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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

Board Chair

David 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. David is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. He is a husband and father of three.

Ann Hittle

Secretary | Treasurer

Ann Hittle serves as Pacific Northwest University (PNWU)'s Chief Financial Officer, overseeing accounting, budgeting and financial reporting. Prior to joining PNWU, she worked over 15 years at a large healthcare nonprofit organization and was part of their executive team. She is a graduate of Washington State University. Ann spent her collegiate years as a student athlete, and was part of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors business fraternity for accounting, finance and information systems students and professionals. Ann is also a wife, mother and a sports fan.

Board of Directors

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.

Juan De La Torre

Juan De La Torre came to the Yakima Valley in 1989 from Los Angeles California. He previously attended Job Corp at Fort Simcoe. Juan is currently working as a General Contractor specializing in government contracting and is also a apple grower in the Valley.

Dave Edler

Dave Edler grew up in Yakima and returned to the valley for a life of ministry and service. He has been Senior Pastor of Yakima Foursquare Church for more than 20 years, and is a former Seattle Mariner. Dave is an alumnus of Washington State University, where he played baseball and studied business. He is the former mayor for the City of Yakima and is married with three children and grandchildren.

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 Cynthias 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.

 Kristin Kershaw-Snapp

Kristin 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 U of W Foster School of Business Yakima Advisory Board. She is a graduate of Whitman College.

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

 Minerva Morales

Minerva Morales has dedicated her life to public education in the Yakima Valley. She currently serves as the Superintendent of Mabton School District, and has been involved in the Sunnyside and Grandview Districts as both an educator and administrator. Minerva received a B.A. in Education from Central Washington University, and went on to Heritage University and Washington State University for her graduate studies. She's passionate about the cultural diversity of the valley, and sits on the Board for the Washington Association of Bilingual Education, as well as the Latino Education Achievement Program. She is a wife and mother of two and resides on Grandview.

David Moore

Davis is a graduate of UW's dental school and is part of the New Leaders of Yakima County network of United Way. David provides services in the Lower Valley as well as Yakima.

Doug Peters

Douglas D. Peters of Selah is a Lawyer Emeritus with a 42-year career that included service as city attorney of Selah and Naches and a private law practice in Central Washington. He was president of the Yakima County Bar Association and has participated in many professional organizations. He was a founder of the Yakima Greenway Foundation and first president of the Washington Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He currently volunteers and is on the steering committee for The Nature Conservancy. He serves on the board of the Yakima Greenway Endowment. Doug and his wife Marj enjoy reading the New York Times and following Mariners baseball, as well as Bible studies and raising roses. They have four children and five grandchildren.


Martha Rickey

Martha Rickey is an attorney for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Granger. 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, American Immigrant Lawyers Association, and the National Immigrant Project. She is also a certified Master Knitter and enjoys gardening.

Ricardo Valdez

Ricardo Valdez is currently the Director of Yakima Valley Community Partnerships for the University of Washington where he is responsible for a wide range of local projects and research initiatives. He also serves as an affiliate faculty member for the center for Intercultural Learning and Teaching at Heritage University. Since 2003 he has held additional positions as an instructor and served in a variety of leadership roles. His research focuses on first generation college students' self-efficacy, validation, persistence and their interaction with faculty. He holds an EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Heritage University, and a BA in Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. A native of Wapato, WA, Valdez currently resides on the lands of the Yakama Indian Nation with his wife and two children.

Staff

Linda Moore

President and Chief Executive Officer

Linda Moore Linda Moore grew up in Harrah in the lower Yakima Valley where her parents owned “Moore’s Feed and Seed.” A graduate of Yakima Central Catholic, Linda went on to law school in “the other” Washington. Linda’s 30 year legal career includes a diverse general business and real estate practice with the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Arnold & Porter, both in Washington, D.C., and as Assistant General Counsel for The Rouse Company, Columbia Maryland. Linda has contributed to a wide range of cutting edge community development projects, including the public private partnerships created to develop the mixed-use projects of The Rouse Company’s “Inner Harbor” in Baltimore, Maryland, the redevelopment of the Fulton Fish Market at South Street Seaport in New York City and the planned community of Columbia, Maryland. She returned to Washington State as a Partner at Preston, Gates and Elliss (now K&L Gates) in Seattle and left to create her own company, Integrated Solutions. Integrated Solutions is a unique regional, financial and community development firm, focused on rural economic and community development.

Linda served on the Whidbey Island County Planning Commission through its completion of the Island County Growth Management Comprehensive Plan.  Ms. Moore also served on the Boards of various community organizations, including the Pride Foundation in Seattle, Greenbank Farms and the Goosefoot Community Fund on Whidbey Island. She has taught and been a lecturer on various Continuing Legal Education topics conducting numerous workshops and strategic planning for economic and community development and other not for profit organizations.

Linda returned to Yakima and began her new position in September 2011.

Lisa Fresco

Controller

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 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 experience working with nonprofits, specifically in the foster care industry for over 3 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

Program Officer, Education

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.


Address

111 University Parkway, Suite 102
Yakima, WA 98901
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Contact

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