SLU Community Council Elects Starbucks' Josh Barrows,'s Ben Grace

SOUTH LAKE UNION -- South Lake Union stakeholders Josh Barrows and Ben Grace have been elected to board positions on the South Lake Union Community Council. Barrows manages the Starbucks Coffee shop at Terry and Republican in the heart of South Lake Union and is a longtime community volunteer, while Grace oversees community engagement for, South Lake Union's largest employer, through Hines.

Starbucks' Josh Barrows (left) and's Ben Grace share a hand-shake at MOHAI after being elected to the South Lake Union Community Council.

"Josh Barrows and Ben Grace bring to our community council a diversity of experience and innovative culture that South Lake Union is known for," said South Lake Union Community Council President, Mike McQuaid. "Josh and Ben have strong histories of service and mindful engagement of their communities.  We're thrilled to have them in leadership roles."

Along with serving up delicious coffee and overseeing a staff of 18, Barrows, 31, is a passionate artist and active volunteer with his community, including volunteerism at Adams and Muir Elementary Schools, Seattle Pacific University and Umojafest, a Seattle African Heritage Festival & Parade that dates to the 1940s.

For Starbucks, Barrows has also participated in a number of high profile appearances including the NASDAQ opening bell ceremony for the company's 40th anniversary and being interviewed for the coffee culture documentary "Caffeinated."

Barrows, who lives in West Seattle, is a Redmond native who grew up in Kennewick. He is a graduate of Columbia Basin College.

Grace, 34, is a Bellevue native and resident of West Seattle's Westwood neighborhood. He has a long history of public engagement including work on community initiatives in the Chinatown-International District, Columbia City, and Downtown neighborhoods.

He previously worked for the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area with responsibility for overseeing a wide scope of programs including the expansion of the City of Seattle's Clear Alley initiative, the installation of the city's first neighborhood-wide translated street sign program and the creation of the city's second urban parklet.

Throughout his career, Grace has maintained strong working relationships with the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle City Light, Department of Neighborhoods and other city departments. He is also involved in a number of boards and commissions including the International Special Review District (the Chinatown-ID Historic Board), Seattle Public Utilities Solid Waste Advisory Committee, the Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund Advisory Committee, and the board of Urban Artworks. Grace is a graduate of the University of Washington.

Barrows was elected at the February South Lake Union Community Council meeting, while Grace was elected in March.

The South Lake Union Community Council will hold its annual elections at its annual meeting, Tuesday, June 2 at the Museum of History and Industry.  For more information visit

About The South Lake Union Community Council

The recognized South Lake Union neighborhood leadership organization by the City of Seattle, the South Lake Union Community Council is the steward of the SLU neighborhood plan and collaboratively with community stakeholders authored the SLU Urban Design Framework and the SLU/Uptown Mobility Plan. The South Lake Union Community Council meets monthly (4 – 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month) at the Museum of History and Industry in South Lake Union. To learn more visit