Meet Our Board



Commissioner John Hutchings, Thurston County

Chair of the Board

John “Hutch” Hutchings has been married for 41 years to his wife Deb, and has two grown children and five grandchildren.

Hutch has dedicated much of his life to civil service. His successful 35 year career in law enforcement included 27 years with the Olympia Police Department, three years as Chief of Police in Tenino, with his career beginning as a police officer in 1980 in the City of Orange, California.

Hutch earned his Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership/Development (2004) from Chapman University, Orange, California. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and spent three months conducting a multi-national research project, in England, Scotland and Wales.  The focus of his study was on the effectiveness of critical incident debriefings on police officers.

Since 2001, John has delivered keynote addresses and training to police officers, executives, and mental health professionals with the National Health Trust, in England, Scotland, Wales and Australia.  Hutch is co-author of The Thin Blue Lifeline: Verbal De-escalation of Mentally Ill and Emotionally Disturbed People (2011).

Hutch’s son, Michael (retired US Army Sergeant disabled) returned home from Iraq in 2011, after surviving an IED blast.  Michael and Hutch present to criminal justice personnel on law enforcement encounters with combat veterans in crisis. Those with a traumatic brain injury and/or PTSD demand specific understanding and de-escalation.

Hutch has sat on many boards and committees focusing on public service:

  • Member of Thurston County Treatment Sales Tax Advisory Committee
  • Community Youth Services (CYS)
  • TOGETHER!
  • Olympia West Lions
  • Lacey Rotary

Commissioner Tye Menser, Thurston County

Tye has lived in Thurston County for more than a decade with his wife, a kindergarten teacher, and two children, who are 13 and 11 years old.

In 1993, Tye graduated with honors from Harvard College, with a degree in Government. In 1997, he graduated from law school at the University of California at Berkeley. During his time in law school, Tye taught himself Spanish, spent a summer studying language in Morelia, Mexico, and spent one semester studying law, in Spanish, at the University of Chile in Santiago.

In September 1997 Tye began a 21-year legal career that included commercial and intellectual property litigation, criminal defense, and family law.  Tye has been admitted to the state bar associations of Illinois, California, Alaska, and Washington. During the early part of his career, he spent 7 years in northern Alaska with the Alaska Public Defender Agency — half of that representing Native Alaskans in the remote Arctic village of Kotzebue — providing legal services to indigent clients who could not otherwise afford an attorney.

In 2007, Tye joined the law firm of Morgan Hill, P.C., as an associate attorney. Over the last decade, however, he continued to provide legal services to indigent citizens through Thurston County Public Defense. Between 2010 and 2013, Tye served as a Commissioner on Thurston County’s Water Conservancy Board.

Tye has also been actively involved in the local music and arts community by playing the banjo in a traditional bluegrass band, The Oly Mountain Boys, since 2008.


Commissioner Kevin Shutty, Mason County

Vice-Chair of the Board

Kevin Shutty is serving his first term as Mason County Commissioner, and currently serves on a variety of regional planning, environmental and public safety committees. In 2017, Kevin was appointed to the State Building Code Council by Gov. Jay Inslee.  Prior to serving on the BOCC, Kevin worked as a Public Information Officer and Outreach Coordinator for the Washington State House of Representatives, where he also previously served as a Legislative Assistant.

Kevin has served as a member of the Mason County Planning Advisory Commission, Vice Chair of the North Mason Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and is currently Vice Chair of the Great Bend Center for Music Board of Directors.

He holds a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education and a Masters in Community and Economic Development, both from Penn State University.

Kevin and his wife Catherine reside in Union, Washington.