Our Team | Amara

Our Team

Meet Our Amazing Team

True change takes place when our community comes together to hear one another, dream big, and share our unique skills and passions. We are grateful for our dynamic team who work together to support the well-being of children in foster care, adoptees, and their families.

Best for Babies Pierce County

Julie Hoffman
Best for Babies Program Coordinator

Chief Executive Officer

Jason Gortney
Interim Chief Executive Officer | Chief Program Officer
206.395.4931

Communications & Outreach

Amie Newman
Director of Communications & Outreach
amaracomms@amarafamily.org
206.260.1718

Chelsea Talbert
Pierce County Partnership and Engagement Manager

Kari Hanson
Family Outreach Coordinator

Katie Ferguson
Communications & Partnerships Manager

Taylor Trujillo
Volunteer Coordinator

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Fathi Karshie
Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
amara@amarafamily.org
206.260.1709

Finance & Administration

Dong Nam
Chief Financial Officer
amara@amarafamily.org
206.260.1704

Dinah Slattery
Staff Accountant

Emily Sigler
Compliance and Administration Manager

Steve Hill
Operations Coordinator

Foster Care Services

Nicole Mazen
Director of Foster Care Services
amara@amarafamily.org
206.260.1720

Anne-Marie Holloway
Foster Care Specialist

Brenda Bobadilla
Foster Care Specialist

Cristina Tzintzun
Kinship Retention & Support Specialist

Danielle Hammond
Child Screening and Family Support Specialist

Deborah Collins
Associate Director of Foster Care

Deshanna Brown
Foster Care Specialist

Jennifer Diaz
Family Time Visitation Specialist

Jenny von Veh
Child Placement Coordinator

Katie Biron
Family Connections Program Manager

Kristen Wilson
Foster Care Specialist

Kristina Bates Greene
Foster Care Services Supervisor

Mari Halpert
Foster Care Specialist

Maria Mello
Foster Care Specialist

Martha Buchta-Spevak
Family Time Visitation Specialist

Mary Schlichter
Foster Care Services Supervisor

Michelle Lopez
Family Time Visitation Specialist

Quenby Delgado
Foster Care Specialist

Sarah Hasbrook
Foster Care Specialist

Theodore Calhoun
Family Time Visitation Specialist

Trey Rabun
Associate Director of Kinship and Community Services

Tricia Lambie
Foster Care Services Supervisor

Veronica Houff
Foster Care Specialist

Philanthropy

Ruth Tollefson
Chief Philanthropy Officer
amaragiving@amarafamily.org
206.438.3938

Carrie Bassett
Philanthropy Officer

Erin Chambers
Philanthropy Officer

Melinda Lowe
Individual Giving & Events Officer

Post-Adoption Services

Kara Andersen
Family Support Specialist

Rena Konomis
Post-Adoption Program Manager

Program Impact & Evaluation

Julianne Bukey Peterson
Associate Director, Program Impact and Evaluation

Sara Wong, President
Senior Director of WW Enterprise Commercial Sales, Microsoft

Lori Langston, Vice-President
Community Volunteer

Ginny Trethewey, Vice-President
Community Volunteer

Peter Woodward, Treasurer
Vice President – Private Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs & Co

Cathy Pew, MD, Secretary
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington

Dan Absher, Executive Committee Member At-Large
President, Absher Construction

Paul Abodeely
Community Volunteer

Libuse Binder
Post-Secondary Success and Advocacy Consultant

Hillary Carey
Chief Business Officer, Rwanda Girls Initiative

Juan Cotto
Director of Social Impact, Bloodworks Northwest

Ben Danielson, MD
Pediatrician, UW Medicine

Frankie Johnson
Director of Property Management, Tacoma Housing Authority

Rao Lakkakula
Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase & Co

Claudia Miller
Family Engagement Coordinator, Franklin Pierce Schools

Srilata Remala
Executive Director, The Maternal Coalition

Jamal Whitehead
Attorney, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender

Dean Allen
CEO, McKinstry

Joel Benoliel
Senior Vice President, Administration & Chief Legal Officer, Costco Wholesale, Ret.

Bobbe J. Bridge
WA State Supreme Court Judge, Ret.
President and CEO, Center for Children & Youth Justice, Ret.

Brad Brown
Senior Vice President, Digital Retail and Customer Support, REI, Ret.

Jean Enersen
Anchor, KING 5, Ret.

Steve Graham
Managing Partner, Seattle Office, Fenwick & West, LLP

Fred Jarrett
Senior Deputy King County Executive

Robert Moser
President and CEO, Laird Norton Wealth Management

Representative Eric Pettigrew
Washington State House of Representatives

Paul L. Wyckoff
Tech Infrastructure Designer

Dan Absher, Chair 
President, Absher Construction, Amara Board of Directors’ Advisory Council Liaison 

Frank Cuthbertson 
Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Ret.

Dr. John Gaines 
Community Relations Manager, TPU & President, PDLA 

Bruce Dammeier 
Pierce County Executive 

Fahren Johnson 
Senior Program Officer, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation 

Maureen Sorenson
Clinical Director, Elevate Health

Michael Mirra 
Executive Director, Tacoma Housing Authority 

Lyle Quasim 
Retired Secretary Washington Department of Social and Health Service 

Scott Selden 
CEO, Selden’s Furniture 

Victoria Woodards 
Mayor, City of Tacoma 

Jeff Woodworth 
President, Woodworth Capital 

Dee Wilson 
Child Welfare Expert (Casey Family Programs, State of Washington), Ret. 

Kyle Trethewey, President 
Senior Corporate Counsel, True Blue 

Deanne Bryan, Vice President 
Founder, Selah Event Consulting, Inc. 

Brett Flegg, Secretary 
Principal Software Architect, Microsoft 

Kohei Yamamoto, Treasurer 
Partner, Cowan Miller & Lederman 

Nan Jackson  
Director of LiveBallot, DemocracyLive 

Chris Kagi 
Assistant Director, Savills 

James Truitt 
Azure Specialist – Data & AI, Microsoft 

Sara Wong 
Senior Director of WW Enterprise Commercial Sales, Microsoft 

Peter Woodward 
Vice President – Private Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs & Co 

Sadie Zeller 
Business Consultant and Community Leader 

Rufina Beem Holcombe
Esquire and Adoptee

Susan Ito
Author and Adoptee

Joanna Ivey
Our Chosen Child, Adoptee and Adoptive Parent

Lesli Johnson
Therapist, MFT and Adoptee

Della Kostelnik-Juarez
Genealogist

Claudia Marchen
Business Professional

Angela Tucker
Influencer, Author and Adoptee

Jenni Tupu
Fulbright Scholar, Adoptee and Adoptive Parent

Carole VandenBos
Confidential Intermediary and Birth Parent

Marissa Zwelling
Social Worker, MSW, LCSW, Adoptee and Adoptive Parent

Cierra Campos

Felicia Dennis

Taralee Ellis

Keisha Harris

Toby Joseph

Colleen Laupola

Brittney Lee

Claudia Miller

Tara Newton

Kathie Nguyen

Raven Nyland

Stephen Percer

Laurie Pugh-Larson

Hannah Strickler

Dominique Taylor

George Zantua

Related Pages

Careers

Driven by our community, our staff works toward meaningful change every day – in our systems, in our culture, and within ourselves. Join us! 

Job Opportunities

Volunteering

Share your time, experience, and skills! We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities in Seattle and Tacoma and would love to have your support.

Volunteer Opportunities

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