Movers & Shakers 2/9/2018

Dena Strong


Dena Strong, former vice president of Client Services with Innovative Services NW, was recently promoted to Innovative’s new president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Launda Carroll
Launda Carroll

Innovative’s Board of Directors unanimously selected Strong, with her experience in business strategy, executive management, and organizational leadership and efficiencies, to lead this 54-year-old nonprofit into the future. She will replace Launda Carroll, now CEO emeritus, who will retire after more than 33 years with the organization. Carroll will continue to be available to assist with the leadership transition and other assigned projects until her retirement on June 30, 2018.

Melissa Jaacks
Melissa Jaacks

Melissa Jaacks will join Innovative as their new vice president of Operations. A Washington native, Jaacks began her career at Microsoft, administering the supplemental employee benefits and giving programs, and then working in several marketing positions. Upon moving to Portland, she worked for branding and advertising agencies for the last 13 years and held the positions of director and vice president of Operations. Jaacks is thrilled to join the team at Innovative and shift her focus to mission-driven work. Bobbi Heitschmidt, Innovative Services NW Board Co-Chair, said: “Innovative’s board has full confidence in our new leadership. We know their skills and experience will help us continue to provide high quality services to the community and expand the number of lives our organization impacts every day.”

Innovative Services NW is a Vancouver-based nonprofit whose mission is “Creating opportunities. Achieving results. Changing lives!” Innovative offers a continuum of services including early learning, child care and pediatric therapy for children; employment training and job support adults with disabilities or disadvantages; and intervention, education and support for foster youth and families.



Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start