Board of Directors

Welcome!

The Small Faces Board of Directors is the governing body for Small Faces Child Development Center and Crown Hill Center. The Board of Directors sets the strategic direction of the school and the center, provides fiduciary oversight and financial management, and determines the overarching policies that support operations of the school and the center. The Board of Directors uphold the missions of Small Faces and Crown Hill Center and the guiding values that underlie these missions. 

Small Faces was founded in 1969 and has been an incorporated non-profit since 1975. Small Faces has been operating in Crown Hill Center since 1986. Small Faces purchased the Crown Hill Center in 2008. For more background, see Small Faces’s history page.  

Current Board Members

Rehana Lanewala

Rehana Lanewala

Board Co-Chair

Rehana joined the Small Faces Board in 2021. She is the Director of Development & Communications at a local nonprofit that works to address food, economic, and racial justice by offering food access, resource connection, and family support programs. She has 15 years of experience in nonprofit resource generation, marketing, and communications at a variety of early learning, youth development, and healthcare organizations. She is a co-founder of a BIPOC-led fundraising movement seeking to radically transform the way the nonprofit sector fundraises by taking an anti-racist and social justice approach. In her spare time, she can be found hanging out with her husband, son, and stepchild (who is in the Orca classroom), hiking, binge-watching bad tv, taking way too many photos of her cats, or reading. Rehana currently serves on the Governance and Fundraising Committees and became Board Co-Chair in 2023.

Joe Fitzgerald

Joe Fitzgerald

Board Co-Chair

Joe joined the Small Faces Board in 2022 and his children have previously attended preschool at Small Faces (Rainforest Room, Mountain Room, and Discovery Room). Joe grew up outside Philadelphia but has lived in Seattle for over twenty years, working in various business and technology leadership roles. Joe loves spending time with his family, getting outside and exploring the Pacific Northwest – biking, skiing, and swimming are some of his family’s favorite activities. Joe also plays ice hockey and has become a pretty avid and devoted fan of the Seattle Kraken. Joe became Board Co-Chair in 2023 and also serves as a member of the Governance and Finance Committees. Joe loves the mission of Small Faces and its focus on a play-based curriculum, and the fact that Small Faces has been such an important part of the Crown Hill community for so many years.

Ruth Lett

Ruth Lett

Board Secretary

A member of the Small Faces Board since 2022, Ruth’s son is enrolled in his fourth year at Small Faces in Orca Room. Ruth moved to Seattle in 2008 from the Midwest and has been enjoying the mountains, Puget Sound, and excellent hiking trails ever since. She spends her workdays helping state education agencies manage their special education data and previously worked extensively in early childhood education data analytics in Washington state. When Ruth is not working she likes playing board games with her family and friends, helping out as support staff at Comic Cons, and baking. Ruth was raised in an LGBTQIA+ family, cares deeply about creating welcoming, inclusive spaces for the families in our community, and is looking forward to supporting Small Faces anti-racism and anti-bias work. Ruth joined the Board because she wants to support the educators and staff of Small Faces in their efforts to continue providing the best early learning experiences possible. Ruth is the Secretary of the Board and also serves on the Fundraising Committee.

Kyle Ward

Kyle Ward

Board Treasurer

Kyle joined the Small Faces Board in 2023. He received his undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics from Western Washington University and his MBA from the University of Washington. Kyle has worked at a local seafood company for 10 years in various finance roles and currently supports their global supply chain efforts as well as other corporate financial planning and analysis efforts. Some of Kyle’s hobbies include fly fishing, cycling, and playing card games. He is an avid fan of UW Football as well as the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners. Kyle wanted to support Small Faces by leveraging his education and experience to uphold the Small Faces mission, as well as giving back to his community. His nieces and nephews attend Small Faces. Kyle currently serves on the Finance committee.

Amy Wheeless

Amy Wheeless

Past Board Chair

Amy has been a member of the Small Faces Board since 2019. Amy’s two children previously attended Small Faces before moving onto elementary school (Tree Frogs Room, Under the Sea Room, and Discovery Room). Amy has called Seattle home since 2005, and works in the energy and utility field. When not working, Amy loves exploring the Northwest with her family and friends, and is active in the Salmon Bay K-8 community. Amy joined the Board to help guide this important piece of the Northwest Seattle community and give more families the opportunity to be in a supportive childcare environment. Amy was Board Chair in 2022-2023 and currently serves on the Governance and Facilities Committees.

Brent Bowden

Brent Bowden

Director

Brent joined the Small Faces Board in 2023 and has two children that attend Small Faces, one in the Tree Frogs classroom and the other in Adventure room (previously Tree Frogs, Under the Sea, Discovery, and Voyager). Brent is from Whidbey Island and has lived in Seattle for over twenty years, with the exception of three years spent in Vermont while attending law school. Brent has been practicing law in the Seattle area since 2011 and enjoys spending time outside with his family, especially camping or being on the water. Brent joined the Small Faces Board because he believes in and wants to support the curriculum, values and mission of Small Faces. Brent serves on the Facilities and Governance Committees.

Monira Buntha

Monira Buntha

Director

Monira has been a member of the Small Faces board since 2022. A Seattle native, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University. Professionally, Monira has spent over fifteen years in various marketing roles across different industries and currently works at a local not-for-profit credit union. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, participating in outdoor activities such as snowboarding, cycling, and exploring the diverse restaurant scene in Seattle. Monira is deeply connected to the community and is committed to making a positive impact through his role on the Small Faces Board. Monira serves on the Facilities Committee.

Emilie Powell

Emilie Powell

Director

Emilie has been a member of the Small Faces Board since 2018, was the Board Chair from 2019 until 2022, and currently serves on the Finance Committee. Emilie’s twins have attended Small Faces since the fall of 2018, and have flourished at the center in five different classrooms (Under the Sea, Discovery, Voyager, Adventure, and now Orca Room). Emilie grew up in California and moved to Seattle over a decade ago. Since 2012, Emilie has worked in operations leadership at a nonprofit community healthcare organization. Outside of work, Emilie enjoys spending time with friends, her husband, and twins, swimming, reading, baking, and exploring playgrounds and parks across the greater Seattle area. Emilie joined the Board to increase her connection to the Small Faces community and to help support Small Faces’ mission and values.

Daniela Raspelli

Daniela Raspelli

Director

Daniela joined the Small Faces Board in 2024 and has been part of the Small Faces community since 2017. With two children enrolled at Small Faces, her son thrives in the Adventure room (previously Rainforest, Mountain, Discovery, and Kangeroo rooms) and her daughter flourishes in the Discovery room (previously Rainforest and Mountain rooms). Daniela was born and raised in Italy and relocated to the United States in 2010. Daniela has worked in various Accounting and Finance roles for over a decade and is currently Financial Reporting Manager at a ski company. Daniela enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, cooking and eating, skiing down slopes, and exploring different corners of the globe. Daniela joined the Board to give back to her community and uphold Small Faces’ mission and values. Daniela serves on the Finance committee.

Becca Simpson

Becca Simpson

Director

Becca joined the board in 2022 with a desire to support the Small Faces Community, which her family has been so grateful to be a part of. Becca’s son has previously been in Rainforest Room and Mountain Room, and is now in Discovery Room. Becca is also looking forward to having her daughter start at Small Faces this year! Becca joined the Small Faces Board to foster her passion for volunteer work and supporting others in your community. Becca is the Director of Operations at a local quick service restaurant focused on sustainable practices. Becca loves food, both cooking and eating, and in her spare time you can find her hanging out with her family, hopefully outdoors. Becca serves as a member of the Finance and Fundraising Committees.

Karen Wackerbarth

Karen Wackerbarth

Director

Karen joined the Small Faces Board in November 2023 and currently serves on the Facilities Committee. As a neighbor of Small Faces, she is passionate about supporting its mission and contributing to the strength of the Crown Hill community. Growing up in Venezuela and in a Hispanic family, Karen witnessed firsthand the transformative power of learning and education systems in her family. Inspired by her own experiences, Karen is committed to working with parents, educators, staff, and community members to foster an environment that is supportive of every student’s success. Karen has spent the past decade in management consulting and marketing primarily helping clients with supply chain topics. She enjoys yoga, biking, piano, and spending time on the water with her family and friends.

Johnny Otto

Johnny Otto

Executive Director

As Executive Director of Small Faces, Johnny serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. To learn more about Johnny, please see the “From the Director” profile or read more about the Small Faces administrative leadership team.