Meet Our Team

Cody Farias

Executive Director

About Cody

Like most of the youth in our program, Cody Farias grew up homeless and in and out of foster care

His struggles as a youth are the driving force behind his desire to enact positive change for those that are in similar positions, and believes that there is a fountain of potential within them that is underutilized within society.

As a graduate of Western, Cody is committed to building systems that break down the barriers for marginalized individuals, and provide a platform for growth.

His hobbies include learning anything science realted with his son, playing sports, writing, and getting his toenails painted by his daughters. It’s a good life.

Cody@growingalliances.org

Roger Schuettke

Program Manager

About Roger

Roger has extensive experience working with both adults and children who suffer from PTSD, including foster youth. His mother grew up as a foster child, and his grandparents have raised multiple foster children. Roger is graduating from Fairhaven College in June 2017 with a concentration titled, Designing Culture: Integrating Somatic and Flow Psychology into Social Organizations, and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His interdisciplinary degree merges studies of cultural anthropology, developmental psychology, and organizational leadership.

roger@growingalliances.org

Beth Chisholm

Board President

About Beth

Beth is a Michigan native and has lived in Bellingham for 25 years. She keeps busy raising a family, working, and romping in the mountains. Her work as the WSU Extension Community Horticulture Coordinator for Whatcom County provides her with community connections to serve those in need. Growing food and caring for plants is a natural part of her life and extending knowledge, sharing skills to youth and those that need a little help fills her cup.

Warren Backholm

Treasurer

About Warren

Warren was raised in a multicultural, multilingual family with six other siblings, one of whom is adopted. Through life experiences, he has found that 1) doing what you love creates your best life and, 2) engaging with the community is not an option but a duty. Warren graduated from WWU with a degree in finance and through multiple roles with different companies, has an in-depth understanding of how finance and community meet. If you were to spend a day with Warren you would probably end up learning the following: 1) His room is impossibly small for the number of books he tries to fit in it, 2) He’s trash at guitar but that doesn’t stop him from playing and, 3) 1 AM walks on train tracks are not only highly encouraged but necessary for your mental health.

Namgyal Nepali

Marketing Director

About Namgyal

Imagining the community full of happiness and compassion is what Namgyal strives to think day in and out. It’s the little acts of kindness that make the biggest impact on people.

Since his Junior year of high school, he’s worked with youth through Big Brother Big Sister and recently here in Bellingham as a volunteer for Compass 2 Campus. As someone who’s faced obstacles in his early years for being a person of color, his hope is to work with youth from all backgrounds and provide a positive environment that radiates growth, leadership and compassion.

Currently, Namgyal is pursuing a multi-interdisciplinary degree from Western with a focus in Business Strategies, and a double minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation & Public Relations. Strengthening the local economy through small businesses & social good is what Namgyal look’s forward to most after graduating from Western.

What does Namgyal do outside of school? You’ll find him often cooking food at Bayou on Bay, working on his Volvo or BMW and operating State of Bliss, a clothing brand dedicated to creating a multi-cultural community of youth explores. That being said, he’ll see you on the trails.

nepalin@wwu.edu