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 thirteen 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.
Karimah Edwards, MS, JD
Equity-centered Community Resiliency & Emergency Planning
Karimah is a planner, trainer, researcher, and equity subject matter expert with a combined 20 years of experience in training delivery, research and planning. Her wide-ranging municipal government experience has afforded Karimah the opportunity to become an expert in multiple disciplines including race and social equity, emergency preparedness, programmatic, long range and capital projects planning as well as policy and procedure development, compliance, grant writing and reporting. Karimah has developed the curriculum for and executed numerous trainings and exercises specific to historically marginalized communities which include people of color, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness and other more vulnerable populations. Karimah approaches all her projects using a racial equity lens and is committed to elevating the voices, capabilities and needs of community members who often fall outside the circle of human concern. Her clients find that Karimah’s approach results in projects that build community and foster sustainable outcomes. Karimah received her JD from John Marshall School of Law and Master of Science in Emergency Planning from Jacksonville State University.
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.
Associate (Learning and Development | Community Partnership)
Jordan Uomoto brings a welcoming, playful, and inclusive spirit wherever he goes. He supports the Talitha team through the art of storytelling, cultivating clear communication, and facilitating engaging conversation. He leans into question asking, invites participation, and seeks to connect people to one another and important ideas. His personal connection with the largest refugee resettlement agency in the US has afforded him with a nuanced understanding of intercultural differences and helps him walk alongside individuals and families with immigrant, refugee, and asylee backgrounds. As a pastor, he has a wealth of experiencing working in multigenerational contexts leading and teaching in engaging ways across generations. He has learned to communicate clearly to a breadth of experiences while sharing stories and messages that are compelling and bring people together. Areas of study and facilitation include: storytelling, difference & diversity, cultivating vision, mission, values, racial dialogue and education, selfcare, justice and equity, spirituality and more. Creative with words, he loves poetry. Creative with his body, he loves to dance, especially bboying. In addition to being a consultant Jordan is hospital chaplain at UW Medical Center.
Language: Some Japanaese
Analyst (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
Analyst in Training
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
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
Youth Development, Global Music, Community Organizing
Providence advises the Talitha team with his grounded and in-depth expertise in youth development for culturally and ethnically diverse communities. His ability to organize and mobilize communities of various cultural and linguistic backgrounds is a tremendous asset for the Talitha team. He currently works as Youth Development Manager for Congolese Integration Network, based in South King County. Those who know Providence well often comment on his embodied practices of humility and understanding. His globally-minded worldview never ceases to inspire the Talitha team to think universally and inclusively. Providence speaks four languages (five including English) and plays multiple instruments.
Languages: Swahili, French, Lingala, Kicongo
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.