Talitha’s strength is its partners and advisors who bring expert-level knowledge and experience from diverse industries. Each team member’s unique linguistic and cultural background further enrich the type of services Talitha offers. The team thinks and acts inclusively while putting equity at the forefront of everything they do. Diversity is not what they do, it is WHO THEY ARE TOGETHER.
Charis May Hnin, M.A.
Principal & Chief Strategist
Charis M. Hnin is a motivational leader, strategist, seasoned facilitator, natural teacher, community organizer and entrepreneur. She pays close attention to the interconnections between people, place, process and power in her community planning practice and this approach enables her to be grounded, strategic, visionary and effective in serving the needs of her clients. In the last fifteen years, Charis has consulted numerous CEOs, policy makers, practitioners and senior leadership teams from private, public and social enterprises. She has initiated and guided numerous community partnership efforts to promote thoughtful regional development. Her community partnership and mobilization efforts have been recognized in August 2016 issue of the Seattle Met and the South Sound Business Journal. Her entrepreneurial practices started at the age of sixteen when she successfully launched her first business in the food service industry, selling fresh-made Sushi at food service counters located in neighborhood grocery stores in Northwest and West Seattle. Her industry experiences include holding front line and leadership positions in community development, housing, consumer protection, human services, educational leadership, workforce education, change and growth management and international business. Her experiences living and working abroad enable her to meaningfully connect with people across cultures. Charis believes that equitable and sustainable community planning is a multi-sector effort. Guided by this principle, she intentionally founded Talitha Consults with trusted experts from diverse industries who are also committed to the same principle. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Communication from Seattle Pacific University and a Master’s degree in Community Planning from the University of Washington. Charis finds joy in singing, dancing and eating good food with close friends and family.
Sean Puno, M.A.
Multimedia Producer & Design Team Director
Sean is an award-winning filmmaker and designer who has mastered the technique of storytelling through multiple digital mediums. His work spans worldwide in areas of entertainment, promotional content, education, art and community support. He is the founder of Puno Pro Media – a multimedia design company responsible for producing digital content to create awareness, promotional marketing, establish branding, instructional support and adopt emerging technology. He builds strong relationships with industry professionals to execute creative digital design objectives for private and public sector clients. He is a passionate educator with teaching experiences in High School and College settings. He uses familiar or new technology and peer interactions to facilitate robust learning environments. Sean facilitates dialogues between students and industry professionals to create career pathways and opportunities for his students.
Wessen Kifetew, M.S.
Project Manager (Health Equity)
Wessen is an experienced global and public health professional with over 15 years of experience in program management of public and global health areas, including – HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, community mental health education, and most recently addressing health inequities and disparities in WA Public Health King County. She has experience in applying evidence-based strategies to plan, assess and implement health targets. Originally from Ethiopia, Wessen earned a Master’s degree in Global Health from the University of Emory, Atlanta, and a Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Leadership from University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Public Health. Her academic research focused on the impact of HIV/AIDS stigma on prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and she went on to work in global health operations management with U.S. government and international organizations.
Masao (Jordan) Uomoto, M.Div
Learning and Development | Community Partnership
Masao Uomoto brings a welcoming, playful, and inclusive spirit wherever he goes. He supports the Talitha team with community partnership and engagement, coalition building, and group interviews and facilitation. His personal connection with the largest refugee resettlement agency in the US has afforded him with a unique ability to navigate through spoken and unspoken social-cultural norms, specifically with individuals and families of immigrant, refugee and asylee backgrounds. He leans into question-asking, invites participation, and seeks to connect people to one another and important ideas. Specific skills include outreach strategy and planning, public input and facilitation, experience with large healthcare systems, employment services, and an understanding of a variety of listening paradigms such as reflective listening and emotion coaching. Jordan graduated from Seattle Pacific Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. In addition to being a consultant, Masao is an ordained hospital chaplain at UW Medical Center. Masao speaks some Japanese.
Language: Some Japanaese
Analyst, Sr. (Community Planning & Healthy Food Access)
Ehler is a recent graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Global Health and a minor in International Studies. Her passion lies in supporting her community through various volunteer events and advocacy projects. As a resident of Tukwila for the past thirteen years, Ehler attended the Tukwila school district from elementary through high school. Her lived experiences of being in a diverse school district and community gives her a rich understanding of what it looks like to live harmoniously in a multicultural environment. Currently, Ehler is a community advocate with Food Innovation Network; a local non-profit that aims to increase access to healthy food and provide food-related business opportunities for immigrant and refugee communities in South King county. She also co-chairs the steering committee and works closely with many partners of Food Innovation Network. Outside of school and work, Ehler is extensively involved in her Karen ethnic community through her role as a youth leader for the youth ministry. She coordinates church and cultural events and acts as an informal mentor for young people seeking to learn more about post-secondary education. Ehler is often commended for being a compassionate young leader and a genuine person that wants the best for others. Ehler is a proud refugee and resident of Tukwila. This – in combination with her ability to converse fluently in Karen, English, and comfortably in Burmese – enhances her ability to engage diverse cultural and linguistic communities in people-centered conversations around community planning.
Language: Karen & Some Burmese
Executive Assistant & Analyst
Eugene is a recent graduate of the University of Washington, Tacoma. He graduated with a magna cum laude degree, with an area of study in (B.A.) Business Administration, emphasis on management. In his time at the University of Washington, he developed and demonstrated strong research and writing skills, which enlisted his interests in underserved community initiatives. His passion for underserved communities has led him to pursue two minors in economics and nonprofit studies. His research interests at the University of Washington focused on diversity as well as addressing inequity issues in society; related research includes a market report on gendered discrepancies in Washington state’s labor market and research on gendered implication and inequality on immunization in Nigeria.
Languages: Russian, Some Ukrainian
Shawn K. Liu
Shawn supports Talitha with IT projects, technical support for virtual workshops (zoom controller), coding data and myriads of duties as assigned. Shawn is studying at a state university in Oregon. He aspires to be a compassionate health care provider one day.
Language: Some Burmese and most fluent in Pokemon.
Professional Development & Process Improvement
Carol is a creative and dynamic project manager who uses her love of connecting with people to form trusting relationships and to support community-based activism. Carol has led large-scale projects to expand non-congregate sheltering options, improve service integration for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, and increase trauma-informed homeless outreach in Seattle, Washington. Driven by multidisciplinary experiences as a social worker and educator, Carol has a zest for shared learning and centering people with lived experiences in developing projects and process improvement. Undaunted by trying new things, Carol has embraced iterative processes to improve access to transitional housing, eliminate barriers to permanent housing, and improve service outcomes for BIPOC communities. Carol has been a trailblazer her entire life and began creating pathways for all as a student in Issaquah, Washington. Carol was the first wheelchair-using student to attend Liberty High School and proved students with disabilities could be fully included in all aspects of student life. With ongoing determination, Carol uses her expertise in Section 504/A.D.A. to ensure community-based programs are accessible to all.
Restorative Justice & Political Mobilization for New Americans
After completing high school in Burlington, VT, Mohamed attended Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. In his final semester, he had the opportunity to work as a federal policy research assistant for the Northeast-Midwest Institute, located in Washington D.C. Mohamed is now employed with the City of Burlington as a Court Diversion Coordinator, where he provides services to individuals at the intersection of mental health struggles, substance use, and the criminal justice system. Mohamed is also invested in community activism. In 2018, He worked with Senator Sanders’s office to organize a town hall event aiming to assist resettled Americans in registering to vote and getting to know Bernie Sanders and other legislators. In 2019, he went on to spearhead a project with the Secretary of State’s office focused on making voting more accessible and welcoming for resettled Americans. He has worked closely with both the City of Burlington and with stakeholders at the state level as a bridge to the resettled American community. Mohamed feels incredibly fortunate to have grown up in Burlington, Vermont and is humbled everyday by the opportunity to give back to it.
Languages: Somali & Some Swahili
Luz Boys, MA in Applied International Studies
International Affairs & Multicultural Communication | Partnership Development | Stakeholder Engagement
Luz supports Talitha with design and implementation of multicultural, multilingual and multifaceted stakeholder engagement. Luz also brings extensive leadership and front-line experience in community development, specifically in Southern California. Her extensive experience living and working abroad has afforded her with impeccable ability to observe, synthesize and analyze discourse analysis based on empirical data and methodical research. In doing so, she can generate insights most useful and actionable for her clients. Luz also brings excellent business acumen and impressive marketing skills to the team. Independent of Talitha, Luz founded and continues to operate her own international tea company, My Tea Places. Luz has lived in China, Mexico and various parts of the United States. Luz received her MA from the University of Washington.
Languages: Spanish and some Mandarin Chinese
Contract Management, Transportation Project Management, Accounting
Allan brings over 15 years of project management experience in public transportation in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. He advises the Talitha team on overall organizational administration. Allan lives with his family on the East Coast and enjoys cooking and spending quality time with his wife and two sons.
Languages: Burmese & Chin
Yin N. Liu
People Migration (refugees and immigrants in the Pacific Northwest), Aging and Disability Services, Youth & Family Services
Yin brings over 11 years of experience in refugee resettlement and immigration services. She currently works in Oregon as a social worker for Aging and Disability Services. Yin’s incredible ability to deliver equity-based human services (i.e., meeting people where they are at) has been one of the guiding principles for the Talitha team. Her rootedness in her immigrant story has enriched many immigrant and refugee families near and far. Yin lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. In her own words, “my joy is complete when I’m home relaxing with my children after a long day of work!”
Adam J. Loeffler, Professional Engineer, P.E., M.S.
Built Environment, Spatial Planning, Structural Engineering
Adam advises Talitha’s team using his expertise in structural engineering and development life-cycle and support. He holds a Masters degree in Engineering from the University of Washington. He currently works as a Project Engineer for one of the largest consulting engineering firms in the Greater Puget Sound Area. Adam’s compassionate, attentive and soft-spoken leadership sharpen the firm’s organizational values and cultures. Adam finds joy in being outdoors, carving wooden spoons and hiking with his family and close friends.
David Menke, MA (2021)
Public Safety & Emergency Planning
David possesses a comprehensive management experience in public safety, law enforcement, emergency management, investigations, and security training. As a current Director of Public Safety at Highline College, David has a track-record of delivering accomplished and measurable results while leading eight-seven (87) personnel-team in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment. He manages a departmental budget of over $2M while exceeding the expectations of the college’s executive leadership team . Prior to Highline, Menke spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy where he held the rank of chief petty officer. In the last decade, he was stationed in Everett and served as Law Enforcement Operations Manager with the Naval Station Everett Military Police. In addition to Everett, Menke’s posts included Lemoore, California, and Yokosuka, Japan, and during the war in Iraq, he was deployed to Baghdad, Fallujah and Kirkuk. David won multiple awards for his outstanding performance in the Navy and as Emergency Management professional.
Charles H. Loeffler, MSW
Child and Family Welfare, Substance-use Recovery, Trauma-informed Practice, and Adolescent Mental Health
Charles is a social worker with background in child and family welfare, substance use recovery, trauma-informed practice, and adolescent mental health. He brings skills in collaborative decision-making and leading meaningful group discussions around hard topics. Charles is motivated by helping communities and teams find ways to come together in mutual support. For fun he enjoys bread baking, music making, and exploring the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful outdoors.
Language: Some Spanish
Jennifer V. Nguyen, M.A.
Research Assistant (Housing Stability & Homelessness Prevention)
Jennifer holds a Masters degree in Community Planning from the University of Washington. Prior to joining Talitha, Jennifer worked as Legal Researcher for a corporate law firm immediately after she completed her Political Science Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Jennifer was awarded outstanding research award for her graduate research work in Place Attachment. Jennifer finds joy in spending time with her family and loved ones.
Yuman Xu, M.A.
Associate (Community Planning and Design)
Yuman is a natural community builder who is able to initiate and foster meaningful engagement with institutions, individuals and families from diverse cultures and nationalities. Prior to joining Talitha, Yuman worked at Campus Advantage, on-campus housing provider at University of Washington (Seattle) where she designed community outreach strategies and visual communication materials aimed to increase engagement and participation from international students. Yuman came to the U.S. from Chongqing, China, where she and her family own and operate one of the most successful property development companies in the region. Yuman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Business Management from Washington State University and a Master’s degree in Community Planning from University of Washington.
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Chief Comfort Officers
Horatio and Ambrose are two indoor bunnies. They comfort the Talitha team with their playful yet calming presence.