SVP is thrilled to welcome two brand new team members: Yvonne Chang and Jaimisa Gourley! Yvonne is our new office coordinator and Jaimisa is managing our Fast Pitch program. We are also excited to share that our staff writer, Cecilia Garza is stepping into a new role as SVP Seattle’s communications manager.
Learn more about our new staff and recent transitions below!
Yvonne Chang, Office Coordinator
Prior to SVP, Yvonne was the executive assistant at a small consulting firm in Shanghai that worked on construction projects in Cambodia, China, Nepal, Indonesia, and Taiwan. She also interned at the US Environmental Protection Agency and worked on various sustainable community projects, including preventing food waste and improving climate resiliency within smaller communities.
Yvonne has a BA in Environmental Studies with a focus on Sustainability from University of Washington. She volunteers at local foodbanks, retirement homes and non-profit Chinese academies in Seattle. She also recently returned from a volunteer trip in Cambodia where she helped provide medical aid to the rural communities in Angkor.
Outside of work and volunteering, Yvonne enjoys cooking, traveling, enjoying the outdoors, taking her niece and nephew out to play, and learning new things. She is passionate about environmental protection, social equity, good food, and learning about what makes people the happiest they can be.
Favorite Sound: The sound of pouring rain (especially when I’m at home and can hear it through my window)
Go-To Comfort Food: Macaroni and cheese forever and ever, I’d like to consider myself somewhat of a mac and cheese connoisseur
Next on the List of Travel Destinations: Italy and Spain
Favorite Book as a Child: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, it was the first book I could read to other people from beginning to end and now I get to read it to my niece and nephew
Things That Give Me the Wiggins: Lotus roots or anything with lots of tiny holes close together really give me the heebie jeebies!
Kitchen Appliance You Can’t Live Without: I love all my kitchen appliances dearly, but I’ll have to go with my convection toaster oven. It makes leftover pizza so unbelievably crispy but so perfectly cheesy, it’s incredible.
Jaimisa Gourley, Fast Pitch Program Manager
Jaimisa is a Seattle native, recently returning home after living in the Bay Area. She comes to SVP after spending the majority of her career working in the for-profit sector with a background in digital media and technology innovation. She is enthusiastic about making a career move to the nonprofit space and is looking forward to working with a diverse group of area community members, leaders and innovators to drive local impact.
Jaimisa began her career at Sea Mar Community Health Centers, working with a primarily Spanish speaking patient population focused on providing a safe space for accessible and comprehensive health care. She remains passionate about immigrant rights and serves as a mentor for area students within education readiness organizations, firmly believing that equal access to education is a fundamental human right.
A University of Miami graduate, Jaimisa studied International Business and Spanish Language. She loves to experience new things through travel, language and culture and you can usually find her looking for a new favorite restaurant or food truck to try out.
Favorite Smell: Smoke from a candle burning out
Next on the List of Travel Destinations: I want to see it all! ….but short list would be South America & Greece and multiple returns to Mexico City
Favorite Quote: “You get what you settle for.”
Things that Give Me the Wiggins: All insects
First Job: Borracchini’s Bakery
Congratulations & Fond Farewells
Cecilia Garza joined the SVP Seattle and SVP International shared communications team in March of 2016. In her role as staff writer, she re-imagined and improved SVP’s newsletter, helped to develop our most sophisticated impact report yet, whipped the team into grammatical shape, and developed an outstanding series of stories that brings our work to life. We are delighted that Cecilia is stepping into her new role as SVP Seattle’s full-time communications manager!
Along with Cecilia’s transition, we also want to extend a fond farewell and a huge thank you to our graphic designer, Michael Castle. Michael joined the shared communications team in March 2016 with Cecilia and is now stepping into a full-time role as SVP International’s communications manager. So really it’s less of a “farewell” and more of a “see you around the office,” since SVPI and SVP Seattle are co-located.
We are very excited for Michael’s new role. He has elevated SVP’s communications tremendously during his time here – breathing new life into our products, including fresh designs for our impact report, newsletter, brochure and more. Plus, he is playing a vital role in developing SVP International’s new philanthropy curriculum, which will help set our partners up for success all around the world.
Finally, we want to extend our best wishes to our departing communications director, Willow Russell. Willow has shaped our communications for nearly nine years and her impact on SVP runs broad and deep. In addition to storytelling, Willow led SVP through its first true brand strategy process, which resulted in clearly articulated values and sparked the development of a shared global SVP brand and a common logo and website for SVP affiliates around the world.
Willow is tremendously grateful to be passing the communications baton to Cecilia and Michael. “They have both grown so much over the last year,” says Willow. “They’ve taken our communications far beyond what I could have done alone – and I am thrilled to see what they do next!”
The whole communications team has been working hard over the last two months to ensure a smooth transition. Cecilia and Michael start their new roles on June 1 and Willow’s last day will be June 16. However, she has no intention of the leaving the SVP family. She and her wife, Karen have been SVP Partners since 2012 and intend to stay involved.
Please join us in welcoming, congratulating and thanking all of our awesome team members!