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Executive Leadership


Photo of Jo Ann Kauffman

Jo Ann Kauffman, MPH, President

Jo Ann Kauffman is a member of the Nez Perce Indian Tribe who grew up in Seattle, WA, and on the Nez Perce Reservation in Kamiah, ID. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California at Berkeley. After working in the field of Indian health care for many years, including serving as executive director of the Seattle Indian Health Board, she founded Kauffman & Associates, Inc., (KAI) in 1990. As the President and CEO of KAI, she has grown the company, remained actively involved in its development, and ensured high-quality management support for KAI clients. She has served on national boards and was honored with the "Free Spirit Award" by the Freedom Forum in 1998 for her longtime work as a community activist and advocate for First Amendment issues. Jo Ann was appointed by the governor of the state of Washington to the Board of Trustees of Eastern Washington University, where she currently serves as chair.

 
Photo of Tom Keefe

Thomas P. Keefe, JD, Legal Counsel

A member of the bar of the state of Washington and the District of Columbia for more than 30 years, Tom has extensive experience in litigation involving federal treaty rights in federal, state, and tribal courts. He has also served as an appellate judge for the Northwest Intertribal Court System. Tom served as legislative director for the late U.S. Senator Warren G. Magnuson and as counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. He later served as counsel to the late Senator Brock Adams and as special counsel to the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee under Senator Edward Kennedy. Tom advises company clients in areas of federal law and policy, including the National Historic Preservation Act, the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the federal legislative and appropriations processes. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Catholic University of America.

 
Photo of Kathy Lewis

Kathy Lewis, Director of Contract Management and Budgets

In her role as Director of Contract Management and Budgets, Kathy is a key member of KAI's executive management team. She is responsible for all aspects of client contracting including government contract vehicles, project contracts, vendor contracts, hotel contracts, subcontracting, partnership/team arrangements, and consultant agreements. Kathy oversees all project budget preparation and monitoring, review of contract provisions, relationships with contract officers, tracking, monitoring, compliance, and all related concerns. She also plays a lead role on KAI's business development team. Kathy is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe and holds a bachelor's degree in sports management from Washington State University. Earlier in her career she acquired business and management experience in the fields of property management and early childhood education.

 
Photo of Shelley Merrill

Shelley Merrill, Chief Financial Officer

Shelley Merrill is a CPA with over 20 years of experience in public accounting and industry practice. Shelley was an Audit Manager for a major regional CPA firm, providing financial statement and accounting systems audit and corporate and individual tax services. She held Comptroller positions overseeing all corporate financial and accounting systems concerns for multiple franchise automobile dealerships. Shelley was past president of the Washington Society of CPA’s local Spokane Chapter and served as a board member for several years prior to serving as their president. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business with an accounting emphasis from Eastern Washington University, and has held her CPA license with the Washington State Board of Accountancy since 1992.

 
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