Our voting board and community advisory groups are comprised of a diverse range of professionals with numerous ties to the communities we serve.
Homes First is a certified CHDO organization and is actively seeking Board members who represent the low-income community. This includes members of Boards from Neighborhood Associations who serve the low-income community or those who are members of the low-income community themselves.
Homes First accepts new board member application each September with the goal of having new members join the board in January each year. For more information call 360-236-0920 or firstname.lastname@example.org
President, Russ Carstensen, Executive Director, NARTE (ret.)
Russ joined the board in 2013 and March 2017 marks the beginning of his fourth term of service, including his second year as board Chair. Russ came to Homes First leadership with more than 40 years of Government and private industry experience in naval electronic systems design, acquisition, and integration. He served as Executive Director of an internationally recognized 501 (c)3 nonprofit professional credential certification organization. Russ has served at the Vice- Presidential and Branch Supervisor levels for Applied Engineering, Acquisition Policy, Quality Assurance and Electromagnetic Effects.
He also served as Plans and Resources Division Director for Engineering Directorate wide budget and personnel actions. Russ is also active in the local Kiwanis Club and recently retired as leader for the local Harbor Days event.
Vice President, Amal Joury, Senior Counsel for USCF Investments
Amal joined the Board in February 2016. Although her community leadership experience is limited due to her recent arrival in Olympia, she has become involved with several committees for Olympia Master Builders. Amal is working with the Goldstein law firm to increase their activities and leadership within the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce. She has, in her prior East Coast life, been active in organizing opportunities for work colleagues to volunteer their time with Rosie’s Place and Community Servings. She currently serves on the board of the Capitol Chapter of Washington Women Lawyers.
Amal’s unique skills come from eight years of serving as an attorney for a third party administrator to executive boards in the securities industry. She is comfortable with running meetings, taking minutes and ensuring that all items on an agenda get attention, as well as preparing resolutions and responding to board questions. She has spent the last year as an attorney in private practice in Olympia developing a network of professional connections that she believes will benefit Homes First.
Treasurer, Sarah Koch, Store Associate IV, Umpqua Bank
Sarah joined our leadership team in June 2017. Sarah has also served as our Board Secretary. A mother of two and very involved in the Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce, Sarah loves to give back to her community. Having experienced the personal struggle of making ends meet, Sarah has a heart for the people Homes First serves. We are lucky to have her on our leadership team.
Secretary, Kevin Sparks, Sparks NW Insurance
Kevin joined the board in November 2015 after having supporting Homes First as a volunteer for several years. Kevin owns and operates a Farmers’ Insurance Agency (Sparks NW Insurance) and is active in the community through the Multiple Listing Services Associates group (past president) and as an Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America.
- Rep. Andrew Barkis, Owner, Hometown Properties & State Representative for the 2nd District
- Beth Brown, CPA, Frost & Co
- Steffany Brown, Program Coordinator, Girls Without Limits, Olympia YWCA
- Chris Lester, Busines & Community Relations Manager, Thurston County Title
- Sarah Reyneirse, Community Member, TESC Student
- Hallee Starborn, Home Depot
|Project Development||as of 10.30.17|
|Chuck Stewart||Community Lending, Fairway Mortgage|
|Rick Pitts||Olympia Federal Savings|
|Mark Kitabayashi||Windermere Real Estate|
|Resource Development||as of 10.30.17|
|DeAnn Conway||Umpqua Bank|
|Chris Lester||Thurston County Title|
|Sarah Koch||Umpqua Bank|
|Kevin Sparks||Farmers NW Insurance|
|Skip Thompson||Guild Mortgage|
|Property Management||as of 10.30.17|
|Scott Hanauer||Community Youth Services|
|Mike Pratt||Green Realty|