Meet The Team

Sherri Jensen

CEO

Sherri Jensen has worked in the field of workforce development for more than a decade and believes meaningful employment not only provides a wage, but also a sense of self-worth. 

 

Sherri began her staffing career in 2009, working as a staffing specialist, business developer and branch sales manager at a for-profit staffing company before leaving the public market to follow her passion into a helping position. In 2015 Sherri launched her non-profit career, beginning as a case manager and leading into program management of a SNAP E&T Pilot program, RISE (Resources to Initiate Successful Employment). 

 

Sherri's for-profit staffing experience gave her the opportunity to learn sales, management and business development, which were invaluable tools when she launched Valeo Vocation. Sherri’s infallible business acumen learned in the for-profit world has allowed her to build an organization primed to scale and led by the compassion learned in her direct service roles.

Norman Brickhouse

Director of Mission Services

Norman Brickhouse comes to Valeo Vocation from Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier region where he was the Manager of the Financial Education Department. He brings a vast amount of experience including Sales, Financial Coaching, Employment services, and Income Supports Services. He has a passion to help people achieve the employment and financial goals in life. Norman is a graduate form the University of Texas at Arlington where he majored in Finance and minored in Accounting. He has a strong background in lending with a concentration in home ownership. Norman currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Homeownership Center of Tacoma.

Norman believes in an equity-based approach to helping people reach their goals. “Everyone does not start off in life with the same opportunities. I use a strength-based coaching model where everyone concentrates on positive skills, thereby making them more successful.”

 

Norman’s experience in the Center for Strong Families has helped him to develop his integrated service delivery model. Clients are more successful when they get assistance in removing barriers to employment, including Housing, Transportation, and behavior barriers.

Andrea Austin

Support Specialist

Andrea Austin brings over 25 years of experience in Management, Payroll, Bookkeeping, Customer Service & Sales, to help her manage the back-office operations at Valeo Vocation. Andrea also brings volunteer experience that includes mentoring young adults, PTA Treasurer Board Position, preparing & serving meals to people experiencing homelessness & several other positions that have given her experience in leading people & organizations toward the mission of serving the people they are passionate about.

 

Andrea’s passion is to serve people in need. To provide hope to people who desire the opportunity to make changes that allow for a better life for themselves & for their families.

 

In addition to her back-office responsibilities, Andrea loves to invest time into establishing relationships with Valeo’s clients & seeks mentor-ship opportunities whenever she can.

Benjamin McLean

TEP Case Manager

Benjamin McLean is a native of Tacoma, WA. Raised in the Hilltop and Eastside, he participated in the youth programs at the Downtown Tacoma Boy’s Club and attended Lincoln High School. Benjamin has had his share of ups and downs as a child and as an adult. Through it all he has learned to look up, get up and never give up. “My past has allowed me to see life through a genuine lens in order to meet people where they are at while showing when focused we can rise above our circumstances and reach higher ground”

 

Benjamin comes to Valeo Vocation to be the TEP (Transitional Employment Pathway) case manager. He was the founding staff member of the Max and Margi Harned Titan Food Pantry at Tacoma Community College. Starting with an empty room he grew a place where students could come, not only for food and other resources, but also for a kind, empathetic and friendly face to support them on their educational journey. He has supported our community partner, Nourish Food Network, with their Mobile Food Unit on campus of TCC to expand what students and the surrounding community could access. He also contributed to many cross-campus efforts including EDIC during his time at TCC. He touched the lives of thousands of students as food pantry coordinator at Tacoma Community College.

 

While working as food pantry coordinator Ben became a graduate of TCC with a degree in Business and Logistics in 2020. He was a key member of the Workforce Education team. Ben is bringing all his compassion, kindness, and great advocacy skills to blend with the Valeo Vocation team which is working hard to support those working to overcome any and all circumstances.

Drew Ahearn

IT Specialist

Preferring to remain incognito and use his powers for good while working from the shadows, Drew Ahearn provides IT support for and manages the IT resources for the Valeo staff.

 

Drew has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology from Western Governors University and has obtained numerous IT certifications, including the A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications from CompTIA.  Drew has more than 20 years of experience working in various high technology fields including Network Systems Administration, Software Development, and Complex Systems Integration. 

Meet The Board

Mark Winter

Mark is a Principal at WinSource Group, a sales performance consulting company in Tacoma, WA. Mark helps companies that sell business to business services develop and bring to life sales strategies that drive revenue. He helps sales leadership teams create culture, structure, and systems that perform.

 

Mark is an expert at driving sales performance, keeping focus on customers, and keeping things simple. For 20 years, Mark has held every sales role out there- from Salesperson to Manager to Vice President of Sales and Enablement for a $2.5B publicly traded company. He has 20 years of staffing experience. During that time he has spent countless hours figuring out what works and of course, what doesn't. This enables Mark to sniff out things that are blocking performance, remove the barrier, and get people to act. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt and holds master certifications from some of the top sales training organizations in the world. Whether its strategic planning, sales process development, sales training, customer acquisition & engagement, sales team performance, or system and tool adoption- Mark can help get teams on track.

 

Mark is the Board Vice Chair for the Emergency Food Network in Tacoma and has worked with other community-based organizations to bring strategic planning and business best practices to the non-profit world, leading to better results, more efficient operations, and the ability to focus on the overall mission.    Mark joined the Valeo Vocations Board in February 2020.

Levongia Carrera

Levongia Carrera, CPA, is currently the Director of External Reporting and Technical Accounting at TrueBlue, Inc.  Her responsibilities primarily include leading the preparation of filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, writing technical accounting whitepapers, and recommending internal process improvements to increase reporting efficiencies throughout the organization.

 

Levongia started her public accounting career PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in San Francisco in the audit assurance practice. After becoming manager, she moved to Bogota, Colombia for two years where she managed the audits of U.S. based companies. Levongia also worked in the Capital Markets Group of PwC in Sao Paulo, Brazil for approximately three years before moving back to the U.S. In her current role, Levongia spearheaded the development of the first ever Staffing Industry Technical Accounting Group, which consists of seven public staffing companies and over 15 professionals.

 

Levongia holds a CPA license in Washington and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management with an emphasis in Accounting from Sonoma State University in California, and an MBA from Seattle University in Washington.  Levongia joined the Board of Valeo Vocation in 2020.