Walla Walla YMCA Announces New Board and Staff Members

Walla Walla, WA – The Walla Walla YMCA has named three new members to its volunteer board of directors. The Y’s Board is pleased to welcome Susan Blackburn, Chris Figgins, and Dr. Samantha Kofler as its newest members, effective January 1, 2020. The addition of these three new volunteer directors brings the Y’s board leadership to 16 members.

Susan Blackburn is CEO of Providence St Mary Medical Center, previously known as  Providence Health and Services and the former Providence Service. Susan has served in roles with Providence for more than 30 years. In 2011, she was promoted to chief operating officer after serving for several years in the role of vice president HR/support services. Susan is a graduate of Washington State University.

Dr. Samantha Kofler is a Whitman College graduate who went on to earn her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry. She then entered a General Practice Residency program at the University of California San Francisco that focused on Hospital Dentistry, and emphasized caring for patients with complex medical and special needs. Previously, Samantha was assistant clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco and headed the University’s participation in Project Homeless Connect—a program providing access to the most vulnerable San Franciscans to vital resources, including dentistry. Prior to moving to Walla Walla she practiced general dentistry in Seattle.

Chris Figgins is the President and Winemaking Director for Figgins Family Wine Estates (FFWE).  Chris succeeds his parents, Gary and Nancy Figgins, who founded Leonetti Cellar in 1977 – the oldest winery in Walla Walla. After growing up in the wine business, he officially joined Leonetti in 1996 post-graduation from Washington State University with a Horticulture degree.  Chris assumed the position of head winemaker in 2001. In addition to running the day-to-day business and winemaking, Chris presides over all viticulture operations for FFWE, which includes six distinct vineyard sites in the Walla Walla Valley.  To extend the FFWE experience further into wine and food, Chris recently launched Toil Oregon, a small-production Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, FIGGINS, a single-vineyard estate wine brand, and Lostine Cattle Company, all natural grass-fed beef.  Chris was instrumental in transforming Leonetti into an estate grown winery and is known industry-wide for consistently pushing the envelope viticulturally.  A frequent public speaker, Chris loves to share his passion for sustainable farming and biological soil health.

In addition to its new board members, the Y is pleased to announce that Allison Carney has join the management team as Director of Community Engagement. Allison holds a Master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College. She brings considerable experience in non- profit marketing, communications and community engagement and planning to the Y.


Founded in Walla in 1886, the Walla Walla YMCA has a proud tradition of serving individuals and families and helping to strengthen community in the Walla Walla Valley. Its mission is to provide a community where all people, especially the young, are encouraged to develop to their fullest potential.


Karen Hedine, CEO
Walla Walla YMCA


© 2019 Walla Walla YMCA. The YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.
Built by