YouthCare is grateful to the following individuals for committing their time and energy to serving on our Board of Directors and leading us in our mission to end youth homelessness. Interested in joining the Board of Directors? Apply here!
Board of Directors
Karen F. Jones (she/her/hers)
Board Chair; Executive Committee
Joined in 2008
Karen first got involved with YouthCare while doing pro bono legal work and hosting a table at YouthCare’s annual luncheon. She still remembers parts of Melinda Giovengo’s first speech as YouthCare’s Executive Director, which left her determined to do what she could to support the mission. Karen’s law career included serving in leadership roles in private practice, at Microsoft, and at the ACLU-WA. Throughout her career and in retirement she has provided volunteer and pro bono legal services to nonprofits focused on youth. She previously served on the KIND Board, and represents unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings through KIND, including one youth who spent time in YouthCare’s Casa de los Amigos program. Karen has done some form of mentoring since high school and is currently a “Big Sister” through Big Brothers Big Sisters of King County. She has a husband and a son, and her hobbies include camping, hiking, cycling, theatre, reading, and (very recently) learning to play guitar!
Ken Robertson (he/him/his)
Vice Chair; Executive Committee, Real Estate Committee, Development Committee
Joined in 2018
Ken was introduced to YouthCare during a day of service through his company when they served lunch at The Orion Center. It was such a great experience that they started doing a monthly lunch. That led to helping out the Barista program with resume writing, job hunting skills, and interview skills. The next step was naturally to start hosting a yearly luncheon table. Those powerful experiences with young people made him realize that he wanted to have a greater, more thoughtful impact with youth and YouthCare as an organization. Fast forward to 2018 and Ken’s professional life in development led YouthCare to connect him to the Real Estate Committee, and soon thereafter he joined the Board. He also enjoys volunteering for The One Eighty Foundation and in the past with Treehouse, Gay City, and Seattle International Film Festival. Ken and his husband, Tony, a Professor of Educational Studies at University of Washington, live in Seattle. Ken enjoys architecture and design, travel, reading, and cooking.
Francesca Peri (she/her/hers)
Board Secretary; Development
Joined in 2019
Service and giving back has been an integral part of Francesca’s life since she was young. Her parents were deeply involved in her hometown community and shared a passion and commitment for making a difference. Her parents worked tirelessly to advocate for the homeless residents of Santa Barbara and were key organizers in building the Transition House for women and children and Casa Esperanza – House of Hope. Through her 25+ year career at Starbucks, Francesca and her husband have lived in many places and finding ways to serve in their community is always one of the first actions they take as a family when they move to a new city. When she returned to Seattle in 2019, for what she hopes is a very long stay, she was thrilled for the opportunity to serve on the YouthCare board and looks forward to many years of contributing, learning and making a difference.
John Zmolek (he/him/his)
Joined in 2020
John first became more familiar with YouthCare when his younger son started dropping into the Orion Center to receive services. John and his husband, searching for a non-profit agency to partner with in developing low-income housing, started conversations with CEO Melinda Giovengo. The result was James Place Studios. Though recently retired, he was the CEO of Verity Credit Union. There, he focused on creating communities that we want and need by financing change. John’s non-profit journey began in the 80’s as volunteer and board chair of Shanti, which provided one-on-one emotional support to persons with AIDS. John is currently chair of Business Impact NW, which trains and lends to new entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, veterans, and minorities. John’s family includes, his husband, Jerry, son, Buckey, and their eldest son, James, who died in January 2019. YouthCare’s James Place Studios is named in his honor. John enjoys cooking, theater, hiking, and biking. Because he has three German grandchildren, he is attempting to learn German.
Alyssa Alcantara (she/her/hers)
Executive Committee, Real Estate Committee Chair
Joined Real Estate Committee 2016
Joined Board of Directors 2017
When Alyssa served on the United Way “Out of the Rain” Council to End Homelessness, the council was focused mostly on chronic adult homelessness. During a United Way meeting, YouthCare’s CEO Melinda Giovengo arrived as a guest speaker to speak about YouthCare and youth homelessness, especially as it relates to preventing chronic adult homelessness. Inspired by Melinda’s words, Alyssa began volunteering at ROOTS and YouthCare, which led her to explore how she could further help. With 10 years of experience as a licensed architect specialized in multi-family housing and working at Bellwether Housing in affordable housing development, Alyssa was referred to join the YouthCare Real Estate Committee, which led to an invitation to join the Board. She has since expanded her real estate experience to work in commercial real estate and continues to consult on the Real Estate Committee and Board of Directors. When she is not volunteering, Alyssa enjoys hanging out with her husband and three-year-old daughter, running, skiing, hiking, and camping.
Beau August (he/him/his)
Real Estate Committee, Racial Equity and Justice Task Force
Joined in 2019
Beau first heard about YouthCare several years ago through a coworker at Metzler Real Estate, when asking around about places to volunteer in and around Seattle. After a tour of YouthCare’s Orion Center, Beau immediately started organizing coworkers to serve lunch at Orion Center. He continued to get involved by attending YouthCare’s Annual Luncheon and recruiting others to join. Hearing more and more about the inspiring stories of youth really resonated as he truly believes that young adults have so much untapped potential and are at such a critical path in life. Beau joined the board and the Real Estate Committee to support YouthCare in ensuring youth have what they need to seek and find their purpose in life. Beau and his wife, who is a school psychologist working with disadvantaged and special needs kids, enjoy volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, visiting National Parks, outdoor adventures, watching football, and game nights with friends.
Erin Coomer (she/her/hers)
Joined in 2014
Erin is a YouthCare staff member turned longtime supporter, and has always had YouthCare staff and clients at front of mind when wanting to give back to her community. She is a mother to two boys, and her work experience is in social service non-profit administration, by way of working at Habitat for Humanity, YouthCare, and the Center for Children and Youth Justice prior to starting a family. She has also served on the Board of Directors at Summer Search Seattle and currently volunteers at University Child Development School and Common Power, a local organization working to provide voter equity nationwide. When she’s not volunteering, she spends time with her spouse, two boys, and two dogs, and also enjoys music, hiking, mountaineering, and gardening.
Farron Curry (she/her/hers)
Chair of the Governance Committee,
Talent & Engagement Committee,
COVID-19 SWAT Team
Joined in 2020
When Farron first attended a YouthCare luncheon and served a meal at The Orion Center, she knew she wanted to be part of it. A lifelong Washingtonian, Farron has witnessed the devastating effects addiction, family conflict, and homelessness can have. Too many young lives, including Farron’s beloved sister-in-law Kristen, have been lost too soon – which drives Farron’s commitment to YouthCare’s mission. Farron is an Attorney who practices employment and business litigation, usually on behalf of clients in the manufacturing, retail, and nonprofits. She has always been passionate about young people and devotes volunteer time accordingly, including at Childhaven, through Gonzaga focused on the impacts of youth “aging out” of the system, at the University of Oregon as its first Child Advocacy Fellow, and today with YouthCare. Farron is married to Calvin and has two kids, Leni and Finn. They love spending time together, especially in, on, or near water (which makes West Seattle the perfect spot for them to live and explore).
Heidi Dettmer (she/her/hers)
Joined in 2020
Homelessness has always been a soft spot for Heidi as she has a close friend whose siblings are experiencing homelessness. She comes from a sports and tech marketing background, and community service has always been built into her workplace. Highlights include working with The RAVE Foundation serving marginalized youth through the game of soccer and serving at the Seahawks Women’s Foundation, volunteering monthly to serve meals or contribute to various supply drives. Now, after working in tech for the last few years, she has returned to sports, leading the marketing team for the Seattle Kraken. When she joined Seattle Kraken and learned about its relationship with YouthCare, she knew she wanted to get deeply involved. She continues to be inspired by the agency’s work and can’t wait to see what the future holds! You can find her in the mountains most weekends, often with her spouse, Cam and two pups, Ranger and Scout.
Mary Lou Dickerson (she/her/hers)
Public Affairs Committee
Joined in 2013
Mary Lou spent a couple of decades working in and leading organizations for children, youth, and families. Mary Lou was also the founder of Treehouse, and in 1994, she was elected as a State Representative and served for 18 years. She chaired the committees that focused on health and human services, children and families, and juvenile justice, and was able to hear the testimony of several YouthCare young people, while she also enjoyed working with YouthCare’s CEO Melinda Giovengo, as they partnered on pieces of legislation to help homeless and at-risk youth. Upon retirement she thought of joining several Boards but picked YouthCare because of its mission, effectiveness, and terrific staff. Mary Lou’s family includes her spouse, John, and two children, Noah and Chloe, plus two grandchildren, Edison and Audrey. She is also a landscape oil painter and has authored two books that were published.
Dr. Jennifer Hoock (she/her/hers)
Joined in 2021
Jennifer noticed YouthCare’s Orion Center driving from teaching and seeing patients as a family doctor at Kaiser. Shortly after, she collaborated with YouthCare staff for a needs assessment, and found that youth wanted to “learn about health” and have a “clinic onsite.” Thus began “Doc Talks,” and later, Kaiser added a clinic (2016) which has grown to be part of the Kaiser clinical care system, also now including a to treat youth struggling with substance use disorders. She runs the Community Medicine training for the residents and sees patients at the “Orion Clinic” and NeighborCare’s Rainier Beach Clinic. While at YouthCare, Jennifer has come to appreciate the challenges faced by youth as they move successfully into adulthood without the supports most of us take for granted: functional, supportive family, a place to live, education, and access to health and mental health care. Jennifer is amazed by the resilience and determination seen in youth and the staff; YouthCare’s “care” makes a difference, and now, Jennifer has joined the Board to get more deeply involved and ensure support continues to be equitably available to all who need it.
Carmen Hudson (she/her/hers)
Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Racial Equity and Justice Task Force, Development Committee
Joined in 2016
Carmen first learned about YouthCare through a former board member who invited Carmen to YouthCare’s Annual Luncheon at about the same time she became very interested in how to decrease homelessness in Seattle. That Luncheon invite became an invite to volunteer serving dinner at the Orion Center, an invite to another YouthCare event, and eventually an invitation to join the board. After a long career in corporate recruiting at big tech companies, Carmen became a consultant for a six-person company called Recruiting Toolbox and now helps organizations design and improve their candidate sourcing, interview and selection processes. She contributes these skills now to YouthCare’s various board efforts while also enjoying her hobbies of reading, writing, and seeing the world with her husband, William, the HR Director for SEIU and a longtime YouthCare supporter as well.
Becka Johnson Poppe
Joined in 2022
Bio coming soon
Joined in 2021
Bio coming soon.
Greg Moye (he/him/his)
Governance Committee, Racial Equity and Justice Task Force, Accreditation Support Task Force
Joined in 2020
Greg has had two passions in serving the community: education and helping the disadvantaged; to him, YouthCare is one of the rare organizations that embodies both. He believes that interceding in the lives of youth when they require it most is vital for the long-term health of our community. He has many years of experience serving in leadership positions and founding organizations that serve people affected by HIV, as well as bringing people together in support of LGBTQ communities. As the chairperson of the Russell Investments’ LGBTQ employee network, he has been a major financial and volunteer supporter of the scholarship programs of the GSBA and Pride Foundation. He recently co-founded and co-chairs EmRG, an association of LGBTQ corporate leaders who collaborate, serve the community, and advocate on behalf of LGBTQ employees in partnership with corporate leaders and local government. In his free time, he is involved in the visual and performing arts, fitness and nutrition, writing, and travel.
Pashtana Rahman (she/her/hers)
Joined in 2016
Pashtana is passionate about helping youth. She believes that youth are our future and that every youth deserves to be safe, sheltered, educated, and have opportunity in this great country. As an immigrant originating from the war-torn country Afghanistan, Pashtana knows firsthand how difficult life can be if you do not have support. In her case, she was fortunate to have loving parents that sacrificed everything for her and her siblings. She believes the work YouthCare is doing with kids that are homeless and endangered is incredible. Pashtana has been working in Finance (Banking) for the last 20 plus years, and she has been involved in teaching financial education to teens and adults, particularly in subjects such as Banking, Budgeting and Credit. Pashtana family includes her spouse, Mohammad, and three kids Yasin, Shaista, and Arman. Her hobbies include spending time with family & friends, hiking, travelling, and trying different food from different cultures.
Joined in 2021
Bio coming soon
Bart Shilvock (he/him/his)
Real Estate Committee
Joined in 2006
Bart learned of YouthCare through his wife’s volunteer work. His own passion for the mission came after attending a YouthCare luncheon, which came at the same time as an opportunity to serve on the Board while in a senior leadership role at Boeing. Bart served on the Board for 12 years and was a founding member of the Real Estate Committee. After a 3-year break on the Board, in which he continued to serve on the Real Estate Committee, Bart rejoined in 2021. After retirement from 36 years at Boeing he deepened his commitment to helping young people fulfill their potential by joining the Western Washington University Foundation Board, with which he is actively involved by pursuing public-private partnerships that generate revenue to support students and programs. Bart and his wife, Randi, live in the north end and have an adult daughter and son, both of whom live locally. Outside interests include tennis, gardening, live music, travel, and mentoring young people.
Mark Solomon (he/him/his)
Public Affairs Committee, Racial Equity and Justice Task Force
Joined in 1993
Mark learned about YouthCare when he was working on Youth-Police Relations improvement efforts. He has been a Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Seattle Police Department for 30 years and is a resource for residents, community groups, businesses, faith-based entities, advocacy groups and public agencies in formulating crime prevention and public safety strategies. Additionally, Mark served in the United States Air Force, for a total of 30 years, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Mark has a long history of community and volunteer work, and currently serves as the Vice President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Washington State Chapter and the President of Washington State Crime Prevention Association. Mark’s family includes his spouse, Suzanne, a high school art teacher, his three adult stepchildren, and his child, Alanna, a recent college graduate. Mark is a self-described comic book and science fiction nerd. He also loves to travel and he recently gotten hooked on Words with Friends.
Nick Straley, JD (he/him/his)
Public Affairs Committee
Joined in 2021
Nick is a long-time resident of Seattle where he lives with his wife and two teenage children. Nick works for Columbia Legal Services as an attorney where his practice focuses on protecting the rights of justice involved individual and families. His work includes advocacy on behalf of children and youth caught up in the criminal legal system. Throughout his career, Nick has witnessed YouthCare’s commitment to working with youth to reach their full potential. Nick is proud to continue a Straley family connection with YouthCare dating back to his grandfather, Walter Straley, and more recently his father, Hugh Straley.
Matthew Turetsky, JD (he/him/his)
Development Committee Chair, Former Board Chair
Joined in 2010
Matt was drawn to the board because a personal friend worked as a staff member for YouthCare and he admired the work. Matt then started attending YouthCare auctions and luncheons and eventually asked CEO Melinda Giovengo for a tour of the Orion Center. The rest is history. Professionally, Matt was a trial lawyer in Seattle for 25 years before launching his own alternative dispute resolution firm, Matt Turetsky Mediation/Arbitration. Matt mediates and arbitrates business, real estate, employment, and other civil litigation disputes. Matt’s family includes his spouse, Molly, an interior designer, and their two kids, both in high school: Anna and Quinn. Matt enjoys reading, exercising, sports, politics, but mostly hanging out and running around with his family.
as of August 1, 2021