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About Us

Welcome to Trillium

Trillium Employment Services is a nonprofit organization committed to integrating people with intellectual disabilities into the workforce. Our staff of skilled professionals work closely with businesses and applicants to ensure a quality match and long term success.

Our History

Trillium has been serving people with disabilities and Washington State employers since 1983. We connect people with disabilities to employment opportunities. We were one of the pioneer supported employment agencies in the United States. We originated as a demonstration project by the University of Oregon to assist a local manufacturer of defibrillators, Physio-Control, in the employment of assemblers with developmental disabilities. This successful project demonstrated to the nation that people with significant disabilities could participate fully in businesses producing quality products of a critical nature. This demonstration helped to influence national legislation on supported employment and pave the way for other people with developmental disabilities to obtain jobs in the community, influence government to move toward community employment and away from sheltered employment, and inspire other businesses to employ people with significant disabilities.


The mission of Trillium Employment Services is to promote inclusive community and employment opportunities.


We, the staff of Trillium, are committed to realizing a community that celebrates inclusion and diversity through innovative leadership and partnerships.


Bryan Ruff, President

Bryan is a Vice President for Timberland Bank and is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics. In 2017, Bryan graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School and in the same year received the South Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty award.  As a former Trillium employment consultant on the Pierce team, Bryan has a close and thorough understanding of the work and mission of Trillium. Bryan brings with him great connections within the South Sound business community as well as sales experience that he hopes to use in helping Trillium grow and continue to provide quality services to the community.  Bryan joined the Trillium board in 2014.

William Cowart, Secretary

Bill is the owner of HBT Insurance in Auburn. A longtime resident of Auburn, Bill has been a business leader for over 20 years. He is a past president and current member of the Kiwanis Club of Auburn and Board of Directors of Valley Bank. Bill also has a lot of experience with non-profit directorship having served for several years as board president of Auburn Youth Resources. Bill brings a perspective of business ownership a well as non-profit leadership to the board of Trillium. Bill also hired an employee through Trillium.

Jeremy Sankwich, Treasurer

Jeremy is the Business Development Manager for Verity Credit Union, a community credit union in King County. He is a graduate of California State University with majors in financial services and financial management. His focus is on helping to align the community engagement culture of credit unions with Trillium’s mission in the greater Seattle area. Jeremy brings strategic partnership, financial management, and marketing experience to Trillium’s board.

Lynn Norman, Member

She brings a unique perspective to the board as a long time small business owner and community leader. She is the Administrative Director and Facilitator of the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound. Lynn has a granddaughter with disabilities and recently led the community in an effort to build a playground for children of all abilities in Auburn.

Steffanie Fain, Member

Steffanie is an attorney at Gordon & Rees and a graduate of Seattle University School of Law. Steffanie, a breast cancer survivor, is an active volunteer with Susan G. Komen Puget Sound and the Northwest affiliate of Young Survival Coalition. She was also chosen to serve as a spokesperson for Under Armour’s nationwide breast cancer awareness campaign. Steffanie brings legislative knowledge, dedication to the community, and the energy of an avid runner.

Lyn Andrews, Member
Lyn Andrews has 30 years of experience planning, implementing and evaluating community employment programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In her current position as a Program Specialist with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – Project SEARCH she supports new Project SEARCH School to Work program development and performance improvement efforts nationally. Prior to Project SEARCH Lyn worked for two state-wide training and technical assistance organizations, developing and managing demonstration projects, planning and coordinating technical assistance, trainings, conferences and other events targeted for families, educators, employers, supported employment and school transition programs. Lyn previously served as a Trillium board member 1996-2007.

Mark Shaefer, Member

Mark is the managing partner of Hop Jack’s restaurants and brings over 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has developed a deep working knowledge of Trillium, having hired his first supported employee with our help back in 2012 at the Silverdale location. Today, Hop Jack’s has 13 employees with intellectual disabilities at seven locations across Kitsap, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. It’s a thriving company with many expansion plans and a commitment to continue their practice of including people with disabilities in their growing workforce.

In 2015, Mark accepted the Governor’s Employer Award for his success in those efforts. You can watch a video of his acceptance speech for the award —demonstrating his passion for supported employment.

Karen Satterberg, Member

Karen Satterberg has been the Community Relations Director for Wesley Homes Lea Hill in Auburn for 6 years. She comes to us with a background of being in the Financial markets for 26 years prior to that. Karen graduated from WSU in Hospitality Management and worked for Hyatt Hotels right out of school. Active in Auburn Rotary and being on their board, working on the Committee for Partners for Work program, is how she came to know about the wonderful work that Trillium is doing. She also brings personal insight as she is a mother to a 20-year-old Autistic young man.

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