Elan is Pride Foundation’s Community Engagement Operations Manager. They grew up in the small town of Mendocino, California, and now call Seattle home.
Elan studied Japanese language and history at Willamette University, graduated with a degree in Asian Studies, and then moved to Japan with the JET Program for three years. As a JET they worked for a rural municipal government in Ishikawa Prefecture, planning community events, translating documents and teaching preschool. They chose to make Seattle home upon returning to the U.S. seeking career opportunities—but also privately eager to connect with a large LGBTQ+ community for the first time in their life. They found a position with the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle as the JET Program Coordinator, where they could use their event planning and language background, and began volunteering with community groups like Lambert House and Seattle Nonbinary Collective in the evenings and on weekends. It was those volunteer experiences that deepened their passion for work serving LGBTQ+ community, especially trans youth, and also served as a formative introduction to fundraising and nonprofit development work.
Elan feels extremely fortunate to have found an outlet for their passion at Pride Foundation. Their primary roles are community and donor engagement, supporting development operations, and planning events. They especially enjoy event planning as a way to create spaces for LGBTQIA+ community to grow and flourish.
Outside of work, Elan enjoys drawing, making zines, learning about native plants, birding, cooking, and watching terrible movies. They live in Seattle with their partner and two stepcats.
Favorite Place in the Northwest: Lake Clark National Park in southwest Alaska. I spent a lot of summers here when I was growing up. The smell of the tundra, the color of the lakes that change with the glacial melt, and all of the non-human neighbors are really fond memories.