our work

Staff Profile

We intentionally seek talented people representing a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our team. Moving the dial on a broader understanding and acceptance of diversity, equity and inclusion in our communities is hard work. It only makes sense that our staff and board reflect the communities we serve.

Staff

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Dan Aune, Senior Program Director

Dan has 30 years of experience engaging in work that matters to families and children in our communities. He has an extensive behavioral health background including experience as a qualified child therapist, a director of mental health centers and a children’s psychiatric hospital. Prior to joining EHF, he operated his own consulting firm specializing in behavioral health, healthcare capacity building, tribal engagement with family preservation models, and development of sustainable strategies for community-based projects. Born and raised in Montana, Dan holds bachelor degrees in sociology and social work from Montana State University and a master’s degree in social work from Denver University School of Social Work. As therapy for himself, he is a woodworker and stone/brick mason and enjoys fly fishing, despite not being very good. 

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Leroy Eadie, Vice President of Programs

As a community leader and advocate for creating spaces and places for people to thrive and connect, Leroy brings nearly 30 years of visionary expertise working collaboratively with communities, local government and the public and private sectors to drive change. In his role as EHF’s Vice President of Programs, he is passionate about supporting the Foundation’s work to direct power and resources into the hands of those communities in our region most impacted by historical injustice and inequities. Leroy’s professional fingerprints can be found throughout our region. Notably, he spent 25 years as the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation and Planning Director, guiding development of our many amazing public outdoor spaces including miles of walking trails and the renovation of Riverfront Park. Leroy served as Executive Director of Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition in Portland from 2020-2021 before moving back to the Inland Northwest to assume the helm as Executive Director of Spokane Housing Ventures and then Vice President of Development and Asset Management for Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington where he supported affordable housing development in our region’s rural and urban communities. Leroy grew up on the Colville Indian Reservation, where he graduated from Okanogan High School. He holds a Bachelor’s in Urban & Regional Planning degree from Eastern Washington University. A self-professed outdoor enthusiast, Leroy spends his summers logging miles on his bike and backpacking rugged mountain trails, and cross-country skiing and snowboarding once the snow flies. 

Kaitlin Erickson

Kaitlin Erickson , Grant and Compliance Manager

Kaitlin has 7 years of project management and grants compliance experience honed in the local government arena. As EHF’s Grant and Compliance Manager, she works closely with our program and finance teams to develop grants and contracts for community partners, while overseeing proper compliance and grant management. She previously worked for Spokane County in administrative roles within the Superior Court Administration department and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Kaitlin holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Eastern Washington University. She enjoys spending quality time outdoors with family and friends.  She loves hiking, biking, skiing, and enjoying leisurely time at nearby lakes with her husband, son, and dogs. 

Lu Hill

Lacrecia (Lu) Hill , Community Engagement & Strategy Director

A fourth-generation Spokanite and active community member, Lu has over 20 years of experience supporting the intersection of people and systems working together for change in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and small business sectors. As EHF’s Community Engagement & Strategy Director, she is responsible for holding space, centering care and supporting connections that lead to a more just community, where those closest to community realities are the ones providing the guidance. Lu’s expansive career includes 8 years with Boys & Girls Clubs in Las Vegas, Oregon and Spokane, a prior stint with EHF as a Senior Program Associate, and 4 years in the cannabis industry where she implemented best practices in management, finance, and manufacturing. Lu currently serves as founding board president of Spectrum S2LGBTQIA+ Center, along with serving on the boards of Inland Northwest Business Alliance (INBA), Spokane Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP), SNAP Financial Access, and Northeast Youth & Family Services. Lu obtained her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Eastern Washington University and a Master of Business Administration from University of the People. Lu enjoys spending time with her wife and sons, reading, connecting with friends & family, attending live music events, and cuddling up with her fur babies. 

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Rebecca Johnston, Senior People & Culture Manager

Rebecca oversees People & Culture initiatives and activities for the Foundation. She is passionate about creating a healthy culture and fulfilling environment where staff can contribute to the foundation's mission. She helps build and support a strong workforce by applying a people-centered and values-based approach to all aspects of Human Resources. She joined the EHF team in 2017. Prior to joining EHF, she worked in HR in the healthcare field, as well as doing case management supporting young kiddos and families. She received a bachelor's degree in Community Health and Psychology from Carroll College in Helena, MT. She holds a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification. Originally from Montana, Rebecca has called Spokane home since 2016. When not at the office, you can find her enjoying time with her husband, baby daughter, and dog. 

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Richard Kier, Facility & IT Manager

Rich has over two decades of experience in facilities management and maintenance, including extensive experience with industrial mechanics, automation and materials coordination. As Facilities & IT Manager, he is responsible for the physical and technology needs of EHF’s Philanthropy Center and its commercial event space, providing IT management and support, space utilization and risk management. He is passionate about providing the best customer service possible to EHF staff and its community partners. Rich holds an AA in Human Services from Linn-Benton Community College, along with a Project Management Certificate from Spokane Community College. He grew up in a rural community in Oregon between Lebanon and Sweet Home, working for local farmers and ranchers and fishing in local streams and rivers. He continues to enjoy the opportunity to get on the water with a pole in hand whenever possible. He and his wife are actively engaged in dog agility competitions around the Pacific Northwest, as well as being avid winter sports enthusiasts and trainers. 

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Kelly Knutson, Executive Assistant

On staff since 2016, Kelly puts her skills in project management, event planning and organization to work supporting the program team and the foundation’s community partners.  She brings over 20 years of experience working in various administrative roles in the non-profit and for-profit sectors.  Although Kelly went to school with intentions of becoming a chemical engineer, she has found she most enjoys philanthropy, foundation, and community work.  Kelly and her family make volunteering within the community a priority, and value giving back to and supporting their neighbors. 

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Tiffany Lancaster, Event Coordinator/Administrative Assistant

Tiffany provides event coordination and staff support for EHF, while also supporting community use of the Philanthropy Center. In this role, she is responsible for the internal and external communication and engagement with the scheduling and planning of events. She also assists staff with special projects, orders supplies, and supports other miscellaneous projects around the office in order to contribute to a happy and healthy work culture and team environment. Tiffany is passionate about supporting the underserved communities of the Inland Northwest to work towards a more equitable future. Tiffany graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a BA in Recreation and Tourism Management and a minor in Communications. She has worked in a variety of industries including Hospitality, Food & Beverage, Customer Service, Manufacturing, and Recreation and Events. Tiffany loves going on adventures, creating new art pieces, playing games, socializing with her friends, and snuggling her fur babies.   

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Dave Luhn, Controller

Dave has 40+ years of experience managing financial operations for public and private organizations, including 13 years in the non-profit sector. Dave has been on staff since the Foundation’s earliest days in 2010, during which he has played a pivotal role in developing and managing the Foundation’s systems and procedures for financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, financial analysis, risk management and financial reporting. As senior controller he is responsible for overseeing accounting and financial reporting for the Foundation and its related entities. A life-long resident of Washington State, Dave holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oregon State University. 

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Laura Martin, Vice President of Operations

Laura has over 30 years of strategic development and marketing and communications consulting experience working with organizations representing the private and public sectors in Washington and Oregon. She joined the EHF team in 2011 to launch the foundation’s first strategic initiative aimed at supporting local school districts in transitioning their school meal programs to scratch-based menus.  In her role as Vice President of Operations, she provides strategic guidance for the Foundation while managing daily operations including marketing/communications, human resources, information technology, facilities and community engagement. Laura grew up in small communities in the Columbia River Gorge and Central Washington where she learned about the power of a community coming together to face challenges and drive change.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Western Washington University in Bellingham. An avid outdoors enthusiast, Laura loves exploring new hiking trails, traveling, listening to live music, and cheering on the Cougs with her husband and two adult sons.  

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Charlotte Matthews, Staff Accountant

Charlotte has over 15 years of experience supporting the accounting functions of organizations in the private and public sectors. She manages accounts payable for EHF and its entities, working with community partners and staff to disburse grant funds and processing invoices for payment. Charlotte enjoys working as part of the EHF team and thinks it’s a plus she gets to spend money for a living. Charlotte has an AAS in Health Information Management and Accounting Coursework.  

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Kellie Miner, Payroll Specialist

Kellie grew up on a wheat farm in south Spokane County, where she raised/showed animals and harvested crops. Growing up in a small farming community taught her early on the value and meaning of hard work and strong communities. She has nearly 20 years of human resources and finance experience including 19 years in corporate banking. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two young kids on their 10 acres, raising her family in the rural community she was raised in herself.   

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Colleen Nick, Senior Executive Assistant and Board Liaison

Colleen has over 25 years of experience as an executive assistant with a career spanning the non-profit, higher education and healthcare sectors. She also spent several years in event planning with a national hotel chain. On staff since 2013, she is the central point for information at EHF where she manages the daily workflow in support of the president and the Board of Directors.  Colleen enjoys spending time with her family and close friends, walking her dog Lucy, and reading.

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Kevin Penass, Program Officer

Kevin is a committed Native professional who has dedicated his career to supporting the health and wellness of Tribal communities across Indian Country. As a Program Officer for Empire Health Foundation, he is the community support for the Tribal Leadership Alliance and the Integrative Cultural Healing Model. He brings experience in the contract management sector of work and has supported various clients with project management and support across private, Tribal, state, and federal levels. This field of work has allowed him to build an awareness and understanding of the intricate components and inner workings of government-to-government relationships and the often-systemic inefficiencies that occur. Kevin brings a wealth of lived experience in addition to the professional experience, training, and education. He is a committed ongoing learner who takes pride in his commitment to growing knowledge and contributions for the betterment of the organization and communities he serves. He studied Indigenous American Indian Studies at Haskell Indian Nations University. Kevin is a member of the Menominee and Oneida Nations of Wisconsin and was born and raised on his tribal homelands in Keshena, Wisconsin.  Outside of work, Kevin loves to camp and spend time on the water with family. He also loves to golf when he has time but finds that yard work is his true therapy. 

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Jeri Rathbun, Program Officer

Jeri has nearly 10 years of experience supporting non-profit organizations in rural, Tribal, and urban communities. On staff since 2015, she has led some of the Foundation’s earliest work focused on improving health outcomes and quality of life for older adults in eastern Washington. Born and raised in Spokane, Jeri is committed to work that creates pathways to a healthy and thriving community. She holds a Master’s in Public Health and a BA in English Literature from Eastern Washington University, along with a Certificate of Health Services Administration. In 2022, Jeri was named a Grantmakers in Health Terrance Keenan Institute Fellow, an honor and opportunity for emerging leaders in Health Philanthropy. She currently serves on the board of Spokane Tribal Network and 4GE, and serves as the Chair for the City of Spokane Housing and Human Services Board.  Jeri enjoys the simple pleasures of life, including a good cup of coffee in the morning, hiking, camping and taking her two kids to the library.  

 

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Diego Rodriguez, People & Culture Coordinator

Diego applies his passion for helping people to nurturing a thriving and fun culture at EHF. His responsibilities include supporting the consistent and fair application of HR policies and organization-wide systems to contribute to the culture and mission of the foundation.  Born and raised in Spokane, Diego is proud to support the community he grew up in. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Before working for EHF, Diego was a substitute teacher in the Mead School District and holds Teacher Certification throughout Washington. Diego enjoys being active, creating art, and is an enthusiast of shoes.  

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Carl Segerstrom, Communications & Storytelling Manager (He/Him/His)

Carl comes to Empire Health Foundation from a career in community journalism across the Western United States. He worked as an editor and writer at High Country News magazine and the local cooperative newsroom RANGE Media. He has also worked locally for the food hub cooperative LINC Foods, which seeks to grow an equitable food economy in the Inland Northwest. In his role at EHF, Carl will be working with staff and community partners to build awareness around EHF and EHCAF’s work to build a healthier and more equitable community. Carl grew up in a small town in Northern California and has lived in the Inland Northwest for most of the last decade. He has a bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Resource Studies from University of California Berkeley and a master’s degree in Journalism from University of Oregon. In his free time, Carl does volunteer mutual aid in the community, tends to his garden with his wife, and enjoys outdoor activities on the region’s mountains, lakes and rivers.

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Zeke Smith, President

Zeke joined EHF in 2020 after 30 years working and living in Portland, Oregon. Over that period, he built a career focused on strategic planning, community engagement and social justice, supported by a strong commitment to equity.  Zeke’s career includes tenure as Vice President of Programs for FoodCorps, a national nonprofit dedicated to connecting kids to healthy food in schools; Chief Impact Officer of the United Way of the Columbia Willamette, leading the effort to address childhood poverty and systemic inequities across the Portland, Oregon metropolitan region; and having served as Chief of Staff of Portland Public Schools, a district of almost 50,000 students, supporting strategies that led to an increase in graduation rates and a decrease in achievement gaps for students of color. Additionally, in a volunteer capacity, Zeke was on the Governor-appointed Oregon Health Policy Board for seven years (five as Chair) an oversight body for the Oregon Health Authority and the statewide healthcare system. Across each of these experiences, as well as through years of working with local community-based nonprofits, Zeke has been focused on improving the systems that support individuals, families, and communities, particularly focusing on the needs of those whom these systems least often address. Zeke currently serves on the boards of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, Native American Youth and Family Center, Family Impact Network, Spokane Teaching Health Center, Washington Falls Trust and is the chair of the Better Health Together board. Zeke earned his bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He is proud of his Dutch, Indonesian, Oneida, and Osage heritage and lives with his partner, Mari, with whom he has two adult daughters.  

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Jonathan Teeters, Policy Director

Jonathan has 20 years of experience leading values-based racial, social equity, environmental, and economic change campaigns for candidates and organizations across electoral, non-profit, government and private sectors. As Policy Director for Empire Health Foundation and the Empire Health Community Advocacy Fund, Jonathan drives the Foundation’s policy programming and government affairs strategies in supporting power shifts and political and systems change within BIPOC, LGBTQ2IAS+ and rural underserved communities in the Inland Northwest. A native Washingtonian, he earned an MBA in Sustainable Business Systems and degrees in conservation biology, ecology, and Spanish from the University of Idaho, while competing as a member of the U of I football team. Jonathan enjoys cultivating his connection to nature and outdoor recreation as an avid fisherman and hunter. 

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Meagan Vincello , Program Director

Meagan has over a decade of experience in law enforcement. She has also worked as the Homeless Outreach Team Coordinator for the City of Spokane, before being hired as the Manager of Housing and Homeless Initiatives for the Spokane City Council. She graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2022 with a Master's Degree in Social Work. Meagan joined Empire Health Foundation in 2022 as the Project Director for the Spokane Community Homelessness Initiative due to her knowledge and work within systems and stakeholder groups serving unsheltered populations within the Spokane region. In this role, she supports the collaborative efforts of local service providers, state agencies and other local stakeholders in the Inland Northwest. Meagan enjoys gardening, traveling, making artwork, and playing outdoors anytime she gets the chance. Her soulmate is a fat old Labrador Retriever named Sawyer.  

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Rocío Caravantes Wofford, Program Associate

Rocío brings a rich array of experience providing culturally-responsive grantmaking and planning support to communities. In her role as EHF’s Senior Program Associate, she has led a variety of initiatives that have resulted in development of new tools and processes for community partners and the Foundation offering pathways for connection, learning and technical assistance. Rocío developed a passion for the nonprofit sector through her management work with organizations that impact vulnerable communities, such as Radio Creativa in Guatemala, Padre Machado Hospital in Venezuela, and the Permanent Mission of Guatemala at the United Nations HQ in New York. She has also previously worked in collaboration with the Italian Cooperation to develop business plans for rural entrepreneurships. Rocío earned her Master of Public Service and Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management from The Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University. Rocío enjoys reading and writing, as well as spending quality time with family and friends in Guatemala. 

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Wendy Xue, Senior Accountant

Wendy has 17 years of accounting management plus over 7 years' experience in the non-profit sector. She has received two BBA’s, majoring in both Accounting and Marketing. She has over 20 years of leadership volunteering experience in non-profit educational and cultural organizations. Wendy has been with Empire Health Foundation since 2016 and contributes to the organization with her passion for philanthropy. When she is not working, she enjoys engaging in public speaking and has previously won the humorous speech contest in the Inland Northwest region.  

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Lily Zhang, Chief Financial Officer

Lily is a seasoned financial professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry and a strong background in accounting and business strategy. As CFO, she oversees financial operations, budgeting, and long-range strategic planning for the foundation. Prior to joining EHF, she held various leadership positions in finance, evaluation and accounting in both public and private sectors, including a national private foundation, a multinational financial institution and a Big 4 professional services firm. As an analytics aficionado, Lily lives and breathes data-driven insights, always on the hunt for new ways to help organizations achieve their goals. This passion drove her to the Foundation to seize the opportunity to work alongside staff and community in building creative solutions to support a more just and inclusive society that empowers universal health, wellness and growth. In addition to her professional work, Lily is also an active member of her community and has volunteered her time and expertise to various nonprofit organizations. Lily holds an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business and is a certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered global management accountant (CGMA). Off the clock, Lily is an outdoor enthusiast. She and her husband enjoy exploring the region's natural beauty through hiking and camping adventures and can often be found seeking out new trails and campsites to explore. Whether it's a challenging mountain hike or a peaceful lakeside campsite, Lily is always up for an adventure in the great Inland North West.