Board Members

John Henker

John Henker

Chair

Financial Advisor with Eagle Strategies LLC & New York Life Co. 

Joined Board of Directors in November 2015


John is a Financial Advisor with Eagle Strategies LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser and a New York Life co.  John
loves to see a Wish Kid’s dream come true. He is proud to be surrounded by a dedicated board, staff and group of volunteers that work tirelessly to make wishes into realities!

Christie Vranich Board Picture

Christie Vranich

Vice Chair

Manager of Lending Solutions, BECU

Joined Board of Directors in 2019


Christie got involved with Wishing Star when she was part of the Leadership Spokane program. She volunteered with Wishing Star’s Taste Spokane and has been helping the foundation ever since. One of her favorite wish-granting memory is seeing how excited Dria was to have her own backyard playground where she could play without fear for her immune system. 

Richard Hendershot Board Pic

Richard Hendershot

Treasurer

Northwest Farm Credit Services

Joined Board of Directors in November 2014

Three Words to Describe Me
Amiable, giving, balanced.

Little Known Fact About Me
I continue to be a season ticket holder for Ohio State Football.

Mark Schafer Board Picture

Mark Schafer

Secretary (Past Chair)

Safeco Insurance Company

Joined Board of Directors in November 2008

Favorite Wishing Star Experience
As a wish dad, the unforgettable memory of my daughter Maddy’s ear to ear smile when she realized her wish of swimming with the dolphins.

Three Words to Describe Me
Integrity, approachable, respectful.

Little Known Fact About Me
I referee high school football.

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Kyle LaPierre

Trustee

President, LaPierre Enterprises

Joined Board of Directors in 2013

After hearing about Wishing Star’s mission at a past Wishes & Wine event, Kyle knew he wanted to be a part this foundation. As a board member, he loves getting others involved with Wishing Star as well. He is passionate about spreading the Wishing Star message to help us grant as many wishes as possible. One of his favorite Wish memories is Sawyer’s trip to see the Dallas Cowboys.

Pam Cromer Board Pic

Pam Cromer

Trustee (Former Secretary)

Retired

Joined Board of Directors in July 2012

Pam believes in the power that a Wish has to change lives. Families don’t sign up for the challenges they face when their child has a life-threatening condition, and Wishing Star does all it can to help bring some relief to their situations. She finds every Wish rewarding and is passionate about Wishing Star’s commitment to families after the wish.

Ulleland, Marva (5)

Marva Ulleland

Trustee

VP of Operations, Insurance Services with Northwest Farm Credit Services

Joined Board of Directors in January 2015

Favorite Wishing Star Experience
It’s so hard to pick a favorite. I think for me, the most moving experience was being part of Joey’s last wish. Although this was not an official Wishing Star wish, it demonstrated to me that once a wish kid, always a wish kid, and the commitment this organization has for supporting these special kids and families forever.

Three Words to Describe Me
Passionate, caring, fun.

Little Known Fact About Me
Prior to joining NWFCS I worked in Pasco for Bank of Whitman also in insurance. I was an independent insurance agency for nearly almost 20 years prior to my soon to be four healthy little grandchildren. My hobbies include painting, wine and chocolate. I work hard and like things to be simple and fun.

Joel Adrian Board Pic

Joel Adrian

Trustee

Marketing Associate, Sysco

Joined Board of Directors in 2019

Joel is passionate about family, both his own and the families impacted by Wishing Star. He joined the Wishing Star Board after hearing about all of the great wishes that have been granted in the past.

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Theresa Petraszak

Legacy Board

Stay-at-Home Mom

Joined Board of Directors in 2017

Theresa is passionate about the impact wishes have on families. Wishes provide lasting memories for families at a time when they need a bit of light in their lives. Theresa has been very involved with fundraising, particularly with Wishes & Wine and Send a Friend a Goat in Tri-Cities. Though she and her husband have moved away from Washington, Theresa is a dedicated member of the Wishing Star community and is an invaluable part of our team.

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Gary Farrell

Trustee

President, CEO, Ag Enterprise Supply, Inc.

Joined Board of Directors in January 2020

I have wanted to give back to our community since my family and I have been truly blessed with good health.

My favorite experience came when I had donated a lake flight tour at a Tastes Spokane event several years ago. The person who purchased the flight then donated it to a wish child and her mother. When Sari and her mom arrived for the flight, I could see the excitement on Sari’s face. When I lifted her from the wheel chair and placed her in the aircraft her smile and delight grew even more as our adventure began. The lake tour was scheduled to be a one hour flight but lasted two hours as she was having such a great time and did not want it to end. I will always remember her smile and the impact that the 2 hour flight made on her as she felt such freedom being out of her wheel chair and in the air flying. I want to help other wish children experience the same joy Sari felt and I look forward to being a part of more wishes in the future.

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Katie Prugh

Trustee

Director of Development and Marketing at The First Tee Southern Nevada

Joined Board of Directors in April 2020

Katie’s first exposure to Wishing Star was by attending Wishes & Wine Spokane in 2017. After being able to hear from Wish Families, Volunteers and Staff her husband Alex and she could not wait to become more involved as volunteers. Katie has a passion for children and nothing makes her happier than seeing how a wish can impact not only the life of a wish kid but the entire family as well. 

Julia Thatcher

Julia Thatcher

Trustee

Journalist

Joined Board of Directors in May 2020

Julia has been a supporter of Wishing Star for years and we are happy to announce her presence on our board!