Introducing our newest Board Members!
Lynn Hunter, Director, Regional Strategies and Networks Philanthropy Northwest
In her role at Philanthropy Northwest, Lynn helps build stronger connections between Philanthropy Northwest partners, communities and the six-state region.
She works in public-private partnerships and her current portfolio of work includes co-managing Building Community Philanthropy, an $8 million-dollar multi-year grant from the Gates Foundation to local community foundations, United Ways and identity funds; sleuthing the role of philanthropy in Opportunity Zones; overseeing the Regional Community Foundation Network and Rural Philanthropy.
Lyn is originally from Hawaii and has deep roots with the Girl Scouts which played a pivotal role in her youth and which she continues to stay engaged with today. Lyn is a mentee of current Board Member Carol Lewis.
Patrice Thomas, Community Volunteer
Patrice is a community activist, member of the Rainier Beach Action Committee and resident of Rainier Beach. Patrice has a background in art and placemaking. She has a deep understanding of race and social justice issues in our city, deeply understands the importance of open space in creating resilient and robust neighborhoods and works for the city as the Equitable Development Initiative Project Manager. She was a lead catalyst for the early formation and planning of the Rainier Beach Action Coalition and the Rainer Beach Food Innovation District. Patrice bridges community and public sector work and understands the opportunities, challenges and nuances of true “Community Led” work.
Deb Guenther, Partner at Mithun
Deb Guenther is a landscape architect at Mithun, an integrated design firm in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She is passionate about working with people to envision how they want to live together and with other species – flora and fauna. Deb collaborates with public agencies, private entities, non-profit groups, and community members to co-create experiences and places that are meaningful parts of everyday life.
Her focus on high-performance landscape design has evolved into equity-driven collaborations with priority communities and local organizations on coastal adaptation and resilience projects to address climate change. This work is the basis of her recognition as a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Cascadia Region Green Building Council and her board service with Ecodistricts, working on neighborhood scale anti-displacement strategies.
Deb is originally from Michigan and has a soft spot for the Great Lakes. After spending the first half of her career in Washington DC, she moved to Seattle with her family in 2000. She enjoys visiting the city’s many gorgeous parks with her husband and two adult children.
Sam Howard, Supply Chain Director at Starbucks
Sam Howard is a Northwest native, growing up in Portland and moving to the Seattle area after college. He has an extensive professional background in Finance and Supply Chain. This year he started as Director of Sourcing for Logistics at Starbucks after spending the previous two years consulting for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in their efforts to improve public health supply chains in Africa. His work included advising governments on ways to improve supply chain cost efficiency and procurement strategy. Prior to that, Sam led the North American logistics operations, sourcing, and customs compliance teams at PACCAR for five years. Early in his career he held various corporate finance positions in treasury, credit, and pricing. Sam has a BA in Information Systems and International Business from Gonzaga University and a master’s degree in Finance from Seattle University. Sam has always been passionate about the outdoors, beginning with his journey to Eagle Scout at an early age and continuing through this summer taking the family to five national parks with his wife Jaylene. He is an active runner, hiker, mountaineer, and chef.
Neelima Shah, Program Officer at Bullitt Foundation
Neelima Shah is passionate about protecting the natural environment and reducing human impact on it. Prior to joining the Bullitt Foundation in 2010, Neelima managed the environment and civic charitable investments for The Boeing Company in the Northwest Region. During that time, she developed the company’s local grantmaking strategies in these areas and worked to leverage dollars with the power of employee and volunteer efforts. Prior to Boeing, Neelima was the Program Officer at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation where she worked with U.S. organizations on International Affairs Education, Environment and Public Service as well as Russian human rights NGOs. Neelima is a 2005 American German Marshall Fund Fellow and a 2004 World Affairs Council Fellow. She earned her Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs in 2002 and taught a grant proposal writing class there in 2006. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego in Political Science with minors in Theater and Women’s Studies. Neelima finds the most enjoyable aspects of this job include her ability to build relationships with grantees, local government, and other funders as well as the many learning opportunities. She finds peace and calm through hiking, her yoga practice and by spending time with friends, her husband Scott, her favorite four-legged daughter Lucca, and her two legged daughter Aria.