Hamdi is a prominent leader in the Puget Sound region, and has over 20 years of experience working with the African Diaspora immigrant and refugee community. She a co-founder of ACHD, and is is a former educator with degrees from Lafoole University and George Mason University. She is a member of the Community Café Collaborative, the Communities of Concern Commission, WA Dept of Commerce Rental Assistance & Homeless System Performance Measures Steering Committee, and King County Parks Healthy Communities & Parks Fund Commission. Hamdi is a proud recipient of King County Council’s MLK Jr Distinguished Service Award, as well as Congressman Adam Smith's Champion of Justice Award in recognition of her contribution to the communities of the 9th Congressional District. Hamdi also received South King County Council's Human Services Equity and Social Justice award for exemplary community leadership and advocacy. Hamdi is polylingual (English, Somali, Arabic, and Italian), and a Somali-language poet.
As the Associate Director of ACHD, Bilan leads community-wide projects, develops culturally sensitive curriculums, manages multi-million dollar budgets, and advances the mission of the organization. Bilan is fluent in English and Somali, and she holds a BA in Marketing from Seattle University and an MA in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Washington. In 2022, Bilan was included in the Puget Sound Business Journal's prestigious "40 Under 40" Award. She also holds a Family Engagement Certificate from Harvard University, a P-3 Executive Leadership Certificate from the University of Washington, and is a graduate of IslandWood's Education for Community and Environment program. Bilan serves on the leadership team of the King County Play Equity Coalition, the People's Economy Lab Steering Committee, the City of Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board, the Communities of Opportunity Governance Group, and is a co-chair of the King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission.
Case Manager - Seniors & Social Services
Asad participated in afterschool programs most of his childhood led by members of ACHD's leadership team, which had a profound effect on his growth as a young man. He is excited to be a part of the ACHD team so that he can contribute to the development of his community. He serves as a member of King County's Community Investment Budget Committee. Asad has an Associates Degree in Business from South Seattle College; in his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and Call of Duty.
Case Manager - Housing
Shirwa has over 10 years of social service and advocacy experience. He lives in Des Moines, WA, where he enjoys hanging out with his lovely kids, composing music, writing scripts, and producing/directing live performances. His favorite thing about working at ACHD: Providing quality assistance that puts a smile on a client's face!
Special Projects Manager
Ethiopia has a BA in Human Services and Management from the University of Phoenix . She has twenty-three years of experience working in different nonprofit organizations as an Executive Director, Program Director, Case Manager, Youth Program Coordinator, and Mission Coordinator. She has also served as a Liaison for the City of Seattle and for King County. Her life mission is to stand in the gap and help people. She is married and has two kids.
Marisa’s background in philanthropy paired with a passion for community work led her to the ACHD team. She graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, where she discovered her drive for nonprofit work. Marisa was named a 2022 Association of Fundraising Professionals Scholar and serves on the NextGen Board at the Seattle Audubon Society. Outside of work, Marisa loves spending time with her dog, bird watching, and solving the New York Times Crossword puzzle.
Claire helps to develop exciting educational programs for ACHD. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in environmental science from the University of Washington in 2019, and has a love of outdoor education and welcoming students into the world of STEM. Outside of work, Claire loves to bake, take care of her house plants, and spend free time out in the sunshine.
Abby develops meaningful experiential education programs for ACHD. She combines her experience as a research scientist, curriculum developer, and environmental educator to design innovative education programs for all ages. When she is not working with ACHD, you will find her in Washington’s forests, mountains, and streams exploring, camping, and foraging.
Farmers Market & Food Access Manager
Daniel loves food in all its forms – from seed to table and all the steps in between. Born and raised in the Seattle area, he studied Sustainable Practices at Cascadia College and has worked on farms and eateries across the country as a farmer, educator, and manager. If he’s not playing in the garden, Daniel can usually be found riding a bike, strumming a guitar, or cooking up a storm. Daniel strives to create deep, lasting connections around what and how we choose to eat. He is excited to build upon ACHD’s programming to bring more affordable, culturally relevant foods to the Delridge community in support of producers and eaters alike.
Small Business Program Manager
Abokor provides capacity building and technical assistance support for the African Diaspora small business community here in King County. Abokor enjoys working one-on-one with business entrepreneurs to provide mini-grants as well as identifying and applying for local and state grants, loans, and capital. Abokor also provides workshops around technical assistance and business planning. These include: insurance, licensing, product development, technology, business planning, goal setting, growth strategy, marketing, staffing, business management, education, skill development, leadership, financial consultation, budgeting, labor and industry rights. In his free time, Abokor enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and volunteering at the Delridge Farmer's Market.
Project Coordinator - Outdoor Education
Jordan grew up exploring and camping in the coastal redwoods of northern California. He studied U.S. History at UC Davis and earned his bachelor's degree in 2015. Over the past several years Jordan has been an educator for various park agencies across the country. In his free time you can find Jordan hiking in the forest or wading through tide pools.
Workforce Development Manager
Amal grew up in Kent, Washington. She has 6+ years of experience working with diverse communities in South King County. Her passions include providing mindful equitable and diverse social services. In her role as Workforce Development Case Manager, she is most excited about building community with stakeholders and helping individuals reach their economic goals.
Director of Community Development
Bree is an urban planner and project manager with 10+ years of experience working with diverse communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her passions include developing affordable housing and economic development projects, policies, and programs rooted in equity and collaboration.
Operations Administrator & Executive Assistant
Julia grew up in Washington State and spent her summers enjoying the Seattle Public Library and beautiful Washington weather. She loves to learn new things! Julia enjoys spending time outside and creating beautiful things. On a long weekend you can find her designing floral arrangements, hitting the dunes, or daydreaming about her future farm. She can't wait to grow with ACHD and views success as helping our community.
DENISE PÈREZ LALLY
Senior Director of Housing, Social Services, & Economic Development
“My core values have led me to my life’s work of healing our community from generational trauma, oppression and racism, through love, compassion, and spiritual belief.”
Denise spent her career working to prevent displacement, create new economic opportunities, improve educational outcomes, and promote equitable community development opportunities that serve those most frequently excluded from the process. She experienced firsthand the impact that access to land and capital has on communities of color, in Seattle and Washington D.C. Denise’s proudest moments include being a team leader to create income eligible housing for King County families and expanding social services and youth programs while centering racial equity. She is a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University, People’s Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and Centro de Estudios Lingüísticos, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. At an early age, she learned from her grandparents to honor “La Tierra Madre” (mother earth), and to honor our ancestors—A belief she continues to practice today.
Director of Fund Development
Rachel writes grants and raises philanthropic funds for ACHD. She has a bachelors degree from the University of Washington, is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and serves on the board of the Washington State Farmers Market Association. When she's not working with ACHD, Rachel runs Bad Weather Farm in North Seattle, and is also a freelance wedding and event planner.
Director of Finance & Operations
Teri joined ACHD in October of 2020 to build the agency's capacity to manage its finances as it grows in size and complexity. Teri brings with her thirty years of non-profit experience; she has extensive knowledge in non-profit leadership, business finance, budgeting, and project management. Teri is excited to provide support and leadership to the amazing team at ACHD as they impact the community in so many ways. Outside of work Teri enjoys spending time with her beautiful teenage daughters.
Kevin grew up in Paterson, New Jersey and earned a BA in Sociology from Montclair State University. He joins ACHD with more than 6 years of experience providing social services to children and families, along with specialized care for the unhoused population in New York City. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, watching professional wrestling, and snowboarding.
Individual Giving Manager
Celia Weisman is a changemaker and professional fundraiser who takes delight in inspiring philanthropy. She has worked on both east and west coasts to help build sustainable non-profits that advance social, gender, economic, and housing justice. Passionate about implementing community-centric fundraising approaches, Celia strives to create authentic relationships, connect folks across divides, and to evolve spaces and systems that are more equitable, inclusive, transparent and soul-centered. When not trying to stir up “good trouble,” Celia enjoys meditating, yoga, reading, knitting, walking, and hanging with her college student daughter. Celia graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Comparative Religion and earned a MA degree from Columbia University in Feminist Studies in Women and the Arts.