Meet Our teamS
Eli's Mom, Design Team
Paige was honored to teach reading and writing in Seattle Public Schools before pursuing the privilege of being home with her three boys: Jaxon, Wesley and Elijah. Jaxon is a fierce competitor of anything sports and outdoors. Wesley carries a fire in his soul that is often ignited for babies, justice or Legos. Eli had just under four years to fill our hearts with joy, spread love to everyone he met and teach us all about inclusion. Paige is passionate about keeping sweet Eli’s spirit present by working to make our world more like the one Eli dreamed.
Eli's Physical Therapist, Design Team
Shawn had the opportunity to work as Eli's physical therapist, and to be his friend. She is currently a physical therapist and educator and collaborates with wonderful children and families, therapists, health providers and friends. She is passionate about creating opportunities for inclusion, fitness, trying new activities, and enjoying time with those we love both in her work and life. She has experience with individuals of all ages, abilities and health conditions in a variety of settings, including inclusive classrooms, parks and patients' homes. Her hope is to create local areas and programs that align with individuals' interests, ability levels, and to find places where everyone can learn, grow and play together.
Landscape Architects, Design Team
Site Workshop is a Seattle-based landscape architecture firm helping to guide our project through design and construction. They are represented by Patrick Pirtle, Vinita Sidhu, and Clayton Beaudoin, who have had their hands in the design of more than 50 parks and play spaces. Their work rises from a foundation and passion for community, collaboration, and fun. Despite having never met Eli, his story of love and belonging, openness and learning has captured their hearts and imagination, feeding their practice in unimaginable ways.
Artist, Design Team
Hannah Viano is an adventurous artist, educator, and mother living and creating in the Pacific Northwest. Her artwork is done in variety of media, all starting from sketch studies in the field and then moving to the studio, using simple tools to create graphic images and capture the essential lines of a place or subject.
Her projects strive to combine science, art, and natural history in ways that foster appreciation for our environment, kindle curiosity and develop sense of place. Beyond original art pieces, this comes to life in children’s books, teaching residencies, and public art projects.
Global Marketing Director Culture Communications Microsoft, Leadership Team
Jen is a purple squirrel among marketing leaders. Her 20 years of diverse background at some of the best creative agencies in the world has only strengthened her appreciation of varied perspectives when it comes to marketing, communications, and branding. Currently, Jen is storyteller for Microsoft. Regardless of what Jen is in charge of marketing, she brings provocative creativity, immense passion, charisma, and cultivates an inclusive environment that pushes clients and teams to do their best work. Paige and Jen have known each other since early childhood as close family friends who share a passion for helping others, volunteering time and brainstorming on how to make any dream come true. Jen currently splits her time between Boulder, CO and Seattle. When not working, she's found on trails or wrangling her 15 year old nephew, whom she now raises.
Social Work, Leadership Team
Christina has a background in social services - specifically working with the low-income/homeless population in Boston, San Francisco and Sydney, Australia. She is a mom of three - two of whom are twice exceptional. She spent the last eight years as a stay-at-home parent, holding various volunteer positions at her children's schools, including Site Council vice-chair, as well as advocating for families of color and special education equality.
Transportation and Accessibility Advocate, Leadership Team
Blake is a graduate of the Urban Studies Program at the University of Washington Tacoma. He serves as a Member of Pierce Transit’s Community Transportation Advisory Group. Two of Blake’s favorite places to enjoy outdoors are Chambers Bay and the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.
Financial Capability Coordinator, Leadership Team
Hannah Langlie is a passionate community advocate for all people with disabilities. In addition to her job as a financial educator, she serves on many committees throughout the City of Seattle and Washington state. She is also involved with the independent living movement on a national level. When not working or serving others, Hannah is up for any type of adventure. She is so excited about Eli's Park because she wants the outdoors to be accessible to people with many different needs, including wheelchair users like herself.
School Principal, Experimental Education Unit, Leadership Team
Chris started at the EEU as an Early Childhood Interventionist. For more than a decade, Chris has dedicated himself to making the EEU better for students and families first as a head teacher, then assistant principal and currently as principal. Chris received his bachelor's degree in education from Western Washington University, Master's in Education from the University of Washington and holds a Principal’s Residency Certificate and Professional Education Certificate with endorsements in Special Education P-3 and Special Education K-12. Chris and his wife, Lisa, had their two children attend the EEU to learn the idea of inclusion at a very young age. Chris is also the Assistant Manager at Wedgwood Swim Pool where he has worked for 25 years. Chris brings his passion for inclusion to the pool by teaching swim instructors to work with young children with disabilities in the pool.
MD, Leadership Team
Rebecca is a mom to Megan, 10, and Joshua, 15, who happens to have Down syndrome. In her spare time, she works full time as a pediatrician and medical director of the Down Syndrome Clinic at Virginia Mason. Rebecca enjoys hiking Cougar Mountain with her kids, surfing, and watching Netflix in her yoga pants.
Landscape Architect and Principal, Walker Macy, Leadership Team
Lara is a landscape architect with a focus on the design of public spaces. She has worked throughout the country on a range of projects at various scales, including parks and waterfronts; urban design and campuses; and intimate courtyards and gardens. Drawing on her background in fine art, Lara creates landscapes that foster exploration and reflection. She collaborates extensively with multi-disciplinary design teams and public and private client groups to develop projects that take on special meaning for their cities and communities. After years of practice, Lara moved to Seattle in 2014 and has immersed herself in the culture of the Pacific Northwest, spending time hiking and exploring with her family.
Co-Founder, Creative Director, The Better Fundraising Co., Leadership Team
Steven is a professional fundraiser with 25 years of experience helping nonprofits across North America raise money. He’s a past winner of the Best Appeal Letter of the Year award, co-host of the Fundraising Is Beautiful podcast, data-driven and his super power is summarizing things.
Teen Advisory Team
14 years old, Teen Advisory Team
I came to this group because my sister told me about it. I thought this group would be a place to hang out, but it’s way more than that. This group has showed me what hard work is. One day I want to be a heart surgeon to help people. Right now, I am helping people by volunteering to make our community more inclusive.
15 years old, Teen Advisory Team
I am Elroe Yayiso. I am from Ethiopia. I like painting and music. I am involved in The Eli’s Park Project because I want to make people feel included, my voice to be heard and I want to help my community. I believe if we all come together we can make a change.
16 years old, Teen Advisory Team
I am from Eritrea. I care a lot about my community and the people around me. I am involved in The Eli’s Park Project because I know that people’s voices deserve to be heard. I enjoy sleeping and catching up on my sleep. I am good at making new friends, making people feel comfortable and being kind to one and all.
17 years old, Teen Advisory Team
I moved to Seattle from Louisiana. My friends and family are very important to me. I’m involved in The Eli’s Park Project because I really like making everyone feel included. I think making people feel welcome feels really good. I am a powerful leader so I have the responsibility to lead.
16 years old, Teen Advisory Team
I’m Ethiopian-American. The reason I am involved in The Eli’s Park Project is because I see a lot of problems in our world and I realize we have to build a world where everyone feels comfortable and safe. Starting in our own community is the first step. Seattle itself has a lot problems we choose to ignore, so we’re making a place where people can come and enjoy their differences. As a minority in a mostly white community I can provide a lens for a lot of people to see the world differently.
16 years old, Teen Advisory Team
I am a proud African-American female. The reason I am involved in The Eli’s Park Project is because I have seen the way my neighborhood is and I have noticed so many things that I would like to change. I want to get involved in my community because it represents me in a way and I want to be presented in a positive way. I want to make an impact on our younger generation. I want to provide them with the support they need to make our world a better place.
16 years old, Teen Advisory Team
I was born in Louisiana. Our Teen Advisory Group is inclusive and all about people. We are striving to make our community a better place for everyone no matter what race, gender, disabilities and challenges they may have. I bring responsibility and leadership to the group. I hope The Eli’s Park Project will become a movement not just for our community, but for everyone. We all have the chance to change our community and make it a better place to live.