Shan Sparling – Manager
Shan brings a wealth of management experience to Ragfinery and has built a great staff team of employees, volunteers and worker trainees. She loves her job because it brings together her creative interests, her business skills, and her concern for the environment. Shan most enjoys the product development process at Ragfinery and serving the variety of customers she meets daily. Shan is also a licensed massage therapist and has done body and energy work focused on nurturing and empowering women. She lives with her husband, Jeff, and her demanding puppy, Jessie.
Elena Stecca – Business Manager
Ask Elena if she wants to try something new, and her answer is an enthusiastic, “Yes!”. From improv performance to paranormal research, Elena embraces new experiences with zest. Born in Venezuela, Elena is a fluent Spanish-speaker. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over twelve years and is pleased to continue that work at both Appliance Depot and Ragfinery, valuing their contributions to sustainability and local job creation. At work Elena keeps day-to-day operations running smoothly. When she’s not at work or out on her next adventure, she’s probably at home cooking up a delicious meal and cozying up with her husband, their three hedgehogs, and three cats.
Dallas Betz – Executive Director
Dallas originally came to us as an Americorps VISTA in 2008, where he spent a year helping put Appliance Depot on the map. Since then, he’s been a board member, our media specialist, and now our Executive Director. Originally from Skagit County, he moved to Bellingham to attend WWU in 1997 and has been here since (sort of… barring a couple detours in Upstate New York and Orcas Island). He lives with his wife Jamie and their son Fox and loves to play guitar, write, bike, spend time in the woods, play tennis, volleyball, frisbee, and just about anything else outside, active, or creative.
Celina Tate – Media Specialist/Workshop Coordinator
A native of Vancouver Island, Celina was lured by love to Bellingham in 2006. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Design from Emily Carr University and has worked in the areas of advertising, print production, and as a freelance graphic designer. Outside of work, Celina keeps busy doing lots of volunteer design work, teaching character development classes to young children, reading to her kids, taking pictures of her food, and walking for miles. She used to walk for kilometers, but has finally given up and converted from metric. After a few years of playing stay-at-home mom, Celina was excited to rejoin the Ragfinery team where she gets to wear many “hats” and put her degree to good use doing meaningful work.
Robbie Milliken – Office Assistant
Robbie is from Spokane, WA and came to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Business Administration. As a work-study trainee, he worked in the Appliance Depot shop. After two years he became the office assistant to Elena. Robbie was nominated by Paul for student employee of the year in 2015. He has learned most basic appliance repairs and would one day like to apply ReUse Works’ business model in Seattle or Portland. When not studying or working, Robbie thoroughly enjoys playing bass, trying fine brews, and backpacking.
Alannya’s role at Ragfinery has evolved from volunteer to intern, and now employee as she’s made herself an integral part of our team. She’s become our speciality items guru for those unique items which we either don’t know what they are or how to price them. Alannya is originally from Ohio and landed in Bellingham to attend school at WWU. She is currently studying Sustainable Textile and Food production at Fairhaven College, and is inspired by Ragfinery’s mission to reduce textile waste. In her other life, she is a mother of an adorable toddler and loves cooking and crafting… mostly for her son.
Madeline Rublee – Cashier
If you’ve been looking for an enthusiastic listener to hear about all of your marvelous crafting tales and ideas, Madeline is your girl! As cashier, she’s at the forefront of all the exciting retail action at Ragfinery. She started sewing when she was 14 and after a bumpy start that resulted in an injured pinky, a trip to the ER, and the knowledge that sewing past bedtime is ill advised, she’s still working at it and most enjoys making gifts for her four-year old nephews. Madeline feels blessed to work for a non-profit that so strongly supports the community and the environment while creating an atmosphere that attracts a huge variety of individuals who each add their own beautiful pattern to the patchwork of such a magical place.
Sierra Watson – Sorter
Sierra is originally from the Olympic Peninsula, just a stone’s throw over the water, but has inhabited Bellingham for the love and appreciation of what is here. She is currently a student working on her Bachelor of Arts degree. Ragfinery is a working experience that is helping her to develop a makers relationship with sustainability. She is in the back sorting loads of clothes, yes loads. That aside, her goal is to work for a small business that offers creative solutions to the community. The opportunity here is to indulge her creative aspirations through reusing and reimagining the very daily items we tend to throw away.
Miranda Lee – Office Assistant
Miranda is Office Manager Elena’s right hand woman. She helps out with numerous office tasks including bookkeeping, data entry, and generally keeping things organized. Miranda is a native of Whatcom County and attended Meridian schools. Part-way through high school she jumped into Running Start at WCC, where she took an interest in the field of accounting. Miranda began her tenure at Appliance Depot through an internship which eventually turned into a part-time position because she filled such a valuable role. Miranda has numerous hobbies including working with a wide range of artistic media, reading and writing fantasy, as well as fishing, hiking, camping and horseback riding.