Who We Are
Jon McGrath has lived and worked in Whatcom County since 1995. A graduate from Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education, Jon has worked in the human service field for over a dozen years. He got the opportunity to manage a vocational rehabilitation program based in Bellingham, and found his niche in helping job seekers with disabilities become connected with employers. Specializing in job placement, job retention and workplace assessments, Jon especially enjoys the satisfaction of making a good job match and helping others attain their employment goals. In late 2009, Jon began Advancement Northwest with the mission of providing professional service to job seekers and local employers.
Rachel Silves graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Community Health in 2006, and since then has been working in the vocational rehabilitation field. Rachel specializes in working with clients to develop individualized employment plans to achieve competitive and gainful employment. Throughout development of these plans, she emphasizes client empowerment and self determination. Rachel also has a background in Adult Education and Training. She is certified to teach Dependable Strengths and Workstrides, trainings designed to assist participants in identifying their greatest core strengths and how to market those strengths to employers; CPR/First Aid, and various trainings on topics such as case management, vocational planning, vocational assessment, job development, and job coaching. Lastly, in 2009, Rachel completed her Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling through Texas Tech University where she developed an educational foundation to supplement her practical experience. She partnered with Jon in early 2010 as he was starting Advancement NW.
Kelley James has a BA from Western Washington University in Communication, and is currently working towards a Master’s in Adult and Higher Education. Before joining Advancement Northwest, Kelley has worked in the nonprofit field, most recently as Program Manager of a mentoring program in Walla Walla. Kelley enjoys helping adults with disabilities achieve their employment goals and develop connections in the community.
Addie Yake grew up in Lake Tahoe, CA. After receiving a BA in Economics and Certificate of Sales from the University of Washington, she worked in a variety of fields including finance, marketing, and exotic animal training. Before Advancement Northwest, she worked with clients who had visual impairments as a Licensed Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. She enjoys supporting and witnessing people reach their fullest form of independence.
Jaclyn Pace earned her BA in Education Studies from The New School University in New York City and her MA in Sustainable Communities with an emphasis in Social Justice Education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Originally from New York, she spent a decade in the Southwest before moving to the Pacific Northwest in August of 2017. As a Department of Education certified and Montessori credentialed teacher, she has been working with students from early childhood to adult for the past fifteen years, most recently as a High School Equivalency/GED instructor. She is passionate about achieving sustainability of our communities through diversity, equity, justice, and empowerment.