PSBA Leadership

Please see bottom of page to learn more about our Officers and Trustees for 2017



  • Nancy Beckett (2017-19)
  • Kit Hiatt (2017-19)
  • Lisa Nguyen (2017-19)
  • Alex Johnston (2017-19)
  • Monica Armstrong (2017-18)
  • Kathy Cox (2017-18)
  • Daniel Najera (2017-18)
  • open (2017-18)
  • open (2017-18)


  • Apiary Committee Chair – Maureen Sullivan
  • PR Director/Editor and Publishing Committee Chair – Krista Conner
  • Volunteer Program Coordinator – Kit Hiatt
  • Meeting Speaker Committee Chair – Krista Conner
  • Events Planning Committee Chair – Kit Hiatt
  • Research Committee Chair – Daniel Najera
  • Education Committee Chair – Kathy Cox
  • Outreach and Community Engagement – TBD
  • Honey Sales Committee Chair – Nancy Beckett

Jeff SteenbergenJeff Steenbergen, President

Beekeeping Background: Jeff is a treatment free beekeeper and has been successfully keeping bees treatment free since 2012.  His preferred hive style is the top bar hive, but feels that his real strength is understanding how bees use empty space and can confidently manage bees for any hive style. 

He is passionate about flowering plants and has worked to improve the forage sources people plant by encouraging plantings of blooming trees and shrubs that bloom outside of the local flows when it’s most needed.  Jeff is also a strong advocate of identifying honey bee traits well suited for the Puget Sound region and propagating locally adapted queens.

Board history highlights
: Served as Trustee 2012-14, VP 2015-16 and started a Top Bar hive class for PSBA which has run the last three years. He also added a new monthly column to the PSBA Buzz called “Bee Lunch” that highlights a flower each month that bees are using for forage.  Jeff is a member of the PSBA apiary committee and has helped bring treatment free approaches to the apiary.  Additionally, Jeff serves as Queen Anne neighborhood captain.

Certifications:  WSBA Journeyman Certification.  Pursuing Master Beekeeper Certification.

Research projects I’m working on: Researching local bee populations and how distribution of drone congregation areas relate to successful queen mating.

Gerardo Dilillo photo
Gerardo Dilillo

Gerardo Dilillo, Ex-Officio-President (2017)

Beekeeping Background:  Beekeeping since 2012 using 8 frames Langstroth hives. I have a hive in Italy where I got my first beekeeping certification. I achieved WSBA Apprentice and currently working on Journeyman certification.

As Ex-Officio-President I plan to:

  • Give back to the association and the community supporting PSBA mission and local bees
  • Work closely with the board to strengthen the relationship with the community through teaching/fundraising events and inspire people to become active PSBA supporters
  • Learn from all of you

Maureen Sullivan, Secretary

Maureen Sullivan photo
Maureen Sullivan

Beekeeping background: Board Member since 2013. PSBA Secretary and Apiary Team Lead 2013 – Present.

Beekeeping Style: Hobbyist with 3.5 yrs experience  uses Natural beekeeping practices. In process of transitioning the PSBA apiary to natural comb and increasing number of 8 frame hives.

Equipment Preference/Expertise: Langstroth 8 Frame

More info: The quintessential fix-it type – Maureen gets things done!

As Secretary, Maureen plans to: Continue to develop programs such as Pollinators Week, Swarm Management Skills and planting resources for honeybees. PSBA’s mission statement may focus on honeybees, but other pollinators are critical and need the attention of PSBA. With so many new beekeepers, it’s critical that PSBA continue to emphasize basic hive management skills (swarm management!) and local queens.  Continue to emphasize building your own bee management tools, brood breaks and queen rearing.

Bruce Becker, Treasurer

Bruce Becker photo
Bruce Becker

Beekeeping Background:  Bruce has served as Treasurer and in other roles in some capacity since 2006, and has been keeping bees since 1968.  Bruce is a Sideliner, selling honey through his small business The Lazy Bee.

Beekeeping style: 10 frame Langstroth, treatments for mites- have used Apistan, Sucricide, formic acid pads, and formic acid quick strips with success  

More info:  Bruce is an Attorney and CPA and has used these skills to serve PSBA.

As Treasurer: Bruce would like to see PSBA encourage the city, other organizations, and nurseries to plant nectar producing trees along streets and in yards.


Krista Conner, Editor/PR Director

Krista Conner Photo
Krista Conner
PSBA Editor/PR Director 2016

PSBA Member since 2007, Board Member since 2008…Krista has served PSBA in various roles: President 2013-14, Vice President, News Editor/Publicity Director

Beekeeping Profile:  Sideliner, I use organic treatments

Certifications:  Journeyman Beekeeper- WSBA.

Equipment/Interests/Expertise: Langstroth 8 and  10 Frame (All Westerns).

More info: Outside of beekeeping, Krista works at Microsoft.  She resides in West Seattle and is owner of Seattle Bee Works offering local honey, hive hosting, and mentoring to beekeepers.

As a board member: Krista will support the strategy and goal setting for the organization. Will take steps to increase PSBA’s focus to create more forage for bees – engaging community partners to achieve this.


PSBA Trustees


Monica Armstrong, Trustee

Beekeeping Background:  I have been beekeeping since the spring of 2015. My hives are 10-frame Langstroth hives. Currently, I have a hive of Italian bees and a hive of Carniolan bees. In general, I have made an effort to avoid synthetic substances that might be absorbed into the honey or comb when doing treatments for disease. Having recently learned about the different levels of beekeeping certification, I began keeping a journal in hopes of earning master beekeeping certification.

I love observing the similarities and differences in my two hives. One of my favorite things to do is to tap the side of the hive and hear it “roar.” When appropriate, I am teaching my two elementary school children about bee keeping. I hope to instill a skill that they can use on their own someday.

Outside of beekeeping:  I teach chemistry at the high school level. It is the chemistry teacher in me that enjoys oxalic acid vaporizing my hives.

Kathy Cox, Trustee

Kathy Cox photo
Kathy Cox

I have been a beekeeper for 13 years and am an expert in nothing, however, I know a little about a lot of bee things! I have had as few as 2 hives and as many as 2200. Currently I have 7, with one failing because of pesticides and then mite saturation. That probably tells you I don’t use any treatments (unless you count powdered sugar, drone trapping and brood breaks) and am looking for survival of the fittest. I have ZOMBEES.

I have 2 years of Pacific NW beekeeping under my belt and before that, I was in Northern California keeping bees.   I am a past vice president of Sonoma County Beekeepers ’04, ’05 and president in ’06. My main focus in my beekeeping businesses was to teach and provide nucs for new and old beekeepers. I produced 100 nucs a year and gave a 2 hr hands on class in my beeyard  with each nuc.

As Trustee: I hope to continue to mentor new beekeepers, share my past experiences and be of service to PSBA.

Education:  I have studied bees at Gormanston College in Ireland, attended Apimondia and many bee conferences and  bee association conferences. Additionally, I have studied with Marla Spivak and Sue Cobey with the emphasis on queen rearing. In California,  I considered Randy Oliver a friend in nearby Grass Valley and attended training workshops with Eric Mussen, UC Davis, retired.

Serge Labesque, who writes for Bee Culture magazine, was one of my first mentors. We currently agree to disagree on feeding bees! He teaches a beeginning and advanced class on beekeeping at Santa Rosa Junior College, which I attended. I also had a mentor and friend in Dave Cushman of England. He has the largest beekeeping site on the web,  which continues to be maintained under direction of his will, as he is, unfortunately, no longer with us.

Strengths: My strength is not what it used to be! LOL I think I am a good teacher and get excited about anything to do with bees. They are the one thing I have been most passionate about in my lifetime and sharing that is delightful.

Kit Hiatt, Trustee

Beekeeping Background: Hobbyist Beekeeper since 2014

Equipment Expertise: Langstroth, 8 frame; I am learning to appreciate natural forms of hive management.

More Info: In a prior life, Kit spent twenty five years in Seattle radio advertising sales. Communications, project management, media relations and editing are skills that may contribute to PSBA in some way.

Daniel Najera, PhD, Trustee, Research and Education Chair

Danny Najera courtesy Ross Coyle, Kent Reporter
Danny Najera courtesy Ross Coyle, Kent Reporter

Beekeeping background:  Honeybee research and education for ~10 years. Specialty in honeybee biology, education and research. For PSBA, Danny served as trustee 2013-14 and is Chair of PSBA’s Research and Education committee. Additionally, he teaches PSBA’s Backyard Beekeeping Class and serves as Neighborhood Captain for the Kent area.

As a Trustee:  Danny will  improve our honeybee monitoring, education and research efforts.

Strengths: Enthusiasm and passion for increasing understanding of honeybees and our ecosystem, and improving PSBA’s engagement with the public.

Education:  PhD University of Kansas – Entomology (Honeybee Cognition)

Career: Teacher at Green River Community College

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