Board of Directors
The Alliance for Gun Responsibility includes three organizations - a 501(C)3, a 501(C)4, and a political action committee - that are referred to collectively as "the Alliance". They are each governed by separate Boards of Directors. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation, our 501(C)3 organization, is responsible for identifying areas of focus for programs and policy to support our mission.
The members of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation’s Board of Directors include:
Linda Parrish, President
Linda Parrish is an attorney who has practiced in the Seattle area and in Tokyo since receiving her JD degree from the University of Washington. She has worked primarily with high-tech start ups, labor unions, small businesses, and families. Linda worked as an International Law Specialist for Hirakawa, Sato & Kobayashi in Tokyo and also served as the General Counsel of Washington State Nurses Association in Seattle. Linda has volunteered with several non-profit boards and organizations that focus on serving children. She currently lives in Bellevue. Linda is a certified mixologist and avid cook who loves to experiment with new cuisines on her family and friends.
Meredith Goldstein, Vice President
Meredith Goldstein is a marketing professional with a diverse career. She worked in Marketing Communications for several scrappy Internet startups in Seattle and in Product Management and Human Resources for the oldest bank in the nation in New York City. She received her MBA from New York University and her undergraduate degree from Cornell. Currently a stay at home parent, Meredith is an active PTA leader having served as President, Advocacy Chair and board member over the past decade. It was in this capacity that Meredith’s passion for gun violence prevention led her to secure the endorsement of I-594 from the WA State PTA. Meredith spends much of her free time on the bleachers watching her two sons play high school baseball and, an avid reader, has been in the same book club for 20 years.
Cheryl Berenson, Secretary
Cheryl Berenson is a long time member of the nursing and public health communities. She is a member of the King County Medical Reserve Corps, a group focused on disaster response and community health work. Cheryl also serves as the Washington state policy advocate (SPA) for National Council of Jewish Women. One key issue for their group is gun violence prevention. Additionally, Cheryl is the Clinical Research Manager for a medtech startup out of the University of Washington: KitoTech Medical. As a long-time advocate of gun violence prevention and suicide prevention, Cheryl looks forward to continuing this at the Center. Cheryl is also an avid collector of artisan jewelry- in particular necklaces with a socio-political bent.
Rev. Dr. Sandy Brown, Treasurer
Sanford “Sandy” Brown is a United Methodist pastor, author and community activist. As the son of a Mexican-American mother who lived in White Center, he developed a deep appreciation for racial and ethnic diversity. Sandy graduated from the University of Washington and Garrett Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary. He was a founding member of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County, a spokesperson in the successful R74 marriage equality campaign and helped create Initiative 594 to establish universal background checks in Washington. Sandy was also president of the Lake Washington School Board, was named in 2006 as Distinguished Alumnus by Garrett Theological Seminary and was awarded the Washington Ceasefire 2013 Citizen of the Year. He authored the 2015 book The Way of St. Francis: From Florence to Assisi and Rome and is writing a new book on the Camino de Santiago of Northern Spain. Sandy currently serves as Lead Pastor of the Edmonds United Methodist Church.
Stacy Andersen is an attorney with experience in nonprofit management who worked in child abuse litigation here in Washington state. Stacy was Assistant Legal Counsel focusing on non-discrimination work for the public schools in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (in Micronesia). She has also worked with gun violence on and off since about 2007 as an advocate and activist. During the 594 campaign, Stacy worked with the Faith Action Network on 594 and other issues, serving a key role as a faith outreach person creating community support for background checks. Stacy continues to stay active at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in their social justice and advocacy work.
Matt is an entrepreneur who stared his own business and sold it to BEA Systems. Previously, Matt worked for Microsoft from 1989-1999, focusing on the Microsoft Access and SQL Server. Matt originally began working for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2002, but spun off in 2005 with LabKey Software, an group that builds open source software for medical researchers. Matt is married to Donna Bellew and they have three kids, ages 12, 15 and 18. Matt got hip to the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility at its formation and is excited to be a part of the Center board.
Ben is a deputy prosecuting attorney with the King County Prosecutor’s Office. He was born and raised on a horse farm in Puyallup. He lost his step-father to gun violence. He trained and worked as a professional actor for a number of years before deciding to attend UW Law School in 2005. Since 2008, he has served in numerous units of the prosecutor’s office including the Domestic Violence Unit, the Homicide and Violent Crime Unit, and most recently, the Juvenile Division. The people who motivate and inspire him in his work are the people who pursue criminal justice reform and develop new, more effective approaches to combatting crime. He is an active member of multiple organizations, including his office’s Criminal Justice Reform Committee and the WSBA Council for Public Defense. When not working, Ben enjoys gardening.
Adrian Z. Diaz is a 20+ year veteran of the Seattle Police Department who holds the rank of Sergeant. Sergeant Diaz oversees the Community Outreach Section to include; Youth Violence Prevention, Community Outreach, Race and Social Justice Initiative, Crime Prevention Coordinators and False Alarms.
Innovative problem-solving and community building are key areas SGT Diaz works hard to bring to his work. He currently oversees the Seattle Police Department’s Micro Community Policing Plans and coordinates the police department’s involvement in several youth initiatives including: Opportunities Youth, Youth Job Opportunities Initiative and The Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.
SGT Diaz has contributed to several national publications on Community Policing and Juvenile Justice. He was an instructor for IACP’s Juvenile Justice Institute in 2014-2015. Diaz holds a B.A. in Law and Justice from Central Washington University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington. He is a commissioner for the Washington State Supreme Court’s Minority and Justice Commission.
He is married to Kelly Diaz and has three amazing kids, Alexander, Gabriella, and Zachary. In his spare time, he has coached high school wrestling for 15 years.
Rory is a local media professional and gun responsibility advocate. Rory’s mother survived a domestic violence shooting in 2012. Since that day, Rory has been an outspoken advocate for policies that address the public health threats of both gun violence and domestic violence. Raised in a conservative town in Idaho, she believes that a culture change around gun ownership that emphasizes responsibility is key to helping curb our gun violence epidemic —something that can only happen with the support and collaboration of gun-owning allies. Rory works as the senior web editor for Seattle’s local PBS affiliated station and also as a freelance writer for various media publications. She is the mother of three children and a local Girl Scout troop leader. She can often be found hiding from her kids in the closet while eating chocolate chips (which she aspires to bake something with, but never does). Her perfect day would include a truck food, a sandy beach, and roasting marshmallows around a campfire with family and friends.
Dottie is an executive with over thirty years of experience in high tech marketing. The quintessential startup junkie, Dottie has been involved with a series of incredible and innovative groups including Symantec, Tesla Motors and Microsoft in its early days. Dottie holds an MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Dottie is married to attorney JJ Leary and both are based in the Seattle area. These days she is an aspiring tennis player and is an enthusiastic world traveler always looking for her next destination. She and JJ have authored a cookbook, “Cooking with Your Snooks,” to share the joy and rewards of cooking with your loved one.
Debbie McDonald has worked as a probation officer, clinical psychologist, elementary school teacher, and most recently as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. In retirement she is an active Board Member of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence and a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Town Hall, and Sound Generations. Debbie has four children and five grandchildren that she adores seeing. She loves books, biking, gardening and exploring. Debbie has seen ALL the Seattle Parks (400+!) and is on a mission to see all the National Parks.
Ray is the President and Founder of Vets Place Northwest-Welcome Home. He is the founding member and Past Chairman of the National Coordinating Committee, National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS). Ray is a nationally certified veteran service officer and veteran advocate authorized by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to represent veterans for the purpose of filing claims for benefits and discharge upgrade services. Ray has helped thousands of veterans and their families go from homelessness to either owning their own homes or securing long-term stable housing. As a National Veteran Service Officer, he has helped veterans and their families receive more than two billion dollars in benefits and services from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. This number grows each month as more than 1000 veterans receive approximately $3,500,000.00 monthly from the VA because of the help and support Ray has provided.
Ray is a US Air Force and Vietnam era veteran. He holds a BA in Social and Political Science from The Evergreen State College, a MA in Clinical Psychology from City University of Seattle and has attended the Doctoral Psychology program at Argosy University, Seattle, WA. He has also completed his Certification as a Chemical Dependency Counselor from Seattle College, Seattle, WA.
Zach Silk is the President Civic Ventures, a Seattle-based public policy incubator. He oversees strategy, outreach, and policy development. He is an experienced civic leader and entrepreneur. Zach’s most notable recent successes include managing the successful campaign to pass and defend Washington State’s marriage equality law in 2012 (Approve Referendum 74), co-founding the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and managing Initiative 594, the successful ballot measure that requires background checks on all gun sales. Zach’s middle name is Eagle because his father was a hippie and a patriot.