Executive Director: Mar Brettmann
Mar Smith Brettmann, PhD, founded Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST). For ten years, Mar worked as a professor at universities in the U.S., Malaysia, and the West Indies, where she taught courses in philosophy, ethics, and religion and published articles on human rights topics. In her research, she found herself increasingly concerned about the brutal exploitation of children, women, and impoverished laborers that takes place through human trafficking.
In 2011, Mar participated in a conversation of experts on human trafficking who were seeking to identify effective interventions to proactively prevent this victimization. The group recognized that businesses were absolutely key to prevention yet they were largely missing from the national response. BEST was created to fill that gap. As the Executive Director of BEST, Mar educates business leaders and provides them with tools to implement socially responsible strategies that prevent human trafficking.
Mar is the author of the book, Theories of Justice. She has a B.A. in Business and Economics from Wheaton College and a PhD in Theology and Ethics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Mar resides in Seattle with her family. She loves to explore the outdoors by foot, kayak, bike, surfboard or snowboard.
Program Manager: Ngoc Nguyen
Ngoc brings both corporate and nonprofit experience to BEST. At Johnson & Johnson, Ngoc recruited, managed, and directed a team for the largest capital equipment installation project for hospitals nationwide. Ngoc also brings corporate experience in operations management, process improvement, and client services. Ngoc is grateful for all of the opportunities afforded to her and works to give to others what was given to her. For that reason, Ngoc has served in the nonprofit sector as Operations Director at Free Wheelchair Mission and Assistant Program Director at Eastside Legal Assistance Program. Her strengths are in recruiting and developing talent and streamlining projects. Ngoc holds a BA degree in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Irvine. She is a reformed adrenaline junkie. She no longer jumps from planes or rides motorcycles. However, she still continues to rock-climb and she enjoys spending time with her family.
Community Engagement Manager: Brooke Wilzen
Brooke Wilzen brings to BEST valuable experience in donor relations and non-profit fundraising. Brooke has worked in the development and fundraising sector since 2008, when she discovered her passion for helping non-profits build strong relationships with the donors who help them to fulfill their missions. Brooke’s experiences range from front-line fundraising, donor stewardship, corporate sponsorship, individual giving, event planning, and communications. Prior to joining BEST, she worked for the American Cancer Society, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute and Gilda’s Club Seattle. Brooke holds a BA degree in Public Relations from Gonzaga University. Brooke is also an avid equestrian and enjoys spending time with her family in Seattle.
Operations Coordinator: Alisha West
After volunteering for BEST for over a year, Alisha joins our team from the higher education world. Alisha worked for Gonzaga University’s Admissions office for nearly a decade before leaving to earn her Master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies. Alisha has long been interested in efforts to prevent human trafficking. As an undergraduate student at Gonzaga University, she helped found the “STOP Trafficking” club and as a graduate student she was involved in “Card Against Trafficking,” a student led anti-trafficking organization. Through her involvement with these organizations, her studies regarding female exploitation, and volunteering for BEST, Alisha has become passionate about preventing the crime of trafficking in persons. Alisha has a B.A. in English from Gonzaga University and an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Louisville. Alisha is also a part-time teacher/tutor. She resides in Snohomish with her spouse and three adorable four-legged children (2 dogs and a cat).