For more than two decades, Andrea has worked to promote economic mobility and racial equity for people across Washington state. As Byrd Barr Place’s CEO since 2008, Andrea leads the organization in its efforts to build an equitable Washington through innovative programs and services that nurture people’s health and well-being. She’s also instrumental in designing initiatives that focus attention on the adverse impacts of racism and advocating for policy and systemic change. Inspired by the uprising for racial justice in 2020, Andrea, together with three other Black women leaders, launched the Black Future Co-op Fund, Washington’s first all Black-led philanthropy to ignite Black generational prosperity, health, and well-being throughout the state. She also joined with three other women of color to create the BIPOC Executive Directors Coalition of Washington State, bringing together nonprofit leaders of color to promote unity, reparation, and restoration for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Andrea serves as a commissioner of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs; on the boards of Craft3, Crescent Collaborative, and Africatown Community Land Trust; and as a steering committee member of the Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance. She earned an MPA and a BA from Evergreen State College.
Board Vice President and First Hill Representative
Doug Holtom is the Executive Director of the First Hill Improvement Association, where he is tasked with leading the strategic implementation of the First Hill Improvement Association’s vision and mission. Doug continues to develop community relationships, collaborating with various neighborhood stakeholders, on implementation of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan. Doug graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Community, Environment, and Planning with an emphasis on urban design and planning and strives for consensus. Doug is the Vice-Chair of the Swedish Medical Center Standing Advisory Committee, a member of the boards of the Freeway Park Association and Crescent Collaborative.
Michael Brown is the Chief Architect of Civic Commons, a new regional civic infrastructure of Seattle Foundation aimed at uniting more community voices in decision-making to advance racial and economic equity. Most recently, Michael served as the Foundation’s Vice President of Community Programs. Throughout his tenure at the foundation in 2001, Michael has led efforts to elevate community voice and foster public-private partnerships, tackling complex challenges in the areas of affordable housing, health, economic and racial equity, policy, and advocacy. From 1997 to 2000, Michael served as a legislative aide to City of Seattle Council member Richard McIver. Michael also served as Deputy Director for the Washington Association for Community Economic Development, a non-profit organization that provided training and technical assistance to statewide community-based development organizations.
Michael received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Loyola University (New Orleans). Michael is past president of the Building Changes Board of Directors and Neighborhood Funders Group, a commissioner at the King County Housing Authority and a board member of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center and the University of Washington Alumni Association. Michael is also an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.
From 2008-2019, Sue Taoka served as Executive Vice President at Craft3, a nonprofit, non-bank community development financial institution. There she worked on developing capital strategies to strengthen the resilience of distressed and immigrant communities.
For 14 years Sue served as Executive Director of the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), the major property management and community development organization in the Chinatown International District. Before that she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Norm Rice for housing, economic and community development, neighborhoods, parks, and libraries. Prior to that she led the International District Improvement Association. Sue earned her B.S. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.
Bill Block began his career in the other Washington as a law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court. He moved to Seattle in 1977 with a law practice focused on complex real estate transactions on behalf of both private and public entities including the King County and Tacoma Public Housing Authorities and the Seattle Chinatown International District PDA.
As President of AIDS Housing of Washington he helped create Bailey Boushay House, the first new skilled nursing facility for people with AIDS. As Chair of the Seattle Housing Authority he was involved in the HOPE VI redevelopments of New Holly, High Point and Rainier Vista. In 2005, he left the law to become Director of the Committee to End Homelessness, the public/private partnership implementing the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Seattle/King County.
In 2012 Bill became the HUD Regional Administrator for Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) and later a Special Consultant on Homelessness to HUD, returning to civil liberties law in 2017. His other civic involvements include service as a board member for DESC and the Mount Baker Housing Alliance and Chair, Seattle Center Advisory Commission.
Christopher Persons has led Community Roots Housing since 2007. In 2010 he oversaw the creation of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation to support CRH’s work. Under his leadership, the organization has added more than 350 affordable apartments in several new buildings to its portfolio, as well as much more commercial and community space, including two performing arts theaters, nonprofit offices and local retail. Chris has more than three decades of senior nonprofit leadership experience. Prior to joining CRH, he was executive director of Inspiration Corporation, a homeless and housing services agency in Chicago. Under his leadership, it grew from a neighborhood agency to a city-wide, award-winning corporation.
Chris has a long-standing commitment to leadership in community development. He has served on the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, including three years as Chair, the Seattle Planning Commission, the Housing Partnership Network’s Public Policy Committee, as well as on the boards of the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle and King County, the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, serves, and Crescent Collaborative.
Quynh Pham is the Executive Director of the Friends of Little Sài Gòn (FLS), a community development organization with a mission to preserve and enhance Little Saigon’s cultural, economic, and historic vitality. In this role, she has grown FLS from its advocacy roots to an organization that continues to push the boundaries, and offers cultural programs and services to the Vietnamese American community in Seattle and King County. This includes the opening of the Little Saigon Creative, a community gathering space launched in 2021. She has dedicated 10+ years to supporting small immigrant/refugee owned businesses and community-driven solutions to health and well-being. Prior to FLS, Quynh was a fund development manager and a community organizer in the API and Vietnamese community focused on youth and education, community development, and public safety. She has her bachelor’s in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington and a master’s in Public Administration from Seattle University. Quynh currently sits on the City of Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative Advisory Board, Co-Chairs the Chinatown-ID Public Safety Council, and on the board of Historic South Downtown.
Ex Officio Member representing Seattle Housing Authority
Over the last 18 years, Rachael has worked through higher education to bridge the gap for students of color and low-income students to higher education opportunities. She believes in asset-based change efforts. Rachael transitioned to Seattle Housing Authority in June 2018 and carries forward her strategic leadership to ensure Seattle’s low-income residents have access to services that ensure a dignified quality of life that promotes self-sufficiency. During her tenure at Seattle University as the Deputy Director in the Center for Community Engagement, she has demonstrated her ability to develop a strategic approach to partnership between university and community stakeholders. In 2010, she co-led the development of the cradle to career/college pipeline by mapping out a strategic growth plan, researching best and promising practices, advising and supporting the evaluation of programs and processes, developing a staff for direct service and technical support, and connecting housing providers to schools and youth development providers to improve service delivery. Rachael is known to be a strategic thinker with an eye for the intersections of education, housing, economic development and social cohesion. Her leadership of the Choice Neighborhood Education Collaborative resulted in developing partnerships that built upon youth development programming, parent and youth enthusiasm and community leadership. Her work and that of her partners’ is documented by The Center for the Study of Social Policy – Promising Practices Guide and Engaging Higher Education: Purpose, Platforms, and Programs for Community Engagement and in Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education: A Strategy to Transform Universities and Communities by Erica K. Yamamura and Kent Koth.
Kent Koth is the founding director of the Seattle University Sundborg Center for Community Engagement. In this role Kent has overseen a rapid expansion of campus-community partnerships that have received national recognition including the 2012 President’s National Community Service Higher Education Award and the 2020 Campus Compact Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation. Since 2009, he has also led the Seattle University Youth Initiative, a long-term commitment by Seattle University faculty, staff and students from all disciplines to join with parents, the Seattle School District, the City of Seattle, foundations, and more than 30 community organizations to empower the children of Seattle to succeed in school and life.
With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kent is currently leading an effort to create a national network of universities pursuing place-based community engagement. A frequent consultant and speaker, Kent and Seattle University faculty Erica Yamamura recently co-authored the book Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education (Stylus 2018).
Kent received his B.A. from Grinnell College and M.A. from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
Doris Koo is a respected leader and seasoned executive in the community development sector. She has retired from a 13-year career with Enterprise Community Partners, a leading national nonprofit specializing in affordable housing finance, advocacy and community development. She served in a variety of executive roles including that of president and CEO. Prior to her work with Enterprise, she spent seven years with the Seattle Housing Authority as Deputy Executive Director, leading efforts to build and preserve affordable housing, including the redevelopment of NewHolly and Rainier Vista. In New York City, Doris led Asian Americans for Equality from an all-volunteer organization to the biggest owner and developer of low-income housing in New York City’s Chinatown and Lower East Side neighborhoods. Doris is a member of the governing council of Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority in Seattle. She was elected to serve on the national board of AARP in June 2014, after serving on the board of the AARP Foundation from 2012-2014. She has served on the Investment Committee of The Russell Family Foundation; Washington State Infrastructure Task Force, and on boards of the National Housing Trust and the National Low Income Housing Coalition. She has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago.
Ellen Kissman is a planner and policy analyst with more than 25 years of experience in Seattle. She has worked for the City of Seattle and the Seattle Housing Authority. Since 2006, her consulting practice has served the public and nonprofit sectors, offering grant-writing, program evaluation, and project management services. Ellen was part of the Seattle Housing Authority team that brought more than $100 million in funding awards to the Seattle area. She contributed to successful HUD grant applications for redevelopment at Rainier Vista, High Point, Lake City Village, and Yesler Terrace. As Asset Management Coordinator for Seattle Housing Authority she participated in major restructuring that resulted in using resources more efficiently and effectively, in keeping with the Housing Authority’s mission. Her achievements on behalf of the people of Seattle include her leadership and contributions as a senior member of the team that prepared the first Comprehensive Plan. Ellen earned a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College, a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University.