First Thinkers
First Thinkers: Paul Rucker, Caroline Cumming, Norm Stamper, Janice O'Mahoney, Nancy Ashley, Nate Caldwell, Doug Stevenson, Anne Focke, Heather Dew Oaksen, Lisa Fitzhugh.


Nancy Ashley practiced law for nine years. She now champions positive change; putting theory, experience and knowledge to work; to transform ambitious visions into reality; and to leave groups stronger and more focused in their endeavors.

Nate Caldwell is the Director of the Community Corrections Division in the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention with over 40 years experience in the criminal justice field.

Anne Focke has worked in a wide range of capacities; as an artist, writer, consultant and planner, nonprofit executive director, organizer and start-up activist, public arts agency staff member, curator, and board member. She was the first executive director of Grantmakers in the Arts, (GIA) a national association of private foundations and others that fund the arts.

Lisa Fitzhugh has 20 years experience working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She is the founder and former executive director of Arts Corps, the largest arts education program in Washington State reaching underserved communities throughout King County.

Janice O'Mahoney has over 25 years experience working in the juvenile and adult criminal justice system. She is currently a community activist working on behalf of children and youth.

Paul Rucker is an interdisciplinary artist (cellist-bassist-composer-visual artist-creator of interactive sound/video installations) and creator of Proliferation an animated mapping of the US Prison system set to original music.

Norm Stamper began his law enforcement career in San Diego in 1966 as a beat cop. In 1994, he was named chief of the Seattle Police Department, where he implemented many of the initiatives he writes about in his book Breaking Rank.

Doug Stevenson, formerly lead staff member with King County Law, Justice & Human Services Committee is currently working with United Way of King County providing advice to the Initiative to End Chronic Homelessness.


Christie Fraser has practiced law in San Francisco for 35 years. She is inspired to support the MINOR DIFFERENCES project using her expertise as a community advocate and an attorney. Christie is a graduate of Stanford University, U.C. Hastings College of the Law, and Golden Gate University.

Julia Newcomb began her career as a legislative, judicial and administrative advocate on policy implementation of the 1976 change from indeterminate to determinate sentence law in California. Subsequent litigation on behalf of convicted adults and minors has spanned capital appeals, conditions of confinement and appellate review of convictions, dispositions and sentences.


Jyl Leininger, writer, and editor, has been putting clients’ concepts and intentions into words for over 25 years. She has recently completed projects for The Taproot Foundation (TechReach; ACT), Washington CASH and The Haas Foundation. Currently, she is involved in honing and expressing the ideas that form the core of Minor Differences.

Fidelma McGinn has been a mediamaker, a media arts funder and a long-time independent media advocate, over the past 20+ years. After a rewarding career in a fortune 100 technology company, she led three non-profit arts organizations as Executive Director; 911 Media Arts Center, Film Arts Foundation and Artist Trust. She is currently the Vice President of Philanthropic Services at The Seattle Foundation.