board

Lindsey Karas

President

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?
I think that Whatcom Family and Community Network is a great community connector. They do a fantastic job and facilitating dialogue around important issues in the community. They bring people and organizations together, and spur action and support where needed.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
My insight comes from actually experiencing the work that WFCN does before joining the board. I took a Community Building class with them years ago and worked in collaboration on the Gang Prevention Team. I have seen first hand the gifts WFCN has to offer and the concrete positive changes in the community due to this work.

Mercy Housing Northwest, Whatcom Family and Community Network, Skookum Kids, Whatcom Public Health Advisory Board

Michelle Williams

Vice President

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?
WFCN helps build safe and healthy communities by building partnerships that strengthen our youth and families in our community.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
The value of seeing/helping to build youth and adult partnerships. Seeing that all lives bring value to our community and that when there are groups of people not succeeding with the most basic needs/skills; neither is our community.

4-H, Promise 23 ranch ministries

Candice Wilson

Treasurer

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?
I values the spaces WFCN creates for meaningful conversations on youth prevention and trauma-informed thinking across Whatcom County. I appreciate when people convene to build stronger connections, to know one another authentically and inspire creative problem solving to keep children & families safe, healthy and loved.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
I love children, respect families and bring experience helping create community resilience with many others in the Lummi Nation and beyond

Lummi Service Organization, Lummi Nation, Ferndale Community

Stevona Burks, MEd

Secretary

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?
The Whatcom Family & Community Network is important to me because it highly emphasize on building community and acknowledge resiliency as strength amongst children, youth and families to live long productive and healthy lives. This is the key to establishing long-term inclusion for next generations to come.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
I will bring new perspectives and awareness on social issues through learned and lived experience to Whatcom Family & Community Network Board. The fact that I am passionate about underrepresented communities having access to equity opportunities aligns wholeheartedly with WFCN mission and purpose. Also, my work ethics, energy, and persistent will serve and promote a strong team collaborative environment.

Parent and Community Advocate

Rolando Gonzalez

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?Statement is on its way!

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
Statement is on its way!

Squalicum High School Student, Board Advisory Member

Angela “Angie” Harwood

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?
I believe that healthy communities are built by developing relationships between caring individuals and organizations. WFCN serves a key function of connecting people and organizations around issues affecting the health and well-being of youth and families in our community, which enables us all to build on our collective strengths.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
As a teacher educator in Woodring College, I have the great honor and privilege of working with people who strive to make a difference through teaching our youth. My profession provides me with the opportunity to bring academic or theoretical frameworks into the real-world contexts of our schools. I especially value partnering with local schools to work on grants and programming designed to support young people and families.

Western Washington University

David Ramirez

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?
WFCN helps build safe and healthy communities by building partnerships that strengthens our youth and families in our community.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
I bring the passion and desire to serve in my community. With my executive and business ownership background, I can assist in seeing the organization is moving forward in a responsible financial direction.

JustServe.Org, Boy Scouts of America, Home Front Therapy

Shannon “Shane” Steger

What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community? 
Whatcom Family Community Network serves such an important role within our community helping to build positive and collaborative relationships between the people and organizations who support our youth and their families.  Working together we create the capacity to face the challenges impacting our youth.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
Before joining the board, I had the opportunity of working at WFCN as an intern as I was completing my masters in applied psychology, which gives me a unique insight into the challenges facing WFCN as well as an understanding of the role that psychology has to play. As a father to five children, I fully understand the importance of building resilient youth and families for our community.

US Postal Service, US Air Force (Retired), Influxeon

        Renee Swan Waite

        What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community?Statement is on its way!

        What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
        Statement is on its way!

        Other Affiliations: 

        Alexandra “Alexa” Tucker

        What is important to you about the work WFCN contributes in our resilient Whatcom County community? 
        I have admired the work done by WFCN since hearing about the progress made with the gang prevention task force at our schools and specifically at Sterling Meadows. As a result, many of the students I support have not had to grow up in an unhealthy gang environment. From talking with Lindsey Karas, the resident services coordinator, I can see how the environment has changed—connections between residents, feelings around education, and positive outlook on the future has changed and I cannot fathom what it would be like at Sterling without the support from the gang prevention task force. I also firmly believe in educating our community about A.C.E.s and teen suicide prevention. As a youth mentor in the Bellingham School District and Sterling Meadows I have felt the effects of the change and support provided to my students before I even knew that the WFCN was responsible. Now that I am a teacher in the Bellingham School District I see the need for continued education around these subjects.

        What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to WFCN’s Board of Directors?
        As a public school teacher in the community that Whatcom Family & Community Network serves, I feel that I would bring a unique perspective to the Board by being someone who sees the direct impact of WFCN’s work with children and their families every day. My school, Shuksan Middle School, is the only title 1 middle school in the district meaning that it serves a population of over 60% students and families receiving free and reduced lunch—a marker for childhood poverty. I am dedicated to serving my students, their families, and the community in which I live and I believe that change comes from our children. I believe that I would benefit the board through my understanding and knowledge of our public schools and the youths and families in our community. I teach an AVID class for first generation college students, serve on the Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) team, mentor students with high ACES, serve as a building representative with the Bellingham Education Association, and serve students within our school-wide restorative practices focus. I believe that all of these are integral to serving youth and see these practices and mindsets as being valued by the WFCN as well.

        I have also served as a youth mentor that followed a cohort of sixth graders from Shuksan until they graduated from Squalicum High School and Options High School. This has given me a unique opportunity to see into the many classrooms of our community, and diverse perspectives of students, teachers, and administrators. 

        Bellingham Public Schools (teacher), Volunteerism: Sterling Meadows, Youth/Adolescent Mentor, Compass 2 Campus, Youth Mentor District