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Our Team

Eric Higbee

Eric Higbee
Executive Director

Eric Higbee is a licensed landscape architect and community organizer passionate about involving communities in the design of their public spaces. Eric is the first new Executive Director since founder Milenko Matanovic.



Milenko Matanovic

Milenko Matanovic
Founder &  Director, Institute for Everyday Democracy

By combining his talents as a thinker, educator, and artist, Milenko strives to help communities become wiser by working together and uncovering new ways to push good ideas into action. After 30 years as Pomegranate’s Executive Director, he stepped out of the role of Executive Director in February of 2017. He will now focus on writing, talks, and consulting for Pomegranate as well as leading our new Institute for Everyday Democracy.



Stephanie Ingram, Architect

Stephanie Ingram
Program Director

Stephanie Ingram is a licensed architect with a diverse background in design/build and public interest design. She joined Pomegranate Center with an interest in working with local communities to design and build meaningful public spaces.



Katya Matanovic

Katya Matanovic
Director of Education

Katya is a teacher, organizer, storyteller, and strategist with a creative twist who believes both the big ideas and the smallest details need attention to make a great idea come to life. She can’t help but look at things as a cat’s cradle: a beautiful tangle of connected people and issues, questions and dreams, desires and needs.



Kait Heacock
Communications Manager

Kait comes to Pomegranate Center most recently from a career in book publishing. As a former publicist, she is passionate about connecting people, whether it’s making sure the right books get into the right hands or creating networks of communities with Pomegranate Center. Kait is also an author (most recently of the short story collection Siblings and Other Disappointments), and looks forward to matching her writing skills with Pomegranate’s storytelling through art and design.


Valentina Montecinos
Operations Manager

Valentina Montecinos holds an MBA from Presidio in Sustainable Business with a concentration in Community & Economic Development and Food & Agriculture, as well as a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and Women’s Studies. Valentina has over 14 years of combined experience in the nonprofit, government, and business fields. She began her career in New York City as a Project Manager in Advertising, then transitioned into the nonprofit world as a Program Manger supporting women entrepreneurs. Subsequently, she became a Manager of Educational Programs at the government agency, NYC Business Solutions. After moving to Seattle in 2009, Valentina became a Program Officer for the Mize Family Foundation, where she manages a climate change portfolio, partnering with organizations globally and nationally. She currently holds this position in addition to working at Pomegranate Center. She serves as a professional consultant at 501 Commons and a volunteer at several local organizations.