Updated: May 22, 2023

Meet the Board of Governors At-Large Candidates

The Governor At-Large election begins Monday, May 15, and ends at 5 p.m. PST on Thursday, June 1. All Active WSBA members are eligible to vote including Lawyer, Limited Licensed Legal Technicians and Limited Practice Officers.

Per WSBA Bylaws, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council "shall forward at least three candidates who have a lived experience and knowledge of the needs of those members whose membership is or may be historically underrepresented in governance, to the end that the Board of Governors will be a more diverse and representative body than the results of the election of Governors based solely on Congressional districts may allow. Diversity refers to a meaningful representation of, and equal opportunities for, individuals who have a lived experience as a member from one or more historically underrepresented communities in the legal profession. Underrepresentation encompasses and is not limited to, race, disability, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression."

Candidate Statements

Candidate statements are unedited and posted as submitted.

Tom Ahearne

Tom Ahearne

In my eyes, I am no less a good lawyer today than I was on February 10, 2014. 

But society's eyes are different. A February 11, 2014 snowboarding accident left me imprisoned half-paralyzed in a wheelchair. And the contrast between how others treated and include me before my accident vs. after is like day and night. In short, while cripples are not part of the prevailing DEI triad of race/gender/orientation, our daily on-the-ground experiences directly relate to our legal system's lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

That "Can You Relate?" song articulates my post-accident attitude very well. For example: I could say from my service on the NAACP Executive Board (Alaska/Oregon/Washington conference) that I understand what it's like to be marginalized because of race. But I can't know what it's like to be black. Just like others can't know what it's like to be a cripple. Yet, as that song says, all of us are the same — just in different kinds of ways. I'm applying for this position because, if we really want our legal system to be inclusive and fair for all people, talking the talk is not enough. WSBA has to lead us to actually walk the walk. 

Candidate Profile: Tom Ahearne

Watch Tom's candidate statement video.

Nancy Hawkins

Nancy Hawkins

I ask for your consideration of my application for an At Large position on the Board of Governors of the WSBA. As a 67 years old lesbian, I meet the non-exclusive criteria to apply for this position.

I have been a volunteer in various organizations literally since I was sixteen years old. Over those years, I have written newsletters, given speeches, made media appearances, served on boards and been president of organizations. Within WSBA and elsewhere, I have analyzed substantive and financial policies and mentored others to do so. I have the background and skills for the BOG.

The WSBA has a role to play and work to do in improving our legal system. The court system needs better funding and, often, better systems. Our residents need more fair access to the court and our legal professionals need to understand how they can better represent under-served populations. The working is challenging but important.

I didn’t make the decision to apply for consideration lightly. Because I have been an active volunteer with the WSBA; I know how much work is involved in being on the Board of Governors. I am prepared to take on those responsibilities. 

Nancy Hawkins Candidate Profile

Letter of Recommendation 1; Letter of Recommendation 2; Letter of Recommendation 3; Letter of Recommendation 4.

Watch Nancy's candidate statement video.

Kim Sandher

Kim Sandher

Leadership takes teamwork and I ask for your support and your vote so I can keep working to serve our profession and the people who rely so heavily on it. I am running for At-Large Governor because I want to promote change and bring a diverse perspective to the Board. I have been an attorney for approximately thirteen years and have made it a priority to volunteer my time at numerous legal clinics to serve the public, as well as take on leadership roles in various bar associations to help both the legal community and the public. Being born and raised on a mushroom farm in Canada, to immigrant parents, I bring a unique viewpoint to the Board. I have a strong background in leadership due to my involvement with the Washington State Bar Association, American Bar Association, and King County Bar Association, where I have been involved with countless diversity initiatives. During my time as chair for the Washington Young Lawyers Committee, I helped reach more young lawyers and students than ever before. Helping the underserved and underrepresented is one of my passions that I want to effectively use to serve as a member of the Board.

Candidate Profile: Kim Sandher

Letter of Recommendation 1; Letter of Recommendation 2

Watch Kim's candidate statement video.