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Board of Directors

Michael Heinisch – Board President

Mike Heinisch, CCER board vice president

Mike has been the Executive Director of Kent Youth & Family Services since October 1999.  Prior to his position with KYFS, he was at Highline West Seattle Mental Health Center (Navos) as Director of the Children and Family Division, preceded by various management positions at Catholic Community Services as Children’s Mental Health Programs and Foster Care Director and Family Counseling Program Manager.

He is a current South King Council of Human Services board member (three terms president) and former two-term member of United Way of King County’s Board of Directors and currently co-chair’s United Way’s Public Policy Council. He is a member of Community In Schools of Kent’s Board of Directors, Alliance of Non Profits (two-term board president and recipient of the Executive Alliance Non Profit Leadership award in 2003), Board President of Building Better Futures, Co-Chair of the King County Alliance for Human Services and Co-Chair of the King County Mental Illness Drug Dependency (MIDD) Oversight Committee.

In January 2012, Mike joined the Governing Board of Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority as well as the Community Center for Educational Results (CCER). He serves on the Kent Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and is a current City of Kent Human Services Commission member.  He is also a member of the King County Committee to End Homeless Interagency Council.  Mike obtained his Masters Degree in counseling from Seattle University in 1983 and is a native of Wisconsin having relocated to Western Washington in 1979.  He and his spouse, Gail, have resided in Burien the past 26 years.

John Kim – Secretary


John Kim was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy before earning a BA, Government, from Dartmouth College.  After working in New York, Boston and Seoul, he earned a JD from New York University School of Law in 1989.

After working at a firm in Washington, D.C., John moved to Seattle in 1997 to become Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Northwest Hospital & Medical Center. Starting in 2001, John worked with industrial painting companies in the US and Panama, and moved to Panama in 2005 to create and execute a strategic plan for Bahia Escribano, SA to build a luxury marina.

John returned to Northwest Hospital 1997 as the Executive Director of the Northwest Hospital Foundation. During this time, John joined the boards of Seattle Jobs Initiative (Finance Committee), Dale Turner Family YMCA (Chair), Shoreline Breakfast Rotary, Northwest Community Health Education and Simulation Center and took a leadership role with Richmond Beach Congregational Church UCC (Moderator).

In 2012, John debuted the role of Chief Operating Officer at Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, a membership organization representing community health centers in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In September 2013, John became the third Executive Director of Seattle Jobs Initiative.

Suzanne Dale Estey


Suzanne Dale Estey is a Partner with Gallatin Public Affairs where she provides strategic communications, government relations and economic development services to some of the region’s leading businesses and organizations. A Seattle native with more than 25 years’ experience delivering results in economic development, intergovernmental relations and nonprofit leadership, Suzanne has a unique public-private understanding of policy making. Most recently, Suzanne served as the President & CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County (EDC). At the EDC, Suzanne fostered partnerships to protect and create more than 6,500 King County jobs at 75 companies, and generate over $750 million in new investment, helping drop countywide unemployment to historic lows. Suzanne previously served as Economic Development Director for the City of Renton; Vice President of Government & Industry Relations for Washington Mutual; State & Federal Government Relations Manager for the King County Executive; State Lobbyist for the City of Seattle; Federal Legislative Analyst for the Governor of Washington; Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at The White House; Pacific Northwest & Texas Program Director for Junior Statesmen, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, civics education program for high school student leaders, and she also ran a consulting firm.

Suzanne also serves as a board member of the Washington Economic Development Association, The Junior Statesmen Foundation, Renton Technical College and the Seattle Colleges Advisory Councils, and she is President of the University of Washington (UW) Alumni Association board, as well as an active volunteer in the Seattle Public Schools. A K-12 graduate of Seattle Public Schools, Suzanne received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Politics from Whitman College and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Daniel J. Evans School at the University of Washington. She and her husband, Mike, have two active school-age sons.

Lyn Tangen


Lyn Tangen most recently was the Senior Director, Corporate Communications, for Vulcan Inc., where she worked for 10 years.  Prior to that, she owned and ran a small winery in Eastern Washington and served on the board and as president of the Washington Wine Institute.  She served as legal advisor to Mayor Paul Schell, and was a partner in the law firm of Riddell Williams where her practice was focused on commercial real estate development.

Lyn was born and raised in Seattle and has spent most of her life in this city.  She has served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Seattle Association, the UW Law School Foundation and other civic and non-profit organizations.  Currently, she is on the boards of FareStart,  Friends of Waterfront Seattle and the Community Center for Education Results.

Israel Vela


Israel Vela is currently the Executive Director of Schools for the Southwest region in the Seattle School District. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Student and Family Engagement in the Kent School District. Israel has been an educator for 24 years and during this time he served as a classroom teacher, staff development educator, elementary school principal and special services director.

In his current capacity as Executive Director for Seattle Public Schools, Israel oversees more than 8,700 students in 17 schools and a staff of nearly 850. Israel has first-hand knowledge of how critical support and high expectations are to making sure that all students are prepared to be highly skilled and productive citizens. Since joining Seattle Public Schools in August 2013, Israel has brought his collaborative trademark to such projects as the District Support Team, helping schools in the Southwest region connect with Central Office staff to broaden cooperation and respect for all the work that is done to support teaching and learning.

Israel is an active member on the Kent Youth and Family Services Board of Directors since 2007, where he served as Board President from October 2011 to September 2013. It was Israel’s vision that resulted in the Kent School District Refugee Transition Center becoming a reality. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors for the Lucy Lopez Center in Kent, an organization that builds strategic, cross-cultural partnerships between support agencies and the Hispanic population of Kent and South King County. Israel also serves on the board of the Community Center for Educational Results, which aims to increase equity and eliminate opportunity gaps for students in South Seattle and South King County.

Israel is highly respected as someone who works to build bridges among the various stakeholders in our educational system and community. He is a charismatic leader who brings a high level of professionalism to his work without compromising his passion to see that all students are given the opportunity to succeed.

Student Engagement and Motivation: This data provides unique insights into the ways students perceive themselves and their learning environments.