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Kitsap Strong Backbone Role


Continuous Communication

Creating a process and environment in our community where agencies can come together to discuss complex social issues - homelessness, intergenerational poverty, ACEs, mental health issues, substance use, criminal activity - and develop innovative solutions is hard work. We must all be patient while holding each other accountable.

Backbone Agencies

Kitsap Strong's role as the backbone:

  • Have a dedicated staff

  • Have a high level of credibility within the community

  • Serve as neutral convener - create a space/process for agencies to learn together

  • Build key relationships across agencies involved in the initiative

  • Focus people’s attention & create a sense of urgency

  • Frame issues to present opportunities & difficulties

  • Use evaluation as a tool for learning & progress

  • Ensure coordination & accountability

  • Establish collective ownership

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Meet the Backbone Team 

Cristina Roark joins the Kitsap Strong team as the Innovation Network Manager. The Innovation Network is working with a diverse group of community agencies to promote and expand trauma-informed practices and services to individuals in our community. This network consists of agencies across the life span (birth to 5 service providers to hospice care) and across numerous sectors (health, housing, education, justice, human services, etc.), and all the agencies are exploring new strategies, policies, practices, and services to support employees and clients from a trauma-informed perspective.

She supports the collaborative learning efforts that bring diversity of thought and methods for data-informed reflections of what is working and for what areas could benefit from improvements. Her role is to serve as a resource to the Innovation Network and help facilitate strategic partnerships and connections.

Cristina is recognized by her peers as a someone who cares deeply about developing meaningful and supportive relationships. She believes that the ability to influence system change begins with looking inward.

Before joining Kitsap Strong, Cristina served as a Senior IT Business Analyst at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Alumni for ten years on IT-related change initiatives. She was a culture contributor, building employee communities for greater impact and personal fulfillment. She holds an MBA from the University of Kansas and a BA in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.


Cristina Roark


Community Innovation


Alyson Rotter (pronounced r-oh-t-er) currently works as the Network Manager for Graduate Strong Network (formerly Kitsap & Mason) within Kitsap Strong. Her education background includes an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Public Affairs from Washington State University. She has worked in the field of education for over 20 years in various capacities within higher education, college access, outreach and training, program management, expanded learning and behavioral health.

She strongly believes all students can and will be successful when they have the right opportunities, resources, and support systems. Ensuring equity in education is not only a professional passion, but a personal mission as well. Alyson currently serves a School Board Director in the community she resides and is involved in several other community volunteer efforts related to education. She enjoys spending time outdoors and attending sporting events with her husband Chris, and two children, Brennan and Macelyn.

Alyson Rotter
Education Innovation

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Promise is excited and honored to recently join the Backbone Team as the Future Bound Facilitator to work with community partners and youth for equitable educational outcomes and post-secondary exploration and opportunity. 


Promise has lived in Kitsap County since 2017 and been involved as a community organizer and facilitator with Kitsap SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). She's worked with youth as a middle and high school teacher, advisor, and college counselor in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Oregon, and abroad in Palestine. Most recently, as the director of QuEST, a nonprofit service fellowship program in Seattle, she's supported young adults in their personal and professional growth. Promise has degrees from Bryn Mawr College (PA) and the Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College (VT). A practicing Quaker, she finds delight in singing, collaging, dancing, prayer, poetry, and potlucks. Promise looks forward to connecting with you in the coming months and hearing more about the community's vision for future bound activities in Kitsap. 

Promise Partner
Graduate Strong

Future Bound Facilitator


Kitsap Strong is funded through a blended funding model that includes local core partners, other philanthropic organizations, in addition to local, state and national grants that support both general operations and programming within Kitsap Strong. 

Kitsap Community Foundation

Kitsap Public Health District

The Suquamish Tribe

United Way of Kitsap County

Olympic College Foundation 

The Ballmer Group 

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