Young Professionals Advisory Board
Carson Bowlin | Chair
The Washington Policy Center fosters a vital solutions-based conversation that is compelling on two distinct levels. First, the organization provides a balanced approach towards helping to inform and shape policy across state and local government. I was first exposed to the WPC as a staff member on state-wide political campaigns and found the WPC policy briefings to be an invaluable resource for candidates looking to deepen their understanding on key and complex issues. Second, the WPC draws people across our state toward a heightened level of engagement and participation in our democracy, helping to foster an informed citizenry compelled to act and vote based on principles of sustainable and responsible government for all. I have been a Washington Policy Center YP Board Member for almost ten years and currently serve as Chairman. The growth of the YP group is inspiring to say the least. We have created a place for discussion, ideas and policy solutions across topics that matter by engaging individuals of diverse ages and backgrounds throughout Washington State. Even with the exciting growth, I'm convinced that the impact of the WPC Young Professionals is in its infancy and the vitality of this group will only continue to expand.
Melanie Stambaugh | Vice Chair
Melanie is a communications professional and strategist. As co-founder of You Impression LLC, Melanie works with businesses and professionals to improve leadership, professional connection, and productivity. Melanie recently joined the Northwest Seaport Alliance team as their Sr. Communications Manager, helping increase the awareness and impact of marine cargo operations in the Pacific Northwest.
In 2014, Melanie was elected to the Washington State Legislature and served as the youngest legislator in the State House of Representatives for two terms. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Pepperdine's Graziadio Business School and is passionate about giving back to her community. In addition to WPC's Young Professionals Advisory Board, Melanie serves on the Board of Directors for both the Communities In Schools of Puyallup and the Daffodil Scholarship Foundation.
Ashley Fancher | Marketing Committee Chair
Ashley is a wealth manager at Garde Capital, Inc. She focuses on providing wealth management solutions to individuals and families in the Seattle Area. Together with her partners, she helps affluent clients address their five biggest concerns: preserving their wealth, mitigating taxes, taking care of their heirs, ensuring their assets are not unjustly taken and charitable giving.
Ashley uses a consultative process to gain a detailed understanding of her clients’ deepest values and goals. She then employs customized recommendations designed to address each client’s unique needs and goals beyond simply investments. Ashley's experience also translates into divorce. She holds the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) designation and works with clients to help them understand how financial decisions today will impact their financial future. Ashley also has over 10 years of direct experience in commercial real estate development in the greater Seattle area.
Noelle Wiggins | Events Committee Chair Noelle Wiggins is a Product Manager at Ekata, specializing in global implementation of phone and address data for fraud detection. Her industry experience spans nuclear and utilities to healthcare and wearables; this gives her a unique perspective on the fraud and compliance challenges facing heavily regulated industries. She is passionate about using identity data and machine learning algorithms in fresh ways to protect consumers and businesses from bad actors. In 2020, her research on COVID-19 fraud patterns was widely published and influenced global fraud risk modeling.
Aymeric is a Pricing Strategy Manager at Starbucks Corporation where he develops holistic pricing srategies for the company's food and beverage products. In his current role, he leverages his interest in behavioral economics and consumer psychology to test and design innovative solutions for the enterprise while maintaining customer value. He is a CPA by trade and previously specialized in corportate taxation. He started his career as a tax consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers before joining the global tax planning and transfer pricing department of Starbucks, where he worked for four years. Aymeric was born in France and grew up in Paris before moving to Seattle in 2007. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in business and a master's degree in taxation. He has served on the YP Advisory Board since 2014 and held the role of chairman in 2018. He also currently serves as the Treasurer of the French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest and volunteers for a local non-proft organization serving the foster care youth in Seattle.
Chelsea is a Seattle native who graduated from Kings High School and earned a BA in English Literature from Wheaton College in Chicago. She has a real estate license in California and Washington and is a broker for Sound Realty Group which is part of KW Commercial. She also works as an associate for AD Shapiro Architects, assisting with planning, consulting, and project management. Chelsea joined WPC YP in 2018 because she wanted to get involved and make an impact on Washington's future. She is passionate about small business and maintaining an economic environment favorable to business owners. She also sees how environmental regulation impacts the building and real estate industries and is in favor of smart, business and builder-friendly solutions.
Shelby Robbins Esau
Shelby is a Business Performance Advisor in the greater Seattle community. She partners with business owners to help them maximize revenue, improve profitability, and minimize the risks associated with being an employer. She works across industries and is well-networked, from successful companies to startups and political organizations to non-profits. Her goal is to provide value as she is passionate about connecting people and resources. In addition to her service on the YP Advisory Board, Shelby volunteers in her local community and church, mentors young women, and sits on the Ambassador board of Friends of the Children in Seattle.
Although I was born and raised in Seattle, I first heard about WPC at college in Southern California; I was looking for a summer job and stumbled on WPC’s summer internship program. (Yes, Google existed—barely—when I was in college.) I’m fortunate that I did. I had a fantastic summer working for WPC’s policy experts, who opened my eyes to the fact that, while politics in the ‘other Washington’ tend to get the most TV play, the public policy choices that most affect our daily lives are made in Olympia or, in my case, the King County or Seattle administration buildings.
I finished up school and went on to attend US Navy Officer Candidate School. The Navy took me around the world (once literally), but I always tried to keep one eye on what was going on at WPC and my home state’s politics. When my Active Duty commitment was up in 2015, I moved back to Seattle—which was pretty much unrecognizable. I now work in the finance world, looking after investments in the healthcare and senior care fields in emerging markets, especially in Southeast Asia and India. Carsten served as the YP Chairman in 2019.
WPC has grown since I was an intern way back in 2007, but it’s remained true to its vision of promoting free-market ideas in our state through critical research and analysis. I see it as an essential voice for reason in our state’s politics.
Austin Bowlin is a CPA and Partner at Real Estate Transition Solutions. His work focuses on developing tax-efficient strategies to allow investment property owners to transition from owning actively managed properties to an environment in line with their current and future financial and lifestyle objectives. Before joining RETS, Austin worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in both their audit and mergers and acquisitions advisory groups. He is actively involved in the community through advisory positions with the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) and the Washington Policy Center (WPC).
Austin’s passion for free-market advocacy stems from regular interaction with laws and legislation that fail to address the social and economic issues they claim to alleviate. Seeking a better way forward, it became clear to him that the free-market, combined with an informed citizenry, is the best environment to foster lasting change. Austin’s involvement with WPC Young Professionals began while attending Gonzaga University, during which he organized a team of students to research the economic impact on the manufacturing industry of a proposed increase in Spokane County’s sales tax.
Ben has served on the YP Board since 2011. He also serves on the WPC Board of Directors and works as the President of Avara Construction. Ben has a background in real estate investment, asset feasibility, construction management, project management, and financial analysis. Ben is a graduate of the University of Washington, with education in Finance, Commercial Real Estate, and Construction Management.
Nathan is the Vice President of Real Estate Investments for Pistol Creek Company, a privately held investment firm in Bellevue. During college, he realized that top-down centralized planning theories (which are often promoted on college campuses) have always failed in practice and that liberty and free-markets are the only path to improving the human condition. Through his professional work, Nathan discovered Washington Policy Center and became a founding member of the YP Advisory Board. He now sits on both the Young Professionals and main WPC boards. In addition to WPC, his passions include volunteering for the women’s shelter at Bethany Community Church in Green Lake and flying medical patients in need through Angel Flight West. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two rescue Chihuahua mixes.
Scott recently started his own investment firm, Aletheian Wealth Advisors. He was formerly the Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager for Washington Trust Bank’s Wealth Management & Advisory Services, serving clients in Western Washington. With broad investment advisory and financial planning experience, he partners closely with clients to coordinate and implement financial planning services with the management of their assets, adding his expertise to investment and risk strategies.
Scott is a firm believer in the power of the free market. He writes, "No other economic system in the history of the world has done as much good or lifted as many out of crushing poverty as a system of free exchange has." He is passionate about the work WPC does in advocating for and educating people about the continued progress that free markets make possible. He has been a supporter of the WPC and a member of the Young Professionals since 2016.
Kahryn Campbell grew up in Tri-Cities and has a passion for the community in which she resides. She holds a B.S. in Business and Marketing from the University of Idaho where she also played for the Women’s Golf Team. She spent five years in the healthcare industry with with Merck & Co. working in outside sales. Her love for wine, the industry, and growing up around family businesses (across industries) helped her develop Anelare. Along with her team, Kahryn runs the day-to-day business and enjoys the process from vineyard to bottle! She has two children; son Landon and daughter Reese, who were just babies when the winery journey began. The family has planted their roots in Benton City to showcase their beautiful wines to the world and give visitors a first class experience of Washington's wine industry. In her spare time, Kahryn loves to golf, hike, cook, and enjoy music, family & friends.
Nate Higgins Nathan (Nate) Higgins grew up in Tri-Cities and attended Richland High School and Columbia Basin College. Shortly after high school, a workplace accident resulted in paralysis from the chest down along with a traumatic brain injury. Doctors told him that he would never swim again without water wings and that he might never be able to attend college. Ultimately, Nate went on to swim both Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge without a wetsuit, set three American Paralympic swim records, and represent the United States at the Para Pan American Games. In 2009, Nate graduated from Gonzaga University and later completed his MBA at the University of Southern California. He also holds an MSc and is currently training for the Paralympic Games. Today Nate lives in Tri-Cities, WA, invests in real estate, and works for the Small Business Administration. He joined the YP Board in 2020.