Our Staff

Our Team

Claude Green – Senior Project Director

Claude joined MENTOR Washington (MW) in 2016. He came to MW as a Loaned Executive from Costco Wholesale to provide strategic, operational, fundraising and marketing support needed to build MW’s profile. His primary focus is to pilot quality workforce development for local youth programs in Washington State. He is currently developing a corporate engagement strategy that encourages corporate mentoring and career pathway programs for at-risk youth through collaboration with businesses, state government and MW’s mentoring partners.

Prior to joining MW, Claude has spent 34 years working his way up the corporate ladder at Costco.



Pamila Gant – Senior Program Officer for Training & Outreach

Pamila joined the MW staff in January 2008. In her role, she is responsible for providing training and technical assistance to mentoring organizations.  Pamila also has more than twenty years of experience working in higher education in college admissions, financial aid, and student development.  She has a wealth of experience working with youth from all backgrounds.   You will quickly learn she is an ardent advocate for developing strong, caring communities where all youth feel safe and are capable of making meaningful contributions to the world around them.

Pamila earned her bachelor degree in Urban Development from Western Washington University and has a certificate in Family History and Genealogy (her personal passion) from the University of Washington.



Janet Heubach, PhD – Deputy Director of Programs

Dr. Heubach leads MENTOR Washington’s statewide youth mentoring quality assurance initiative, serves as the project coordinator for the mentoring students of military parents study, develops and manages pilot studies and demonstration projects (e.g., STEM-infused Check & Connect) to advance knowledge about effective mentoring, and provides training and technical assistance for programs. She has been a mentor in a local youth mentoring program for the past four years. She managed the 5-year, seven-site, $4.5 million study of youth risk in mentoring that resulted in the Role of Risk report. Dr. Heubach previously worked for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a Senior Research Scientist doing R&D in workplace operational effectiveness.

Dr. Heubach began her career as an elementary school educator and worked at a small high school as an academic advisor and student activities director. She has two cherished adult daughters who live in the Seattle area.



Tom Pennella – Deputy Director

Tom Pennella currently serves as the Deputy Director for MENTOR Washington, and is Mentoring Administrator for the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).  Tom has worked for DSHS for the last 35 years, and has been with MENTOR Washington for the past 19 years. Tom is one of the founders of MENTOR Washington, and was inducted into the Mentoring Founders Circle in 2016. The majority of his career has been dedicated to supporting young people, especially those involved in the social service system, including youth in foster care, adjudicated youth, and youth with substance abuse and mental health issues. His most recent work has focused on dropout prevention and youth workforce mentoring. Tom serves as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Military Mentoring Program. In his spare time, he enjoys powerlifting and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.  He, his wife and two daughters live in Olympia



Leah VanHoeve – Project Associate, Marketing and Communications

Leah initially came to MENTOR Washington through a year-long placement with Americorps VISTA through United Way of King County. Leah’s work includes rigorous data analysis for program evaluation, NMRC implementation, marketing and communications, and social media management. Currently, Leah leads the MW team on marketing and communications projects, but has additionally added event planning and development assistance to the agenda.

Leah lives in Wallingford, Seattle with a roommate and a cat, and volunteers on a local scholarship review board in her spare time.