Youth Action Plan Task Force
Janis Avery has led Treehouse since 1995. As CEO, Janis devotes her time to promoting educational equity for youth in foster care through advocacy for systems change, ensuring integrated strategy and accountability, maximizing community collaboration, and resource development. Janis serves as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Children’s Administration as a member of the Children, Youth and Families Advisory Committee. She represents Treehouse on the Child Welfare Advocacy Coalition, Youth Development Executives of King County and the Road Map Project. In the past she served on the Children’s Alliance Public Policy Council, and co-chaired Washington’s Educational Oversight Committee for Children and Youth in Foster Care. Janis was recognized as a Puget Sound Business Journal Woman of Influence in 2008 and by Senator Maria Cantwell as a Woman of Valor in 2010.
Janis holds a Master of Social Work and Certificate in Human Services Management from the University of Washington. She has dedicated her life to improving the circumstances of children in foster care, both in her professional capacity as a social worker and in her own home, as the adoptive parent of two children from foster care.
The Hon. Bobbe J. Bridge
Justice Bridge serves as President and CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, an organization she founded in 2006. She served on the Washington State Supreme Court from 1999 to 2007 before retiring to lead the Center full-time in January 2008. She was a King County Superior Court judge from 1989 to 1999, served as Presiding Judge of the 51-member Superior Court for two years, and was the Chief Judge of King County Juvenile Court from 1994 to 1997. Before joining the bench, Justice Bridge was the first female partner at the Seattle law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer.
Recognized statewide and nationally as a leading advocate for foster care reform, domestic violence victims, truancy prevention, juvenile justice reform and a host of other issues, Justice Bridge also serves the community as a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist. She has been a member of the Boards of many nonprofit organizations, including YouthCare and the YWCA. In 1999, she helped establish and fund the Pacific Northwest's first court-based child care center at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, offering a safe place for parents and guardians with business before the court to leave young children.
Since 2011, Rochelle has served as the Director of Community Programs for Encompass, a nonprofit organization delivering early childhood and parenting education programs, birth to three early intervention services, and pediatric therapy. Encompass programs nurture typical and developmentally challenged children, enrich families in all their diversity and inspire community throughout the Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah, Sammamish and the greater Eastside.
Prior to joining Encompass, Rochelle spent 15 years at Hopelink, serving as a Center Manager in Kirkland and Bellevue, and eventually as the Senior Manager of Emergency Services. Rochelle holds a Bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Seattle University. She currently resides in Snoqualmie with her family.
Darryl Cook is the Supervisor of Planning, Program Development and Evaluation for the City of Seattle Human Services Department. He has over 20 years’ experience in public service at the state, regional and local level. His work experience and degree in management have made Darryl successful in managing and completing complex projects. Over the past several years he has researched, analyzed, developed and evaluated human services policies and direct service programs for youth and young adults. Darryl played a significant role in the recent design of a 4.5 million dollar a year Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI). The goal of SYVPI is to reduce gang related homicides, middle school suspensions and expulsions and juvenile court referrals over a two-year period.
Darryl was Deputy Director of Reinvesting in Youth, a juvenile justice intervention initiative focused on reducing the disproportional involvement of youth of color in King County’s juvenile and adult justice systems by administering evidence based models. He was strategic in the coordination and implementation of the expansion of evidence based services, Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) and Aggression Replacement Training (ART) in King County and ultimately in Washington State in collaboration with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.
Deanna Dawson is the Executive Director of the Sound Cities Association (formerly Suburban Cities Association), where she works on behalf of 36 King County cities and their nearly one million residents to create regional solutions through advocacy, education, and mutual support. Prior to joining SCA in 2011, Dawson was Director of Federal Affairs and Diversity Initiatives for Justice at Stake, a national, bipartisan campaign working to keep our courts fair, impartial, and accountable. Dawson previously served as Executive Director of Snohomish County, Washington, where she oversaw Law & Justice and Human Services, and worked with the Executive and Council to establish policy on matters of public safety, access to justice, housing & homelessness, veterans’ services, education, workforce development, and health & vulnerability.
Dawson was elected to the Edmonds City Council in 2001 and reelected in 2005. An active member of the community, Deanna has served on the boards of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Snohomish County, Washington Women Lawyers, TeamChild, the Snohomish County Center for Battered Women (now Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County), and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Deanna was born and raised in Washington State, and holds a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.
King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski
As a member of the King County Council representing District 1, Rod is working to improve transportation, protect the environment and reform county government. Rod has been a life-long community volunteer, civic leader and respected attorney, with experience in the private and public sectors. Born and raised in King County, Rod and his brother Dave were raised by their father, Al Dembowski, a Korean War veteran and small business owner. Rod graduated from Oliver M. Hazen High School in Renton in 1990, and worked his way through Georgetown University, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, with a minor concentration in Government.
After graduating from Georgetown, Rod returned to King County and worked as a policy analyst for then King County Executive Gary Locke and later as a Marketing & Operations and Credit Analyst for PACCAR Financial in Bellevue. Rod attended the University Of Washington School Of Law, graduating in 2001. After graduation, he was hired by Foster Pepper, where he focused on real estate, land use, municipal and business matters, as well as advising government and private clients on ethics laws, open public meetings act and public records act requirements. Today, Rod lives with his wife, Lynna Song, and their two boys, Evan and Camden, who both attend public school in Seattle.
Lt. Darryck Dwelle
Lt. Darryck Dwelle was born and raised in northern California and joined the Salvation Army Eastside King County Corps in July, 2011 following his graduation from the Salvation Army Officer Training College in Crestmont, CA with an Associate of Arts degrees in Ministry. The Eastside Corps, located in Bellevue has an active and growing community and congregation. Some of the services provided, but not limited to, are emergency rental, electrical and utility assistance, emergency food, and a hot meal program that serves 17,000 meals in collaboration with twenty five different organizations such as service clubs and various faith based groups. Lt Dwelle also oversees an after-school program for low income families.
Lt. Dwelle worked with the Salvation Army at Roseville Corps in California prior to attending training college and serves with his wife Lt. Sierra Dwelle. The Lts. have two sons, Zechariah and Justus. Before joining the Salvation Army, Lt. Darryck Dwelle worked as a wild land firefighter for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Lt Dwelle has always had the heart to serve and believes it is his life's calling to be a support to those that find themselves struggling in our community.
As Executive Director of Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA), Mahnaz currently oversees an organization that operates from 10 sites in King and Snohomish Counties and is comprised of 125 staff members with the capability of speaking 37 different languages and dialects. Many of ReWA staff are refugees or immigrants who work together to deliver bilingual and bicultural services to help clients gain English and job-related skills, find employment, maintain stability, and eventually thrive in their adoptive country. ReWA has a broad base of funding, including contributions of individual donors, federal and local governments, United Way, private foundations, and corporations. Prior to joining REWA as an Executive Director, Mahnaz passionately supported the mission of ReWA for over six years, serving as Board Chair. She is the past Co–Chair of UW Business and Economic Development Center Advisory Board, Board member of Community Capital Development and Past Board member of Tacoma Affordable Housing Consortium.
Mahnaz also served as the Vice President of Real Estate Lending for KeyBank Community Development where she led community development lending including affordable housing in the state of Washington, using tax credit and other customized financing tools to help build stronger communities. Mahnaz has over 20 years of experience in community development, economic development, and higher education holding an MBA with emphasis in economics and marketing and a BA in both Health Care Administration and Accounting.
Dr. Melinda Giovengo serves as YouthCare’s Executive Director. When she took the helm in November 2006, she was not new to YouthCare. She had worked at the agency more than twenty years before, as a case manager and program manager, and opened many programs that still serve young people today. She has over 27 years of experience in developing and implementing re-engagement programs for high school dropouts and homeless youth. She holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology, a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, and is published on issues surrounding homeless youth and the impact of learning disabilities among hard-to-serve populations. Dr. Giovengo speaks locally and nationally on youth homelessness, child development, program development, and adolescent mental health issues.
Dr. Kelly Goodsell earned her master’s degree at the University of Oregon in Special Education with an emphasis in social emotional behavior management and transition services for post-school success. She earned her doctorate from Seattle University in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership Development and Systems Design. Dr. Goodsell has experience as a K-12 teacher, district coach and trainer, curriculum developer, project manager and college instructor. As a trained educator, she has developed numerous programs targeting the unique educational needs of underserved students.
Currently, Dr. Goodsell serves as the Executive Director of Learning, Teaching & Family Support, Kindergarten to Postsecondary at the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) where she oversees regional dropout prevention efforts, expanded learning, special services and postsecondary readiness. Dr. Goodsell specializes in intervention design that promotes effective educational and employment pathways for vulnerable youth through coordinated systems of support.
Beratta Gomillion serves as Executive Director of the Center for Human Services. She has focused her career on treating and preventing chemical dependency. She is a certified alcohol and drug counselor and was the successful change agent for two different substance abuse treatment agencies in Alabama. She was a founding member of Alabama's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association and developed Alabama's first substance abuse prevention specialist and prevention manager certification programs. In 1991, Beratta received the J.C. Tinker Substance Abuse Professional of the Year Award for the State of Alabama.
Beratta moved to the Seattle area in 1996 to take a position as Clinical Director of the Center for Human Services, and in 1999 she stepped into the role of Executive Director. Center for Human Services is a community-based not-for-profit youth and family services agency. Based in Shoreline, it has been a resource to children, adults and families since 1970. Beratta also serves as a part time faculty member of the Lake Washington Technical College.
Mike Heinisch has been Executive Director of Kent Youth and Family Services since 1999. He is a state Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Children’s Mental Health Specialist. During his previous tenure at Highline West Seattle (now Navos) Mental Health Center as Director of the Children and Family Division, Mike developed the Highline Consortium, a collaboration of 18 agencies subcontracting with HWS for the provision of publicly funded (Medicaid) mental health service to children in King County. Mike also held several positions at Catholic Community Services including Program Manager of Family Counseling, Director of Children’s Hospital Alternative Program, and Foster Care Co-Director.
With a Masters Degree in Counseling from Seattle University, Mike is a native of Wisconsin having relocated to Western Washington in 1979. He currently serves as Co-Chair of United Way of King County’s Public Policy Impact Council and the King County Alliance for Human Services. He is also the former Co-Chair of King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) Oversight Committee. Mike also serves on the board of the South King Council of Human Services (three times past President), Communities In Schools of Kent, Building Better Futures (BBF) president, founder of Executive Alliance (now Alliance of Non Profits), and has served on the ANP board since 2000 including two terms as Board President. In October 2011, he joined the Governing Council of the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority. Mike and his spouse, Gail, live in Burien and have one daughter, Katie.
Katie Hong joined the Raikes Foundation in January 2012 as Program Officer. She primarily supports the foundation's national work on early adolescent development and leads the foundation's efforts around youth and young adult homelessness. Prior to joining the Raikes Foundation, Katie consulted with private philanthropic foundations and non-profit organizations on strategic planning and organizational effectiveness. For over five years, Katie worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she oversaw the work of the Foundation's Pacific Northwest Initiative including their initiative to reduce family homelessness and the Foundation's advocacy grant making including education efforts in Washington State.
Katie has also served as Director of the City of Seattle's Office of Housing, Executive Policy Adviser to Governor Gary Locke and as a White House Fellow for both Clinton and Bush Administrations. She has a Master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and a BA from University of California at Berkeley.
Shomari is the Vice President of Operations and Development at the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. The Urban League is a not-for-profit organization with 82 years of activism and community experience in the heart of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood, the Central District. The League has historically focused its community work in education, employment, health and housing with Seattle’s disenfranchised African-American community.
Shomari most recently worked at the Meredith Matthews East Madison YMCA as Senior Director Black Achievers Program and has a strong background in program development, education and health. He previously worked as the HERO (Higher Education Readiness Opportunity) Program Coordinator at the College Success Foundation. Shomari has many experiences focusing on diversity which include teaching English in Japan, teaching math to special needs youth in Alabama, and volunteering for numerous organizations around the Puget Sound Region. He has B.S. in Mathematics from Tuskegee University. Shomari is raising his daughter while his wife, an active duty US Navy Officer, serves our country.
Calvin Lyons’ experience before joining the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County as President and Chief Executive Officer includes nonprofit work as the director of partnerships at the Talaris Institute, a foundation that helps parents raise socially and emotionally healthy children. Lyons was also executive director of Rainier Scholars and worked with INROADS. Both nonprofits aim to assist and cultivate minority scholars for business, industry and community leadership.
Lyons has also worked in the private sector in both diversity and senior human resources roles at Washington Mutual and The Boeing Company. Supported by a college career that includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University and completion of the Executive Leadership Program at Seattle University, he has built a career path that includes extensive volunteer and board service.
Leesa Manion serves as the Chief of Staff to King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, a position she has held since 2007. In this position, Leesa is the chief administrative officer for the office, which employs more than 240 attorneys, 254 staff. In addition to overseeing a wide range of fiscal, human resources, legislative, and internal and external communications and policy issues, Leesa oversees a variety of youth and justice programs, including the office's Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program and the 180 Program, which is a community-based, pre-filing juvenile diversion program designed to keep youth out of the criminal justice system by inspiring them to make positive choices with support from their community.
She has also recently spearheaded a number of projects aimed at reducing disproportionality within in the criminal justice system, a major initiative launched by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in the last few years. Leesa is a graduate of Seattle University School of Law. She also serves on the Executive Committee for the Washington State Bar Association's Criminal Law Section, and is member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington and Washington Women Lawyers. Outside of work, Leesa enjoys entertaining, reading, and spending time with her husband and two young children.
Miguel Maestas is the Associate Administrator of El Centro de la Raza, a leading Seattle-based civil rights, human services, educational, cultural and economic development organization with an operating budget of $5.9 million serving over 18,000 people annually. He is actively engaged in community development and organizing communities for advocacy and participation, and has distinguished himself as an effective leader and a respected community organizer.
He has worked in youth services, community development, organizing, and administration and education programs for 28 years. Miguel worked as a youth case manager serving Latino students and families in the Seattle and Highline public schools. He also worked as Associate Director of the YDI Head Start program, which provides comprehensive child development services in three counties in central and northern New Mexico. He was also an instructor of early learning curriculum classes at Central New Mexico Community college. He currently resides in Tukwila with his wife and three children and serves on the Tukwila Planning Commission. Miguel holds a degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education from the University of New Mexico.
Terry Pottmeyer is the President/CEO of Friends of Youth, a large human service agency that supports young people from birth to age 24 with a variety of services including residential and foster care, counseling, prevention, and a full continuum of services for runaway and homeless youth including street outreach, shelter, housing and employment and educational support. In the past five years the agency has experienced a dramatic increase in the number and needs of homeless youth in our community.
Pottmeyer joined Friends of Youth in 2010. She has held a number of roles with the organization, including Chief Program Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Pottmeyer earned a JD from the University of Washington School of Law and BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington Foster School of Business. She also serves on the Puget Sound ESD Board of Directors, and is a past president of the Mercer Island School Board.
Mark Putnam is Director of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County, a broad coalition of government, business, faith communities, nonprofits, and homeless advocates working together to end homelessness in Seattle/King County, Washington. Mark started in this position in December 2013. Previously, as a Director at Building Changes, he was responsible for overseeing several program areas, including grant-making and evaluation of a $30 million initiative to end family homelessness in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. He has provided leadership to recent efforts to develop plans to prevent and end family and youth and young adult homelessness in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.
Putnam has volunteered on several community boards, including serving as president of the board of directors for ROOTS Young Adult Homeless Shelter. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Whitman College and a M.P.A. from Eastern Washington University, and is a graduate of the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute.
Adrienne Quinn serves as director of the King County Department of Community and Human Services. Quinn came to King County from the Medina Foundation in Seattle, where as Executive Director she led strategic initiatives to build nonprofit capacity and improve services for vulnerable populations. Quinn was instrumental in working with human service providers in homeless housing, domestic violence programs, food distribution systems, and youth development programs in 14 counties in western Washington, including King County. Quinn previously served as Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations for Enterprise Community Partners in Washington, D.C., and as director of the City of Seattle's Office of Housing.
Quinn graduated magna cum laude from the Seattle University School of Law in 1996. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. She has received a number of awards in her career, including being named one of Washington's Top 50 Women Lawyers in 2006.
Judge J. Wesley Saint Clair
Judge Saint Clair joined the Criminal Division of the Office of the King County Prosecuting Attorney shortly after his graduation from the University of Washington Law School and his completion of undergraduate work at Yale University. After leaving the prosecutor’s office in 1986, he opened a private practice in Bellevue where he specialized in criminal defense work. Judge Saint Clair was appointed to the Northeast Division of the King County District Court in September of 1991. Judge Saint Clair was elected the Presiding Judge for King County District Court in the fall of 2001 and served as presiding judge until July of 2004, when he was appointed to the King County Superior Court by Governor Gary Locke. In January of 2012, Judge Saint Clair was assigned to the King County Juvenile Court, where he currently presides over Truancies, Juvenile Drug Court, Offender Calendars, and Trials.
Judge Saint Clair has been active in the courts concerning technology advancements as well as in Drug Court programs. He is currently the Chair of the King County Superior Court/Department of Judicial Administration Technology Committee. He has been recognized for his work in the drug courts by the New York Times as well as the drug courts themselves being recognized by the National Association of Drug Courts.
Terry Smith serves as the long-time Assistant Director of Bellevue Parks & Community Services. Mr. Smith has been a lifelong advocate for children and youth. He was born without a radius bone in both arms and has spent his life sharing the pursuit of inner peace and self-comfort with others. Mr. Smith has worked as a counselor, teacher, friend, mentor, and role model in motivating others to peel away labels and feelings of worthlessness. In his current job, he oversees a wide range of programs for youth and adults including those with physical and developmental disabilities. Mr. Smith has been a key leader in the development and implementation of a community-wide strategic youth plan called “It’s About Time for Kids.” He continues to advocate the value of all youths in the community.
During his 23-year career with the City of Bellevue, Smith has been instrumental in developing the recreation program and pricing plan, spearheading partnerships with nonprofit organizations in the community and seeking meaningful ways to provide accessible services.
Sorya Svy has been a part of SafeFutures Youth Center for more than 17 years, serving first as a case manager and program manager and then as the Executive Director for 13 years. As Executive Director, he has facilitated collaborative relationships with the City of Seattle, City of SeaTac, Seattle Housing Authority, YMCA of King County, local service providers, and public agencies to ensure that SafeFutures meets its mission to create a caring extended family atmosphere at a center that provides the highest quality services in order to fully develop the potential of everyone who enters through its doors.
After earning his B.S. in Sociology from Western Washington University, Sorya has dedicated the past 21 years to working with high risk youth of color and immigrant and refugee families. He has extensive experience implementing gang prevention and intervention programs including the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model and has completed numerous trainings including the Omega Boys Club Institute’s Youth Development and Violence Prevention Training, Matrix Leadership Development Training, and Reinvesting in Youth Program Evaluation Training. Sorya’s wide-ranging knowledge about program design and best practices in providing services to at-risk youth of color has been an asset to the SW/SE Seattle and South King County communities.
Sheriff John Urquhart
Sheriff John Urquhart has served the citizens of Washington State as a police officer for over 37 years, the last 25 as a full-time member of the King County Sheriff’s Office. His career has included stints as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Master Police Officer, Sergeant, street-level vice/narcotics detective, public information officer and administrative aide to two sheriffs. He has investigated everything from property crimes to homicides.
Sheriff Urquhart joined the Sheriff’s Office (then the King County Police) full-time in 1988, and eventually became the public information officer. Sheriff Urquhart retired in early 2012 and soon after filed to run for Sheriff against a veteran police chief appointed by the King County Council to complete the term of the previous sheriff who retired early. Sheriff Urquhart grew up in North Seattle, and after high school he attended the University of Washington. He graduated from the School of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Government, and Society. He began a business in a nearby suburb, and grew the business for several years before selling it to pursue other interests.
Prior to becoming President and CEO of Thrive by Five in February 2014, Sam was a Community Investor for Education at The Boeing Company, leading the company’s relationships with state and local education leaders as well as nonprofit education agencies working statewide to improve education outcomes from birth to high school graduation and beyond. Before joining Boeing, Whiting spent almost two decades in nonprofit management in the arts, education and human services fields. He directed early childhood programs for Children’s Home Society, including leading Head Start, family mental health, and maternal/child health programs. Whiting spent six years as Executive Director of Page Ahead, a statewide children’s literacy nonprofit serving more than 50,000 children. He also served as Director of Foundation Projects for The Seattle Foundation.
Whiting is a board member for the Women’s Funding Alliance and has volunteered on the boards for several other nonprofits. He received his master’s degree in Not-for-Profit Leadership in 1997 and completed his doctoral coursework in 2011, both at Seattle University.