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.
Sue was a founding member of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development, and is a board member of Seattle Investment Fund, the Friends of Little Saigon and a member of the Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council.
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.
Michael Brown leads Seattle Foundation’s Civic Commons, a collaborative effort to design a new regional civic infrastructure to advance racial and economic equity by increasing the voice and power of communities.
Before joining the staff of Seattle Foundation, he served as a legislative aide to Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver from 1997 to 2000. He also served as Deputy Director for the Washington Association for Community Economic Development, a nonprofit that provided training and technical assistance to community-based development organizations statewide. Michael holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Loyola University. He is the past chair of the Impact Capital Board of Directors, Vice President for Building Changes, and is a board member of Futurewise, the Washington State Budget and Policy Center and the King County Housing Authority. He also serves on the Interagency Committee for the Committee to End Homelessness in King County and is an advisory board member for Neighbor to Neighbor. Michael is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.
For 19 years, Andrea Caupain Sanderson has worked passionately to make a positive impact on issues of racial equity and poverty. As Byrd Barr Place’s chief executive officer since 2008, she has built a strong foundation for future growth by effectively leading the organization through critical change and innovation. She is currently engaging in the complex work of building more equitable, vibrant local economies. Through her work with Byrd Barr Place, she is supporting new approaches to services that benefit low-income people in our region. Putting people, equity, and communities of color at the center of a movement to advance intergenerational well-being in Washington state. Andrea brings a strong sense of leadership and vision to Byrd Barr Place, an agency with a long legacy serving the community and providing lifeline services to the poor. Prior to Byrd Barr Place, she worked for four years for the Washington State Governor’s Commission on African-American Affairs, providing analysis and development on strategic legislative projects. Her work has also involved legislative casework for the Washington State House of Representatives. She has an MPA and a bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College.
Christopher Persons has led Capitol Hill Housing since 2007. Chris has more than three decades of senior nonprofit leadership experience. Prior to joining CHH, 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 guided the organization through two mergers, started a housing program and opened a restaurant doubling as a job training and employment center.
Chris has led CHH through the development of two strategic plans and has refined a vision framework to drive the organization forward. In 2010 he oversaw the creation of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation to develop resources to support CHH’s work. Under his leadership, the organization has grown significantly - adding several buildings and more than 350 affordable apartments to the portfolio as well as much more commercial space. 12th Avenue Arts, completed in 2014, is the organization’s biggest project to date. This $47 Million development houses two performing arts theaters, 88 apartments, nonprofit offices and local retail, and has received several awards. Capitol Hill Housing continues to expand its community development work including the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and a growing resident services program.
Chris has a long-standing commitment to leadership in community development. He served as Chair of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce for three years and served on the Seattle Planning Commission for four years. Chris is actively involved in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and is leading CHH’s community partnerships in the Central District. Chris served as treasurer of the board of the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle and King County, is currently on the board of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, serves on the Housing Partnership Network’s Public Policy Committee, and is a board member of the Crescent Collaborative.
Maiko is responsible for the overall direction and sustainability of the organization. Maiko previously served as the SCIDpda’s Director of Housing and Facilities, responsible for asset and property management, as well as a member of the SCIDpda’s real estate development team.
Maiko has 20 years community and economic development experience including asset management, property management, real estate development and finance. Prior to joining SCIDpda, Maiko worked with SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) in Seattle’s Rainier Valley.Her work focused on economic development in the Columbia City neighborhood, as well as financing and management of affordable housing rehabilitation projects.
Maiko graduated from University of Washington with a Master of Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puget Sound. She is the Secretary (and a past president) of the board of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development, chairs the City of Seattle’s Housing Levy Oversight Committee, and serves on a variety of task forces and committees.
Anne McCullough Executive Director of First Hill Improvement Association. She is a community organizer specializing in community-based economic development. Anne’s passion lies in facilitating creative strategies that incite community empowerment, activate public space and address social issues. In the professional fields of community development, urban planning and adventure travel, Anne has held several multifaceted roles, working in complex natural and urban environments.
Anne holds a Master’s of Urban Planning and Development from Saint Louis University. She is a fellow of the Regional Arts Commission Community Arts and Training Institute. Anne enjoys photography, hot springs and hiking the outdoors. As a resident of First Hill, Anne enjoys exploring the neighborhood’s parks and public spaces.
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.
AyeNay Abye has led community organizing efforts for the past sixteen years. Currently, in her role as Deputy Director, for Seattle University’s Center for Community Engagement, AyeNay leads external partnerships and strategy. This includes, the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI), a place based community engagement model in partnership with the surrounding neighborhoods. Previously, AyeNay was the National Field Director for The Praxis Project, a movement building intermediary that supports organizing and change work by people of color at local, regional and national levels. In this role she worked to advance Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE), a national capacity building initiative to support diverse, community-based organizations and indigenous groups in developing effective, cutting-edge and culturally competent policy initiatives in over 22 cities in the United States.
Doris Koo is a respected leader and seasoned executive in the community development sector. She recently 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 particpated 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, which is currently being updated. It is remarkable that the fundamental concepts on which this plan was based will continue to remain in effect for the next 20 years. 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.
Principal of Virginia Felton Consulting since 2013, Virginia has worked within the government and nonprofit sectors throughout her career. She specializes in communication and consensus building, and has applied these skills in organizations including the Pike Place Market PDA, the Seattle Housing Authority and The Mountaineers. She led communication, marketing and property management functions at the Pike Place Market in the 1980s, including the beloved “Become a legend in your own tile” campaign. She served as executive director of The Mountaineers in the 1990s, increasing membership by 50 percent to more than 15,000 members. At the Seattle Housing Authority, Felton served as director of communications and strategic planning where she led strategic planning efforts over a ten-year period beginning in 2004.. Virginia has also held board leadership positions at The Whidbey Institute, Seattle CityClub, Northwest Bookfest and the UW Alumni Association. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Washington.