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.

Kerstin Torrescano, Director of Operations

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.



Denise Nicole’ Franklin, Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Denise Nicole’ attended Highline College, receiving her Associate Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She completed Professional Education training in Race, Equity, and Leadership in Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before joining ANEW, Denise worked in workforce development as the Career & Education Navigator for Port Jobs’ Airport Jobs and Airport University Programs. Her generosity to participants, contributions to institutional practices and reforms, and the ability to spearhead, sustain and cultivate community partnerships are unparalleled. She has the relentless drive as a former lead race and equity champion for the Annie E. Casey Funded Generation Work initiative.

Denise Nicole’ is a graduate of ANEW’s TRP Program and became a Cement Mason Apprentice with Local 528. She continued her education at Arcade Wayfinding, where she received a certificate in Project Management in Construction and found her way back to ANEW as the Apprenticeship Opportunities Project (AOP) Program Manager. Denise Nicole’ exhibits her strong academic, community-building, and workforce development skills. She is one of the rare professionals that enrich the lives of those who receive, manage, administer, and fund services and the institutions that exist to support these efforts.


Megan Clark, 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!

Roxane Blevens, Operations Assistant

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.

David Watkins, Grant Writer

As the resident grant writer, David responds to funding solicitations from local businesses, family and corporate foundations, and government entities to support ANEW’s programming. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, he earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 2012 before spending five years in Houston in various fundraising roles for non-profit organizations. In his off hours, David enjoys watching football and baseball (Go 49ers and SF Giants!), making people groan at his jokes, and taste-testing salsas that may cause him to blackout. Embodying many classic writer stereotypes, David avoids going outdoors and socializing whenever possible.


Kerry Brothers, Trades Rotation Program (TRP) Program Manager

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.

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.

Michelle Layne, Lead Instructor

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.

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, Instructor/YEP Facilitator

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.


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.


Brooke Summerlin, RISE UP Senior Program Manager

Brooke is originally from Tampa, FL and has worked in various roles throughout the P-20 Pipeline over the last ten years. Her passion for education led her to receive a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Education Leadership and Policy from the University of Washington. In Brooke’s previous role at UW Continuum College, she managed a portfolio of professional and continuing education certificates for adult learners. She has had extensive experience in curriculum design, managing complex programs and fostering collaborative relationships. In her free time, she volunteers as an Area Officer for Phi Mu Fraternity serving four collegiate chapters focusing on member education and recruitment.

Venus Dean-Bullinger, Youth Exploration Program Coordinator

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. 

Today she builds relationships between our local high school’s Vocational Rehabilitation departments to allowing students the ability to explore the building trades in hopes of preparing them for our pre-apprenticeship programs. 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.

Halley Shriber, Apprenticeship Navigator (Western WA)

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.

Sydney Bennett, Outreach Specialist

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.