Bonnie Soshin Mitchell serves as the East-West Chanoyu Center executive director. Following her degree in art history at the University of Washington under Glenn T. Webb, she traveled to Kyoto and began intensive tea study under the guidance of YANAGITA Soha sensei and SEN Soshitsu XV, head of the Urasenke tradition of tea. At the behest of Mr. Sen, Ms. Mitchell returned to Seattle in 1981 to teach the Urasenke tradition of chanoyu at the University of Washington and to the broader community. In 2008, Ms. Mitchell received the Urasenke certificate of Seikyoju.
In 2012, Consul General Kiyokazu Ota and the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle presented Ms. Mitchell with a Commemorative Award for her work in promoting an understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture.
Timothy Sowa Olson has served as the UW Chanoyu course lecturer in addition to his duties as a Chanoyu Center instructor. Olson studied English literature as an undergraduate at Portland State University and a graduate student the University of Washington. He embarked on tea studies in 1982 and received his tea name in 1999. Mr. Olson joined the East-West Chanoyu Center staff in 1999. In 2001, he was awarded the Urasenke certificate of Junkyoju, a senior rank of merit in the Way of Tea.