Who We Are

Board & Staff

Board of Directors

The Growing Veterans’ Board of Directors are a working board and have begun to focus on strengthening fundraising channels, board structure, and long-term governance strategies. If you have a passion for Growing Veterans’ vision and possess the professional skills that would enhance our board, please contact our President.

  • President. Co-Founder of Growing Veterans. PTSD counselor for combat veterans. Purple Heart recipient. The Mission Continues Alum. AmeriCorps Alum. Currently practicing in a clinical PTSD setting and studying for his LICSW license. brown@growingveterans.org.

  • Bill Smith, Ph.D..
    Bill Smith, Ph.D..

    Vice President. Professor Emeritus of WWU. Taught English and Technical Writing for 35 years. Edited the national journal Writing Program Administration. Serves on various boards and committees that pertain to technical writing. Past Chair of the Speakers Committee for WWU Retirement Association. Son of WWII Veteran who fought in 12 battles with the 1st Marine Division. wsmith1545@gmail.com.

  • Richard Forsell.
    Richard Forsell.

    Secretary. Attorney at Law. Practices business law in Kirkland, WA. Does various pro bono work for non-profits that he is passionate about, richard@ktbllaw.com.

  • Arie Greenleaf, Ph.D.
    Arie Greenleaf, Ph.D.

    Board member. Marine Corps veteran. Researcher and Professor at Seattle University. greenleaf@seattleu.edu.

  • Tony Cafferelli
    Tony Cafferelli

    Marine Corps Veteran turned accountant with 3 years of auditing experience. Tony served 8 years in the Marine Corps, 3 of which were serving alongside Christopher Brown. Upon transitioning to civilian life, he studied at The George Washington University & earned his Bachelors Degree in Accountancy. Tony is currently studying for his CPA license.


  • Michael Frazier
    Michael Frazier

    Executive Director
    Michael is a Marine Corps veteran with 20 years of organizational leadership and development experience in the public and private sectors.

  • Joel Swenson
    Joel Swenson

    Farm Manager
    Joel was an Airborne Combat Medic in the US Army. He served active duty from 2007-2011. He deployed to Afghanistan 2009-2010. After getting out in 2011, he used his GI Bill at Western Washington University and received a Bachelors in Outdoor Recreation. He started part time at Growing Veterans, with little to no experience, and now manages our Certified Organic Farm in Lynden, WA. Joel wants to pass on the knowledge he gains to other veterans and to reconnect them with nature as a source of healing.

  • Programs Director
    Scotty Irwin served in the Army as a medic and after getting out in 2014 started volunteering at Growing Veterans. Scotty's civilian background is in Public Safety and Administration, and has a degree in Criminal Justice. She believes in agricultural and recreational therapy as a way to help veterans reconnect and heal.

  • Communications and Outreach Manager
    Sean served in the United States Airforce from 2005 to 2009 as a Security Forces airman. He deployed to Iraq in 2005, 2007 and Kuwait in 2008. After being honorably discharged from active duty service, Sean completed a Bachelors in Arts in Human Services at Western Washington University. Growing Veterans provides Sean the opportunity to share his passion for sustainable agriculture and veteran advocacy.