United Way of King County announces new board chair, new board members
United Way of King County is honored to announce that board of directors’ member Luis Masieri has been named the organization’s new board chair for the fiscal year 2024, which began on July 1. Masieri is a principal product manager at Microsoft and a former Free Tax Campaign Volunteer. He succeeds outgoing chair Maud Daudon.
United Way also announced four new members to its Board of Directors: Doug Baldwin, Jr., former Seattle Seahawks star and chief executive officer of Vault 89 Ventures; Seattle Police Department Chief Adrian Diaz; Cherry Street Coffee House owner Ali Ghambari; Denise Pérez Lally, a community organizer and advocate; and Shomari Jones, director of equity and strategic engagement at Bellevue School District.
In 2014, Masieri was introduced to United Way of King County through its Free Tax Prep program and volunteered to help Spanish-speaking, low-income individuals and families file their tax returns. Masieri joined the organization’s Emerging Leaders Giving Community, which encourages people in their 20s and 30s to support United Way programs that promote education success from pre-K to college as well as its homeless prevention initiatives.
Ultimately, Masieri accepted an invitation from United Way to join its board of directors and he then served as vice chair. He is at the forefront of United Way’s work to provide services and advocacy for King County families who need it most.
“I have continued to be increasingly involved in United Way,” Masieri said, “because their mission is so well-aligned with my values and what I hope to help others achieve.”
The new members bring many years of leadership as well as experience serving in both the public and private sectors.
They include Baldwin, who was campaign chair at United Way during the FY22 year. Baldwin continues to partner with United Way for the Annual Community BBQ, slated for August 12 at Renton Memorial Stadium. A philanthropic activist with a passion for creating empathic solutions to complex problems, Baldwin recently opened the Family First Community Center, which brings quality recreation, education, and wellness programs and services to the historically underserved communities in Renton.
In addition to Baldwin:
- Diaz has been a member of the Seattle Police Department for more than two decades. Diaz began his career in Police Patrol, the Mountain Bike Unit, and the Anti-Crime Team before joining the Investigations Bureau. He is also a Master Defensive Tactics instructor at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Diaz has served as Assistant Chief of a newly created Collaborative Policing Bureau before being promoted to Deputy Chief and has authored numerous national publications on community policing, misdemeanor justice, and juvenile justice.
- Ghambari was born in Iran and moved to the United States in 1979 at the age of 20. After completing technical school, he discovered his passion for serving others and building a better community through his work in the hospitality industry. Ghambari ventured into entrepreneurship in the late 80s and ultimately established Cherry Street Coffee House. Together with his friend and business partner Greg Smith, Ali grew the brand to 11 locations before consolidating to four during COVID-19’s impact. In 2005, Ali founded the Iranian American Community Alliance, a non-profit organization focused on mentoring Iranian American youth and fostering pride in their heritage. of Liberty award from the Seattle Foundation in 2015.
- Throughout his time in the Bellevue School District, Jones has established himself as a powerful leader and advocate within the district. Working within and between the fraught social, emotional, and political fault lines of equity work in public schools, Shomari designs and facilitates thoughtful district professional development that nurtures impactful conversations around racial inequity, inequality, and the over-arching impact institutional racism has on students of color. He developed several student empowerment initiatives like Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR), Breaking Out of the Margins (BOOM), and Sistah’s Having Outstanding Uniqueness Together (SHOUT), as well as parent advocacy groups like the Parent Alliance for Black Scholars (PABS).
- Denise Pérez Lally is a community organizer and advocate who has spent her career working to prevent displacement, create new economic opportunities, improve educational outcomes, and promote equitable community development. Pérez Lally has spent more than 25 years working in federal and local governments and nonprofits in Seattle and King County. She served as the Director of Social Services at El Centro de la Raza and Director of Operations at Mary’s Place Seattle. Pérez Lally has developed culturally specific community as well as youth and family programming for Latinx, AfroLatino, and African Diaspora immigrant and refugee communities.
At United Way of King County, we believe that everyone deserves a safe place to call home, enough to eat, and a job that pays a livable wage. As a grantmaker, fundraiser, and service provider, we have a responsibility to restore power and resources to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color and work toward racial justice by transforming inequitable systems. To learn more, log onto uwkc.org.