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 also a published author and when not serving her community, Karen likes to spend time on the beach, and she counts her three children are 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.
Amy Kennedy, Director of Marketing, PR & Outreach
Amy Kennedy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Associate’s Degrees in Political Science and Psychology as well as Certifications in Graphic Arts, Marketing, Advertising, SEO and Journalism. Amy enjoyed a career working in criminal, family and business law for 10 years while working domestic violence/sexual assault advocacy programs and restorative justice organizations before deciding to add public relations, marketing and communications work to her resume. Amy also has experience working in solar electric construction project management, business/organizational start-up and branding which fuels her passion for the construction trades industry. Amy was crowned Ms. Washington United States 2020 and 2021, having placed within the Top 10 at Nationals both years for her trail-blazing efforts to expand opportunities for women in business, she is the first internationally-awarded openly-tattooed pageant queen. She is a mother to an amazing son who she enjoys spending time hiking, camping and traveling with when she is not somewhere in the community using her creativity to uplift others and loves being a life-long learner who recognizes that being willing to accept change is the only way to truly grow.
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.
Bo Barrett, Lead Training Instructor
Bo was born and raised in Spanaway, Washington. He is a member of the Laborers Union Local 242 and worked for 5 years doing Demolition and Hazardous Waste removal. In his free time, Bo enjoys playing/watching sports as well as spending time with his best friend and daughter, Mia. Bo is excited to be a part of the ANEW team to help give others an opportunity to find their passion in the construction industry.
Ryan Rogers, Trades Rotation Program (TRP) Program Manager
Ryan graduated from St. Martins University with B.A. in Social Work in 2015. He previously worked for 3 years at Neighborhood House as a Lead Employment Specialist for the Resources to Initiate Successful Employment (RISE) Program and assisted high-barrier individuals whom needed soft skills/job readiness training, and support services to obtain successful employment. Before Neighborhood House, Ryan interned as a youth counselor for Haven House a 12-18 run-away at-risk youth shelter and the Boys and Girls club. Ryan is a former athlete and coaches High School basketball. When he’s not working, he has a 1-year old Bull Mastiff to take to dog parks and on truck rides. He also enjoys camping and floating rivers in the summers, reading, working out, working on house projects, traveling with friends, and listening to different podcasts on long commutes to/from work.
Grace Lindsley, Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Education (PACE) Program Manager
A Pacific Northwest native, Grace grew up in Olympia, WA. She attended Central Washington University to study linguists and writing. She went on to work in communications. In 2020, Grace joined the ANEW Trades Rotation Program as a pre-apprentice. The experience had a profound positive impact on her, despite her decision to not pursue a career in the trades. Not long after, Grace returned as a program manager to help new pre-apprentices find strength, confidence, and upward mobility. She wholeheartedly believes in the mission and life changing opportunities ANEW has to offer.
Shannon Dunnuck, Construction Boot Camp (CBC) & Trades Education Pre-Apprenticeship Program (TEPA) Program Manager
Shannon was born in the Midwest. She is the mother of a Millennial and GenZ and has two beautiful granddaughters. The first in her family to have a college education, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Wyoming in 2012. She began her career in Secondary education in various roles such as recruiting, managing a university department, disability support services, and adult education instructor. She feels there has not been a part of a student’s further education/learning she hasn’t touched. Coming to ANEW, the mission of improving people’s lives by providing quality career training for the trades without student loan debt was easy to get behind. Training, transforming, supporting, and being the best cheerleader for students’ success is a life mission. Shannon is learning to live her best life and enjoying new experiences outside of work. She has never met a taco truck or dessert she hasn’t wanted to try!
Brooke Summerlin, RISE UP 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.
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, 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.
Tanisha Barquet, Apprentice Resource Center (ARC) Manager
Prior to ANEW, Tanisha was the Construction Trades Program Relicensing Navigator at Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. During her tenure at ULMS, she helped the organization serve 75+ people with relicensing services and was promoted to CTP Lead Coordinator.
Because she is trained in Office Administration and Project Management, she has a unique skillset in communication, computer systems, and leadership which helps her understand the clients needs to successfully help remove any barriers or hardships they may be experiencing.
Jasmine Maisonet, Marketing & Outreach Manager
Jasmine was born and raised in New York and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is a highly-creative, multi-faceted Designer with 10+ years of professional experience in digital and print design, as well as photography, marketing, and branding. Jasmine has a passion for building community, especially for those who have been marginalized, and is excited to dive into the non-profit world and join the ANEW team. In her free time, Jasmine runs a hiking group called QPOC Hikers, which exists to connect queer people of color with hiking and the outdoors by creating space to share stories and experiences, increasing visibility, representation, and awareness, and organizing opportunities for learning and growth. She loves spending time with her family and fur-babies.
Amanda Guzman, Outreach Specialist
After graduating from PACE Cohort 22 in June 2021 Amanda immediately went to work in her chosen trade as a Cement Mason for Local 528 and spent 6 months on the job working, learning, growing and falling in love with her trade. When cement operations came to a halt in January Amanda was sent home without an idea of how long she would be laid off for or what to expect and responded to an ANEW request for temporary staff to assist with outreach and flyer distribution. Amanda’s passion for ANEW and the life-changing experience she had inspired her to take initiative in the community, connect with potential students and clients on a relatable level and allow her passion to shine.
Amanda has a special passion for the construction field and the changes it has brought to her life. “I love construction with all my heart. Everything about it. Even the things I don’t “like”, I love. Because those things have made me a stronger and better person. It’s through construction that I learned how tough and driven I really am. Somehow without fail, construction always pushes me farther than I thought I could go. The way I see it; I am building and creating things, and they are building me right back. Construction and the livelihood that follows it, make me happier than any other job I’ve ever had. But there is only one thing I love more than construction, and that is helping people. If can help people by guiding them towards what I myself found with ANEW, then I know I am part of something far greater than myself. It is a next-level honor to be an ANEW Outreach Specialist.”
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 Peirce 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.
Simone Bullinger, Project Specialist
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.