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.
Jamie Lee is the Co-Executive Director at the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). She has nearly 20 years of experience in the non-profit and public sector, and has held leadership roles at SCIDpda for eight of those years. She most recently served as SCIDpda’s Director of Community Initiatives, overseeing external partnerships, fundraising, small business assistance, public space design, and neighborhood safety. In addition to her role on the Crescent Collaborative, Jamie is currently the Board Chair at International District Emergency Center, and has served on a number of other boards and committees, including Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area, Historic South Downtown, and the Sanctuary Art Center. Previous to her work at SCIDpda, Jamie worked with youth experiencing homelessness in the University District in Seattle as well as at community engaged learning center at the University of Washington. Jamie has a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington.
Erin Fried is the Deputy Director of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict at Community Roots Housing. Previously, Erin worked at several nonprofit organizations and NGOs that focused on community-based solutions for issues related to immigration, education, post-conflict rebuilding, and the environment. Before working with the EcoDistrict, Erin spent five years serving as the Executive Director of Old Growth Northwest, a volunteer arts organization that provided creative writing opportunities to underrepresented groups. She also trained as a restorative justice facilitator with the Seattle Restorative Justice Initiative. Erin holds a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as an MA in International Affairs from the Fletcher School and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. Erin on the board of directors for The Urbanist, the 15th Avenue Community Investment District, and the Cal Anderson Park Alliance.
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 Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Michelle Y. Merriweather joined the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle team in August of 2015 as the Vice President. Her passion is combining her extensive sales, fund development, event planning and marketing background to better the communities in which she serves.
As a Los Angeles native, her dedication for the Los Angeles community and for being a voice for the voiceless, led her to volunteer for the Los Angeles Urban League. Her role grew from volunteer to the first woman President of the Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals and an active member of their board of directors and a part of the National Urban League Movement.
Prior to changing her career to follow her passion in advocating for African Americans and underserved communities she had a successful career in sales and marketing with major organizations such as Starbucks, Heinz, and Coca Cola.
Ms. Merriweather is taking an active role in impacting her community. She serves on the board of directors for the Alliance for Education, KUOW, United Way of King County, MultiCare Behavioral Health Foundation, the Downtown Seattle Association, and an inaugural appointee of the first Washington State Women’s Commission dedicated to shaping policy that directly impacts the women that call Washington home. Michelle is a proud active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves as the advisor for the collegiate chapter at University of Washington. She a proud graduate of the Xavier University of Louisiana, the nation’s only historically Black-Catholic University, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. In 2020 she was awarded 2 awards from the Puget Sound Business Journal: A Woman of Influence and a Puget Sound Power 100. In 2022, she received the Edwin T. Pratt Community Service Award from the MLKCC.
Dr. O. David Jackson is an experienced, strategic, and visionary leader who is passionate about cultivating the impact that people and organizations can deliver to their communities and stakeholders. Dr. Jackson serves as the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics, and, as a Clinical Professor of Executive Education within the Albers’ Center for Leadership Formation. Building on a successful corporate career in human resources and people leadership with organizations that include WebMD, Scholastic Publishing, and most recently Microsoft Corporation, Dr. Jackson formed Jaxx Strategic Partners in 2014 to provide small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations access to the same strategic expertise and insights that are often out of reach but for the largest organizations. In addition to his business consulting, Dr. Jackson serves as a leadership coach and DEI practitioner with previous clients that include Amazon, the Obama Foundation, and Harris Health Systems. Within his DEI practice, Dr. Jackson embraces the realities of race consciousness and the delicate work of building coalitions across those divides. Dr. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Howard University, and, an MBA and a Doctorate in Education from Seattle University, wherein his scholarly research and practice center on human resources management, organizational development, and adult learning. As a community builder, Jackson has served on numerous boards including the HR Certification Institute (Secretary/Treasurer), and the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (Past President), and currently serves on the Board of Regents of Seattle University. Dr. Jackson is an avid patron of the arts and divides his time between Seattle, WA, and his hometown of Houston, TX.
Sarah Tran provides leadership coaching, facilitation, training, and consultation to community organizations, philanthropic foundations, businesses, and government entities committed to advancing racial equity and social justice.
Drawing on her roots as a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, a survivor, a former Executive Director, and many years of organizing for a world free of white supremacy and gender based violence - she is committed to supporting leaders of color as they mobilize their communities and transform systems to support collective liberation.
Her loves: Community care, laughing and eating with her Vietnamese and Filipino family, singing, the ocean, and doing all these things while snuggled up with her pups.
Caroline Burney is an experienced project manager, facilitator, and organizer supporting projects to advance equitable community-driven development, economic recovery, and climate resilience. She supports clients, including public agencies and community-based organizations, to develop and implement strategic and actionable plans to advance racial and economic equity. Caroline received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. She received her M.A. Education from Antioch University Seattle as part of the inaugural cohort of the Masters of Urban Environmental Education program.