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WWVDN Staff

  • Cyndy Knight, Executive Director
    Cyndy Knight, Executive Director

    I am proud to serve families in our community as Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Disability Network. Married for 19 years, my husband Lawson and I met while at Oregon State University where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science. Lawson and I are the proud parents of three daughters, Madelyn, Molly (born with Down syndrome) and Chloe. As an Athena, Oregon native, I was happy we moved back to the area in 2002. I have been active in the Walla Walla community volunteering as a YMCA Board Member and Youth Basketball Coach, PTA President (Green Park Elementary), MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Coordinator, PictureLab volunteer, and on the founding board, and past Board President of the Children’s Museum of Walla Walla. In 2011-2013, I held the position of Parent to Parent Coordinator for Walla Walla/Columbia and Asotin Counties, and from 2013-2016 worked for Lillie Rice Center. In July 2014, Carla Nibler, Angela Beam and I founded the Walla Walla Valley Disability Network (WWVDN) where I served on the Board as volunteer Treasurer for 3 years. I am a team player that is passionate about spreading awareness and seeking inclusion for individuals with disabilities and their families. My hobbies include camping, cheering (at Pioneer, WaHi, and OSU sporting events), reading historical nonfiction, and watching BBC.

  • Angie Witt, Parent to Parent Coordinator
    Angie Witt, Parent to Parent Coordinator

    My name is Angie Witt and I am the mother of 4 children (Kayla, Haley, Bennett, and Ian). My daughter Haley was born with a rare chromosome abnormality called 1Q 32-QTER. This affects her growth, intellect, and lots of medical issues. My family has been extremely blessed with a great support system within our family, church, WWVDN, and Parent to Parent. I have met some incredible parents to share this journey on, my kids have made lifelong friendships with other siblings, and Haley has so many friends everywhere she goes. I became the Parent to Parent Coordinator in 2001 until 2009 but always remained involved. Working with families and children through Parent to Parent brings me and my family much joy. I get the opportunity to be the Parent to Parent Coordinator again as of November 2017.

  • Ysabel Fuentes, Hispanic Parent to Parent Coordinator
    Ysabel Fuentes, Hispanic Parent to Parent Coordinator

    Hello! I studied in Mexico and got my bachelor degree in Education. I was Principal in a rural area for a couple of years. Then I decided to come to Walla Walla and I married with Martin. We have two daughters, Christian and Esmeralda. When Christian was born she participated in Serendipity an Early Intervention program, and Parent to Parent. She reached her milestones when she was a toddler and exited the program successfully. At first I started to volunteer my time to translate, assisting people in interviews or calling for them. I become a Helping Parent in 1992 and I started as a Hispanic Outreach in 1998, officially with Parent to Parent. I was a Family Resources Coordinator (FRC) in Walla Walla Birth to Three under the former Department of Human Services, for fifteen years. Also I was translating IEPs (Individualized Educational Program) for Walla Walla Public Schools for about three years. Now in the evenings I watch kids with disabilities as a caregiver; I am an Individual Provider (IP) with Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). As a Hispanic Outreach in Parent to Parent we created Mamas Especiales, a group of ladies very enthusiastic! We are having a support meeting every month and we talk about everything in Spanish. Our children have different disabilities and ages; we are happy to celebrate our culture sharing our best food platters with each other. We enjoy being together and grew up ourselves facing the challenges to rise a child with disabilities represent. To me Parent to Parent has been a blessing! It is an extension of my family, as I am here in this country by myself in the beginning. Now my daughters always support me with their strength and time as volunteers in all the projects I become involved with.


WWVDN Board of Directors

  • Carla Nibler, President
    Carla Nibler, President

    I moved to this beautiful valley in 1980, married a local farmer, Gary, and raised two sons, Mark and John. Being the oldest of 8 children, raised in Idaho and having moved from the wilds of Wyoming, I thought myself very prepared for farm life and raising kids. So Mark’s arrival in 1988 was a most humbling experience for this over confident mother. This darling baby who looked so much like Gary didn’t sleep through the night (still doesn’t), crawled at 10 months, walked at 23 months and said, “Dadda, Momma and Baby” at three. Things just didn’t go as planned. I reluctantly joined Parent to Parent when Mark started Special Education pre-school and knew once he starting talking his development would catch up. WRONG! But due to the patience of then P2P coordinator, Teri Hough, and the comfort of other P2P parents, I learned to enjoy my son for who he was. A delightful blonde haired blue eyed wonder with autism spectrum disorder. Yes, he has intellectual delays. No, he rarely has tantrums anymore. No, he still doesn’t speak very well. Yes, he is a happy, independent, industrious young man, who thinks he’s one “cool dude!” Having joined P2P 28 years ago and over the years employed as the Senior P2P Coordinator, then later the Lead Family Resources Coordinator for the Birth to Three Program, and a Board member of Lillie Rice Center, I could see the value of support for persons with disabilities and their families. I was thrilled when two of my dear friends and I pushed forward to help grow services in the Valley by establishing Walla Walla Valley Disability Network in 2014. I hope to help accomplish our mission to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities and their families through community access and support with humility, a smile and a sense of humor. I strive with the help of our Board to educate our families, schools, community and legislators so those with differences have the opportunities to become the wonderful able people God made them. Each one is such a blessing! In our spare time Gary and I enjoy travelling in the U.S. I also enjoy history, museums, reading almost anything and visiting family and friends. My motto: Life is what you make it and I choose to make mine full of love and laughter. Life is Good!

  • Shamra Baez, Treasurer
    Shamra Baez, Treasurer

    "The world would be a better place if everyone in it had at least one friend with a disability." I have a teen-aged daughter with Down syndrome. Because of her, I became involved with the Walla Walla Valley Disability Network shortly after moving from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Walla Walla in 2015. Married, with 3 daughters (college, high school, and middle school), I grew up in Western Washington, moved to UC Berkeley where I attained a BA in Applied Mathematics, settled in southern California for 18 years, and then went on a 12 year adventure to Michigan, which included homeschooling my daughter and learning how to drive in the snow. It is good to be back "home" in Washington. It is my desire to see individuals with disabilities experience life with as much similarity as possible to the general population.

  • Alisha Walker, Secretary
    Alisha Walker, Secretary

    I have worked with individuals with disabilities since 2003. I started out at Valley Residential Services as a line staff and worked my way to Medical Program Manager. I then moved on to working at Goodwill as the STEP program supervisor, doing job coaching and skills training to get individuals with disabilities ready for employment in the community. After giving birth to twins, I stepped down to be a stay at home mom, but am still very active in the DD community. I am on the Community Health Advisory Board, and serve on several committees. I am the current Chair of the DD Subcommittee, and I am proud to be on the Transitions Expo committee, as well as the CHAB Finance Committee. I help run the Buddy Program at Walla Walla University, which I enjoy very much. I am also currently working as a private contractor for DSHS for their Community Engagement Program, where I take young adults with developmental disabilities out to engage them with the community. I have recently started subbing for the College Place School District as a para-educator, which I have found great joy in helping students with disabilities learn.

  • Heather Bayne, Director
  • Amy Harris, Director
    Amy Harris, Director
  • Daven Harshman, Director
  • Maria Luisa Jimenez, Director
  • Kristina Rasmussen, Director
  • Josh Reyes, Director
    Josh Reyes, Director

    I am married and the father of three adopted children. My eldest daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have lived in Walla Walla since I was 13 years old. I graduated high school from Walla Walla Valley Academy then attended WWCC, completing an associate degree in nursing and general transfer degree. I completed my undergraduate degree in nursing at WSU then returned to complete my Masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner, graduating in December 2008. During college I worked for Service Alternatives for WA Inc getting 6 years of experience as a youth care worker and foster home supervisor which exposed me to several children in our valley with disabilities. I have been working as a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2009. During this time I have also volunteered at the free SOS clinic in College Place, providing free medical care to uninsured patients.