Carol Gregory has been the director of Burst for Prosperity since October 2006 and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of Burst for Prosperity's strategic initiatives. Carol's career has spanned the fields of education, labor, and government, with a focus on integrating systems to more effectively meet the needs of Washington's citizens. In the field of education she has been a teacher, administrator, associate to the superintendent of public instruction, and president of the Washington Education Association.
During the administration of Washington Governor Booth Gardner, Carol served as manager of the Small Business Improvement Council and worked in the Offices of Policy and Community Outreach. She also served as an adviser to King County Executive Ron Sims in the areas of education and workforce development. Carol holds an AA degree from Clark College and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and has completed postgraduate work in education a various colleges and universities.
Away from the office Carol loves cooking and gardening – both hobbies that allow her to see the final product of her efforts. She also enjoys reading and imagining. She describes her theory of leadership as: “I must hurry for there they go, and I am their leader!”
Diana Dollar directs Burst for Prosperity's research and new project development, manages strategic planning, and oversees project evaluation. She also currently chairs the Washington State Microenterprise Association Board of Directors. Prior to joining Burst for Prosperity, she spent seven years working on policy and program development in the economic and workforce development fields and more than 10 years in the human services field, where she focused on issues ranging from hunger relief to youth drug rehabilitation.
Diana served as policy director and vice president of community development for the Snohomish County Economic Development Council and has extensive experience in building business and community partnerships to serve the needs of families, youth, and children. Diana holds a B.A. in political science from San Jose State University in California and an MPA from the Dan Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.
Diana spends as much time as possible exploring her artistic side through painting, drawing, and home design, and is most comfortable enjoying great food and wine with friends and family.
Karan Gill’s work focuses on managing Burst for Prosperity’s public policy activities in the areas of welfare, workforce development, asset building, and microenterprise, as well as serving as the communications lead. He serves on the community advisory board of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center and is the chair of the Washington Asset Building Coalition Policy Committee.
Prior to joining Burst for Prosperity, he was the executive legislative aide to Speaker of the House Frank Chopp and campaign manager for State Representative Kevin Van De Wege. He has also served as a freelance writer for The Seattle Times, and an intern for the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. Karan holds a B.A. in Law, Society, and Justice from the University of Washington and is currently in his final year of the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree program at Seattle University.
Karan and his wife, Lita, are the proud parents of a baby boy, Atay. In his spare time, Karan loves anything to do with football — watching, reading about, and playing it. He wholeheartedly believes his son will be the starting quarterback for the Washington Huskies in 2026.
Bill Harper manages projects in the areas of workforce development, asset building, and microenterprise. His professional experience is in project and operations management in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining Burst for Prosperity he was the Strategic Operations Coordinator and Deputy Director of Upper Manhattan Workforce1 Career Center, a Workforce Investment Act funded One-Stop located in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.
Bill holds a B.S. in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a M.S., with a concentration on macro practice and social policy, from the Columbia University School of Social Work. Prior to his work in the not-for-profit field he was Operations Director and Project Manager for a high volume residential real estate appraisal firm in North Carolina.
Bill is a proud southerner who spends a majority of his free time searching for the perfect barbeque in the Seattle area. His goal in life is to bring good southern biscuits to every restaurant in Washington State by 2015.
Njambi Gishuru is responsible for organizing and engaging new refugee communities in leadership development activities in order to empower them to take control of their own lives and move towards self-sufficiency. Born and raised in Kenya to a family that understood the importance of education, Njambi earned a diploma in culinary arts from Southeast London College in England, intending to return home to work in Kenya’s emerging hospitality industry. Instead, love got in the way, and Njambi followed her soon-to-be husband Peter to Seattle, where they raised two sons and a daughter.
After studying food services at North Seattle Community College, Njambi owned and managed an import/export business at Pike Place Market and the Seattle waterfront for 16 years and also taught traditional African cooking classes at the PCC Natural Markets. Njambi is the founder of the Kenyan Women’s Association, which works to empower new immigrants and Kenyan youth, and the owner of Tastes of Africa Catering company. She is currently enrolled in the community development certificate program at the University of Washington.
Cooking and shopping for food products remain Njambi’s favorite pastimes. She also enjoys studying the Bible and spending time with her Christian friends.
Sylvia Villareal’s administrative duties include supporting staff and customers with travel, accounting expenses, meetings, events, office organization, supplies, and all office equipment. Born in Mt. Vernon, Washington and raised in California, Sylvia is the product of a hardworking Mexican migrant tradition that took her family to several states, including Washington, Oregon, California, Nebraska, and Florida. After graduating from high school in Othello, Washington, Sylvia continued her education at Shoreline and Highline Community Colleges and Renton Technical College. She has been working in the field of administration for 25 years.
The proud mother of two daughters, Sylvia loves family gatherings, board and card games, dancing, movies, cross-stitching, books, music, and traveling. She also enjoys cooking tri-tip steaks, especially while camping.