Our Staff

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Phil Owen

Executive Director

Phil Owen is a co-founder and the Executive Director at SideWalk.

Driven by his own personal experience of homelessness as a teenager, Phil has worked in homeless social services in Thurston County for nearly 20 years. Phil previously served for 10 years as a live-in volunteer at Bread and Roses, a Catholic Worker house serving the homeless in Olympia. He also served as a campaign co-chair for the Home Fund, a 2018 initiative to build permanent supportive housing in Olympia.

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Jill Esbeck, MSW
Operations Director

Jill is a co-founder and the Operations Director for SideWalk. Jill oversees the daily operations and volunteer activities of the agency. She serves as liaison to partner agencies at the Community Care Center and organizes and facilitates volunteer trainings and in-services. Jill has 25+ years of experience in volunteer management and facilitation of a variety of training programs.

In the past, Jill worked as a trainer and consultant using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for 15 years and as the Training Coordinator for CrisisLink, a suicide prevention hotline in Northern Virginia, for 8 years. She has keen skill in system evaluations resulting in innovation and creative problem solving.

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Kento Azegami
Development Director

Kento is the Development Director at SideWalk. Motivated by the experiences of people on the streets of his neighborhood, Kento joined SideWalk staff in 2018. As Development Director, he oversees fundraising, marketing, and volunteer recruitment. Kento has over 5 years of experience in volunteer recruitment and political organizing.

Previously, Kento worked on political campaigns in Washington, Oregon, and Florida, before serving as a caseworker in the Office of the Governor. He remains active in local politics, serving on the boards of the Thurston County Young Democrats and the Downtown Neighborhood Association.


Alanna Dotson
Information Manager

Lana is the Information Manager at SideWalk. She oversees accounting, data management, and other information vital to our day-to-day operations. Lana joined SideWalk staff in 2015.

Before working for SideWalk, Lana worked for over 20 years in bookkeeping in the construction sector. Motivated by her personal experience of homelessness as a parent, Lana uses her skills in accounting to manage SideWalk’s finances so that as many people can escape the streets with SideWalk’s help.


Eric Miller

Peer Support Specialist

Eric is a Peer Support Specialist with SideWalk. He joined SideWalk staff in 2017.

Eric’s eclectic life experiences makes him proud to serve as SideWalk’s first staff caseworker. Following personal experiences with homelessness and addiction as an adult, Eric went on to work in careers in political organizing and online marketing. Eric is excited to work with people in vulnerable situations to help them move into a safe place to call home.


Amelia D. Patrice
VISTA Operations Assistant

Amelia is an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer serving at SideWalk for the 2018-2019 service year. Her time in service is focused on evaluating processes and assisting with operations and development. An Olympia native, Amelia will be a Master of Social Work candidate at the University of Washington beginning in the fall of 2019.

Our Board


Amber Ulvenes

Amber is a government affairs consultant who lives in Olympia with her spouse and three children. Amber believes that it is her responsibility, together with all community members, to take action to eliminate homelessness in Thurston County.

Affiliations: Ulvenes Consulting

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Katrina Lassiter
Vice President

Katrina is an East Coast transplant who is now an active member of the Olympia community, volunteering for environmental and social service organizations. She has worked on environmental policy at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources since 2012.

Affiliations: Washington Department of Natural Resources


Brad Jurkovich

Affiliations: Fisher Jurkovich Public Affairs


Molly Voris

Molly has served on the SideWalk Board since 2017. By day, she is the Chief Policy Officer for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, where she shapes the strategy and policy direction for the organization.

Affiliations: Washington Health Benefit Exchange


Nathan Gorton
Immediate Past President

Affiliations: Association of Washington Realtors


Telfer N. Griffith, MD

Telfer is an anesthesiologist with Olympia Anesthesia Associates. An Olympia native since grade school, Telfer returned to Olympia with his wife and two daughters in 2010 and co-owns Browsers Bookshop with his wife Andrea.

Affiliations: Olympia Anesthesia Associates; Browsers Bookshop


Ramona Nabors

Affiliations: Washington Office of Financial Management


Penelope Goode MD

Penny joined the Board in 2017. She first came to Washington while in service with the United States Navy. She is an emergency room physician. She lives in Olympia with her husband and their son.

Affiliations: Olympia Emergency Services; Providence St. Peter Hospital


Brent McBride

Affiliations: South Bay Fire District 8 Assc. Chief of Operations


David Ammons

Dave joined the Board in 2018. A retired reporter with the Associated Press, Dave has served with many organizations in Washington State, including Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Washington State Parks Foundation. In addition to being a Wednesday volunteer with SideWalk, he is the incoming chair of the Public Disclosure Commission.

Affiliations: Public Disclosure Commission, Associated Press (retired)