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.”


Robyn Duckett, Board Member, City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development
“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.”

Avani Nadkarni, Board Member, WE Communications
“As a daughter of immigrants who came to this country to pursue graduate degrees, I have seen firsthand how important higher education is in the United States. As a mother of two young children, I know how much of a financial toll childcare costs can have on Seattle-area families. Goodwin Connections strives to allow parents to pursue education while knowing their children are well taken care of, and I am honored to be a small part of this organization.”

Annabel Quintero, Board Member, Step Step Jump
“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.”

Rocky Torres, Board Member, Seattle Public Schools
“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.”

Cheri Zehner, Board Member, Community Member
“I support Goodwin Connections because we offer linkages to boost a parent’s social capital and economic standing, not just for them, but for their children and future generations.





Contact staff at

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 at our office.