World Relief Seattle's Advisory Council is not a governing body. They volunteer their time, professional expertise, and lived experience to advance our vision to see every immigrant welcomed by community, rooted in community, and empowered for community.
Becca worked at World Relief Seattle as an Investment Coordinator from 2014-2017, and reconnected in 2019 to join our Advisory Council. Becca has spent much of her career working in development and fundraising, from political campaigns to international organizations, all focused on helping refugees. She is currently the Donor Relations Manager at the Seattle Colleges Foundation and has been in this position since June of 2019. Having received a life-saving kidney transplant while working for WRS, her other community involvement includes sitting on the Advisory Council for the Northwest Kidney Center as “a way to give back”.
Chrissie is a Certified Public Accountant and has been the Finance Manager at Rainier Scholars since 2001. As a lifelong Christian, helping people in vulnerable situations has always been a part of her calling. Chrissie and her husband have been supporters and donors of World Relief Seattle for many years, and she recently joined our Advisory Council in 2018. “There’s nothing more compelling right now than taking care of the most marginalized people and no organization that I would trust more to care for those people,” Chrissie says.
Melissa has been on the Advisory Council since its creation in 2014. Her professional background includes experience in event management, marketing, and business development, however since 2012, her efforts have been focused on her extensive non-profit volunteering and motherhood. Melissa first got in touch with World Relief Seattle through Bethany Community Church, where she now leads multiple Good Neighbor teams and manages the partnership between the two organizations. She additionally manages the church’s partnership with the Aurora Commons, a homeless center. As our longest serving Advisory Council member, she has gotten to know WRS very well over the years. “There are tons of great non-profits and organizations that one can work with but there are very few where every staff member you meet is so passionate and so committed to doing right for refugees and vulnerable immigrants,” she says.
George is an immigrant from Hungary and joined our Advisory Council in 2017 as a way to give back to the refugee community. Having semi-retired in 2013, George is the former Executive Director of the Stewardship Foundation, and has also done consulting work for other non-profits as well as dabbling in property management and interior design. He is a member of the Urban Grace Church in Tacoma, where he sits on the Trustee Board and is involved with their community breakfast program for the homeless. George is also an accredited legal representative and has volunteered at the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center in Bremerton.
Joe immigrated to the US from India 35 years ago, and has since navigated a corporate career with recent emphasis on leveraging those learnings for the non-profit sector. He has held leadership roles at Microsoft, Verizon Wireless and Alaska Airlines, is a lifelong elder of the Presbyterian Denomination, and sits on the Board of the Bellevue Presbyterian Legacy Foundation. His heart for the under-privileged is driven by his faith. Joe says the work that World Relief Seattle community does is “putting what we are taught to do in the New Testament into action.”
Doug has been involved with World Relief Seattle since 2017 when he signed up to be a cultural companion, and later that year when he joined the Advisory Council. Doug is a retired Navy pilot who is drawn to humanitarian work by his heart for refugees, his experience working with World Vision, and as an adoptive parent of a Romanian daughter. He is an active member of Maple Valley Church, where he is involved with Bible study, community meals for the homeless, and afterschool study programs for elementary school children. To anyone thinking of connecting with WRS, he says, “Be involved, whether its volunteering or donating or both; when you do that you always get more than you ever give.”
Elizabeth has been involved with World Relief Seattle since its very early years when she herself arrived as a refugee from Vietnam in 1979. Her family was one of the first families that WRS ever supported, and so supporting WRS is something of a family tradition. Elizabeth is part of the Good Neighbor Team at Alderwood Community Church, where she helped resettle two families and she joined the Advisory Council in 2020. She has spent over 18 years in software consulting and is currently the Regional Vice President at Larson & Tourbo Infotech.
Johnetta Rowsey Ash
Johnetta has spent her career working to support underrepresented groups of people, both at the City of Kent and as the former Director of Diversity Affairs at Nordstrom. She attends River of Life Church in Kent and is involved with various groups working to support women of all ages trying to enter the workplace. Johnetta is drawn to refugee issues through her work for the City of Kent and joined our Advisory Council in 2015. “Being an African American female, I have had my own experiences of being passed over, looked over, ignored, and it just hurts me that we take so much for granted and the degree to which we will go to continue being comfortable and not allowing people to be their best. It was a tug on the heart strings,” she shared. Johnetta finds purpose in supporting WRS, and emphasizes that there is so much to gain from donating your time and dollars to working with refugees.
Erin joined the advisory council in 2020. She began volunteering at WRS in 2018 with our Host Home program and has also used her background as an event planner to organize our 40th Anniversary Gala in 2019. Erin has previously done social work with Volunteers of America, and also volunteers with Mary’s Place, a shelter for homeless families in Seattle. She is currently going back to school at Pepperdine University to become a financial planner and stockbroker and help empower women in their finances.