Jim Pannell to leave his role as Director of Operations

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A Message from Dean Thomason

Dear friends,

Cathedral Director of Operations Jim Pannell has resigned to take a new role in San Francisco which he describes in some detail below. We are sad to see him leave, but we wish him well in his new ventures. He came to Seattle from San Francisco just two years ago, and the pandemic intervened just months after he arrived, but he pressed through with grace and good will, and we are grateful for his work among us. His leadership has been key to ensuring our pandemic-related precautions are safely implemented and maintained. His last day on the job will be Friday October 8, 2021. Please join me in thanking him for his service, and sending him with our best wishes as he begins this new role.

While such transitions are always challenging, we are fortunate to have in Canon Marda Steedman Sanborn in her interim role with us this fall. Marda served six years as Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Olympia, and in that role had many of the responsibilities that are part of the Director of Operations portfolio. Marda has graciously offered to assume many of the key operational responsibilities in the interim as we conduct a search for a new Director. I will assume some as well, which is to say, we have a plan to ensure key support services are not interrupted.

I also want to specifically acknowledge the skillful work that David Wagner, Chris Brown, Stephen Eddy, Adam Conley, and Erik Donner bring to their operational roles. They are competent, hard-working, and self-motivated, and I have great confidence in them. Indeed, I am very grateful for them for all the ways they support this community behind the scenes, ensuring that the cathedral mission and ministries can flourish.

We will post a new Director of Operations position this week with every hope to have a new person in the role before the end of the year. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. And again, we are grateful for Jim’s work and his time with us. I am,


The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector


A Message from Jim Pannell

I’m a big believer in serendipity. Some call it luck. To me, it is an openness to the unexpected. I recently experienced one of those serendipitous events when three weeks ago I was contacted by an independent high school - The Bay School of San Francisco. This was an unexpected, out of the blue, email asking if I would talk to them about an opportunity at the school.

I have been very happy in my two years at Saint Mark’s, with no expectation to leave, look for another position, or disrupt the happy state our family has been in since coming to Seattle. However, I always think it is often a good idea to at least listen. And, fifteen days later, following three Zoom calls, and a quick 24 hour visit to San Francisco, I received an offer from The Bay School to serve as their Chief Financial & Operations Officer. On Sunday afternoon I accepted that position and let Dean Thomason know of my intention to depart in a few weeks.

This was an extraordinarily difficult decision. But, after a lot of conversation and consideration with my family, we decided together that this was also an opportunity from which I should not walk away. With the excitement of a new position comes the sadness of departing a place and people I love. One that pursues a mission that is close to my heart. I am going to miss all of you.

I am grateful for the opportunity to come to St. Mark’s and have learned so much under the leadership of Dean Thomason. Serving with you would have been so much harder if not for my direct reports – Adam Conley, Stephen Eddy, and David Wagner. It has been an honor to serve with all of you, the entire staff, and the beloved parishioners at Saint Mark’s.

As a final note, if I had not come to St. Mark’s and spent the past two years focused on non-profit management, I do not think that The Bay School of San Francisco would have called me to this role. I have learned so much from each of you and your wisdom, intelligence, generosity, kindness, and love have all contributed to this new chapter in our life as a family.

With gratitude,


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