When we announced the Ready for Business Fund
in partnership with Comcast Washington, we knew we were going to need a skilled group to read through and evaluate the applications received from LGBTQ-, BIPOC-, and women-owned businesses in need. With over 500 applications received, these thirteen business, city, and community leaders have risen to the task and will be working to select over 60 recipients for the first-ever Ready for Business Fund grants.
Applications not selected will remain in the pool and will be considered for the next round of funding taking place later this fall.
Julio Cortes (he/him)
City of Everett | Senior Communications Officer
"I'm the Senior Communications Officer at the City of Everett and also manage our City marketing efforts. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on our economies and businesses of all kinds are feeling the impact. Now more than ever we must come together and show empathy and support to our business community. I look forward to playing a role in the economic recovery efforts led by this team."
Gunner Scott (he/him)
Making Waves Coaching & Consulting
Gunner Scott is a Gen X Queer/Bi FTM trans activist who lives in West Seattle with his two cranky cats, leprechaun husband, and a Maltese rescue dog who thinks she's the Queen. By day he works in local government and by night, he is building the capacity of individual clients and organizations to cultivate a climate in which meaningful change thrives. He is excited to bring his thirty years of experience in the non-profit sector including grant-making and executive level non-profit management, to support small businesses impacted by this global pandemic through GSBA.
Crystal Gamon (she/her)
Senior Property Manager – Urban Renaissance Group
Born and raised in Seattle, Crystal has an emotional connection to the community and deep desire to help it thrive. Crystal can often be found volunteering her time with several local organizations and lending her voice to advocate for those in need. Crystal and her wife currently reside in Mill Creek with their three daughters.
Beto Yarce (he/him)
Ventures | Executive Director
Beto is responsible for maintaining community engagement, promoting Ventures’ mission, marketing and securing new funding sources to support program growth, set organizational culture; lead all staff to accomplish the organization’s mission, adhere to core values, and maintain positive work environment. Beto is also a member of the GSBA Board of Directors.
Roz Edison (she/her)
Marination/Super Six | Owner
Roz is the co-owner of Marination and Super Six. When she is not serving as the "Director of Many Things" for her company, she enjoys travel, spicy food, and a nice, long Law and Order marathon.
Tristen Pamphlet Gardner (he/him)
King County | Policy Liaison
Tristen Pamphlet Gardner is an environmental scientist and a community organizer, and is a Policy Liaison at Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, where he works on increasing collaboration between community and government groups and improving local policy. He is passionate about helping organizations and people collaborate to improve the outcomes for the target population and help community members amplify their voices to be heard and understood more effectively.
Karinda Harris (she/her)
GSBA – Capitol Hill Business Alliance | Business Development Manager
"My personal and professional lives are grounded in community involvement, so I am proud to join GSBA in this effort to uplift Black, Indigenous, POC, and LGBTQ owned businesses most impacted by COVID-19."
Liz Dunn (she/her)
Dunn & Hobbes, LLC | Owner
Liz is the owner of Dunn & Hobbes LLC, a local real estate development and property management company. Liz is passionate about supporting other entrepreneurs; more than half of her retail and restaurant tenants are women-owned, BIPOC-owned, or both, and she is an active angel investor in tech, alternative energy, cannabis and consumer-facing companies.
Deaunte Damper (he/him, they/them)
NAACP King County LGBTQ Chair
"With so many things impacting our community I’m honored to be joining GSBA and Comcast stepping forward to provide the Community with this resource."
Randy Card (he/him)
"Some of you may know me from my banking days. I've been very involved with GSBA thru various activities and events. Currently, I'm a recent undergrad in becoming a hearing instrument specialist in the audiology medical field. I enjoy the great outdoors, spending time with my family and friends, and being active in our LGBTQ community. I'm excited to participate in the "Ready for Business" selection committee because I love supporting our local small businesses, and I want to help. Now, as a community, there is no better time than to help our small businesses that struggling in today's climate." "Unity is strength...when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved."
- Mattie J.T Stepanek
Dominique Stephens (she/her)
City of Seattle
"Native of Seattle, ensuring all I do is for the growth and honor of BIPOC LGBTQ communities."
Tara Jensen (She/Her)
Quantum3 Group, LLC | Data Operations Manager
"I have been wanting to get more involved in the LGBTQ community and luckily I have a great contact in Ilona Lohrey (GSBA VP of Membership & Programs) to get me started. I work in Kirkland at Quantum3 Group, LLC, and play softball with Rain(bow) City Softball. I am involved in the LGBTQ community in a limited way and given our current climate, I would love to do more!"
Sheria Tookas (She/her)
Wells Fargo Bank