The WAVE (Women Against Violence Everywhere) Foundation is a small not-for-profit organization established in 2011 whose mission is to educate, empower and end domestic violence. Built on the idea that strengthening women helps to end domestic violence, The WAVE Foundation (TWF) raises funds to give hope for those experiencing abuse and raises awareness to promote the social welfare for all individuals and their communities.
Currently, The WAVE Foundation (TWF) hosts 3 annual events – Cycle the WAVE, an all-women’s bike ride; Raise Your Glass, a wine tasting event; and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a men’s march hosted in partnership with the University of Washington Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. Collectively, these events are the financial pillars of the organization. They attract 2,000 participants each year, bring visibility to the issue of domestic violence, and provide funding support for programs serving victims of domestic violence or those at risk of domestic violence while advocating for safer, more peaceful communities. To date, TWF’s granting program has distributed the net proceeds from these events (totaling just over $700,000) to programs serving those who experience abuse in Washington State.
The WAVE Foundation is governed by a 7 member Board of Directors including 1 Emeritus and 2 Advisory Members. Although it began as a 100% volunteer-led organization, in 2015 TWF hired a professional Event Director who coordinates the backbone of TWF, its 20 + person Cycle the WAVE Event Team and a cadre of approximately 300 volunteers, sponsors and partners. In 2016, TWF hired an Interim Executive Director who will lead the organization’s strategic growth plan, continue to develop the education arm (Braking the Cycle) of TWF and collaborate with the Event Director to expand the signature event, Cycle the WAVE.
Now in its 5th year, the events and programs of TWF have expanded awareness and community advocacy for fighting domestic violence across local and national organizations. TWF is well-positioned for growth.
Sharon Anderson – President and Board Chair
Sharon Anderson is an avid cyclist and is the founder of Cycle the WAVE, a brainchild of her vision to empower women through exercise and put a stop to domestic violence in our communities. Passionate about bringing about change through raising funds and awareness to support domestic violence programs she founded the WAVE Foundation in March of 2011. Since 2006 Sharon has dedicated her life to “Braking the Cycle“ of violence and silent tragedy that too many families have to endure. Her mission started locally with the dream to grow Cycle the WAVE events nationally. In June of 2013 the first national event was held in suburban Boston, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Sammamish High School and Pacific Lutheran University where she obtained her degree in Elementary Education. Sharon lives with her husband Steve in Bellevue, Washington where she grew up and raised her three adult children.
Marc Berejka – Board Member
Mark became REI’s first full-time government affairs professional in 2011. REI is a national outdoor retail cooperative, with 4.4 million active members and annual sales approaching $2 billion. The co-op’s mission is to “inspire, educate and outfit people for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship.” Mr. Berejka guides the co-op’s engagement in policy matters at the federal and local level, that includes efforts to assure REI’s current and future members can continue enjoy outdoor recreation – whether that be recreating close to home or at the nation’s many natural outdoor destinations.
Before joining REI, Marc served as technology policy advisor to then-Secretary Gary Locke at the US Department of Commerce. Prior to that, he worked for 12 years in various public policy roles at Microsoft, both in Washington D.C. and in Washington State, and he spent the first part of his career as a telecommunications attorney. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Princeton University. He is on the board of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and looks forward to making similar contributions at a local level as a founding board member of The WAVE Foundation.
Lisa Rosenblatt – Treasurer
Lisa is a local Certified Public Accountant in the state of Washington. She is a graduate of University of California Santa Barbara. Lisa has participated in the Cycle the Wave cycling event as both a participant and a volunteer since the event’s inception. In addition to cycling, Lisa enjoys hiking and traveling to interesting new places.
“Working with the WAVE Foundation is my way of making a positive impact in our community.”
Tracy joined the board of directors in the Spring of 2014. Although a long-time mountain biker, she is a relative new-comer to road biking. In addition to cycling with her husband (and hopefully someday her kids), Tracy loves all things outdoors.
Professionally, Tracy is a founding faculty of the Milgard School of Business at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She earned her doctorate in Organization Behavior from Northwestern University in 1994, the year she moved to Seattle. Her areas of specialization include strategic management and organizational change, with her research focusing on organization and institutional change processes. Her current research examines how social entrepreneurs are working to re-invent capitalism, specifically to use market logics and profit-oriented activity to generate social good and collective value. Prior to entering academe, Tracy worked in a boutique economic consulting firm where she prepared expert testimony for complex business and anti-trust litigation. She regularly teaches in executive education programs for the Milgard School and offers workshops and consulting services for organizations in the area including Clover Park Technical College and State Farm.
Anne-Gigi joined the Board in the fall of 2014 after being a participant and ride event team volunteer of Cycle the WAVE since 2012. She discovered her love for cycling a few years ago and has developed a passion for introducing women to the joy of cycling She is a Cascade Bicycle Club Ride Leader, an active member of Seattle Cycle Sirens and has just joined Spokeswomen Racing.
Anne-Gigi’s volunteering work goes beyond bike advocacy and her involvement with CtW; she also volunteers for various environmental organizations and was involved with a local children’s literacy program, Reading with Rover, as well as the Friends of Sammamish Library.
Anne-Gigi was born and raised in Hong Kong, but the travel bug has taken her around the world before she moved to the Seattle area in 2003 from Vancouver, B.C. She is a graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz and Royal Veterinary College, London, U.K., and is a small-animal veterinarian. She is currently pursuing a new career in environmental conservation and lives in Sammamish with her husband and two adorable Labrador Retrievers.
Elizabeth is an avid mountain bike racer and community event coordinator. She has spent the past several years with the Washington Student Cycling League helping to empower youth through a school-based mountain biking program. Her past volunteer opportunities include: Member of the Board for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Assistant Coach for the Olympic Mountain Bike Team, Open Window School Art Auction Chair, VP and President of the PTSA, and a VIBES ESL mentor in the Bellevue School system. Elizabeth has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington and is the mother of two adult sons.
Elizabeth is passionate about helping to change the current patterns of abuse so prevalent in our society. She is delighted to be a part of The WAVE Foundation team and looks forward to working with an amazing group of people who are deeply committed to improving the lives of others.
Frank was raised and educated in the Pacific Northwest. Frank has cycled and camped in the area since childhood. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and has been engineering faculty at Bellevue College since 1990. Frank is passionate about teaching, learning and empowering students to pursue their career goals. Frank has supported Cycle the WAVE by taking photos and producing videos for event promotion.
“It is an honor to be part of The WAVE Foundation and I look forward to the meaningful work ahead.”
Salisa Roberts – Board Member
Salisa Roberts is Senior Vice President and leader of Key Investment Services for Key Bank’s Washington North Region. Salisa is responsible for leading her team’s results, through business development, cross-selling and referrals. In addition, Salisa has the responsibility for retaining, developing and recruiting talent to serve the Key Investment Services clients.
Salisa has been in the financial services industry for 26 years. Salisa started her banking career as an on-call teller with First Interstate Bank in Yakima, Washington. In 1997 Salisa moved to Washington Mutual in Seattle to pursue a career in investments. Salisa’s assignments at Washington Mutual included: teller, licensed banker, sales and investment trainer, investment associate, financial consultant, manager of licensed banker program and regional sales manager. In late November 2008 Salisa was recruited from California back to the Northwest to lead the Washington North Key Investment Services team.
Salisa and her husband live in Bellevue, Washington. When Salisa is not working she enjoys yoga, reading and bike riding. A tip to Salisa’s name is that it rhymes with Melissa.
Jane Searing- Advisory Board Member
Jane is a born businesswoman with an incredible work ethic. She grew up working in the fields in Mt. Vernon, Washington, picking strawberries, spinach, cucumbers and has held a job ever since. Always the entrepreneur, she started a paper route when she was 10 years old. It seemed natural that she would pursue a degree in business when she went to college, but instead, she decided to be a nursing student at the University of Washington. She quickly changed her mind about this profession after she took a class in microbiology. Lucky for us!
Jane, a shareholder, specializes in providing tax services to private foundations and public charities. Her primary focus is on minimizing exposure to excise and unrelated business income tax, charitable giving strategies and communicating with the IRS.
Nancy Belur – Board Member Emeritus
Born, raised and educated in the Seattle area, Nancy spent her career as a health care practitioner, mother of three and community advocate developing strong ties within the community to help drive her passion for social justice.
As a kid she was a dreamer and creator—building camps, staging gatherings and organizing the neighborhood kids. Transferring this spirit of community in adulthood has been a natural progression—in 30+ years living on the Eastside she has coordinated her share of fundraising events and served on numerous committees. A member of The Rising Star Guild since 2000, she has focused her volunteer activities on raising awareness and funds for domestic violence programs. As one of the founding members of The WAVE Foundation and now Development Director, she has and will continue to devote her energies to ensuring the future of the organization and affecting change for the face of domestic violence. Nancy credits her tremendously supportive friends and family for supporting her in pursuing her passion and encouraging her to dream big.
Gina Kavesh – Executive Director
Gina brings extensive knowledge of both business and cycling to TWF; she ran a successful retail chain for more than 25 years and has been a competitive cyclist and champion of women’s cycling for two decades. She’s also the President of the Washington State Bicycling Association, serves on the board of USA Cycling and helps lead Union Bay Cycling/Bikesale.com.
“I’m very excited to be joining The WAVE Foundation at this exciting time in the foundation’s evolution,” said Gina. “I’m looking forward to working with WAVE’s amazing volunteers and helping the foundation continue to raise awareness of domestic violence make a difference in our community. I see endless opportunities for growth, both with existing programs and future partnerships. I can’t wait to get started.”
Peter Verbrugge – Event Director
In 1960 Peter was born to English parents in Toronto, Canada. In 1969 he moved to London, England, where he enjoyed a “thoroughly British upbringing”. While In school he competed in many different varsity sports, before landing his first job in the promotions field at the ripe old age of 16, (operating a mobile Deejay service). In 1979 his family immigrated back to North America and landed in San Diego, California. During 1980-91 Peter owned and operated three different alternative rock clubs in San Diego, and promoted hundreds of alternative rock concerts. Deciding a healthy change of lifestyle was in order he decided to move to Seattle in 1992. In 1996 he graduated college with a Video Production degree and interned at King 5 television’s “Almost Live” comedy show, where he appeared numerous times. During this time he started his own production company (Pep Productions Inc) and spent five years booking music at the Crocodile Café. Peter has also been lucky enough to co-produce many top Seattle events, including the Fremont Fair, Fremont’s original outdoor cinema, Renton & Burien Outdoor cinema and The 4th of Jul-Ivars Music festival. In recognition for excellence in the field he won three KEPA (King County Event Producers) Awards, including ‘Best Millennium Event in the Pacific Northwest”.
In 1997 Peter started riding a bike again after a twenty-year break, and after being energized watching Lance bounce back from cancer in 1999, became a full blown cycling addict! In 2003 Peter was hired to work as an event producer at Cascade Bicycle Club in 2003 and spent the next 12 years helping to grow the organization into the largest recreational riding clubs in the United States. His successful signature events included the month-long Commute Challenge, Seattle Bike Expo, International Tours and the Ride Around Washington. This year Peter decided to make the exciting move to the WAVE Foundation as its first full-time event producer.
Pete enjoys producing events that draw a varied and wide audience of cycling enthusiasts to the community. He enjoys sharing his passion for cycling with new cyclists and looks forward to working with the amazing, dedicated team of WAVE volunteers. He has spent his career helping to raise funds for many different charities over the years. So the draw of helping so many, by providing needed funding for domestic violence agencies was a major reason Peter took the new position.
When not riding one of his many trusty two-wheeled steeds on (and off-road); he enjoys international travel, winter sports, local performing arts, craft brews and watching international soccer.
Meggan Atkins – Program Director
Meggan is our program director for The WAVE Foundation’s new strategic partnership with the Fight the Fear Campaign.
Meggan will be focused on expanding the reach of the Fight the Fear programming throughout the entire region. Meggan organizes workshops and community events to further our quest to teach strength through confidence. She has been teaching the Empowerment Model of Self-Defense for six years in local middle schools, high schools, and on college campuses. Meggan joined the Fight the Fear Campaign in 2010 after creating a high school girls’ self-defense program in the Issaquah School District, where she was a middle school teacher for almost twenty years.
The WAVE Foundation is in the process of rebranding Brake the Cycle and the Fight the Fear Campaign into one joint program.