Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Annabel Quintero, Board President, 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.”

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.”

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.”


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.”


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.”


Terry Dessert, Immediate Past President, 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.”


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.”

Naishin Fu, Board Member
“Everyone should have the right to higher education, and parents are no exception. However, economic inequality combined with skyrocketing childcare costs can make reaching these goals unattainable. I am fortunate to be able to support the work Goodwin Connections does not only to provide financial relief to student-parents, but also to offer the community resources, career development, and life skills that its participants need to succeed after the program.”

Dr. Robin Starr Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn, Board Member, University of Washington-Tacoma
“I am in support of Goodwin, the program, and families it touches because when we make the pathway to higher education more accessible and easier we are not only touching the lives of those families, we are changing the lives of future generations. The monumental impact that Goodwin has had for families over the years is a testament for us to continue to strive to grow that legacy. I am grateful to now be a part of it. Ah-ho (thank you).”

Avani Nadkarni, Board Member, Edelman
“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.”

Lisa Sever, Board Member
“I support Goodwin Connections because they break barriers and facilitate access to education.  Student parents are provided the support, resources, and childcare assistance they need to persist and graduate.  During my career in higher education and campus childcare, I have worked directly with families who were recipients of Goodwin’s program.  I have seen how two generations are positively impacted as parents pursue and achieve their goals, and children benefit from a quality educational experience.”

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 or 206-526-7944

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.



Rachel Sanchez, Program & Community Outreach Manager, supports our flagship Family Connections Program and provides resources and guidance to our 119 families throughout the academic year. She specializes in program development and community building and has spent over 14 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 administration.