Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Terry Dessert, Board President and Executive Committee Chair, and Small Business Owner
“I support Goodwin Connections because of the brilliant success rate of our student parents and their children. Having helped care for my own grandchildren, I am well aware of the positive impact of safe and nurturing care while a parent attends school or works to provide for their family.”

 

Yvonne Muench, Board Vice President and Nominating Committee Chair, Microsoft
“I view a college education as one of the few remaining viable paths to the American dream–to gain a degree, and through that, entry into higher-paying professions that can support a family. In addition to the financial benefit, I also remain optimistic that higher education can create exposure and dialog that moves us forward as a society, by fostering openness, increasing tolerance, and improving critical thinking. I love how Goodwin Connections makes that dream an accessible reality for more families, especially women-led and immigrant families. I’m truly inspired by how well they do when given the chance to pursue a degree.”

Brooke Van Eyk, Board Secretary, Student
“As a parent of 2, I know that quality childcare in our community is in short supply and prohibitively expensive which adds an additional barrier to students being able to reach their goals. Goodwin Connections fills this gap by providing students with the space and time they need to focus on their degree, while their children are nurtured and educated in a safe environment.”

 

Carolyn Banks, Board Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
Liberty Mutual Surety
“Without others’ support, I would not have been able to earn my MBA while having 2 kids under 5. My education had a big and positive impact on me and my family’s lives, and this is my way of giving back.”

 

Bill Benham, Board Member, Wizards of the Coast
“I support Goodwin Connections because access to higher education and childcare are cornerstones of upward social mobility. Also, as the costs of college and childcare continue to rise, so does the importance of Goodwin’s mission. I’m proud to be part of an organization that seeks practical, workable solutions to complex problems.”

 

Smitha Caroline Dante, Board Member, Attorney
“It has been very exciting to get involved with Goodwin Connections, especially during this time of change and growth for us. I’m thrilled to be able to contribute as a Board member, and I look forward to working and volunteering with Goodwin Connections for many, many years to come!”

 

Robyn Duckett, Board Member, Mercy Corps
“In the PNW, the cost of high-quality childcare is more expensive than in-state college tuition at a major university. However, obtaining a college degree is often the only pathway for socioeconomic-challenged individuals to achieve financial stability, especially in today’s tech-driven workplace. I support Goodwin Connections because they provided an opportunity for me to achieve this dream for my family and they continue to empower other student parents to do the same.”

 

Vicky Gannon, Board Member, Small Business Owner
“I support Goodwin Connections because in its evolution over the past 100 plus years it has made a huge contribution toward changing people’s lives. I firmly believe the best chance for a better life is through education, and Goodwin Connections is making this possible for parents getting their college education by providing childcare assistance. Goodwin Connections is also giving their children a start at a better education with their early childhood education opportunities.”

Melissa Lewis, Board Member, Nordstrom
“I support Goodwin Connections because by removing the financial barrier to quality childcare that would otherwise be out of reach, parents are able to continue their higher education efforts in order to achieve financial security. In addition, young children have access to a strong learning foundation and childcare providers are able to grow their impact in the communities they serve. It brings me great joy to be able to work with an organization whose efforts drive long-lasting positive change for low-income families and underserved communities.”

Annabel Quintero, Board Member
“I support Goodwin Connections because they remove the barrier of rising childcare costs so parents can pursue higher education.  Childcare costs are a financial barrier for parents to transition from surviving to thriving. What I also love is that the volunteers, staff, and board provide the social capital needed so students have access to social networks necessary for their upward mobility. I am honored to serve on their board and be part of an organization whose mission is to take action for parent students who are experiencing a challenging socio-economic situation.”

Sue Tong, Board Member, Nordstrom – Retired
“I support Goodwin Connections because making childcare more affordable for low-income parents who are attending college contributes to a productive future for both the parents and their children.”

 

 

Rocky Torres, Board Member, Evergreen School
“The work of Goodwin Connections feels very personal to me. As someone with a parent that was not afforded the time or opportunity to finish college until later in adulthood, I see not only the benefit but the importance of the work taking place at Goodwin Connections. For this reason, I feel compelled to not merely admire those pursuing higher education while caring for family, but also take an active role in making a college education a reality for countless others.”

Sherry White, Board Member, Microsoft
“It is such an honor to be part of Goodwin Connections which brings together many of my passions. Having been an adjunct professor, I have seen higher education be a driver to providing real career opportunities. As a mother who worked while earning a degree, it is rewarding to have the opportunity to support families with dependable childcare. This is a very exciting time as we evolve to meet the modern needs of the families we serve.”

Paula Whitham, Board Member, Real Estate Broker – Retired
“I support Goodwin Connections because its program empowers low-income parents and their children to use education as a way of becoming self-sufficient with its two-generational approach.”

 

 

Advisory Board Members

Blake Carey, The Boeing Company
Terry Dessert
, Small Business Owner
Lindsay Dygert, Branding Freelancer
Debbie Geddes, Nordstrom, retired
Krystal Marx, Seattle Pride
Lynn Murphy, Community Member
Sydney Record*, Director of Staff Development and Infection Prevention
Lisa Smith*, North Seattle College student
Paula Whitham, Real Estate Broker, retired
Nicole Zion*,
Seattle Pacific University student
*Current or former program participant

Staff

Contact staff at info@goodwinconnections.org

Maggie Skinner, Executive Director, manages Goodwin Connections. From her beginnings in public radio to encouraging arts funding and supporting health and education initiatives, Maggie has focused her 20-year career on providing development, marketing, and communications management for nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies. Maggie graduated from the University of St. Thomas in journalism and public relations. 206.526.7944 x 1

 

Sonja Banks, Operations Director, was a small business owner and longtime volunteer with Goodwin Connections before joining the staff. As Operations Director, she oversees the organization’s administrative tasks, and keeps our office and program running smoothly. Sonja also acts as a liaison for our large volunteer base. 206.526.7944 x 2

 

 

Meg Alley, Development Manager, supports all of Goodwin Connections’ fundraising efforts. She got her start fundraising for an environmental organization in Cleveland, Ohio and later spent ten years raising funds for a nonprofit adoption and foster care agency. Meg holds a degree in literature and creative writing from The University of Montana, along with a certificate in fundraising management from The University of Washington. 206.526.7944 x 3

 

Rachel Sanchez, Program and Community Outreach Manager, supports our flagship Family Connections Program and provides resources and guidance to our 79 families throughout the academic year. She specializes in program development and community building and has spent over 13 years in the nonprofit sector serving a wide variety of populations, including low-income families, students obtaining a degree, and small business owners. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public policy. 206.526.7944 x 4

Pippa, Superstar Dogga, volunteers daily at our office.