Stronghold Productions Board Biographies:



Jordan Howland, President

Jordan Howland is dedicated to enriching peoples' lives by facilitating the production and distribution of art and committed to building strong coalitions between city agencies, arts organizations, community groups, and individual artists. For the last eight years she has worked as an arts administrator and independent curator in Seattle, WA and with multiple arts organizations including the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), the Henry Art Gallery, the Microsoft Art Collection, The Capitol Hill Arts Center, Static Factory Media, and Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange. Currently, she works for the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association as the Operations Director of the Youngtown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. She is a founding member of Stronghold Productions and Stronghold LLC, a property acquisition company for artists, and sits on the advisory board of PSKS, a homeless youth advocacy organization. Jordan graduated from the Evergreen State College with a degree in Arts Administration and Community Development.



Denise Jolly, Vice-President

Denise Jolly is a writer, performer, community builder, educator, and student. She is the host and co-facilitator of The Seattle Poetry Slam. Denise is also a member of the Eleventh Hour Productions Board of Directors and is actively involved the Seattle literary arts and spoken word community. Denise facilitates writing workshops with youth and adults and is co-creating Emerging Voices, a youth education program for Eleventh Hour Productions. She has been involved with Stronghold Productions since the fabrication of the Machine project where she assisted in fundraising efforts as wells as fabrication, audio production, live performance, and team building.



Gabriel J. Stern, Treasurer

Gabriel J. Stern graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1997 with a BFA in Interior design and an AAS in Industrial Design. In 2000, he started Issue Design Build (, a design and general contracting company. He has since built residential and commercial spaces along the West Coast. Gabe is also owner of All City Coffee (, a retail beverage company that provides high quality products, service, and environments. Both businesses were founded in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood and have fostered community interaction and helped to spawn the areaÕs revitalization. All City Coffee has a second location in SeattleÕs historic Pioneer Square.


In 2002, Gabe joined seven others in starting Stronghold LLC to build "fortresses" for the arts community through the acquisition of property and encourage ownership of live/work space by artists. In 2004, he helped found Stronghold Productions, a multidisciplinary nonprofit arts organization.  He contributes to both projects with his vast array of resources, skills and interests in community building, successful business operations, systems design and execution, and passion for the arts and free expression.



Chris Airola, Secretary

Chris has been a career entrepreneur who can bring an idea from the whiteboard to full production and release. He has collaboratively developed and executed the business plans for each of the companies he has co-founded, which have given him experience with both success and failure in the Web and Software industries. He has a very strong talent at specifying and integrating new systems, equipment and software to create new products. Additionally, he is very adept at developing research systems to prove a productÕs market potential.


Chris is currently CTO and co-founder of Red Llama, Inc. He co-developed the business plan, financing strategies, and presents at forums and conferences. He initiated and helped develop Red Llama's SimPraxis interactive simulation software platform for interactive medical simulation and training. He was Integral in developing the vision of SimPraxis and translating that vision into the release of SimPraxis v1.0. He co-developed the full Product Roadmap and development plan. He manages the network and technology infrastructure supporting the company and SimPraxis.


Chris was CTO and co-founder of Static Factory Media, a creative services and web software development company. He was integral in securing Angel funding for the company. He constructed Static Factory's network and technology infrastructure from the ground up. Static Factory's multi-server infrastructure supported over 120 client's websites. Chris managed the development of integrated web software packages for Static Factory's online promotion and distribution. He created profitable divisions for the company in 3 years.


Chris worked as a Research Engineer at the University of Washington's Human Interface Technology Lab (HITLab). He developed and managed numerous projects, including surgery simulators, wearable computing, driving simulators, interactive home networks, and interactive 8 channel audio systems. Chris has a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University, he specialized in simulation and human body kinematics.


He has exhibited some of his multi-modal collaborative art installations in the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City, NY), the Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue, WA), Burningman (NV), Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle, WA), and the U of WA. His largest collaborative project to date is The Machine in 2005, which spawned Stronghold Productions.



J Steinhebel, Director of Operations

Jeremiah Steinhebel, known as ŅJÓ to his friends, has been active in artistic communities and new business ventures for over seven years. In 2000, J started and managed The Cafˇ in Portland, Oregon, a co-operative coffee shop and eatery. In 2002, he moved to Seattle to open Uncommon Scents, a custom fragrance design boutique in the trendy Capitol Hill district. Two years later, he closed the shop and re-entered the technical consultant field, joining an internal Boeing team that supervised and supported a worldwide Voice Over IP (VoIP) implementation.


JÕs involvement in the Seattle arts community began with volunteering his time and business expertise to the Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC), then Capitol Hill Arts Co-operative. J co-managed the first event at the CHAC in 2002. He continues to support and volunteer at there today. During his first trip to the Burning Man festival in 2004, J met a group of like-minded people that later became the core team for The Machine art installation. During 2005, J worked with the team to design, build, and fundraise for the sculpture that proved to be a hit at the 2005 Burning Man festival.


JÕs interests outside of business and art ventures include world travel. He has journeyed extensively throughout Morocco, Western Europe, and North America.



Rebecca Sherr, Director of Development

Rebecca Sherr joined INTIMAN Theatre's staff as General Manager in 2004, after working at INTIMAN from 1997 to 2001 in a variety of capacities including Associate Managing Director.  In the interim, she held the position of Managing Director at Freehold Studio/Theatre Lab and worked for the New York Foundation as an Associate Program Officer.  Prior to coming to INTIMAN, she was affiliated with Seattle Opera for five seasons.  Rebecca was a dancer and actor before turning to a career in arts management 13 years ago.  She received her BA in Theatre from the University of Kansas and serves on the theatre department's Professional Advisory Board.  She is also an alumna of the 2006 class of Leadership Tomorrow.  Rebecca holds a special interest in organizational planning and arts advocacy, both in her work at INTIMAN and as a volunteer in the community.   



Randy Engstrom, Director of Public Relations

Randy Engstrom has been a passionate advocate and organizer for arts and community development for over 10 years.  He is currently the Founding Director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a multidisciplinary facility that offers youth and community members access to arts, technology, and cultural resources.  He also currently chairs the Seattle Arts CommissionÕs Facilities and Economic Development Committee.  Prior to his work at Youngstown, Randy spent 3 years as the Founding CEO of Static Factory Media, and artist development organization that owned and operated a record label, bar/performance venue, graphic design house, recording studio, and web development business.  Before Static Factory, Randy was the Program Coordinator of the Fremont Unconventional Center, and non-profit event space dedicated to helping other charitable organizations with their fundraising efforts through event facilitation and support.  He is also a founding member of Stronghold LLC, an artist live work project comprised of 4 neighboring houses collectively owned by the 8 resident artists.  He is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, and grew up just outside of Chicago, IL.