Exciting staff changes

Published: June 28, 2021

The season of change is here. As the world slowly opens back up, Building Changes has also been going through a transformative phase within the past year. Alongside the rollout of our 2021-2025 strategic plan, we are excited to share news about our executive director and introduce new staff members who have joined our growing organization.

Daniel Zavala Daniel Narváez Zavala, who has been serving as the interim executive director since January, was recently named as Buildng Changes’ permanent executive director by our board. Within the last six months, he has led the launch of the King County Partners Group (a coalition that supports efforts of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority), helped develop and launch our new strategic plan, contributed to the redesign of our website, worked with a consultant to conduct an organizational race equity audit, and hired our first diversity, equity, and inclusion manager.

“I am excited to continue growing our footprint across the state. I will ensure that the way we operate is community-driven and reflects the needs of people most impacted by our work. This includes diversifying our staff, board, and partners, and holding us accountable to more racially equitable practices. As I transition into this role permanently, I will deepen our visibility as advocates, drawing from Building Changes’ decades of work in this space,” said Daniel when asked about his hopes for the organization and what he is looking forward to in the future.

Joining Daniel in his role are four staff members who have been hired across our programs, development, finance teams, and our newly-formed human resources position. Collectively, they bring diverse perspectives and skills that will help Building Changes move our work forward.

Dimitri GroceOn the program team, we have hired Dimitri Groce, who joined us last December as a senior manager of grantmaking and capacity building. He was previously at All Home King County where he managed training and technical assistance for service providers who support people experiencing homelessness in King County. He brings years of experience in housing and homelessness advocacy. He is dedicated to the role of community organizing in systems to advance racial equity and to respond to the unique needs of communities. He said, “Our social service system is becoming more responsive to community needs. Historically, that hasn’t happened in BIPOC communities and we’ve had to rely on ourselves to survive and have our needs met. I’m glad that this change is happening and I’d like to make sure that the work at Building Changes embraces the spirit of this path towards providing more equitable access and supports, and continuing to build trust with communities.”

Mary Beth LocknichtOn the development team, we have hired Mary Beth Lochnicht, who joined in January and serves as our institutional giving manager. She was previously a resource and program development consultant at Rowen & Associates and a grants specialist at the Seattle Indian Health Board. She has extensive experience working with various health and human services organizations serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color and LGBTQIA communities in King County. Mary Beth is ecstatic to be joining the team at Building Changes and looks forward to mobilizing resources to support equitable solutions to ending homelessness.

Jaci PueyoOn the finance team, we have hired Jaclyn Pueyo, who joined last month as our senior accounting manager. She was previously a process improvement manager at the Seattle Indian Health Board where she managed an employee resource page, updated policies and procedures, and processed payments for the organization. She has a broad financial background ranging from her experience in accounts receivable to nonprofit accounting. She said, “One of my goals at Building Changes is to establish efficient and simplified financial processes. This will allow for better management in all our contract funding and address how to appropriately distribute support to our programs.”

Tasha West-BakerFinally, Tasha West-Baker is our new human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion manager. She was previously at Public School Employees of Washington: SEIU Local 1948 where she was a union organizer who coordinated workers’ rights campaigns, worked with government agencies on processes and procedures, and developed relationships with members and allies. She is passionate about advocating for social and economic justice, and is also the current president of the board of directors at The Mockingbird Society. At Building Changes, she hopes to bring an equity focus into her work and recognizes the importance of individuality in a workplace. “One of things we need to recognize is that our staff is our most valuable asset. We need to take care of staff and treat them equitably so that equity is reflected in our organization and the work that we do. This is how we begin to make systemic change,” she said.

Visit Meet Our People for our full staff directory.

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