Our Board & Volunteers

We are all volunteers!

Volunteer Coordinator
Claudia Johnston

Delivery Coordinator
Linda Wolfe

Shopping Coordinator
Evelyn Venesky

School Contacts Coordinator
Laura Dark

Tech Advisor
Mitzie Whitener

Elaine Moore

Our Board Members

The Homeless Backpacks Board was designed to bring together representatives from a variety of interests and backgrounds to jointly help students in our community by raising money through community events and sponsorship programs, having food drives, food bagging parties  and creating a team to deliver the food to our local schools. Homeless Backpacks is run 100% by community volunteers who want all kids to WIN.


Kelly Wilson

Chair (Founding Board Member)

I am a married mother of 3 grown (and amazing) children. I have lived in Thurston County most of my life. I spent many years in the day spa industry and am now semi-retired. Homeless Backpacks was born out of a conversation among truly fabulous girlfriends.  Making a difference and lifting up children in our community became our passion.  It has been nothing short of glorious to discover that we live in a community that shares that passion.  I am proud and blessed to be on the Homeless Backpacks board. Being surrounded by so much love and generosity is good for the soul (I think that it is good for your skin too).

Terryl Graham

Secretary (Founding Board Member)

Terryl Graham is one of the founding board members of Homeless Backpacks.  For Terryl the mission to feed our homeless students began when several board members attended the Dream the Dream Forum in 2006.  The mission of this forum was to put together a working plan to end homelessness in Thurston County in 10 years.  Terryl was in a break out group focusing on families with children.  It was at this forum that Homeless Backpacks became aware of the staggering number of homeless students we have in our county and our state.  The prototype plan, which included only Rainier and Tumwater high schools began soon after.  During the years of growth since that time Terryl has served as Secretary and Treasurer on the board of Homeless Backpacks.

Away from HBP Terryl is office manager for a prosthetic/orthotic office in Olympia.  She spends her off time doing all forms of remodeling to her home, building her woman cave and is a crazed sports fan – loving her Mariners, Sounders, NASCAR and GO HAWKS!

Kristin Reichl

Vice Chair

Kris Reichl is a current board member and volunteer. Kris began volunteering with Homeless Backpacks in 2010 and soon after realized her policy and project management skills could be an asset to the board. Kris is passionate about helping homeless and at-risk students and knows the importance school counselors and teachers play in the lives of these kids. “Although food is vital, one of the most crucial parts of the program is the connection the kids make with the school counselors. The counselors give them hope of a future. Our volunteers give them a feeling of being loved and cared for. Together, this creates the power for change.”

Joseph Beaulieu

Board Member

Joseph Beaulieu has been active in our community since 1971.  He has worked as a college administrator for St Martin’s University, Centralia College, South Puget Sound Community College and Seattle University.  Joseph also worked as the Executive Director of the Thurston Chamber of Commerce and was the Senior Vice President of Marketing of Venture Bank.

Joseph also has been involved in starting several non-profit organizations as well helping create many new Rotary Clubs in the South Puget Sound area.  He has volunteered for many non-profits over the years and continues to do so now.

Over the course of his life he has had a number of high lights in his career, but one of the most outstanding ones, was being one of the 4 official delegates to go before the IOC in Philadelphia to bring the first ever Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials to Olympia in 1984.

“ I love this community and am glad to still be serving and living in it!”

Shelley Nicholson

Board Member

Lisa Barkis

Board Member

Honored to be involved with Homeless Backpacks, Lisa Barkis was invited to join the board in March of 2015.  Taking care of kids and providing avenues for our youth to thrive is very dear to Lisa’s heart.  She knew right away that Homeless Backpacks shared the same views. “I am so grateful to part of this organization and to work with so many dedicated and caring volunteers”.  Lisa looks forward to future opportunities to serve with Homeless Backpacks.

Lisa met her husband Andrew Barkis when they graduated high school together in 1986 and have been married for 24.  They have lived in Olympia for 18 years.  Lisa and Andrew have two sons, Cameron and Evan.   Her family enjoys the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and try to camp and hike at least once a month.  She currently works at Hometown Property Management, a property management firm in Olympia WA in which she and her husband own.

Corey Lopardi

Board Member

Gary Warnock


Alexandra Rivera

Teen Representative

Alexandra graduated from Pope John Paul II High School in June 2017. She will attend Santa Clara University in the fall as a Johnson Scholar, and is also a recipient of the Lacey Rotary “Service Above Self” scholarship.

Alexandra was appointed in 2015 by Lacey’s mayor to serve as the Youth Representative on the Board of Park Commissioners; she was later elected Vice Chair. She was the President of her school’s Associated Student Body, and a founding member of their Future Business Leaders of America chapter (where she was previously President). Alexandra was a member of her school’s Knowledge Bowl Team and helped win the 1B State Championship three times. She was a member of the National Honor Society for two years, and has trained in both ballet and piano for the past ten years.