Katie Zinler has been the Lead Organizer since 2019 and joined the staff of the Spokane Alliance as a Community Organizer in April 2018.

She previously worked for Action in Montgomery (AIM) in Montgomery County, Maryland, an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, where she organized with congregations, schools, tenants, and affordable housing organizations. Katie organized with parents and teachers to create a new free high-quality after-school program in high poverty elementary schools, a program that has grown to serve 600 students in five schools with a budget of over $1.5 million.

Katie also organized with tenants to hold their property management company accountable for cleaning up a systemic issue with toxic black mold in their apartment units and installing all-new windows.


Katie headshot

Melissa McElfresh has been the Administrative Organizer for Spokane Alliance since the Spring of 2021. She has over 20-years of experience in customer service, including running her online store and website for gastroparesis advocacy. Melissa stood hand-in-hand with a coalition to speak with house and senate representatives in Washington DC over a much-needed bill to help those with gastroparesis medical needs.

Health struggles forced her family to sell their country home in Spokane. They then spent 2-years on the eastern and western sides of Montana, following her husband as a store manager before the retail corporation closed.

Moving back to Spokane after living in different cultures, her eyes were wide-open to community needs. Melissa’s desire to help others is what drew her to Spokane Alliance.


Melissa headshot