Karen Dove, Executive Director
Karen’s role as Executive Director is to plan and execute the overall strategic and operational responsibility for ANEW’s staff, programs, expansion and execution of its mission. Karen comes to ANEW from Montana where she led programs and advocated for policies focused on building economic security for all. Karen is a dedicated servant leader and has a passion for social justice issues. Karen is committed to developing collaborative partnerships resulting in systemic change. Throughout her career, she has utilized her entrepreneurial spirit and skills to create and implement new and innovative programs aimed at moving people toward family wage jobs. Karen is a published author and when not serving her community, she likes to spend time on the beach. She counts her three children as her proudest accomplishments.
Kristina Szczyrbak, Deputy Director
Kristina comes to ANEW with 16 years experience working in the non-profit sector as an ally and intermediary for women entering construction and advanced manufacturing careers.
Kristina’s experience is focused on women-only pre-apprenticeship programs and technical assistance to registered apprenticeships on the recruitment and retention of women. As a Program Coordinator, she spent seven years developing the Step Up for Women Construction PreApprenticeship. She personally conducted 13 training cohorts totaling 195 participants with a graduation rate of 79%, a job placement rate of 81%, and a registered apprenticeship placement rate of 43%, many of the women the first in their unions. She went on to become the Deputy Director where she oversaw four pre-apprenticeship training programs and traveled the country as a Subject Matter Expert hosting workshops on the recruitment and retention of women into non-traditional occupations and registered apprenticeship. She then was appointed to Executive Director where she funded the entire organization through competitive grant writing, launched and oversaw two new pre-apprenticeship training programs in rural regions, and continued to facilitate professional training workshops.
She’s also proud to say that her own 22-year-old daughter is an Electrician Apprentice with the IBEW and in 2022, bought her own home. This grants Kristina another unique point of view as a parent facing the struggles and fears encountered when our young women enter the trades. All of Kristina’s experience comes from doing the work with the people that need it. Her goal now is to put that experience to work for ANEW and the women of Washington.
Marquia Wooten, RISE Up Director
Marquia is an example of a female professional who has bravely carved out her own non-traditional pathway as a heavy equipment operator, entrepreneur, and mentor figure. As a single mother, Marquia knew that it would be important to find a career pathway that would not only allow her to earn a livable wage, but also ensure growth that would provide her family with every advantage. She decided to enroll in ANEW. In 2013, she successfully entered the trades as a member of the Local 440 union in Seattle. Successful in this endeavor, the opportunity presented itself in 2015, to join the Operating Engineers Local 302, where she is still an active member today. In 2019, in efforts to harness her knowledge and give back to the community, Marquia felt it was time to start a business of her own, GN Squared Construction. GN Squared Construction provides post construction cleaning services for commercial and residential projects with additional services aimed at not only giving back to the community but also making the world a more beautiful place. Marquia is grateful for the opportunity to share her story in hopes to encourage more women looking for a career that is not only rewarding but will also provide them with financial stability.
Kerstin Torrescano, Director of Finance
Kerstin comes to ANEW as a Seattle born native where she attended the University of Washington and received her BA in social work and then continued on to receive her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky. Kerstin likes working in non-profit because she has a devoted drive to provide opportunities for her students to learn and create pathways for them to change their lives. Kerstin says, “Celebrating ALL the successes students have, no matter what they are doing in programming, is the best part of my job and inspires me.” Coming from Seattle’s YouthBuild Program she brings experience in innovative program development and best practices for program quality. Kerstin was a local high school and college athlete who now enjoys coaching girls AAU basketball in the local area. In her spare time she likes to read, hike, play basketball, and listen to lots and lots of music!
Dee Jackson, Director of Programs
Dee has spent the last decade and a half working for the Seattle Public, an Independent School, and nonprofits that partnership with School Districts such as Community Learning Centers and YMCAs. Dee has worked as a Behavioral Specialist and Program Director for various nonprofits and the Public-School District. She was born and raised in Seattle and lived on the East Coast, while being a college athlete, where she earned a degree in Child Psychology. Dee also earned a Child Developments Associates and Extended Education Certificate from the University of Washington. Dee has 14 nieces and nephews with whom she loves to spend time and go on adventures.
Megan Pearson, Director of Strategic Partnerships
As the Director of Strategic Partnerships Megan works closely with apprentices, community organizations, contractors and other non-profit and government programs, supporting and executing communication strategies to raise awareness of our programs and generate new partnerships. Prior to coming to ANEW, Megan comes from the promotional marketing and Fire Alarm services background. She has experience with working closely with clients and service technicians in the fire alarm industry handling service calls, scheduling building inspections and developing service protocols as needed. When she is not working, she has a 17-year-old daughter and 14 year old son she loves to spend time with. She has done the Seattle To Portland bike ride (STP) 5 times, loves to ski with her kids during the winter and the water, sun and fun during the summer!
Alex Reyes, Human Resources Manager
Alex’s role as Human Resources Manager is to oversee all human resource activities to ensure safety within ANEW and serves as a strategic HR business partner to the Executive/Management team members in the development of a superior workforce. Additionally, Alex assists in developing a staff-oriented company culture that emphasizes quality, continuous improvement, and high performance. Alex has over 15 years in education and has worked for both the private and public sectors of Human Resources. Alex is also the Board Secretary for the South King County SHRM Chapter, on her high school’s Alumni Committee, and volunteers for youth sports. During her free time Alex enjoys taking road trips, visiting the ocean, and rooting for her favorite sports teams: Seattle Seahawks and Denver Nuggets!
Roxane Blevens, Co-Director of Training
Roxane received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and has been with ANEW since 2017. Prior to joining the ANEW team, Roxane worked as the Operations Manager for a men’s clothing store for 7 years. Most recently, she worked in client collections for an IT solutions company because it brought her closer to home. However, she quickly realized that she missed working with such a variety of people every day and found what she missed when she came on board with ANEW. Roxane is married to a union painter and has a son and a daughter, both of whom keep her very busy! In her free time, she enjoys watching the Seahawks, trying new recipes, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Michelle Layne, Co-Director of Training
Michelle is an Indiana-native and proud Navy Veteran. As a member of the Laborers Union Local 242, she has worked 6 years doing intensive laboring skills, as expected. Michelle is a mother of two children and has two grandchildren. She enjoys taking care of her farm animals and spending time with her family in her spare time. Michelle is ecstatic to be a part of the ANEW program to give her experiences, knowledge and passion as a woman in the construction industry.
Andee Bonnell, CDL Program Director
Andee is a Nebraska-native and proud Army Veteran. Andee comes to ANEW with 24 years of experience working in the transportation industry. Prior to joining ANEW Andee was a Training and Safety Manager for two local transportation companies, contributing to the success of two CDL Schools both with a 93%+ passing rate. When she isn’t working, Andee is a mother of three boys (18, 14, 12) active in football, snowboarding in the winter, and fishing and paddleboarding in the summer. Andee is ecstatic to be joining the ANEW CDL Program, and to build a successful CDL program that will transform the lives of those that enroll.
Kerry Brothers, Pre-Apprenticeship Coordinator
Kerry has over a decade of experience as a STEM Instructional and Training leader working with adults and students of all ages implementing training programs that build problem-solvers, critical and creative thinkers, and strong team members. In addition to the training leadership role, he spent 10 years as a carpenter in residential construction. Wanting to advance into commercial trades and be a union member, he joined the ANEW PACE Program as a pre-apprentice member of Cohort 28. The training team’s passion for the trades, the students, and the successes of ANEW graduates obtaining careers in the construction trades led Kerry want to be a part of ANEW and the amazing, high-quality training program.
Simone Bullinger, Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Education (PACE) Program Manager
Simone comes to ANEW with 5 years of experience in WorkForce Development, most recently as an Employment Practitioner for Career Path Services, co-located at South King County DSHS. As a bi-racial woman who has served the populations in both Pierce and King County for over a decade, she founds her work upon the belief in empowering the disadvantaged and socially marginalized. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of Washington and will soon complete her Masters in Counseling Psychology at Bastyr University. She has worked in social services on both the community and state levels. She is passionate about Women’s rights, queer and gender rights, and equity within the POC community. As a result of her rich cultural background she is committed to continuing to promote intersectionality and inclusion in her work. During her free-time she enjoys spending time with her family, particularly her nieces and nephews. She enjoys the ocean (when seasonally applicable of course) and is deeply passionate about travel.
Shadia Amir, Pre-Apprenticeship Coordinator
Shadia has spent the last few years working in youth development and student success coaching. She has supported diverse groups of students in many different capacities; from tutoring and mentoring 6th graders in English language arts to connecting LGBTQIA+ undergraduate students, faculty, and staff with on-campus resources. Shadia sees herself as a life-long learner and is passionate about providing support to individuals that have been historically underserved. Outside of work she is a cat mom, a film fanatic, and a music lover.
Amber McGinnis, Instructor
Amber was born in Bremerton and has lived in Washington her whole life. She is a Journeywomen Laborer with Local 252 and spent 7 years working in the field. Amber is a mom to 4 wonderful children that she has been homeschooling for 9 years. In her free time she likes to garden and tend to her bee hives. Amber is passionate and dedicated to the unique work we do to bring people into the construction trades and to help them grow personally as well as professionally.
Gerard Thomas, Instructor
Gerard is a proud Journeyman of the Laborer’s Union with nearly a decade of experience under his toolbelt. He began his career with ANEW as a student in the PACE program. After graduating, Gerard began as an apprentice with the union. Due to his work ethic and skill, after only two years on the job, Gerard was promoted to journeyman. The raise was a good thing too since his favorite hobbies are all pretty pricey: family, food, and fast cars! As a leader on the job site, he began mentoring new apprentices and discovered his talent as a great hands-on teacher. He’s now come full circle and is an instructor with ANEW’s PACE Pre-Apprenticeship Program! On being back with ANEW, Gerard says “This is my dream job. I get to help people. They’re paying me but I’d do it for free!”
Sydney Bennett, Instructor
Before coming to ANEW, Sydney worked as a residential HVAC service technician for three and a half years. She fell in love working in with working in the trades and saw the value of her hard work pay off. She was able to build valuable connections with customers in the community and cannot wait to get more Washington residents into the trades. In her free time she loves to go camping, ride dirt bikes and spend time with her family.
Chris ‘CJ’ Cruz, Instructor
CJ was born in Long Beach, CA and raised in Spanaway, WA. He’s been apart of the Laborers Union Local 242 for 7 years. Also has been head coach for tackle football for 8 Years. He has a beautiful wife of 7 years, and 3 wonderful children. On CJ’s free time he likes to participate in outdoor activities (camping, fishing, lake/river days), traveling, group gatherings, projects around his house, coaching, watching professional sports, and watching his children compete in many sports. CJ is very excited to be part of the ANEW program to give youth and adults the chance and knowledge to be part of the construction world that he was blessed to be apart of.
Jessica Griffiths, Pre-Apprenticeship Coordinator
Jessica has worked in the non-profit world for most of her adult life. Jessica is a mother of three beautiful children and loves hiking, camping, traveling, and finding new places to eat (she’s a foodie)! Growing up in foster care since the age of 3 (as a Native American) has given her a certain skill set not found amongst the average persons. Surviving the challenging times foster care has thrown at her, she was still determined to strive for success. Jessica was the first person in her family to graduate from high school and to go on to college. Public Schools had always made college such a prominent pathway, so she went on to attend Pierce Community College for her AA in medical administration. While doing so she was hired at Community Health Care as a referral tracker. A couple years in to her job, she had worked her way up to the Referral Coordinator position but shortly realized the college debt she was accruing vs the 17 dollars an hour she was making (after working so hard for 5 years) didn’t pencil out. A majority of Jessica’s family are in the trades, and they had pushed her to try ANEW’s Pre-Apprenticeship program. Graduating from cohort 112, Jessica was the first student in her class to be pulled to enter the union. Her union of choice was Local 528 under the plasterer’s. Eventually Jessica became pregnant with her newest son and worked on the jobsite until she was 7 months pregnant! Once baby came, she decided to apply to ANEW to work with the Youth Exploration Program with students on IEP’s/504 plans. Jessica’s eldest daughter is on the autism spectrum, making this position a perfect fit! Having lived and breathed it, one of Jessica’s goals (alongside of her teachings) is to push the students to find their “grit”. Grit is the nagging conviction that keeps you pressing on when it’d be easier to give up. Grit is what makes you get back on the horse after you’ve been bucked off. Grit is pushing on towards one’s successes even when faced with adversity. Jessica is a great asset to the YEP team! While in YEP’s off season, Jessica is instructing the Pierce county Cohort.
Maurice Kennedy, ARC Coordinator
Maurice is a professional who has devoted his career to helping young people in the trades through his work in non-profit organizations. Born and raised in a working-class family in San Diego, Maurice experienced firsthand the challenges that many young people face in finding meaningful employment and pursuing their dreams.
After dropping out of high school, Maurice decided to pursue a career in the trades. However, he soon realized that many young people, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds, faced significant barriers to entering the trades and finding stable employment.
Driven by his passion for helping others, Maurice began working with non-profit organizations that focused on providing vocational training and job placement services to young people. He quickly became a valuable member of these organizations, using his life skills to train, educate and mentor young people and helping them to develop the confidence and qualities they need to succeed in the workforce.
In addition to his work with non-profit organizations, Maurice is also an active member of his community, served on the equity and inclusion board that focus on youth development education and equity for everyone. He is a passionate advocate for social justice and works tirelessly to promote equality and opportunity for all. Through his hard work and dedication, Maurice Kennedy has become a true inspiration to young people in the trades and to those who aspire to make a difference in their communities.
Jason Wirth, Trades Math Instructor
Jason attended University of Washington and got a BS in Mathematics, tutoring Math and Physics throughout. After college, he struggled to find a fulfilling career path. He tried a few disparate fields: tech, food service, automotive technician, etc. Finding purpose in supporting my community, he finally resolved to use his academic experience to empower others through education. He believes our collective knowledge is our rightful inheritance as citizens of the earth, as well as we each deserve a fulfilling life. His is happy to be able to serve his students through his role at ANEW and hopes to continue to find ways to educate and enfranchise those around him. He has a puppy named after Geordi La Forge who he spends all his free time with.
Mandy Richardson, Instructor
Mandy is a journeywoman carpenter who began her career with a four-year apprenticeship through the Northwest Carpenter’s Institute. She then went on to work in construction for six years before coming to ANEW as an instructor. Now, Mandy teaches pre-apprenticeship students about how to be successful in their trade. In her free time, Mandy loves spending time with her young daughter and reading. Of her work with ANEW, Mandy says “When you’re on a construction site, the most important accessory is your toolbelt: You need the right tool for the job–and that includes having the right mindset for it. That’s why my goal as an instructor is to give my students the correct tools they need to thrive in this industry mentally and physically.”
Nazz Murphy, Administrative Assistant
I am the first person to meet once you walk through our doors. I look forward to meeting YOU!
As an administrative assistant with 10 years of experience, Nazz has honed my skills in providing efficient and effective support to executives, managers, and teams. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated my ability to handle a wide range of administrative tasks, such as managing schedules, organizing meetings and events, preparing reports and presentations, and handling correspondence. Nazz prides herself on her excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which have enabled her to build strong relationships with colleagues, clients, and vendors. Her attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and ability to prioritize competing demands have allowed her to consistently meet deadlines and exceed expectations.
Over the years, she gained expertise in a variety of software applications and technology platforms, including Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, project management tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) software. She is also adept at navigating complex administrative systems and processes.
Her dedication to her work and her ability to work independently or as part of a team have earned Nazz a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy administrative professional. She’s always eager to learn new skills and take on new challenges and is committed to continuing to grow and develop as an administrative assistant.
Teion Freeman, Finance Assistant
Teion has a background in customer service and worked in Accounts Payable for five years now. Her passion and love for helping others led her to enroll in the Human Services program at Clover Park Technical College. During this program, she was an intern at the R.I.S.E Center of Tacoma where she utilized her skills in finance to start their housing program. Interning at the R.I.S.E Center was extremely challenging and rewarding. The training she received took her professional skills to another level.
Here at ANEW, her role as the finance assistant is to ensure that all bills for the services that run ANEW are paid in a timely manner. Monitoring credit card transactions made by our staff and creating invoices for all the grants that fund our organization are just a few of the tasks that she is responsible for that help to keep our company running smoothly.
Venus Dean-Bullinger, RISE Up Program Manager
Venus has worked in Customer Service, Account Management, and health insurance brokerage for over 30 years. She has volunteered with many local non-profits to include Tacoma Pierce County Chamber of Commerce (Westend board member), HopeSparks, Tacoma’s Hilltop/Housing Authority Design The Hill and Tacoma Communities in Schools as a board member. With her passion for volunteerism and education, she also worked with the new SOAR Academy as their Enrollment Team Coordinator. She left the brokerage world 3 years ago and transitioned to her dream job as an Employment Case Manager with the Tacoma Training to Employment Program at Sound Outreach. As an Employment Case Manager, she worked with the pre-apprenticeship cohorts at Bates Tech to remove barriers so that they may successfully complete their courses and move into an apprenticeship program or a living wage position here in the Puget Sound.
She has been married for over 30 years and has two adult children. In her spare time, she and her family love cooking, entertaining, and taking trips to new and exciting places.
Wesley Williams, Jr., RISE Up Program Manager
Wes comes to ANEW after working in the trades as an Ironworker, and truck driver. As a Foundational Black American, Wes offers a unique perspective of the complexities of the industry, to include its many strengths and vast weaknesses. While the PNW is now home, Wes has lived in various cities in all four corners across the country; immersing himself in divergent and culturally rich atmospheres that have informed his development of self, while complimenting his core values and beliefs.
Thenisia Sullivan, RISE Up Program Coordinator
Thenisia is a born and raised Washingtonian, graduating from Mountlake Terrace Highschool in 2011. She’s spent the last 13 years working in the service industry managing restaurants, organizing in her community, and volunteering for several political campaigns.
During the COVID-19 pandemic she realized she wanted more for her life and to have a career she was passionate about and would afford her a more comfortable lifestyle. While researching into the construction trades, Thenisia came across ANEW and enrolled in the Trades Rotation Program, graduating in 2022. During her time in the program, they fell in love with the values of ANEW and knew they wanted to work somewhere that shared their passion for learning and community. In her free time, Thenisia enjoys film and participating in the local music scene in Seattle. She’s also a visual artist, plays guitar and bass, and is the proud mother of a Pomeranian-poodle mix named Tangerine.
Halley Shriber, Apprenticeship Navigator: Passports
Halley has spent the past twenty years working alongside communities supporting advancement through collaborative engagement and person-centered care. Her intrigue with how macro-systems affect demographic populations led to a BA in Sociology and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. After spending much of her life in Massachusetts, she felt called to the west coast and set her sights on the lush Pacific Northwest. Her passion with civic engagement through the lens of social equity followed.
She Apprenticed with GROW Whidbey; learning how to support the community by growing food for their food bank and teaching garden education to K-12 students. She quickly fell in love with nature and the food sovereignty movement. As the Community Outreach Coordinator VISTA for Rainier Valley Food Bank, Halley grew her understanding of policies that shaped food systems. She leveraged the Food Bank’s role as a central hub to run programs, share community resources, collaborate with local schools and organizations as well as improve food security. With the community’s input, she created a proposal for RVFB’s first ever Advisory Council. Her advocacy led to her working as a Wraparound Care Coordinator in rural Oregon. She assisted youth and families with navigating multiple service providers through trauma informed care and strengths-based approaches. She is excited to join ANEW and continue to build resilience, expand compassion, and increase opportunities for youth. When not at work, Halley can be found dancing, playing with her four-legged companion, Kaia, hula hooping, cooking, and enjoying nature.
Elise Anderson, Communications & Marketing Specialist
“I like to make things pretty” is basically Elise’s slogan. Even as a child, she was driven by a passion for creativity and innovation. Writing neighborhood newsletters, making home movies, and exploring different types of photography styles, she always knew her life would lead to creativity.
She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Communications degree specializing in PR & Advertising and a minor in Hispanic Studies. During the past 8 years, she worked in a variety of marketing and visual communication positions in a variety of industries. She founded her own business to provide consulting in her specialties of marketing, design, videography, photography, social media, and more. But she still yearned for an opportunity to do nonprofit work. That’s when she found ANEW. Her vocational mission is to utilize marketing specialties to promote social progress and empower individuals. Above all else, her resolve is to advocate for those who can’t do so themselves. She aspires to produce the kind of content that brings people joy and provokes a strong, impactful impression.
When she does have freetime, she likes to make things pretty, play with her German Shephard puppy Nozel, read manga, watercolor mandalas that she draws freehand, and travel across the world.
Zaria Ali, Outreach & Recruitment Specialist
As an Outreach Specialist, Zaria works to connect with local organizations and individuals that could benefit from our programs. Prior to her role at ANEW, Zaria worked with Year Up Puget Sound as a part of the Enrollment Team. She has experience in recruitment, social media management, and conducting admissions interviews. Zaria graduated from the University of Washington in 2021 with a Bachelors in Psychology, and hopes to earn her Masters in Social Work soon! Outside of work, Zaria enjoys trying out new recipes, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Aidan Rosenbam, Outreach & Recruitment Specialist
Aidan is a Western Washington born and raised individual acting as an Outreach and Recruitment Specialist for ANEW. He has spent six years in the management space serving Pierce County through a number of different roles. Most recently he was the Taproom Manager and event coordinator for Locust Cider, a family friendly taproom in the heart of Tacoma, on 6th Avenue. Aidan brings his experience in operational management and community outreach to ANEW where he will serve the Pre-Apprenticeship programs, Passport to Apprenticeship program, and the Apprentice Resource Center. Aidan is incredibly passionate about bettering our communities and ensuring that all folks regardless of barriers have all of the resources and support necessary to be successful, pursue happiness and provide for themselves and their loved ones.
In his spare time Aidan enjoys playing indoor lacrosse for the Tacoma Triton, and attending all sorts of concerts and shows. Aidan loves talking to others, making friends, connecting people and building personal and professional relationships!
Derek Baril, Youth Exploration Service Provider
Derek comes to ANEW with over seven years of experience in Behavioral Health and Special Education. Throughout his time working with IEP/504 students, he noticed a lack of career support for those who were looking for alternative pathways after high school. After learning about the incredible services ANEW offers to communities in the Washington State area, he decided to join the team. He is excited to be working with such skilled and compassionate people. In his spare time, Derek enjoys spending time with his wife and son, reading, and eating all of the samples at Costco.
Jazz Russell, Youth Exploration Service Provider
Jazz has spent the last 14 years working with youth Behavior Interventionist / Youth Advocate in Tacoma Public Schools, Kent Public Schools and, Seattle Public Schools. Jazz is excited for the opportunity to widen the pipeline of school to careers pathway. Jazz values connections with past educators in efforts to help students become knowledgeable about the trades and start a career in the trades. In their free time, Jazz is a Death Doula.
Maurcrei Thibodeaux, Youth Exploration CTE Instructor
Maurcrei Thibodeaux is excited to be on new contract with ANEW. After formerly educating high school students in the non-profit sector in CTE Business as an International Academy Director, while simultaneously physically training professional athletes and high school teams in her off- season; the global CPT/body builder is always up for a challenge. She started out in Special Education becoming a behavioral therapist where she quickly discovered the need to support underserved and marginalized communities. Crei believes in channeling wellness as a core catalyst to engage everyone she touches in finding their purpose. She does just that in her down time as a consulting firm owner specializing in helping companies create a culture they’re proud of.
Her background in communications, building development investment and inclusion has afforded her the opportunity to currently serve on a number of 501 c(3) Boards. From the Northwest Alliance Girls Organization highlighting sports equity; to being the Chairwoman of Washington State’s first All Black Laborers Coalition BCCAP.
As an investor, Maurcrei is passionate about creating space for anyone excited to excel in any way they believe; including transitional home development to encourage generational wealth. She is always striving to cultivate positive change in the non-profit sector through volunteerism and philanthropic efforts and works tirelessly to devote positive energy to her many projects as a means to make a real impact in the lives of others. You can catch Crei on weekends offering sound and energy modalities to aid in healing, camping and hiking in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.