Our Team

Staff

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.

 

Victor Amabile – Program Officer

Victor joined the MENTOR Washington’s staff as a Project Coordinator in October, 2018, and moved to the Program Officer role in 2020. In his role, Victor manages the coaching and consultation for the National Mentoring Resource Center, and helps programs expand in quality by supporting work in the National Quality Mentoring System. Prior to joining MENTOR Washington, Victor served as a Youth Development Professional 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.

 

Laura Mendoza – Program Manager (picture soon to come)

Since 2012, Laura has worked alongside youth, families, and communities focusing on creating programs that empower, nurture, and provide connection and belonging for youth experiencing homelessness, those involved in juvenile justice, and as a school partner. Prior to moving to Seattle to work with MENTOR Washington, Laura was a part of various non-profits in both Salt Lake City and Dallas where her ability to build strong relationships fueled the creation of spaces and programs that helped young people to be heard, grow, and thrive in their communities. Laura is a native Texan and is passionate about her University of Alabama roots (ROLL TIDE)! Being active and spending time in nature with her 5 year old boxer give her life and energy and she is looking forward to some quality time among the trees, especially after 2 years in the Salt Lake City desert. Laura earned her Masters of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and believes that consistent, authentic, and supportive adult connection will help youth change their worlds.

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.