Samantha Harris is the Middle School librarian at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma. She began her work in education in 1995 as a member of the Inner City Teaching Corps in Chicago, Illinois. In 1999, she moved to the Pacific Northwest and began work at First Place School in Seattle, an education and social service agency working with youth and families in transition from homelessness. In 2004, she moved to Tacoma and began work at Charles Wright Academy, where she also chairs the Diversity Committee. Sam holds a BS in Anthropology from Santa Clara University, a Masters in Education from Loyola University, Chicago and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.
Not surprisingly, Sam loves books. She also enjoys knitting socks, hats and tiny adorable creatures for friends and family. One day she hopes to spend more time traveling to England, Ireland and the Isle of Man, where she was born; live on a farm with donkeys, goats and chickens; and write a best-selling young adult book that will leave the Hunger Games series in the dust.
Sam has been on the annual Black & White Gayla committee since 2009 and has co-chaired the event since 2011. Sam also volunteers at the Oasis Youth Center.
John Cummings is honored to have served Washington’s LGBTQIA community on the Board at the Rainbow Center since 2012.
John lives in Tacoma is a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, where he has worked since 2006. He volunteers as head coach of the mock trial team at Seattle University School of Law and lectors at St. Leo Catholic Church.
John is an Eagle Scout, a recipient of the Business Examiner’s Forty Under 40 Award for Rising Leaders, and a 2013 Fellow of the Washington Leadership Institute. He holds a bachelors degrees from Gonzaga University and juris doctorate from Seattle University.
John enjoys hiking the beautiful trails of the Pacific Northwest, perusing Tacoma’s great local bookstores, and playing Texas Hold ’em.
Kathryn Mahan is a Christian mother of 9 wonderful young adults. She holds her BA in Business Administration (UWT, 1996), and her Masters in Public Administration (TESC, 2000). She has worked in local government for nearly 30 years and is currently the Budget & Fund Development Coordinator at the Pierce Conservation District.
Holly Powers is a Senior Program Officer at The Russell Family Foundation where she manages several portfolios of grants and community relationships for the foundation’s Environmental Sustainability Program. Holly has her Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Washington Tacoma, where she studied environmental justice. As a proud ally, Holly volunteered for Tacoma Pride, WA United for Marriage / Referendum 74, and the Oasis and Rainbow Center “Creating Community Campaign” before joining the Rainbow Center board. Holly also sits on the board of Urban Grace Church and on several committees for Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.
Dominiqué is an Industrial Appeals Judge for the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound, and her Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law in 1998. She is a fellow of Leadership Tomorrow (2013), the WSBA Judicial Institute (2012), and the Mendoza School of Business at Notre Dame. Prior to her appointment to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, she was a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Social Security Administration, a Judge Advocate in the Army, a county prosecutor, and a senior civil rights litigator with the City of Seattle handling the Seattle Police Department’s high profile Section 1983 Civil Rights suits in state and federal court. Before becoming a lawyer, Judge Jinhong was a potter and banker.
Heather has lived in Tacoma since 1998 and is proud to live in Pierce County! Prior to living in Tacoma, she was born and raised in Auburn, WA, and attended colleges in Utah and WA, graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, and is a graduate of the Out In Front LGBTQ Leadership Institute. Heather works for the Puget Sound Educational Service District as a Regional Education Services Coordinator working with children/students in poverty and focused on Equity in Education and anti-racism/anti-oppression. She was actively involved in, and volunteered for, the Marriage Campaign and as it became Ref. 74 for the last few years, as well as volunteering for progressive 27th district legislators’ campaigns. As a result of the statewide Marriage Campaign, Heather was able to marry her partner, Kay Westfall Kawamoto, of 15 years in June of 2013. Thank you for voting for love!
Heather and Kay have a young daughter, Kayleigh, who also volunteered for the Marriage campaign and local legislators’ campaigns. Heather is inspired by Kayleigh and her generosity to volunteer and donate to campaigns and organizations that are important to her and her family, like the Oasis Rainbow Center (ORC) Creating Community Campaign, as well to the Marriage campaign and her local legislators’ campaigns.
Heather is THRILLED to serve the LGBTQ community through the Rainbow Center Board and continue to increase awareness and work for legal rights and protections to better support everyone in our communities.
Ken was born and raised here in Tacoma, WA. His first interactions with volunteering for the LGBTQIA community was at Portland State University with the Queer Resource Center on campus. Upon moving back to Tacoma Ken became involved in the community, volunteering with Equal Rights Washington for Marriage Equality, and for the Annual Gayla with the Rainbow Center. Ken is very blessed to be able to support the movement of the Rainbow Center, and the Community it supports.
Currently Ken is an Insurance Agent, with the Jerry Hallman Insurance Agency. His free time is spent in the garden, cooking, or taking his beloved dog Gus out to the park. Ken thoroughly enjoys supporting local business in Tacoma, and boosting the local economy and LGBTQIA community.
Ethan is originally from Upstate NY, but spent most of his childhood moving from place to place. He has lived in New York, Texas, North Carolina, and Washington, as well as England and Germany. He came to Tacoma in 2008 after graduating from the United States Military Academy and was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. After serving 5 years as a Military Police officer, Ethan got out and started volunteering weekly at the Tacoma Rainbow Center. Impressed with all the Rainbow Center did for the community, Ethan quickly said yes when he was approached about being a board member in 2013. He is proud to serve the LGBTQIA community.
Ethan is currently a Veterinary Assistant at All Creatures Animal Hospital and enjoys helping animals and their owners. Ethan enjoys all the PNW has to offer and can usually be found hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, or just generally being outside.