Board of Directors

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Joe Tejeda, President

Joe Tejeda is a husband, father of three, and commercial insurance broker at Rice Insurance, based in Bellingham. When he isn’t enjoying his work or family, he is dedicated to spending his time working with causes close to his heart. Joe is one of six siblings, growing up in the Northern California foothills. Growing up in a large family that was both wonderful and layered, he had an older brother with a mental disability. Watching his brother excel and create a life outside of his disabilities motivated Joe to want to help others do the same. Outside of Cascade Connections, Joe finds celebrating and supporting his brother in the programs he is active in to be a rewarding and positive way to stay involved in his life.

Rhonda Howard, Vice President

My journey to Cascade Connections happened many years ago. In 1990, my husband Don and I had been married for 24 years and raised three beautiful children. Our youngest was about to graduate from high school, and we were on the brink of becoming “empty nesters.” This all changed when we got the call that every parent dreads. Our son was in a car accident. As a result, he needed twenty-four hours of support, for the rest of his life. We spent many years caring for our son with a great network of support in our community but, over time, we found ourselves just going through the motions of every day life. We needed some help.

That’s when we were led to Cascade Connections (formerly Cascade Christian Services). Our son now receives support to live in his own apartment, and to run his own vending business. This is something I had lost hope for. Cascade Connections has provided our son the needed support to enhance his quality of life. In doing so, they have also touched my life.

When asked to serve on the board in 1997, I did not hesitate. As a former paraeducator, and as a parent, I felt I had something to offer. Since that time I have served, either as a board member or committee member. I am the current board president and my favorite part of serving is hearing the individual success stories. Cascade Connections changes people’s lives. If you are interested in hearing more about opportunities to serve, I would love to talk with you.

Michael Adams, Secretary

Rebecca Kirkland, Treasurer

Suzanne Hansen, Vicar

Mark Hildebrand

Larry Stegink

Deborah Thibodeau

Deborah was baptized on Easter Sunday, 2015. She joined the Cascade Connections Board in May, 2015 as she was interested in volunteering with a Christian based organization. She has a nephew with Muscular Dystrophy who has been wheel-chair bound for the last 15 years or so. Therefore, she can identify with individuals with disabilities.

She runs a home-based business called The Simply Organized Bride. She doesn’t do wedding planning but, rather, what she calls “wedding industry promotion”. She works with local wedding vendor businesses and help them connect with the brides who need their services. She manages a self-help website for brides which is over 100 pages and offers links and listings to local businesses. The website also offers a 50-page wedding planning guide that she wrote, as well as articles to assist brides with their wedding planning. She also organize a bridal show once a year (she has done 10 so far). She hopes to use her contacts and experience to help the board plan and organize their fund-raising events.

If you are interested in serving as one of our board members, click here for more information.