Karen Wilson and Sam Townsend have both joined the Advancement Team in the last couple of months and they’ve already made an impact. Karen will be building relationships with corporations as the Corporate Relations Manager while Sam as the new Community Engagement Manager will be managing our in-kind program, volunteer program, and engaging community in a variety of fun and meaningful ways.

Karen Wilson is a Tacoma native who moved to the Ballard area in 1993, following several years in southern California studying at UCLA and launching her original career in broadcast journalism and television publicity. Her first Seattle job was at King-TV’s “Evening Magazine” located at the station’s original home on Dexter Ave – a stone’s throw from her current desk at Compass on Dexter.

Karen found her way into nonprofit work as a community volunteer, which led to a development role for an emerging nonprofit launched by Edgar & Holli Martinez to provide scholarships and mentorship for teachers of color committed to working in underserved public schools. Most recently, Karen led corporate development efforts for the Alzheimer’s Association Washington State Chapter, supporting people living with dementia and their caregivers in Washington and North Idaho.

Years ago, when her family volunteered to help move Tent City from Capitol Hill to Ballard – she was struck by the vulnerability of the people who were living in tents; and the controversy surrounding the effort to simply provide a safe space for them. This experience stuck with her, and the disparities have only grown worse over time.

“I’m blown away by the work that Compass does to help our unsheltered neighbors become housed, and stay housed,” she said. “I am so excited to support impact-driven companies to partner with us in this important work.”

Do you work for a company that wants to make a difference in the lives of our unhoused neighbors?  Would you, or someone you know, help connect Compass to corporate leaders and employees who can support Compass’s mission? Karen would love to hear from you! She can be reached at kwilson@compasshousingalliance.org or 206-673-4636.

Sam Townsend is a second-generation Korean American who was born in East Palo Alto but has since “converted to full Washingtonian” getting his undergraduate degree in psychology from Central Washington University.

He comes to Compass with 12 years of experience building community. He worked as a counselor for New Horizons Ministries and the experience changed his life.

He went on to seminary school at Seattle Pacific University and got his master’s degree in theology and leadership. He worked as a local pastor for over ten years mainly serving other second-generation Asian Americans.

Coming back to the world of nonprofits is exciting for Sam, he knew that he wanted to find a place that met his passion for serving marginalized, undervalued, and oppressed communities.

“To lead with love and humility in serving the community is at the core of my DNA,” he said. “I know that Compass is truly committed to the work of justice, inclusion, and equity.”

He is a people person who has the tools to communicate, lead, and engage people. He believes in the mission of Compass – the acknowledgment of the inherent humanity of everyone and the practical services and affordable housing it provides.

He is dedicated to building a volunteer culture of empowerment, excitement, and meaningful projects that benefit everyone involved. He has already had his first volunteer event at Cascade Women’s Program where a crew from Amazon’s Global Specialty Fulfilment (GSF) helped deep clean the community room and kitchen.

Now that we are able to bring back more volunteers and events, we could use your help now more than ever. If you want to get more involved contact Sam at stownsend@compasshousingalliance.org.

Share This Page with Family and Friends