Biographies

Jenny Collins

Jenny Collins

Executive Director, Chehalis Foundation

Collins is the former executive director of the Visiting Nurses of Lewis County, a position she had held since 2010. She knows our community and we are sure that many of you know her. Jenny has been serving our community with compassion and essential human services for over 20 years. She’s served on several non-profit boards and led over 30 fundraising events and campaigns.

Jenny has expressed her excitement about her new role by sharing the following; “Chehalis Foundation’s volunteer board is a team of outstanding professionals who share core values and have a great depth of experience working within community. I am so excited to work with them and expand their good work and positive impact on the Chehalis community that they have been building over the past 17 years. The Chehalis Foundation is a thriving community foundation and I look to the future with joy.”

Chuck Emerick

Chuck Emerick

Board President, Retired

Chuck Emerick moved to Chehalis in 1984 after growing up in the Midwest. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from DePauw University, served in the United States Army, and earned a Masters from Indiana University. Chuck held several administrative positions within Providence Centralia Hospital in the past few years, including being Manager, Providence Physician Practices in Centralia, Rochester, and Olympia.

One role Chuck played for Providence locally was to recruit physicians to Lewis County. In doing so he recognized the important contribution of the Chehalis Foundation in promoting a vibrant community, a strong economy, and first-class schools, all of which are key elements needed to attract medical professionals and their families to our area.

Chuck is also active in his local church serving on mission projects, both locally and around the world.

Chuck is an avid sports fan and participant. He and his wife, Nancy, are regular members of Thorbeckes Fitlife Center. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Robert Pehl, Jr.

Robert Pehl, Jr.

Board Vice President, I-5 Cars Vice President

Before joining the car business, Robert was a 2011 Honors Graduate of W.F. West High School. He attended the University of Washington on a Baseball Scholarship and played three seasons earning accolades for being a 2012 Cape Cod All-Star and 2nd team All Pac 12 Academic Honors. In 2014 he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and played three seasons in the minor leagues. Before finishing his baseball career and returning home to live in Chehalis he finished his degree in Sociology.

Robert joined the Chehalis Foundation board because of his family’s strong belief in reinvesting into their own community. In recent years they’ve helped with the library, the pool, and the ball fields. It is Robert’s goal to help make the community he lives in and where he grew up the best place it can be.

He also serves on the Board of the Chehalis Boy’s and Girl’s Club.

Allen Unzelman

Allen Unzelman

Board Treasurer, Partner, Vander Stoep, Blinks, Jones, and Unzelman

Allen was born and raised in Chehalis and is a fourth-generation Lewis County resident. He
graduated from W.F. West High School in 2004 and was a beneficiary of the West/Coffman
Scholarship Fund throughout college. He attended Pacific Lutheran University and then law
school at Southern Methodist University.

Allen is a firm believer in the importance of investing in our students through high school and
beyond. He joined the Chehalis Foundation to support projects that further improve our
community and education system, and continue to build upon the investments put in place by
past and present generations.

Allen and his wife, Brittany, are raising their two daughters in Chehalis. He is a diehard
Seahawks and Mariners fan.

Dr. Jessica Homyack

Dr. Jessica Homyack

Board Secretary

Jessica is the Director of Environmental Research and Operational support Weyerhaeuser Company and was recently named volunteer of the year by Weyerhaeuser.. Jessica and her husband Tom Gorman took the leadership role as co-chairs creating and implementing a strategic plan to replace the dearly loved wooden playground structure at Penny Playground. Jessica formulated a plan of action that included recruiting a steering committee, assisting with playground design and providing public outreach presentations to gain community support and funding. The result is a 1.3 million dollar state of the art, inclusive and accessible playground. Jessica, Tom and their two children reside in Chehalis.

Tim Sayler

Tim Sayler

Past President President, Service Saw/Workwears, Inc.

Tim Sayler is the President of Service Saw/Workwears Inc. in Chehalis. He has owned and operated Service Saw since 1992, selling and servicing Stihl power equipment, light logging supplies and outdoor work wear. Prior to starting Service Saw, Tim’s professional experience included time with Cascade Loggers Supply, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Tires Inc., and other retail–oriented companies in management, sales and service.

In 2009 Tim was asked to become part of the board for the Chehalis Foundation and in June of 2012 became its President. He also serves on the Board’s Development Committee. In addition to his involvement with The Chehalis Foundation, Tim supports Chehalis by serving in the Chehalis Activators Club and on the Board of the Chehalis Industrial Commission.

Tim is a graduate of W.F. West High School in Chehalis and received his degree in Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. Born and raised in Chehalis, he has a son and daughter and lives with his wife about a block from where he grew up.

Joanne Schwartz

Joanne Schwartz

Founder, Chehalis Foundation

Joanne Schwartz has lived in Chehalis since 1963. She has a long history of community service including 25 years in local government. In 1984 she was the first woman elected to the Lewis County Board of County Commissioners serving two terms. In 1992 her career took her to the City of Chehalis where she spent 17 years serving primarily as the Director of Community Services and Economic Development. She co-founded the Chehalis Foundation in 2003 and has been on its board of directors since 2009. She was a 10-year member of the Centralia College Board of Trustees (appointed in 2008 by Governor Chris Gregoire and reappointed in 2013 by Governor Jay Inslee). She served on the Providence Centralia Hospital Community Ministry Board for 20 years. She was a founding member of the Lewis County Economic Development Council (now the Economic Alliance of Lewis County). Joanne was the 2014 recipient of the Lewis County Economic Development’s Gail and Carolyn Shaw Industrial Award for Leadership and contributions to Lewis County. In 2014, she also received the Providence Centralia Hospital Community Member of Merit Award. In 2018 she received the Trustee of the Year Leadership Award from the Washington State Association of College Trustees. In 2019 she was named a Paul Harris Fellow by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. In 2022 she was the recipient of an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Centralia College. Joanne is a member of the SERTOMA service club (Service to Mankind). She is on the Board of Directors of the Chehalis/Centralia Railroad and Museum and on the Board of Directors of the Industrial Commission.

She has three children and four grandchildren.

Bill Hillier

Bill Hillier

Hillier, Scheibmeir, Vey & Kelly Attorneys City Attorney, Chehalis, WA

Bill Hillier was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1978 and joined the firm of Hillier, Scheibmeir, Vey & Kelly in 1979. In addition to his position at HSVK, Bill serves as the City Attorney for the City of Chehalis. He has also served as City Attorney for the Cities of Napavine and Tenino, as well as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Winlock. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Washington State University, and attended Gonzaga University School of Law.

In addition to serving on Board of The Chehalis Foundation, Bill is a Board member of Lewis County Work Opportunities and Twin Cities Chamber of Commerce. His past civic activities have included serving as both President and Board member of the Providence Hospital Foundation, Chehalis Activators and Chehalis Kiwanis.

J. Vander Stoep

J. Vander Stoep

Partner, Vander Stoep, Blinks, Jones, and Unzelman

J. is a Chehalis practicing attorney and partner in the firm of Vander Stoep, Remund, Blinks & Jones. He proudly continues a 130 year tradition of serving the legal needs of the people and businesses of Lewis County. In addition to property law, his practice includes crisis communications and public issue problem solving. His early career included time as a Washington state representative and Chief of Staff to a U.S. Senator.

One of the original Chehalis Foundation members, J.’s Foundation work focuses on the board’s Educational Excellence efforts.

J. and his wife, Ann, have three daughter.

Kirby White

Kirby White

Design Supervisor, Braun NW

Kirby was born in Chehalis and grew up within walking distance of Penny Playground and the Chehalis Outdoor Pool. He attended W.F. West and Centralia College, then received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy where he majored in Systems Engineering Management. Commissioned as an Intelligence Officer, his active duty career was served at Fort Hood, TX and culminated in a deployment to Afghanistan.

Kirby married his Georgia native wife, Leanna, in 2016 and convinced her to move back to Chehalis in 2017. They have two children and look forward to raising them in Chehalis.

Kirby joined the Chehalis Foundation board because he recognizes the direct contributions the foundation has to programs that positively impacted him when he was growing up, and he wants to ensure these programs remain in place for the children of the future. His biggest passion is athletics, and he has volunteered with the W.F. West football and wrestling programs since returning to the area.

Tyler McCallum

Tyler McCallum

Board Member, President and Co-Owner at McCallum Rock Drilling and McCallum Powder

Tyler has been a dedicated committee lead and member to both the Leonard CTE Endowment Committee and the WF Turf Project at the Chehalis Foundation for the past 1 ½ years. Allen Unzelman (Foundation Treasurer and Nominating Committee co-lead) states; “Tyler has tremendous passion for the Chehalis community and the goals of the Chehalis Foundation. As demonstrated by his involvement in a number of foundation projects, he possesses the tactical and operations intellect necessary to turn passionate ideas into successful community projects. We look forward to having him on our team.”

“The Chehalis Foundation has a proven history of completing great projects as demonstrated in their work at Penny Playground, the Shaw Aquatic Center and other notable projects likes the Student Achievement Initiative. I look forward to collaborating with the board for a stronger community,” said Tyler.

The Chehalis Foundation supports projects that benefit the city, the community, and academic excellence in Chehalis schools. Our purpose is to better the quality of life for our community while lessening the financial burdens to taxpayers and government and provide more opportunities for our children.

Kent Hojem

Kent Hojem

Board Member, CEO of Washington State Fair

Kent Hojem joined the Washington State Fair in March 1996, and has been Chief Executive Officer since January 2005. He oversees all operations of the Fair and Fair properties. Those operations include one of the top attended fairs in the world, the Washington State Fair, which is held in September, as well as the Washington State Spring Fair each April. Kent is also involved with Oktoberfest, a joint venture project, as well as all interim rental activities that occur at the Washington State Fair Events Center throughout the year. He also serves as secretary of the Washington State Fair Foundation.

Prior to taking on the role, Kent was Assistant Fair Manager, overseeing all operations. His background in fair management is extensive, having been manager of the Thurston County Fair for ten years, and another ten years prior to that as assistant manager of the Southwest Washington Fair.

Kent is a past chairman and a current board president of the Washington State 4-H Foundation and has served on the board since 2004. He has been involved in numerous youth and livestock committees and foundations over the years, including serving as a former chairman of the North Thurston Vocational Agriculture Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Pacific NW Livestock Judging School steering committee. He has served as chairman of Communities In Schools of Puyallup and served on the board from 2005 to 2020, and was a past board member of Communities In Schools of Washington.

He has served on the board of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) since 2009, and served as its chairman in 2016. In 2019, Kent was inducted into the IAFE Hall of Fame. Kent is a past chairman and director of the Western Fairs Association, and served as president of Washington State Fairs Association in 1995 and was recognized as the Washington State Fairs Association Lifetime Achievement award recipient in 2021.

He has also held other board positions, such as the Tacoma Convention Bureau, Fred Oldfield Western Art History Museum, past president of the Puyallup Main Street Association and the past president of the Puyallup-Sumner Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Lodging Tax Advisory committee of Puyallup. Kent is a Senior Fellow and alumni of the American Leadership Forum, and was a participant in the 2005–2006 class.

Kent was born and raised near Chehalis, Washington where he showed dairy cattle in 4-H. He was a mathematical sciences major at Stanford University. Kent and his wife Carolyn live in Puyallup, and are surrounded by family, including Criss (wife, Andie) and Trent (wife, Toni), and four grandchildren: Tucker, Sydney, Monica, and Mackenzie.

Samantha Magnuson

Samantha Magnuson

Board Member, Co-Owner of Lewis County Coffee & Nomad Truck and SUV Outfitters

Born and raised on an organic dairy farm outside of Chehalis, Samantha is a WF West Graduate and longtime supporter of Lewis County. After a corporate career with LINE-X Protective Coatings, Samantha left to dedicate fulltime to her family’s businesses, Lewis County Coffee Company and Nomad Truck and SUV Outfitters. Samantha enjoys time with family and friends and all the beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer, you can find her and her husband Spike hiking, fishing, or adventuring somewhere outdoors!

Powersports Northwest

Powersports Northwest

Board Member, President of Powersports Northwest

Jonathan Hubbert is President of Powersports Northwest located in Centralia. He is native to Lewis County and is a 2007 graduate from W.F West High School. Jon is married to Maggi Hubbert who is a 5th grade teacher in Chehalis, and they have a daughter named Hudson. He serves on the Centralia College Foundation Board, The Boys and Girls Club of Lewis County and the Lewis County Economic Alliance Board.

Contact the Director or a Member of the Board

(Sorted Alphabetically)