The Team

Board of Directors

Laura Brent
Laura is a founding Board Member of HopeWorks and a former Housing Hope Board Member. She is a long-time supporter of transitional housing and advocate of social enterprises. Laura is owner of Brent Planning Solutions, a land use and environmental planning firm. Having graduated from the University of Washington in Urban Planning, she has a strong passion for maintaining our high quality of life in the Puget Sound region. Laura serves as co-chair for the Generations of Hope capital campaign.
John Chambers
Vise President/Secretary
John has served as a member of the Housing Hope East Branch Board and as its President. He also served two years on the Housing Hope Board of Directors. John was employed as an Executive in the Weyerhaeuser Company for 33 years.
Bob Dent
Bob is a founding Board Member of HopeWorks. Bob’s father was an early supporter of Housing Hope. The Robert K Dent Transitional Housing Facility is located at Housing Hope Village. Bob was an owner of Tyee Aircraft at Paine Field for many years and then served as Board Chair for the United Way of Snohomish County. He has served on the Board and as Corporate Secretary of Social Venture Partners in King County. He serves on the Express Advantage Board of Directors.
Paul Vexler
Board Member
Paul was the founder (1982) of Quantum Windows and Doors, located in Everett. He is currently a wood sculptor. Paul is a Housing Hope Board Member Emeritus and founding Board Member for HopeWorks.
Kerri Lonergan-Dreke
Board Member
Kerri is the co-owner of Lombardi's Italian Restaurants. Community involvement has been a staple of Kerri’s business career since volunteering for Big Brothers/Big Sisters after college. Kerri has served on Chamber of Commerce boards & was a member of the Lynnwood City Council from 2010- 2013. In addition to her work on the Hope Works board, Kerri is also a board member of the Northshore School District Foundation, the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau & Providence Hospice & Home Care of Snohomish County.
Mark Henning
Board Member
Sue Ambler
Board Member
Sue is the Principal of Triple R Solutions a woman owned contracting firm focusing on Relationships, Respect and Responsibility. Sue has over 30 years of collaborative business, non-profit, community, education, management, and leadership experience Ms. Ambler retired from Workforce Snohomish after 11 years with the council and served as the President & CEO from 2006-2014. An active member of her community, Sue invests her time in support of youth advocacy, veterans, military families, and working to end homelessness.


Fred Safstrom
Chief Executive Officer
Fred served on the Housing Hope Board of Directors from 1996-2006. He joined the Housing Hope staff in 2006 as the Chief Operating Officer. He has a BBA from Seattle University. Fred was recently promoted to the Chief Executive Officer position for both Housing Hope and HopeWorks.
Ed Peterson
Chief Strategic Officer
Ed was the founding Executive Director of both Housing Hope (1987) and HopeWorks (2011). He has 39 years of experience in human services and affordable housing. Ed has a BBA from Pacific Lutheran University and a MSW from University of Pennsylvania. He is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and served as Associate Professor of Social Work in Norway for two years.
Joe Claeys
Chief Operations Officer
Joe has 22 years in banking experience and came to HopeWorks after working with us on a loan and getting to know our CEO, Fred Safstrom. Joe had been looking for the right opportunity to enter the nonprofit field for awhile. When asked by Fred to interview for the role, Joe finally found the right opportunity. Joe is greatly involved with the local Rotary Club and loves to ski, he's even a certified ski instructor.
Nick Montanari
Social Enterprise Coordinator
Nick graduated with his Master in Public Administration degree from the University of Idaho. During his undergraduate degree at Washington State University, Nick lead the revitalization of the Acacia Fraternity chapter at WSU, tracked the most volunteer hours as a student (over 1,200 hours) and received the MLK Distinguished Student Service Award as well as the Big Ten Senior Award. Nick enjoys volunteering, woodworking, and getting outdoors.
Kandi Graber
Enterprise Manager-ReNewWorks
Kandi Graber is a resale expert with over 30 years of experience in business. Furniture and home decor design are her passion. Kandi's hobbies include display merchandising, design, flea market shopping and relaxing at the beach with family.
Steve Stackpole
Enterprise Manager-GroundWorks
Steve Stackpole has over 20 years in the Landscape Industry working on all types of properties from commercial and multifamily to residential and estate properties. He understands the impact healthy vibrant landscapes have on their communities and the perception they portray for commercial properties.
Charley Bielawski
Enterprise Manager- CafeWorks
Charley has been an youth advocate for over 10 years; add her passion for coffee and it makes for a pragmatic combination. She is a member of VFW Aux #4760 and Marysville Pilchuck Athletic Boosters. In any spare time, her energy and passion is devoted to her family.
Vicki Murphy
Vicki brings extensive experience and talent to the HopeWorks team. Her hobbies include spending time in the garden and baking.
Jim Gabriel
GroundWorks Foreman
Jim has 8 years of experience in the Landscape Industry. His experience varies from landscaping construction skills to hardscapes, irrigation, water features, drainage operations, lighting, proper plant recognition and installations. Jim’s specialty is quality control procedures and safety is his number one objective.


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