Development Director Melissa Johnson and Administrative Assistant Lesa Welcker joined our staff in spring 2015.

With our program’s continued growth, we’ve been busy creating new positions, promoting staff and welcoming new team members. A couple of our latest hires have added a lot of energy, creativity and good humor to the office this summer.

Development Director Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson joined us in May to take on the role of development director. While she pursues her master’s degree in nonprofit leadership at Seattle University through June 2016, this position allows her to put her education directly into practice.

“It’s been thrilling to work with Sallie Neillie (executive director, 2006–2017) and learn about the innovative ways this organization has evolved and remains relevant in an ever- changing health care climate,” says Melissa. “I’m constantly challenged to use the most current strategies and ideas to support our work.”

As development director, Melissa is focusing on strengthening relationships with current partners and sponsors, while also increasing individual involvement and support.

“Project Access Northwest makes such a difference in people’s lives. It’s an honor to tell our story and share our mission and vision,” she says. “We’ve served 26,000 patients since our founding, and I know that the care patients receive can be life-changing.”

Melissa is married and has three sons.

Administrative Assistant Lesa Welcker

One of Melissa’s first actions as development director was to say yes to 12-year-old Ella Welcker, who chose health care access as her global awareness project for school and wanted to volunteer in our office. Ella’s mom Lesa Welcker accompanied her every day and was inspired to volunteer as well. The two even collaborated to create a bake sale fundraiser.

When Lesa mentioned that she would be seeking a job in the coming year, Melissa snapped her up as our new administrative assistant.

“What I love about working here is that everyone really believes in what they are doing,” says Lesa. “And I’ve quickly become equally passionate about our mission! It’s exciting to be able to help people get the specialty care they need.”

Lesa is married and has two daughters.