Council Members

SRC-B members are passionate volunteers who represent recipients of rehabilitation services, their families, service providers, educators, advocates, and policy makers. We work together and alongside the DSB to promote excellence in service, leading to independence and meaningful employment for blind and visually impaired people in Washington State.

CURRENT COUNCIL MEMBERS

  • Andy Arvidson: Representing: Business, Labor, and Industry
  • Cathy Wilson: Representing: Business, Labor, and Industry
  • Chris Alejano: Representing State Workforce Investment Board 
  • Christopher Zilar: Representing Section 121 Native Americans
  • Corey Grandstaff: Representing Current or Former Recipients of VR Services
  • Jacob Kamaunu: Representing: Business, Labor, and Industry (BEP)
  • Jennifer Bean: Representing the Client Assistance Program
  • Jerri Clark: Representing the Parent Information and Training Center
  • Julie Brannon, 2021 SRCB Chair: Representing Current or Former Recipients of VR Services
  • Kim Conner: Representing the State Independent Living Council (SILC)
  • Kristin Geary: Representing Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Service Providers
  • Linda Wilder, 2021 SRCB Vice-Chair: Representing Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors
  • Marci Carpenter: Representing a Consumer Advocacy Organization
  • Michael Mackillop: DSB Acting Executive Director (Ex-Officio Member)
  • Sean McCormick: Representing State Educational Agency
  • Sheila Turner: Representing individuals who are Blind, with Multiple Disabilities
  • Steve Fiksdal: Representing Business, Labor and Industry

 

Andy Arvidson: Representing: Business, Labor, and Industry

Andy is an OTC graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Martial Arts and Physiology from the World Moo Duk Kwan Academy. Currently a business owner in Anacortes with his wife, and a DSB contractor for Sightless Self-defense classes.

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Cathy Wilson: Representing: Business, Labor, and Industry

Cathy has lived in Tacoma since 1989 after living in CA and Germany, and has a B.S. degree in Accounting. Her vision loss occurred over 20+ years, and Cathy attended the OTC after becoming legally blind in 2011. At the OTC she developed a passion to assist and encourage others with their vision loss; and she now works in HR at the Lighthouse for the Blind where an essential part of her job is to recruit talented people who are blind or low vision. Cathy has been active in the Pierce County Association for the Blind (PCAB) since 2013, and in her spare time enjoys traveling, playing beep baseball, bowling, tandem bike riding, playing cards and attending theatrical plays.

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Chris Alejano: State Workforce Investment Board Member

Chris Alejano is the Education Policy Advisor for City of Seattle Mayor, Jenny Durkan. He works with city programs and efforts in early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education.  Chris brings a unique background that spans the entire educational system from the local to the federal level.

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Christopher Zilar: Representing Section 121 Native Americans 

Christopher joined Spokane Tribe's Vocational Rehabilitation Program in 2016 as the director. He has previously worked for public health and for a small chamber of commerce focused on diversity and inclusion. Christopher has completed three medical mission trips to Rwanda. He has six kids (two sets of twin boys) and resides near Spokane Indian Reservation with his lovely wife. 

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Corey Grandstaff, 2019 SRC-B Vice-Chair: Current or Former Recipient of VR Services

Corey is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Since 2012, he has been employed at the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) as a Residential Program Assistant and teacher.

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Jacob Kamaunu: Business, Labor, and Industry (BEP)

Jacob is currently a restaurateur and a member of the Washington State Business Enterprise Program (BEP) where he received his certification as a blind vender. Jacob has been able to manage and maintain his small business operations out of the heart of Seattle for the past six years, providing employment opportunities to all who are able with no exclusion to those who are blind.

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Jennifer Bean: Client Assistance Program

Jennifer Bean has been working in the Vocational Rehabilitation field for 20+ years. Her work experience includes being an Independent Living Counselor, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Benefits Specialist and Regional Trainer at Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Additionally, she was a Rehabilitation Coordinator with the Washington Client Assistance Program and will be the Executive Director of the Client Assistance Program starting August 2021.  Jennifer has a MA degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and has years of experience with training and teaching.  She was Adjunct Faculty at Western Washington University teaching in the undergraduate Human Services Program and was a staff trainer on Independent Living and Benefits Planning for 10+ years.  She is known for having a "Yes we can!" approach and enjoys collaborating and finding creative, outside the box solutions to problems. 

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Jerri Clark: Parent Information and Training Center

Jerri has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. She has served families as a resource coordinator for Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment (PAVE) since 2017. She leads a grassroots advocacy movement, Mothers of the Mentally Ill (MOMI).

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Julie Brannon, 2021 SRCB Chair: Current or Former Recipient of VR Services

Julie retired a year ago after working for over 40 years in the fields of social work, teaching and program management. She has been involved in working with persons who are blind and blindness issues for approximately 25 years, both as a teacher and program manager for DSB; as well as in a variety of leadership roles with one of Washington State’s consumer organizations, the Washington Council of the Blind, in which she’s currently serving as president.

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Kim Conner: State Independent Living Council (SILC)

Kim is Executive Director of the SILC. She previously worked as a consultant providing strategic planning, program development, and partnership building for non-profits and small businesses.

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Kristin Geary: Representing Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Service Providers

Kristin has spent the last four years working with Washington Vocational Services who contracts with the DSB's youth services summer internship program. Since moving to Seattle in 2008, Kristin has worked, in some manner, supporting people who are blind with and without additional disabilities, specializing in teaching daily living and employment readiness skills.

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Linda Wilder, 2021 SRCB Vice-Chair: Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Linda has a Bachelor’s degree from Seattle University and a Master’s degree from Chapman University. In 2017, Linda retired from DSB after working 30 years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.

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Marci Carpenter, 2020 SRC-B Chair: Consumer Advocacy Organization

Marci Carpenter is the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington. A Washington native, she has been a lifelong advocate for blind children and adults. Marci also serves as Chairperson of the Seattle Transit Advisory Board.

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Michael Mackillop: DSB Acting Executive Director (Ex-Officio Member)

Michael MacKillop was appointed Acting Executive Director of DSB in January 2020. In his past 19 years with the agency, Michael has served as agency Deputy Director as well as other executive and direct service positions.

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Sheila Turner: Blind, with Multiple Disabilities

Sheila is employed as the Independent Living Skills teacher at the Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Kennewick. She is working towards dual certification as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialist at the University of Northern Colorado. She is the parent of two children who are blind; one has multiple disabilities. 

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Sean McCormick: Representing State Educational Agency

Sean is the Director of On-Campus Education at the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB). His path in education includes serving as a Paraprofessional, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, an Orientation & Mobility Instructor, Associate Principal, and Principal. In his current role, Sean oversees the educational programs held at WSSB’s campus through both day and residential opportunities for students. Sean is an active member of WA’s Special Education Advisory Council, Washington Unified English Braille Committee, and the Council of Schools and Services for the Blind’s Principal’s subgroup.

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Steve Fiksdal: Business, Labor and Industry

Steve is the owner of ConnectEd Institute, which provides character strength assessment and education to individuals and teams. Steve says DSB played a significant role in the establishment of his new company and career by providing him the skills and the resources to succeed in a sighted world and embark on a new and exciting career.

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STAFF

Meredith Stannard: DSB Appointed Liaison

Meredith worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and supervisor for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in Seattle, and retired from her position as Regional Area Manager at the Washington Department of Services for the Blind in 2017. She is entering her third year as the liaison to the Washington State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. She has a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Seattle University.

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Yvonne Grimes: SRCB Staff Assistant

Yvonne came to Services for the Blind in 2017 with a diverse work background, and says she has been able to put everything she’s ever learned to use at DSB. Yvonne is a lifelong Washingtonian and currently lives in Olympia. She feels very fortunate to have landed at a state agency that holds the same values as she does, and enjoys supporting the SRC and its members as part of her work.

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