Kate Severson joins Olympian editorial board

A Washington Department of Transportation computer-aided engineer, Army veteran and cancer survivor is joining The Olympian’s editorial board.

Kate Severson begins her 12-month term this week as one of two community representatives on the editorial board. She replaces Mary Gentry, a retired lawyer and former school teacher.

The Olympian is one of only a few newspapers that include community members in the opinion-making process. We began with just one community representative 20 years ago, and added a second position six years later.

Former Olympia mayor Doug Mah is serving in the other community representative position that expires Dec. 31.

The two community representatives join senior editor Jerre Redecker, publisher and editorial page editor George Le Masurier and columnist John Dodge on the editorial board.

Severson has worked for WSDOT for 30 years. She started in construction and survey, and was the first female survey party chief in the Seattle area during the late 1990s.

For the past 17 years, Severson has supported the statewide use of DOT’s roadway computer-aided drafting design software. She provides technical support and training for roadway designers and surveyors to use software applications to design highways, interchanges, roundabouts, fish passages and pavement overlays.

Severson enlisted into the Women’s Army Corp in 1976. She attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., during a time when WACs were still separate from the regular army.

In her personal life, Severson is active in Toastmasters and several book and writing clubs. She’s also a proud member of the Fishanthropists, a community service group formed out of the Fish Tale Brew Pub. The group raises money on a micro level for community projects, including the food bank, literacy and cancer research.

Please join us in welcoming Kate Severson to The Olympian’s editorial board.