Teamwork is one of the highest priorities in our company. This is enhanced by reviewing each trust with not only our relationship managers, but with a multitude of team members to ensure quality and care for our clients. A collaborative approach to discretionary decision making is very important. While each employee has their own specific duties, we work together to deliver the service we are known for and that makes us all successful. Because of this, we know “Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs
Chief Executive Officer
Greg Bowman, CPA, is a native of Auckland, New Zealand, and oversees the financial, human resources and operational functions at Northwest Trustee & Management Services. He also works closely with the President to coordinate business development plans. Greg joined the team in 2013 with over a decade of experience in the area of accounting, finance, investments and organizational strategy. He is a graduate of George Fox University majoring in Business Administration (Finance) and Accounting. Greg previously worked as a Senior Accountant for KPMG and a Manager at Deloitte, New Zealand, where he managed projects and teams in mergers and acquisitions, corporate valuations and financial due diligence. After leaving New Zealand, Greg held the role of Chief Financial Officer for a large not-for-profit organization in Africa. In addition to leading a team of 10 staff in the finance department, he worked closely with the Board of Directors to restructure the organization and ensure the long term financial sustainability of the not-for-profit. Greg has served on various charitable Boards in New Zealand, Indonesia, and Kenya. He is currently a member of the Washington State Board of Accountancy, the Spokane Estate Planning Council and the Spokane Financial Planning Association.
President & Founder
President and Founder, Stephen W. Trefts, has over 30 years of trust management experience. A graduate of Gonzaga University School of Law, he was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1976. Since founding Northwest Trustee & Management Services in 1989, he has successfully served thousands of clients, including those with a wide variety of complicated family situations and complex assets by providing highly responsive and hands-on professional trust and estate management services. Due to his depth of experience, he often works with individuals and their advisors to develop and implement trust plans that will meet the goals and objectives of both the individual and the family. Passionate for both community and professional organizations, Steve is currently affiliated with: the Washington State Bar Association, the Spokane County Bar Association, the Spokane Estate Planning Council, and the Inland Northwest Planned Giving Council.
JOHN VAN ENGELEN
Chief Financial Officer
John joined our team in 2020 as our Chief Financial Officer. He brings significant experience in tax, insurance, risk management and financial services. Prior to joining Northwest Trustee, John owned a public accounting firm for several years, specializing in tax and accounting services. He also held executive management positions in the insurance sector. John is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and a graduate from Boise State University with a BBA in accounting. He has served on numerous boards, including most recently, the Twin Falls Public Library and the Twin Falls Housing Authority. John’s diverse background of accounting, taxes, insurance and financial services gives him a unique blend of knowledge and experiences to share with those who need help with trust and estate administration.
Chief Compliance Officer
As our Chief Compliance Officer and with over 25 years of experience specializing in corporate, securities, mergers, acquisitions, real estate and regulatory matters, Susan ensures compliance with laws, regulatory requirements, policies and procedures. Prior to joining Northwest Trustee, Susan studied Accounting and Economics at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, and was an Executive Assistant/Paralegal for the General Counsel of a bank and one of the largest law firms in Spokane.
In her free time, Susan and her husband volunteer with the Second Harvest Food Bank, Coats for Kids, and the annual Liberty Lake Cruising with the Cops fundraiser for Special Olympics. They are avid car collectors, supporters of Stevens County Home Again Lost and Found Pets and divide whatever time they have left with their rescue dogs and twin granddaughters.
Director of Fiduciary Risk
With more than 30 years of professional experience and a licensed attorney in both Washington State and Texas since 2000, Kate joined our team as Director of Fiduciary Risk. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with her BA and an MBA in 1992, Kate worked in strategic planning, budgeting and finance in the insurance industry. In 2000, she completed her JD at the Texas Tech School of Law and joined the Austin office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, where she practiced insurance regulatory law and corporate law, with a specialty in financing and incorporating high-tech start-ups. After, Kate served as in-house counsel for life insurers, with an emphasis on compliance.
Kate took time off to homeschool her two children, while staying active in Catholic schools and her parish activities. She and her husband of 33 years enjoy skiing with their children, hiking, kayaking and cycling during the warmer months.
With over 25 years of diverse operational and project management experience in the automotive, insurance, energy, and identity verification sectors, Brian joined the team as our Fiduciary Operations and Project Manager. A graduate of Westmont College, with a degree in Economics & Business, he enjoys solving problems, creating business efficiencies, and delivering solutions to both internal and external clients.
Raised in Spokane, Brian loves to experience the food and cultures of the world and has traveled to over 40 countries. He is highly involved in leadership at his church and spends his free time either supporting Liverpool Football Club or enjoying a long road trip with his wife and three daughters.
Director of Operations
Jess joined the team as Director of Operations. Prior to Northwest Trustee, Jess spent 15 years administrating employees, volunteers, facility, and ministries of a large church organization in the Spokane area. Jess’ experience and background in facilities, organizational management and human resources are great assets which help support and facilitate the function and direction of Northwest Trustee.
Senior Trust Officer
With over 30 years of professional experience, Raelene joined our team in 2015 as our Senior Trust Officer. She has held roles as Gift Planning & Development Director for both Northwest Christian Schools and, most recently, for Christ Clinic/Christ Kitchen which included sophisticated trust and estate planning strategies and leading teams to complete marketing initiatives. In addition to serving as Senior Trust Officer, Raelene heads up our Special Needs Trust Department working with teams of professionals to serve those with limitations, while coordinating with federal and state benefit programs. Previously, she held the role of Vice President of the consulting division of a community bank in California (Foothill Independent Bank), and subsequently as an independent consultant in Spokane. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.
Raelene is a member of the Spokane Estate Planning Council. She and her husband enjoy traveling throughout the Northwest in search of the perfect hot spring. They have two daughters who are both in college.
Janelle J. Woody
Senior Trust Officer
As Senior Trust Officer, Janelle leads our Relationship team in the Boise office. Throughout her many years of experience in trust administration, investment management and financial planning, she has enjoyed helping others navigate through life and realize their goals. She is a graduate of the Cannon Financial Trust School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University, where she played tennis for the Eagles all four years. She also holds the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers.
Janelle grew up in the Pacific Northwest and loves living in the Treasure Valley. She supports Girls on the Run and is active with Boise Estate Planning Council and Idaho Conservation League. You might find Janelle out on the trails with the Boise Area Runners club or hiking in the Idaho mountains.
Jeff joined our team as Trust Officer and has over 25 years of professional experience. After graduating from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1993, he practiced as both a solo attorney and partner in the Spokane law firm of Winston and Cashatt, focusing primarily on probate, estate planning and general business consultation. He is licensed to practice law in both Idaho and Washington and received his undergraduate degree from Montana State University with a B.S. in Industrial and Management Engineering.
Proudly participating in the Spokane community, Jeff is a founding member of the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane County (serving for over five years including one year as President), a long-standing member of the North Spokane Exchange Club, and formerly trustee for Joya Child and Family Development Center.
Executive Assistant to Stephen Trefts
Cindy joined Northwest Trustee in 2016 and was promoted from Trust Administrator to Trust Officer, where she enjoys working with clients with a variety of circumstances and life situations. Previous experience includes working for 12 years as an Administrative Assistant for an executive of Bank of America. Cindy is passionate about living out our core values both on and off the job. When not at work, Cindy enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Linda joined Northwest Trustee with over 30 years of experience in trust and estate administration and all areas trust management. She is a Spokane native and worked for US Bank for 20 years before moving to Oregon where she was a Trust Officer for Oregon Pacific Bank in both Medford and Eugene and was involved in establishing a new trust office in Eugene in 2015. Linda has a great ability to connect with clients and leverage her expertise to help them through a wide variety of personal, technical or trust concerns and questions. She has served on various boards over the years as well as being a member of the Estate Planning Council in Spokane, Medford and Eugene. She is currently a member of Spokane Preservation Advocates, which is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the historic character of Spokane and Spokane County. She is very happy to have joined Northwest Trustee to assist clients across the entire country.
With over 25 years of experience in the film industry, Anna joined Northwest Trustee in 2018 and is currently a Trust Officer. Anna works as a team member in our Special Needs Trust Department. With her vast background in HR, management and the film industry, Anna brings a thoughtful and hands-on approach to helping our clients. In her free time, Anna and her husband enjoy camping, off-roading and are active volunteers in the Spokane County community.
As Trust Officer, Alex brings a wealth of experience to Northwest Trustee, specializing in financial services throughout his extensive career. He has successfully navigated the intricacies of both boutique firms and large institutions, serving a diverse group of clients. Alex’s dedication to client-centered excellence, coupled with his extensive knowledge and unique insights, make him an invaluable member of our team.
Shirley has been with the company for over 10 years and is our Trust Investment Administrator and Executive Assistant to Greg Bowman, CEO. She supports Greg with Investment Reviews and a wide variety of business administration. Shirley has an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies and a B.S. in Business Administration.
Carole is our part-time business accountant. She reconciles the firm's trust account and handles the quarterly tax accounting. She graduated with honors from Colorado College with a degree in Economics.
As our Business Development Manager, Krista is the first point of contact for all clients and professionals considering Northwest Trustee’s services and those who have named us in their estate plans. Krista guides clients through our service offerings and discusses how we can help each family on an individual basis. In conjunction, she coordinates business development administration and also oversees our marketing efforts.
With more than 10 years in the medical/dental industry and an Associate of Applied Science degree, Samantha comes to us with extensive knowledge of interpersonal relationships and customer service skills. As our Business Development Assistant, Samantha assists Krista Fitzpatrick and is part of our marketing team.
As Onboarding and Fiduciary Specialist, Francesca coordinates and manages the flow of fiduciary administration, including the onboarding and closing of fiduciary relationships with our team of Trust Officers and Trust Associates. With over 10 years of experience working for a national trust company as both an Executive Assistant as well as working in Trust Administration, she is a great addition to the team.
As Trust Associate, Teri supports our Special Needs Trust Department in a wide variety of administrative tasks. Prior to joining our staff, Teri worked in the office Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries. She has also worked as a bank teller and in customer service.
As Trust Associate, JoEllen assists with trust administration in our Boise office. After graduating from the University of Minnesota and moving to Boise, Idaho, JoEllen worked as a paralegal for several law firms for over 10 years. She then worked as a Trust Associate at Tresco of Idaho which specializes in conservatorships, as well as, trust and estate administration.
Before graduating from Spokane Community College with Legal Administrative Assistant and Paralegal degrees, Alexx spent three years as a Legal Assistant in a local mediation office. As Trust Associate, Alexx is involved with trust administration in our Spokane office.
As Trust Associate, Jordyn assists our Spokane team on a wide variety of trust administration duties. After graduating from University of Idaho College of Law in Moscow, Idaho, Jordyn returned to her hometown of Spokane to begin her career at Northwest Trustee. Jordyn has a variety of legal experience ranging from work in the Family Law Division at the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office, criminal defense in Coeur d’Alene, and Social Security disability and estate planning law at local firms in Spokane.
As Trust Associate, Barbara's focus is on trust administration in our Puget Sound office. Barbara began her career in the industry over two decades ago as a paralegal in family law, probate, guardianship, SSI disability, and adoptions. Her wealth of knowledge and experience is an invaluable asset to our team.
As Trust Associate, Karie supports the team in a wide variety of administrative tasks. Prior to joining our team, Karie enjoyed her career as a licensed Realtor for over 25 years.
Eliza works as Trust Associate in our Boise office supporting the team in a variety of tasks. Eliza graduated from Boise State University, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, with an emphasis on Family Support.
As Trust Associate, Candie supports our Special Needs Trust Department in administrative tasks. Since graduating from Gonzaga University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies with a concentration in Business, Candie has worked in financial institutions, schools, and medical offices.
As Trust Associate in our Boise office, Alexis provides support to the team in a variety of tasks. Alexis is a graduate of Boise State University, where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Human Resource Management and General Business. She has worked in a variety of financial roles throughout her career.
As Trust Associate, Savannah provides support in the Special Needs Trust Department in various administrative tasks. Prior to joining the team, Savannah worked over 10 years in customer service and retail related managerial roles.
As Trust Accounting Manager, Jaime has worked for Northwest Trustee for more than 18 years in different roles. She reconciles brokerage and bank statements, assists with the preparation of financial reports, serves as back up for trust deposits and disbursements and provides other administrative support as needed. Jaime has an A.A.S. degree in Secretarial Administration from Spokane Falls Community College.
Tsenguun joined our team as an intern and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at Whitworth University. As Trust Accounting Clerk, Tsenguun greatly assists our accounting department.
As Accounting Assistant, Shelley assists the accounting team processing payroll, reconciling investment statements, and facilitating the tax preparation and filing of client tax returns. Shelley worked as a as payroll, billing and contract administrator for a commercial landscape company for over 20 years. She studied Business Management at Orem University in Utah and at VCC in California.
As Trust Accounting Clerk, Janie processes deposits, disbursements and fees for trusts, maintains financial data and spreadsheets, and provides specialized reports to assist with trust administration. Prior to joining our team, Janie was an accountant for a legal firm. A native of Boston, she attended Eastern Nazarene College where she studied Social Work.
As Trust Accounting Clerk, Maren greatly assists our accounting department. During and after college, Maren worked in the banking industry for over 17 years—titles she held were personal banker, service manager, executive assistant to area vice president, and commercial lending associate. Later, she worked as a legal assistant for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office for seven years and then worked for five years as a paralegal with two top attorneys.
As Office Assistant, Cerise is the first point of contact for our company and is our primary receptionist and greeter. She administers inner-office operations, directs all shipping and mail and considers her primary task to be keeping her team comfortable and well-equipped. Cerise grew-up in Central Africa and later attended the Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya. She has a B.A. in Music Pedagogy and has extensive experience running the front end of businesses.
Rachel works as Office Assistant answering the phones, scans, sorts the incoming mail to the appropriate Trust Officers and the outgoing financial letters to clients. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from CSU Stanislaus. Prior to joining our team, she assisted an accountant as an office manager.