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Meet Our Team

Brissa Perez, a woman with dark brown hair pulled back, eyeglasses, and a big smile, is wearing a grey sweater.

Brissa Perez (She/Her)

Community Engagement Manager

Brissa Perez joined NAWA in November 2022. Born and raised in the Walla Walla Valley, Brissa enjoys being outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. She received her BA in Political Science and Spanish, with a minor in Criminal Justice, from Washington State University in 2019. Much of Brissa’s work has been in community outreach, collaboration, advocacy, and public administration. In 2020, she worked with the U.S. Census Bureau as a Partnership Specialist, which included relationship building and education in Eastern WA. More recently, she worked for a healthcare nonprofit serving the Greater Columbia Region, where she led a mental health campaign. This inspired her to pursue her MBA and a career in the nonprofit sector serving underrepresented BIPOC communities. Brissa currently co-directs Folklorico Estrellas de Mexico (Mexican Folklore Tap Dance) in Walla Walla, where she danced for over fifteen years. Brissa lives in Richland and enjoys traveling, crafting on her Cricut, and taking her dog Chapo on trails.

Laura Pierce

Deborah Tesfay (She/Her)

Advocacy Organizer

Deborah recently joined NAWA and will be working as an advocacy organizer alongside the policy team. She is in her 4th year at the University of Washington majoring in social welfare. She was born in Eritrea, and moved to Seattle with her family when she was 9 years old. She has worked with Sisters in Common, as a community health worker. Her focus was to serve her community by connecting them to resources they may need. Her future goals are to go to law school to be a criminal lawyer. Deborah’s goal is to use her law career to advocate for people who don’t have the privilege to advocate for themselves.

Laura Pierce
Elyse Ke’ala Rickard (She/Her)

Membership Manager

Elyse Ke’ala Rickard joined Nonprofit Association of Washington in August 2021. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton and her Master of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at University of Washington. She has worked for a variety of nonprofits, ranging from higher education to social services, and is passionate about advocating for equitable and sustainable solutions in the sector and beyond. In her free time, Elyse enjoys listening to music and podcasts, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Jennifer Chang
Jennifer Chang (She/Her)
Director of Learning
Jennifer joined the Nonprofit Association of Washington team in August 2020. She brings over ten years of nonprofit experience and community-centered work to our team. Her experiences include serving as a nonprofit executive director, overseeing the transition of a funder managed program to an independent nonprofit, supporting watershed-based community collaborations, and leading urban green space restoration projects. Jennifer leads the continued growth of NAWA’s educational offerings and connects with nonprofits across the state to cultivate learning opportunities and resources that meet their evolving needs. She oversees the annual Washington State Nonprofit Conference and develops innovative curricula, in-person trainings, and online learning programming. At the University of Washington, she received a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance as well as a Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences. Jennifer is from Tacoma, Washington and she enjoys going for walks, quilting, and gardening.
Jennifer Chang

Jesse Tofte (He/Him)

Operations Director

Jesse Tofte joined Nonprofit Association of Washington in October of 2023.  He grew up in North Central Washington before moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington.  He has since spent the last two decades working in Washington nonprofits including spending time as Director of Operations at Seattle Children’s Museum and the Academy for Precision Learning.  In his free time, he enjoys reading, the Seattle Sounders and volunteering at his local food bank.

Jonathan Baunach a light-skinned male wearing glasses and a black vest standing in front of a glass building.

Jonathan Baunach (He/Him)

Systems Manager

Jonathan joined Nonprofit Association of Washington in September 2022. He has a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Western Washington University and a Master’s in Data Analysis from Western Governor’s University. In addition to his time working as a data analyst, Jonathan spent a year living and working as a teaching assistant in Szarvas, Hungary. In his free time, Jonathan is a pub trivia host. He also enjoys listening to podcasts, going to hockey games, and going to escape rooms with his family.

Laura Pierce
Julia Hunter (She/Her)
Learning Manager
Julia has a passion for building community and loves connecting with the incredible nonprofits of Washington State. She earned her MA in Literature from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, focusing on teaching, grant writing, and postmodern theory. Before that she completed an Americorps year in Atlanta, GA, where she worked at The Furniture Bank of Metro-Atlanta, and found a vocation in supporting nonprofits. Julia resides in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle with her husband, where she is an active community advocate and a lover of urban gardens, local fare, and live performance. Currently she serves Edible Hope Kitchen as an advisory board member, grant writer, and regular volunteer.
Laura Pierce, a white woman with curly brown hair and glasses. She is wearing a blue scarf and the background is black.

Laura Pierce (She/Her)

Executive Director

Laura became Nonprofit Association of Washington’s Executive Director in May 2017 after serving as the organization’s Interim Executive Director and having been a member and partner with the organization for many years. She has been the owner and principal consultant of Laura Pierce Consulting. Laura has worked in and with nonprofit organizations since 1989, including fund development, community organizing, and executive management positions. Since 1998, she has consulted with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, assisting with strategic planning, board development, organizational assessment and capacity building.

Headshot of Nancy Lu

Nancy Lu (She/Her)

Policy Fellow

Nancy is a long-time resident of South Seattle and is a concurrent degree graduate student at the University of Washington. She is pursuing a master’s in public administration with an emphasis on analysis, evaluation, and social policy as well as a master’s in social work with an emphasis on community-centered integrative practices. Nancy has worked in direct services with marginalized communities of color both in the nonprofit and public sectors. She was recently a teaching assistant for UW’s American Ethnic Studies department which aligns with her interests in implementing and evaluating DEI efforts in the public, nonprofit and private sector. In her free time, she enjoys giving back to her communities, roller-skating, and any mint chocolate chip ice cream!

Sarah Smith a white woman with long brown hair wearing a black sweater with a plain yellow background
Sarah Smith, (She/Her)
Program Coordinator

Sarah joined NAWA in spring 2022. Prior to joining the team, she worked in the nonprofit world serving immigrants and refugees as a Case Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, and Systems Specialist. She holds her BA in Exercise Science from Seattle Pacific University. Sarah has lived in Washington her whole life, and currently resides in Spokane. In her free time, she enjoys climbing, camping, going on long walks with her dog, and gardening.

Tiffany Brace, a white woman with light colored hair, is smiling and wearing glasses. The background behind her is dark.

Tiawania Harris Dalton (She/Her)

Marketing Specialist

Tiawania (Tia) Harris Dalton joined NAWA in September 2023. She is a Pierce County native who loves the natural world and green space that Western Washington offers; this led her to pursue environmental sciences and geospatial technology during her time at Clover Park Technical College and the University of Washington-Tacoma. Tia brings over five years of digital marketing, banding, and communications experience to the NAWA team from her time as a full-time freelancer. She truly believes in the power of ethical marketing and uses this framework in her approach to digital marketing with the end user in mind. She continues to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations update and establish themselves in the digital space in her free time when not out in her community garden plot or volunteering in the Pierce County community.

Tiffany Brace, a white woman with light colored hair, is smiling and wearing glasses. The background behind her is dark.

Tiffany Brace (She/Her)

Policy Director

Tiffany became Nonprofit Association of Washington’s Policy Director in October of 2022. She brings 10 years of experience in social work, public policy, and advocacy across disability rights, voter engagement, education, childcare access, and healthcare. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Spanish from Seattle University and her Master of Social Work in Administration and Policy Practice from the University of Washington. Tiffany is passionate about supporting nonprofits, their workers, and those they benefit to advocate for a thriving Washington. When she’s not deep-diving into a policy proposal or meeting with advocates, Tiffany is often found baking up seasonal treats for the gluten free community. Tiffany will say yes to any invitation as long as her dog, Yuki, is invited too.

Pets of NAWA!


Yuki, a small fluffy dog with a white chest, black head, and spots of brown is smiling while staring in the distance.



Colt, a Spaniel type dog with long ears and brown eyes lounges on a couch staring at the camera cutely.


Chapo, a small dog with a big smile is wearing a green bandana.


Board of Directors Erick Seelbach & Trudy Soucoup

Meet Our Board of Directors

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