Our Board of Directors meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month to carry out the mission and objectives of KentHOPE.
Pat Gray served as chair of the KentHOPE Board since its inception in 2010 through 2016. She is currently chair emeritus. She retired from the Highline School District in 2008, where she taught music for 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in choral/general music and a Master of Arts in creative arts in learning. She also serves the community as chair of the Kent United Methodist Church Community Outreach Committee.
Lynne Downs joined the KentHOPE Board in April 2016. She works as a personal health partner/case manager at Auburn Medical Center. She is deacon moderator (chair) at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Renton and has previously served as board president of Family Promise of North Idaho and Seattle, and as an American Red Cross disaster team captain. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Marty Hawkins joined the board in 2015 as director of education and advocacy. He currently serves as principal at Synergy Consulting and mediation coordinator at Samaritan Center of Puget Sound. He also volunteers on the Witness in Action Commission at Southminster Presbyterian Church. For the past 13 years, he has served as a mediator for families, those in workplace disputes and those facing foreclosure. Retired from Highline School District, he served in several roles in the curriculum department of the district office for 16 years. Marty has previously served as board president at the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution and on the Session of Southminster Presbyterian Church. He holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Washington.
Sue Jones has served on the KentHOPE board since 2012 as fundraiser chair, overseeing the annual fundraising banquet. She retired from YoungLife after serving 16 years (1998 to 2014) in a variety of roles, including Regional YoungLives (teen mom ministry) coordinator, area director, development coordinator for Malibu, women’s council and regional trainer. She studied foods and nutrition at Washington State University and took theology and counseling classes at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Mark Nelson has served as treasurer of the KentHOPE board since 2014. He has been CEO of Qualstar Credit Union since 2006. He served as COO from 1995 – 2006 and has been employed there 31 years. He holds a B.A. in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University. Mark is a past church chair at Kent Covenant Church.
Terry C. Pallas has served the KentHOPE Board as Emergency Shelter and Community Partnerships Advisor since 2013. He has worked for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission for nine years, as men’s ministries director and as Vice President for People and Culture since June 2014. He serves a local church as associate pastor. Terry earned a Bachelor of Science in social science from Central Washington University and a Master of Divinity from Faith Evangelical Seminary. He also served the community on the Seattle University Enactus board from 2011 to 2013 and chaired the Lake City Winter Shelter Steering Committee from 2012 to 2013.
Rona Popp has served as the KentHOPE representative to the Kent School District since 2013, where she has worked for 10 years, currently as director of categorical programs. She supervises several programs, including the homeless McKinney Vento program, refugee services, Title 1 and LAP program, Native American program and the interpreter/translation services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Central Washington University and and a Master of Arts in education, professional studies and education administration from Heritage University. She also serves the community as a member of the Kent Youth and Family Services Executive Board.
Susan Sommerman is the current board chair, effective January 1, 2017. She has served on the KentHOPE Board since 2010, previously as communications director with oversight of email communications, the website and Facebook page. She retired as Assistant Pastor of Community Outreach and Ministry Opportunities at Kent Covenant Church, serving on staff for 18 years, from 1995 – 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and advertising from Ball State University in Indiana.
Pamela A. Woods has served the KentHOPE board since 2015. She is a facilities program manager with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, employed there for 35 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Buffalo State College -State University of New York and a Master of Science in criminal justice administration from Niagara University.