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King County Housing Authority
Machinists Union Officer Susan Palmer Appointed to King County Housing Authority Board
King County Executive Dow Constantine has appointed Susan A. Palmer to a five-year term as a King County Housing Authority commissioner. Palmer was approved on Dec. 3 by the Metropolitan King County Council. She replaces KCHA Commissioner and current Board Chair Nancy Holland-Young, who has served on the board for 10 years, completing the maximum number of terms allowed for a commissioner. Commissioner Doug Barnes succeeds Holland-Young as the new board chair.
“I’m delighted to welcome Ms. Palmer to KCHA,” said Executive Director Stephen Norman. “Her business and labor background, experience in affordable housing management, and involvement with the community college system make her a valuable addition to KCHA’s governing board.”
Currently, Palmer is the District Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 751 in Seattle.
Palmer has a background in business management, which she studied at Bellevue Community College, now Bellevue College. Hired by Boeing in 1986, she soon became an active member of her union. After serving as a union steward, as well as holding several leadership positions within her local lodge, Palmer was elected to serve as a full-time business representative in 1996. In 2006 she was elected to and currently serves as the district secretary-treasurer. In this capacity, Palmer oversees the management of the five low-income apartment complexes owned by the union.
In October 2011, Palmer was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire to the Renton Technical College board of trustees. Renton Technical College prepares a diverse student population for work, fulfilling employment needs of individuals, business and industry. It serves about 11,675 students, mostly from Western Washington.
Palmer also volunteers for Guide Dogs of America, the American Cancer Society, and has previously served as a board member of the King County Airport Roundtable, delegate to the King County Labor Council, and as a Precinct Committee Officer.
As one of five commissioners, Palmer will help provide strategic direction and guidance for the housing authority.
“Having enough affordable housing units is a huge challenge in our region. I am proud to have the opportunity to make a contribution to KCHA and its mission to provide critical resources to the residents of our local communities,” said Palmer. “My union work has always focused on providing living wages and an adequate safety net and promoting strong communities. I believe my experience will bring real value to the King County Housing Authority and I am excited to work with the other board members in continuing to advance the housing authority’s efforts.”
Nancy Holland-Young, the retiring board chairperson, has served on the board since 2003. “Under her leadership, KCHA has become one of the leading housing authorities in the country and has focused on expanding the number of households it serves and on continually improving its operational efficiency,” said new Board Chair Doug Barnes. “Nancy’s vision, hard work, and commitment have been instrumental in the success of KCHA. The policies Nancy has helped shape will continue to pay dividends to the families we serve long into the future. It has been my pleasure to learn from and work with Nancy and I want to thank her for her years of volunteer service to the Authority and the King County community.”
KCHA administers a wide range of quality affordable rental and homeownership programs for residents of King County. The Authority serves more than 18,000 elderly, disabled, and family households on a daily basis.