Carrie Ching has been with Molina Healthcare for six years and works in Pierce County communities to promote health and wellness, connect the vulnerable to social services, as well as help Molina members navigate the Molina system and connect others to health insurance.
Carrie belongs to 17 community coalitions and three Community Prevention Wellness Initiative Coalitions. She serves as a Board member for Nourish Pierce County and Recovery Café Orting Valley. Carrie is a Rotarian and has served as President for the Rotary Club of Parkland Spanaway. There are over 250 community partners she works with who provide much needed services to the vulnerable; like medical and dental services through Community Health Care, Child ID kits with Safe Streets, nourishment from Nourish Pierce County food bank sites, WorkSource to provide job opportunities, Comprehensive Life Resources that provide outreach to the homeless, as well as partnering with Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and area schools to promote health and wellness.
Carrie is very passionate about serving those in need. She works tirelessly to connect community members to food, housing, transportation, medical/dental, behavioral health services, education, and recreational activities through her many partners. Carrie earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Science with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from University of Washington Tacoma. She has a certificate in Nonprofit Management from American Humanics Management Institute. She is also a Golden Key National Honor Society member.
Valinda (Val) Jones has worked in public education serving students and families K-12 for 28 years. After earning her BA in Applied Psychology from Eastern Washington University Val began her career in Southern California working as a substance abuse therapist at a 90-day adolescent in-patient program. Recognizing that true prevention lies in education, Val moved back to her home state of Washington and began her career in Franklin Pierce School District, her alma mater. Val has held various positions in the district, and supported K-12 education through initiating systems of response.
In 2001, Val co-founded the non-profit organization Franklin Pierce Youth First Community Coalition. Val currently serves as the principal for GATES High School and the Director for Community Partnerships for Franklin Pierce Schools.
Val and her family also enjoy taking local trips around the beautiful Pacific Northwest, as well as reading, cooking, and hiking. If you are ever looking for a good book to read, Val always has her list of recent reads available to share!
Melissa McPheeters has been living in the PNW since 2016 after relocating from the Southern California desert. After receiving her BA in Social Work, she worked as a Youth Counselor at a crisis shelter and a Domestic Violence Advocate at a women’s shelter. She is currently a Family Support Specialist at the Hewins Early Learning Center, serving preschool children and their families. The Hewins Early Learning Center has been a Kids at Hope school for over a decade, providing Melissa and the other staff with the opportunity to be a Treasure Hunter every day. Additionally, she has been doing work around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma, and Resilience. Melissa expects to receive her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Trauma and Resilience in October 2020. In her free time, she loves spending time in nature hiking with her dog or enjoying a good book at home.
Joel Zylstra serves as the Public Information Officer with Franklin Pierce Schools. He has been involved with community development work in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nairobi, Kenya, and most recently in the Parkland, Washington community while serving as the Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service at Pacific Lutheran University. Joel and his spouse Mandy, live in Tacoma and have two kids, Isaiah and Xander
Dr. Daniel Bissonnette currently serves as Executive Director of the Arivva Center for Arts and Technology. He comes from a diverse professional background. He worked most recently as a project manager for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and has held high-level positions at the University of Washington Tacoma, the Puget Sound Educational Service District, and the Chance to Change Foundation in Gig Harbor, where he was Executive Director from 1998 to 2007. He is a trustee of the Children’s Fund of Pierce County and has served on several nonprofit boards.
Dan holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Washington State University. He also is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration. He lives in Gig Harbor with his wife and best friend, Mona, and their rescue cat, Jae.
Kristi Kellog is the Director of Outreach and Connections at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Tacoma, Washington, where she directs the church’s outreach programs in Pierce County and the Franklin Pierce School District. These programs such as Backpacks 4 Kids, Abundance Garden, and Faith in Action engage community members in active service each year in the local area, and they have been recognized by the Franklin Pierce School District, Washington Association of School Administrators, and United Way of Pierce County. Kristi is a passionate advocate for the well-being of the families, children and youth in her community.