Vision House is blessed with a group of talented staff members providing leadership and direction to the agency.
Vision House Leadership Team
(In alphabetical order)
Community and Donor Relations, Mary Burton, has 25 years of experience working in various management positions in business, education and the non-profit sector. She has been with Vision House for six years. Mary earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Western Washington University and a certificate in Public Relations from the University of Washington. Mary says the most rewarding aspect of her job is creating partnerships "to do more together than any one of us can do alone."
Family Services Manager, Sarah ButlerWills, received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Washington, and then a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Seminary, Seattle and Pasadena locations. Sarah was a Christian Marriage and Family Therapist for over 20 years, a Pastor of Healing and Prayer for five years, and has recently been teaching as an adjunct professor at Bellevue College in Parent Education. Her passion is prayer, children, families and the healing of the Holy Spirit in community.
Director of Operations & Co-Founder, John Camerer, has over 20 years of experience managing a non-profit organization. He has provided much of the leadership and vision to successfully expand Vision House from conception to its present capacity. Prior to Vision House he worked for the Department of Corrections as a counselor and administrator for 15 years. He earned a B.A. in Crime in Society Sociology with a minor in Organizational Communications from Pacific Lutheran University.
Executive Director & Co-Founder, Susan Camerer, has served Vision House in many leadership positions since its inception in 1990. Susan now leads a staff of 50, oversees an operating budget of over $2 million, and directs all capital and expansion projects. Susan has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Washington and 12 years of experience operating a for-profit company. She has also served as the chair of the marketing committee for the National Partnership Advancing Transformational Housing, a national effort dedicated to serving more homeless families across the nation. In 2010, Susan was featured in the book Secrets of Self-Starters: 48 Amazing Stories to Ignite the Self-Starter in YOU! by Dr. Julie Miller.
Finance Manager, Jeff Darr, has 32 years of experience in accounting and finance. He has a BS in Business Administration majoring in Accounting from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. For nine years Jeff worked as a CPA in public accounting serving a diverse client base including several non-profit organizations. The following 20 years he worked in investment banking for a fixed income broker dealer. His responsibilities included technical support to institutional accounts, compliance, and office administration.
Human Resources/Office Manager, Melissa Gehrig has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of California, an M.A. from Gonzaga University in Organizational Leadership and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. She is also a Gallup certifed Strengths Coach. She has over 20 years experience in various forms of program management and training and development. Melissa has worked in the banking industry, in education, in an art museum and as a member of a church staff.
Thrift Store Manager, Renee Johannsen, has over 16 years of retail and customer service experience. She has managed multiple family businesses, including a trucking company, a property maintenance company and a tire distribution center. Before Vision House took ownership of the thrift store, Renee was the manager of Bellevue Christian School’s thrift stores: Aslan's in Issaquah and Aslan's Too in Bothell Washington for over 10 years.
Children's Village Child Care Director, Royale Lockhart has 20 years of experience working in education. She has worked with children, birth through age 12, in a variety of roles, including preschool and kindergarten teacher, extended learning coordinator for K - 6, and as an infant and toddler room teacher. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado Christian University. For the last nine years, she has worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit child care management. She is passionate about building a strong partnership between teachers and parents in order to help children reach their fullest God-given potential.
Senior Coordinator, Michelle Nelson* has worked for over 18 years in the fundraising field for various non-profit groups. Working at Vision House since 2001, Michelle has written over 375 grants contributing more than $3,000,000 for the agency's programs and capital campaigns. Michelle graduated from California Lutheran University and went on to receive an M.A. in Journalism from California State University, Northridge.
Development Advisor, James (Jim) R. Shapiro* is founder of The EDGE Group, a non-profit fundraising consulting company based in Edmonds, Washington. Jim held the Vice President of Development position of Crista Ministries managing the fundraising operation of the $70 million nonprofit organization. Shapiro is the youngest Vice President in the organization's 50 year history. In the spring of 2004, Shapiro resigned from CRISTA to build greater value in the non-profit sector by launching The EDGE Group. Shapiro graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a B.B.A. in business with an emphasis on human resource management and continues to serve his community by coaching various youth sports programs including a paid position as the Head Football Coach at a local high school.
Development Manager, Venetia Vango, has over 15 years’ experience in nonprofit work involving community outreach, event planning/execution and donor cultivation. She spent ten years in Russia with the Navigators, then five years at Hopelink project-managing donor events before coming on board with Vision House. Venetia has a BA from the University of Washington, is a native Seattleite, and still speaks Russian pretty well.