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Board of Directors

Michael Heinisch – Board President

Mike Heinisch, CCER board vice president

Mike has been the Executive Director of Kent Youth & Family Services since October 1999.  Prior to his position with KYFS, he was at Highline West Seattle Mental Health Center (Navos) as Director of the Children and Family Division, preceded by various management positions at Catholic Community Services as Children’s Mental Health Programs and Foster Care Director and Family Counseling Program Manager.

He is a current South King Council of Human Services board member (three terms president) and former two-term member of United Way of King County’s Board of Directors and currently co-chair’s United Way’s Public Policy Council. He is a member of Community In Schools of Kent’s Board of Directors, Alliance of Non Profits (two-term board president and recipient of the Executive Alliance Non Profit Leadership award in 2003), Board President of Building Better Futures, Co-Chair of the King County Alliance for Human Services and Co-Chair of the King County Mental Illness Drug Dependency (MIDD) Oversight Committee.

In January 2012, Mike joined the Governing Board of Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority as well as the Community Center for Educational Results (CCER). He serves on the Kent Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and is a current City of Kent Human Services Commission member.  He is also a member of the King County Committee to End Homeless Interagency Council.  Mike obtained his Masters Degree in counseling from Seattle University in 1983 and is a native of Wisconsin having relocated to Western Washington in 1979.  He and his spouse, Gail, have resided in Burien the past 26 years.

John Kim – Secretary


John Kim was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy before earning a BA, Government, from Dartmouth College.  After working in New York, Boston and Seoul, he earned a JD from New York University School of Law in 1989.

After working at a firm in Washington, D.C., John moved to Seattle in 1997 to become Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Northwest Hospital & Medical Center. Starting in 2001, John worked with industrial painting companies in the US and Panama, and moved to Panama in 2005 to create and execute a strategic plan for Bahia Escribano, SA to build a luxury marina.

John returned to Northwest Hospital 1997 as the Executive Director of the Northwest Hospital Foundation. During this time, John joined the boards of Seattle Jobs Initiative (Finance Committee), Dale Turner Family YMCA (Chair), Shoreline Breakfast Rotary, Northwest Community Health Education and Simulation Center and took a leadership role with Richmond Beach Congregational Church UCC (Moderator).

In 2012, John debuted the role of Chief Operating Officer at Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, a membership organization representing community health centers in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In September 2013, John became the third Executive Director of Seattle Jobs Initiative.

Suzanne Dale Estey


Suzanne Dale Estey is Principal of Dale Estey Partnerships, Strategy & Results, a public affairs consulting firm. A Seattle native with more than 25 years’ experience delivering results in economic development, intergovernmental relations and nonprofit leadership, Suzanne has a unique public-private understanding of policy making. Most recently, Suzanne served as the President & CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County (EDC). At the EDC, Suzanne fostered partnerships to protect and create more than 6,500 King County jobs at 75 companies, and generate over $750 million in new investment, helping drop countywide unemployment to historic lows. Suzanne previously served as Economic Development Director for the City of Renton; Vice President of Government & Industry Relations for Washington Mutual; State & Federal Government Relations Manager for the King County Executive; State Lobbyist for the City of Seattle; Federal Legislative Analyst for the Governor of Washington; Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at The White House and Pacific Northwest & Texas Program Director for Junior Statesmen, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, civics education program for high school student leaders.

Suzanne also serves as a board member of the Washington Economic Development Association, The Junior Statesmen Foundation, Renton Technical College and the Seattle Colleges Advisory Councils, and she is President of the University of Washington (UW) Alumni Association board, as well as an active volunteer in the Seattle Public Schools. A K-12 graduate of Seattle Public Schools, Suzanne received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Politics from Whitman College and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Daniel J. Evans School at the University of Washington. She and her husband, Mike, have two active school-age sons.

Lyn Tangen


Lyn Tangen most recently was the Senior Director, Corporate Communications, for Vulcan Inc., where she worked for 10 years.  Prior to that, she owned and ran a small winery in Eastern Washington and served on the board and as president of the Washington Wine Institute.  She served as legal advisor to Mayor Paul Schell, and was a partner in the law firm of Riddell Williams where her practice was focused on commercial real estate development.

Lyn was born and raised in Seattle and has spent most of her life in this city.  She has served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Seattle Association, the UW Law School Foundation and other civic and non-profit organizations.  Currently, she is on the boards of FareStart,  Friends of Waterfront Seattle and the Community Center for Education Results.

Israel Vela


Israel Vela returned to the Kent School District as the Chief School Operations and Academic Support Officer, in July 2016. In his current role, Mr. Vela oversees a wide variety of state and federal support programs serving the district’s highest need students and families, including: School Improvement and Academic Support, Early Learning, Special Education, Multilingual Education (ELL), Student and Family Support Services (including discipline, family connections, refugee transition services, and truancy), Categorical Programs and Grants (including Title I, LAP, and McKinney Vento/Homeless), Athletics, School Safety, Student Wellness (including Health services, counselors, and 504 services, Nutrition Services, Transportation, and Maintenance and Facilities.

After three years as the South West Region Executive Director of Schools in the Seattle School District, Mr. Vela returned to the Kent School District, where he previously served as Director of Student Services, and Executive Director of Student and Family Support Services from 1999-2013.  Prior to coming to KSD Israel served as a classroom teacher for over 10 years in the Moses Lake and Lake Washington School Districts.  Throughout his career, his experience and expertise relative to ensuring success for English Language Learners (ELL) is constantly sought by both professionals in other districts and OSPI state officials.  He currently serves as the Chair for the Bilingual Education Advisory Council and previously the ESSA Consolidated Plan Team at the state level.  He has had first-hand knowledge of how critical it is to have support and high expectations in place that ensure all students are prepared to be highly skilled and productive citizens.

Israel has been serving on the Kent Youth and Family Services Board of Directors since 2007, serving as Board President from October 2011 to September 2013. He earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and Principal Certification from City University.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Central Washington University.

Israel and his family have lived in Kent since 1999. His daughter, Carly, and son, Cameron, are both Kentwood High School graduates and attended Meridian Elementary and Mattson Middle School.

Student Engagement and Motivation: This data provides unique insights into the ways students perceive themselves and their learning environments.