bank

Paul Goodrich

Madrona Venture Group

Patrick Gordon

ZGF Architects LLP

Nicole Grant

MLK Labor

Leslie Hanauer

Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation

Sandra Jackson-Dumont

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Falona Joy

SNP Strategies, Inc.

Paul Keller

Mack Real Estate Development

Martha Kongsgaard

Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation

Dan Kully

Kully Struble

Carla Lewis

Community Volunteer

Kyle McCoy

Goldman Sachs

Lori Metcalf

Seattle Academy

Kollin Min

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

John Nesholm

LMN Architects

Jeannie Nordstrom

Civic Leader and Philanthropist

Estela Ortega

El Centro de la Raza

Stuart Rolfe

Wright Hotels, Inc.

Charley Royer

Former Seattle Mayor

Kayley Runstad Swan

Runstad Foundation

Ryan Smith

Martin Smith, Inc.

Louie Ungaro

The Muckleshoot Tribe

Maggie Walker

The Walker Family Foundation

Brady Piñero Walkinshaw


Charles Wright

Merrill Gardens, LLC


Thatcher Bailey

Executive Director

Blake Bowers

Finance / P&C Administrator

Nicole Dansereau

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Katheryn Edwards

Executive Assistant to the Director

Sarneshea Evans

Community Impact Manager

Esteban Ginocchio Silva

Fundraising Database Lead

Yoon Kang-O'Higgins

Senior Programs Manager

Marie Kidhe

Senior Community Engagement Manager

Anna O'Donnell

Associate Chief Philanthropy Officer

Anne O'Dowd

Events & Festivals Manager

Jeff Ozimek

Park Operations & Recreation Manager

Jordan Remington

Community Engagement & Programs Coordinator

Heather Ryan

Vending & Concessions Lead

Margie Shurgot

Chief Philanthropy Officer

Joey Smith

Campaign Operations Manager

Work With Us

Click on the job listings below to explore Friends’ open positions.

Friends is seeking a Major Gifts Officer, an essential position in the Fund Development team and an energetic accelerator of major gifts, identifies, cultivates, and builds a robust portfolio of high-level gift prospects and donors that generates five- and six-figure gifts.

Reporting directly to the Associate Chief Philanthropy Officer, the Major Gift Officer position is a new leadership role, providing support to Friends’ growing major gift program. The Major Gift Officer works closely with a range of diverse, sophisticated donors, raising significant gifts that meet or exceed all activity metrics and revenue goals. The Major Gift Officer is responsible for advancing best practices in moves management, travelling and meeting with donors throughout the Seattle region. This position will be based in Seattle, with the ability to work remotely until able to safely relocate there.

This position directly supports the Fund Development team’s goal to maximize fundraising and constituent engagement with the Friends’ $200 million Waterfront Park Campaign. Review the full job description here.

Friends is seeking a Donor Stewardship Manager & Philanthropy Writer, a key member of the Fund Development team and works in collaboration with gift officers, marketing and communications, operations and programs, the Executive Director, and volunteer leadership to showcase the Waterfront Park project and ensure consistently aligned messaging.

Friends is seeking a skilled development communications and stewardship professional with a background in persuasive writing, editing, and project management. The Donor Stewardship Manager/ Philanthropy Writer will be responsible for: 1) creating and implementing a comprehensive donor communications, stewardship, and recognition program to support fundraising goals and activities for Friends’ $200M Campaign for Waterfront Park Seattle; and 2) serving as a principal storyteller for Friends, writing and developing persuasive cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship communication materials for individual and institutional constituents, and helping create excitement and drive donor engagement for the Campaign and Friends.

This position directly supports the Fund Development team’s goal to maximize fundraising and constituent engagement with the Friends’ $200 million Waterfront Park Campaign. Review the full job description here.

Friends is seeking a Development Data Manager, an essential position in the Fund Development team, to provide primary support and expertise for the group’s use of the Salesforce database, the organization’s relationship management system.

This position has two principal responsibilities: 1) long- and short-range planning to support ongoing development of the Salesforce database and its efficient use throughout the department to track prospects, donors, gifts, and team members’ cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship moves and 2) tracking, entering, and acknowledging philanthropic contributions to Friends. Working closely with others on the Fund Development team, this position will maintain and update constituent record information for individuals and organizations, oversee data quality and integrity, analyze data as requested, train team members in best practice use of the database, and assist with integrating other constituent-related systems.

This position directly supports the Fund Development team’s goal to maximize fundraising and constituent engagement with the Friends’ $200 million Waterfront Park Campaign. Review the full job description here.


Download more information on the design, history, and community partners behind Waterfront Park.

Press & Media

Salmon swim past downtown along new ‘highway’ for fish

Seattle Times
June 4, 2019

View Press

Friends of Waterfront Seattle Incubates Small Business to Promote Equity March 2019

Puget Sound Business Journal
March 14, 2019

View Press

New study: Waterfront park is Seattle’s new weapon to retain tech talent

Puget Sound Business Journal
March 11, 2019

View Press

A Bold New Waterfront Is Coming to Seattle Soon
Seattle Magazine — March 1, 2019

Waterfront Park fits how Seattle lives, works
Daily Journal of Commerce — February 28, 2019

Opinion: Shared investments show Seattle at its best
Puget Sound Business Journal — February 20, 2019

Will we really have a ‘Waterfront for All’?
Daily Journal of Commerce — December 5, 2018

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected].


Friends of Waterfront Seattle deeply values our partnerships with local nonprofits, foundations, government entities, corporations, and organizations that make our work possible.

Are you interested in joining our robust list of partners that program and steward Waterfront Park?

What do you want to see, eat, and do on the waterfront?

Want to plan an event? Have an idea for an activity? We want to hear from you! Waterfront Park is committed to serving the needs of its diverse communities through cultural, educational, and recreational activities in a beautiful, welcoming environment.