Understanding Urban Institutions: Government, Business, Religion, Cultural and Philanthropic
Jennifer Samuels is a public servant of Seattle and formerly with the State of Washington. She is a wife, mother, sister, writer, political advisor, and, foremost, a Christian. Jennifer formerly served her community as a non-profit leader, business manager, judicial aide, and Chief of Staff. She serves her community to meet this moment of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. Jennifer has lived experience in tackling big issues, including: Homelessness, social justice, food instability, immigration, and public safety. She served as a liaison between the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government for the former Washington State Supreme Court Justice Robert F. Utter, as well as the former Seattle City Council President and Mayoral Candidate Bruce A. Harrell.
In the 1960’s, Jennifer’s family transferred from the shadow of the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C, where they came from a long line of public servants in the United States Navy. Her parents loved the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and made Seattle their home. When Jennifer made the decision to attend college, she received a senatorial nod and was tapped to attend Annapolis Naval Academy. Women were being incorporated into the institution for the first time in Naval history. At that time, former Rear Admiral and U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black would have been Jennifer’s chaplain and teacher at the Academy had Jennifer accepted the appointment. However, she elected to pass on the Naval Academy — she felt that God was calling her in a different direction. In 2000, Ms. Samuels was selected and admitted to the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has served on the boards of numerous community-based organizations, including Adventist Community Services, Washington Conference.
Jennifer is married to Elder Hector Samuels. This year, they are celebrating their 40th anniversary. They have three adult children, a daughter- and son-in-law, and seven grandchildren.
Colette Newer, is the Associate Director for Adventist Community Services at the North American Division. Prior to this she served as the Outreach Ministries at Washington Conference, serving Adventist Prison Ministries, and Adventist Community Services. In these capacities, she loves watching God call and empower church members to establish new and innovative ministries in their communities. She considers it a privilege to be part of that process by coaching ministry leaders to expand their capabilities and vision.
Colette holds a Bachelors in Sociology from Whitman College, Master’s in Administration from Andrews University and Certificate in Fundraising Management from the Lilly School of Philanthropy, IUPUI.
Colette and her husband, Brad Thurber have one grown son, Jacob. To recharge her batteries, Colette will go kayaking, work in the flower beds at home, or seek out an experience with art.
Pastor Derek Lane completed undergraduate studies at Oakwood University, graduate work at MS State University in Leadership, and is certified with NELI – the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Sanford University. He served as an ordained minister for 13 years before transitioning from full-time ministry to launch the Lane Consulting Group, a fundraising consulting business which launched scores of non-profit agencies and secured over $20 million in funding for clients throughout the U.S. In 2019, he returned to full-time pastoral work and serves at the Maranatha and Lighthouse SDA churches in Seattle, WA. He also serves as a fundraising consultant for the North American Division’s PSI Department (Philanthropic Services for Institutions). He has a passion for community development and social justice work. He is married to Mae Aldridge-Lane and they have four adult children and one grandchild, Ms. Zoe Abigail.
Byron Dulan, currently serves as the Vice-President for Regional Ministries, Outreach Ministries and Human Relations of the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Under Outreach Ministries, he gives oversight to Adventist Community Services, Disaster Response, Prison Ministries, and Urban Ministries. His service for the Adventist Church includes college administrator, pastor, church planter, conference departmental leader and union officer. He has pastored urban churches in Compton, Los Angeles and Seattle.
In his roles as a ministry organizer and meeting planner, Pastor Dulan is always looking for opportunities to bring leaders together for mutual education, inspiration and united action. He serves, with a talented team of local conference leaders, as Convener of the Urban Ministries Convention 2021.
In addition to his work for the church, Elder Dulan has served on numerous community organization boards and committees.
Pastor Dulan is happily married to Linda Dulan, a Licensed Family Therapist. They are the proud parents of Adina Dulan Wright and Alison Dulan Francis, and have six grandchildren.