Advisory Board Members

We are grateful for this strong group of individuals who advise and inform us and offer diverse and expert opinions  which enrich and guide our work.

Judy Thursland, Founder of our organization and a woman with a heart of pure gold. Judy volunteers her time and knowledge to the coalition and also volunteers at the Good Cheer Distribution Center.

Gail LaVasser, is the Executive Director of the Family Resource Center, a partnership between the Readiness  to Learn Foundation and the South Whidbey School District. Together they create and sustain programs for children and families.

Kathy McCabe, is the past Executive Director of Good Cheer and has been involved in countless other organizations that serve the community of South Whidbey.  She is a former business owner and fierce advocate for families and children.

Susie Richards, MEd, is a Washington State Certified Teacher and  a fellow in the Washington State Consortium for Contextual Teaching and Learning and currently serves as an academic mentor with Western Governor’s University and instructs for Heritage Institute / Antioch University’s extension programs.  

Nigel Taber-Hamilton,  Nigel is the current Rector at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Freeland, and came to Whidbey Island in 2000 after serving 19 years in several parishes in southern Indiana. He hails from London, England, emigrating to this country in 1977. You’ll often find him surrounded by animals—including Toby the collie, and Henry VIII the dachshund (often referred to as The Henry). When he has time he reads, and writes.

Luis Sanchez is the Associate Pastor at the Island Church in Langley.He and his wife Melissa came from Philadelphia having served for seven years at True Vine Church Community.  Most recently and immediately before joining the Island Church Luis served at True Vine as a Campus Pastor.  Luis is from Long Island-Hempstead, NY and Melissa is from Essex Junction, Vermont.