Meet Our Team

Verdant CEO Lisa Edwards profile picture

Lisa Edwards, EdD


Lisa works closely with a range of communities and stakeholders to implement the organization’s mission and vision. She is responsible for Verdant’s business management and strategy, operational oversight, staff management and development, financial management, community relations, human resources, and program management and effectiveness.

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Ceil Erickson

Director of Community Impact

Ceil serves as the lead grants officer and is responsible for the convening of nonprofit partners and key stakeholders, assessment of community conditions, community grant investment strategy, and outcome measurement/evaluation to gauge impact of funded projects.

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Riene Simpson, CPA

Director of Finance, Public Records Officer

Riene directs all financial activities including accounting, reviewing contracts, mitigating risk to the district, overseeing district property matters, providing guidance and oversight to ensure compliance with with applicable RCW’s, and coordinating with external organizations necessary to support the district’s operations. She also serves as Public Records Officer and District Auditor.

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Nancy Budd, MSW

Community Social Worker

Nancy responds to and provides care coordination services for residents with mental health, medical, behavioral health, substance use, housing, and other social services needs. She cultivates contacts and establishes relationships with first responders, court systems, substance use providers, housing providers, community service and faith-based groups, and hospital providers in an effort to coordinate care for residents with complex health and social needs.

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Humaira Barlas

Fiscal Specialist

Humaira is working closely with Director of Finance and responsible for routine accounting duties, financial and statistical record keeping, accounting analysis, auditing, and investigation of finance related issues. She also supports payroll, fixed assets and Grants fiscal administration, annual budget process, preparation of month end/year-end financial statements and supports State Auditor’s Office audit.

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Kirk Mathis

Marketing & Communication Manager

Kirk develops and expands company’s presence through social media, email, web advertising, and other online sources; promotes company brand through these channels. Drafts, implements, maintains, and revises marketing campaigns to get maximum community engagement.

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Kaysi Caballero

Office Manager/Executive Assistant

Kaysi provides administrative support services to the Board of Commissioners, Superintendent, and other staff at Verdant by scheduling public meetings and preparing agendas and minutes. She coordinates daily office operations. She also serves as the District Treasurer.

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Chase Toscano

Contracts Manager

Chase supports Verdant’s strategic priorities of community engagement, partnerships, and impact-based contracts. Chase supports community partners throughout all stages of the contract making process, with a specific focus on data management and reporting.

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Olia Josiah

Wellness Center Assistant

Olia provides customer service to support Wellness Center visitors, facility use partners, and Verdant instructors during their time in our facility. She coordinates the scheduling of Verdant’s onsite and virtual cooking demos.

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Meet Our Board of Commissioners

Verdant Health Commission is governed by a board of five commissioners, each elected for a term of six years by the registered voters in Public Hospital District No. 2, Snohomish County. The terms of the commissioners are staggered to expire in alternate years.

Verdant board member Karianna profile picture

Karianna Wilson, President

Ms. Wilson was elected to the commission in November 2011 and has been active in healthcare for more than 15 years. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) from the University of Washington. She is currently CEO of Wilson Strategic Communications and was previously with Northwest Physicians Network and, prior to that, Premera Blue Cross. A Woodway resident, she is a wife and mother of three children. Ms. Wilson was re-elected in 2023 to serve her third six year term, which will expire in 2029.

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Carolyn Brennan, Secretary

Carolyn Brennan (she/her) is an Edmonds resident and currently serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor, Research at UW Bothell. She has an M.S. in Health Policy and Management from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a B.A. in History from the University of Notre Dame, along with earning Executive Education and Conflict Management certificates. Her past work has included research program development and the integration of health and social sciences. She volunteers in the community and has three children with her husband. Commissioner Brennan is serving her first six year term, which will expire in 2027.

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Verdant board member Jim profile picture

Jim Distelhorst, MD, Member

Dr. Jim Distelhorst is a retired family physician. Dr. Distelhorst’s professional experience includes practicing medicine, teaching residents as a director of two family medicine residencies, and working as a medical administrator at Valley Medical Center in Renton, which is Public Hospital District No. 1, King County. He has also researched, written, and edited evidence-based clinical care guidelines. As an Edmonds resident, Dr. Distelhorst volunteers on the City of Edmonds’ Disability Board and served for two years on the Edmonds Senior Center Board of Directors. Originally elected in 2019 to fill a vacated position, Dr. Distelhorst was re-elected in 2021 to serve a six year term, which will expire in 2027.

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Verdant board member Bob profile picture

Bob Knowles, Member

Mr. Knowles is a resident of Brier and has a B.S. in Exercise Science from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY and an M.A. in Exercise Physiology from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. From 1997 to 2010, he served at Stevens Hospital and then Swedish Edmonds in various capacities, most recently as Director of Education and Director of Preventive Care. He currently works in the disease management and population health industry. Originally elected to complete the remaining two years of a vacated position on the Board of Commissioners, he is now serving his second six year term, which expires in 2025.

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Verdant board member Deana profile picture

Deana Knutsen, Member

Ms. Knutsen has lived in the community for more than 20 years and her three children were born at Stevens Hospital. She has been chair of the Washington Community Action Network and has had a successful track record of advocacy for patients’ rights and affordable, high quality health care. At the national level, she serves as treasurer for the Alliance for a Just Society and board member of USAction. Her education is a BA, University of Washington 1980. Ms. Knutsen, a Lynnwood resident, was re-elected in 2023 to serve her fifth six year term, which will expire in 2029.

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