A handful of the many people that keep this community resource going.
Josh Epstein, Program Manager
Geographically speaking, I was born in upstate New York, grew up mostly in Boulder, CO, went to college outside of LA, and I have called Seattle home since 2008. I first became a member of the Tool Library several years ago while my partner and I were converting our garage into living space. We were very happy not to have to buy scaffolding, a cement mixer, and many other tools. I love eating food, playing music, talking with people, and using tools. I have been a professional camper, potter, and sandwich master. I raise vegetables, chickens, a dog named Ellie, and a boy named Cedar. I love sharing. I can’t wait to help you get what you need to get your job done!
Debra Morrison, Founder, Steering Committee Member
I grew up in NE Seattle and have lived here for 5/7 of my years on earth. The other 2/7 was living in the woods and small towns in Eastern WA. The tool library was just a pipe-dream for this old hippie but then I met Susan and the other folks at Sustainable NE Seattle and helped make that dream come true for all of us. It’s been the most successful volunteer effort I’ve ever participated in, and 10 years later it’s still so much fun and such a positive place to put energy into. It’s grown so much, and helped so many people make their own pipe-dreams come true!
Chad Jacobson, Coordinator
I joined the NE Seattle Tool Library team in 2016 and became Coordinator in 2018. I grew up in Wisconsin, and landed in Seattle via the Inter-mountain West 16 years ago. I have a broad familiarity with the library collection, and specialize in bicycle repair. I am also a Geographer, Cartographer, and currently studying Land Survey. I love that the library brings a valuable and practical (not to mention awesome) service, to the place I live.
Barrett Ihde, Intern, University of Washington
I’m Barrett. I’m a senior in Environmental Science and Urban Ecological design at the University of Washington. I grew up in Hood River, Oregon and moved up to Seattle three years ago when I started at UW. I love the city so far but I really miss the trees and access to nature that a small town provides. I spent the fall in Rome on a study abroad studying the Ecology of the Mediterranean. I loved Rome so much and had a wonderful time, but I am definitely excited to be back in Seattle and to finish up school. My interest in this program came from a history of working with my parents, on my own on DIY/house projects, and my love of fixing and improving things. As a college student with limited space and funds tools are not something I can own right now, so having access to this space and getting to learn more in-depth about the mission of the library is an amazing opportunity. I am really excited for this internship and to work with all the amazing volunteers and staff here!
Kristina Herrera, Steering Committee Member
Kristina’s favorite tool at the library is a tie between the carpet/upholstery cleaner and the yogurt machine. She’s not particularly handy, but she’s up for a challenge and would consider herself crafty. She moved to Seattle 3 years ago and has enjoyed the rain, hikes, and getting to know many wonderful people (several of them tool library members and volunteers!). She began volunteering with the library in 2021 and joined the Steering Committee in 2022.
Joel Gregory, Founder, Steering Committee Member
I grew up in Olympia with an older brother and younger sister, mom, dad and the occasional goldfish, dog, and cat. Seems like the younger days were spent running around the yard and digging in the dirt and building roads for the matchbook cars and trucks. I attended WSU for a year then the school of hard knocks for a couple of years and back to college at The Evergreen State College studying art and architecture. When I woke up I was married with a son and was working for an energy efficiency grant funded social service agency. I am retired and love the tool library and want to see it into the future.
Sean Flinn, Volunteer, Steering Committee Member
Hi! I’m Sean. I love the Tool Library and seek to spread them far and wide. Let’s bring our communities together and foster sharing and helpful habits, especially in these times when we feel more compelled and driven towards insular ways.
A lover of tabletop board gaming — sharing, teaching, and extolling the wonders of the hobby – I’m always looking to shepherd those on the edge into the light, so don’t hesitate to ask!
Justin Avellar, Volunteer, Steering Committee Member
Justin Avellar is a lawyer who helps small businesses, nonprofits and individuals with contracts, agreements and business/nonprofit formation and governance. He is also knowledgeable about government and environmental law. After working for an international law firm in New York City, Justin decided he wanted the opportunity to make a positive, local impact. He opened up his own law firm, Avellar PLLC, in Seattle and has never looked back.
Justin is committed to giving back. He is an active volunteer and board chair at Sustainable NE Seattle (the parent org of the Tool Library), a regular volunteer with Communities Rise and Washington Lawyers for the Arts, and a board member for Meaningful Movies Project. In his free time, Justin enjoys gardening, discussing sustainability, cooking and outdoor activities with his spouse and dogs. He earned a BA from Tulane University and JD from the University of Chicago Law School. He has lived all over the US and is thrilled to call the PNW his home.