Our Team

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Sue Braaten, President

Sue Braaten is owner/operator of the Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites in Gig Harbor, Washington. Sue has worked as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for over 20 years after first being exposed to the Foster Care system in the process of adopting her youngest son from the system.

Seeing the extreme need children living in Foster Care have for stability, Sue founded the Homestead Community to try and give these special children the opportunity to grow up in a loving, consistent place they can call home. Sue and her husband Ken have lived in Gig Harbor for over 35 years and are actively involved in their community and local church. They have 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren.

 


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Colleen Bond, Treasurer

Colleen is a certified public accountant who has been practicing in the non-profit sector since 1997. She graduated cum laude from St Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington, in 1994 and started her accounting career by working in the DSHS accounting office in Olympia. She is currently the Controller of a large NPO in Tacoma, Washington. Before completing her accounting degree, she received a Paralegal Certificate from the University of Puget Sound and worked for two prestigious Tacoma law firms.

Colleen and her husband, Mark, became foster parents in 2006 and through this experience came to realize the huge need for a stable home for children in the system. Because of this, she was excited to join the Homestead board and has served as treasurer since inception.

 


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Kathy Heerema, Board Member 

Kathy Heerema is Sales Manager of Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites of Gig Harbor. She is an original member of the Homestead Community board and a long-term advocate for those in need. Kathy is known for being very empathetic and brings a tenderness in her approach to serving children in the foster care program.

 

 


Heather Sisson, Board Member

Heather Sisson is an independent consultant for new business and strategy development; working with local and national companies to problem solve, goal set and achieve profitable growth. She has 20 years’ experience in sales, marketing and business leadership that she brings to the board. Her thoughtful approach to project planning will be utilized to help the board maximize Homestead’s impact in the community. Heather has been involved with local homeless outreach since 2014 and has done volunteer work on various projects for Homestead Community since 2016. She shares a deep desire to make a positive and sustainable impact in the lives of youth in foster care and those at risk of homelessness.


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Brooke Murphy, Board Member

Brooke brings a personal passion to Homestead Community. Her youngest sibling was adopted from foster care, and she has witnessed firsthand some of the challenges faced by children in the system. She is driven by her belief that every child deserves a stable place to call home.

Brooke received her accounting degree from the University of San Diego and has worked in the public accounting industry for over fifteen years. When she is not busy keeping all of our numbers on ‘the straight and narrow’ as one of our two resident CPAs, you can find Brooke running, hiking, being active, and loving life with her husband and three young children.


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Shiela Off, Board Member

Shiela is a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer with Signature Design and Cabinetry. She brings a wealth of experience and network of relationships in the home and design industry. She also has a deep concern for children and works with Homestead Community to make sure every child has a loving and beautiful home environment in which to thrive.

 


Michelle Woods, Board Member

Michelle has been happily married for 23 years, and home schooled her children their entire educational career. She has been on educational advocacy committees, and enjoys teaching classes on building stronger marriages, parenting, and finances.  She has a BSBM in Business Management, has a background in construction and real estate and is currently working in the financial planning arena.

Michelle has experience both as a foster parent of a sibling group and as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).  Seeing children in these tough life situations really touched her heart and built a desire to be a part of the solution. Michelle is passionate about loving God and loving all people.