The Northshore Fire Department is governed by an elected body of five members who are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the business and affairs of the Fire District. The Fire Commissioners serve a term of six years. Regular Board meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Headquarters Fire Station in Kenmore.

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Rick Verlinda, Member

Commissioner Position No. 1

Term 2018 – 2023

Rick Verlinda was elected into office in 2017.

Rick has extensive knowledge and experience with the Fire Service. He served 30 years with the Seattle Fire Department, 14 years as a Battalion Chief and Safety Chief. He was a primary member on numerous national committees such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1400 Committee. He served as Union President and Executive Board member for over 10 years.

Rick brings his extensive knowledge of Fire Department operations and his understanding of Management / Union roles and responsibilities to the Board of Commissioners.

Professionally, he is still active in the Fire Service working as a Consultant for the Seattle Fire Department promotional process for the last 18 years. He also works with local Fire Departments on writing their required written Safety Policies.

A Kenmore resident for 17 years, he is known for his “Halloween House” in Northshore Summit where Halloween brings more than 1,000 people each year. Rick spends most of the year creating exciting and scary props for the Halloween holiday.

Rick looks forward to serving the Northshore Fire District and hopes to actively work with both the surrounding Fire Districts and other King County Fire Commissioners.

Suzanne Greathouse, Member

Commissioner Position No. 2

Term 2014 – 2019

A Kenmore resident for five years, Suzanne Greathouse is an experienced Board member who also serves on the Board for two local non-profits: Northshore Senior Center (NSC) and Kenmore Heritage Society (KHS). She is a member of the Kenmore Business Alliance and Bothell/Kenmore Chamber of Commerce where she serves as a Chamber Ambassador. She also volunteers regularly for the Kenmore “Mary’s Place” family shelter, assisting Guests with housing and employment.

Ms. Greathouse brings to the board over 30 years of experience working with a broad spectrum of individuals, businesses, corporations, and universities. She has a diverse professional background which includes owning a small-town hospitality business, and teaching in Public schools, Universities and Businesses. Throughout her professional career Suzanne has coached new and experienced leaders, developed and led multi-cultural/virtual teams, managed complex business environments, and developed high functioning teams.

Suzanne recently retired from AT&T where she provided leadership in several areas including Engineering Standards, Construction and Engineering, Disaster Recovery, Network Operations and Information Technology.

Don Ellis, Member

Commissioner Position No. 3

Term 2016 – 2021

A Kenmore resident for 50 years, Don Ellis originally joined the Northshore Fire Department Board of Commissioners in 1988 and served through 2011. He returned to the Board in January of 2016, when he was re-elected to a six-year term that runs through 2021.

Commissioner Ellis holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington and has extensive experience in the financial services industry.

In addition to his long service with the Fire District, Don has also served on the Northshore Utility District’s Board of Commissioners for over 40 years. Between these two Boards, Commissioner Ellis has been very active serving on numerous local and regional committees.

Commissioner Ellis was instrumental in moving the fire department from what was a combination volunteer/professional department to a fully paid and staffed professional organization. He also contributed a great deal to the effort to construct the Fire District’s Lake Forest Park fire station. Commissioner Ellis also spearheaded a mutually beneficial interlocal agreement between the Utility and Fire Districts that provides for the servicing of fire department apparatus and vehicles by Utility District mechanics.


Commissioner Position No. 4

David Maehren, Vice Chairperson

Commissioner Position No. 5

Term 2016 – 2021

Commissioner David Maehren has served on the Northshore Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners since 2001. David believes that a professional, dedicated and well-resourced fire department is critical to the wellbeing of the community. He is dedicated to supporting the needs of fire service while maintaining governance transparency and financial accountability.

Mr. Maehren has been actively involved in the Kenmore community. He was the recipient of the 2009 Kenmore Heritage Society’s McMasters Award for community service and the Kirkland – Redmond Boys & Girls Club 1999 board member of the year.

Mr. Maehren’s community service includes; President, The Arts of Kenmore (2012 – 2016) and member of the Northlake Regional Fire Authority Planning Committee. Past Member: Northshore Rotary, City of Kenmore Downtown Plan Commission, Chair of the Kenmore’s first Comprehensive Planning Commission, Co-chair of the Kenmore Incorporation Committee resulting in the formation of the new City of Kenmore.

Mr. Maehren retired after 30 years of service with the King County Sheriff’s office. He served as President of Enalliance Inc. from 2002-2009, delivering public safety training, project management and subject matter expert services.