The wisest among us don’t fear change. Instead, they manage to learn, adapt, pivot, reflect and enjoy whatever delights (and occasional challenges) are ahead. TOGETHER! – with their mission to advance the health and wellbeing of all young people and make sure they feel supported, healthy, safe and valued – has recently undergone a shift in leadership. They look forward to 2024 with their Board of Directors, staff of community members and educators, dedicated volunteers and plenty of supportive advocates cheering them on.

Kahlo C. Flores M. and Sierra Abrams headshot
TOGETHER! recently welcomed co-executive directors Kahlo C. Flores M (left) and Sierra Abrams (right) who are excited to work together in a new leadership role. Photo courtesy: TOGETHER!

Co-Executive Directors Seeing and Seizing the Opportunity for Growth TOGETHER!

Perhaps the most obvious changes can be seen at the top. There are two new co-executive directors taking the reins from Meghan Sullivan and Meagan Darrow, who together with recently retired Finance Director Jenifer Morgan had a combined 50 years with the organization.

TOGETHER!’s executive leadership structure has been one of co-leadership since 2013, Sullivan explains, and during this time they experienced more than 500% growth in budget and built up a whole new body of work.

Kahlo C. Flores M. and Sierra Abrams, once part of the TOGETHER! program director team, are now collaboratively leading as co-executives with a focus on TOGETHER!’s organizational values of equity/community and systems change, respectively. “Sierra and Kahlo’s vision, perspective, experience and grounding presence are incredible gifts to TOGETHER!,” says Meghan Sullivan. “We are so excited and grateful for their courage to step in and steward TOGETHER! into the next chapter of our collective evolution as an organization. We are overjoyed co-leadership remains core to who we are, and that this organization is in such strong, capable hands moving forward!”

With encouragement from peers, Abrams and Flores expressed interest in co-executive director positions over the summer, and officially started their new roles in November. “With the knowledge, awareness, experience, vision, ambition, and drive, we confidently believe in one another and our ability to navigate and co-lead this incredible organization into its next era together,” says Flores. Abrams and Flores plan to focus on stability in the year ahead. “We look to inspire our staff as they acclimate to new leadership,” Abrams shares. Sullivan isn’t going anywhere, however. She will remain Deputy Director with a focus on fund development and strategic support. “Embracing our new roles and learning from our predecessors is vital,” says Flores. “I hope this agency inspires and motivates others to continue the work to revolutionize how we connect as human beings and the love that transpires from working together in community,” Flores continues. “I’m thrilled to be a part of an organization full of such incredible and powerful people. I hope we can continue the impactful work that we’ve been doing for years,” said Abrams.

Melvin J. Fields Jr. headshot
Also new to the team are several members of the Board of Directors including Melvin J. Fields Jr. He brings government, education, military experience, and a caring heart for the community. Photo courtesy: TOGETHER!

New TOGETHER! Board Members Bring a Wealth of Experience and Knowledge

Joining Flores and Abrams in their new roles is incoming Board President Melvin J. Fields Jr. He’s just one of several new members of the Board of Directors ready to hit the ground running. With three decades of experience in local, state and government leadership, Fields has spent time in the military, schools and with nonprofit groups. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Leadership Studies from Saint Martin’s University.

Fields, who joined the TOGETHER! Board during summer 2023, says he is excited to experience the high level of in-house knowledge that’s already there. “It’ll help maintain efficiency and give more ownership and drive to conquer tasks and help keep the entire team informed,” he adds. “It just makes sense to have co-directors familiar with the system and with ground-level experience in this organization.”

TOGETHER! believes in a spirit of transparency, efficiency and cohesive partnerships. Fields says their entire Board is always open to questions and conversations about how they are serving the community and kids, especially because they have their hands in a lot of things for the betterment of this area. He hopes this transition allows them to build on a solid foundation and welcomes folks to join their team. “There’s opportunity for growth and space to achieve professionally,” he says, “especially as we grow both people and positions from within.”

Let’s Join TOGETHER! And Welcome New Faces to their Team

These new changes strengthen TOGETHER! moving forward. “We have an incredibly strong staff and board team with beautiful vision and new energy to carry into a new chapter,” says Sullivan. “It feels really good.”

You can read individual profile stories on their Facebook, Instagram, or Board of Directors pages and access contact information via the website. There you will also see upcoming events; details about Club House, Community Schools, and Host Homes programs; sign up for the mailing list; listen to the Thrive TOGETHER! podcast or learn about other volunteer opportunities.

And because no one can predict unpleasant challenges, they welcome donations supporting TOGETHER!’s ongoing work. You can contribute directly, through the Washington State Combined Fund Drive (CFD number 0316202), or through Fred Meyer Community Rewards. Consider earmarking gifts for the Swift Fund, named for TOGETHER! founder Earlyse Swift. This money helps meet emergent needs swiftly, things like bills, housing costs, food or basic necessities.

The last few years have taught us to expect the unexpected. At TOGETHER!, two heads are always better than one and sharing, growing, learning and supporting the community is easier when we all do our part by working together.


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