In accordance with the Washington Immigrant Network’s mission, purpose, and goals, the WIN Mentoring Program was established as a way to retain and support immigrant state employees in an inclusive environment that helps them thrive and advance their careers, as well as recruit new employees from the immigrant community at large. The program does this by establishing and facilitating direct, trusting relationships between volunteer mentors and their assigned mentees. The program's overall goal is to facilitate a more culturally and ethnically diverse state workforce which, in turn, will allow us to serve our customers better.
All mentors are current or former state employees that have experience navigating the various routes to state employment and career advancement. The mentors are ready to share their experience with their mentees, whether those mentees are current or prospective state employees. This web page provides a listing of volunteer mentors who are available to help you on your career journey.
If you are interested in becoming a mentee, please scroll down and read through the mentors' bios to see if there are any that you would feel comfortable connecting with. Feel free to contact any that you are interested in learning more about. Their contact information is listed under their bios. Once you find someone that you would like to establish a formal mentoring relationship with, please fill out the Mentee Interest Form. Alternately, you may fill out and submit the web form at the bottom of this page.
I work for the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services as the Assistant Director – Workforce Support and Development Services. I began my state career in 2007 at WSDOT, moved over to Commerce in 2013 and DES in 2015.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Human Resources, Program Administration
Ethnic Background: First Generation American to Filipino and Swedish parents
Language(s) Spoken: English and Spanish
Carolina serves as an administrative appeals judge for the Washington State Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office, an independent state agency comprised of three boards that hear and decide environmental law cases throughout the state. After graduating from UW School of Law, Carolina worked for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, and Washington State Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. She spent over a decade as a staff attorney for the Supreme Court, screening cases filed in the court and recommending whether the court should grant review.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Law and policy (appellate law, environmental law, administrative law, public records), mediation, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, writing, non-profit board service.
Ethnic Background: Carolina is a first generation immigrant – born in Taiwan, and grew up in Paraguay and rural, eastern Washington (St. John, WA).
Language(s) Spoken: English, conversational Spanish and Chinese
I work for the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTB) as a Program Specialist. I joined WTB in 2017 after worked in Seattle for a local workforce intermediary agency. Prior to my time in Seattle, I spent 13 years overseas, worked for international development agencies.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Project/program/policy development and management, workforce strategy and implementation, community-based organization (CBO) partnership, career planning and coaching.
Ethnic Background: First generation Vietnamese-American; former refugee
Language(s) Spoken: English, Vietnamese, and Mongolian (exposed to Khmer, Cantonese, Pashto, and French)
Claris serves as the Human Resources (HR) Director for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. She has worked for several agencies starting her state career with the Department of Labor and Industries as a medical treatment adjudicator; Lead Investigator for the Human Rights Commission; Performance and Organizational Auditor for the Department of Social Health Services; Deputy HR Director for the Department of General Administration and an Assistant Superintendent of HR at the Superintendent of Public Instruction. She also served as a Board of Director for Pope John Paul II High School.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Human Resources, Investigation, Mediation and Program Management.
Ethnic Background: Claris is an immigrant-born in Nigeria, West Africa.
Language(s) Spoken: English, Ibo
Allison is management analyst at the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT’s) Office of Equal Opportunity. For education background, Allison has a joint JD / MBA and a bachelor’s in psychology. Allison is a WSDOT’s representative on the Interagency Committee of State Employed Women (ICSEW) and serves on the advisory committee for the Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network state employee business resource group. Allison has been in state government for about three years. Allison is passionate about helping current and prospective state employees find their way in state government.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Legal research, data analysis, civil rights, and public policy.
Language(s) Spoken: English
I work for the Office of the Governor as the Special Assistant for immigration-related matters. I joined the state in 2012 as an administrative law judge with the Board of Tax Appeals.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Tax law, immigration policy
Language(s) Spoken: English
Linda Villegas Bremer
I have over 30 years of experience as an executive – with private businesses, and state and local government. In 2005-2010, I was on Governor Gregoire's Cabinet as Director of General Administration (now Department of Enterprise Services). From 2010-2012, I was the Director of Human Rights and Human Services for the city of Tacoma. I have volunteered with non-profits as a board member. Currently, I work as a consultant and an online teacher. One of my primary interests is supporting others in professional growth and development.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, Communications, Information Systems, System Design, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Financial Management, Organizational Effectiveness, Human Resources, Career Planning and Coaching.
Language(s) Spoken: Spanish and English
Ms. Shyu is an Engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. She is very active in the Olympia area Chinese community and is the current Principal of the Olympia Area Chinese School.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Engineering and teaching.
Ethnic Background: Immigrant born in Taiwan
Language(s) Spoken: Chinese and English
Kim works for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board managing the alcohol seller and server training programs as well as a small business liaison. Also, as a Korean bilingual, she serves as a liaison between the Korean American Grocers Association and has strong ties with many small business entities.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: alcohol seller/server training program management; building stakeholder partnerships with immigrant or small business organizations; adult education program with bilingual needs.
Ethnic Background: Kim is an immigrant-born and raised in South Korea
Language(s) Spoken: English, Korean
Mustafa works as a Research Manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). He has lived and worked in six countries and travelled 27 on four continents before settling in Washington in 2000. He has served on the board the Project Management Institute (PMI), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Interfaith Works, and is currently on the board of the Islamic Center of Olympia responsible for outreach and promoting inter-cultural/interfaith understanding. He has been able to realize his passion to find common ground in values of people polarized through years of distrust and ignorance and has been able to achieve real and tangible results. Mustafa was also recently appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Judicial Conduct (CJC).
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Licensed professional civil engineer and certified project manager professional.
Ethnic Background: First generation American, a native of Kenya with Indian ancestry
Language(s) Spoken: Polyglot--fluent in English, Gujarati, Swahili, and Hindi/Urdu, and can get by in Arabic and a couple more.
Joanne Lee is a Leadership Development Learning Design and Delivery Professional for the State of Washington Department of Enterprise Services. She has over 20 years of experience working in various workforce development roles. She also has experience in developing, supporting, maintaining, and expanding professional technical education partnerships to meet industry needs with customized training programs. She joined DES in 2017.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Learning/Training Facilitation and Development, Business Development, Leadership Development, College Professor
Ethnic Background: Immigrant born in the Philippines
Language(s) Spoken: English and Tagalog
I work for the Washington State Department of Transportation as a Transportation Engineer 4. I joined WSDOT in 2006 after gaining several years of Engineering experience with smaller governmental agencies.
Area(s) of Professional Expertise: Project Management and Transportation Engineering
Ethnic Background: Child of first generation Japanese immigrant
Language(s) Spoken: English