EXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP

Degrees of Change is guided by a committed and talented board of directors that brings together expertise in higher education, business, technology, law and non-profit development.
Michelle Y. Bess

Michelle Y. Bess

Chair (Chicago, IL)

An early Act Six alum from Tacoma, Michelle is diversity, equity and inclusion director at Sprout Social and holds an executive certificate in strategic diversity and inclusion management.

Arturo Lucatero

Arturo Lucatero

Vice Chair (Renton, WA)

An Act Six alum from Portland, Arturo is a senior program manager on the Azure Active Directory team at Microsoft and active in grassroots efforts to increase diversity in the STEM professions.

Courtney Lucas, J.D.

Courtney Lucas, J.D.

Secretary (Minneapolis, MN)

Courtney works as a transactional attorney at UnitedHealth Group. In a prior role, Courtney managed the business development continuum at TNTP, a company focused on improving educational quality for all.

Eli Taylor

Eli Taylor

Treasurer (Tacoma, WA)

A financial services professional, Eli serves as vice president and relationship manager at Key Private Bank. His wife Lauren graduated as a member of the very first Act Six cadre.

Melinda Anderson, M.Ed.

Melinda Anderson, M.Ed.

Director (Seattle, WA)

Melinda works as community engagement manager for the Northwest region at Microsoft, where empowering community is her key priority. Her son Wilo is an Act Six alum from Seattle.

Brad Brown, M.Ed.

Brad Brown, M.Ed.

Director (Auburn, WA)

Brad is executive director for learning, teaching and family support at the Puget Sound Educational Service District. His career has focused on creating systemic change in public education.

Lily Colón, J.D.

Lily Colón, J.D.

Director (Tacoma, WA)

Born and raised in Tacoma, Lily serves as chief of employee and labor relations at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. She was selected in 2015 as a presidential management fellow.

Michael Cruz

Michael Cruz

Director (Puyallup, WA)

Michael currently works as vice president and branch manager at Columbia Bank. He has a passion for seeing businesses grow and throughout his career has worked to increase diversity in the financial sector.

Yusra Hamidani

Yusra Hamidani

Director (Federal Way, WA)

Yusra is an Act Six alum and currently works as an emerging technology analyst at Boeing. She is passionate about providing mentorship and financial resources to underrepresented communities.

Larry Hughes, Ed.D.

Larry Hughes, Ed.D.

Director (Dallas, TX)

As a zone vice president at 7-Eleven, Larry is responsible for 700 stores across Texas. He has extensive experience in business development, including creating a non-profit to help inner-city businesses grow.

Erin Jones

Erin Jones

Director (Lacey, WA)

A lifetime educator, Erin has been named a White House "Champion of Change" and Milken Educator of the Year. A highly respected speaker and consultant, Erin is a powerful voice for educational equity.

Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols

Director (Seattle, WA)

Jeff has over 15 years of experience implementing enterprise technology systems and expertise in change management. He currently is a consulting partner on the Enterprise Solutions team at Armanino.

Joel Perez, Ph.D.

Joel Perez, Ph.D.

Director (Los Angeles, CA)

An experienced college administrator and leader in managing change around diversity, Joel most recently served as vice president and dean of students at Whittier College.

Danjuma Quarless, Ph.D.

Danjuma Quarless, Ph.D.

Director (Chicago, IL)

Danjuma is a senior scientist in the computational genomics division of Abbvie. An Act Six alum from Tacoma, he is passionate about diversity initiatives that support workforce inclusion in corporate America.

Tim Herron, Ed.D.

Tim Herron, Ed.D.

CEO, Nonvoting Director (Tacoma, WA)

Tim is the founder and chief executive officer of Degrees of Change. He began his career as a high school math teacher in Tacoma, where he created Act Six in 2002.