DNDA Staff

Erika Bell, Youngstown Manager – erika@youngstownarts.org

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Erika is an administrative professional with an extensive customer service and banking background. Joining the DNDA-Youngstown family in August 2015, Erika has seen rapid growth – from an increase in staff to new partnerships. She’s super excited about DNDA’s new projects and plans for the reemergence of Youngstown programming. She operates from a passion for relationship-building and trust, both in her role, and as a representative of Youngstown and DNDA in the community. She’s very proud to be part of a strong team that’s committed to the uplifting of youth, social justice, food justice and the arts.

Erika is a lover of music, spending much of her personal time writing and performing songs in the Seattle area, and collaborating with artists nationally. Her song, All About You, has been in rotation on local online radio station, Flava News Radio, and she’s currently working on new projects.

 

David Bestock, Executive Director – david@youngstownarts.org

all shots copy write by Mark Stone/ Stone Photography

David Bestock served as Director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for 3.5 years, before being named DNDA’s Executive Director in 2016. Before joining DNDA, David worked at World Arts Access supporting a youth-driven FM radio station in Sana’a, Yemen. He worked at the Northwest School in HR and as a PE teacher and coach, at UW’s College of Arts and Sciences in development, and at the Metrocenter YMCA leading high school environmental service learning groups. David has also worked with the Carter Center in South Sudan creating health education videos in local tribal languages targeting the prevalent and debilitating Guinea Worm Disease and Trachoma, and in Israel and the West Bank with Ultimate Peace building bridges between Israeli and Palestinian youth through the sport of Ultimate. He has also coached Ultimate in Colombia, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, and played for 10 years on the renowned men’s team Seattle Sockeye.

David’s administrative background is supported by his work as a writer, producer, and performer of theater, music, and film. He co-created, produced and performed in the original musical comedy Wisemen at ACT from 2011-2012, and continues to perform regularly as part of Unexpected Productions’ improvisational theater ensemble at the Market Theater in downtown Seattle. David’s eclectic background in arts, youth work, and management has proven an asset to DNDA and the Delridge community.

 

Willard Brown, Director of Housing & Environmental Programs – willard@dnda.org

Willard

As Director of Housing and Environmental Programs, Willard is focused on preserving green space and improving the environment in Delridge, as well as supporting and engaging the residents of DNDA’s housing properties. Since retiring from Seattle Housing Authority in 2010, after 34 years working as a key person in the redevelopment of Holly Park, Rainier Vista and High Point, Willard has worked in support of redeveloping Yesler Terrace, has worked with SHA to develop Relocation Plans for residents and non-profit organizations that were based on site. Willard has worked as a contractor with SHA and is currently working with Seattle Public Utilities to address green infrastructure in Delridge and with other organizations to improve access to resources and services for Delridge community members.

Willard has been championing the restoration and protection of the Wetlands & Stewardship Project in Delridge and is working closely with community members and organizations to gain their support for the project. Willard is active with the Delridge Neighborhood District Council and is currently serving as their Secretary. In addition, Willard serves on the Advisory Core Team that is updating the North Delridge Neighborhood Plan, and is a board member of the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition.

 

Nafasi Ferrell, Cultural Events Series Project Coordinator – nafasi@dnda.org

Nafasi

Nafasi is deeply committed to transforming youth education through the arts and creating intergenerational spaces of dialogue highlighting the importance of history in our continuous struggle for racial equity. As a teaching artist Nafasi has facilitated poetry sessions with homeless youth and led workshops with high school and community members in the Seattle area using hip-hop and poetry. She hopes to help bring together individuals, families, and organizations and give greater visibility to the many diverse communities in Delridge.

Nafasi hails from Oakland. A lover of great food, she is always looking for new restaurants to try and new recipes to experiment with. She is an avid lover of the world and if you don’t find her watching a random travel show she is undoubtedly planning her next trip across the sea.

 

Anita Hale, Development Manager – anita@dnda.org

Anita

Anita is thrilled to continue social justice work as a part of the team at DNDA & Youngstown! It’s an exciting time here, and many of the issues that DNDA works on in the community are near and dear to Anita’s heart, including housing access and youth engagement.

Anita has worked in non-profits for most of her professional life and hopes to help DNDA fully realize its vision in this community. Prior to DNDA, she had opportunities to advocate for both policy shifts and the rights of individuals within the justice system, as well as fundraise to make direct social justice work effective. In her position as DNDA’s Development Manager, she is excited to partner with the broader community to provide a platform of growth to further the agency’s mission and vision for a healthy, thriving Delridge.

 

 

Mary O’Donnell, Staff Accountant – mary@youngstownarts.org

Mary

Mary has been foster parent to 13 teenagers, and has been active for 20 years in improving benefits for kids who age out of the foster care system.  She has served on the program committee for Treehouse, and serves on the Youth Council of Seattle King County Workforce Development Council.  She has 40 years of experience as a corporate controller, and is ending her career working for two nonprofit organizations, DNDA and HERO House, an ICCD Clubhouse facility serving people with serious mental illness.

 

Nicholas Poccia, Community Connector – nick@dnda.org

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Nicholas is thrilled to be part of the DNDA team. Originally hailing from New Haven, CT, Nicholas spent 8 years as a professional mariner sailing the eastern seaboard from Nova Scotia, Canada through the Caribbean teaching youth marine environmental stewardship. His sailing career culminated when he was the full time Captain of the 91′ wooden schooner Quinnipiack operating on Long Island Sound.

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2013, Nicholas has worked at the confluence of sustainable food, social justice and environmental education. For the past two years with the Wilderness Awareness School, his focus has been youth mentoring, naturalist studies, and wilderness survival. Nicholas is also proud to be part of the Community Peacemaking Council where, through the Center For Ethical Leadership, he and his colleagues are bringing Peacemaking and Healing Circles to Seattle communities as part of a larger peacemaking movement.

He is excited to work with the Delridge community in building a vibrant, healthy and resilient neighborhood. Most of all, he is eagerly anticipating what amazing things can be built here when folks come together around their diverse strengths and the resulting beauty that will be passed down to the next generations.

 

 

Nelson Lu, Programs Associate – nelson@dnda.org

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Nelson is excited to be part of the DNDA team and uses his experience to build capacity and further DNDA’s social justice mission. Prior to DNDA, he cofounded an organization, MyScholarshipStory, to connect resources for socioeconomically underserved high school students to attain scholarships. He was also part of the Dream Project, which he assisted low-income and first-generation high school students in attaining higher education and to raise awareness among university students about the issues of educational opportunity and social mobility.

Outside of his main passion, Nelson is interested in making our communities healthier. He graduated from University of Washington with a degree in Biochemistry and Public Health. He participated in many research projects from community level such as analyzing and evaluating HIV/AIDS policies in Namibia and in Seattle, nutritional policies in Mississippi and in San Sebastian, Spain, to cellular level such as how Ebola infects human cells. With his experience, he aims to bridge the gap between science, data, and policies in building a healthier Delridge.

 

Kim Tran (BK Tran), Youngstown Facilities

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Kim is a Vietnamese born artist. His interests include the arts, and anything related to the arts, with an emphasis on the visual arts; diversity; sustainability; and education. My role at Youngstown is as a facilities caretaker, a problem solver, and an artist.