Meet Our Staff

Rosalinda Noriega, Executive Director

Rosalinda Noriega began work as Pizza Klatch’s Executive Director on August 21, 2017.  Rosalinda is well known in Thurston County for her passionate community work and activism.  Rosalinda uses she/her and he/him pronouns.

For eleven years, Rosalinda served as founding director for Partners in Prevention Education (PiPE). PiPE is a local non-profit dedicated to serving marginalized youth who are victims of various forms of violence including child abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. In this role, Rosalinda was responsible for creating and overseeing the implementation of all aspects of internal organization and infrastructure including program and policy development, human resources/personnel, budget and fiscal management, contract administration, managing day-to-day operations, outreach, and grant writing. In addition to her administrative duties, she continued to provide one-on-one advocacy to victims of violence; develop and provide professional development training; and provide community education on the cycles of violence, homelessness, and the impacts of trauma.

Rosalinda has been a longtime supporter and advocate for Pizza Klatches’ work. As the ED of PiPE, Rosalinda spearheaded organizational efforts to provide financial and in-kind support to Pizza Klatch by incorporating some of PK’s expenses into PiPE’s budget and statement of work in contracts awarded by the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy. As a result, PiPE contributed resources to support the printing of facilitator training materials, as well as to dedicate staff resources to contribute to annual facilitator training and to act as regular guest speakers for various PK groups. For the past twenty-three years advocating on behalf of victims/survivors of violence (LGBTQ, youth, tribal and homeless communities), Rosalinda believes in the Golden Rule.  You can contact Rosalinda via email at Rosalinda@pizzaklatch.org.

 

Brett Rader, Program Manager

Brett Rader joined the Pizza Klatch staff as our new Program Manager in December of 2017. Brett has volunteered as a P.K. Facilitator since 2014 at Capital High School and plans to use his experience as a volunteer facilitator to inform his role. Brett was born and raised in Tumwater and has worked for several local nonprofits. He was the shelter manager at Out of the Woods Family Shelter and more recently, worked for Habitat for Humanity as the Housing Program Coordinator. He attended the Friends World Program of Long Island University from 1995-1999 with a concentration in global economic where he worked with street children’s organizations in Latin America, East Africa and India. Brett finished his degree at Evergreen State College in 2007. He enjoys traveling, gardening and canning in his spare time. You can contact Brett via email at Brett@pizzaklatch.org.

 

Sofia Vasconi, Facilitator/Advocate

Sofia Vasconi is a nonbinary mixed Latinx/Italian femme first shaped by the Alaskan mountains, then by the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Sofia’s passions lie both in the magic of the natural world and the magic of intersectional movement building, collective healing, and community resiliency. She looks to the wisdom of mycelial networks and ferns and ecosystems’ response to wildfires to inform her own work towards liberation. They have been involved with facilitation, organization, and solidarity work across movements since they were a teenager, from environmental justice to queer liberation to racial justice and beyond, while exploring the liminal spaces and connections between them. They have been facilitating with Pizza Klatch since January 2018 and is excited and grateful to deepen their work as an ally to LGBTQ youth. She is an herbal medicine maker, a botanist, a dancer, a singer, a listener, a spell weaver, a hiker, and a dreamer. Sofia’s pronouns are she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, and has recently been playing with fey/femme/feirs. You can contact Sofia via email at Sofia@pizzaklatch.org.

 

Jay Banks, Facilitator/Advocate

New to the Olympia area from DC, Jay Banks is a AfroLatinx Nonbinary Queer Educator. They started TQMason a trans support and education group during their time at George Mason University and was influential in the University adopting their gender neutral housing policy. They also have their Masters in Early Childhood Education and worked to implement a Black Lives Matter curriculum in their classroom while focusing on being trans and queer affirming. After teaching in Elementary schools in Southeast DC Jay decided to use their life experiences and formal education to help support LGBTQ+ Youth with Pizza Klatch. Jay is passionate about intersectionality and being a source of positive representation for queer youth of color. They also love traveling to new places, binge watching reality tv shows, and spending time with their french lop rabbit Bun. You can contact Jay via email at Jay@pizzaklatch.org.

 

El Sanchez, Facilitator/Advocate

El is a queer/trans/non-binary/Indigenous/Latinx, writer, community activist, comic book reader and stand-up comedian who just returned to the Olympia area after a decade long stint in Seattle. El grew up all over the Western side of Washington, including the farming community of Lewis County, near the Olympic Peninsula within the Quinault Tribal Nation and in various small rural communities in the South Sound area, but have always considered Olympia home. They graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in constitutional law, tribal law and social justice. They have worked as both a performer, counselor and organizer with queer website Autostraddle’s annual event A-Camp for the past four years and have been a featured performer and speaker at queer comedy shows, PRIDE events and LGBTQ+ focused panels and discussions throughout the country. They have written articles for several queer focused websites on issues ranging from transphobia, gender pronouns and their experience as a queer, non-binary parent. They are excited to utilize both their lived experience and their background in LGBTQ+ community organizing and outreach to benefit queer and trans youth, especially those in smaller communities like the ones they came from. You can contact El via email at El@pizzaklatch.org.