Our Team

Meet the Co-Founders

Walter Jaffe and Paul King launched White Bird in July 1997 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing excellence in dance to Portland, Oregon. Their cockatoo Barney, the ‘CEO’ and namesake of the organization, keeps things lively, and is over 30 years old.

(Photo of Walter, Paul and Barney by Fritz Liedtke)

Meet the Executive Director

Graham Cole joined White Bird in January 2020 to manage the White Bird Boutique, later becoming White Bird’s Chief Operating Officer and now Executive Director. He is honored to be furthering White Bird's mission, bringing world-class dance to Portland while fostering the growth of local artists.

Graham with Barney - 10.29.21.jpg

Meet the Staff

Jeff Forbes

Technical Director

Natalie Anthony

Graphic Design

Stephanie Sussman

Senior Archivist

Christopher Carvalho

Director of Patron Services and Communication

Jeremy Husserl

Administrative Assistant

Deanna Reeves

Communication Assistant

Sonya Dezarn

Administrative Intern

The Board of Directors

Paul King, President

Walter Jaffe, Secretary, Treasurer


Ken Edwards, Kim Allchurch Flick, Sandra Holmes, Graham Cole,

Lisa Mangum, Shawn K. Mangum

Nancy & George Thorn, Founding Board Members Emereti