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Board & Staff

A diverse volunteer Board of Directors directs the work of the Foundation. They believe that every citizen in our community should have access to the skills and opportunity they need to succeed.

The Board holds capability and excellence in high regard. They are committed to transparency and generating value for beneficiaries that will affect large complex social challenges. The Board performs incalculable public service in their willingness to be accountable for the mission and these values to one another and the community it serves. Investment stewardship is provided by an Investment Committee, consisting of Board members and volunteer investment professionals.

Following is a list of our current Board of Directors and our staff.

Questions? Please contact us here.

Officers of the Board

David P. Abeyta | Chair

David P. Abeyta | ChairDavid P. Abeyta, life-long Yakima resident, works as an attorney in the areas of plaintiffs' personal injury and wrongful death claims. After graduating from West Valley High School, David went on to study Political Science at Washington State University. He continued his education at the California Western School of Law. David serves on the boards of the Washington State Association for Justice and Montessori School of Yakima Valley, and is a member of the executive committee for the new leaders of Yakima County. David is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. He is a husband and father of three.

 

Kristin Kershaw-Snapp | Vice Chair

Kristin Kershaw-SnappKristin Kershaw-Snapp grew up in Yakima. Her family has farmed in the area since the late 1800's. She has had a twenty-five-year career in the insurance industry, including two industry start-ups. Currently, she is the Director of Corporate Affairs for the Kershaw Companies. This role allows her to combine business with her passion for community development.

She has served on many non-profit boards including two as a founding board member and ten years on the Kershaw Companies Board of Directors. She currently serves on the UW Foster School of Business Yakima Advisory Board. She is a graduate of Whitman College.

Kristin has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Washington DC and Seattle. She and her husband have raised their two children on Bainbridge Island with a menagerie of dogs, chickens and horses.

 

Josh Beck | Treasurer

Josh Beck | TreasurerJosh Beck is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the Lower Valley Credit Union in Sunnyside, where he has worked since 2012. He is a 2007 Graduate of Prosser High School, received a Bachelor's of Science in Economics in 2012 and graduated from Pomona Colleges Western CUNA Management School. He is a past president of Sunnyside Rotary.

 

Board of Directors

Wendy Aguilar

Wendy is the Controller at Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Yakima & Tri-Cities. The company is held by The Dolsen Company and she’s worked closely with the Dolsen family on their business development efforts in dairy and agriculture throughout the region. Wendy has been an active volunteer at the Wellness House.

 

Laura Armstrong

Laura is the Executive Director of La Casa Hogar. Her organization has been a partner of the YVCF. Under Laura’s leadership La Casa Hogar programs have received state and national recognition

 

Greg Bainter

Greg BainterGreg was born and raised in the Yakima Valley; his grandparents emigrated here during the 1920's. His grandmother Thyri Bainter stated his family business the "Squeeze Inn" cafe in Zillah in 1932 and his brother's family continues to run it today. He enjoyed a diverse upbringing due to the restaurant business and working throughout High School in fruit orchards and packing houses near Zillah.

Greg's education included Yakima Valley College followed by studies in "communications" at Western Washington University and the University of Washington, as well as studies abroad.

Greg returned to Yakima to pursue a career in the fruit industry beginning with the Werthein Group of Argentina that owned fruit processing facilities in Eastern Washington. Tree Top Inc, in Selah purchased the Werthein operation in 1987. Greg was very fortunate to stay on with Tree Top for nearly 30 years as "V.P. of National & International Sales" within their Ingredient Sales Division. His responsibilities included business with the top food companies across the U.S. and over 30 countries around the world.

Greg is now retired and resides in Selah with his wife Maryanne. Together they raised four (now) grown children and are enjoying their four (not so grown), grandchildren.

 

Michele Besso

Michele Besso was born in Connecticut and raised in New Jersey. Her path to Yakima included a detour to Brazil where she was an exchange student. Michele traveled back to Brazil while in college and took note of the emerging democratic process there after years of military rule. While completing her law degree at Yale, Michele further explored her interest in political systems by studying a semester in Nicaragua. She settled in Yakima in 1987. Michele has a passion for social justice and has spent 25 years advocating for farm workers while raising a family. She is currently an attorney for the Northwest Justice Project in Yakima.

 

Lisa Campbell-John

Lisa Campbell-John is the Sr. Director of Community Health Services for the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.  She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in Sisseton, South Dakota.  She has over 25 years’ experience working in non-profits and healthcare to improve the lives of children and families.  For the past 19 years, Ms. Campbell-John has worked for the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC).  She focuses on providing preventative dental and health access through YVFWC’s four mobile units, as well as helping to build strong healthy families though parenting programs, case management and home visiting services for pregnant women, children and families

 

Gwen Chaplin

Gwen is a retired non-profit director who spent decades as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Central WA. She has served on several other community boards and brings experience in health care, granting, advocacy and non-profit finance and management.

 

Cragg Gilbert

Cragg was born in Yakima in 1952, the son of Virginia McCormick and Cragg D. Gilbert. He graduated from Eisenhower High School, Pomona College, Princeton Seminary and Claremont School of Theology.  His intellectual passions are history, geology and fruit farming.  He grew up working on the family’s apple and cattle farm and loved working beside his father, brother and friends.  In 1975 he married another Yakima native, Barbara Smith and together they have two children, Nate and Sean, both of whom work on the farm. Cragg and Barb are blessed with three perfect grand-children. They started and operated The Campbell Farm, a retreat and conference center on a 40 acre apple farm outside Wapato. In 1988 Cragg became Orchard Manager and, later, President of Gilbert Orchards. Cragg has been a member of the Yakima Pomological Club and the Yakima Rotary Club, Chair of the Yakima Growers and Shippers, the Chair of the Washington Apple Commission and Chair of the Yakima Valley Museum.  He enjoys serving with many community organizations which help to make the Yakima Valley a great place to grow the next generation.

 

Cynthia Juarez

Cynthia has been a life-long advocate for children and families int he region and in the state. She has dedicated her career to building systems and policies in the region that promote well-being of children and families so that children enter school ready to learn, thrive and reach their full potential.

As executive director of Early Learning at ESD 105, Cynthia has lead the charge of establishing a vision for early learning that provided the foundation for a large-scale early childhood program expansion in order to increase access to high-quality services. Under Cynthia's leadership, ESD 105's early learning school readiness programs and services that provide culturally and linguistically responsive services to our region's most vulnerable children.

Cynthia formally served on the Governor appointed Early Learning Advisory Council and represents the region on several state-level workgroups leading early learning initiatives, including WaKids and PreK-3rd Alignment. Cynthia is a Washington State certified teacher in early childhood special education P-3, and special education k-12. She earned a Master's degree in early childhood and special education and a Bachelor's degree in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Washington. She is a bilingual Latina from the Yakima Valley who chose to live and work in the area she calls home. Cynthia has dedicated her career to her vision that ALL children in our community start Kindergarten with the skills and confidence to excel, but most importantly, that our children value themselves as meaningful, intelligent and capable individuals throughout their lives.

 

Ignacio Marquez

Ignacio is the Regional Assistant to the Director for Eastern and Central WA at the Washington Department of Agriculture. He currently serves on the Central WA State Fair board and is also involved with a number of industry organizations.

 

Neal Lessenger

Neal Lessenger joined the Washington State bar when he came to the University of Washington in 1966. Over a 33-year career at the university, he held various positions, principally director of real estate. He has served on several community boards, sometimes representing the university, but largely in the areas of developmental disabilities and children's services. He has been president of the (Seattle) Arboretum Foundation, which funds maintenance and improvements to the Arboretum, and a member for 25 years of the Arc of Washington Board of Trust Fund Board of Administrative Trustees, which funds research in the field of developmental disabilites. He currently is a member of the Children's Home Society of Washington Board of Trustees and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors. He resides in Yakima.

 

Corinne Murphy-Hines

Corinne recently retired from Astria Heart Institute where she held the position of executive director. She has served on the Yakima Symphony Orchestra board for a number of years and is an invested community member who relocated here from Chicago. She is an avid photographer and Yakima Valley fan.

 

Paul Nagle-McNaughton

Paul Nagle McNaughtonPaul Nagle-McNaughton completed his B.A in Psychology at the University of Michigan and received his M.S. in Organization Development through the psychology department at Central Washington University. His career spans over 30 years in counseling, social services, and human development. He has a background in community behavioral health, counseling, and organization development. Throughout his career, Paul has worked with individuals, families, and organizations to optimize individual potential, develop healthy families, and enhance organizational effectiveness. Paul has offered a wide range of trainings and consultation services to local businesses and community organizations. Paul has conducted numerous workshops and seminars locally and at state and regional conferences. He is currently a Vice President with Comprehensive Healthcare in Yakima, Washington.

 

Martha Rickey

Martha Rickey is an attorney for the Northwest Justice Project in Yakima. Born in Spokane, Martha attended the University of Washington and earned degrees in fisheries and history. Following Peace Corps service in Guatemala, Martha rededicated her career to advocate for marginalized immigrant communities in the United States. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School and worked in government and nonprofit sectors before returning home to settle in Yakima. Martha is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the National Immigrant Project. She is also a certified Master Knitter and enjoys gardening.

 

Jose Rivera

Jose Rivera is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at the Grandview School District. He has been an elementary school teacher, principal and administrator and earned both his B.A. and Masters in Education from Heritage University.  Jose mentors and works with youth at the Extra Mile Youth Center in Grandview and has coached girls’ and boys’ AAU basketball for the past eight year and is currently coaching 6th grade boys’ basketball. Jose has a two beautiful children – a 17 year old daughter and an 11 year old son.

 

Rhonda Taylor

Rhonda Taylor recently retired as the director of Yakima Valley College’s (YVC) nursing program and she was recognized with the College’s 2019 Faculty Emeritus Award.  Ms. Taylor graduated from the YVCC’s Nursing Program in 1977.  She then transferred to Washington State University earning and bachelor’s degree before continuing her studies at Gonzaga University, where she earned a master’s degree in Family Nurse Practitioner. She started teaching at YVC in the Nursing Program in 1989 and later served as the director of the program for over 20 years.

Ms. Taylor served two Governor-appointed terms on the Washington State Nursing Commission. During that time, she chaired the committee work that resulted in the Washington State continuing competency laws for nursing practice. She was also appointed to the National Council of State Boards of
Nursing, and served there for 10 years. At the end of her tenure on the National
Council, she was honored with the National Outstanding Contribution Award.  

Newly retired, Ms. Taylor and her husband Mike divide their time between Yakima and Arizona.

 

Staff

Sharon Miracle

President and Chief Executive Officer

Sharon Miracle grew up in rural Eastern Washington. After college, she spent several years in Yakima integrating into the community and working as the development director for Heritage College during its early years before its university status.  While at Heritage, Sharon pursued master’s work in education and recently continued her master’s work at Gonzaga University studying communication and leadership.

Sharon’s career includes significant healthcare and non-profit leadership. She was the executive director of the Yakima Community Cancer Program working closely with local hospitals and physician groups to improve care and service in the region. For many years she worked at Wyoming Medical Center where she was vice president of Development and Planning and also served as the executive director of its foundation, responsible for community health assessments and initiatives. From Wyoming, Sharon moved to a more significant health system in Colorado where she directed communications and marketing for Memorial Health System and was deeply involved in leadership development and the establishment of a new hospital.

Sharon returned to Yakima to enjoy the support of family and friends while caring for an ailing parent and raising her daughter. For nearly a decade before joining the Foundation, she was the director of Corporate Communications at Tree Top where she was responsible for stakeholder communications, public relations and corporate social responsibility, including managing its community investments. Sharon is an active Yakima Valley community member serving on many boards and committees and is a member of the Yakima Rotary Club. She’s excited to bring people and organizations together to impact others positively.

Lisa Fresco

Vice President, Operations & Finance

Lisa FrescoLisa Fresco has spent her career in finance, serving to insure the fiscal integrity of community-centered organizations. She spent ten years in the Credit Union movement and held positions as Investment Manager, CFO and CEO at community credit unions in Middle Tennessee.

Lisa holds a Masters Degree in Business and has successfully completed the testing requirements for the certification in public accounting. She believes strongly in the mission of the Community Foundation and looks forward to building opportunity in the Yakima Valley where she and her family now call home.

Chynna Antrim

Office, Data, and Social Media Manager

Chynna Antrim grew up in the Yakima Valley and graduated from East Valley High School with Academic Achievement of Excellence in Business/Marketing and in Photography. She has her bachelor's degree in Business Management and is currently working on her Masters of Management and Leadership through Western Governors University. She has experience working with nonprofits, specifically in the foster care industry for over three years providing assistance in case management and behavioral rehabilitation services with foster youth. Chynna believes in supporting the organizations that help build and strengthen our Yakima Valley Community.

Lindsay Boswell

Senior Program Officer

Lindsay Boswell has spent her career in higher education and has a passion for creating pathways to educational opportunities. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology and a master’s degree in Education with a focus in Educational Psychology and Human Development. Both degrees are from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) where she also worked for four years with The Information School, managing their graduate admissions processes. She joins the foundation after most recently serving for ten years at Heritage University managing their fundraising activity. Lindsay is a transplant to the Valley, moving here with her husband who is a Grandview native with Mabton roots.

Luis Gomez

Program Associate

Luis Gomez moved to the Yakima Valley at a very young age and has made the valley his home ever since. After graduating from Eisenhower High School, he received the Act Six Scholarship, a full-tuition leadership scholarship, and continued his education at Heritage University. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in business administration and concentration in management. During his years at Heritage, he was part of Sigma Beta Delta, an honors fraternity for management administration. Luis strongly believes in the mission of the Foundation and wants to continue to serve his community.

Address

111 University Parkway, Suite 102
Yakima, WA 98901
Directions

Contact

Phone: 509-457-7616
Fax: 509-457-7625
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