Jim Niemer, Chair. Jim Niemer is Northwest’s Child’s longest serving board member. Jim grew up in the Seattle area and attended Bellevue High and the University of Washington. He has been a practicing attorney in Seattle since 1984. One of the highlights of his legal career occurred in 1989 when Darcy Doyle Hupf asked him to form a 501(c)(3) corporation through which she could provide extended daycare and educational services to the vastly underserved families of children with special needs. Since that time he has remained a board member and advisor to NWC, and has watched in awe as Darcy expanded her operation from a small program for school age children to six locations serving both children and young adults with special needs. Jim lives in Ballard with his wife of 32 years and occasionally one of his three adult children.

Linda Bressler, Vice Chair. My husband Mark and I have three terrific sons, an amazing daughter-in-law and an adorable grandson.  Our youngest two sons, Max and Kevin, were diagnosed in the mid 1990’s with Fragile X and autism. Both Max and Kevin attend Aaron’s Place in Kirkland. The quality of the staff and the programming at Aaron’s Place make for a successful and meaningful experience for all the young adults attending.In 1995 Mark and I were one of the founding members of Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT of Washington). I have been involved for years with fundraising efforts for FEAT, Bridge Disability Ministries as well as several other disability associated non-profits in the area. I have served on the Board of Directors for Northwest’s Child for four years.  For the past five years, I have worked with a fabulous team on the Northwest’s Child/Aaron’s Place annual fundraiser in support of an organization that I am passionate about not only for my family but for all of the families and staff.   Being on the Board, I hope to add to the fundraising efforts and to further expand the existing strong community presence of Northwest’s Child/Aaron’s Place.

Peggy Smith, Secretary. Occupational Therapy has been my career for 41 years. I was a Certified OT Assistant for 17 years and a Registered OT for 24. I have worked many places, but my heart is with children
and people with special needs. My current and likely last job is at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Here I have been able to develop experience in many aspects of OT. My current work is with children with gastrostomy tubes in a special Intensive Feeding Program, helping them progress toward oral eating and less dependence on their tube. I also enjoy working with the orthopedic hand team and interfacing with many other providers
I have known Darcy for years, since our kids were in grade school. It is an honor to be a board member of NW Child. This organization has a great heart and provides invaluable service to our children and young adults with special needs.
My husband Brad and I have 4 sons and now 4 grandchildren. I love spending time with all of
them whenever possible and will our large extended family.

Carolyn Gleason, Officer. Northwest’s Child played an enormous role in my son Aaron’s life and my life as well, and I am honored that Aaron’s Place is named after his incredible spirit and joy. He would be so thrilled! Aaron was a medically fragile teen, full of life (and himself!) as he became one of Northwest’s Child’s first “kids”; he loved the staff and all his friends there, and his experiences were rich and priceless. This is my vision for Northwest’s Child/Aaron’s Place, that all the families, kids, youth and young adults with need for such a place can access it without barriers, especially financial. As a Regional Consultant for the federal Maternal and Child Health Program, specializing in systems of health care for children and youth with special health care needs, I know too well the challenges for families and providers of services, especially the funding and “red tape” in dealing with public agencies. I am honored to be invited to the Board, and hope to serve it well.

Urmi Saraiya, Officer. I am a Social worker in private practice. My practice is in Shoreline.
I have lived in Seattle since 1979.
My hobbies include hiking, gardening, knitting and getting together with friends.
My son was a student at Northwest’s Child for many years and that is how I got involved with the program.

Kent Hickey, Officer. Kent and his wife, Terry, have three children: Hannah, Eddie and Sam. Kent became involved in Northwest Child while serving as principal of Bishop Blanchet High School from 1999-2007. Kent continued his support for Northwest Child  after he became president of Seattle Prep in 2007, a position he continues to hold today. Kent serves on the Northwest Child Board because he believes that, “Northwest Child is one of the most important organizations in all of Seattle. The work that is accomplished through the outstanding efforts of its staff and leader, Darcy, is an inspiration to all of us. My connection with NW Child is one of the great blessings in my life.”

Ashley Penney, Officer. Ashley was born in Seattle and grew up with Lindsey and Taylor, attending school together and living just a few blocks away. She has been inspired by Darcy’s devotion to serving the special needs community since the beginning of Northwest’s Child. Ashley has worked in the field as a special educator, clinician, and researcher in a variety of settings from classrooms to homes. Ashley has a PhD in Special Education. She is both honored and grateful for the chance to serve on the board of this amazing organization.

Chuck Bocian, Officer. Chuck is an experienced Educator for the past 42 years and a lifelong member of Our Lady of the Lake Parish community. He is entering his 22nd year as the Vice Principal of Student Activities at Bishop Blanchet High School. Chuck is responsible for promoting student engagement in school life both inside and outside the classroom and in the greater community with the goal of building committed, service minded, and faith filled citizens of the world. Chuck is a humble force in the overall community: he possesses a great sense of humor, demonstrates a true love for working with teenagers and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Chuck is inspired daily by his wife Becky, his two adult daughters, son, son-in-law and his year-old twin grandbabies! All, like Chuck, except the babies, are graduates of Bishop Blanchet HS. Chuck likes to read, hike, fish, play pickup basketball, garden, work on old cars, remodel his home and spend time with his family.

Suzanne Hansen, Officer. Suzanne became an enthusiastic supporter of Northwest Child’s by attending fundraising events thanks to the invitation of her dear friend and board member, Linda Bressler. Suzanne’s inspiration for helping children and their families comes from her many years in pediatric nursing and her many years witnessing her Mom’s devotion to teaching children with special needs. Suzanne is honored by the opportunity to continue her support of Northwest’s Child by serving on the board.