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Fuse Innovation Fund

Our Mission

We innovate new organizing and communications strategies to build a stronger progressive movement. Combining the latest research with long-term  organizing and communications capacity, we bring innovative ideas to life.


We envision a world where every community and organization has the tools and resources necessary to make their voices heard on the issues that matter most.

How we get there

  • We bring progressive ideas to life by elevating local voices through long-term community-based organizing and adding communications capacity to issue-based campaigns.
  • We share lessons-learned to increase the capacity and effectiveness of the broader progressive community in Washington state.
  • We hold those in power accountable to ensure all voices are heard, not just those of the wealthy few.

Our Board

Suone Cotner, Chair, lived in Washington DC for ten years prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1983. Once here, Cotner served as President of the Mt. Baker Group, a fundraising and public affairs consulting company. As a consultant for 14 years, Cotner advised clients on fundraising strategy, and designed and supervised the implementation of both short term and long term fundraising plans to raise between $250,000 and $12 million. In 1997, she joined the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, now the Washington State Association for Justice, which represents attorneys and professionals in the legal field committed to champion the cause of those who deserve redress for injury to person, property or civil rights. As the Development Director and now Deputy Director, she is responsible for the organization's major donor and special project fundraising efforts.


Dean Nielsen, Vice Chair, is principal of Cerillion N4 Partners, a political consulting and government relations firm where he works for political, non-profit, union and corporate clients in Washington State, across the country and around the world. Formerly, he was National Political Director for Progressive Majority, where he and his staff recruited, trained and elected more than 1,000 progressive champions. Dean is a career politico, having worked in various capacities on more than 250 campaigns throughout the Western United States and Eastern Europe starting with Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. His lengthy client list includes Governor Gary Locke (WA), Solidarity Party (Poland), the Gore/Lieberman Campaign, as well as issue campaigns for groups such as EMILY's List, National Education Association, Wellstone Action!, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, SEIU, Harborview Hospital, PCCC and the Democratic Party in several states. In addition to campaigns, he helped build and expand a grassroots and grasstops lobbying program for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, conceived and launched the Institute for a Democratic Future, did qualitative research for several casinos in Las Vegas, managed a crisis communications project for a Fortune 500 company and does a variety of projects for several clean energy companies.


Adam Glickman is Director of Public Affairs for SEIU Healthcare 775NW, the long-term care workers union representing 30,000 home care and nursing home workers in Washington and Montana. As director of Public Affairs he oversees SEIU Healthcare 775NW's political, legislative, community outreach, and media relations work. Adam grew up on the East Coast and became involved in labor and other social justice work while at Wesleyan University. After graduating, he worked in New York doing communications and political work, including as the Communications Director for New York's Working Families Party. He has two wonderful children - Micah and Asher.


Charlene Angeles is the Principal Attorney at CGA Law and is Of Counsel to inVigor Law Group. Her practice primarily focuses on business formation and structuring, business contracts, and dispute resolution. She serves on the board of the minority bar association Filipino Lawyers of Washington, and she is a volunteer attorney with the King County Bar Association and Snohomish County Bar Association.

Charlene seeks to make a positive impact on her community by advocating for progressive reforms that address institutional inequities. She worked for New Approach Washington, a coalition that successfully championed a public health approach to marijuana policy by passing I–502 in 2012 and served on the Steering Committee for Fair Elections Seattle, the campaign advocating for public financing of Seattle City Council elections. In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, snowboarding, and traveling.


Kristin Elia has spent her career focused on progressive organizing, advocacy, and electoral work. She is currently a consultant working on issue advocacy and community engagement with a statewide coalition of labor unions. Prior to this, she spent over four years at AFT Washington where she directed the political advocacy program. Kristin is an East Coast native, growing up in New Jersey and Maine. After college, she began work on environmental advocacy with NJ PIRG and then Environment America in Washington, D.C. In 2010, she moved to Seattle to join Fuse Washington as the Organizing Director and promptly fell in love with the rain, the coffee, and that very large mountain to the south. She also serves as the VP at Large on the board of Seattle Works. Outside of work you can find her hiking or snowshoeing and giving her full 90 at a Sounders game.


Kurt Guenther has helped clients reach the audiences they want with the messages they need to get results for more than 20 years. Known for his enthusiasm and openness to new ideas, Kurt combines research with savvy about people in his broadcast, print, Internet, and overall strategy work. Health, education, conservation, women's rights, workers' rights, freedom of speech, national service, new sciences and world relief & development are among issues Kurt has worked with clients to promote, as well as Presidential, Senate and Gubernatorial candidates. Kurt is a founder of doingsomething, an all-volunteer network featured in the national media, two-term member of the Partner Board at his children's public school, chair of communications for the board of the Washington Environmental Council, and a baseball/swimming/soccer dad. Kurt attended Occidental College and Boston University, where he graduated summa cum laude from the School of Public Communication with graduate work in advocacy. He lives with his wife, two children and a nice dog named Ty in Seattle.


Jeff Hansen is a marketing professional and business strategist currently working for Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer where he leads the company's brand strategy function. In over 20 years at Microsoft Jeff has developed a deep and diverse set of skills across a range professions including human resources, advertising, brand and image management, market research, marketing communications, PR and crisis management, product management, and leading the company's "marketing profession excellence" function. Prior to rejoining the central marketing group, Jeff spent five years working for Microsoft's "Chief Software Architect", where he was focused on helping implement advanced technologies and computing scenarios that are critical to the company's long term success.
Jeff is a Seattle native. He had a decade long hiatus in Oregon during which he graduated from the University of Oregon with honors in Psychology and Sociology. Jeff returned to Seattle in 1991 having a short career in the legal profession before joining Microsoft later that year. Jeff currently resides in Bellevue with his wife and two boys. He is currently past President of the Bellevue Schools Foundation, a member of the U of O regional council, a Social Venture Partner, and a frequent guest speaker at various universities.


Ruth Lipscomb is a community activist and volunteer. She grew up in Oregon and after college came to Washington to work as a software engineer. Ruth is a founding board member of the Progress Alliance of Washington and is a trustee of Sightline Institute. In her spare time she gardens, fosters kittens, travels and tries to find time to exercise and read.


Sarah WorleySarah Worley is a Program Manager in Worldwide Operations for Amazon. Over the past eight years, Sarah has dedicated herself to serving veterans. In 2009 Sarah worked as a constituent services representative in the office of Congressman Walt Minnick (ID-01) where she specialized in veteran and military affairs, immigration, and housing; managing more than 150 cases weekly. Sarah has also time with Hiring Our Heroes (HOH), a grassroots initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Sarah created and expanded an inaugural program for HOH, connecting transitioning military with fellowships with corporate companies such as Amazon, USAA, Verizon, GE, and more. Sarah holds a B.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University. She currently resides in Seattle, WA where she spends her time volunteering and staying actively civically engaged.


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