Edmondson and Stanko Join UGN Board

United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County (UGN) is pleased to welcome two new board members.

Claudia Edmondson photoClaudia Edmondson has a Ph.D. in Special Education and has worked in the field for almost 20 years.   She and her husband moved to Port Townsend to be closer to family.  She works as the Executive Director of Camp Beausite Northwest.

Prior to moving to Washington, she and her family lived in Utah and Washington, D.C., where she worked as a research analyst and evaluator on various national programs funded through the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.

“Working at Camp Beausite has helped me to get acquainted with many people in the community, and serving on the UGN board will help me learn more about the needs in our community.  I look forward to using my professional background and my current position with a nonprofit organization to help UGN address those needs.”

Dave Stanko

Following his retirement from a long career in law enforcement, David Stanko and his wife, Lynne, relocated to Jefferson County where they built a home in Cape George Colony.  Eager to become involved in the community, he immersed himself in several volunteer and community-based organizations.

“I believe we must all become stakeholders in our community by contributing our time and talent and giving back to our community.  In my case, I have chosen to be involved in a variety of local community based organizations, including Rotary, Jumping Mouse, Cape George Colony and the local chapter of the Red Cross.  I also drive for Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization (ECHHO) and volunteer at my church.” 

Stanko was Port Townsend Citizen of the Year in 2011.

“We are honored to have Claudia and David join our board,” said Kim Hammers, UGN board president.   UGN board members tend to be people who like to work at the grass roots and to work for timely solutions to community problems.  Claudia and David will add to that ‘can do’ energy already present on our board,” said Hammers.

Other UGN board members include:  Steve Rafoth, owner of Enclume Designs; Le Hornbeck, retired owner of PT Computers and current president of the Rotary Club of Port Townsend; Joni Williams, senior advocate; Joyce Cardinal, Chief Nursing Officer at Jefferson Healthcare; and Sheila Ramsey, Retired Senior Volunteer Program Coordinator at Olympic Community Action Programs.

Nikki Russell Named UGN Director of Development

Nikki RussellAfter almost 20 years of working in nonprofit management and development, Nikki Russell will use her experience to help raise more money for United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County while engaging more volunteers, businesses, and community leaders with the campaign.  For the past seven years, Russell worked with United Way of King County developing, implementing and managing programs that promoted community involvement, tapped community assets, and built community support networks.  Before joining United Way of King County, Russell worked as volunteer coordinator with a program for early parent support and for Food Lifeline, a hunger relief organization that puts food into food banks throughout Western Washington.

Her primary role as the Volunteer Initiatives Manager at United Way was to work with nonprofit organizations to enhance their volunteer involvement.  Russell also managed United Way of King County’s Day of Caring event, a single day of volunteering in King County that mobilized 12,000 volunteers from the business community with 350 nonprofit organizations.

“The opportunity to hire Nikki arose through an anonymous donor who awarded a $300,000 capacity-building grant over three years to the Jefferson County Community Foundation with the stipulation that $90,000 of the funds go to help UGN build its capacity as well,” said Carla Caldwell, Executive Director of both UGN and the foundation.   “The fact that we will be staffed now to build a stronger campaign to support safety net and preventative programs in our community is a dream come true,” Caldwell said.  “The UGN board, staff and volunteers are thrilled that we were able to attract a candidate with Nikki’s credentials and track record to have a greater impact on individuals and families who need our support.  Nikki is known nationally in the United Way world for her work around volunteer engagement and how it directly impacts organizational development.  With her on board, I will continue to have responsibility for executive duties for UGN, while shifting more of my time to the development of the community foundation.”

Russell’s responsibilities will include coordinating the annual campaign, developing year-round outreach and education about UGN programs; building a campaign committee that represents business, health and social services, education, faith communities and local leadership; and building a larger and more engaged volunteer base.

“I am passionate about engaging in work that leverages local assets of time, talent and treasure to build thriving, healthy and sustainable communities,” said Russell.  “I especially look forward to getting to know all of the amazing organizations and people that are working to improve lives and strengthen the Jefferson County community.”

Russell moved to Port Townsend in 2008 to be closer to her mother, Hannah Russell.  Her son, Devon Courtney, graduated from Port Townsend High School and is a student at Olympic Community College.  “I am excited about the prospect of bringing my passion and expertise to UGN and home to my community,” she said.

Russell can be reached at nikki@WeAreUGN.org, or 360-385-3797.  She begins her position on a full-time basis in June.

Join UGN February 11 for Chamber Mixer

Join United Good Neighbors and the Jefferson Community Foundation for a Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce After Hours Mixer!


  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014
  • 5:30PM – 7:00PM


  • 201 W. Patison (Shold Business Park)
    Port Hadlock, WA 98339


  • United Good Neighbors
  • Jefferson County Community Foundation
  • Edward Jones Investments, Shelli Cates
  • Peninsula Chiropratic Clinic
  • Kat’s Homeowner Helper

Come join your fellow Chamber members & guests for a progressive Mixer. Food, drinks, raffle prizes and lots of networking!

Neighbor Spotlight: OlyCAP Emergency Food Distribution

The social safety net exists to help our neighbors in need. One of the primary agencies that works to help our neighbors is the Olympic Community Action Programs – often referred to as OlyCAP.

Today, we’d like to focus on one of their most critical programs – the Emergency Food Distribution Program. The program maintains a 2500 sq. ft. warehouse at the Glen Cove Industrial Park outside of Port Townsend. The program serves, by food deliveries and storage, all the food banks in Jefferson County and several in Clallam County, including tribal food banks on the West End. Additionally this warehouse serves the Senior Nutrition sites on the Peninsula.

Last year, the program distributed more than 654,000 pounds of food!

olyCAP forklift

A forklift is used daily, as an integral part of warehouse operation – loading, unloading and stacking of food filled pallets. Until last year, OlyCAP had been using a 26 year old forklift. Any industrial equipment is expensive to maintain but is compounded by age, finding parts became more difficult. When the transmission finally went on the forklift the Distribution Program found itself in a financial bind.

A new forklift can be in the price range $30,000 or more and even a used one is more than $12,000. At the time of the transmission failure, the Emergency Food Distribution Program did not have that kind of money available in an otherwise tight budget. By using UGN grant money in conjunction with some program funds the solution became a monthly lease on a new model forklift. This solution would not have been an option without UGN. UGN’s impact is felt every month, every day at the warehouse.

Port Townsend Paper Corporation Raises $50,000 for UGN

The Port Townsend Paper Corporation has concluded a record-breaking 2013/14 employee payroll deduction campaign for United Good Neighbors (UGN), raising over $50,000 in pledges. The corporation matched employee payroll deduction donations dollar for dollar.

“All of us at PT Paper realize how important it is to have these resources available for all residents of Jefferson County”, says PTPC employee Rita Hubbard. “For over 50 years Port Townsend Paper has remained an enthusiastic supporter of this annual campaign.” Debbi Reandeau, co-coordinator of the PT Paper campaign with Hubbard, and current UGN Board President, says they made this year’s campaign especially fun for employees. “For the past few years, PT Paper has competed with Jefferson Healthcare – a friendly competition to see who can raise the most money for UGN. This year we decided to add some fun prizes to encourage all employees at PT Paper to give. Not only will employees have the chance to win gift certificates to some of their favorite places around town, they also will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win two floating holidays.”

Port Townsend Paper president and 2013-2014 UGN Campaign Chair , Roger Hagan and his wife Lynn Marlow, also know the value of UGN in their community. Roger has deep ties to Jefferson County and knows family members and friends who have received support from United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County over the years. “PTPC matches employee contributions to demonstrate how important it is for businesses to join the hundreds of individuals who donate every year to UGN. It is also a way to thank and to support our own employees for their generosity. ” says Hagan.

“Our goal is to raise $300,00 by the end of January and we are at 70% of that goal,” says UGN Executive Director, Carla Caldwell. “The number of individual donors are down this fall, and while some of our regular supporters have increased their annual gifts, we will need donations from everyone who can give, no matter the size of the donation, to reach our goal. We lost an annual $15,000 grant when Puget Sound Energy left the county, and about $5,000 in an annual employee match from the city last year, so we need to make up for those losses. PTPC and Jefferson Healthcare’s campaigns are stronger each year, but we still need Jefferson County citizens to pitch in to help us build a strong safety net for our community. We have several new organizations applying for assistance in addition to the organizations who applied last year, so requests for support continue to grow.” Jefferson Healthcare’s campaign results will be reported this week.

UGN priortizes health and human service needs in the community while an allocation committeee evaluates the ability of each organization’s ability to meet an indentified need. “The campaign serves as a reminder to the community that we’re all in this together,” says Reandeau, “and many donors look to us to do prioritizing and analyzing of safety net needs.”

As a member of United Way of Washington, last year UGN helped over thirty agencies provide emergency, senior, youth, and community services to neighbors in Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, Chimacum, Port Ludlow, and surrounding areas.