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Our Staff

Colette Adams, Contract and Finance ManagerColette

(253) 383-1735 ext. 106

Colette has been with Child Care Aware of Washington since September 2005. She works closely with CCA's seven regional programs and other subcontractors and vendors to manage, oversee and monitor all contracts. Also, she assists with the accounting and finance functions of CCA internally. Previously she was the Scholarship Counselor for the WA Scholarships for Child Care Professionals program. With more than 17 years experience in the non-profit sector, Colette has a keen eye for detail, is a problem solver and enjoys the daily challenges of this position. She recently completed a Contract Design & Management Certificate program through the University of Washington.

Karin Anderson, Program Manager - Quality Improvement

(253) 383-1735 ext. 122

Karin joined our team in January 2017. She has 27 years of experience working in the early learning field, including family child care, early intervention services and consultation services to early learning professionals. She has been supporting Child Care Aware’s mission at the regional level since 2011, most recently as an Early Achievers Regional Lead. Karin is passionate about ensuring kindergarten readiness for all children, and supporting the dedicated regional staff working to achieve this mission.

Tulay Crosbie, Executive Assistant

(253) 383-1735 ext. 127

Tulay recently joined Child Care Aware of Washington. She has 17 years of executive assistant experience interacting with wide variety of chief executive officers, directors and board executives. She is a self-directed individual with a strong work ethic and commitment to quality and customer service. She completed two years of Business Administration at the Aegean University in Turkey. She is speaks English, Turkish and some German. She currently is taking Spanish at the University of Washington. She is very passionate about her community and has volunteered with several organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the Tacoma Humane Society.

Daniel Grace, IT Systems and Database Administrator

(253) 383-1735 ext. 115

Daniel joined Child Care Aware of Washington in December 2012 to help develop and manage the multiple databases used by the organization.  He also provides overall IT support to staff and supports the regional offices with data reports and occasional technical support.  Daniel comes to CCA with more than 10 years of database development experience, both professionally and as a hobby. Before CCA, Daniel developed and supported a student information system tailored toward alternative education, used by more than 20 schools throughout Washington. He spends his spare time tinkering with new technology and doing occasional volunteer work for organizations such as Christmas House and Cat Adoption Team.

Marcia Jacobs, Communications and Marketing Manager/Web Design

(253) 383-1735 ext. 100

Marcia enjoys working with staff and our partners to achieve the mission of ensuring access to high-quality child care and early learning programs for all WA families. She coordinates our communications and marketing efforts as well as designs and administers our website. She brings to CCA of WA a wide range of skills and experience including communication skills gleaned from her work as a journalist, as well as volunteer and community service experience involving many varied organizations such as The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies, with a minor in Journalism, from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Cameron Joy-Kurtz, Engagement SpecialistCameron

(253) 383-1735 ext 124

Cameron is passionate about improving resources for parents and children in Washington State. He has previous experience in the private and non-profit sectors. He recently worked with Dovetailing LLC, a consulting firm working to build cross-sector partnerships to support children's success in the Pacific Northwest. Cameron studied at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and completed his Bachelor's Degree in English at the University of Colorado.

Sarah Kelley, Data and Program Evaluation Analyst

253-383-1735 ext. 125

Sarah is passionate about increasing quality, access and professionalism in early childhood education. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development Early Childhood Education and Care from Washington State University and a Master’s Degree in Policy Studies from University of Washington. She has experience in resource and referral, family advocacy and teaching in Head Start/ECEAP and child care centers. In her graduate research she focused on early learning quality and child outcomes. In her role at CCA she supports data collection, analysis and reporting to inform our work and communicate program impacts to internal and external stakeholders.

Robin Lester, Chief Executive Officer Robin Lester

253-383-1735 ext. 103

Robin is our new Chief Executive Officer. She is a leader for creating positive changes for families in Washington and brings to us years of experience in both the non-profit and legal fields. She comes to us from Courage360 (formerly known as WWEE, Washington Women’s Employment & Education) where she was CEO for 14 years. She also has a strong legal background as an attorney who helped lead pro bono programs at the King County Bar Association. During the past 22 years, Robin has served on numerous community-based boards, commissions and task forces in the Puget Sound area. She currently is a member of the South King Council of Human Services; the Pierce County Human Services Coalition; Board Member and Chair of the Fund Development Committee for the American Leadership Forum (ALF) Tacoma/Pierce County, and Board Treasurer of the South King Alliance Center.

She holds a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Accounting and Marketing from National University.

Christa Murray, Program Specialist

(253) 383-1735 ext. 123

Christa started at Child Care Aware of Washington as a Scholarships Coordinator helping providers achieve their educational goals. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services and a Master's in Adult and Higher Education, both from Western Washington University. This has given her a strong background in both nonprofit and adult training practices. She and her husband recently became licensed foster parents; Christa is using her knowledge of early childhood education to provide the best support for the children in her care. Check out Christa’s article on foster children in child care published on the NAEYC blog.

Michel Nelson, Director of Community Engagement

(253) 383-1735, ext. 104

Michel joined Child Care Aware of Washington in the fall of 2016 in a new position to expand support for child care and early learning from businesses and diverse community partners. She believes that quality child care choices and child development resources for caregivers are critical elements to workforce and economic development. In addition, Michel coordinates two of Child Care Aware of Washington’s statewide programs – our Family Center and our Family, Friends and Neighbors program – with the organization’s regional staff. With a background in marketing, membership and communications, Michel has led efforts in the non-profit and public sectors that resulted in innovative partnerships and statewide public awareness campaigns. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Washington State University.

Ivonne Pereira, Scholarship Coordinator

(253) 383-1735 ext 112

Ivonne joined Child Care Aware of Washington as the Scholarship Coordinator in January 2017. She has previous experience working in the fields of education, social work and advocacy with refugee and immigrant children and adults from various cultural backgrounds. She believes in empowering those who need it most, as it is her belief every person deserves the opportunity to flourish. Ivonne is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of North Texas.

Ryan Pricco, Director of Policy and AdvocacyRyan

(253) 383-1735 ext. 111

Ryan keeps our organization moving forward on initiatives in the public policy realm. Ryan coordinates all advocacy efforts for Child Care Aware of Washington and is an effective voice in Olympia for children, families and caregivers during the state legislative session. When the Legislature is not in session Ryan focuses on grassroots mobilization, system messaging, representing us at key meetings with state-level partners, staffing the Board of Trustees meetings, and assisting the Executive Director. Ryan’s favorite memory working at CCA of WA has been watching the Department of Early Learning and Thrive by Five come together as a public-private partnership charged with moving early learning forward in Washington State. Ryan holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Washington.

Meka Riggins, Program Manager, Scholarships and Professional DevelopmentMeka

(253) 383-1735 ext. 107

A strong believer in the power of higher education, Meka is responsible for managing our scholarship program. Her work directly touches the lives of every scholar we serve by ensuring the program runs smoothly and efficiently for everyone. She joined Child Care Aware of Washington the fall of 2011. Prior to that Meka was the Development and Scholarship Coordinator at Tacoma Community College.

Marianna Ross, Program Manager - Quality Improvement Marianna Ross

(253) 383-1735 ext. 126

Marianna has worked with children for more than 10 years. She has taught Pre-K, 1st grade and Title I.  She worked as a Training and Curriculum Specialist with Army Child Development Centers; first at Fort Bliss, TX and most recently at Fort Meade, MD. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Human Communication from Southern Oregon University and Master's in Teaching from George Fox University. Most recently she was CCA of WA's Program Specialist for Early Achievers, Washington's quality rating and improvement system. Marianna is passionate about ensuring that all families have access to high-quality child care programs and all providers have opportunities for professional development. She spends her spare time sewing and reading.

Karen Sampson, Director of Data and Evaluation

(253) 383-1735 ext. 102

Karen came to Child Care Aware of Washington in November 2011. Karen leads the organization’s efforts to collect and analyze meaningful information about our work, child care providers, and the families we serve. This information supports the organization and local regions in managing our work and demonstrating our impact on child care providers, quality of care and children in Washington. Prior to joining CCA of WA, Karen was an analyst on the Accountability & Performance team in the Washington State Governor’s Office, where she helped state agencies measure their performance to inform data-based management and public accountability.  Karen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Political Science from Wake Forest University and a Master's in Policy Studies from the University of Washington.

Ashley Stillmaker, Program Support Assistant

(253) 383-1735 ext. 109

Ashley came to Child Care Aware of Washington in September 2016 as the new Program Support Assistant. She has previous experience as a Pre-K educator and recently worked with Comprehensive Life Resources, a non-profit organization for mental health, primarily in the children’s facility. Ashley studied at Tacoma Community College where she received her Associates Degree in Elementary Education and is currently working toward her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Ashworth University.

Alan Strand, Director of Finance and Accountability

(253) 383-1735 ext. 101                                                                                                                                    Alan Strand

Alan is passionate about supporting Child Care Aware of Washington’s mission by making sure finance and accounting tasks happen smoothly. Alan has more than 15 years of accounting, finance and business management experience with nonprofit organizations in Washington and California. His extensive experience in nonprofit accounting, coupled with an ability to communicate affably and effectively about the topic, led to his role at the University of Washington, Tacoma, as faculty in their Nonprofit Management Certificate Program.  Alan most recently ran his own consulting business, focused on supporting nonprofits who used his expertise and background to help strengthen their financial practices.

Tiffany Stutesman, Director of Quality Improvement and Professional Development Tiffany Stutesman 2

(253) 383-1735 ext. 110

Tiffany came to Child Care Aware of Washington in September 2016 as the Director of Quality Improvement and Professional Development. She oversees quality improvement and professional development program services provided by the Child Care Aware of WA system to early learning professionals across Washington State through Early Achievers. These services help child care providers adopt practices that better support the children and families in their care. Prior to supporting the implementation of Early Achievers, she worked in Training and Curriculum Development for the United States Navy. Tiffany holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University. She is a licensed educator and administrator in the state of Washington by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Vasilya Waddell, Program Manager - Quality Improvement

(253) 383-1735 ext. 105

Vasilya is passionate about providing all children and families access to high quality early learning opportunities. She is working toward accomplishing this vision as the Training Services Manager at Child Care Aware of Washington. In her role she partners with regional Child Care Aware offices as well as state level partners to ensure that child care providers receive high-quality professional development services. Prior to joining this organization, she worked as a Quality Assessor and Training Specialist for Illinois’ Quality Rating and Improvement System where she conducted Environmental Rating Scale and CLASS assessments and delivered trainings to early childhood providers. Vasilya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology of Child Development from the University of Michigan, a Master’s in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s in Early Childhood Administration from National Louis University. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening and exploring new cuisines in her kitchen.

Nannette Ward, Finance Specialist

(253) 383-1735 ext. 108

Nannette believes in the mission and goals of Child Care Aware of Washington and is a dedicated individual supporting the overall accounting process of CCA. Nannette previously worked for the University of Washington (Seattle & Tacoma). She is currently working to earn her Bachelor's Degree from the Academy of Art University so that she may pursue a career in photography. Nannette enjoys spending quality time with her immediate family and her grandparents, as well as snowboarding. Nannette thrives on building positive changes in the lives of children and parents alike, and since becoming a part of CCA, has helped foster exciting interactions with staff and community partners.

Christine Zumwalt, WA Scholarship Coordinator

(253) 383-1735 ext. 113

Christine believes everyone, young and old, should have the access and support to receive a quality education. She has been helping students attend college through scholarship programs since 2008. Christine’s previous experience managing scholarships at the Seattle Central College Foundation and the Institute of International Education have prepared her for her current role at Child Care Aware of Washington. An advocate of education, she is thrilled to be contributing to the fields Early Childhood Education and Higher Education at the same time. Christine holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Communication and Spanish from Washington State University and a Master’s of Education from the University of Houston. In her free time, she can be found exploring Washington with her husband, playing with her dogs and running half marathons.

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