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About  //  Who We Are

The MLK Business Association was formed in 2008 to organize and promote the businesses along MLK. Our vision is to foster a “strong, vibrant, and culturally diverse business community that is a destination, second to none, in the Pacific Northwest.”


Julie Pham Julie Pham • Chair
Co-owner, Northwest Vietnamese News • 206.723-4666 • julie@nvnorthwest.com
Julie Pham, PhD is co-owner of Northwest Vietnamese News. Pham has served on the MLKBA board since 2009. She was named to the 2011 list of top 40 Under 40 business leaders by the Puget Sound Business Journal. Pham’s business has resided on MLK Way since 1986 and she spent her childhood in the Rainier Valley.


Charleete Black Charleete Black • Secretary/Treasurer
Business Development Manager Rainier Valley Community Development Fund • 206.722.5280
Charleete Black is a Business and Retention Program Officer at the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund. Black is a MLKBA founding board board member and the current Secretary/Treasurer. She owned a business, Production Sales of Seattle, for 15 years. She also lives in the Rainier Valley.


Asari Mohamath Asari Mohamath • Director
Owner, Building Maintenance Services, Inc. • 206.356.6144 • asari@bmsinc.com
Asari Mohamath owns Building Maintenance Services Inc (est. 1995). He and his wife also own Salima Catering (est. 2006). Mohamath is a MLKBA founding board board member and conceptualized the Plate of Nations event. He also serves on the Rainier Chamber of Commerce board. He immigrated from Vietnam in 1979, and first settled in the Rainier Valley.


Kristin Pula Kristin Pula • Director
Director of policy and resource development at Homesight • 206.760.4226
Kristin Pula is the Director of Policy and Resource Development at Homesight. Pula is a MLKBA founding board member and a graduate of the 2011 Leadership Tomorrow program. Pula is the chief grant writer for MLKBA. Pula has lived in the Rainier Valley since 2003.


Natalie Hester Natalie Hester • Director
Banker
Natalie Hester has worked in the banking industry for 17 years. She has helped small businesses for years. She joined the MLKBA board in 2010 and organizes the MLKBA business mixers.


Nikita Mathis Nikita Mathis • Director
Owner, Platinum Plush
Nikita Mathis is the owner of Platinum Plush, which has been outfitting local fashionistas since 2001. Mathis joined the MLKBA board in 2010 and she serves as a MLKBA business ambassador. She also organized the MLKBA team in the 2011 Beach to Bridge Earth Day Clean up, which was awarded “Most Enthusiastic.” She grew up in the Rainier Valley.


Mohamud Yussuf Mohamud Yussuf • Director
Publisher, Runta Somali News Magazine
Mohamud Yussuf is the publisher of Runta Somali News Magazine, which has served the local Somali community since 2001. Yussuf joined the MLKBA board in 2010 and serves as a MLKBA business ambassador. He is also a small business trainer with Washington C.A.S.H. He immigrated from Somalia via Kenya in 1996 and he has lived in the Rainier Valley since 2000.


Zane Fitch Zane Fitch • Director
Owner, Dayspring Fitch Funeral Home
Zane Fitch owns the two-generation family-run Dayspring Fitch Funeral Home, which has been in the Rainier Valley since 1987. Fitch joined the MLKBA in 2010 and he has also served on the Black Holidays Task Force. He moved to Washington from Oklahoma in 1984.