Colleen Echohawk, (She/Her/Hers)
Interim CEO & President

Colleen Echohawk Headshot

Colleen Echohawk is an enrolled member of the Kithehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Lake.

As the founder of the Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness, Echohawk is committed to homeless advocacy and changing the trajectory of Native American and Alaska Native people living away from reservations in urban places and experiencing homelessness. Echohawk is interested in creating systems and structures that help facilitate wellness and encourage kindness and courage. Recognizing a lack of equity in housing design and development, and the profound impact that this can have on the well-being of people of color, Echohawk has turned her focus to equitable low-income housing development and indigenous-led design.

Echohawk’s education has been focused on organizational development and leadership; helping brilliant people do better work for the greater good. She is the co-founder and principal at Headwater People Consulting Group. The recipient of King County’s Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service (2020), Echohawk was named one of Seattle’s most influential people by Seattle Magazine (November 2019) and one of Seattle Met Magazine’s 50 most influential women (2018). Echohawk was also awarded the Adeline Garcia Community Service Award (2018), Antioch University’s Public Service Award (2018), and Crosscut Media’s Courage Award for Public Service (2016). Under Echohawk’s leadership, Chief Seattle Club received the Puget Sound Sage Visionary for Justice Award (2019), Seattle Community Law Center’s Equity Award (2018), the Neighborhood Builder Award (2017), and Municipal League of King County’s Organization of the Year (2016).

Colleen Echohawk has served on many local boards, including a Mayoral appointment to the Community Police Commission. She is currently serving as a board member of the Seattle Foundation. She is also the former board chair at Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre and a former board member at the Pioneer Square Preservation Board.

In her spare time, she loves to read, sing karaoke, listen to National Public Radio, and cook delicious food for her friends and family. Echohawk is a proud mom to two children and is married to Matt Hayashi.


Degale Cooper, MSW, (She/Her/Hers)
Chief Program and Impact Officer

Picture of Degale smiling
Photo credit: Erin McKinney

Degale Cooper joined YouthCare as the Chief Program Officer in June 2018. Her thirty-year professional history in the non-profit sector includes an array of direct clinical services, program development and implementation, international consulting on issues of child welfare, and executive-level experiences within organizations dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, improving foster care systems, and eliminating experiences of homelessness for youth, young adults, and families. She has held leadership positions at The Mockingbird Society, The YWCA, Treehouse and Youth Eastside Services.

Degale received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington, B.A. in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University, and clinical supervision certification from the University of Washington. With over fourteen years as a foster parent, Degale passionately engages in her community as a mentor and support for children, youth, and families. In her free time, Degale enjoys fishing and squid jigging, camping, designing great food, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.


Suzanne Sullivan, (She/Her/Hers)
Chief Advancement Officer

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Formerly from New York, Suzanne came to Seattle in 1995, determined to build a career that would make a difference to the community. Her professional history includes leadership positions at various social service-focused nonprofits including Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, Compass Housing Alliance, Teen Feed, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, all of which support youth, individuals, and families experiencing instability.

Sullivan has been involved with the Human Rights Campaign since 2016, serving on HRC’s National Board of Governors and Seattle Steering Committee. In her free time, Suzanne is a portrait artist, enjoys by spending time with family and friends, enjoys cook, and going on walks with her dog, Peter.


Jennifer Patterson, (She/Her/Hers)
Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer Patterson headshot

Jennifer Patterson joined YouthCare as the Chief Operating Officer in June 2021. Her professional history includes leadership roles in libraries including the State Library of Oregon, Pierce County Library System, Seattle Public Library, and Edmonds Community College. Libraries are a key community partner in providing service for those experiencing homelessness, and she has worked with individuals experiencing homelessness and throughout her career. She is passionate about providing individuals and communities with the resources and support needed to thrive. 

Patterson has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado Denver and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of California Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She has served as a board member for PFLAG Bellevue Eastside and for Center for Human Services. Originally from Colorado, she has lived in the Seattle area for 17 years and loves spending time hiking and exploring the beautiful pacific northwest with her husband and their two dogs. 

Directors

Audra Laymon, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Integrated Workforce Development

Christopher Hanson, (He/Him/His) | Director of Engagement Services

Colleen Goodwin, SPHR, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Human Resources Operations

Danee Smith, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Adolescent Services

Deb Adams, (She/Her/Hers) | Associate Director of Transitional Housing

Emma York-Jones, (She/Her/Hers) Ι Senior Director of Program Quality and Impact

Erica Limon, (She/Her/Hers) | Associate Director of Workforce Development

Erin Chapman-Smith, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Training

Jessica Safley, (She/Her/Hers) | Interim Director of Young Adult Housing

Jessie Friedmann, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Public Policy

Joseph Woolley, (He/Him/His) | Director of Facilities

Katie Kolarich, JD, (She/Her/Hers) | Senior Director of Integrated Grants and Contracts

Kelly Stockman McKee, MPA, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Public Funding

Kate Effland, (She/Her/Hers) | Interim Director of Development

Randi Eseltine, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Community Engagement

Whitney Eich, (She/Her/Hers) | Director of Adolescent Services

For media inquiries, please email media@youthcare.org or call 206.475.5922