Our Team

Staff

Jennifer Flood – Executive Director

Jennifer has spent the last twenty-two years as an advocate for children and youth in government and non-profit leadership roles. Prior to joining Mentor WA as Executive Director in January 2020 her roles included leading her own consulting practice serving advocacy organizations and school districts in Washington state and eight years as Senior Managing Director of Strategy on Teach For America’s national team. Earlier in her career she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education; Executive Director for Youth For Global Education, a Swedish nonprofit enabling gap-year students to volunteer teach in Ugandan schools during the country’s adoption of universal primary education; and a third grade bilingual teacher in California.

Jennifer is passionate about partnering with people and organizations to increase their impact in pursuit of a better, more just world. During Jennifer’s tenure at Teach For America she partnered with school districts, universities, family foundations, and community organizations to launch new programs across the nation that now serve over 4000 students each summer. She has a Master of Education, with a concentration in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University, and received her B.A. degrees in Political Science and Psychology from UCLA.

Janet Heubach – Research Coordinator

Dr. Heubach leads MENTOR Washington’s statewide youth mentoring quality assurance initiative and serves as the project coordinator for the mentoring students of military parents study. She mentored 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 adult, cherished daughters who live in the Seattle area.

Pamila Gant – Senior Program Officer

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.

Victor Amabile – Project Coordinator

Victor joined the MENTOR Washington’s staff as a Project Coordinator in October, 2018. In his role, Victor works in collaboration with Pamila Gant and Claude Green to coordinate coaching and consultation for the National Mentoring Resource Center, and to incubate new program models for career-connected mentoring. Prior to joining MENTOR Washington, Victor served as a staff member at Boys and Girls Club of America.

Victor received his BA in Anthropology and Sociology with a minor in Psychology from the University of Redlands where he studied social justice, racial equity, and power dynamics.

Loaned Executives

Claude Green – Costco Corporate Engagement 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 opportunity 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.

Tom Pennella – DCYF Partnership Director

Tom Pennella currently serves as the Deputy Director for MENTOR Washington, and is Mentoring Administrator for the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF).  Tom has worked for DCYF 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.