Our board

Michelle Pham – Board Chair

I am an attorney at Preg O’Donnell & Gillett PLLC, and I defend people and businesses in litigation involving contracts, insurance, malpractice, construction, and intellectual property law. I previously clerked for the Honorable Janice E. Ellis in Snohomish County Superior Court, volunteered as an attorney for the Seattle Art Museum, and graduated from Seattle University School of Law after studying psychology and art history at the University of Washington.

  • Why do you love VFA?
    • I love VFA because it’s comprised of fun, truly passionate people and because it serves people with immigrant and refugee experiences that parallel some of the struggles my family endured after the Vietnam War.
  • If you had a name for your superhero alter ego, what would it be?
    • If I were a superhero, the name of my alter ego would be one of the following: Phamster or Phamtom of the Courtroom, but I’m not telling you my real one.

Linda Rose Slater – Vice President

I have been working in education throughout my professional career, with children, young people and their families from diverse backgrounds. It has been a privilege to share in their world views and cool ways of doing things.

  • Why do you love VFA?
    • I love VFA because it is an organization that never loses sight of the people involved—the kids, their families, the community, and those who work there or are lucky enough to be a part of the Board!
  • If you had a name for your superhero alter ego, what would it be?
    • If I were a superhero, the name of my alter ego would be “Wonder Woman”—I wish!!

Martin O’Callaghan – Secretary

I am a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Education in administration. Additional college work includes University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University and Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan).  I retired from the Seattle Public School system after 34 year as teacher, consulting teacher, program manager and principal.

  • Why do you love VFA?
    • VFA is a vibrant organization with exceptionally qualified and effective employees . In my 9 years association with VFA , I have witnessed first hand, week after week, their effectiveness at supporting student academic achievement and support for families in need.
  • If you a name for your superhero alter ego, what would it be?
    • If I had a superhero alter ego, my name would be Martin O-Yeah-I-Can.

Robert Huynh – Treasurer

I am a financial analyst at Microsoft, and a part of the Finance Rotation Program, an early talent development track designed to attract and build leaders. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, completing my bachelor’s and master’s in accounting. Growing up in an immigrant household, VFA’s mission personally resonates with my life experiences.

  • Why do you love VFA?
    • I love VFA because it is a conduit for me to give back to the community, ultimately enabling VFA to empower and educate refugee and immigrant families like my own.
  • If you had a name for your superhero alter ego, what would it be?
    • Known to very few individuals, I go by the codename ‘Robo Robert’ due to my vast array of robotic weapons as I combat the forces of evil late into the night.

Carl Woestwin –Board Member

I am a retired planner/program manager with Seattle Public Utilities. While with SPU, among other things, I did educational outreach with the Vietnamese community. I retired 2 years ago and recently returned from a month’s trip to Vietnam. Part of that time was with Peace Trees Vietnam, visiting Quang Tri Province, where Peace Trees is doing de-mining work, planting trees, building schools and community centers, and in general working in the area of citizen diplomacy. Before working with the City I was a founder of Seattle Tilth Association.

  • Why do you love VFA?
    • I love VFA because it reaches young immigrants and refugees with practical help that assures them of a better academic and work future. In addition, I enjoy working with the bright and savvy young people who make VFA a lively and relevant organization.
  • If you had a name for your superhero alter ego, what would it be?
    • If I were a superhero, the name of my alter ego would be Catfish, and I’d have two giant, whip-like whiskers, a mouth large enough to swallow the world and a digestive system that made sense of all that Catfish swallowed.

Crystal Nguyen – Board Member

Crystal comes from the banking industry and supports customers in achieving their long-term financial goals. On the community side, she is also a mentor for The Service Board, a local non-profit that helps teens of color conquer personal and cultural challenges through public service and outdoor adventure!

  • Why do you love VFA?
    • I love VFA because VFA advocates for immigrants and mentors low income youths in education. I just think it’s absolutely amazing that VFA provides educational programs to help recently arrived youths/students cope with being in a new environment and break down the language and cultural barriers.
  • If you had a superhero name what would it be?
    • If I were a superhero, the name of my alter ego would be Fantastic Nguyenner-hopefully that means I can fly.