Meet our Newest Board Members
Washington State Nonprofit Supporting Children and Families Expands Board
Organization positioned to grow volunteer advocacy for children who have experienced abuse or neglect
SEATTLE — Sept. 24, 2020 — The board of directors of the Washington Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association elected six new members: Armikka Bryant, Taliesha Garrett, Jacob B. Gonzalez, Susan Israel, Athlan Lathan, and Nathan Terrill.
“As a statewide organization, Washington CASA supports children and families of all backgrounds from across Washington. These board members come from communities across the state – from Spokane to Tri-Cities to Puget Sound – and have rich and varied lived experiences that will enhance the organization’s ability to serve children and families across the state,” said Executive Director Angela Murray. “The exceptional professional qualifications of these six individuals add new expertise and perspectives to an already strong board.”
The Washington CASA Association supports volunteer best-interest advocacy for children who have experienced abuse or neglect by partnering with local CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) programs across the state as they recruit, screen, train, and supervise volunteers to advocate for the best interests of these children in court. Washington CASA Association also raises awareness of the CASA/GAL movement, helps to attract and retain volunteers, supporters, and champions, and collaborates with stakeholders to advocate for children and families facing dependency proceedings.
Families across the state have experienced extraordinary challenges during 2020 with the pandemic, wildfires, an economic downturn, and unrest following police shootings. As Washington CASA works to support these families, it welcomes financial contributions and encourages people across the state to register for training with their local program to become a volunteer.
Armikka Bryant is the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Electronic Arts, a video game developer and publisher. He has worked as an attorney in both private and public organizations. He started his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, New York where he prosecuted domestic violence cases. He later moved to Seattle where he worked as a law clerk in Snohomish County Superior Court; this is when he first became familiar with CASA’s work with children. Since then, he has taught at Bellevue College and worked for the Washington State Department of Revenue, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, and served as General Counsel for a tech start-up. He earned his A.B. from the University of Michigan, his J.D. from the University of Iowa, and his LL.M in Taxation from the University of Washington
Born and raised in Tacoma, Taliesha Garrett has invested the last 15 years of her career leading in financial services, global operations and organizational learning & development. Upon receiving her Bachelors Degree in Finance from the University of Washington, she began her career at Russell Investments as a trust and mutual fund analyst. Today, Taliesha is a Sr. Leader in the Leadership, Learning and Organizational Capability organization and leads workforce development efforts across Boeing. Taliesha is currently pursuing her MBA from the University of Washington.
Jacob B. Gonzalez
Jacob B. Gonzalez is currently the Senior Planner at the City of Pasco. Jacob has worked as a local and regional planner since 2013 in both the Puget Sound and Tri-Cities with a focus on transportation, land-use, public involvement and environmental justice. Prior to beginning his career, Jacob graduated from the University of Washington’s Geography Department with an emphasis in Geographic Information Systems.
Susan Israel is the Corporate Communications Director for Fluke Corporation, a Fortive company. In this role, she leads a team responsible for employee communication, leadership communication and employer branding. Prior to joining Fluke in 2015, Susan spent 10 years working in a variety of public and government affairs roles at ExxonMobil, including speechwriting, film production, event management and media relations. She earned her B.S. in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and her M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri.
Athlan Lathan, of Spokane Valley, is an accomplished, award-winning, and talented professional with a comprehensive history of significant achievement in business development, sales management, territory, and account management. Athlan brings over twenty years of strong executive-level consulting and sales and marketing expertise. His extensive experience with negotiations, strategic sales, and account planning lends to providing solutions to challenges, issues, obstacles, and problems. Athlan has successfully led technology sales organizations in the Pacific Northwest and provided advisory services to several start-ups.
Nathan Terrill is an accomplished and personable Banking Executive, encompassing a dependable, 22-year platform of subject matter acumen, while placing people first; a trusted expert and advisor in risk management, communications, diversity management, business valuations, logistics, operations improvement/efficiency, and integration. Providing a proven history of excellence in connecting and mentoring, he has consistently provided outstanding and measurable performance respective to achieving targeted goals for global and regional banks.
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