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SBAWS Officers

formerly, The Evergreen Spina Bifida Association

Treasurer : Jonathan A. Tutt treasurer@sbaws.org 509-868-1485 Jon’s background is business. After graduating from the University of Washington and four years in the US Army, Jon spent 17 years as a branch manager in the consumer finance industry, then 10 years as a mortgage broker and since 1996 as a property manager.  In September 1998, his grandson, Michael Hoyt  was born with Spina Bifida., and that’s why he became involved with the SBAWS: To hopefully improve Michael’s life and to help him be all that he can be. Term ends 12/31/19

SBAWS Directors

Dave Carl is originally from the east coast. He received a bachelors degree in social work from Buffalo State College, in Buffalo, New York in 1999. He has been involved with Spina Bifida chapters throughout the country. In 1999 he assisted with planning the community events for the Spina Bifida Association of Western New York. From 2001 until 2006 he was the Treasurer for the Spina Bifida Association of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Since moving to Richland, Washington in 2007 he has been an active member in his community serving on several committees advocating for individuals with disabilities helping them to live independent. Dave is also a motivational speaker, writer and blogger. Using his personal experiences he teaches people how to overcome obstacles in life. In 2010 Dave wrote a children's adventure book called "Super Cyclist" about a superhero who uses a hand cycle to protect people. He uses the book to teach children to believe in themselves. He has a blog called shareindependentliving.blogspot.com which has a variety of stories about his personal and professional experiences with independent living. Dave has also written an article for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) called "Workplace Communication Tips for People Living with Mental Illness" and an article for Exceptional Parent called "Transitioning Into Residential Living: Independent Living At a Whole New Level".

Dave is also very strong believer in volunteering. In 2010 he received a GOLDEN HEART AWARD for outstanding volunteer from the Benton Franklin Volunteer Center. Dave can be reached at Dave12@gmail.com or through his website www.supercyclist.com..  His current term on the board ends on 12/31/2019

Amy Shiel: Vice-President  vicepresident@sbaws.org  She wrote: I am the mother to four beautiful children, Tristram, Ariel, Balin and Kelahna. Kelahna is our youngest and she was born with Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, and Arnold Chiari Malformation. She is such a blessing to our family and we are so proud of her for all that she has overcome. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology and have been working in criminal justice for the past seven years. Prior to working in criminal justice I was a counselor for dual diagnosed developmentally delayed adults. I am actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America and have been a den leader for eight years.  Her current term ends 12/31/2020

Tim Miller  tmillersodh@gmail.com Term ends 12/31/2020 Tim wrote:

My wife and I have five wonderful children. Tristram 16, Ariel 15, Balin, 11, Kelahna 8, and Percival 1. Kelahana was born with Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, and Arnold Chiari Malformation. Kelahna is an amazing little girl with strength and determination that inspires me every day. I completed my Bachelors degree in dental hygiene in 2002 and my Doctorate in Dental Surgery in 2014. I am actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America and enjoy doing community outreach providing free dental care to those in need. I just recently participated in RAM (Remote Area Medical). In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family.

Celeste McCormick, President celtutt@yahoo.com Term Ends 12/31/19

Celeste has been involved with SBAWS for over a decade, serving many years as the Newsletter Editor. She first joined the organization to help support her nephew Michael, who was born with Spina Bifida and is now 17 years old. "Throughout my involvement with SBAWS, this organization and its members become a source of inspiration and encouragement for Michael and all of us who love him. SBAWS has taught us so much and been an instrumental part of Michael's successful development, so it is important to me to participate in the organization and keep it going strong." Celeste works at Lewis-Clark State College as an IT manager and has an associate's degree in Web Development, bachelor's degrees in History and English Literature, and a master's degree in Public Administration.

Erica Nunez, Media Coordinator may be reached at info@sbaws.org. Erica resides in Benton County and is the mother to one child who also has Spina Bifida. Her experience with children started in 1999 and range from coordinating events for orphanages in Korea, assisting in a children’s homes in Austin, TX, and being a teacher’s aide tutoring students with disabilities in college and in kindergarten. She has a certification as a Medical Assistant from Kaplan College, an Associate of Arts and Science degree from Columbia Basin College, and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree from American Inter Continental University. She served in the United States Air Force as an Engineering Technician (EA). She also spent many years working with the United States Postal Service. Now that she is a mother she still has a passion to see the world and plans to take her new blessing in life, Adam, along for the ride. Term ends 12/31/2019

Sarah Gammons-Reese, Past-President 360-820-2473 pastpresident@sbaws.org

Sarah resides in Whatcom County and is the wife of a wonderful man named Robert. Sarah is Mom to 15 wonderful children ages 4-29 and is also a grandmother to three adorable children. She has 25 years experience in working with children with various disabilities. Sarah has two children with Spina Bifida; Jude age 7 and Angelina age 10. Sarah has a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from Kent State University. She is a CASA volunteer and works as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in foster care and family court. Sarah was co-director of the Medical Advocacy Team for several years which helped children with unmet medical needs in underdeveloped nations. Child advocacy, travel, adoption and of course- her family-are her passion. Term ends 12/31/2019

Executive Director

Nicole Williamson ExecutiveDirector@sbaws.org seattlespinabifidagroup@hotmail.com Starting April 1, 2018, Nicole resigned from the SBAWS Board of Directors to be appointed by the Board as the current Executive Director of SBAWS. Previously, she was the Co-leader of the Seattle cluster. Since 2006, as the Seattle Co-leader, she planned bi-monthly play dates and Parents Day/Night Out (switching from one to the other month after month), and an annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch in October. As Executive Director, she helps plan 4 annual events each year in the Puget Sound area, including the Fall Conference, December Holiday Party, Walk-N-Roll and Summer Picnic for 75-150 guests.  Before her involvement with SBAWS, she was active with the Spina Bifida Association of Colorado where she also managed the Adopt-a-Ghost program and planned group activities for school age children with Spina Bifida.

Rachel Boylan, Newsletter Editor newsletter@sbaws.org 

Rachel grew up in Ames, Iowa where she participated in SBAI (Spina Bifida Association of Iowa) events in support of her niece born with Spina Bifida, Emmie. Rachel graduated from Iowa State University in Biological Systems Engineering and Global Resource Systems with a minor in Spanish. She currently works on water and transportation projects as a Civil Engineer for HDR in Olympia. In her free time she loves spending time with (or FaceTiming) her niece, cooking, traveling, playing volleyball, and spending as much time as possible in the beautiful outdoors of Washington State.

Term ends 1/31/2020.

Ruth Hayes-Short has spent over 40 years in a variety of educational leadership positions. She spent many years as a Director of Special Education and  principal of numerous elementary schools. She spent the most recent   years of her career as President and Executive Director of a unique nonprofit school and program in the Seattle area.  In addition, Ruth is the parent of an adopted son who was born addicted to several illegal drugs and required many intense services and much support in his younger years.  As a result of her passion, her many years of professional work, advocacy for her son, and her variety of experiences, she has the rare ability to look at educational issues and concerns regarding children/families from a variety of perspectives.  She is an expert in facilitating peaceful discussion and resolution of disputes/disagreements among parents, school personnel, and professionals. Ruth has also worked tirelessly to develop creative, effective and successful educational  options  for  students. Additionally, over her 36 years working in  Washington, Ruth has become very knowledgeable of the many public and private  schools and programs available in the Puget Sound area. She has supported many families in determining and negotiating the most effective school placement for their child.  Ruth is originally from Ohio, and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. She completed graduate studies and post masters work at Wayne State University, Columbia University, and Seattle Pacific University. She has served on boards of several nonprofit organizations serving children with needs, and also continues to consult with schools and organizations.  Term Ends 12/31/2020