Jennifer Nakata is a key part of Pierce County First 5 FUNdamentals, a movement to grow a child-centered community, where she leads more than 100 local organizations that are part of Project Child Success. Her work involves leading community meetings, planning training, organizing advocacy and facilitating projects.

This sounds like a very “local” focus for this “40 Under Forty” honoree whose prior life was clearly “global.” As a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, Jenny taught biology, math and life skills, but her tale is that she was learning – about other cultures and challenges of assimilating to a foreign environment. The experience inspired her toward graduate school at Cal Berkeley, where she earned Masters degrees in Social Work and Public Health. Along the way, this veteran traveler has visited 35+ countries and fluently speaks three languages, while working on a fourth.

“I am passionate about refugee resettlement in the U.S., and it is important to me to model compassion and warmth in our community and in our home,” Nakata explains. She and her husband, whose assignment to JBLM brought the couple to Tacoma, are foster parents to two refugee children from Afghanistan.

While not forsaking future adventures, Jennifer Nakata now says, “I am proud to call Tacoma home and plan to stay for many years to come.” That’s a wonderful intention for a “40 Under Forty” honoree.

Zach Parsons grew up as the son of a high school football coach, so it’s easy to see what he’s such a sports fan. Couple that with a mature intention to find a career that didn’t involve further labor-intensive tasks and you come to his engagement as a certified public accountant with DP&C in Tacoma.

There sometimes are misconceptions that all accountants or CPAs are somehow good golfers, but Zach disclaims that talent. Instead, he is looking forward a number of years to watching and supporting his one-year-old son as he becomes involved with sports, should that be his choice.

As do most accountants committed to their community, Powers is active with community organizations: treasurer for Palmer Scholars is one example and an active member of the 100-year-old Tacoma Executives Association is another.

Gazing back on his first decade in an accounting and auditing career, he recalls working summers as a teen washing field flats at a berry farm in Lynden, where he grew up. And no, he wasn’t required to count the fruit as it went through the processing plant.

Get to meet Jennifer Nakata and Zach Parsons, plus 38 other remarkable members of 2017’s 40 Under Forty cohort at the celebration of their honors on Wednesday, October 11, at Foss Waterway Seaport in downtown Tacoma. It begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and the recognition program will conclude before 8 o’clock.  Tickets are available at this link.