Chief Executive Officer | @LauriAHennessey
Lauri brings 30 years of experience in community engagement, advocacy, strategic communications, and fundraising. Her work in education has included building grassroots and communications campaigns for groups ranging from the Bezos Family Foundation to the University of Washington. She managed statewide communications for a race for Superintendent of Public Instruction (for Judi Billings) and also served as Acting Development Director for the Community Schools Collaboration.
Lauri’s commitment to racial equity and social justice has fueled her extensive volunteer work in the region, including board service and volunteer engagement with Treehouse, Mary’s Place, Thrive Washington, Seattle Rotary, and Southwest Youth and Family Services, among others. Earlier in her volunteer life, she chaired several PTSA Auctions, served as a PTSA President, and was involved with the state PTSA Legislative Council.
As Vice President of Engagement at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo for the past three years (2016-2019), Lauri directed a staff of more than 20 with responsibility for communications, advocacy/public affairs, marketing, and community engagement, including the Zoo for All initiative that reduced barriers and increased participation among many underserved communities. She previously directed public affairs in the Northwest for Edelman (2012-2016), working with a diverse portfolio of political and public affairs clients.
Lauri is most proud of her three grown children. In her spare time, she sings with the Seattle Women’s Chorus and in musicals in her community of Vashon Island. Her husband was a longtime school board member on Vashon and they have long been active in island children’s causes.
Eleanor (Ellie) joined the League of Education Voters (LEV) in 2019. Holding a B.A. in History and Literature with a secondary in African American Studies, Ellie spent her undergraduate years focusing particularly on the role of education in shaping narratives of slavery, the Civil War, and freedom, as well as the ongoing legacies of disenfranchisement that affect communities of color across America. Her studies showed her that history classrooms can be a profoundly powerful tool for liberation and empowerment, so she decided to become a teacher focused specifically on serving high-needs schools. Prior to joining the LEV team, Ellie was a 7th grade history teacher at Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Middle Academy in Brownsville, New York and then at Prospect Hill Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also gained experience in legislative offices while working for Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser.
Ellie hails from Boston, where she received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). She was a member of HGSE’s new teacher-training program, the Harvard Teacher Fellows, which aims to offer an innovative pathway into teaching for social justice-oriented graduates. Ellie enjoys music and singing, exploring national parks, and petting all the dogs she spots around Seattle.
Director of Operations
Zeenab Fowlk joined League of Education Voters (LEV) in April 2019 as the Director of Operations. In her role, she is responsible for accounting and financial management for the organization and oversees development, human resources, communications, technology, governance, and general operations.
Zeenab has 20+ years of extensive experience in leadership roles focused on building partnerships and collaborations through an equity lens. Prior to LEV, Zeenab served for 2 ½ years as the Operations Management consultant with the Urban League of Portland, one of the oldest African-American service, civil rights and advocacy organizations in the area. She strategically and efficiently provided coaching for staff development to help guide the executive team, department leaders, and managers to deliver stronger and measurable services to a diverse community/population in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
While a native of Oregon, Zeenab lived in Baltimore, Maryland starting in January 2001 and worked in leadership positions focused on youth development with community-based nonprofit organizations until April 2006. In May 2006, Zeenab transitioned her career to MedStar Health and served for 10 years within the Operational and Strategic Communications department until her departure from her role as Director of Operational Communications – Events, in September 2016. Zeenab was responsible for managing system-wide projects focused on continuous improvement of a highly multifaceted environment that operates more than 120 entities, including ten hospitals in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area, with 30,000+ employees.
Zeenab holds a master’s degree in Management with a Marketing Specialty from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Political Science, with a minor in Sociology.
Nancy joined the League of Education Voters in 2012, after brief stints at Historic Seattle and Washington STEM and after several years at the New School Foundation. Through her work at NSF, she was part of the team that built the Rainier Beach Children’s Garden at South Shore School. Her personal involvement in public education includes being a PTA Board member, serving multiple roles, from Legislative Liaison to President, at Olympic View Elementary in Seattle.
Nancy is a product of local public schools (Go Kangs!) and earned her BA in English at UCLA and her master’s degree in public administration at Seattle University.
Nancy volunteers at SHINE, a retail store located at SCCA House whose proceeds benefit patient programs at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She lives in north Seattle with her husband and two teenage children. She enjoys going to their athletic and musical events, exercising, traveling, and camping, especially in Hawaii. She is an avid reader.
Regional Field Director, Spokane
Sandra Jarrard is originally from western Washington; she and her family moved to Spokane in 2004. Prior to working for the League of Education Voters, Sandra worked for Greater Spokane Incorporated. As their Director for Public Policy, Sandra worked with education, higher education, business, and community leaders to accomplish policy changes and to advocate for funding for regional priorities. Sandra received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration for Eastern Washington University. In her free time, Sandra enjoys spending time with her family and loves to train for marathons.
Ruvine joined the League of Education Voters in 2014. Prior to that, she participated in Early Achievers Institutes in Spokane and Yakima to receive training in the Early Childhood, Infant & Toddler, and Family Child Care Environment Rating Scales and became a pre-K-certified reliable observer on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. She attended these institutes while also taking Columbia Basin College’s Child Development Associate (CDA) course and volunteering with AARP’s Tax-Aide Program in her community.
Ruvine worked for Benton Franklin Community Action Committee (BFCAC) in Pasco for 14 years in various positions. Most recently, she was instrumental in helping BFCAC exceed Healthplanfinder enrollment goals in Benton, Franklin, and Walla Counties by training more than 100 individuals to become certified navigators (in-person assisters) for Washington Healthplanfinder. Ruvine also served as BFCAC’s Child Care Support Services Director, where she oversaw the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Homeless Child Care Program, Child Care Resource and Referral Program, Seasonal Subsidy Child Care Program, and STARS training, and developed a close working relationship with childcare providers.
Ruvine has 6 children and 12 grandchildren. She lives with her dog, two parakeets, cat, three daughters, and five grandchildren. She loves sharing new lessons she’s learned with her family, on topics such as early learning, social and emotional development, gardening, reading, and about her community.
Communications Director | @ArikKorman
Arik Korman has worked in Seattle media for over 20 years with KING, KIRO, KZOK and KJR, most notably as Executive Director of The Bob Rivers Show. He currently hosts his own interview program on iHeartRadio. Arik earned a Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association Soundie award for his partnership with World Vision, which has resulted in nearly 5000 children sponsored around the world and annual donations of more than $2M for projects such as education, clean water, food security, and medical care. Education is in his DNA, as his mother and sister are teachers, he has a son in public elementary school, and he views education as the single greatest catalyst for change in society.
Arik recharges by playing tennis and ultimate frisbee, hiking, board gaming, traveling, and enjoying Washington wine.
Acting Development Director
Ms. Lugo graduated from Marshall University, located in Huntington, West Virginia with a BA degree in Sociology, and an option in Social Work. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of non-profit fundraising and management, with over 20 years of experience in generating resources, managing staff, and challenges and change within complex organizational structures. She is an effective communicator, people motivator, and change agent.
Carol has developed and implemented successful fundraising plans for the United Way, the American Heart Association, the Barlow Foundation, Goodwill Southern California, and WomenShelter of Long Beach. She estimates that during her tenure with the respective organizations, she has guided a multifaceted team of staff and volunteer leadership to raise more than $100 million to support local programs and services. The plans focused efforts on the solicitation of corporate gifts, individual gifts, government/foundation gifts, and new account development. Carol also possesses expertise in board and volunteer development.
She has attended selected management courses from the Center of Creative Leadership, Management Action Program, National Academy of Volunteerism, and Third Sector Company. Ms. Lugo is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, PPP, and has served on the board of directors of the Southern California Association for HealthCare Development.
Senior Policy Analyst
Jacob Vela’s strong desire to get involved in the civic process led him to work in the election cycle in Nevada. That adventure compelled him to work as a legislative assistant in the Nevada Legislature, where he focused on civic engagement and electoral issues. The strong civic culture and beautiful scenery of the Great Northwest managed to lure him away from Nevada. After settling in Seattle, Jacob attended the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Prior to joining the League of Education Voters, Jacob worked with local nonprofits in strategic planning and working to develop policies to improve the quality of life of formerly homeless individuals in downtown Seattle.
Jacob received his BA in political science and Spanish from the University of Nevada. He earned his master’s of public administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs with a focus on policy analysis and urban policy. When not in the office he can be found wandering the Cascades, enjoying Seattle’s parks, honing his skills as a home brewer, or watching terrible nineties action movies.
Director of Policy and Research
Julia joined League of Education Voters (LEV) in 2015. Prior to joining LEV, she worked as a Senior Research Analyst for the Washington State Board of Education, helped launch the Washington State Charter Schools Association, and worked in public policy consulting. Julia is committed to helping create a school system in which every student has access to an education that prepares and empowers.
Julia received her Bachelor’s in literature and government from Claremont McKenna College in Southern California and returned home to Seattle for her Master of Education degree from the University of Washington. When she’s not in the office, Julia enjoys playing in the mountains and spending time with her family.