Staff & Volunteers

Michael Britschgi
Executive Assistant

MichaelMichael grew up in Southwest Washington and after attending Clark College in Vancouver, WA, he transferred to the University of Washington and moved to Seattle in 2012. He graduated in Summer 2013 with a degree in English. He plans to continue his education in Autumn 2014 by either attending graduate or law school. His favorite books are Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey.

Brian E. Langston
Assistant Editor (POPLORISH)

Brian E. Langston

Brian E. Langston is a fictionalist, poet, musician, and part-time jangoleer. Originally hailing from California, he arrived in the Pacific Northwest via a circuitous route that involved an 8-year stay in Baltimore, MD, and a 5-month trek through South America. He has organized many poetry and art events, with a focus on multimedia/cross-genre performances that incorporate music, poetry, movement, and the visual arts. While in Charm City, he hosted a roundtable discussion on the female Beat poets for the Baltimore Book Festival, organized a 50th anniversary celebration of the publication of Howl (including a performance of the poem arranged for multiple voices and accompaniment), and held stints as assistant editor for the journal Poems Against War and guest editor for the broadside Poets’ Ink. His work has appeared in Attic, Octopus Dreams, Gargoyle, Hamilton Stone Review, Loch Raven Review, JMWW, and other places, both in print and online. His self-published chapbook The Ruined City appeared in 2008. Previously, in Santa Barbara, California, he founded the poetry journal Into the Teeth of the Wind. You can visit him online at

Shane Matthews
Development Assistant

Shane MatthewsShane Matthews is a Washington native who grew up in Duvall, a small town about 45 minutes northeast of Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington in 2011 with a double major in English Literature and Spanish, he has explored various employment situations, including stints with a youth volunteer program in Mercer Island and his current position grading state writing assessments. Shane is excited to be contributing to the development of Old Growth NW while becoming reacquainted with his writing and editing skills.

Gwen McKenzie
Events Organizer

selfGwen was born and raised in South Florida but left in search of culture and somewhere with more than one season, fleeing to New York where she studied technical theatre at New York University. After interning at the Peninsula Players in Fish Creek, Wisconsin and the Westport Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut, she found her favorite role stage managing new works with Polybe + Seats in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Gwen completed her B.F.A. in Theatre Arts at Western Washington University with a focus in Arts Management and happily moved to Seattle soon after. She has stage-managed works for the Skagit Valley Opera, Seattle Children’s Theatre, the Lake Worth Playhouse and at Joe’s Pub in New York. Her interests in theatre and performance led her to seek out other contexts for new works in the hyper-literary society of Seattle. On a free Sunday she can be found behind of stack of cookbooks, science fiction novels and literary magazines with a cup of overly sweetened black tea and a freshly baked pie cooling on the windowsill.

Irfan Shariff
Development Consultant

IrfanIrfan Shariff has a love-hate relationship with words. And that is exactly why he decided to pursue them. Irfan is a Midwest transplant who has been calling Seattle his home for nearly eight years. He enjoys the Northwest and Seattle because they offer him a varied landscape to explore – from mountains and water, to cafes, museums, and restaurants. Being the masochist that he is, Irfan has a degree in English Literature that he does not use in his professional life. But he does not claim it hasn’t helped him. By day, he produces web content, and when the mood is right, he writes.

Tracy Timmons-Gray
Event Coordinator for Gay Romance Northwest


Tracy Timmons-Gray is the Event Coordinator for Old Growth Northwest’s Gay Romance initiative, which includes the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up, the first conference that focuses on gay romance fiction in the Pacific Northwest. Tracy has more than a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector, with a focus on project management, event management, development, and digital outreach and marketing. She moved to Seattle in 2001 to complete her MA in Japanese Studies at the University of Washington, and never left since. Having grown up in the wilds of upstate New York, Tracy especially appreciates Seattle’s lack of snow in the winter and mosquitos in the summer. In her spare time, when she’s not corralling projects to stay on schedule, she loves reading, drawing cartoony monsters, singing karaoke, and avoiding her cat when he gets “bite-y”.

Andrea Waade
Outreach Director


Andrea Waade is a native of the Pacific Northwest, with a passion for creating strong and interconnected communities. She studied Development at UW’s Jackson School of International Studies. Since that time she has worked with several nonprofits on outreach, grassroots-based advocacy and environmental policy issues, both in the US and abroad. She recently completed a graduate degree in Hydrology and is thrilled to be back in Seattle and to be involved with several writing and arts nonprofits, in addition to Old Growth Northwest, including 826 Seattle, Sanctuary Art Center and Solid Ground. She can be spotted biking and whistling along the Burke Gilman.

John Wheaton
Grant Writer

John Wheaton

John Wheaton studied English and physics at Stanford University before completing a law degree at the University of Washington. For the last several years, he has worked as an immigration attorney in both the solo practice and small firm settings. John has a passion for creative writing, especially absurdist fiction and poetry. His work has appeared in Bricolage, Glossolalia, and the SN Review.  John is also interested in nonprofit development work and will be assisting with grant writing projects for Old Growth Northwest.

Thank you to the many generous individuals who donated their time and energy to Old Growth Northwest in 2013.

Judy Bauer, Chester Bennett, Jessica Blat, Logan Bowers, Michael Britschgi, Krista Davis, Ian Greenfield, Jessan Hutchison-Quillian, Leah Jacobs, Aimee Kanemori, Ariko Kimoto, Brian Langston, Gwen McKenzie, Shane Matthews, Lawrence Panzarella, Jerina Pillert, Nick Schwarzenberger, Benjamin Schmitt, Irfan Shariff, Tracy Timmons-Gray, and John Wheaton.

Old Growth thrives on the support of volunteers. For more information on ways to get involved, please email us at