Laura Pierce (She/Her), Executive Director
Laura became Washington Nonprofits’ Executive Director in May 2017 after serving as the organization’s Interim Executive Director and having been a member and partner with Washington Nonprofits for many years. She has been the owner and principal consultant of Laura Pierce Consulting. Laura has worked in and with nonprofit organizations since 1989, including fund development, community organizing, and executive management positions. Since 1998, she has consulted with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, assisting with strategic planning, board development, organizational assessment and capacity building.
LeeAnne Beres (She/Her), Deputy Director for Operations
LeeAnne brings 30 years of experience to Washington Nonprofits, including 16 years as Executive Director of Earth Ministry and as the Associate Director of Save Our Wild Salmon and Outreach Director of the NW Energy Coalition. She has expertise in leadership development, strategic decision making, fundraising, financial management, community engagement, organizing, and advocacy. LeeAnne is dedicated to forging authentic relationships and delights in building strong organizations and ensuring people have the tools to enact real change in their communities. She is a published author, has served on numerous nonprofit boards, and survived two years working as a biologist on commercial fishing boats in Alaska’s Bering Sea. LeeAnne has a Master’s degree in Marine Fisheries Management from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Whitman College. Outside of work, she is a passionate hockey fan and walks 3-5 miles daily with her dog, Bones.
Jennifer Chang (She/Her), Director of Learning
Jennifer joined the Washington Nonprofits team in August 2020. She brings ten years of nonprofit experience and community-centered work in the South Puget Sound region to our team. Her experiences include serving as a nonprofit executive director, overseeing the transition of a funder managed program to an independent nonprofit, supporting watershed-based community collaborations, and leading urban green space restoration projects. Jennifer looks forward to supporting the continued growth of Washington Nonprofits’ offerings and connecting with nonprofits across the state to cultivate learning opportunities and resources that meet their evolving needs. At the University of Washington, she received a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance as well as a Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences. Jennifer is from Tacoma, Washington and she enjoys going for walks, quilting, and gardening.
Annette M. Crespo (She/Her), Learning Manager
Annette Crespo joined Washington Nonprofits in September 2021, bringing expertise in creating and providing educational curriculum and resources to help small businesses launch and succeed. She is a successful business entrepreneur with in-depth knowledge of market research, product development, sales distribution, and business management. As a native Spanish speaker, Annette has extensive experience in providing supportive communications that help bridge existing language barriers for our Latinx community. She joins us with experience as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Community Engagement Manager and is passionate about educating the community in celebrating our racial and ethnic differences. She believes that with dedication, we may reach our goal to be a more inclusive community, society, and world. She is excited to join the Washington Nonprofits Learning Team and continue making an impact in our diverse communities.
Erika Bentley Holland (She/Her), Administrative Assistant
Erika joined Washington Nonprofits as the administrative assistant in 2019. She grew up in Sequim, Washington where she experienced the importance of resilient community networks. During the 2008 recession, she saw rural support systems continually pushing to do more with less. She used her dual citizenship to earn a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s in museum studies at the University of Toronto. Currently she serves as Washington Museum Association’s ex officio member representing Emerging Museums Professionals. She is drawn to the museum field because it offers lifelong, free choice learning for adults. She brings this insatiable curiosity to Washington Nonprofits. She is always looking for ways to infuse food justice and hospitality into her work. Erika enjoys biking from her home in Fremont to her climbing gym and Washington Nonprofits’ Seattle office.
Julia Hunter (She/Her), Learning Manager
Julia has a passion for building community and loves connecting with the incredible nonprofits of Washington State. She earned her MA in Literature from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, focusing on teaching, grant writing, and postmodern theory. Before that she completed an Americorps year in Atlanta, GA, where she worked at The Furniture Bank of Metro-Atlanta, and found a vocation in supporting nonprofits. Julia resides in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle with her husband, where she is an active community advocate and a lover of urban gardens, local fare, and live performance. Currently she serves Edible Hope Kitchen as an advisory board member, grant writer, and regular volunteer.
Dwight Hutton (He/Him), Operations Manager
Dwight joined Washington Nonprofits after many years in the nonprofit performing arts world, first as a performer then transitioning into administration. He earned an undergraduate business degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City while performing full-time. As a former Executive Director himself at other organizations, he knows intimately the kind of support our busy team needs. His passion for nonprofit finance is immediately apparent. He currently serves on the board of a small arts foundation and as Treasurer of Lifelong Aids Alliance.
Lianna Olds (She/Her), Deputy Director for Partnerships
Lianna comes to us with 10 years of development and community support work with nonprofit organizations in both Pierce County and North Texas. Her expertise includes fund development, community outreach, board development, and volunteer management. Lianna is committed to equity and education, volunteering for the Equity Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and teaching Public Administration and Nonprofit Management as an Adjunct Faculty member. She is excited to use her strategic approach to work with nonprofits across the state in identifying what they need to thrive and supporting them in achieving access. Lianna has a Master’s in Public Administration from Evergreen State College and a Bachelors in Journalism from University of Idaho. Lianna lives in Lakewood with her husband and two dogs (Boomer and Adele). She can most frequently be found experimenting in her kitchen or curled up with a sci-fi novel in her favorite chair.
Alex Panagotacos (She/Her), Director of Community Engagement
Alex has worked in several different facets of the nonprofit world including direct service, volunteer management, grant writing, grant making, and coalition coordination. She holds a BA in Fine Art with an emphasis in Education from the University of San Francisco. Alex earned her Masters in Applied Arts & Sciences and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. In her personal time, Alex enjoys birdwatching, playing soccer, and drawing. Alex grew up rural and previously lived in rural Stevens and Spokane Counties. Now she travels around the state in a camper with her trusty side-kick, Waffle the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Daniel Parkhurst (He/Him), Director of Policy and Communications
Daniel brings years of nonprofit experience, previously working with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center in Washington, D.C., where he served as Deputy Director. There, he worked directly with Congress to connect Representatives with leading voices from across the country and to support advocacy efforts. Most recently he was the Policy Program Manager at Clean Air Carolina, a North Carolina state-based nonprofit who advocates for clean air, environmental justice, and direct action on climate change. He supported state efforts to transition to a clean energy economy during the climate crisis as well as ensuring that North Carolina reduced pollution across the state through policy, regulations, and legal advocacy. Originally from Alabama, he earned his bachelor’s from Auburn University and a Master’s in International Relations from Auburn University at Montgomery. When not working, he loves taking his dog, Nora, for hikes and learning new songs on the ukulele.
Elyse Ke’ala Rickard (She/Her), Administrative Associate – Special Projects
Elyse Ke’ala Rickard joined Washington Nonprofits as the Administrative Associate- Special Projects in August 2021. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton and her Master of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at University of Washington. She has worked for a variety of nonprofits, ranging from higher education to social services, and is passionate about advocating for equitable and sustainable solutions in the sector and beyond. She looks forward to supporting the organization’s expansion through administrative and special project support. In her free time, Elyse enjoys listening to music and podcasts, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Alberto Saldaña (He/Him), Membership Manager
Alberto joined Washington Nonprofits in September 2021, bringing fourteen years of community and advocacy work experience in the healthcare sector. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Central Washington University and is working on his Master’s in Public Health. Alberto believes that his experience in the nonprofit healthcare sector and his current role as a board member for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho, will help him provide a path forward for young leaders working in the nonprofit sector across the state.
Sondra Santos (She/Her), Communications Manager
After nearly twenty-five years in the television news and radio broadcasting industry, Sondra Santos joins Washington Nonprofits as the Communications Manager. She spent the last eleven years at community radio station 90.7 FM, KSER as host of the morning news and public affairs programming. Her work on the air prioritized the diverse voices, perspectives, and cultures represented in the local community. Originally from New York, Sondra earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Utica College of Syracuse University. In her spare time, Sondra enjoys spending time with family and traveling.