Staff

Three staff conversing in the reception area of the Group Health Foundation office.

Staff


  • Brenda Anibarro

    Brenda Anibarro

    Learning and Evaluation Director

  • Dion Asberry

    Dion Asberry

    Human Resources Director

  • Mitchell Chen

    Operations Associate

  • Steven Cole-Schwartz

    Vice President of Programs

  • Kayla Davis

    Program Associate

  • Fautimah El-Mehrik

    Program Associate

  • Rosa Gimson

    Board Relations Manager

  • Willa Gubner

    Accounting Manager

  • Jorge Gutierrez

    Program Officer

  • Bárbara Guzmán

    Program Associate

  • Diana Huynh

    Communications Director

  • Tony A. (naschio) Johnson

    Tony A. (naschio) Johnson

    Program Officer

  • EJ Juárez

    Public Policy Manager

  • LiLi Liu

    Program Officer

  • Carmen Loh

    Finance and Administration Director

  • Nichole Maher

    Nichole June Maher

    President and CEO

  • Kiana McKenna

    Program Associate

  • Eduardo (Eddie) Moreno

    Special Assistant to the CEO

  • Muthu Muthiah

    Muthu Muthiah

    Chief Investment Officer

  • Ann Ngo

    Operations and Technology Associate

  • Rubén Peralta

    Program Officer

  • Julia Reilly

    Investment Associate

  • Cory Sbarbaro

    Executive Vice President

  • Jay Thomas

    Program Officer

  • Peng Wang

    Managing Director of Investments

  • Dawn Wilson

    Investment Operations Director

Brenda Anibarro

Brenda Anibarro

Learning and Evaluation Director

As the Foundation’s learning and evaluation director, Brenda oversees the development of a research and evaluation framework and leads community engagement efforts. She aims to ensure the experiences of communities most impacted by inequities are central to the Foundation’s learning, guiding how the Foundation meaningfully supports community-led efforts. Previously, Brenda served as deputy director and policy manager at the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. She feels fortunate to have incredible mentors throughout her life, from her mother who raised four kids on a steady diet of liberation theology, service, and love, to community elders who lead with the value of “nothing for us, without us.”

Brenda earned her BA at Western Washington University and MSc at the London School of Economics. Her greatest learning, however, has and continues to come from being the mother of two little ones.

Dion Asberry

Dion Asberry

Human Resources Director

Dion oversees recruitment and develops organization-wide programs to support employee success and a positive team culture. Dion has spent the last 15 years as a human resources professional, partnering with other leaders to develop and execute successful recruiting strategies and employee engagement programs, as well as to establish new business functions. He has worked with Neighborcare Health, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Amazon, Group Health Cooperative, Starbucks Coffee Company, and Alaska Airlines. As a person of color with his own health story, Dion recognizes the impacts of racial injustices, and is eager to be part of an organization looking to make extraordinary changes that improve health equity across the state.

Dion also serves on the clergy at Freedom Church of Seattle, where he’s involved with the Youth Violence Prevention Network, a daily love and peace campaign that engages young people in preventing violence of any form, as well as with the 100 Man Army, which brings together males of all ages for worship and community service. In addition, Dion enjoys spending time with his extended family, exploring new restaurants, and cooking (Food Network is his source of inspiration). He attended Warner Pacific College.

Mitchell Chen

Operations Associate

Mitchell provides administrative and project support to the executive vice president, as well as initiative support for human resources, finance, operations, and communications. Most recently, Mitchell served as the advancement and communications officer for the University of Washington (UW) Department of Biology, where he managed policies and procedures for a robust portfolio of endowments, advancement projects, and donor stewardship events. Previously, Mitchell worked with Solid Ground and with Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE) to advance affordable housing and voter engagement initiatives.

Mitchell earned an MPA from the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, as well as a BS in microbiology and biochemistry from the UW. In his free time, Mitchell enjoys exploring the region’s vibrant food scene with friends.

Steven Cole-Schwartz

Vice President of Programs

As a vice president, Steven is responsible for the vision, development, and implementation of a range of grantmaking, leadership, and power-building strategies to advance health equity in Washington and beyond. Steven has been nationally recognized for moving philanthropy toward greater investment in people and communities. He is particularly committed to supporting community leaders in becoming increasingly influential advocates and changemakers. Most recently, he served as the executive director of The Partnership Funds, a collaborative dedicated to winning anti-racist independent political power in states across the country. Steven was also the founder of his own consulting firm, a senior leader at the Tides Foundation, and an early staff member at Ballot Initiative Strategy Center.

Steven serves on the board of the Funder’s Committee for Civic Participation, for whom he was previously co-chair. He is on the governing board of the Alliance for Youth Organizing, and was a founding board member of the Ohio Transformation Fund, among other grantmaking collaborations. Steven, his husband, and their dog are delighted to explore Washington State, following more than 15 years in the District of Columbia, where they were proud Washingtonians of a different type. Steven studied theology and philosophy at Creighton University.

Kayla Davis

Program Associate

In her role as a program associate, Kayla ensures that the grants team functions efficiently and effectively as the Foundation supports community-based, equity-focused organizations throughout Washington State. She provides administrative support, relationship management, research, and team-wide coordination. Kayla was most recently a program associate for the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and, before that, the youth program director for the Center for Community Impact at YMCA Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

Kayla is deeply connected to her community in Tacoma. During non-work hours, she spends time volunteering, helping community members problem solve, or taking road trips around Washington State. Kayla earned a BA in psychology from Central Washington University, and is the founder of a mentoring program for girls ages 11 to 17 called Purple Roses.

Fautimah El-Mehrik

Program Associate

Fautimah supports the grants team as they work to engage with and learn from communities across the state and deliver on the Foundation’s grantmaking strategies. She also provides executive-level administrative and project support to the vice president of programs.

Fautimah earned a BA in sociology with a minor in diversity studies from the University of Washington, where she graduated in 2019. In addition to her studies, Fautimah’s experiences as a biracial woman have led her on a path to equity and social justice work. In her free time, Fautimah loves taking film pictures of her family and friends, listening to music and, most importantly, spending time with her cat Pierre.

Rosa Gimson

Board Relations Manager

Rosa collaborates with Group Health Foundation staff and the board of directors to manage the board experience and ensure the board’s work is rooted in the organization’s values. Previously, she worked at the REACH Project with people experiencing homelessness in the Seattle area. Rosa was raised in a biracial and multicultural family, from whom she learned the power of believing people’s stories and listening to their truths.

Rosa earned an MPA from the Evans School at the University of Washington and a BA in anthropology from Linfield College. In her free time, Rosa enjoys getting outside as much as possible, quilting, and finding ways to satisfy her massive sweet tooth.

Willa Gubner

Accounting Manager

Willa is our accounting manager, overseeing the day-to-day financial activities and working with the finance and administration director to design procedures that best serve the needs of staff and community partners. Willa has dedicated her professional career working with nonprofit organizations, previously working as accounting manager for Tides Center in San Francisco and for Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland.

Willa earned her BA in accounting from Portland State University, and is a licensed certified public accountant in Oregon and Washington. Outside of work, Willa loves reading, playing board games, and hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Jorge Gutierrez

Program Officer

As a program officer, Jorge cultivates relationships with communities across Washington State to advance the Foundation’s grantmaking and program strategies. Most recently, Jorge served as the executive director of the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council in Oregon, where he helped grow the organization from the ground up to become a state leader in the empowerment of the Latino community. While there, he established La Voz de la Comunidad (The Voice of the Community) to create a platform for community members to engage civically and influence policy. Previously, Jorge worked in the entertainment industry and as a paralegal, before he discovered his life passion for community power-building.

Jorge earned his BA in political science from Bowdoin College. Outside of work, Jorge and his partner like to travel, spend time with their Shiba Inu dog, and watch horror and classic movies. Jorge also enjoys reading history books, in part because understanding the past can help with understanding the present.

Bárbara Guzmán

Program Associate

As part of the learning and community and engagement team, Bárbara (Baar-bha-rah) brings expertise and knowledge of north central Washington communities to the Foundation. She provides administrative and project support for the Foundation’s learning, community engagement, and evaluation activities. Bárbara has more of a decade of experience serving immigrant and low-income students and families. She spent the last four years with the North Central Educational Service District, training school staff and parents as well as reviewing migrant education programs in multiple school districts. Prior to that, she helped build the Latino/a Education Achievement Project (LEAP), a program for academic achievement and leadership development for Latino students in Washington.

Bárbara earned a bachelor’s degree and an MPA from the University of Washington. She loves enjoying the beauty of her region, traveling, and eating delicious food—particularly her mom’s.

Diana Huynh

Communications Director

Diana leads the development and execution of communications strategies to advance community aspirations for health equity across Washington. Most recently, Diana served as the communications director for the Community Center for Education Results, where she oversaw communications for the Road Map Project initiative in South King County. She worked in collaboration with education institutions, community-based organizations, state and local government, and students and families to advocate for racial equity in seven school districts. In addition to being an experienced journalist, Diana previously worked with American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. and with Asian Americans for Equality in New York.

Diana continues to be involved in local educational justice work as a member of the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition. She earned her MPA from New York University and a BA in journalism at Temple University. Diana spends time outside of work staying connected to her cultural heritage through cooking, language study, and taking in stories and reading books by Vietnamese people.

Tony A. (naschio) Johnson

Tony A. (naschio) Johnson

Program Officer

As a program officer, Tony (naschio) builds relationships with communities and grantees across Washington State and helps shape grantmaking and program strategies to improve health equity. He has spent his career promoting cultural and community health, including serving as director of the Education and Heritage Department for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, chair of the Northwest Indian Language Institute Advisory Board at the University of Oregon, and cultural education coordinator and language specialist with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Born and raised in Southwest Washington, Tony is a member of the Chinook Indian Nation and chairman of the Tribal Council, as well as chairman of the Cultural Committee. He brings deep, multi-generational connections with tribal and non-tribal communities throughout the state and a personal understanding of the socioeconomic injustices present in many rural communities.

Tony is also an artist, carver, and designer. His most recent project—a large-scale installation reflecting the arrival of a Chinookan canoe carrying cultural heroes from the Columbia River—will be displayed on the entry plaza of the newly-renovated Burke Museum. He and his family live above the Willapa River, where they feel inspired by the natural beauty around them and compelled by the lifeways of their ancestors. Tony studied silversmithing and American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and earned a BFA with a minor in anthropology at Central Washington University. He is also a licensed American Indian language teacher specific to the Chinuk Wawa language that he learned from his elders.

EJ Juárez

Public Policy Manager

EJ is responsible for advancing the Foundation’s public policy agenda, developing internal systems for advocacy, and leading the Foundations political work. EJ has spent the past decade as an electoral organizer, trainer, and policy analyst with deep roots across the Northwest. He has worked with Progressive Majority to help elect candidates to office, Win/Win Network to improve people of color’s representation in government decision-making, and Amplify to increase the representation of young people, LGBTQI, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color in local governance structures. He has also helped build innovative partnerships and address inequities through his roles at the Seattle Public Library and Solid Ground. EJ is a former shop steward with OPEIU Local 8 and organizer with SEIU1199NW.

EJ currently serves as first vice chair for King County’s Elections Oversight Committee. Previously, he served on the boards of the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct, Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and Seattle Education Association. He has an MA from the University of Washington-Bothell, where he was inducted into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Excellence, and a BA from Saint Martin’s University, where he is a distinguished alumnus. Outside of work, EJ loves reading and spending time in Central Washington where he grew up.

LiLi Liu

Program Officer

LiLi works to advance Group Health Foundation’s grantmaking and program strategies by building relationships with communities and grantees across Washington State. LiLi is a seasoned grantmaker, having worked 11 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation developing strategies and managing programs to promote equitable outcomes for families and communities across Washington. Prior to that, she served as the local learning partnership manager for Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Making Connections Initiative” in White Center, and as a grants specialist and evaluation coordinator at the City of Seattle Human Services Department. LiLi started her career as an AmeriCorps communications coordinator in Seattle’s International District and a Peace Corps community health educator in Fiji.

As a first generation Taiwanese-American who grew up in Seattle, LiLi understands the power of community organizing to elevate the voices of communities of color. She earned her MPH from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and BS from the University of Washington. Outside of work, LiLi enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the Pacific Northwest with her family.

Carmen Loh

Finance and Administration Director

Carmen serves as the finance and administration director, and is responsible for overseeing and ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the Foundation’s systems, internal controls, and procedures. Early on in her career, Carmen was inspired by mission-driven organizations working with communities that had been marginalized. She strives to make the Foundation’s grantmaking process streamlined and convenient so organizations can focus on programmatic efforts. Prior to the Foundation, she worked at various nonprofits in Washington and California.

A first-generation college graduate, Carmen earned a BA in business management and economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She serves on the board of Southeast Seattle Education Coalition, which seeks to improve education for students furthest from opportunities. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in her community of Beacon Hill in Seattle and rediscovering life marvels with her seven-year-old son, Mateo.

Nichole Maher

Nichole June Maher

President and CEO

Nichole June Maher joined Group Health Foundation as president and CEO in October of 2018 after spending six years as the CEO of Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF). Under her guidance, NWHF became a national forerunner in equity and a champion of supporting communities to improve their own health. Previously, Nichole served for 11 years as executive director of Native American Youth and Family Center, an organization widely recognized as having one of the most effective and innovative wrap-around family service models for Native Americans in the United States. One of Nichole’s most satisfying and impactful accomplishments has been co-founding the Coalition of Communities of Color, a powerful advocacy group in Oregon and regionally.

Nichole has served on a number of governing boards, including Grantmakers in Health, Philanthropy Northwest, National Urban Indian Family Coalition, and Northwest Indian College Foundation. She holds an MPH from the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. She also completed a fellowship at Harvard Medical School and the Robert Wood Johnson Minority Medical Education program at Yale Medical School. Nichole is proud of her Alaskan heritage and her connection to rural communities across Washington and Oregon. She is the mother of three young children.

Kiana McKenna

Program Associate

Kiana McKenna helps build relationships with communities and drive key learnings for the organization as part of the learning and community engagement team. In addition to identifying opportunities for values-driven engagement, she provides administrative and project support to the Foundation’s community outreach, learning, and evaluation efforts. A graduate of Gonzaga University, Kiana most recently worked at Empire Health Foundation in Spokane as a program coordinator and communications associate, helping to establish collaborative partner relationships, and ensure values alignment and the use of intentional language across communications.

Born and raised in Spokane, Kiana maintains her deep roots in community as an advisory committee member of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) Spokane, participating in the Spokane Coalition of Color, and serving as a board member of the local YWCA chapter. She is also a community organizer with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in eastern Washington. When she’s not working, you can find her in community, with her family, which includes her two-year-old rescue pup or outdoors, no matter the weather.

Eduardo (Eddie) Moreno

Special Assistant to the CEO

Eddie manages the president and CEO’s daily workflow, cultivates relationships, and provides support for a range of initiatives on behalf of the president’s office. Most recently, Eddie served as a community engagement officer for Northwest Health Foundation in Portland, Oregon, where he co-designed and implemented community-driven and school-based strategies to improve health across the state. Previously, Eddie worked in nonprofit education supporting families and youth facing barriers to opportunity to grow their leadership and social skills and improve their academic achievement.

Eddie is a dedicated community volunteer, having served on the Nonprofit Association of Oregon board of directors, Stand for Children Oregon’s “Beat the Odds” scholarship committee, and other culturally specific and LGBTQ-focused organizations. Eddie is fluent in Spanish, and earned his BA in Spanish with an emphasis in communication studies from the University of Portland. Outside of work, Eddie enjoys taking weekend trips with his partner (and Floyd the dog) and exploring new corners of the great Northwest. He also appreciates spending time with family and friends.

Muthu Muthiah

Muthu Muthiah

Chief Investment Officer

Muthu oversees the strategic and sustainable growth of Group Health Foundation’s investments—stewarding our financial assets to create returns that advance our mission. Muthu is a seasoned asset management professional, with experience investing globally across various asset classes, including private equity, venture capital, real estate, real assets, and both public and private investments in emerging economies. He has led investment teams and strategies at Emory Investment Management, Covariance Capital Management, the University of Richmond, the State Board of Administration of Florida, and RSM Equico.

Outside of work, Muthu reads a lot of nonfiction books, stays active by bicycling or jogging, and enjoys watching Tamil movies. He also likes to travel, including visiting his family and community in India. Muthu holds a BHM from Mangalore University and an MBA from Rollins College.

Ann Ngo

Operations and Technology Associate

As the operations and technology associate, Ann enjoys thinking about and setting up systems and processes to facilitate collaboration and connection. Growing up the daughter of refugees and in a multicultural immigrant community in Everett, Ann has witnessed firsthand how the health of individuals is deeply impacted by the community structures surrounding them. She has held on to these experiences as she pursued an undergraduate and graduate degree in public health. In her professional career, Ann has been compelled to work at nonprofit organizations that center communities in their work and service.

Most of Ann’s time outside of work is centered around food. Whether exploring neighborhood restaurants or sharing home-cooked meals with friends and family, she loves how food brings people together and teaches us about cultural history.

Rubén Peralta

Program Officer

As a program officer, Rubén Peralta builds relationships with grantees and collaborates with Foundation colleagues to develop, recommend, implement, and evaluate grants and programs. Most recently, he was the community and tribal engagement specialist for the Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health, which serves nine counties in southern and southeast Washington. While there, he worked with communities to identify structural barriers to health and well-being to allocate grants. Rubén began his career with the Pasco School District, where he was also once a student. He was a bilingual educator and then later served as dean of students and a school board member.

Rubén lives in Pasco, where he is raising three children: Diego, an excellent saxophone player; Camila, a future kindergarten teacher; and Valentina, an aspiring immigration lawyer. He attended Columbia Basin College and earned a degree in social studies and a secondary teaching certificate from Washington State University. Rubén enjoys family gatherings, watching sports, and camping at nearby state parks. One of his favorite hobbies is tinkering with his car.

Julia Reilly

Investment Associate

As an investment associate, Julia Reilly is helping build Group Health Foundation’s investment portfolio and operational infrastructure from the ground up. She is responsible for supporting the sourcing, due diligence, and monitoring of the Foundation’s investments in both public and private markets. Most recently, Julia worked on the investment team at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., helping manage a $1.8 billion endowment for the world’s largest network of museums, education, and research institutions, which include 19 museums and the National Zoo.

After graduating from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, Julia worked as an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Julia grew up in Renton, went to high school in Covington, and is grateful to be back in Washington and closer to family. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, reading nonfiction, and travelling internationally.

Cory Sbarbaro

Executive Vice President

Cory has been with the Foundation since its inception, serving as the acting president and CEO during the Foundation’s inaugural two years. In that capacity, he led the establishment of the Foundation’s core operations and infrastructure, and managed the formation and development of the board. Cory now serves as the executive vice president—overseeing operations, finance, human resources, communications, technology, and organizational development, while providing counsel and support on governance and long-term strategy. Prior to his current role, Cory spent 16 years as a leadership and organizational change consultant for nonprofit organizations and coalitions in the Pacific Northwest. In that capacity, he served as an interim CEO for nine organizations, provided counsel to more than 100 boards of directors, and guided dozens of organizations through complex organizational transitions.

Cory is also passionate about cultivating and supporting nonprofit leaders. Through a partnership of the Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits & Philanthropy and Cascade Executive Programs at the University of Washington (UW), Cory co-created the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute—an intensive, six-day learning experience for senior-level nonprofit professionals in the Pacific Northwest. He served as the faculty lead for the program from its inception in 2007 through 2019. Cory also served for 12 years as the lead instructor for the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program offered through UW Professional & Continuing Education. In 2009, he received a UW Teaching Excellence Award. Cory is a graduate of the UW Evans School of Public Affairs, where he earned an MPA with a focus on leadership, organizational development, and financial management.

Jay Thomas

Program Officer

Jay fosters and maintains relationships with communities and grantees in the southern Puget Sound region in order to advance Group Health Foundation’s grantmaking and advocacy strategies. A 25-year veteran of the Pierce County nonprofit ecosystem, he has worked every position from front-desk receptionist to board member. Most recently, Jay served as executive director of the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation, building, supporting, and mobilizing the community to address issues like hunger, healthcare access, and student success. Prior to that, he served on the executive leadership teams for Peace Community Center, Associated Ministries, United Way of Pierce County, Bates Technical College, and the YMCA of Greater Seattle. Jay has earned a earned a master’s in nonprofit leadership from Seattle University after earning a bachelor’s in social work from the University of Washington.

Jay is also a musician and has been playing the piano since age six. In addition to producing music for artists across a range of genres, Jay has produced two of his own instrumental jazz albums. He is a part-time financial coach and loves to travel, solve Sudoku puzzles, and watch sitcoms with his family. Jay lives with his wife of 26 years, and they’ve raised their two daughters in the town of Frederickson.

Peng Wang

Managing Director of Investments

Peng is responsible for manager selection, asset allocation, portfolio construction, and risk management of the Foundation’s assets. He previously was the head of portfolio research for TIAA Endowments, a risk manager at the $7.5 billion University of Virginia Investment Management Company, and an analyst at Georgetown University’s $1.2 billion investment office. Peng has extensive expertise in asset allocation and risk management with several publications in top-tier journals, including the Journal of Portfolio Management, Journal of Private Equity, Journal of Wealth Management, and Financial Analyst Journal, where he was awarded the Graham & Dodd Award of Excellence – Reader’s Choice for one of his publications. He was also listed as one of Chief Investment Officer’s “Forty Under Forty” in 2015.

Peng earned an MS in physics with a concentration in computer modeling and simulations from Georgetown University, and a BS in physics and economics from Peking University (Beijing University) in Beijing, China. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. In his free time, Peng likes hiking, fishing, and hunting. He is an avid photographer, with his pictures published in Lonely Planet travel guides. Peng also enjoys spending time with his spouse and young daughter.

Dawn Wilson

Investment Operations Director

Dawn oversees a range of compliance, monitoring, analysis, and reporting functions for Group Health Foundation’s investment portfolio.  She holds extensive knowledge of investment operations and alternative investments.

Dawn spent two decades working for university endowments.  She was at the University of Virginia (UVA) as an accountant on the investment team and then later served as manager of investment operations and then director of investment operations. Dawn supervised all aspects of investment accounting, shareholder accounting, operations of investment pools, investment performance and compliance reporting, and safeguarding of assets. UVA formed a separate foundation, the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO), to manage the long-term assets of the university and university-related foundations.  Dawn was part of the team during the transition.  During her 17-year tenure at the university and UVIMCO, assets under management grew from $1.7 billion to more than $8 billion.

Most recently, Dawn was the senior director for investment administration at Emory University and worked as an independent consultant advising nonprofit institutions on investment operations. She lives in a multigenerational household with her parents, husband, and adult son. In addition to being among with loved ones, she enjoys spending time outside gardening and inside sewing.

To learn more about our board of directors, visit our Board page.

For information about job opportunities at the Foundation, visit our Join Our Team page.