2023 NUHSA Human Services Awards

The North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) is proud to announce its 2023 Human Services Award recipients and nominees! 

All have made significant contributions to the health and welfare of our North King County community and have supported or advocated for a strong and accessible health and human services system, strengthening our community through their initiative and leadership.

Recipients and nominees will be honored at NUHSA’s 2023 Human Services Awards celebration on Wednesday, December 13th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Shoreline City Hall (17500 Midvale Ave. N.).

To join this community celebration, please RSVP by emailing staff@nuhsa.org.

Human Services Champion

Bill Bear

A longtime Shoreline community member and advocate, Bill Bear is deeply invested in Shoreline and the health and well-being of its residents. He is a Celebrate Recovery and Shoreline Community Court Resource Center Navigator volunteer and a member of the Regional Crisis Response Agency (RCR) Community Advisory Board. He also leads Shoreline Community Care, an all-volunteer faith-based organization that has been helping Shoreline residents with rent and utility bills for over twenty years. Particularly during the pandemic, Shoreline Community Care played a vital role in distributing gas and grocery cards and other assistance. Bill also works with United Shoreline Organized Against Racism with The Peoples’ Supper, bringing about healing of divisions in Shoreline, and volunteers with the Power of One in a first-grade class.


Brittany Miles

Brittany Miles is an effective advocate for people with behavioral health conditions, and specifically for those who experience high-acuity crises. As a mother of a teen with early onset schizophrenia, she has tirelessly fought for system improvements and elevated the voice of individuals experiencing these systems. As a skilled writer, Brittany shines a light on how systemic racism and systemic failures have impacted people with behavioral health conditions, especially those with marginalized identities. Her work has appeared in the Seattle Times, PubliCola, Seattle Child and NAMI blog, and she serves on the Regional Crisis Response Agency (RCR) Community Advisory Board, which supports mental health crisis de-escalation. Brittany also serves on the Technology subcommittee for the Washington State Legislature’s HB1477 implementation of the national 9-8-8 suicide prevention hotline and connection to care. She and her daughter live in Bothell with their feisty pet chihuahua.

Tanya Laskelle

Tanya Laskelle is the Family Support Department Director for the Center for Human Services (CHS), an area behavioral health and family support non-profit agency that strengthens the community through counseling, education and support to children, youth, adults and families. With local roots and over 20 years’ experience and leadership at CHS, she has been an extraordinary advocate for the health and well-being of youth and families and has been a persistent voice in urging increased funding for CHS and all north-end human services providers. Whether it is conversation with local, county or state officials and funders, Tanya’s clear, constructive messaging effectively makes the case for increased focus and funding for the human services infrastructure in North King County, and through her work, helps build the capacity to serve residents and create healthier, stronger communities.

Bryan & Christie Streit

Bryan and Christie Streit, owners of Woodinville’s Pizza Coop & Ale House, have been deeply involved in supporting families in need for many years. They have been holding an annual golf tournament to support the Shop with a Cop program that provides a joyous holiday event for approximately 50 families. Additionally, they have a Giving Tree that provides gifts to approximately 40 more families that are part of the Northshore School District, and they have held fundraisers and food drives to contribute food and donations to the Woodin Food Bank. The Pizza Coop is a supporter of many local activities from PTA to sports teams and Rotary. During COVID, they put their kitchen to use by providing meals to hospitals, grocery store workers and others who were required to continue working through the pandemic. Their compassion and kindness significantly affect the community, and through a newly established foundation, they are able to grow in their reach and impact.  

Sally Yamasaki, Donna Hawkey & Michael Troyer

Over the last four years, Lake Forest Park residents Sally Yamasaki, Donna Hawkey and Michael Troyer have led a grassroots effort to explore Community Land Trusts (CLTs) as a viable tool for increasing housing diversity and affordability in Lake Forest Park and throughout our north-end communities. Working in partnership with Homestead Community Land Trust, this dynamic trio has presented to city planning commissions and city councils, hosted a very successful bus tour of area CLTs, and as active NUHSA members, provided a presentation during Affordable Housing Week. Through their advocacy, CLTs are now more broadly recognized as not only an option for creating permanently affordable housing, but also as a way to build generational wealth and stability and ensure families may live and work in the same community.

Outstanding Human Services Program

Northshore Nourishing Networks

In October 2011, with founding support from Hopelink, an energetic group of representatives from the school district, local governments, faith groups, PTAs, business leaders, human services providers and community members, including those who had experienced hunger themselves, formed a grass roots initiative – the Northshore Nourishing Network – with the goal of ending student hunger in Northshore. Many in the community were already making a difference, and through the Network, their knowledge and expertise helped link more people from diverse sectors and cultures to leverage resources and serve the community in new and deeply personal ways. Backpack (Totes) programs, Little Free Pantries, more community meals, food pantries on school and local college campuses, and home gardeners sharing produce all became an integral part of the Network.

Terra Droney and Elise Harris are the current Conveners in Bothell/Kenmore and Woodinville (Northshore), and through monthly virtual meetings, they connect dozens of volunteers and advocates to help with specific needs in the community – filling food pantries, assisting families in times of crisis, promoting human services events – and help create collaborative partnerships to address immediate and emerging needs. Through the Nourishing Networks framework and with the dedicated local leadership of Elise and Terra, a strong web of providers and advocates continues to be woven to effectively address not only hunger but other needs such as diapers and school supplies.  The Nourishing Network has become the go-to place in Kenmore, Bothell, and Woodinville to fill in the gaps and reinforce the safety net.

Northshore was the prototype Nourishing Network, and now there are seven similar communities in north and east Puget Sound each working to share information and resources, connect volunteers, and maximize the power of dedicated and sustained collaboration. 


Shoreline PTA Council Mental Health Committee 

Since its inception in early 2022, the Shoreline PTA Council Mental Health Committee has steadily raised awareness of mental health issues and resources within the school district and broader community and reduced negative stereotypes and stigma around mental health for families and students. Under the leadership of Missy Liu and an active Steering Committee, the group has created and distributed a comprehensive mental health resource list, provided education through in person and virtual speakers and community meetings, and created a grant program to promote mental health initiatives in the schools. The Committee has also advocated for increased mental health support and funding at the local and state level, and most recently, hosted a regionwide Mental Health Symposium that elevated student voices and shared resources. Success for this group is defined by a school culture where students feel safe when talking about their mental health and know how to seek solutions – and through its many efforts, the Committee has made great strides in achieving this goal.

Center for Human Services Board of Directors

With a recent study showing wage gaps of 30% or more between human services workers and those in non-care industries, the Center for Human Services (CHS) was the first in North King County to respond and significantly raise wages for staff. Last year, a $4.00 an hour salary adjustment was implemented for all positions, in addition to annual raises, and a $1,500 (net) bonus was provided for all employees. The Board of Directors and staff leadership then implemented another 6% raise per employee, plus an across-the-board bonus of $1,500. This fall, the Board approved an additional 5% raise across the board effective January 1st, beating inflation significantly. Turnover has reduced notably – from over 30% a few years ago to a rate now below 10% – and that is good for both business and for clients. As turnover falls, pay increases may no longer be largely covered by increased productivity, so increasing contract reimbursement rates will be critical in ensuring organizations can pay well enough to entice workers to stay in the human services sector. Regardless, the CHS experience demonstrates that adequate wages are essential in maintaining an effective service delivery model that reduces staff turnover, increases morale, and provides more stable, high-quality services for clients. 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Rob Beem 

As one of NUHSA’s founders and a staunch advocate for human services funding and support in North King County (NKC), Rob Beem leaves a legacy of extraordinary leadership and impact on our north-end communities. Throughout his 20 years at the City of Shoreline (and in the first few years of his retirement), Rob has worked tirelessly to engage local and regional partners in addressing human services needs and building the capacity to fund and support services for North King County’s residents. This work involved bringing NKC’s voice to many King County planning and review panels, building local capacity through the Community Public Health and Safety Network, representing North King County on the United Way Board, and joining with other cities to coordinate funding processes. His gracious ease in bringing together people, agencies and governments who were ‘doing human services’ also saw him engaging with schools and local service clubs, as well as other cities and funders.

Seeing a need for a regional alliance of human services providers and governments, Rob was critical in the formation and ongoing operations of NUHSA, pulling together local agencies and leaders to connect people engaged in human services work and to expand agencies’ presence and services in North King County. Under Rob’s leadership, NUHSA grew from an informal lunchtime all-volunteer networking group to the organization it is today which represents all of North King County and is a sought-after partner by agencies, governments and funders.  

Over a career in service to the human services community, he has had the opportunity to champion and/or lead the development of numerous initiatives, services and organizations.  These include:

  • Shoreline and Bellevue’s human services and affordable housing programs
  • Northshore Shoreline Community Network
  • Shoreline’s DEI program
  • Bellevue YouthLink
  • ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing)
  • Ronald Commons
  • Hopelink’s permanent presence in Shoreline
  • United Way North Community Council
  • NE Funders
  • It’s About Time for Kids
  • King County Human Services Roundtable

NUHSA staff, Board of Directors, members and partners are deeply grateful to Rob and the tremendous work he has done to benefit residents and communities throughout King County. His wisdom, humor and gracious leadership will be missed and NUHSA wishes him well as he embarks on a new chapter.   

NUHSAs Annual Human Services Awards have been celebrating the accomplishments of local individuals and organizations since 2008.  NUHSA is an alliance of non-profit agencies, faith communities, city and county leadership, school districts and members of the community who advocate for a strong and accessible health and human services system in North King County, encompassing Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell and Woodinville.  Through partnership and collaboration, NUHSA supports providers, funders and the community to enhance existing resources and build our capacity to effectively respond to community needs.

For more information, email staff@nuhsa.org or call 206-550-5626.

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