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The White Center CDA board of directors proudly announces the March 2012 hiring of its new executive director, Sili Savusa, a long time White Center community advocate and resident. The past CDA executive director, Aileen Balahadia, left her position at the end of March, after serving in her leadership role since 2004.
Sili Savusa left her position as Family Center Coordinator for Southwest Youth and Family Services to lead the CDA. Aside from her long tenure at the agency, her other accomplishments include being elected to the Highline School Board Director in 2007 as the first woman of color, position #1, and founding the first Samoan/Pacific Islander Parent Teacher Student Association in the nation in 2002 to address education issues impacting Pacific Islander students and their families.
“All of my work in human services and community development has allowed me to build an extensive network of important relationships,” said Ms. Savusa. “But perhaps the strongest experience I bring is as a resident of this gifted and capable community. My unique skill set, as well as my perspective as a resident whose family is impacted daily by community issues, uniquely qualifies me for this new and exciting role.”
To find out more about Sili, click here on the West Seattle Herald article written by Ty Swenson: http://www.westseattleherald.com
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR
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Member of the Gros Ventre/Assiniboine tribes of Ft Belknap, MT, lifelong Seattle resident. In her role as the CDA's Technical Assistance Coordinator, she is responsible for coordinating individuals and projects to determine the necessary resources, tools and strategic planning needed in order to effectively achieve desired results.
She has a lifetime commitment to social justice, community advocacy, organizing, cross cultural alliance and capacity building. Loretta's passion is helping others to see their full potential by building upon the legacy left by the leaders before her by being a partner, coach, advisor, and risk taker so that others may be strong in advocating, leading, and representing their communities and families.
She is a mom to four daughters and two cats, enjoys beading and 'hitting the pow wow trail'.
STRATEGY & POLICY ADVISOR
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As the former Site Liaison for Making Connections, Ms Fujiwara was the local link to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Her responsibilities include planning and coordination of family strengthening strategies and activities amongst local stakeholders consisting of families, community residents, providers, faith-based organizations, businesses and co-investors.
Prior to becoming the Site Liaison in late 2000, Ms Fujiwara served as Special Assistant for Health and Human Services to Mayor Schell and Regional Government Relations Coordinator for Mayor Rice of the City of Seattle. From 1978 to 1993, Ms Fujiwara was the Associate then Executive Director of the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS). The ACRS is a community based non-profit which provides a wide range of bilingual, culturally competent human services to the diverse Asian/Pacific Islander communities throughout King County.
As a local civic activist, Ms Fujiwara serves or has served on a variety of boards and commissions including: Nonprofit Assistance Center, United Way of King County, Refugee Women's Alliance, International District Improvement Association, Japanese American Citizens League, Minority Executive Directors Coalition, Mayor's Housing Levy Oversight Committee, Children's Alliance, YWCA.
Ms Fujiwara received her Bachelor of Arts Degree and Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Washington. She also received a fellowship to study at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. A lifelong resident of Seattle, Washington, she currently resides there with her 14 year old daughter.
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Soona Vili, a proud islander was born in the village of Vailoa in American Samoa. Seeking the American dream her family migrated to the island of Oahu in 1962 when she was only 3 years old.
With four young children in tow, she moved to Washington in 1987, a single parent with extended family in the Seattle area, Soona settled in White Center where she lived for over 10 years and raised her four children. This year she celebrates her 4th year at the CDA. Soona's secret pleasure is spending time with her 10 grandchildren.
FAMILY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
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Sarah Bien happily uses her Master’s Degree in Education to help ensure that any kid living in White Center who wants to go to college or start a career has the best chance possible.
She lives just down the hill In Boulevard Park and also knits, exercises and gardens in the community.
FAMILY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ASSISTANT
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Sopha Danh is a social work graduate from Seattle University who has put her social work degree to good use. She has experience working with developmentally disabled adults, youth and communities of color and while challenging, she keeps coming back from more and isn't sure why?
While born in South Vietnam, Sopha is actually Khmer (Krom) and her family came to the United States when she was 7 years old and settled first in Louisiana (that's right, y'all!). Later, her family moved to White Center and she's been here ever since. She comes from a large family of 7 siblings and feels blessed to be part of such a great family.
Sopha is happy and excited to be part of the CDA because its' an organization that works to improve the quality of a wonderful community like White Center- her home! She hopes to complete a graduate degree in public administration in the future.
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Edna has been involved with her Pacific Island community her whole life via school, college, church, and even today with PASEFIKA, a faith-based organization located in the heart of White Center.
Edna's passion is helping others improve their quality of life in every area - mind, body, and soul! If there is a community meeting or event happening somewhere in WC, you can count on seeing her there.running around or greeting folks! She is the proud mother of her princess "Elzira," and wife to her awesome husband Etuale!
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Kate has lived in Seattle most of her life, the last 17 years in West Seattle. She says, "From the time I was born, I have lived in diverse communities, and that has enriched my life beyond measure." Kate worked for the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association for nine years before moving two miles down the road to the White Center CDA, where she is the Administration Director.
In the rest of her life, Kate and her partner are raising a teenage daughter and Kate volunteers for the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail when she can. She connects with nature and is busy making her yard, "an edible garden, so you can pick (and eat!) whatever's ready: grapes, strawberries, raspberries or plums, and give them to friends and neighbors." Like David, she would like to own a goat, and like her neighbor, chickens, but not necessarily in that order.
COMMUNITY BUILDING PROGRAM MANAGER
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Ian Dapiaoen is a 2nd generation Filipino American, born and raised in Seattle. As Community Building program manager, his focus is to work with White Center residents regarding community engagement, resident leadership and social networking. He has extensive experience working in the community; serving youth, students, and artists. He is also a DJ and has shared stages with many Seattle and nationally-known hip hop artists.
He enjoys music, photography, videography, comic books, movies, movies based on comic books, cooking, design, travel and making people laugh.
Maryleen is a Master of Business Administration candidate at the University of Washington, Michael G. Foster School of Business where she is focusing on Marketing and Management. During the day, Maryleen is a platform manager for MRM Worldwide where she manages an ecosystem of web-based project management tools that connect people to resources. Her prior experience includes leadership development and talent program management at T-Mobile and Washington Mutual. She is interested in creating people strategies through collaboration and social interaction on the web while ensuring every individual has access to self-driven learning.
Maryleen joined the CDA board this year as a Board Fellow from the University of Washington, a program sponsored by UW's Business and Economic Development Center (BEDC) which places MBA students as nonvoting Board members of local community and economic development organizations. She is looking forward to applying her MBA skills in a real world setting while increasing her understanding of organizational governance; expanding her understanding of management in the non-profit sector; and building connections with a diversity of business leaders. Her personal stake in this fellowship is the opportunity to support the Latino business community in White Center by finding resources for their businesses, assist in making connections with government bodies that can provide relief, and help Latinos enhance their leadership and financial savvy to broaden skill sets and develop future generations of business leaders. Her hope is that by bringing non-profit organizations, business owners, local communities, and the government together to tackle these issues, it will result in empowering Latino business communities to take charge of their destinies and demonstrate the value of a diverse business district.
Sylvia is a resident of Highland Park and works at Sterling Savings Bank with 17 years experience in private banking and real estate.
Dan is a senior lecturer and director of the public service clinics at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. His research, consulting, and teaching interests are in community and economic development, transportation and land use, and strategic planning.
He joined the CDA board at its inception and is now focused on the Strength of Place Initiative. Dan brings experience as a big city mayoral aide, executive director of a non profit organization, and planner for an urban county's housing and community development program. He has developed business plans for several community development corporations and has served as board chair of Common Ground and Vashon HouseHold, Seattle area affordable housing developers. Dan lives in a suburb of White Center-Vashon Island-where he has a small organic flower farm and likes to ride his bicycle.
Jim Diers has a passion for getting people engaged with their communities and in the decisions that affect their lives. Since moving to Seattle in 1976, he put that passion to work for a direct-action neighborhood association, a community development corporation, a community foundation, and the nation's largest health care cooperative. He was appointed the first director of Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods in 1988 where he served under three mayors over the next 14 years.
Currently, Jim works for the University of Washington where he teaches courses in community organizing and development. As the liaison for UW-Community Partnerships, he has focused on supporting White Center initiatives with UW faculty and students. Jim represents the UW and other institutional partners on the Board of WCCDA.
Jim also serves on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and travels internationally to deliver speeches, present workshops, and provide technical assistance to community associations, non-profit organizations, and local governments. His book, Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way, is available through the University of Washington Press.
Heather Downey has resided in the Shorewood neighborhood, just adjacent to White Center, for over nine years. Her interest in local activism coupled with a passion for sustainable economic and community development led her to the White Center CDA, where she has served as a Board member since 2006.
Heather has over twenty years of real estate experience in commercial, corporate and non-profit management, including acquisition, dispositions and general portfolio oversight, strategic planning, facilities design and construction. Ms. Downey is currently employed by Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., a life science developer and asset manager, where she is responsible for a 1.2 million square foot portfolio in Seattle and British Columbia. She was previously with Bank of America where she held the title of Vice President, Corporate Work Place and was responsible for the management of a 3.5 million square foot corporate portfolio spanning 3 states and 506 locations. Prior to joining Bank of America, Ms. Downey was the Senior Manager, Master Planning and Development for Immunex (and then Amgen) in Seattle where she primarily worked with various scientific groups within the organization to assist them in determining and then procuring their real estate solutions. Ms. Downey holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Antioch University Seattle, and is designated as a Real Property Administrator (RPA) by the Building Owner and Managers Association (BOMA).
On the creative side, Heather also has a Certificate in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington, but her real estate work pays the bills. In her spare time, Heather likes to kayak, cook, garden and enjoy great Northwest wines!
Pastor Dan Magalei, CPA, is co-pastor at the White Center Assembly of God and guides the social service group, Pasefika, with the church.
Mick Moore is a Burien resident who received his Master's Degree and Ph.D. from the UW. He has served as a classroom teacher, audiologist, university instructor, researcher and educational administrator. He is the Asst. to the Superintendent for Interagency Relations for Puget Sound Educational Service District.
Karen is a resident of Boulevard Park and works at King County in Public Health Administration.
Neighborhood Revitalization Program Manager
Nhan likes everything that is outdoor. He founded a social hiking group, owned a book a called “Best 60 hikes within 60 miles of Seattle,” and highly recommends it. On a good day, you will find him either playing volleyball at Coulon Beach Park or sailing by the Montlake Cut. Nhan doesn’t own a television but on Facebook, he is a member of the Urban Chicken Owners. He thinks chicken is a whole new way to rethink our urban food system because they help reduce landfill by eating everything, food scraps both raw and cooked, and produce fresh eggs daily.
Professionally, Nhan wore different hats. He was an account executive, banker, land-use specialist, transportation systems planner, urban planning student, and now a program manager. He comes to the White Center CDA because he wants to contribute to the White Center’s vision of becoming a vibrant and quality community to live, work and enjoy. He is the Neighborhood Revitalization Program Manager working on commercial district revitalization and public safety issues.
Mike Fait has a passion for the development of urban neighborhoods and serving the people who reside there. Mike grew up in Cleveland Ohio’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood where he learned the importance of community. He received his master degree in Social Service Administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences/Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Before moving to Washington in 2005 he worked for 15 years as a social worker and director with the nationally recognized Cleveland Housing Network in the 22 inner city neighborhoods of Cleveland. Mike has over 25 years of progressively responsible experience in social services and community development. He is currently a Vice President in KeyBank’s Community Development Bank where he is responsible for Community Reinvestment compliance in the state of WA. Mike’s passions for older historic urban neighborhoods and its people lead him to the rich diversity which is White Center. It also didn’t hurt that Mike’s father-in-law grew up in White Center on 25th Ave. Mike lives with his wife and daughter in the master planned community of DuPont, WA.
Lupita Ayón is the Executive Director of the Leadership Academy, which develops and supports the potential leadership of members of the Latino community by providing the tools and knowledge to empower themselves and their families, and to promote civic engagement and social change in their communities.
The Academy began as a sponsored project of Para los Niños, where Lupita was the Funder Executive Director before leaving to direct the Academy. Before becoming Executive Director of Para los Niños, Lupita worked as a fundraiser at CASA Latina. Lupita has a B. A in Art with a focus in Psychology from the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo in Mexico.
With more that twelve years of experience working in the non-profit sector working in different positions, Lupita brings experience in program development, cultural competency, leadership development, fundraising and connections with the Latino community.
Sokha Danh is an undergraduate majoring in International Business at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics. He grew up in White Center and attended Highline Public schools; graduating as part of the inaugural class of Aviation High School. Sokha has been involved in leading many community-oriented organizations such as King County’s International Airport’s Opportunity Skyway Program and the Khmer Student Association at the University of Washington. Currently, he is a Fellow serving in the 16th Cohort for the Institute for International Public Policy.
His hobbies include reading, deejaying and learning about social entrepreneurship.
Julia has been a White Center resident for many years, as well as living in Mexico for ten years. She has three beautiful, lovely children, a girl and two boys, whom she enjoys spending lots of time with. She is also a beloved member of the CDA family where she brings her heart and passion for the community to her work. She is the welcoming face of the CDA as well as assisting with our Family Connections program, and our annual signature events, White Center Spring Clean in May, the fundraising dinner in September and Community Summit in December.
Mikel Davila arrived in Seattle (from the Bay Area) in 2006 to attend the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University. After graduating, and finding a home in the Central District, Mikel launched into his career by working for the City of Seattle's Office of Economic Development (OED). At OED, Mikel grew his network by connecting with various professionals, Chambers, small businesses, neighborhood business organizations and merchant associations on economic development projects related to healthy foods, neighborhood business district revitalization, and community real estate development. In his free time, Mikel is active in a variety of recreational basketball leagues in and around Seattle. Want to spark a conversation with him? Local restaurants and good food are always topics of interest.
Julie grew up in West Seattle. After graduating from Evergreen High School in 2006 and graduating from Highline Community College with an A.A., she attended the University of Washington until Fall 2009. After receiving her B.A. in Women studies she continued to work as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the YMCA. She also was a pre-school teacher of three olds at KinderCare Learning Center. She is really excited to be able to serve the community she grew up in and hopes to build capacity and empower the White Center community during her year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA.
Marquise Roberson arrived in Seattle, WA (from Minneapolis, MN by way of Milwaukee, WI) in 2008 after graduating from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. While majoring in Business and Marketing, Retail Merchandising and Leadership, he developed a passion for community development through his work with the East St. Paul YMCA and at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. During his undergrad studies he co-taught a global leadership course while also teaching Public Achievement at St. Barnard's. He also worked to build the East St. Paul community through family-oriented events.
Upon arriving in Seattle he secured employment at the Greater Seattle YMCA where he worked for three years. During his tenure at the YMCA he built and maintained community relations with colleges, businesses, community figures and local organizations to benefit youth and families in Seattle’s Central District. He also developed and ran programming at Cleveland and Rainier Beach High Schools to increase student graduation rates and educate students about college and career options.
In his spare time, Marquise plays the guitar and loves to stay in shape by going to the gym and playing sports. He is also a fan of the Food Network and HGTV. Lastly, he is a mentor for The Service Board where he mentors students through a social justice scope and snowboarding.
1615 SW Cambridge Street
Seattle, WA 98106
206 694 1082
Fax 206 658 8344
(Click names below for personal contact information and bio)