Our Staff

Our Staff

Justice Bobbe J. Bridge (ret.) │ Founding President/CEO
bjbridge@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 12

After nearly 20 years as a judge, State Supreme Court justice, and child advocate, Bobbe Bridge knows how systems work—and don’t. Since founding CCYJ in 2006, she has been the driving force behind our organization’s strategic leadership, developing and implementing innovative, evidence-based, sustainable reforms in the juvenile justice and foster care systems. Justice Bridge works to build critical community partnerships among leaders and stakeholders who work together for breakthrough results in system change. She currently co-chairs the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care, and has been honored with numerous awards for her civic involvement, philanthropy, and service to children and youth.

MeLisa Carson │ Social Worker, Family Advocacy Center

As Social Worker for CCYJ’s Family Advocacy Center, MeLisa helps parents and caregivers connect with services and navigate the child welfare system.  She strives to demonstrate through her work and life the importance of compassion – a motivation driven by her daughter.  As her work at CCYJ impacts generations of children, MeLisa is proud to shape the next generation by raising a strong, independent, kind little girl.  Before joining CCYJ in 2016, MeLisa facilitated the reunification of families in local tribal communities as a social worker for the Office of Indian Child Welfare.  She holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington.

Gina Cumbo │ Project Director
gcumbo@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 14

The center of Gina’s work is her commitment to breaking generational cycles of poverty to make a positive impact in the lives of children and youth. As Project Director, she oversees our efforts for LGBTQ, CSEC, and gang-involved youth, coordinates the Family Advocacy Center project, and staffs the Washington State Becca Task Force. With CCYJ since 2008, Gina previously represented adults and children as an attorney for the Snohomish County Public Defender Association and in private Social Security disability practice. She holds an interdisciplinary BA from Fairhaven College of Western Washington University and a JD and MSW from the University of Michigan.

Hickory GatelessManaging Attorney, Lawyers Fostering Independence
hgateless@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 17

Hickory’s purpose in his work—to help young people reach for their future—is truly realized in LFI’s mission to support foster and homeless youth in moving toward a future without being blocked by the past. In addition to managing LFI, Hickory leads special projects involving multi-disciplinary group facilitation and strategic planning. He previously practiced civil litigation at the Pacifica Law Group providing pro bono counsel to foster youth. Hickory earned a law degree from Seattle University School of Law, as well as an MBA from the University’s Albers School of Business & Economics. He serves as board president of The Mockingbird Society.

Robbin Hastings │ Finance Manager
rhastings@cccyj.org │206.696.7503 x 18

In her role as Finance Manager, Robbin provides leadership and promotes a culture of fiscal stewardship at CCYJ. She is responsible for the development and execution of financial systems, policies, and procedures. Her duties include funds management, forecasting and budgeting, financial reporting and analysis. Starting at CCYJ in January 2016, Robbin is a certified public accountant with extensive experience and a diverse background serving nonprofit organizations as well as individuals and corporations. Formerly an auditor with KPMG, Robbin holds a BS in Business Administration from The Ohio State University (cum laude). Robbin is also a businesswoman, owning her own small firm since 1992.

Maria Howard │ Director of Operations
mghoward@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 26

Better lives for kids isn’t just a tag line for Maria, it’s the inspiration for everything she contributes at CCYJ. Maria provides executive support to the CEO, manages human resources, coordinates IT support, and oversees office management. She has 12 years of experience in legal administrative services, including more than a decade as a legal secretary for corporate law firms. Maria previously executed database accuracy and integrity as a corporate data steward.  She holds a BA in Law and Justice with a specialization in Law Enforcement from Central Washington University, and is a loyal volunteer of 10 years for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Anna Martinez │ Database & Finance Assistant
amartinez@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 15

Prior to CCYJ, Anna was a house manager at a homeless shelter in Pasco, Washington, where she provided a safe and welcoming environment for women and children. For over three years, she served in accounting and administration for an Eastern Washington winery, and has volunteered for Teen Challenge’s Women’s Jail Outreach and The Support Advocacy and Resource Center in the Tri-Cities. She has worked to build awareness of human trafficking and to advocate for sexual assault survivors at FREED Ministries. Anna has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Western Washington University.

Nicholas Oakley │ Project Manager, eQuality & Project Respect
noakley@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 25

For Nicholas, doing youth justice work for a living is a privilege. He empowers CCYJ’s efforts for LGBTQ and CSEC youth by bringing together groups of stakeholders to implement groundbreaking protocols. Prior to joining CCYJ, Nicholas represented youth and families in dependency, juvenile offender, education, family and criminal law matters as an associate attorney at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. He holds a BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a JD from the University of Washington School of Law. Nicholas is also a volunteer mentor with If Project, which provides support to incarcerated women as they prepare to re-enter the community.

Kim Ong │ Project Assistant
kong@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 23

As Project Assistant, Kim’s work is grounded in being a vehicle for positive impacts and highlighting local community solutions and resources to improve policies and practices.  Starting with CCYJ as an intern for the Commission on Children in Foster Care in 2015, Kim currently executes data analysis and reporting for CCYJ’s CSEC youth work, as well as staffing the Washington State Becca Task Force and the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice’s Behavioral Health Committee.  She holds a BA in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Washington, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.

Laurel Simonsen │ Staff Attorney, Lawyers Fostering Independence
lsimonsen@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 24

As Staff Attorney for LFI’s King County program, Laurel helps young people who have experienced foster care and/or homelessness access to the legal resources and support they need. Before joining CCYJ in 2017, Laurel advocated on behalf of parents and children involved in dependency, termination, family law and administrative proceedings as an associate attorney at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. Laurel holds a BA and a JD with a concentration in Public Service from the University of Washington. In her personal time, Laurel supports justice for women and girls as a volunteer attorney for Legal Voice.

Anica Stieve │ Project Manager, Suburban King County Coordinating Council on Gangs
astieve@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 20

Anica thrives on working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders in the private and public sector—a skill aligned with her work with the multijurisdictional Suburban King County Coordinating Council on Gangs (SKCCCG) and multidisciplinary intervention team Youth LINC. Anica is inspired by the project’s many partners and the work they do for youth and families. Joining CCYJ in January 2013, Anica brings knowledge of mental health law and community services from intern work for King County Crisis and Commitment Services, part of the Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division.  She holds two BA degrees from the University of Washington, in Sociology and Law, Societies and Justice.

Margaret Terry │ Major Gifts Manager
206.696.7503 x 13

Margaret has over 15 years of experience in comprehensive fundraising for both statewide and national organizations previously working with Thrive Washington, the American Medical Women’s Association, Child Care Aware and numerous regional coalitions in the early childhood and health fields. She is pleased to join the team and excited to see how her experience in collaborative fundraising and systems change can help to expand the impact of CCYJ.

Mahogany Villars │ Project Manager, Seattle LINC (Leadership, Intervention & Change)
mvillars@ccyj.org │ 206.696.7503 x 16

Mahogany was previously a Social Worker for the Washington State Division of Child and Family Services in Seattle and South King County. She has worked extensively with young adults and families through local nonprofits and for the City of Seattle, supporting clients in overcoming tremendous barriers to live healthy lives and bring about long lasting, positive generational change. She holds BA degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Western Washington University and an MSW from the University of Washington. Mahogany is Seattle born and raised, and is proud to serve the Seattle and King County community through Seattle LINC.