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Our Staff

Emerson Sekins – Executive Director

Emerson Sekins joined the staff in 2013 after graduating with a MPA from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. Emerson brings to the Access Fund a strong background in cross-disability organizing and policy analysis, including serving as a co-chair for the Seattle Commission for People with disAbilities from 2010-2012. Emerson studied and worked at the University of Washington from 2004 to 2013, graduating with his BA in Disability Studies in 2008, and returning for graduate school in 2010. While at the UW, he worked as the Assistant Coordinator at the Q Center, UW’s LGBT resource center, from 2010-2013. Emerson also served as the co-chair for UW’s Committee on Disability Issues, and as a graduate student assistant within the Disability Resources for Students office.
Email: emerson@nwaccessfund.org

Kathy Gilman – Program Director

Kathy Gilman joined Northwest Access Fund in 2008 after serving on the Board and Loan Review Committee for almost three years. Kathy previously worked as a Business Development Specialist with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) working on bringing microenterprise development programs to both urban and rural areas. Prior to joining MEDA she worked for more than seven years for Ventures (formerly Washington CASH), a community-based microenterprise development and peer lending organization in Western Washington. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching business in the Russian Far East. Kathy’s educational background includes an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Email: kathy@nwaccessfund.org

Ellie Vainker – Development and Outreach Director

Ellie Vainker has been with Northwest Access Fund since 2017. Originally from the UK, Ellie moved to Washington via Texas, where she is completing a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at Rice University. Ellie first came to the Pacific Northwest as an international exchange student at the University of Washington in 2006 and holds MAs from Edinburgh University, Goldsmiths, and Rice. As well as an academic and grant-writing background, she has worked as a researcher on a number of award-winning documentary and film productions, and brings this passion for storytelling to the Access Fund.
Email: ellie@nwaccessfund.org

Megan Greeley – Financial Capability Manager

Megan Greeley joined Northwest Access Fund in January 2018. She is our financial coach and runs the Individual Development Account (IDA) Program. Megan is passionate about increasing access to opportunity for underserved populations. She has worked at and volunteered with various nonprofits, primarily in the areas of microfinance and global health. Megan holds a B.A. in Economics & Business from Westmont College and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management & Operations from the University of Washington.
Email: megan@nwaccessfund.org

Christel Hustad – Loan Program Associate

Christel Hustad joined Northwest Access Fund in January, 2019. Her previous Seattle career experiences include interning at Harborview Hospital through the University of Washington, as well as completing Washington State Department of Services for the Blind’s Orientation and Training Center program in 2017. She previously lived in Utah, where she worked for seven years at Fresenius Medical Care, providing technical and customer service. Prior to this, she lived primarily in the Midwest, earning BFA and MA degrees in Theatre Arts from the University of North Dakota. She is thrilled to be fulfilling her long-held dream of living and working in Seattle!
Email: christel@nwaccessfund.org

Pam MacRae – Finance Manager

Pam MacRae, Northwest Access Fund’s Bookkeeper, has worked as a nonprofit bookkeeper since 1997. She spent 10 of those years as the bookkeeper for Cascadia Revolving Fund, a community development financial institution that provided small business loans. Pam has spent the last five winters volunteering with Outdoors for All, skiing and snowshoeing with people with disabilities. She spends the other part of her work week as the finance manager for Sightline Institute.
Email: pam@nwaccessfund.org

Tim Vanden Bos – Office Associate

Tim Vanden Bos spent 25 years doing research in the biology field, both at private biotechnology firms and public research institutions. In 2014 he started taking some classes to learn bookkeeping skills. This eventually led him to an internship at Northwest Access Fund, which has turned into continued work in bookkeeping and general office work. Tim has a BS in Biology from the University of Washington and a Bookkeeping Certificate from North Seattle College.
Email: tim@nwaccessfund.org

Jack Brummel – Senior Advisor

Former Executive Director of Northwest Access Fund, Jack Brummel spent 26 years with the Washington State Senate, primarily as lead staff for committees addressing economic development, financial institutions, commerce, labor, and workforce development issues. While with the Senate Jack developed legislation relating to employment of people with disabilities, creating individual development accounts, and supporting micro-enterprise development. Prior to work with the Senate, Jack was the Administrator for the Northwest Intertribal Court System and the National Director of the Law Students Civil Rights Research Council. Jack serves as the Chair of the Board for Evergreen Business Capital, a non-profit development company certified by the US Small Business Administration. Jack’s education includes a BA in Political Science from Washington State University, a JD from the University of Washington, and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Email: jbrummel@nwaccessfund.org