We are proud to have such dedicated staff and a visionary steering committee.
Michael Liang came to Spaceworks in 2018 after a ten-year career as a designer and creative leader with the National Park Service. He provides vision and support to the Spaceworks staff and clients, helping the organization grow and strengthen as a pillar of Tacoma’s creative community. Liang received a B.F.A. in art and design from the University of Michigan, a certificate in natural science illustration from the University of Washington, and is currently finishing his M.S.Ed. He is passionate about building community and tapping into the transformative power of the arts for social good.
Gabriel Brown joined the Spaceworks team in 2013, and currently coordinates the Artscapes program. Brown is an Artist/Garbologist, Arts Administrator, and Shoe Cobbler from the Pacific Northwest. He earned a Master’s degree in Fine Art at WSU, and served two years in Americorps before moving to Tacoma in 2011.
Gwen facilitates training and support for small business owners and entrepreneurs with plans for long term creative/innovative businesses that benefit Tacoma’s community. Gwen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Science, with an emphasis in system behaviors, and is currently working towards her MBA.
With a passion for innovation and endless curiosity about how things work, she has found that patience, flexibility, and support networks are imperative to entrepreneurial success. Gwen has been involved in many start-ups and owner-operator endeavors, and uses art to tell science, technology, engineering, and math stories through her company The STEAM Vent.
Dmitry brings a unique voice to support the Spaceworks mission, vision and messaging through his varied experiences as an artist and performer. He learned first-hand the rewards and challenges of building brand culture through managing and marketing small businesses in the South Puget Sound. He worked with startup retail companies and offered freelance graphic design services. A Tacoma resident since 2005, he has gained a following in the local nightlife scene through his drag and burlesque performances. Dmitry’s printmaking education at Pacific Lutheran University was rounded out by social justice experiences with activism and fundraising.
Spaceworks Steering Committee Co-chair
Arts Administrator – City of Tacoma
Amy founded Spaceworks Tacoma in 2009 in partnership with the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. Working with the Tacoma Arts Commission, Amy currently manages three funding programs for arts organizations and artists, implements public art projects, develops collaborative programming, and formulates policy.
Amy came to Tacoma in 1999 after coordinating the arts program for Bellevue College’s extension program. She has presented nationally on issues of public art, temporary art installations, and civic democracy through Americans for the Arts.
She holds a BA from the University of Colorado-Boulder in French and Art History. Post-grad work includes a stint in the sculpture department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington. She earned a Masters degree with a focus on Urban Arts from the University of Washington-Tacoma in 2010.
David Schroedel, AICP
Spaceworks Steering Committee Co-chair
Metropolitan Development Director, Business Improvement Area Manager, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
David provides oversight for a number of Chamber programs such as downtown Tacoma’s Business Improvement Area, Tacoma’s transportation management association Downtown On the Go, and Spaceworks Tacoma. Before joining the Chamber, David operated his own consulting firm, Schroedel Planning Services, where he worked with a variety of public and private clients on development and land use issues. David has also worked as a community planner and community forester in private, public, and non-profit organizations.
President and Managing Broker – Grossman Services, Inc.
Kevin advises real estate owners and brings old buildings back to life, bringing a property owner’s perspective to Spaceworks.
He’s a community leader with experiences including: President, Hilltop Business Association; Vice Chair, Affordable Housing Advisory Board; Deputy Mayor, City of Shoreline; and Trustee, Shoreline Community College.
Kevin’s passion for Spaceworks is personal. From a photography venture in his teens, Image Werks, as a photographer in Seattle providing technical historic preservation images following his term as a photographer’s mate in the Navy, to ownership with his three childeren of an artisanal, vegan Pizza Pi restaurant, Kevin’s passionate about creative enterprises.
Real Estate Manager — University of Washington Tacoma
Ben works with the UW Tacoma Campus Planning and Real Estate team to transform UW Tacoma’s 80,000 square feet of retail space into a regional shopping and dining destination.
Prior to moving to Tacoma in 2008, Ben earned an MPA from the University of North Carolina School of Government, focusing on identifying new ways to leverage higher education resources for community and economic development. He spent several years working with universities in Appalachia to build campus-community partnerships for job creation. This work resulted in a new business incubator in Tennessee, student-based research services for county economic developers on the North Carolina-Tennessee border, last-mile broadband to underserved areas in southwest Virginia, and other projects.
Ryan Spence is an entrepreneur, designer, and product developer. He has worked on a variety of projects in the Puget sound region, including being the lead designer and builder for Elevate Climbing Walls and relocating Elevate’s production facility to Tacoma from Seattle. He has designed indoor rock climbing facilities for multiple gyms including Climb Tacoma, The Climbing wall at The University of Puget Sound, The Island Rock Gym, and the Vertical World Gyms in Seattle and Redmond.
Ryan also advocates for public skateparks, participates in the city planning process, and curates The Flashback Scuba Museum. He is a published author and serves on the Board of the Historical Diving Society USA.
Ryan brings his background and experience in design, planning, business, and community development to the Spaceworks team.
Past Steering Committee Members
Spaceworks Steering Committee 2015-2016
Owner—The Modern Cottage Company & Spaceworks Alum
Spaceworks Steering Committee 2010-2015
The Grand Cinema, Assistant Executive Director; Post Defiance, Managing Editor, Operations & Community Partnerships
Spaceworks Steering Committee 2010-2014
Ferguson Architecture, Managing Principal