About Us

About Us

Serving local government since 2002.

At Prothman, we provide executive recruitment services to cities, counties, special districts, nonprofits, and other public sector agencies throughout the United States.

We are known and respected for our quality and diverse candidate pools, career guidance, firsthand knowledge of local government, and outstanding customer service; we do what we do because we love helping local government thrive.

Having served organizations both large and small, near and far, our team believes that ‘no job is too big or too small’ – we are here and happy to help.

Meet the Prothman Team
Driven By Our Passion for Local Government

Our team is a skilled, tight-knit group of individuals that have worked together for over 18 years to provide consistent, dependable, and quality customer service to both our clients and candidates. Our lead consultants have joined Prothman upon retiring from their dedicated and distinguished careers in local government and nonprofit service. Together, we make a powerful and knowledgeable team.

Years of Industry Recruiting Experience

We have been in the industry for 22 years and counting. The Prothman team has conducted over 850 recruitments and interim placements, read and screened over 19,000 applications, and interviewed well over 9,000 semifinalist candidates. We know how to read between the lines, filter the fluff, and drill down to the qualities and experiences required to be a successful leader.

Sonja Prothman
As the leader of Prothman since 2007, Sonja has utilized her knowledge and deep passion for local government to be the strategic and creative driver for all Prothman affairs. As Owner and President, she handles the development and preparation for the future growth of Prothman, manages all Prothman team members, organizes and performs the day-to-day operations, coordinates all client correspondence and responds to all RFP’s, and she assists with all recruitments, interim placements, and organizational assessments. A Seattle native, Sonja earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Washington. After starting her early career in newspaper advertising then moving on to Boeing, she chose to be a dedicated stay-at-home mother to her three daughters for 14 years. Having been born and raised in Normandy Park, Washington, she felt passionate about the local area and registered to run for a city council position against a 10 year incumbent and won. As a council member Sonja developed a great understanding of the logistics and importance of local government. Her experiences as a city council member and working firsthand with local government agencies for nearly 15 years has proven to be an invaluable perspective for understanding our clients’ needs.
Steve Worthington
Steve has been a senior consultant with Prothman since 2012 and brings more than 30 years of successful leadership in local government. He is currently in his second four-year term as a council member for the City of University Place, Washington, and is now serving as Mayor Pro Tem, as well. Prior to retirement, after 6 years as the City Manager for the City of Fife, Washington, Steve served as Community Development Director for six years in Fife and for nine years for the City of Cheney, Washington. Steve was also an economic development specialist for the Spokane WA Economic Development Council, a member of the Association of Washington Cities Legislative Task Force, and an Economic Development Board Tacoma/Pierce County Trustee. Steve has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications from the University of Washington, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Eastern Washington University.
Cliff Moore
Cliff Moore joins Prothman after a 30 year career of public service in Washington State. Cliff’s background includes senior administrative positions at Washington State University in Pullman and executive leadership positions at the university’s Extension offices in both Jefferson and Thurston Counties. Cliff has also served as County Manager and Development Services Director at Thurston County and as City Manager in Yakima. Prior to his years of public service, Cliff worked abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa; he was Assistant Country Director for the CARE mission in Honduras; and he was the Director of the US Refugee Resettlement Office in Khartoum, Sudan. Cliff lives in Port Townsend with his wife Mea and their two dogs, Addie and Lucy.
Duncan Wilson
Duncan joins Prothman after 30+ years of successful public service, recently retiring after serving ten years as Town Administrator of Friday Harbor, Washington. Duncan began his career as an attorney in private practice from 1982 until 2004. During his private practice he was the City Attorney for the Cities of Buckley, Black Diamond, and Covington, Washington. In 2004, he left private practice to become the City Attorney / Deputy City Manager in Covington, WA, and then served for six years as the City Administrator for North Bend, WA. In 2012 he took the Town Administrator position in Friday Harbor where he worked until his retirement. Duncan is a graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a graduate of the University of Puget Sound School of Law, receiving a J.D. He has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association since 1982 and was a recipient of the Washington City Management Association 2021 Excellence Award in August of 2021.
Warren Merritt
Warren is a 3rd generation firefighter and began his fire service career in 1974 as a volunteer firefighter with King County Fire District #10 (now Eastside Fire & Rescue) serving the fire district for 20 years concurrent with his employment in Bellevue. In 1980 he began his professional career with the City of Bellevue Fire Department rising through the ranks to Deputy Chief, retiring from Bellevue in 2012 to become a fire chief in Idaho. During his time at Bellevue Fire he was assigned to Operations, Training and the Emergency Medical Services Division; he served for seven (7) years as a Deputy Chief of Operations in Bellevue. Warren was appointed and served as the Fire Chief for Kootenai County Fire & Rescue in Post Falls, Idaho from February 28, 2012 until his retirement on January 3, 2020. Warren has an Associate Degree in Fire Command & Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Administration, is a graduate from the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and is a certified Chief Fire Officer (CFOD) thru the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). Warren’s experience provides unique insight into fire district and municipal fire services in volunteer, combination, and career fire departments.
Richard Kuhns
Richard recently retired as County Administrative Officer for Trinity County, CA, and served eleven years as the Regional Housing Authority Director of Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, and Modoc County Housing Authority and concurrently served as the Executive Director of the Shasta County Community Action Agency. Richard began his 30-year career in public service as a police officer in Del Norte County, CA, and next as a Behavioral Counselor for the Del Norte County Department of Mental Health where he managed a juvenile program for at risk youth. Prior to his retirement, Richard served for five years as Richard earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Bringham Young University, his Master of Arts in Behavioral Science from CAL State University – Dominguez Hills, and his Doctorate in Psychology from California Southern University.
Gary Buchanan
Gary brings 31 years of successful Human Resources leadership experience to the Prothman Team. He recently served 5 years as the Director of Human Resources for the City of Tacoma, WA, population 212,869, until his retirement in June, 2021. Gary also served 14 years at the Port of Seattle as the Human Resources Director. The Port of Seattle encompasses both the Seattle Seaport and Seattle Tacoma International Airport. Prior to that he served 9 years as the Senior Human Resources Leader (Northwest Region) for Milgard Windows headquartered in Tacoma, WA. Additionally, Gary served 30 Years in the Naval Reserve. His Naval career included 3 Command assignments and he was deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2019 he retired as a Captain earning the Legion of Merit Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Gary received his Bachelor of Science degree from Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT and his Naval Science degree from the University of Utah.
Barry Gaskins
Barry has been a key member of the Prothman team since 2004 and is responsible for candidate management. His attention to detail and understanding of timeliness to the customer and candidates is remarkable. Barry works with the lead consultant in following through with scheduling interviews, arranging candidate travel, managing candidate application packets, and assembly of candidate information to give to the client. Barry came to Prothman from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he served as a Program Assistant for four years in the US Library Program. Barry earned his Bachelor’s Degree from California State University in Los Angeles.
Jared Eckhardt
Jared has been a key member of the Prothman team since 2015 and is responsible for profile development and candidate outreach. Jared works one-on-one with the client for position profile development and works with Sonja and the lead consultant on each client’s outreach strategies. Jared also functions as recruitment support as a secondary consultant lead on special projects. Jared graduated from the University of Washington earning his Bachelor’s in Communications.
Madison Lindquist
Madison has been a key member of the Prothman team since 2015 and is responsible for Prothman’s social media, direct mail outreach, website development, and Online Application Service support. Madison works one-on-one with the client to ensure optimal outreach in all available social networking resources and works one-on-one with the clients who choose to use the Online Application Service application portal. Madison also functions as recruitment support as a secondary consultant lead on special projects. Madison graduated from the University of Washington earning her Bachelor’s in Communications.