Meet The Board
We are proud of our growing team and creating a welcoming community for refugee and immigrant women artisans.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Founder & Executive Director
Ming-Ming is the founder of RAI. She immigrated to the US from Taiwan when she was a teenager. After over 20 years as a clinical pharmacist, Ming-Ming wanted to give back to her community. RAI combines her compassion as a healthcare provider and her love for fashion to create this women empowerment initiative.
Executive Board Director (2019 - Present), Founder and President of Satsuma Designs
Jennifer Porter is Founder and President of Satsuma Designs, a company which manufactures baby and children's apparel and accessories. Jennifer is also the Founder of Satsuma Uniform, RAI's strategic partner and manufacturer of school uniform apparel. Through this partnership, RAI artisans create school uniforms for the Pacific Northwest market and beyond. Jennifer has over 20 years of sales, marketing and product development experience in the sewn goods industry. She is delighted to serve on the RAI Board and work closely with RAI to create jobs for new members of our community.
Finance & Development (April 2020 to present), Former Vice President of Cabot Microelectronics
Yumiko Damashek is a Japan native and a seasoned senior executive in the global semiconductor industry with 30 years of senior management experience in US public companies. She is a rare female leader who has broken glass ceilings in the fiercely competitive semiconductor industry.
Over the years, Ms. Damashek has lectured on foreign investment strategies, women’s career and leadership development, and has been very active in promoting Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in a corporate setting. She now dedicates herself in addressing the world's social issues through nonprofit organizations while engaging in angel investing and volunteering as a mentor for high school STEM students in the Seattle area.
Secretary & Treasurer (2019 - Present), Faculty at Edmonds Community College
Hayden Bixby has been a faculty member at Edmonds Community College since 1998 and has served as the International Program Director for Cura Orphanage, in Kenya, since 2006. She is thrilled to be contributing to the work of RAI as it responds creatively to the needs of refugee women in the US.
Operations & Marketing (2019 - Present), Founder and Creative Director of CURA Co.
Akiko Waters is the founder and creative director of the CURA CO., a socially conscious lifestyle brand specializing in ethically-sourced, female forward art, home and apparel products. Besides the clear synergy between the mission of Akiko's brand and the work of RAI, it is also the facts of Akiko's own childhood that fuels the passion for working with immigrant women. As the child of a Japanese single mother Akiko understands first hand the struggle immigrants face, especially mothers.
Marketing (2019 - Present), Business Development Director of Mentor Creative Group
Brittany Mehl works for Mentor Creative Group, a digital creative agency in Seattle that designs, builds, brands, and markets products. She is passionate about RAI’s innovative model to transform the lives of refugee and immigrant women. She is looking forward to helping share the impact stories of the organization along with developing community partnerships.
Community Member (2022 to present)
Bharathi immigrated to the United States from India as a child and grew up in the Midwest. She feels she benefited from the land of opportunity that America can be at its best, going to college, earning a PhD, and running a lab studying visual cognition. Now, Bharathi is committed to paying these opportunities forward through RAI’s goal of providing a place for immigrant women to thrive and grow.
Human Resources, Founder and CEO of Reverb
Mikaela Liner is an experienced HR / People Operations professional, founder/CEO, and executive coach. In 2015, Mikaela founded Reverb, a leading provider of flexible People Operations services for startups and fast growing companies in the Pacific Northwest. A People Operations professional for nearly twenty years, Mikaela enjoys coaching leaders at all levels and promoting gender equality at work. She’s been quoted in Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, The Muse, and is a member of the Forbes Human Resources Council and Puget Sound Business Journal Leadership Trust.
Thao (Tracy) Thi Ngoc Ho
Artisan Representative, 2022 to present
Tracy is from Vietnam and a family of sewers. She has been in America for over four years. She is waiting to have her teen age daughter to join her and her husband. Tracy likes to sew and made her first paycheck in America through RAI. She is motivated to take on more sewing projects and also wants to improve her English.
Finance & Development (2022 to present), Founder and CEO of Reverb
KEY ADVISORS & CONTRIBUTORS
Donna Verretto, Non-Profit Advisor - President of DV Consulting for independent nonprofit consulting. Donna has had over 20 years experience in running non-profit organizations.
Camille Steen, Operations Advisor - Camille Steen has worked in the apparel industry in a variety of roles. She is an Adjunct Professor at Seattle Pacific University. Currently, she is the Product Engineer Lead at ExOfficio LLC, and is co-author of the popular Fairchild textbook “Technical Sourcebook for Designers.”
Steve Hill, Board Development Advisor - Steve is an effective business and community leader with extensive human resources and organizational effectiveness experience in both the private and public sectors. A non-profit guru, Steve dedicates his time to coaching RAI on how to effectively lead and grow as a company..