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Meet Our 2024 Board

Doug Leonard, Chair: Doug has been a supporter of Vitalize Kitsap since our early days as Island Time Activities, when he was our banker at Union Bank. He's currently at First Federal on Bainbridge Island, and brings his financial world expertise to our Board along with his dedication to our program and personal connection to our Members.

Jeff Sharp, Secretary: Jeff recently retired from a long career focused on project and development management. He moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1981 to enroll in the University of Washington’s Masters Program in Architecture. His career path led him into project management and real estate development. His focus initially was on ambulatory healthcare projects such as clinics, imaging centers, surgery centers and multi-specialty clinics. After a brush with retirement, he pursued projects such as Fisher Plaza (home to KOMO TV’s studios and data centers) and numerous urban infill projects as a development manager for Vulcan Real Estate.  Projects have ranged from feasibility studies to $200,000,000 mixed use high rise ground up developments.  He has served on the board of Hyla Middle School as Vice President and then President. His current philanthropic efforts continue as a board member of Vitalize Kitsap utilizing his experience with capital facility projects.

Denise Vestman, Treasurer: While raising 5 children, Denise and her husband owned Vestman Construction where she worked as secretary and bookkeeper for 23 years. She has owned and operated a catering business specializing in providing hot lunches in private schools. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Washington State School for the Blind for 4 years which her son, an ITA member, attended. Denise still participates with several Kitsap charity organizations and is the recipient of multiple awards for her volunteerism in the North Kitsap School District. She and her family live in Poulsbo.

Jessica Aubin

Jessica is a 2005 Speech Language Pathology Graduate from the University of Washington. Her work experience covers a broad range of settings from in-patient rehabilitation, long-term care, and Outpatient services to the public school setting. She started the Aubin Aphasia Speech and Language Center LLC in 2010 to help improve needed access to services on Bainbridge Island and also acquired a local tutoring service, Island Educational Services in 2022.

Apart from being a Washington State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist she holds multiple specialty certifications including certifications from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Vital Stimulation NMES certification for dysphagia, competence with the Claudia Allen Dementia Scales, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT), and PROMPT training for Apraxia of Speech.

“I believe in making a functional difference in people’s lives. Initially, I did this by working directly with clients to help them achieve their life goals. Now, I find that I can help more people by supporting a variety of service providers to do whatever is needed to to train, staff, connect, and deliver the best services possible. My goal is to help clients and their families obtain the best quality of life possible.

I am honored to be a Board Member of Vitalize Kitsap, an organization supporting young adults with disabilities all over Kitsap County. This is yet another extension of my goal to help clients and families obtain the best quality of life possible.”

Michele Shields: More information coming soon!

Delores Stroud: Delores has a B.A. in Music Education (UW), as she originally intended to become a Music Therapist. However, after she and her USAF husband and family moved around for about 15 years — she taught in several states and in DoDDS schools — she realized that she preferred to get a Masters in Special Education (from Azusa Pacific). Each move brought a new, fun, and challenging setting for teaching students with special needs and abilities whether in public or private school settings. When their family moved home to Washington, as her husband retired, she taught  the Life Skills class at Kingston High School for 10 years, before retiring herself. Her kids and grandkids all live on the Kitsap Peninsula. So now, family and volunteering with VKN to help meet the needs of ID and DD individuals and their families, fills her schedule. She is excited to serve on the VK Board as a representative for VKN as we work together to encourage and empower individuals to live lives as happy, involved members of our Kitsap community.

Rachael Donham: More information coming soon!

Ruth Bjorklund: Ruth and her family called Bainbridge Island home for more than 20 years. Her daughter, Lily, is a “founding member” of Vitalize Kitsap, having benefited from this superb organization since 1999 (when it was known as “Girls Club”)! Ruth is a former librarian with King and Kitsap counties. After taking leave to stay at home with Lily and her brother, Neil, Ruth wrote more than 70 non-fiction books for Scholastic and Marshall Cavendish publishers. For all these many years, she has been a behind-the-scenes supporter of VK and is now honored to be a board member.

Denise Vestman
Jeff Sharp
Doug Leonard
Jessica Aubin
Michele Shields
Delores Stroud
Ruth Bjorklund
Rachael Donham
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