Lauren B. Simonds, MSW - Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer
Lauren Simonds has a Master of Social Work degree in Organizational Administration and Planned Social Change from the University of Washington. She has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1991, and has worked in the fields of HIV/AIDS, reproductive rights, and Jewish communal service. Most recently she was the Executive Director of Rosehedge/Multifaith Works, an HIV/AIDS housing and support service organization. She has also served as the Executive Director for the state’s largest political reproductive rights organization, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and the Seattle Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. Ms. Simonds has a strong background in community building, legislative advocacy, fund development, strategic communications, and leadership development and training.
Katherine Seibel, MSW - Director of Public Policy & Advocacy
Katherine Seibel, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy at NAMI WA, began her career as a counselor at the residential level of care where she specialized in facilitating DBT Mindfulness and trauma-informed yoga groups. Katherine's belief in individuals' inherent resiliency and strength along with her desire to change oppressive systems led her to pursue her MSW. During her MSW studies, Katherine interned in a high school offering individual counseling and social-emotional learning groups, was a policy intern at NAMI WA, founded and led a student group on oppression women face worldwide, and published and presented her research on social enterprise policy and implications for improving re-entry processes and support for women who have formerly been incarcerated. After graduating with her MSW in public policy from Columbia University, Katherine worked as the Legislative and Policy Analyst for Committee for Children advocating at the multi-state and federal levels for legislation that promotes social-emotional learning, child sexual abuse prevention, and bullying prevention. Currently, Katherine is also a Teaching Associate at Columbia University's School of Social work.
Kris Eschman - Fund Development Consultant
Kris Eschman has 20 years of experience raising money for non-profits, including 5 years on the national NAMI Field Development team helping raise over $56 million for NAMIs nationwide in her tenure. During the pandemic, she led the transition to a virtual event series, NAMIWalks Your Way, which raised over $10 million. She is known for out-of-the-box problem solving and developing data-driven strategies. When not raising money for non-profit organizations, she spends her time practicing yoga, hiking, skiing, reading, watching HGTV, and horseback riding.
Matthew Kanter - Program Manager
Born and raised in Western Washington, Matt Kanter has worn many hats. After graduating culinary school he's held a variety of roles at tech giants, large non-profits, political organizations, and small businesses. In the past two years alone he's done outreach work for FareStart, worked on ending the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities as a member of Seattle's Commission for People with disAbilities, worked on statewide funding for programs addressing youth and young adult homelessness, as well as sunsetting non-criminal youth detention in Washington state at A Way Home Washington, and helped re-elect a member of congress during the tumult that was 2020. He looks forward to contributing to the growth and development of NAMI and the people we serve. In his free time, he likes to break out his culinary skills and cook a thing or two while continuing his education.
Deanna Roy - Eastern WA Education Program Assistant
Deanna Roy is a longtime active member of her affililiate, NAMI Yakima. She has served as the NAMI Yakima Board Secretary for two and a half years. Deanna has more than 20 years residential management experience. She holds a BS in Business Accounting from the University of Phoenix.
Jenny Gruenberg - Youth Coordinator
Jenny earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Whitman College in 2016. Since graduating, she has worked with the Children's Resilience Initiative (CRI) to promote and assess the sustainable implementation of trauma-informed care practices throughout the state of Washington. She has worked with youth as an educator and case manager and is passionate about developing youth leaders and advocating on their behalf.
Sophia Nicholson-Keener, Outreach Coordinator
Sophia Nicholson-Keener is a standard-issue boomerang millennial, burgeoning plant mom, and avid scholar of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She works in youth activism and interfaith education at the Seattle chapter of Kids4Peace, International. At NAMI Washington, she is the Outreach Coordinator and the co-chair of the equity, diversity, and inclusion committee. Previously, she served on the NAMI Washington Board of Directors, and was the outreach director for the De-Escalate Washington campaign for police training and accountability.