Our Team

Making the dream work

Pyramid is our people.

We bring our varied lived and learned experience to work every day, inspired and eager to help our clients make the world a better place. We look out for our clients—and each other.

Pyramid is not currently hiring. However, we always love to meet folks passionate about doing good work. Interested in collaborating? Feel free to connect with us!

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    Sotonye Afonya

    Specialist, Design

  • Holly, a black woman with an afro wearing an ear cuff and leather jacket, stands in front of a blue brick wall and looks away from the camera.

    Holly Ajala

    Senior Strategist, Digital Communications

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    Gustavo Asman

    SVP, Creative

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    Aaron Aspelund

    Specialist, Indian Country & Media

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    Alex Bates

    Director, IT

  • Jill, a white woman with brown hair and glasses wearing a cozy sweater, cuddles her brown and black striped cat.

    Jill Becker

    Director, Web Strategy & UX

  • Jeff Brock, a white man with Brown hair and glasses wearing headphones, looks lovingly at his cat, Pi, who is white, brown, and black and is climbing on his shoulder.

    Jeff Brock

    Web Development Partner

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    Kylin Brown

    Project Strategy Associate

  • Karis, a white woman with short blond hair and sunglasses on her head, stands in front of house in the sun, smiling.

    Karis Cady

    Director, Design

  • Barbara, a white woman with white hair and bright, pink lipstick, stands in front of the Puget Sound smiling.

    Barbara Cairns

    Strategist, Of Counsel

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    Marcus Courtney

    Strategist, Of Counsel

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    Josh Daniel

    Strategic Counsel, Education

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    Adanna Diaz-Escobar

    Senior Strategist

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    David Doxtater

    Strategic Counsel, Indian Country & Events

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    Sue Evans

    Strategist, Of Counsel

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    Emily Goetz

    Strategist, Of Counsel

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    Courtney Gooby

    Project Associate, Indian Country

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    Kate Guenther

    Senior Strategist, UX & Content

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    Tiffany Higa

    Associate Director, UX Design

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    John Hoyt

    Founding Partner

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    Jordan Iverson

    Specialist, Projects & Video

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    Akanksha Jayanthi

    Senior Strategist, Health Justice

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    Lizzie Jespersen

    Director, Integrated Communications | Climate & Environment

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    Marisa Kolka

    Strategist, Digital Communications

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    Temryss Xeli’tia Lane

    VP, Indian Country

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    Brandon Lee

    Strategist, Of Counsel

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    Lauren McGee

    Senior Strategist

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    Chris Nelson

    Director, Content | Arts & Culture

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    Kara Palmer

    Director, Philanthropy

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    Vivian Phillips

    Strategist, Of Counsel

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    Ellie Probus

    Senior Strategist, Campaigns & Video

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    Jaline Quinto

    Strategic Counsel, Indian Country

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    Denise Rhiner

    Director, Health Justice

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    Maverick Ryan

    Senior Strategist, Indian Country

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    Kira Shea

    Senior Strategist, Design | Culture

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    Ruby Stacey

    Director, Indian Country

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    Sarah Starr

    Associate Director, Hiring & Project Strategy

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    Anne Tillery

    Managing Partner

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    Stephanie Velasco

    Senior Strategist

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    Lauryn White

    Business Development Specialist

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    Alex Withrow

    Associate Director, Partnerships & Operations

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    Izabella Zucker

    Associate Director, Climate & Environment

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Sotonye Afonya

Specialist, Design

Pronouns: He/Him

Sotonye has always been passionate about the world of art and design. His design interests include branding, illustration, typography, animation and painting. He’s passionate about learning about people of different backgrounds and has translated this into his work by creating designs and artwork celebrating people of different nationalities and ethnic groups. Prior to working at Pyramid, Sotonye worked as a freelance graphic designer, developing content for Minnesotan artists, magazines and nonprofit health organizations. His recent clients include the Tacoma Urban League, the Native Organizers Alliance, and the Terrell Marshall Law Group.

Holly, a black woman with an afro wearing an ear cuff and leather jacket, stands in front of a blue brick wall and looks away from the camera.

Holly Ajala

Senior Strategist, Digital Communications

Pronouns: She/Her

Holly is a writer and storyteller with a fierce belief in the power of effective storytelling to inspire empathy, propel social justice and challenge human beings to be more human. At Pyramid she works with clients on digital strategy, positioning and implementation, ensuring that organizations can tell their stories in the most engaging ways possible. She brings passion, curiosity and creativity to each project and sees each client as an opportunity to expand her own worldview.

As a first-generation Nigerian American, Holly is particularly interested in working with social justice and equity clients who work to empower communities of color. Her current clients include Byrd Barr Place, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and the BIPOC ED Coalition. When she’s not working, Holly loves to read, write, do yoga, travel to new places, and cook new foods.

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Gustavo Asman

SVP, Creative

Pronouns: He/Him

After 20 years working in advertising and communication firms around the world, two things became clear: Gustavo and family wanted to live in a place they could call home. And he wished success was not measured just by judges at award shows, but in real life, with real impact. Gustavo oversees Pyramid’s creative services team, driving creative strategic thinking and inspiring new ways of doing things by trying to see them from as many angles as possible. Having worked with many brands around the globe—from Argentina to New York and Southeast Asia—he understands (and values) what context, culture and teamwork bring to any project.

At Pyramid, Gustavo works across issue areas, including clients like Cascade Public Media, Seattle Public Utilities, the 2020 Census, Central Washington University and RWJF. Beyond working hours, Gustavo enjoys spending time with his family, watching films, working out, reading, writing, traveling… like most of us do.

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Aaron Aspelund

Specialist, Indian Country & Media

Pronouns: He/Him

Aaron is an enrolled member of the Naknek Village in Alaska. His culture has laid the foundation for many of his beliefs and values, both personally and professionally. Determined to bring Native voices to the forefront of public conversations, Aaron pursued a career in communications. At Pyramid, Aaron prioritizes his time working with the Indian Country team to ensure Native rights and treaties are protected. He also specializes in media, working across practice groups to support media strategy and content development for clients. Aaron earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications and American Indian Studies at the University of Washington.

Aaron’s recent clients include Indigenous Led, MHA Nation, National Congress of American Indians, and Lummi Nation. When not in the office, Aaron is spending his time nature, hiking, camping and experiencing life at its fullest.

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Alex Bates

Director, IT

Pronouns: He/Him

Alex enjoys humanizing technology, finding patterns in challenges, and eking out solutions that span the breadth of the problems of the moment. With a multidisciplinary approach to technology, founded in curiosity and deepened through an education in sciences and the arts, he helps Pyramid plan for the future. His core functions at Pyramid include the strategic concepting and implementation of systems, day-to-day support of both the Pyramid team and of our clients, and advisement on processes and methodology to support us all. Beyond serving our team, Alex has recently helped support clients including the Black Future Co-op Fund, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, the Spirit Aligned Leadership Program and Washington Environmental Council. Prior to joining Pyramid, Alex worked with companies ranging from local design, advertising and architecture firms to Microsoft, Holland America and Nintendo.

When not behind a computer, Alex can be found traveling the globe and exploring the world just beyond his back yard. He enjoys cooking and camping, the woods and the water. As a father of two, Alex’s favorite thing is to spend time with his family, watching his kids grow and experience new places and discoveries.

Jill, a white woman with brown hair and glasses wearing a cozy sweater, cuddles her brown and black striped cat.

Jill Becker

Director, Web Strategy & UX

Pronouns: She/Her

Jill finds joy in creating websites that connect people with the causes they care about and the information they need to take action. At Pyramid, she leads the web & UX team and partners with clients to create websites that are rooted in strategy, intuitive to use, and easy to maintain. Prior to joining Pyramid, she spent a decade managing communications and websites for the Seattle Symphony and the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences.  As someone who has been both a client and a consultant during website redesigns, she brings empathy and understanding to the process.

Recent clients include Pride Foundation, Amara, Philanthropy Northwest, UW Husky Health & Well-being, Community Roots Housing and IllumiNative. When she’s not at work, you can find Jill in a hammock with her nose in a book, playing her violin, or wandering around the Pacific Northwest in search of the very best cider.

Jeff Brock, a white man with Brown hair and glasses wearing headphones, looks lovingly at his cat, Pi, who is white, brown, and black and is climbing on his shoulder.

Jeff Brock

Web Development Partner

Pronouns: He/Him

Jeff is a charismatic, right-and-left-brained communicator with 25 years of expertise in web development. A WordPress expert, Jeff has spoken at WordCamp conferences in Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Recent development clients include We All Count: 2020 Census Campaign, The Denver Foundation, Amara, Community Roots Housing, and Strong Start to Finish.

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Kylin Brown

Project Strategy Associate

Pronouns: She/Her

Kylin is a dedicated change agent with a knack for digital storytelling and strategic project planning. As a first-generation college graduate originally from rural Eastern Washington, she is dedicated to equity work, environmental justice, and bridging political division. At Pyramid, she produces high quality written and visual content and provides detail-oriented project management to drive success for clients. Her work is informed by her previous experiences as an environmental justice researcher, education access worker, and journalist. Current clients include Water Foundation, Ross Strategic, Washington Conservation Action, Biohabitats, Educurious, and Seattle Center Foundation.

Karis, a white woman with short blond hair and sunglasses on her head, stands in front of house in the sun, smiling.

Karis Cady

Director, Design

Pronouns: She/Her

Karis leads a team of designers in developing unique, compelling, and integrated design solutions. Her design skills span brand, print, digital, illustration, and data visualization. Her recent clients include 2020 Census campaign, Crosscut, IllumiNative, Byrd Barr Place, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Barbara, a white woman with white hair and bright, pink lipstick, stands in front of the Puget Sound smiling.

Barbara Cairns

Strategist, Of Counsel

Pronouns: She/Her

Barbara led Pyramid’s Conservation and Sustainability practice group for eight years. Barbara specializes in helping people and communities find creative paths to achieve their aspirations. She is a strategist, facilitator, issue framer, writer, and story teller. She has extensive experience in non-profit management; national, state, and local political and legislative campaigns; and brings deep issue expertise in natural resources and environmental policy. Her clients include the University of Washington College of the Environment, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Earthjustice, the Wilderness Society, Resources Legacy Fund and the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

Before joining Pyramid, Barbara was executive director of the regional salmon recovery organization Long Live the Kings, deputy director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and legislative assistant on the environment to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman.

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Marcus Courtney

Strategist, Of Counsel

Pronouns: He/Him

Marcus brings over 15 years of experience in advocacy and politics. He assists clients on engagement strategies, the legislative process, elections and issue-positioning in the public arena. A recognized expert on tech and labor, he co-founded the nation’s first union dedicated to representing high-technology workers and spent five years overseas directing negotiations and political efforts on behalf of national unions on four continents. He has testified before the U.S. Congress. Marcus has been widely quoted in the media by the New York Times, NPR, The Seattle Times, network TV and in foreign publications. His opinion pieces on the future of work have been published in The Seattle Times, Crosscut and the Korean Labor Institute. He recently served on the Innovation and Jobs Policy Committee for the Biden presidential campaign.

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Josh Daniel

Strategic Counsel, Education

Pronouns: He/Him

Josh believes equitable access to quality education and meaningful work is a fundamental right and essential for a successful future. He provides a depth of knowledge in child development, education best practices, social-emotional learning, and the social determinants of health and well-being. With Pyramid, current and recent clients include Educare/PSESD, Educurious, Education Commission of the States/Strong Start to Finish, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Seattle Public Schools, Partnership for Learning, and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Prior to joining Pyramid, Josh served as a senior editorial consultant and executive producer in the educational arena, launching PBS Parents and executive producing numerous educational and child development sites for Oregon Public Broadcasting. Josh also served as a senior online editor at Sesame Workshop and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Adanna Diaz-Escobar

Senior Strategist

Pronouns: She/Her

Adanna is the daughter of immigrants, migrant farmworkers and Latinx community advocates. She carries this lineage with her through all of her work, and is dedicated to advancing equity for Black, Indigenous and people of color. She is a strategic communicator with a background in philanthropy and community organizing. Highly organized and relationship-oriented, Adanna supports her clients in realizing their vision and goals. Her clients include Group Health Foundation, Black Future Co-op Fund, Water Foundation, and others. Adanna serves on Pyramid’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Decolonization team.

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David Doxtater

Strategic Counsel, Indian Country & Events

David (Dox) is the President and founder of The Workshop. Dox founded The Workshop twenty-six years ago out of a love for the power of community celebrations. Dox was one of the original Bumbershoot Arts Festival planners, and an original One Reel Vaudeville Show producer. Today, he continues his passion with The Workshop and has produced iconic Seattle events such as the grand opening of the Benaroya Symphony Hall, Lake Union Fireworks show and the Summer Nights at the Pier concert series. Originally from Flint, Michigan, Dox now resides on Bainbridge Island and considers himself a Native of the Pacific Northwest. Dox is a member of the Oneida Nation and attended Evergreen State College.

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Sue Evans

Strategist, Of Counsel

Pronouns: She/her

Sue connects people to messages that move decision makers. She specializes in building complex media campaigns and communications strategies that guide clients through crisis, issue advocacy, legislative policy, political campaigns, and high-stakes litigation. Recent clients include the Washington Student Achievement Council, newly-elected Washington state Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-36th), and Seattle Center’s P-3 Project. Sue has launched campaigns covered by 60 Minutes, The New York TimesThe Washington PostPolitico, CNN, The Seattle Times, NPR, local media, and popular social media streams.

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Emily Goetz

Strategist, Of Counsel

Pronouns: She/Her

Emily believes in the incredible power of communications to shape how we see and understand the world we live in, and one another. As a listener and creative problem solver, Emily partners with people and organizations to cut through to the core: identifying the most central, uniting story, and strategic opportunities to move an issue. At Pyramid, she plays dual roles, leading multidisciplinary teams to design integrated issues and advocacy campaigns, while also leading the firm’s day-to-day operations as SVP of Client Services and Operations.

Her recent clients include the State of Washington, King County Executive, Washington Community Alliance (then Washington Census Alliance), Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, and Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation. Emily was recognized by the Portland Business Journal as a member of the 2018 40 under 40 class following her work engaging the local private sector in social responsibility.

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Courtney Gooby

Project Associate, Indian Country

Pronouns: She/Her

Courtney is from the Suquamish Tribe and is a recent undergraduate from the University of Washington, where she focused on Communication and American Indian Studies. She is passionate about creativity, community and effective communication and hopes to continue fostering these values during her work at Pyramid. Courtney’s most recent projects include social media strategy, content creation, and event planning for clients such as IllumiNative, the Chief Seattle Club and the Washington Conservation Action.

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Kate Guenther

Senior Strategist, UX & Content

Pronouns: They/Them

Kate is a queer digital strategist with a storytelling background. They are a careful listener, invested in helping clients tell their stories and connect with their communities online. They draw from a range experience in creating digital spaces for progressive change-makers, with an emphasis on equity-focused healthcare. Their recent clients include Byrd Barr Place, Pacific Hospital PDA, Black Future Co-op Fund, and Friendship House.

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Tiffany Higa

Associate Director, UX Design

Pronouns: She/Her

Tiff believes in the power of design in generating social good. With a digital-first mind, she specializes in web design with an eye on front-end web development, and works on print and branding projects as well. Tiff also loves letters and has a deep interest in creative typography. Her recent clients include the Pride Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation.

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John Hoyt

Founding Partner

Pronouns: He/Him

John founded Pyramid based on his belief that a company could be successful working only for good causes. He specializes in communications work and high-level strategic and fundraising campaigns and initiatives that benefit from his political expertise. His recent clients include the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Earthjustice, Cascade Public Media, and Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.

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Jordan Iverson

Specialist, Projects & Video

Pronouns: He/Him

As a storyteller, Jordan is motivated by the creation and utilization of multimedia and communications strategies to change the way we think about social issues and those most impacted. Prior to joining Pyramid as a Project Manager, he worked primarily in the space of homelessness as an advocate for our neighbors living outside. He brings his professional and personal experience as a community advocate and his creative skills to support organizations in furthering their ability to undue harmful systems and create change.

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Akanksha Jayanthi

Senior Strategist, Health Justice

Pronouns: She/Her

Akanksha is committed to centering community expertise in decision-making processes to rebuild systems and structures. A former journalist and social policy researcher, she loves learning from people about their experiences and then collaboratively building narratives and solutions to challenges. Akanksha brings this ethos to Pyramid to manage and advance projects focused on achieving health equity and wellness. She also brings extensive qualitative analysis expertise which she employed examining policies related to SNAP and TANF benefits, among other projects. Her current clients include Clinicas FQHC, Washington Poison Center and Empire Health Foundation. Outside of work, you can find Akanksha finding any reason to go outside, working on a crossword puzzle, or perfecting the art of making chai.

Akanksha holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and Spanish from Loyola University Chicago.

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Lizzie Jespersen

Director, Integrated Communications | Climate & Environment

Pronouns: She/Her

Lizzie partners with clients to bring intention and clarity to every step of the communications process—from shaping the strategy to crafting the story and making sure the right people see it at the right time. Her work is focused on the climate crisis and the environment, and some of her recent clients have included the Washington Department of Ecology’s Office of the Chehalis Basin, Marine Discovery Center, Water Foundation, and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Before joining Pyramid, she worked in journalism and environmental advocacy, where she translated complex environmental science and policy into language that ignites curiosity and inspires action. Lizzie is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, with a focus on environmental policy.

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Marisa Kolka

Strategist, Digital Communications

Pronouns: She/Her

Marisa is a curious and digital-savvy strategist who loves using technology to bridge information gaps and bring people together. She thrives at the intersection of arts and culture, environmentalism, and cultural equity. Her career began in the folk music industry, a genre that is historically rooted in social justice and community activism. Now, she’s thrilled to use her skills to communicate creative solutions to the world’s problems with an intersectional approach. Her digital-first mindset allows her to weave together different channels into comprehensive strategies that connect with people right where they’re at.

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Temryss Xeli’tia Lane

VP, Indian Country

Pronouns: She/Her

Temryss Xeli’tia comes from the Golden Eagle Clan of the Lummi Nation. She recognizes how Indigenous leadership holds the power to protect a healthy future for the next generations. With deep accountability to the land, water, and people, Temryss is committed to the healing work of Indigenous storytelling and visibility. Temryss leads Pyramid’s Indian Country team, which aims to strengthen Native power and impact through relationship building, strategic collaboration, and facilitation. Temryss’ clients include Lummi Nation, MHA Nation, Native American Rights Fund, National Congress of American Indians, AISES, and IllumiNative. Temryss sits on the board for Chief Seattle Club, Hummingbird Doulas, and Se’si’le.

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Brandon Lee

Strategist, Of Counsel

Pronouns: He/Him

Brandon partners with leaders in nonprofit, business, and government—helping clients identify and tell powerful stories. For nearly 15 years, he’s empowered organizations and executives with communications strategies that explain issues and improve ideas. His work in education has expanded education opportunity and equity, amplifying innovative policies that help people and communities thrive. Brandon has supported initiatives across early learning, K-12, and higher education—working with public school districts from Washington state to Colorado, and higher education institutions such as The Evergreen State College and the University of Southern California. He’s also advised philanthropic and nonprofit partners, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to WestEd.

In addition to his education work, Brandon serves clients across public health, conservation and climate, technology, and youth justice. From messaging and media relations to creative and strategic counsel, Brandon provides communications solutions at every level.

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Lauren McGee

Senior Strategist

Pronouns: She/Her

Lauren is a passionate communications strategist who spearheads impactful campaigns and projects, driving success with her determination and strong commitment to mission-driven work. She firmly believes that strategic and creative communication tactics are transformative tools that can change narratives, shift power, and inspire action. With this mindset and her strong attention to detail she partners with her clients to develop and implement integrated communications strategies that help them achieve their goals—keeping both the immediate and broader impacts in mind. Her recent clients include IllumiNative, Water Foundation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Lauren is an animal lover through and through. In addition to spending time with and caring for her two dogs, cat, and tortoise, she also volunteers and fosters with a local rescue. She has fostered more than 35 dogs!

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Chris Nelson

Director, Content | Arts & Culture

Pronouns: He/Him

A reporter by training, Chris loves collaborating with clients to identify the “lead” of their stories. What’s the heart of their work, and how do we best share it? He works with clients focused on a range of issues, including Seattle Theatre Group, Seattle JazzED, Earthjustice, Ploughshares Fund, the Burke Museum, and Cascade Public Media. He’s placed client stories with The New York TimesThe Washington PostUSA Today, CNN and NPR, as well as local outlets across the country.

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Kara Palmer

Director, Philanthropy

Pronouns: She/Her

Kara cares deeply about working collaboratively to reimagine philanthropy and rebalance power with communities. A creative strategist who’s relationship-focused, Kara brings more than 25 years of experience driving change in health, education, conservation, and other justice issues. As philanthropy director at Pyramid, she leads multi-disciplinary teams in building strong organizational brands and delivering high-impact communications across mediums.

Her clients have included the Black Future Co-op Fund, BIPOC ED Coalition, Byrd Barr Place, Group Health Foundation, Northwest Indian College Foundation, Philanthropy Northwest, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Raikes Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among others. Previously, Kara was an advocacy officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she strategized to elevate global health, development, and learning initiatives. Driven by curiosity, she loves learning new things, gardening, nature photography, and doing puzzles. Kara also cherishes spending time with her family.

A black and white photo of Vivian, a Black woman with short hair and statement jewelry, looks at the camera and smiles.

Vivian Phillips

Strategist, Of Counsel

Pronouns: She/Her

Vivian is an experienced communications professional, known for her collaborative style in building partnerships and engaging communities. She is an independent theatre producer and co-founding member of the Hansberry Project, and produces television programs on arts and heritage for 4Culture. She previously served as the director of marketing and communications for the Seattle Theatre Group, and managed all marketing and communications activities for Seattle’s historic Paramount, Moore, and Neptune Theatres. She was a primary spokesperson and representative to the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, a national initiative to promote African artists interpreting contemporary life through traditional, popular, or contemporary forms. She has served as director of communications for Mayor Paul Schell and as an interim executive director of the Seattle Parks-operated Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Vivian is a Leadership Tomorrow alum and graduate of the Alki Foundation Political Involvement Institute.

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Ellie Probus

Senior Strategist, Campaigns & Video

Pronouns: She/Her

Ellie is passionate about amplifying the voices of communities across Washington state. She collaborates with grassroots organizations on strategy, creative, digital, and traditional media. Her primary client is the Washington Community Alliance, a statewide coalition of organizations of color that are demanding racial and economic justice together. Prior to joining Pyramid, Ellie built communications and sales resources for Microsoft.

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Jaline Quinto

Strategic Counsel, Indian Country

Pronouns: She/Her

Jaline combines more than 15 years of experience in communications, media, government, and conservation to achieve the goals of tribes and Native organizations. She enjoys developing communications strategies, writing, editing, and creating marketing campaigns. Known for her quick wit and powerful writing skills, Jaline is also a skilled media professional and has earned thousands of stories in national and international outlets. Jaline previously served as director of council relations for former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. Prior to that, she served as communications manager at the Pew Environment Group’s International Boreal Conservation Campaign and as communications director for DC Vote, an organization dedicated to securing a vote in Congress for DC residents. Jaline holds a degree in communications and American Indian Studies from the University of Washington and is of Tlingit and Colville descent.

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Denise Rhiner

Director, Health Justice

Pronouns: She/Her

Denise believes improving health requires addressing the structural roots of inequity. As the co-director of Pyramid’s health justice practice, she is passionate about supporting organizations who are opening to this view, as well as those who live and breathe this work. Denise draws on nearly two decades of experience in strategic planning, communications strategy, branding, and fundraising to engage in collaborations that build the capacity and impact of leaders, staff and their organizations. Her clients include W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Fair Food Network, UW School of Public Health, Community Roots Housing, Solid Ground, Downtown Emergency Services Center and Washington State Budget & Policy Center. Denise holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Reed College.

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Maverick Ryan

Senior Strategist, Indian Country

Pronouns: He/Him

Maverick is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in Southwest Washington state. Prior to joining Pyramid, Maverick held various communications-based roles in the public and private sector, including as Deputy Director of Constituent Services in Governor Jay Inslee’s office. Other specialties in Maverick’s background include economic development, clean energy development, and housing. Maverick is committed to upholding indigenous sovereignty in his personal and professional life. Maverick’s clients include: the National Congress of American Indians, Chief Seattle Club, and the National Indian Health Board.

Maverick also sits on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council, as well as the board of the Port Orchard Historic Theater Foundation. He earned his B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from American University. When he is not working or volunteering, Maverick enjoys spending time with his family.

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Kira Shea

Senior Strategist, Design | Culture

Pronouns: She/Her

Kira is on a perpetual search for clear communication solutions. She views the field of design as a multimedia opportunity to improve systems and clarify the complex. Her drive to help others began with a decade-long career in healthcare as a Registered Nurse. At Pyramid, her clients include Friendship House, Teaching for Black Lives, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and Water Foundation.

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Ruby Stacey

Director, Indian Country

Pronouns: She/They

Ruby is an enrolled member of the Quileute Nation. Indigenous ways of knowing are foundational to her belief that storytelling and communications play an essential role in creating positive change. She’s passionate about centering Native voices and supporting Native-led projects for clients such as the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Seattle Indian Health Board, and Lummi Nation.

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Sarah Starr

Associate Director, Hiring & Project Strategy

Pronouns: She/Her

Sarah strives to use communications as a tool for justice. A lover of both artistic expression and color-coded spreadsheets, she is most excited at the intersection of creative ideation and detail-oriented implementation. She is skilled at crafting concise copy that clearly communicates complex concepts, and also at alliteration. In her project work, she focuses on messaging, websites, and campaigns. As co-leader of the project strategy team, she supports her team to continually grow and learn from one another. And, as leader of the firm’s hiring and onboarding, she works to make Pyramid’s hiring process more equitable and attract amazing and creative new people, as well as to create a supportive landing when they come on board.

Anne Tillery

Anne Tillery

Managing Partner

Pronouns: She/Her

In addition to serving as Pyramid’s managing partner, Anne leads strategic planning efforts, provides organizational and leadership development support, and works across issue areas to help our clients define and maximize their impact. She brings deep listening and an interdisciplinary approach to her clients, which have included W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the University of Washington School of Public Health, and the Burke Museum.

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Stephanie Velasco

Senior Strategist

Pronouns: She/Her

Stephanie aspires to take her passion for creativity and strategy to make a difference by amplifying the unique missions of organizations that are making an impact while centering the voices and needs of our communities. Prior to joining Pyramid, she led marketing and communications efforts for a community-based health organization with 100+ clinics and programs across WA. Her current clients include Byrd Barr Place and BIPOC Executive Directors Coalition of Washington State.

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Lauryn White

Business Development Specialist

Lauryn is passionate about working with her team and clients to advance important causes. She has a keen eye for detail and process improvements, which she uses to support clients and operations here at Pyramid. In her role, Lauryn supports business development and marketing efforts across the firm, as well as internal operations and culture initiatives. Her background in higher education underscores her commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

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Alex Withrow

Associate Director, Partnerships & Operations

Pronouns: She/Her

Alex has an infectious passion for fueling the success of clients and co-workers. She develops multi-disciplinary content and strategies for clients including Friends of Waterfront Seattle, Pacific Hospital PDA, and U District Partnership. Before coming to Pyramid, Alex worked for Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation—creating internal systems and developing messaging and cross-channel content focused on the areas of homelessness, the environment, arts, and education.

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Izabella Zucker

Associate Director, Climate & Environment

Pronouns: She/Her

Izzy co-directs Pyramid’s climate and environment practice—guiding clients through a variety of communications and strategic planning projects, always rooted in vision, values, and impact. Her recent clients include the City of Seattle, the Washington Department of Ecology’s Office of Chehalis Basin, Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, the Olympic Peninsula’s Marine Discovery Center, and Native Organizers Alliance.

Before Pyramid, Izzy managed multimillion-dollar campaigns at Publicis Groupe, wrote grants with local biologists in the Peruvian Amazon, and helped raise more than $2 million for her local children’s hospital. These days, you’ll almost always find her in the water, in the garden, or tending to her writing practice.