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Board of Directors

Robert M. Williams
Chairman

Union Bank Director – CRA LOANS & INVESTMENTS MANAGER CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY for the Americas

Executive responsible for the risk management, monitoring, compliance, reporting and review of the CRA Investment and Loan Portfolios. Perform strategic analysis to deliver complex, technical products across multiple business and functional lines within the organization. Establish the objectives and goals for the organization in alignment with the overall Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas (CSRA) business strategies and the long-term objectives of the bank. Responsible for identifying the appropriate balance of investments and loan commitments based on community needs and corporate objectives.

Achieve organization objectives through close collaboration and interaction with the bank's senior executives in the Lending, Investment Administration, Legal, Risk Management and CRA Strategy groups.

Actively participate in leadership roles within community organizations in our markets. Key contact with banking regulatory agencies

He has a finance degree from Washington State University and was a four year varsity letterman Track & Field.  He is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School.  He is also involved in the following groups: National Board of Advisors – College of Business - Washington State University, Past President – Washington State University Alumni Association, Trustee of the Washington State University Foundation, Board Chair-Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and Past Board President of the Pacific Northwest United Negro College Fund.

Robert, a Seattle native enjoys golf, fitness training and traveling.


Leesa Manion
Vice Chairwoman

Leesa Manion is the Chief of Staff to King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, a position she has held since 2007. In this position, Leesa serves as the chief administrative officer for the office, which employs more than 240 attorneys, 254 staff, and has a budget of over $60 million.  In addition to overseeing a wide range of fiscal, human resources, legislative, and internal and external communications and policy issues, Leesa oversees a variety of youth and justice programs, including the office's Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program and the 180 Program, which is a community-based, pre-filing juvenile diversion program designed to keep youth out of the criminal justice system by inspiring them to make positive choices with support from their community. She has also recently spearheaded a number of projects aimed at reducing disproportionality within in the criminal justice system, a major initiative launched by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in the last few years. Leesa is a graduate of Seattle University School of Law.  She also serves on the Executive Committee for the Washington State Bar Association's Criminal Law Section, and is member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington and Washington Women Lawyers. Outside of work, Leesa enjoys entertaining, reading, and spending time with her two young children.


Ray Ishii
Treasurer

Ray Ishii is the owner of Ishii & Associates, LLC. Ishii is a CPA with over 30 years’ experience. Ishii provides tax, accounting and business consulting services to individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations. Ishii has extensive experience assisting clients with tax planning and tax compliance issues, business planning, and strengthening accounting and internal control systems. As CFO of several non-profit organizations Ishii has extensive senior management experience including strategic planning, systems development and complex project financing. Ishii has been an adjunct professor at Seattle University for over 12 years teaching both undergraduate and graduate tax and accounting courses.


Kia C. Franklin
Secretary

Kia C. Franklin is an education advocate with a passion for equity and social justice, and a background in policy advocacy, direct youth services, and legal services. Kia currently serves as a Partnership Director for Equal Opportunity Schools, where she works with school districts and high school administrators to increase access to academically rigorous courses for students of color and low income students. Prior to that she has worked for other high impact organizations including TAF (formerly known as Technology Access Foundation), the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy. Kia is a Seattle native and she earned her Bachelor's Degree from Stanford University and her law degree from Georgetown University.


Nate Miles
Immediate Past Board Chairman

Nate Miles is the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Eli Lilly and Company. Nate has spent nearly thirty years building coalitions among some of the most diverse populations to support healthcare initiatives and affect change. Nate leads concept, development and flawless implementation of innovative and highly effective strategic initiatives  to generate sound public policy and brand support from traditional and non-traditional allies such as grassroots organizations, Faith based organizations, Communities of Color, labor organizations, civil rights and social justice non-governmental organizations.


Walle Ralkowski
Emeritus Board Chairman

Walle Ralkowski is a retired construction executive having the responsibility for the marketing and operations of commercial construction projects in the Seattle region and throughout North America including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. He is a Seattle native, graduated from the University of Washington, is a former Marine and served many years on the Board of Directors for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.


Keely Brown
Board Member

Keely Brown is the Immediate Past President of the Seattle Urban League Young Professionals and current National Urban League Young Professionals' Western Regional Vice President. Keely is employed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a Water Resources Planner and as a Program Manager in which she reduces floods risks to local communities, restores degrading ecosystems, and ensures Corps completed projects are not adversely impacted by other Federal or non-Federal works. Keely earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida A&M University and her Master of Science in Planning and a Master of Public Administration from Florida State University. As a tenured planner, Keely enjoys increasing the economic vitality of communities, ensuring public safety, and establishing sustainable communities.


Gina Hall
Board Member

Gina Hall is the Development Director at Seattle Goodwill Industries where she plays an integral role in developing and implementing the fundraising strategies for one of this region’s largest non-profit social enterprises.  Her experience also includes directing one of West Seattle’s largest capital campaigns called the three projects│one community campaign.  She has also developed and implemented numerous fundraising programs which include transitioning campaign donors to annual donors; major gifts programs, annual giving, grant writing, and direct mail campaigns.  She has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector.  Gina has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix; is married; has a blended family and believes that healthy families are the foundation to a healthy community.


Sue Taoka
Board Member

Sue Taoka is currently an Executive Vice President at Craft3, a nonprofit, non-bank community development financial institution.  For 14 years prior she served as Executive Director of the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), the major property management and community development organization in the Chinatown International District.  Before that she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Norm Rice for housing, economic and community development, neighborhoods, parks, and libraries. She was a founding member of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community, member of the 4 Culture real estate advisory committee, member of the Emerald Cities Seattle policy group and a member of the Washington State Bar Association.


Denita Price, SPHR
Board Member

Denita Price, a Human Resources leader and business partner with over 13 years of experience in multi-unit Operations, Corporate and Field Human Resources across diverse industries. A reputation as a consummate professional with a genuine desire and ability to connect with people to achieve performance based relationships. Particularly skilled in balancing strategic and operational issues, facilitating leadership development and advancement, and delivering organizational outcomes; all partnered with a balanced, authentic perspective and an attitude of “whatever you’re committed to, be remarkable at it!”


Rashelle Tanner
Board Member

Rashelle is a Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at CRISTA where she oversees legal and compliance matters in the areas of highly regulated industries including international relief & development; long term care; radio broadcasting; camps and pre-K-12 education.  CRISTA includes World Concern, Christian Veterinary Mission, CRISTA Senior Living, CRISTA Media, Island Lake and Miracle Ranch Camps, King’s Schools and Seattle Urban Academy.  Rashelle leads the Law & Corporate Affairs team in reviewing & negotiating domestic contracts, managing litigation, drafting policies, compliance initiatives, international & domestic coverage, international and domestic acquisitions and asset sales, responding to government investigations/inquiries, designing and managing RIF plans, legal and compliance training, overseeing intellectual property issues and shaping the strategic direction of the organization as part of the executive team.  Rashelle received her BS degree from Howard University and her JD degree from Seattle University Law School in 1998.


Joe Braham
Board Member

Joe serves as president of UPS’s Northwest District. He is responsible for delivery operations, customer relationship management, and revenue management of nearly $2 billion annually. His territory of over 1,000,000 square miles covers Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming employing over 13,000 people and serving over 394,000 daily customers.


Robert Saka
Board Member

Rob Saka is a technology and business attorney at Perkins Coie, Seattle.  He focuses his practice on matters involving highly complex technology transactions, licensing, data security and privacy. Rob represents public and private companies in connection with the their intellectual property and related technology assets.  Additionally, Rob has experience drafting, structuring and negotiating a wide array of commercial agreements, including those related to cloud computing, confidentiality, healthcare, big data, the Internet of Things, open-source software licensing and compliance, advertising and digital marketing.  Prior to law school, Rob served for 10 years as an Intelligence Officer in the Air Force Reserves.  He is a veteran of the Iraq War, having deployed in support of the “troop surge” of 2007. In his spare time, Rob enjoys competitive distance running and is a qualifier-finisher of the 2013 Boston Marathon.  Rob is a graduate of Kent-Meridian High School, the University of Washington and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.


Cindi Bright
Board Member

Cindi Bright is the Founder and President of The Bright Group, a management consulting firm specializing in the development of organizations and people to facilitate the progress of women and underrepresented people into leadership roles.  The Bright Group provides leadership and organization development services, individual and team coaching, assessment of racial temperature inside of companies and culture change work. Cindi has spent the past 25 years in Fortune 500 companies working in leadership roles where she focused on leadership, workplace culture, organization development and personal development of people.  She is a strong believer in people. Cindi has an Certificate from Kellogg University School of Business in the Soul of Leadership and an Executive MBA from Foster School of Business, University of Washington.


Jonathan J. Bridge
Board Member

Jon Bridge is Co-Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel for Ben Bridge Jeweler, Inc., a Seattle based retail firm with 90 stores in 11 states and the province of British Columbia.  A Seattle native, he’s a graduate of Garfield High School.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Honors Degree in Economics from the University of Washington in 1972 and earned his Juris Doctor from the UW Law School in 1976.  

Among his many civic endeavors, he’s Co-Chair of the Military Lawyers Committee of the GP/Solo Division of the American Bar Association and Past Chair of the Alliance for Education.  He’s on the Boards of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Jewelers of America Political Action Committee, the Metropolitan Seattle Urban League (where he is a Past Chair), the Association of Washington Business, Kids Company, the Confucius Institute of Washington State and the Washington State Courts Historical Society.  He’s Chair of the local Navy Recruiting District Assistance Council as well as a retired Navy Captain in the JAG Corps.  Jon is Past Chair of the LAMP Section of the Washington State Bar Association, Past Co-Chair (along with father Herb) of the United Way of King County’s Annual Campaign and former President of the Washington State Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. He is also a member of Seattle Rotary.

Jon is married to Bobbe Bridge, a retired Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court who is currently the Founding President and CEO of the Center for Children and Youth Justice.  They have two adult children, Don (married to Sarah) and Rebecca (married to Evan), and two granddaughters, Chloé and Emma.


Diem Ly
Board Member

Diem Ly is the Director of Community Investment and External Affairs for Comcast NBCUniversal working in public relations, government affairs, and community investment. Prior to this role, she served as the Editor in Chief of the Seattle-based Asian Pacific American nonprofit news outlet, the International Examiner, for five years. She also worked as a Morning News Writer for Northwest Cable News and at the assignment desk at King 5 News.

Before her journalism career, she was a researcher at the Veteran’s Administration of Puget Sound PTSD clinic studying women veterans.


Kwesi Oti Peprah
Board Member

Kwesi Oti Peprah is the President of Seattle Urban League Young Professionals.  Oti is an employee at Boeing, where he currently works as a Senior Contracts & Pricing Specialist with Boeing’s Intellectual Property Management business. Previously, he worked in the construction and real estate industry, where he held positions the position of a Project Engineer and Cost Estimator. In addition, he has worked in the retail and consumer goods industry as a Credit.

Oti holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Technology from University of Science and Technology  in Ghana. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Economics and Financial Policy from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY as well as a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Strategy and Finance from INSEAD in France and Singapore.

Outside of Boeing, Oti enjoys taking road trips, photography, working on home remodeling projects


Kalila Griffin
Board Member

Kalila Griffin is a Student Success Liaison with Communities in Schools of Renton. She provides advocacy, support services, and referrals to students and families at McKnight Middle School. Previously, Kalila worked for the YWCA of Seattle as a Career Navigator. In this position, she assisted adults going through vocational training programs to acquire livable wage careers at Seattle Vocational Institute, Seattle Central College, and North Seattle College. She has also served as an AmeriCorps member with College Access Now, as a 12th grade college coach at Franklin High School. In this position, she assisted students through the entire college application process and navigating the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Seattle University and is a Seattle native who loves going out and enjoying the diversity of food in the city. This is her first board position.


Kendra C. Smith
Board Member

Kendra C. Smith is a native Texan, born and raised in Dallas. Professionally she is a Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Contracts Procurement Agent in the Electrical & Avionics Systems Supplier Management Group. Kendra transferred to the Pacific Northwest from Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) in August of 2014 from the Electronic & Information Solutions (E&IS) business division headquartered near the Washington D.C. area.

August 2016 marked 11 years of service with The Boeing Company for Kendra. She began her career in Southern California as a Business Skills Rotational Program (BSRP) participant.  Where she rotated through the following finance functions and programs: Business Operations on the Future Combat Systems Program (Huntington Beach), Core Estimating & Pricing (Huntington Beach), and Contract Management for the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Program (Seal Beach) and later accepted a permanent position on the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) Program located in El Segundo, CA before moving to Virginia in 2011 as a Government Contracts Administrator.

She is a member of the Junior League of Seattle and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Guild, where she serves as the Vice President. Most recently she was accepted into the United Way of King County’s Project LEAD program, a leadership training program that prepares highly qualified people of color to serve effectively on nonprofit boards.

Kendra earned a dual degree in International Business and Japanese Studies from Dillard University and a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University.