Bookda Gheisar, Mozart Guerrier, Everett Maroon, Aiko Schaefer, Kris Hermanns
BOOKDA GHEISAR moved to the U.S. from Iran in 1980. She has been living in Seattle for 27 years. A Social Worker by personal direction and formal training, Bookda is most passionate about social change and organizing communities around the root causes of social and economic inequities.
Bookda currently serves as Policy Advisor of the Office of Equity and Social Justice for the King County Executive Office after a distinguished career as a foundation executive for the Mona Foundation, Global Washington, and the Social Justice Fund. Bookda has also taught at University of Washington School of Social Work, Antioch University, and Bastyr University as adjunct faculty.
MOZART GUERRIER guides strategic planning, mission, and development at 21 Progress as the Executive Director. He has spent over ten years working on social justice issues as a project manager, organizer, social worker, and teaching artist. He was most recently the co-founder of a collective impact initiative called Healthy Neighbors at Upstate Medical University, focused on developing leaders in public housing who addressed health disparities in their community. Prior to Upstate, Mozart was the community manager at Aunt Bertha, a software firm backed by Unreasonable Institute, TED, and Code for America. Aunt Bertha’s mission is the transformation of access to need-based programs in the United States for youth and families.
His career has focused on supporting grassroots leaders and social justice through technology, storytelling, organizing, and systems thinking. He has spoken at the 2015 Seattle Mayors’ Youth Opportunity Summit, TEDxSyracuse, TEDxUtica, and frequently lectures on social justice and innovation at colleges (MIT, Brown, University of Rochester, UT-Austin, etc) and cultural centers across the country. He is a 50 under 40 Emerging Leader via Social Enterprise Alliance.
Mozart earned a Master of Social Work from the Falk College of Human Dynamics at Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mansfield University.
He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and basketball.
EVERETTE MAROON has twenty years of experience in project management, systems analysis, and policy making for social and health services. Since 2010 he has served as is the Executive Director of Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, a Ryan White Care Act Part B and harm reduction organization located in Walla Walla, Washington. Currently Everett is the Co-Chair of the Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health’s Opioid Demonstration Project, and sits on that organization’s Practice Transformation Workgroup. He also serves as a grant evaluator for the Walla Walla Department of Community Health’s funding program for mental health and chemical dependency projects, and sits on that organization’s Finance Committee. Previously Mr. Maroon served as the IT lead for usability analysis at the Social Security Administration headquarters, and as a senior project manager at ORC Macro in Beltsville, MD, for which he directed projects for Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
AIKDO SCHAEFER is a strategic consultant to non-profits, foundation, government programs and political campaigns so they can better meet the opportunities of our changing world, in particular on diversity, equity and inclusion. She works on a number of projects locally and around the country. Most notably she is the founder and coordinator of Front & Centered, Washington state’s first and only statewide coalition of community of color organizations. Through this work she helped author and lead Initiative 1631, the most progressive and equitable climate policy in the country.
Aiko has spent nearly 20 years in Washington State engaging other people of color and those with lower incomes to advocate for racial, economic and social justice. For the majority of this time she was as the founding Director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, the largest anti-poverty advocacy organization. She also was the External Relations and Communications Director for the Washington State Budget & Policy Center. Prior to Aiko’s work in the Pacific Northwest, she started her career working across the US directing and developing state and national legislative and partisan campaigns. Most recently, Aiko was on the faculty at the University of Washington graduate school where she taught public policy courses in the School of Social Work. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two teen-aged children.
Moderator: KRIS HERMANNS
For more than 25 years, Kris has worked as a nonprofit executive, strategist, grantmaker, and fundraiser, bridging two of her passions—advocating for equity and opportunity and strategic philanthropy. Currently, Kris leads Seattle Foundation’s philanthropic and programmatic initiatives, as well as develops new strategies and innovative approaches, to drive positive, equitable outcomes for our community.
Before joining Seattle Foundation, Kris served as the Chief Executive Officer of Pride Foundation where she led its efforts to mobilize individual and institutional resources to affect real change in communities that are most impacted by injustices. Prior to that, Kris’ career focused on policy advocacy and systems change in her leadership roles with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, The Rhode Island Foundation, and Brown University’s Center for Public Service.
Kris has a Master of Education in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kris is also a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.