Staff

PaulRev. Paul Benz, Co-Director, is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He served as director of the Lutheran Public Policy Office of Washington previous to his role at Faith Action Network. Paul has been a long time social justice leader in Washington state’s religious community on numerous issues, and he continues to advocate for FAN’s legislative agenda in Olympia. He is the lead organizer for FAN’s growing Network of Advocating Faith Communities, which have pledged to partner with FAN to be advocates in the halls of power.
Elise DeGooyer, Co-Director, brings to FAN three decades of experience in mission-driven work in human services and advocacy. She is a lifelong resident of Washington State, born and raised in Yakima, completing undergraduate education in Spokane at Gonzaga University, and making Seattle home since the 1980s. Her graduate studies at Maryknoll School of Theology and Seattle University focused on liberation theologies and pastoral leadership. At Northwest Harvest she helped shape advocacy initiatives on hunger and poverty issues in collaboration with constituencies statewide. She is the lead for Administration and Finance, while sharing oversight of the organization’s mission with Paul.
VelmaVelma Veloria, Organizer and Policy Advocate, a former labor organizer, is contracted to work with FAN. She is the first Filipina American Washington State Representative, representing the 11th District from 1993 to 2004. She holds a B.A. in Medical Technology. While in the state legislature, Veloria sponsored HB 1175, which made the State of Washington the first state in the nation to criminalize human trafficking. Since the enactment of HB 1175, 48 states in the nation have passed similar legislation.
Erin-TempErin Parks, Administrative & Development Coordinator, earned a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in English and Religion, and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She spent the last year working for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as the assistant for the Justice for Women program, through participation in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She has been involved in advocating for the reauthorization of the International Violence Against Women Act, and for faith-based conversations about gender-based violence and gender justice. 
Chasity JonesChasity Jones, Organizer, joins FAN from Mandeville, Louisiana as a Global Missions Fellow with the United Methodist Church and General Board Of Global Ministries. She graduated with a bachelors in psychology and a minor in history in 2014 and is mid-way through a Master in Public Health degree program. Since graduating, she has worked in the mental health/social work field, allowing her to witness the injustices of local and federal systems. She looks forward to advocating for social justice, encouraging the United Methodist Church to rally around the issues in the community, participating in the deconstruction of systems that imprison, as well as partner with the communities of Washington State. To learn more about Chasity’s program, click here.
 Joshua SullivanJoshua Sullivan, Organizer, is a candidate for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Building on spiritual experiences as a painter, musician and conceptual artist living and working in New York, he began discerning a call to ordained ministry and mission development in 2013. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 and a Masters of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 2016. During his time at Yale, he learned how closely related are the worlds of social justice, the arts, church mission, and community organizing. He looks forward to building and advocating for communities that foster faithful, creative, and just citizens. To find more about the Horizon internship process for the ELCA, click here.
david-choiDavid Choi, Organizer, is a part of the Justice Leadership Program through the United Church of Christ. He’ll also be partnering with Rev. Greg Turk and the community at All Pilgrims Christian Church to steward God’s mission in Capitol Hill, Seattle.  A longtime native of Virginia, David is American-born with Korean roots. He recently graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied Government and concentrated in American Politics and Political Theory. He arrives from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. on a continuous life-journey of discerning his vocation and a quest to discover what this “West Coast, Best Coast” deal is about. To learn more about David’s program, click here.
chris-hansonChris Hanson, Eastern Washington Organizer, is a former member of Northshore UCC in Woodinville and a former Pacific Northwest Conference moderator for the United Church of Christ. She now owns and operates a back-country resort in the Cascades for skiing and hiking. Chris says, “Four granddaughters fill me with joy, as does the support of my family. I love life’s journey as I hold my faith lightly, allowing it to grow and change and guide me.” Chris organizes on behalf of FAN through participation in the Justice Leadership Jubilee program of the United Church of Christ. To learn more about this program, click here.