Congratulations to the 2020 Advancement Northwest Scholars:
Erika Chen, Freedom Conspiracy Consulting
Erika is a nonprofit professional and community volunteer dedicated to equity and anti-racism. In the past, she has worked with youth/education-oriented nonprofits like America SCORES Seattle, Invest in Youth, and Rainier Scholars. Currently, in addition to co-chairing AFP Advancement NW’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Committee, Erika is a Seattle Human Rights Commissioner, a founding councilmember of the Council for Community-Centric Fundraising, and a steering committee member with Social Justice Fund’s Seattle Donors of Color. Erika believes in lifelong learning and that lived experiences are valid and valuable. As part of her formal/institutional education, Erika holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Miami where she majored in Economics and minored in International Business and Spanish. She also holds a Masters of Public Administration and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.
Cayti Holmes, HopeCentral
Cayti graduated from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) in 2019 and recently began her first career job as the Development and Marketing Coordinator at HopeCentral Pediatrics and Behavioral Health. Cayti is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about healthcare and help make excellent, enhanced care accessible to all children and families. On the weekends Cayti loves to hit the slopes and bounce around to all the best foodie spots in Seattle.
Mara Kealey, Eastside Baby Corner
Mara Kealey has served as Development Associate at Eastside Baby Corner since September 2019. A recent Pacific Northwest transplant, she was born and raised in Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State University in 2018 with a double major in Political Science and History. After interning for the current State Auditor of Iowa and working as a Political Action Committee Field Organizer during the 2018 Midterm election, she moved to Washington State to begin a career in nonprofit development. Mara lives in Redmond and enjoys reading, visiting with friends, and exploring all the natural beauties the PNW has to offer!
Marisa Kent, Food Lifeline
Marisa Kent originally hails from Austin, Texas. She moved to Seattle three years ago with her fiancé and their adorable dog Colt to pursue a career in development. She started at Food Lifeline in April 2019 as the Development Assistant and after four months, was promoted to Development Systems Manager. Marisa hopes to grow her career as a development professional and learn the different elements of this work to better enable her to pursue a higher career level in the long term. She is passionate about social justice, particularly as it pertains to the LGBTQ community, and hopes to take her career back to Texas someday and help create the dynamic changes that Washington is working towards. For fun, she spends lots of time upside down, and is a lover of all things aerial and burlesque. Her least favorite part of this beautiful city is that you can only look at the ocean, because it’s way too cold to swim in!
Jordan Louie, YMCA of Greater Seattle
Jordan Louie joined the YMCA of Greater Seattle in 2017 as the Director of Philanthropy, serving as a front-line fundraiser for major gifts program and capital support. Before joining the Y, she worked extensively in the Seattle nonprofit community, serving primarily in corporate grants and sponsorship. She inked the first airline sponsorship deal for the Seattle Symphony, and implemented the largest jersey sponsorship in the WNBA with the Seattle Storm. Prior to a career in nonprofit development, she earned Bachelors degrees in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Miami. She is a current board member and lifelong member of the Junior League of Seattle.
Michael Maniaci, Seattle Symphony
Michael relocated to the PNW in January 2019 to join the Development team at the Seattle Symphony. Prior to that he was a Major Gifts Coordinator for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he focused on Special Projects and Planned Giving. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Michael began his fundraising career after performing in opera houses and concert halls around the world for more than 15 years, including at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Carnegie Hall, and the LA Philharmonic. He is thrilled to have been named an AFP Advancement Northwest Scholar and looks forward to the many educational opportunities that the scholarship supports.
Krystal Marx, Seattle Out & Proud
Prior to joining Seattle Pride in October 2020 as their Executive Director (and first staff member), Krystal Marx held leadership roles where she focused on donor development, procedure creation, communications, and program development. She is passionate about increasing access to local government and building community engagement. Krystal serves on the Burien City Council (2017-2021) and is honored act as Deputy Mayor (2020-2021). Krystal, who identifies as a member of the bisexual community, and her husband – a U.S. Army combat veteran – reside in Burien with their blended family of two boys, two girls, and two Chihuahua-Terriers. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, experiencing local festivals with her family, writing her first fantasy novel set in Seattle, and teaching free self-defense, situational awareness and bystander intervention classes to marginalized community groups. Being named an AFP Advancement Northwest Scholar means that she gets to be surrounded by a wealth of knowledge, expertise and ways to help her organization thrive!
Sumeet Pamma, Refugee Women’s Alliance
Thomasina Schmitt, Wellspring Family Services
Thomasina Schmitt serves as Corporate and Community Engagement Director for Wellspring Family Services, helping to partner with the community to raise the resources needed to serve children and families who are facing homelessness. Prior to working at Wellspring, she worked for the five-time Grammy Award-winning Seattle Symphony as the Education and Community Engagement Manager. In addition to being a seasoned nonprofit professional, Thomasina, along with her husband, co-founded the Pacifica Writers’ Workshop which provides creative writing opportunities for people of all ages. Thomasina received her MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BM from Central Washington University.
Allison Shook, Hope for Life
Ally is a community-centric fundraiser, currently serving as the Development Director at Hope for Life, a small, international grassroots nonprofit. She has spent the past six years in fundraising, primarily working with individual donors. Hailing from Michigan, Ally is a proud graduate of Grand Valley State University and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan, with an emphasis in community organizing and nonprofit management. A lover of all things nonprofits and the change they can create, she is committed to positively disrupting the institution of philanthropy. To her, fundraising is an act of social justice as it can redistribute power and resources back to the community. Ally also serves as a Board member for Seattle Works and on the Young Professionals Network Advisory Board of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. When not working, Ally loves going on hikes with her dog, Scout, renovating her fixer-upper, and exploring all of Seattle’s coffee shops.
Isabel Thomas, Seattle Opera
Isabel Thomas is new to fundraising but has been a theatre professional in the field for more than a decade. Born and raised in South Carolina, Isabel found sanctuary at Trustus Theatre, a small community theatre who championed equity in the arts. As a student, she worked with individuals from all different backgrounds to craft art that created conversations within the community. Today, Isabel is proud to be working in the fundraising field at Seattle Opera, where they are committed to equity and art that speaks to all communities. In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing with her two cats, and training to be an aerialist.
Angie Winkle, College Success Foundation
Thank you to the generous support of AFP Advancement Northwest members and friends, who make these scholarships possible. To support our scholars, you can make a gift online today.