Amara is proud to be led and supported by a stellar cast – our Board of Directors, Advisory Councils for King and Pierce counties, and staff.

Board of Directors

Robin Rothe, President
Trustee, Thomas C. Wright Foundation

Hillary Carey, Vice President
Chief Business Officer, Rwanda Girls Initiative

Paul Abodeely, Treasurer
Community Volunteer

Dan Absher
President, Absher Construction

Libuse Binder
Executive Director, Stand for Children Washington

Juan Cotto
Director of Social Impact, Bloodworks Northwest

Ben Danielson, MD
Medical Director, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

Anne Bryson Doyle
Foster-Adoptive Mother and Mentor

Paul Goebel
Chief Operating Officer, Coordinated Care

Lori Langston
Community Volunteer

Billie Riggs Otto
Chief Strategy and Risk Officer, Absher Construction

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

Ginny Trethewey
Community Volunteer

Jamal Whitehead
Attorney, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender


In Gratitude

We were honored to have had Walt Zabriskie as our Board Treasurer and dear friend of Amara for over 10 years. His commitment to children and our community was incomparable and he will be forever missed. 

Walt gazes at the beautiful bench on our Seattle campus dedicated in gratitude to his support. 

Pierce County Advisory Council

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

Frank Cuthbertson
Pierce County Superior Court Judge

Bruce Dammeier
Pierce County Executive

Fahren Johnson
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Program Manager of Expanded Learning Opportunities

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),Retired


King County Advisory Council

Alan Frazier, Chair
Chairman and Founder, Frazier Healthcare Partners, and Managing Partner, East Seattle Partners

Dean Allen
CEO, McKinstry

Joel Benoliel
Senior Vice President, Administration & Chief Legal Officer, Costco Wholesale (ret.)

Justice Bobbe J. Bridge (ret.)
President and CEO, Center for Children & Youth Justice

Brad Brown
Senior Vice President, Digital Retail and Customer Support, REI (ret.)

Phyllis Campbell
Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Pacific NW Division

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


African American Outreach Advisory Council

Carla Saulter
Community Advocate

LaShaun Bellamy
Marketing Consultant

Zynovia Hetherington, MSW, M.Ed
Director of the Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program University of Washington, School of Social Work

NaKeesa Frazier-Jennings
Community Advocate


Amara Staff

Kara Andersen
Family Support Specialist

Liesl Arceneaux
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Carrie Bassett
Development Manager

Kristina Bates Greene
Foster Care Services Supervisor

Danielle Blechert
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Brenda Bobadilla
Foster Care Specialist

Deshanna Brown
Foster Care Specialist

Martha Buchta-Spevack
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Julianne Bukey Peterson
Associate Director, Program Impact and Evaluation

Theo Calhoun
Family Time Visitation Specialist

Erin Chambers
Pierce County Development Manager

Deborah Collins
Associate Director, Foster Care Services

Lindsay Craven
Emergency Sanctuary Program Manager, King County

Katie Davis
Annual Giving and Stewardship Officer

Quenby Delgado
Foster Care Specialist

Alyssa Farber
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Katie Ferguson
Fostering Family Manager

Constanta Florescu
Staff Accountant

Christina Gaydos
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Danielle Hammond
Family Time Visitation Specialist

Mari Halpert
Foster Care Specialist

Kari Hanson
Family Outreach Coordinator

Sarah Hasbrook
Foster Care Specialist

Samantha Headley
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Branik Healow
Emergency Sanctuary Program Coordinator, King County

Julie Hoffman
Best for Babies Program Coordinator

Anne Holloway
Foster Care Specialist

Whitney Hunt
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Cynthia Isabell
Foster Care Specialist

Marilee Jolin
Communications Specialist

Laura Keating
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Destiny Keenan
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Devon Kerr
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Rena Konomis
Confidential Intermediary

Tricia Lambie
Foster Care Services Supervisor

Michelle Lopez
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Melinda Lowe
Events Manager

Colleen Madsen
Foster Care Specialist

Claudia Marchen
Post-Adoption Program Coordinator

Anna McKnight
Administrative Support Specialist

Maria Mello
Family Time Coordinator

Kelly Merdinger
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Emily Neal
Emergency Sanctuary Program Coordinator, Pierce County

Michelle Newton
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Jamie Morrow
Foster Care Specialist

Emily Pringle
Foster Care Specialist

Trey Rabun
Foster Care Services Supervisor

Analis Rivasplata-Newton
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Alex Ropes
Volunteer Manager

Bethany Ruggles
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Emily Scofield
Operations Manager

Laura Shell
Lead Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Mary Schlichter
Foster Care Services Supervisor

Emily Sigler
Client Services Coordinator

Danielle Small
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Gretchen Stewart
Foster Care Specialist

Emily Stochel
Therapeutic Childcare Specialist

Chelsea Talbert
Pierce County Program Administrator

Elyse Thomas
Foster Care Specialist

James E. Thompson
Corporate and Foundation Grants Manager

Taylor Trujillo
Volunteer and Philanthropy Coordinator

Cristina Tzintzun
Family Time Visitation Specialist

Jenny von Veh
Child Placement Coordinator

Jennifer Wheeler
Foster Care Specialist

Sarah Wheeler
Emergency Sanctuary Program Manager, Pierce County

Kristen Wilson
Foster Care Specialist

John Morse
Chief Executive Officer | 206.260.1701

Jen Kamel
Chief Clinical Officer | 206.289.0047

Dong Nam
Chief Financial Officer | 206.260.1704

Ruth Tollefson
Chief Philanthropy Officer | 206.438.3938

Lauren Firchau
Director of Finance and Administration | 206.395.4931

Ross Hiranaga
Director of Children’s Services | 253.533.2980

Nicole Mazen
Director of Foster Care Services | 206.260.1720

Amie Newman
Director of Communications and Outreach | 206.260.1718

Maureen Sorenson
Pierce County Director | 253.235.4875

Angela Tucker
Director of Post-Adoption Services | 206.260.1741