Jeff wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and has spent more than two decades working on just that. At camps, community centers, and schools, he mentored young people and college students to be leaders. When he moved to Tacoma in 2009, Jeff was intentional in his job search, He wanted to work with young people, homeless issues, and/or fighting hunger. For five years, he helped to raise $millions annually at Emergency Food Network, providing more than 15 million pounds of food each year to area food banks.
In January of 2015, he jumped at the opportunity to lead Sound Outreach, believing that connecting people to benefits and resources that grow assets and help people manage their own lives better is what keeps folks from needing a food bank in the first place. “We’re helping people lead more dignified, sustainable lives. I’m interested in anything we can do to help create a more just and equitable community.”
Originally from Baltimore, Jeff loves the Pacific Northwest for all the outdoors have to offer. You can find him running, camping, hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, swimming, and Kayaking whenever he finds the time. He loves his wife Jessica and teenage daughter Lily.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”― Mary Anne Radmacher
Alanna Rodgers joined the Sound Outreach team as the Project Homeless Connect Coordinator in early 2013. She recently has been promoted to the Deputy Director because of her strong connection with the community and her ability to make the impossible happen. Alanna is well known for her gregarious laugh, her contagious smile, and her passion for helping others. When Alanna is not keeping everyone smiling in the office, she enjoys Paleo cooking, working out, and volunteering.
Marcy grew up in up in Fargo, ND and went to Minnesota State University – Moorhead where she graduated with a degree in Finance. Marcy moved to Houston, TX where she worked with a multi-national manufacturing company. Marcy has been happily living in the Tacoma, WA area since 1989. She is a certified public accountant and worked in the government sector for over 20 years. Her passion is working to make sure that everyone, whether human or animal, is treated with dignity and has a fair shot at life. Marcy is a proud member of the LGBTQ community and has been blessed with her partner for 24 years. Marcy says “I have many people to thank for this but one of the coolest events in my life happened when I reconnected with a woman who fought for gay rights in the mid- 70’s in North Dakota and she and her husband were able to attend my wedding all the way from Costa Rica. I believed then and I believe now that equality for all is not just a dream but a reality for those who believe.” When not at work, Marcy enjoys politics, volunteer work and spending time with her partner at their cabin in Minnesota.
Heather Little has worked with Sound Outreach since 2010 and currently is the program coordinator for both the SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefit Advisors) and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) programs. Heather started her career with Sound Outreach as a VITA volunteer but her professional abilities and quick wit quickly propelled her to a valuable member of the Sound Outreach team. Heather knows she’s in the right place to work. “Raised in a low-middle class neighborhood in South Tacoma, I saw families who were homeless and had friends who stuffed their backpack with food so they’d have food after school, but I also saw amazing people working to help anyone they could and I always wanted to be that kind of person when I grew up.” Heather lives with her fiancé and 4 children in Graham, WA. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading whenever possible, camping and volunteering at her church.
Rapid Rehousing Program Manager/Outreach Professional
A Washingtonian transplant, Patty has always had a heart for people, beginning as a teenager working at Easter Seals Handi-camp helping individuals enjoy the great outdoors and overcome their daily challenges. Many years later, she found herself in a position she never thought she would be in Homeless. The support and guidance she received from the community reignited her passion for helping others. This led her to the University of Washington where she earned her Bachelors degree in Social Work with a minor in Non-profit Management. Patty now has the privilege to show compassion to many people on a daily basis by helping them navigate through the complex process, finding resources, and housing the homeless.
LaPria spent most of her professional career in the business community, so transitioning to human services was anything but routine. After spending the last few years researching financial need and poverty, her heart was pulled in the direction self-sufficiency and community development and she found Sound Outreach to be the perfect conduit.
She travels around the community speaking with those in most need attempting to connect problem with solution. It is an effort more rewarding than she ever thought possible. Seeing clients better today than they were yesterday, is always as rewarding as it sounds!
Understanding that community strength is built at home, she spends her most valued time with her husband, children and extended family assuring they all know the value of self-sufficiency, financial literacy and the importance of growing your own food.
Center for Strong Families Director
Tim and his family recently relocated from Dayton, OH to the Pacific Northwest. He’s excited to call Tacoma his new home and ready to take on the challenge of serving as the Director of Sound Outreach’s Center for Strong Families. In this role, he’ll work to create a more stable and prosperous future for families in the Hilltop area.
His professional background is made up of equal parts business development and social services program management. Throughout his career, Tim has focused on working to build effective relationships. Whether by helping businesses to thrive or by helping individuals to reach their personal and professional goals, Tim has always demonstrated a passion for making a difference.
Tim loves new adventures and really appreciates the aesthetic beauty of his new surroundings! He also enjoys friends and family, as well as time spent working with the Alumni Chapter of his fraternity to “give back” and positively impact the lives of young people in Tacoma.
Employment Case Manager
Venus has worked in Customer Service, Account Management and Sales for over 28 years. She has volunteered with many local non-profits to include the Washington State PTA, YWCA, Trufant Family Foundation and Tacoma Communities in Schools. With this passion for volunteerism and education, she also worked with the new SOAR Academy as their Enrollment Team Coordinator.
She has left the brokerage world, and transitioned to her dream job as an Employment Case Manager with the Tacoma Training to Employment Program here at Sound Outreach. As an Employment Case Manager, she works with the pre-apprenticeship cohorts at Bates Tech to remove barriers so that they may successfully complete their courses and move into an apprenticeship program or a living wage position here in the Puget Sound.
She has been married for over 27 years and has two adult children. In her spare time, she and her family love cooking, entertaining, and taking trips to new and exciting places.
RISE Case Manager
Over the past decade, Sherri has worked in Business Development, Branch Management and Territory Sales in the private sector. Sherri chose to go into the public sector after finally realizing that her own journey through years of poverty could be used as a tool to help reach others.
Sherri has experienced being a child born into a poverty, in an addiction-stricken family. This experience has given her the ability to relate to the clients in the RISE program. Sherri’s passion for working with the homeless community, coupled with her personal journey, allows her to have a small part in giving her clients what many of them have lost– hope. Sherri says, “Being able to make a difference on an individual level is my true passion. I thrive when I’m able to help a client get back on their own path to thriving.”
After working in King County as a RISE Case Manager, Sherri is SO EXCITED to be joining Sound Outreach in Pierce County, in the Hilltop community. When not working, she can be found right down the road, at home with her four-year-old daughter, Rowan. If not at home, you might just see her walking the streets of Tacoma, hunting for Pokémon!
Financial Empowerment Counseling Program Manager
Silke Bone is an Accredited Financial Counselor and Certified Credit Report Reviewer. Her passion is to empower clients to take control over their economic lives by providing financial education. She is committed to helping clients increase their ability to make sound financial choices, attain greater financial well-being and achieve their life goals.
Prior to working at Sound Outreach, she spent three years as a Financial Counselor at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, coaching Military Service Members and their Families. In her position as lead Financial Counselor, she assisted transitioning service members in adjusting to civilian life. In addition to training at Sound Outreach as a HUD Housing Counselor, she is Certified Military Housing Specialist.
Silke has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Specialization in Accounting. She completed professional Financial Coaching training through SAGE Financial Solutions and was recently certified as a HERO Financial Coach.
Silke enjoys cooking, baking, gardening and traveling the world.
Director of Development and Communications
In over ten years working with non-profit and non-governmental organizations, Jefferson has been many things- international aid worker, human rights advocate, journalist, radio host, photographer – and he is also an immigrant and a competitive Scrabble player. Jefferson is always searching for ways to transform his skills and experiences into effective social change. He is very excited to be embedded at the Northwest Leadership Foundation, where he will work with young adults to bring their small business ideas to life.
Jefferson holds a Bachelors in Philosophy and in French from Grinnell College in Iowa and Master’s degrees in International Affairs and in Journalism from Columbia University in New York. Before moving to Tacoma, he lived on the East Coast for a few years but he is a Midwesterner at heart. You can often find him in Wright Park with his dog, Chauncey, who followed Jefferson to the U.S. from Burundi in East Africa.
Financial Empowerment Counselor
Julie’s strong sense of wanderlust, passion for helping others, and pursuit to make education more accessible for everyone has led her to spend the last nine years assisting students all over the world reach their educational goals. As the new embedded Financial Counselor for Tacoma Housing Authority (THA), she will be utilizing those same motivations and skills to support our THA clients build pathways toward their ultimate goals such as home ownership!
On her off-time, you will most likely find Julie volunteering in one-on-one GED tutoring sessions or group Vietnamese citizenship preparation classes depending on the day. If not working or volunteering, you can find her hiding from the rain in the Seattle Art Museum or in the corners of her favorite bookstores.
Director of Financial Inclusion
Joe is a self-described “money nerd,” an Army Veteran, and a teacher at heart. He has always been fascinated with the way currency behaves in different economic environments, and he is firmly convinced that sustainable economic empowerment for everyone is not only possible, but achievable through a combination of education and collaboration with community members, business leaders, and policy makers.
Joe is originally from a small town in Oklahoma, where he gained experience in mortgaging, credit management, and franchise accounting. After deciding that corporate work wasn’t right for him, Joe served a tour in the U.S. Army as a human resource analyst, then went on to become a career and finance counselor serving military service members transitioning to civilian life. Joe spends most of his spare time with his wife and two teenage sons. On a nice day, you might find him working on his “fixer upper” house or standing happily in a river, pole in hand, catching… mostly nothing.
With the Center for Strong Families Model of integrated services, Lynn Willis is an Employment Coach with Sound Outreach and meets with participants to determine skill level, industry experience, and education/training needs. Ms. Willis guides participates through assessments and creates an individualized career plan. Clients walk away with a resume and cover letter which reflects their current marketable skills. Lynn coordinates support that will assist participants and makes referral to partnering agencies as appropriate.
Lynn previously worked to coordinate job training and life skill classes for Courage360. She also served in the United States Air Force Reserves for 25 years and gained leadership and organization skills. In 2013, Lynn attended a two-week 80 hours “Career Technical Training” course with Veteran Affairs. Lynn earned a Master’s Degree from Troy State University in Foundations of Education with a Concentration in Leadership. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Communication Arts from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.