Meet Our Staff
Kaylin Bettinger has worked for MEND since 2014, primarily in communications, development and administrative roles before becomming executive director in mid 2016. She loves that her job enables her to foster community and to make it feasible for others to thrive in this amazing area.
Kaylin grew up outside of Seattle and graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham with degrees in journalism, Spanish and teaching English as a second language. After graduating, she completed her student teaching in Mexico and later taught high school in Taiwan for a year and a half. Upon returning to Washington, she moved to Leavenworth primarily for the outdoors, but fell in love with the area and the community and knew Leavenworth was home. She worked as a reporter at the Wenatchee World before starting with MEND in 2014.
When Kaylin isn’t at work, you can find her on skis, playing outside, traveling and enjoying the company of friends.
Community Cupboard Program Manager
Bob has been working for Upper Valley MEND since the Spring of 2009. He originally joined the organization as an Administrative Assistant and has been the Program Manager for the Community Cupboard since 2010. Originally from Bellows Falls, Vermont, Bob moved to Bellingham, Washington in 2000 as an Americorps*VISTA volunteer with the American Red Cross, and has lived in the Northwest off and on ever since. Prior to joining Upper Valley MEND he was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of completing a long-term international volunteer placement; he spent two years as a Community Development Advisor in Zambia (Africa) with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.
Bob enjoys spending quality time with his wife and son, as well as all sorts of outdoor recreation, music, good food, and the company of friends.
Cornerstone Community Program Manager
Carl Florea is an ordained Lutheran minister, social activist, and housing advocate. He originally came to Leavenworth to serve as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church from 1985 - 1992 and remains an active member to this day. He helped form Upper Valley MEND and served as its director until early 2007 when he left to run the Housing Resources Board on Bainbridge Island to help form a Community Land Trust similar to the SHARE CLT in Leavenworth.
He returned in September of 2013 when he was asked to take the Resident Manager position at Cornerstone Community, which was in the planning stages when Carl left MEND. Carl and his wife of over forty years, Debbie, a nurse at Swedish Hospital in Issaquah, have three sons—Nathan, Micah, and Aaron—who all graduated from the Cascade School District. Nathan and his wife, Trish Kimbell, live in Seattle, WA. Micah, and his wife, Beth, who have Carl and Debbie’s only grandchild, Logan, had been serving with an engineering mission for several years in Costa Rica until moving back in January, 2014 to settle in Wenatchee. Aaron is living in Spokane, WA, where he is enrolled in Eastern Washington University's Physical Therapy graduate program.
Besides Carl’s passion for social justice and assisting those who have little political and economic voice in our society, his hobbies include reading, hiking, Nordic skiing, biking, and playing cards with his family.
Jubilee Program Manager
Mary, originally from Minnesota, had been visiting friends and family in Leavenworth for a number of years and enjoying all that the area has to offer. Over time she found herself increasingly asking the question “Why do I not just live here?” So in 2013 she sold most of her belongings and drove west to start a new chapter of her life in the northern Cascades.
An outdoor enthusiast, she loves to crosscountry ski, hike, garden, play tennis, and be in the water, the sun and the mountains, making Leavenworth a perfect fit! Back in her hometown of Northfield, Minnesota, Mary was an active leader in various non-profit organizations and government and even served a term as Mayor of the town of 20,000. She is an artist and entrepreneur, owned a gift shop for 15 years, and more recently helped to start a hand-made and vintage retail co-op.
She is passionate about supporting local small business as well as promoting hand-made and up-cycled merchandise. She is excited about working at Jubilee because it will allow her to do all three, plus support artisans from the developing world and families in the Leavenworth area. “We have a great mission and a great team at Jubilee, and it is my honor to help both succeed!”
Administrative Assistant and Community Cupboard staff
Originally from a small town in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, Catalina has been in Washington since1995. Many of her siblings had moved here prior to that time, and Catalina's parents decided they wanted the entire family to live in the same place. Although the transition was difficult for her (she especially missed tending to all of the animals on her family's ranch in Mexico), Catalina eventually adapted to her new life here in the Upper Valley.
Catalina is excited to be working at Community Cupboard, Jubilee and in the MEND office as the administrative assistant. She enjoys helping people and feels that Upper Valley MEND and the Community Cupboard do a lot of good work to help our community. Catalina and her husband, Carlos, have three children: Samantha, Nicole and Alexander.
Community Cupboard and Jubilee Assistant Manager
Laurie moved to Leavenworth in 1974 to teach French, English and P.E. at Peshastin-Dryden High School. Luckily for her, after one year of teaching, the school needed a Spanish instructor and asked Laurie if she would be willing to take on that responsibility. Laurie learned as much as she could over the course of a summer, and in the process, developed a new focus for her work and life. Now, much of her energy is dedicated to the issues of Latino people here in our valley and in Guatemala. She has taught in several area schools, working her way "up" to the youngest learners, and spent 11 years teaaching at Upper Valley Co-Op Preschool. Currently, most of her teaching centers around English Language Learners, and she is the Migrant Home Visitor for the Cascade School District. Laurie has a long history with the Community Cupboard, starting in the late 1980s. In 2000 she left for Guatemala for six months to do some volunteer work in Xela and upon her return she began volunteering at the Cupboard again. Laurie is once again a MEND staff member, splitting her time between the Cupboard and Jubilee Global Gifts. Her hobbies revolve mostly around her grandchildren, as well as gardening, walking and reading.
Community Cupboard staff
Mary moved to Leavenworth in 1994 and has been involved with the Community Cupboard ever since, as a volunteer, a Board member, and currently as an employee. Prior to this she had a 23-year career in accounting, mainly with Alaska Airlines. Over the years, she has coached girls soccer, led a Ponderosa 4-H horse club, and taught & administered Sunday School. She and her husband, Tim, have two adult children and two grandsons. Her greatest joy is her family, but she also enjoys the outdoors, camping, golf, horses, snowmobiles and a good read.
Gleaning AmeriCorps Vista
An AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Koa began working with Upper Valley MEND in June 2017 as the assistant Gleaning Coordinator. Koa graduated from high school in 2014 in Woodinville and is now living in Wenatachee. He is currently studying mathematics with a focus in modeling at Quest University Canada in Squamish, BC.
When not at work, Koa enjoys cooking, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and spending time outdoors in general.
Upper Valley Free Clinic Program Manager
Terri retired as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2010. She was passionate about her work as a Primary Care Provider, working initially in College Health and then in private practice in Seattle. Terri enjoyed multiple volunteering stints in medical outreach in Guatemala and Honduras and she volunteered for many years at the 45th Street Homeless Youth Clinic in Seattle. These experiences have prepared her for the challenges that come with managing and developing the Upper Valley Free Clinic. After retiring she devoted 5 years to being a Granny Nanny, helping to raise her two grandsons. She and her husband have a cabin on Fish Lake and became full-time residents in 2016. They enjoy skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, or just plain relaxing. Terri is loving being part of a small community, and, most importantly, she has found a productive outlet to continue her passion of helping others get the healthcare they need!