Our Board

To build a movement, experienced board members are essential to shaping the mission, vision and programming.  21 PROGRESS board members have each led major efforts in labor and community, and all have spent many years thinking, creating, and organizing major aspects of progressive movements in Washington.

Dave Schmitz

Dave is the former president of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 21 (UFCW 21) with over 44,000 workers in grocery, retail, health care, food processing and other service industries.  He started working in grocery during high school and continued on, becoming a union rep, organizing director and eventually president of the UFCW 1001, retail clerks.  In 2005, when the grocery and retail locals merged, he became president of UFCW 21, the largest private sector union in Washington.

In 2013, Dave and the leadership team successfully negotiated  for 30,000 grocery workers in UFCW 367 and Teamsters 38 as well as UFCW 21, averting a strike just two hours before the deadline.  Dave is on the executive board of UFCW International, board of One America Votes and Puget Sound Sage.  He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.

Susie Wu

Susie Wu is one of the founding members of Rainier Scholars, an academic enrichment program for low-income students of color in Seattle.  She is the Director of Leadership Development (10th-12th grade phase) and oversees the academic progress of over 115 students attending 35 different high schools in the Puget Sound and beyond.  Formerly, Susie taught high school science in the Bay Area and Boston for 10 years, and completed a Math/Science Fellowship through the Coalition of Essential Schools.  

Susie is a strong advocate for social justice and equity in the educational sector.  She has served on a number of advisory boards for local programs, such as the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR), BioQuest Academy, and the UW Mathematics Program.  She currently serves as a Board Trustee at University Prep, and was a 2010 graduate of the Leadership Navigation program through Executive Development Institute (EDI).   She graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor degree in English and a Masters of Education.

Kasi Marita Farrar

Kasi grew up in Rainier Beach and is determined to help build leadership within her community; specifically women, young people, POC, LGBTQ and other under-represented groups. She is currently working as an organizer with UFCW 21, the largest private sector union in Washington state and previously with UFCW International Union in the Bay Area.

In the Bay Area, Kasi was a national organizer with the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) and continues to support Walmart workers in their quest for change at the largest retailer in the world since 2011. Most recently, OUR Walmart was able to successfully gain wage increases for over 500,000 workers by publicly sharing the experience of low-wage workers at Walmart and utilizing direct action to unite workers with customers and their communities.