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Commissioners

Michelle Merriweather (Chair)

Michelle Y. Merriweather became the president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle in February 2018. She has been an active volunteer for the National Urban League since 2006. She became the first woman president of the Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals in 2009 and was invited to join the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Urban League in 2011. Prior to changing her career to follow her passion for advocating for African Americans and underserved communities, she had a successful career in sales and marketing with major organizations such as Starbucks, Heinz and Coca Cola. 
Michelle’s leadership is inspired by a quote from civil rights leader Whitney M. Young: “I am not anxious to be the loudest voice or the most popular, but I would like to think that at a crucial moment, I was an effective voice for the voiceless, and effective hope for the hopeless.” Her passion is combining her extensive sales, fund development, event planning and marketing background to better the communities in which she serves.
Michelle serves on the board of the Alliance for Education and the Community Development Round Table. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is a proud graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in marketing. In 2020 Michelle was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the 100 most influential leaders in Washington.

Rituja Indapure (Vice-Chair)

Rituja Indapure is an experienced storyteller, activist, artist and veteran community leader passionate about women’s education and equality. She has a vast range of experience across the fields of internet technologies, community organizing, performance arts, film and podcasts. Rituja is a United Way Ambassador and has previously served on the boards of Tasveer and the Seattle Globalist. As a Humanities Washington speaker, she has highlighted how the art of storytelling can help individuals heal from sexual abuse.
In 2017, she was a featured King County Sexual Assault Resource Center advocate. In January 2018, she was appointed to the Sammamish Planning Commission; she also serves on the advisory board of the Sammamish YMCA. She is passionate about issues facing women, and girls in particular, empowering them through education and creating equity in society.
Rituja works at Costco as an analyst for e-commerce fulfillment and supply chain management systems. She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and law degree from the University of Pune. She studied at the University of Nottingham for her Master in Law. She lives with her husband and two children in Sammamish.

Quinn Dalan (Secretary)

Quinn Dalan is the executive director of Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services. She is a passionate leader in the effort to increase access to justice and reduce barriers to the legal system in Central Washington. Quinn also represents indigent juvenile offenders, serves as a Title 11 Guardian ad Litem, District Court Pro Tem Judge, and is an adjunct instructor at Yakima Valley College where she teaches Business Law. 

Quinn has previously served as a deputy prosecutor, a special prosecutor, and as a part-time court commissioner. Before joining VAS, she worked for YWCA Yakima as their Development Director. These experiences have crystalized her resolve to make a difference in the lives of individuals and to work to ensure fair and just systems.

Quinn currently serves on the board of Rod's House, La Casa Hogar, League of Women Voters, and Safe Yakima Valley. She has served on the boards of Washington Women Lawyers, Junior League of Yakima, and YWCA Yakima. Quinn is a member of Yakima Rotary Club and is a past president of Yakima County Bar Association. She has been a recipient of the YWCA Yakima Citizen of the Year Award, YWCA Dorothy and Fred Plath Award, and WWL Chapter Member of the Year Award.

Anna Franklin photo

Anna Franklin

Anna Franklin is the Director of Clinical Effectiveness for Providence St. Joseph Health. Anna has led various large-scale improvement initiatives in the healthcare sector for universities, state agencies, health insurers, hospitals, and clinics.

As a master change facilitator, Anna brings diverse stakeholders together to accelerate implementations and increase the success of organizational change. Her passion and areas of influence include using technology to assess healthcare practices based on quality, outcomes, and value. She leverages this information to partner with clinicians using an evidence and consensus based approach to guide the effectiveness process for improved patient outcomes.

Anna demonstrates her commitment to opportunity for all and fosters system change by serving as the chair for the Providence Health Care Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the YWCA Spokane, and chairs its Racial and Social Justice Committee. Anna holds an MBA from West Texas A&M University, and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University in Urban and Regional Planning. 

Anna believes in the power of connections and relationships, and is a mentor and champion for local youth — especially young women of color. She is committed to providing experiences and opportunity to our future community leaders.

Grace Huang

Grace Huang, J.D., is the policy director at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. For more than 20 years, Huang has worked with domestic violence survivors, both by providing direct legal representation and by working on statewide public policy as an advocate to improve domestic violence services and increase protections for victims. These policies include advances in victim services, housing laws, employment leave and child welfare. Huang has also worked on several federal policies, including the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Services and Prevention Act. Prior to working on public policy, she practiced immigration law in private law practice and represented low-income individuals in family law, domestic violence, immigration and economic support matters in a civil legal services organization. 
Huang is a steering committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence and serves on the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission of the Washington Supreme Court. She is the recipient of several awards, including the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence 20/20 Vision Award and the 2000 Cynthia Gillespie Award from the Northwest Women’s Law Center, which recognized her work advancing legal rights for women.

Chris Kobdish

Chris Kobdish is currently the Director of Planning and Development at Unity Care NW, where she leads efforts identifying and working to meet community needs for vulnerable populations. She has over 20 years of fundraising, public relations, and marketing experience. Prior to her current position at UCNW, Chris built a nationally-recognized development, public policy, and community education team in the non-profit sector.

Chris is a member of the Bellingham/Whatcom Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, which works to achieve systemic chane in sexual and domestic violence response, and a member of the Whatcom Has HOPE (Heroin and Other Opioid Prevention and Education) Task Force. She was a 2020 Geier Gibson Health Policy Fellow at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, and was a Western Washington University Community Engagement Fellow from 2018 to 2019. 

Before moving to Washington, Chris was an independent filmmaker and owned and operated her own turn-key marketing agency in Dallas, Texas. Chris earned her Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

Vicki Lowe

Vicki Lowe is the Executive Director of the American Indian Health Commission for Washington State (AIHC) since July 2015. She is a descendant of the Jamestown S’Klallam and Bella Coola First Nations. She has also worked in the Health Department of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe since December of 1996.

Working with the AIHC, Vicki has utilized her vast knowledge of the Indian Health Care Delivery System, state and federal regulations that govern the Indian Health, to implement statewide strategies supporting Tribal and Urban Indian health programs. She developed Tribal Assister Project and Indian Health Care Reform Manual for Washington State and ensured Tribal engagement and inclusion in Medicaid Transformation. Vicki has also helped with drafting and passage of the Washington Indian Health Improvement Act (2019) and the Washington Indian Behavioral Health Act (2020).

Vicki is very involved in the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Community. She has been part of the Jamestown Canoe Family since 2009, pulling in the Tribe’s canoe since 2012. She also supports singing and drumming, language, weaving classes and other culture programs. In 2012, Vicki was honored as the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Volunteer of the Year. Most of all she enjoys spending time with her family, husband Jim, five children and seven grandchildren.

Kasi Perreira

Kasi Perreira currently serves as the Director of Racial and Gender Justice for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, a role in which she leads the work of challenging Washington’s statewide labor movement to better realize collective advocacy for racial and gender justice. Kasi is a member of the Tlingit tribe, and is committed to focusing her skills and time on the leadership development of  Black, Indigenous and other workers of color, women, young people, LGBTQ+, immigrants and other  marginalized groups.

Kasi has over 15 years of experience in local, regional, national, and international labor organizing and championing equity in her work with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). Her membership and coordination experience includes work with the UFCW International Union; the Organization United for Respect Walmart National Constituency Groups; the Asian Pacific Labor Alliance; the Coalition of Labor Union Women; the National LGBTQ Worker’s Center; UFCW Women’s Network; UFCW Minority Coalition; UFCW OUTReach and Pride at Work.

She also serves on the Board of Puget Sound Sage, and was a cohort member of Washington State's Women Labor Leaders in Action in 2017. 

 

Dawn Rains portrait

Dawn Rains

Dawn Rains, MPA, has nearly 30 years of experience in nonprofit management, fund development and legislative advocacy. For 11 years, she has been a key leader at Treehouse, Washington’s leading organization focused on educational equity and other essential supports for youth in foster care. As executive vice president and chief policy and strategy officer, Dawn leads policy, advocacy, government affairs, and organizational strategy. She previously served as Treehouse’s chief operating officer and as director of development and marketing.

Prior to working for Treehouse, Dawn served as director of development for Seattle Repertory Theatre from 1999 to 2009. She is a respected leader in fund development and taught for several years at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and the UW Certificate in Nonprofit Management program.

Dawn is a lifelong advocate for women and girls. She was actively involved in the Women’s Funding Alliance for two decades, an organization that advanced leadership and economic opportunity for women and girls in Washington and served on its board of directors for 13 years. She also serves on the Board of the 34th Legislative District and The IF Project, an organization focused on ending the cycle of mass incarceration, particularly for women. She holds a Master of Public Administration and a certificate in fundraising management from the University of Washington and a B.A. from The Evergreen State College. She is also a former foster parent.