Banchi moved to Seattle three years ago, with a bachelor’s degree in Management and Accounting and several years of work experience in Accounting. Banchi loves art, nature, and engaging with youth and community services, so DNDA is the perfect place to work because she gets to do what she loves. DNDA has passionate and knowledgeable staff, and Banchi feels working with the team is like learning something different every day and she has fun doing it. Outside of DNDA, she loves water and spends time by the ocean and going swimming, and also enjoys cooking and spending time with family.
Restoration Program Manager
Ben (he/him) joined DNDA first as a volunteer and later restoration crew leader. He once worked as a newspaper reporter until deciding to pursue a career in environmental conservation, eventually attending grad school at UW's College of the Environment where he received a master's degree in environmental horticulture and professional certificate in restoration ecology. Ben oversees DNDA's organization's forest restoration work with the Green Seattle Partnership and continues to use his journalism background to contribute to DNDA's communications team. He believes DNDA's environmental work helps to connect people to their environment and build future stewardship. He loves riding his bike, and he thinks the rain is pretty great.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Brittiany (she/her) was born and raised in Seattle, and she has been deeply involved in local nature and community volunteering from a young age. Brittiany's long career in healthcare deepened her love for caring for diverse individuals, inspiring her to transition to nonprofit work to support organizations uplifting low-income communities of color. After leading community engagement tactics in many roles, Brittiany joined DNDA in late 2023 to further the organization's commitment to creating a more socially and environmentally equitable region, especially for younger generations. In her free time, Brittiany loves spending time outside, reading, and traveling with her wife and two kids.
Forest Restoration Intern
Caitlin (she/her) was born and raised in Northeast Ohio, where she found her love for the outdoors. She earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and sustainability from Baldwin Wallace University. Through her studies she found a passion in exploring the relationship between the land and people, which led her to Seattle to serve with EarthCorps, where she developed her love for restoration and PNW ecology. Caitlin is exited to focus on cultivating a community within restoration work in the Seattle area through her role at DNDA. Outside of work she enjoys going on long walks through the parks around town and learning about plants/fungi!
Environmental Programs Director
Caroline was born and raised in Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Western Michigan University. She went on to obtain a professional certificate in Wetland Science and Management from the University of Washington and is currently working on a graduate certificate in Forests and Climate Change from Oregon State University. She moved to Washington State in 2013 where she has since been involved in the environmental restoration field, initially serving in the Washington Conservation Corps for King County DNRP for two years where she learned about PNW ecology and restoration practices related to riparian, forested, shoreline and wetland environments. At DNDA, Caroline loves getting to work outside in the parks and appreciates working with DNDA’s other staff that provide programming based in the arts and social justice. When Caroline is not working, she likes to hike with her dog and explore new landscapes.
Delaney (she/her) earned a bachelor’s in journalism and political science from Northeastern University to embrace her passion for closing communications gaps in underserved communities using inclusive language. After working in government, nonprofit, and private sectors, she joined DNDA in 2023 because of her enthusiasm for neighborhood revitalization. Delaney knew DNDA would be a perfect fit for her because of the organization’s focus on justice, innovative eco programs, and love for community and team. Delaney grew up in Oregon and missed the Pacific Northwest while living in Boston. She is new to Seattle and always invites recommendations for places to visit and reading materials to acquaint herself with the community. In her free time, Delaney tries to cook complicated plant-based meals while listening to legal podcasts. She also enjoys exercising outdoors and spending time with loved ones.
Art Programs Manager
Erin has been teaching in environmental education for the last decade, focusing on using arts based practices that help build senses of belonging and joy. She believes that through experiential, outdoor, collaborative learning, we can more deeply appreciate the life-giving services often taken for granted. Erin started as a teaching artist with DNDA in 2022, and comes to DNDA now as EcoArts program manager- grateful and eager to continue this community building practice. DNDA bridges together her alignment of values and action, EcoArts program especially resonating with her experience and goals. Erin is building upon knowledge gathered through life and through the Masters of Education from the University of Washington and IslandWood’s Education for Environment and Community program. You can find Erin doing collaborative art, jumping in the ocean, and/or making soup in her free time.
Hillary was born and raised in Oklahoma City, where she studied the arts throughout primary and secondary school. She graduated with her Bachelor’s in English Studies before teaching abroad in Thailand. Her international work inspired her to return to school and she graduated with her Master’s of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School in 2018. Since graduation, she has devoted herself to environmental justice, housing advocacy, and worker’s rights. She has worked with grassroots nonprofits across the Seattle Metro area in community outreach and grant writing to uplift the voices of underserved communities and promote justice and equity. She was drawn to DNDA through their shared values and diverse, community-centered programming.
Co-Executive Director of People and Programs
Imani (they/them) is a Seattleite with 15 years experience in the non-profit sector and 25+ years in the Seattle arts ecosystem. Their background as a performer and writer led to a love for afro-futurism and envisioning a soft thriving future for the community through writing. Imani is adamant about creating access to equitable resources for communities of color and supporting community transformation through the arts. Youngstown served as an invaluable resource for Imani's art career, so working with DNDA is an exciting opportunity for them to support the future of the Delridge neighborhood. In their free time, Imani can be found with a sci-fi novel in a neighborhood watering hole or creating transformative space for the Black and Brown LGBTQIA+ community through the arts.
Art Programs Specialist
Intale was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, but also spent his formative years in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Florida in 2014. Shortly after, he moved to the Pacific Northwest to pursue new possibilities in life. He later went on to receive a post-baccalaureate degree in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington, Bothell. Intale started serving with DNDA in early 2018. He loves DNDA because of the organization’s commitment to justice, equity, and community transformation. He is passionate about grassroots engagement and community-led programming, and his goal is to become an urban educator and work alongside an ever-growing number of East African community leaders in the Seattle area. In his free time, Intale enjoys reading, writing, attending open mics, photography, and the company of friends and family.
Environmental Education Coordinator
Jules (they/them/theirs) is a White Queer environmental educator and artist. They are committed to the ongoing work of teaching and connection with anti-racist and social justice practices. Jules’ passion is building and developing awareness of how we can best care for ourselves, other people, and the place/space/Beings around us to strive for individual and collective learning, healing, and growth. Jules has 12 years experience interweaving nature connection, education, and arts together and has been a Teaching Artist with DNDA since 2019. They are excited to be with DNDA full-time, creating, collaborating, and connecting! In and out of work, you can find Jules outside admiring Beings of Land, making art, telling stories, singing, using silly voices, and asking questions about things!
Jules is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides, graduate of IslandWood’s Education for Environment and Community Program, and has a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington.
Kim is an American artist who was born in Vietnam. He had the privilege of living in several different areas worldwide, including the Middle East, before his family finally settled in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, where Kim earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of Washington. Kim has been a part of the DNDA staff for over a decade and credits DNDA's values and service to the community as having a very positive influence on his life and his art.
Environmental Engagement Specialist (Washington Service Corps)
Louisa (she/her) was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned bachelors degrees in environmental studies and political science from American University, where she discovered the importance of climate justice and urban green space restoration. Louisa is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Associate. She is passionate about climate-resilient city planning, and she is dedicated to improving urban environments for better public health outcomes. After working at the Seattle Aquarium, Louisa joined DNDA as the Environmental Engagement Specialist in October 2023 for a 10.5-month service term to continue pursuing her passion for urban climate justice, as well as work to expand access to healthy green spaces for all communities. When she’s not working, you can find Louisa in her ceramics studio, baking something complicated, or listening to one of her favorite podcasts.
Co-Executive Director of Housing and Finance
Mesha was born and raised in Washington State. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Social Sciences from University of Washington, and eventually her Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on leadership from University of Maryland while living in Okinawa, Japan supporting the military. Mesha has 10+ years in the affordable housing industry ranging from assistant property manager to development director. Mesha loves being able to couple her expertise in housing to further strengthen the integration of art, nature, and neighborhood. She’s very passionate about everyone having access to affordable housing as well as understanding and feeling empowered by the process. She spent some time on the board of directors for DNDA getting to work alongside the staff and board, and now brings a unique prospective that can bridge further connection between the two. Outside of DNDA, Mesha is a mother to two beautiful daughters and a rambunctious mini golden doodle and together they love to explore the Delridge neighborhood they live in, attend local events, and go to movie theaters.
Community Giving Director
Phoenix (she/they) is originally from San Diego and moved to Seattle in 2022. They have worked in the intersection of tech and community development for 9 years. Phoenix is committed to persistent activism and has a passion for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work. Hired in 2023, they felt excited to join DNDA to develop new, innovative ways to foster a thriving local community. Outside of work, Phoenix enjoys weightlifting, gaming, baking, and spending time with family.
Reneeka (she/her) was born in Memphis and raised in Washington, and she proudly calls the PNW home. Reneeka attended a few different colleges before graduating from Central Washington University with a bachelor's in English, specifically professional and creative writing. In her free time, you can find Reneeka reading fantasy novels, creative writing, binge-watching the best shows, and spending time with friends and family. Hired in early 2024, Reneeka is excited to support DNDA with events and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center Manager
Vanessa (she/her) moved to Seattle about six years ago and joined DNDA in early 2024. She has worked in construction for more than 10 years, and spent three of those years working for a low-income housing construction company. Vanessa attended college on a full-ride basketball scholarship and studied communications. Before moving from Portland, OR, she was a basketball coach for 11 years for inner-city high school girls. She is very passionate about her work and working with youth. When she isn’t working, Vanessa enjoys watching sports, discovering good music, and game nights with friends.
Art Programs Director
Yeggy is an award-winning visual public artist whose work can be seen throughout the Seattle area. Armed with metal, stone, glass and a green approach to his work, Yeggy often uses mosaic to illustrate unity and diversity. His vision is to provoke questions about natural cycles, provide a sense of place and to reflect on the movement of time. Yeggy believes that public art needs to reflect the community, the culture and the people who live in it, especially in communities that are underserved. It’s not just about beauty – it’s an expression of the moment and the people. Yeggy's inspiration comes from what has stayed close to his heart. At DNDA, Yeggy creates and leads arts programs for youth in West Seattle and South Seattle communities. He also works as co-director of the Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long, a unique annual outdoor festival.
Forest Restoration Intern
Zara Sedore-Mallin is a community activist who has organized in the greater Seattle area since 2010. They believe that strong community forms from strong connections, like those between people, plants and place. They have worked in a variety of fields and come to ecological restoration from a perspective rooted in practicality, hope, and respect for all of the beings who call this area home. They are excited to continue their work in this field as part of the DNDA team, and to continue to educate, advocate for and empower the community DNDA exists within.