Sarah Garrison, President & CEO

Most recently, Garrison was the Director of Government Affairs for Comcast. Prior to her role with Comcast, she was the Economic Development Manager for the City of Hillsboro, where her work focused on public policy development and legislative advocacy. Garrison has successfully worked with both public and private sector clients and has extensive experience cultivating business partnerships and maintaining relationships. 

Email: [email protected]

Kate Kanapeaux, Program & Events Director 

Kate specializes in developing programs that engage communities and grow organizations. She supports the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC) members and the larger community of Northwest defense and security industry businesses with programs that strengthen business growth, our region's economy, and our nation's security. Programs include; training, meet the buyer opportunities, and business-to-business networking.  Kate has an extensive background in program management and has worked with clients to develop and launch web-based educational programs, conferences, and new membership offerings. Prior to joining PNDC, Kate managed conferences for an international cybersecurity association. 

Email: [email protected]

Carley Dirks, Procurement Counselor/Program Manager

Carley Dirks graduated from Eastern Washington University (BA) and the University of Oregon Law School (JD).  Her previous experience includes working as a Contract Specialist for the U of O’s Capital Construction office and as a Procurement and Contract Specialist for the State of Oregon, where she provided advice on procurement laws and technical support in developing solicitations, evaluating proposals, and drafting contracts.  She joined PNDC as Procurement Counselor & Program Manager in July 2014.  Carley assists PNDC members with federal, state, and local government contracting including registrations, certifications, market assessment, researching contracting opportunities, proposal and solicitation review, and more.  She also manages PNDC’s partnership with the Government Contract Assistance Program (GCAP), Oregon’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), through which she provides free assistance to Oregon firms pursuing the federal, state, and local government contracting marketplaces.

Carley is active with the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International and is an avid volleyball player.

 Email: [email protected]

Leslie Everson, CPA/Finance Director

Leslie Everson joined PNDC in January 2014 as an independent contractor performing the Coalition’s accounting and finance functions.  Leslie, a CPA, has spent over 20 years working in public accounting and industry, primarily serving small to medium size businesses.  A native of North Dakota, she graduated from the University of North Dakota and then lived in Minnesota and Nevada.  She and her husband, Dave, live in Gladstone, OR and have two grown daughters.  They enjoy traveling and spending time enjoying Oregon’s great outdoors.  Leslie served on the Gladstone School Board for eight years, and also served on the Gladstone Education Foundation Board of Directors.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oregon Society of CPAs. 

Email: [email protected]

Andrew Larsen, Business Development Officer

Stepping into the regional business development role in Washington was a natural progression for Larsen, who most recently spent several years with the Association of Washington Business as a Membership Manager. With a diverse background including public service, private sector, and non-profit management Larsen is uniquely positioned to understand and care for our members needs across the Evergreen State. “I’ve worked with businesses of every size, from owner/operators to multi-national corporations,” Larsen says “and I’ve learned a lot about their unique challenges. I’m excited to continue serving the business community in this new role, and to promote PNDC’s mission of securing our regions economic future by fostering small business growth and assuring stable employment via the reliable revenue source that is government contracts.” 

Email: [email protected]

Anna Rymill, Membership & Marketing Manager

The Membership and Marketing Manager is tasked with successfully marketing PNDC events and member announcements through all external communications. In addition, the position is responsible for assisting the Program & Events Director with planning programs to serve the needs of PNDC members. Anna’s previous experience as the General Manager of the Portland Rock Gym makes her a valuable addition to the PNDC team and a multifaceted position such as this. After graduating college in 2009 Anna made the journey from Detroit, MI to Portland, OR. In her free time, Anna enjoys cooking, traveling, and anything physical. She is an avid rock climber, backpacker, fisher, and general outdoorswoman. She is happiest while outside with her rescue pup, Jens, and her partner, Jared.

Email: [email protected]


Denise Ryser, Business Development Officer

Most recently, Ryser was Membership Manager with the Association of Washington Business (AWB). In this position, she worked with Washington businesses, as well as top employers throughout the nation, to grow the State of Washington’s Chamber of Commerce. Prior to this position, Ryser served in a variety of sales positions and ran her own business for several years.

Email: [email protected]

Bailey Simpson, Office Manager

Bailey Simpson attended Marylhurst University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 2014.  She has over seven years of experience in customer service and joined PNDC in 2016. As the Office Manager for PNDC, Bailey assists members with a variety of needs and helps in organizing office affairs. In her free time, Bailey enjoys nothing more than spending time with her family and friends. She also revels in reading a good book, playing basketball and camping every summer. 

Email: [email protected]


Darla White, Event & Member Services Coordinator

Darla has over 13 years of Association Management experience, most recently, with the Washington State Medical Association where she managed six medical specialty societies.  Her experience in meeting planning, exhibitor recruitment, social media, member database management, and member recruitment and retention, will be extremely useful in her role of Event & Member Services Coordinator. In her free time, Darla and her husband, Mike, enjoy RV’ing, spending time at their cabin in Davenport, WA, traveling, gardening, DIY projects, and spending time with their German Shepherd, Argo, at home watching local sports teams, as well as the Minnesota Vikings (fan by marriage!).

Email: [email protected]