Mike Heinisch has been Executive Director of Kent Youth and Family Services since 1999. He is a state Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Children’s Mental Health Specialist. During his previous tenure at Highline West Seattle (now Navos) Mental Health Center as Director of the Children and Family Division, Mike developed the Highline Consortium, a collaboration of 18 agencies subcontracting with HWS for the provision of publicly funded (Medicaid) mental health service to children in King County. Mike also held several positions at Catholic Community Services, Program Manager of Family Counseling, Director of Children’s Hospital Alternative Program, and Foster Care Co-Director.
With a Masters Degree in Counseling from Seattle University, Mike is a native of Wisconsin having relocated to Western Washington in 1979. He is currently the Co Chair of United Way of King County’s Public Policy Impact Council and Co Chair of the King County Alliance For Human Services King County Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) Oversight Committee Co Chair. Mike also serves on the board of the South King Council of Human Services (three times past President), Communities In Schools, Kent, Building Better Futures (BBF) president, founder of Executive Alliance (now Alliance of Non Profits), and has served on the ANP board since 2000 and served two terms as Board President.In October 2011, he joined the Governing Council of the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority. Mike and his spouse, Gail, live in Burien and have one daughter, Katie.
Dee Ashmore has been the Administrative Manager of Kent Youth and Family Services since December of 1995. She was previously with United Way of King County for ten years working at the Good Neighbor Center in Renton.
She and her husband Steve make their home in Fairwood and have 5 children and 4 grandchildren.
Dennis Ballinger has been a member of Kent Youth and Family Services since 1999. He began his career at Kent Youth and Family Services as a Chemical Dependency Counselor. He then accepted the position as Functional Family Therapist, providing in-home family counseling to high risk youth and their families. In 2006, he became the Counseling Program Manager and management of the Substance Abuse Program was added in January of 2011. Dennis has a Masters Degree in Psychology from Antioch University and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Children’s Mental Health Specialist, Mental Health Professional and Chemical Dependency Professional.
Nathan Box has been a member of Kent Youth and Family Services since February 2011, serving as the Fund Developer. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Broadcasting from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to working at KYFS, he served as the Assistant Director of the Volunteer and Service Learning Center and Coordinator of Commuter Student Services, both at UCO.
Theresa LaRonde has been with Kent Youth and Family Services since 1991. She was born in Yukon Territories, Canada and relocated with her family to Washington when she was only six months old. Attending K-12 grade in the Highline School District Theresa calls South King County her home.
In 1985 Theresa earned a Bachelors Degree from Eastern Washington University. She has been the Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program Center Director since 1999. In addition, she acted as the Outreach Program Manager coordinating the efforts of the public housing program for twelve years. In 2008, Theresa adopted two foster children, two and four years, who have been living with her since they were infants.
Cyoon McBride’s passion for working with youth and families started in 1996 when he began working as a volunteer with AmeriCorps. Cyoon then worked for the City of Renton Parks and Recreation and then came to work with Kent Youth and Family Services.
Cyoon graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Seattle. He then attended the University of Washington, and gained additional training at Highline Community College in the Information Technology program which sparked a love of computers. This education, training, and his love of children led him to Kent Youth and Family Services; first as the Technology Lab Supervisor for the Outreach program which grew through his leadership. Throughout his years with KYFS, Cyoon has expanded his role to include After School Program Manager which includes both Outreach and Lighthouse programs as well as continuing to fulfill his responsibilities as IT Manager.
Laurie Peterson started with Kent Youth and Family Services as a counselor in 1996 and has held her current position as Teen Parent Program Manager since 1997. She earned a Master of Science Degree in Community Counseling from Seattle Pacific University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate. Laurie has focused her professional career on serving youth and young adults through counseling, education, leadership development, and program management. She enjoys incorporating experiential education/adventure-based learning into her work.
Laurie is actively involved in her community and is an avid skier, hiker, and sailor.