Who We are

Our Team

Amanda Drews | Founder, Board President

Amanda established Buzzy’s Bees in the wake of her son Hudson’s sudden and unexplained death. Amanda’s vision and professional background in event planning and production has helped the organization grow quickly. She chairs the communications committee, financial gifts committee, and serves on all other committees in some capacity with the exception of the finance committee, leaving that to the spreadsheet gurus. She has served on several boards and the one she found most rewarding prior to Buzzy’s was the Oregon Football Association, which creates mentor relationships between college athletes and adolescents. Amanda is also working on her social work degree to better serve our Buzzy’s families. She lives in Beaverton, Oregon with her family and enjoys spending time outside and at local festivals and events.

In another life, she’s pretty sure she was a talk show host. She has the gift of gab and finds people’s stories incredibly touching.

Nate Drews | Board Treasurer

Nate has been part of the Buzzy’s Bees organization since the beginning and is Hudson’s proud father. He works on the numbers behind the scenes, chairing both the finance and golf committees. Nate has been in the financial industry since 2009 and has worked as a  financial advisor for Thrivent Financial for the past nine years. Music has been a huge part of his grieving and healing process, especially listening to the Zac Brown Band. Nate rewrote the opening to Go Rest High On That Mountain by Vince Gill to be sung at Hudson’s Memorial. Nate lives in Beaverton, Oregon with his family and enjoys golfing, traveling and relaxing in his spare time.

When he was five, he was pretty sure he’d be a truck driver when he grew up

Julie Schneider | Board Secretary

Julie Schneider Buzzy's BeesJulie has been part of the Buzzy’s Bees organization since inception, taking care of many of the operational needs behind-the-scenes for Buzzy’s. She chairs the development committee and participates on each of our remaining committees. Julie has years of experience in professional services marketing and business development. She also serves on the board of PNW Parent Education, focused on providing parent education events. Julie lives with her family in Seattle, WA and enjoys getting out on the water, crocheting, and bringing people together.

Internet quizzes say that she’s a combination of Rory from Gilmore Girls and Aubrey from Pitch Perfect.

Nicole Smith | Board Member

Nicole joined the Buzzy’s Board in 2020 – what a year to join!  Nicole quickly integrated into our “hands-on” board and contributed immediately to our Give Grief a Voice, Communications, and Golf Event committees.  She has also connected us with a few families who could benefit from our financial gifts program. We are happy to have her join us at the board level and this coming year she will chair the Give Grief a Voice committee.

In her professional life, Nicole serves as Location Leader at Sunnyside Little Chapel of the Chimes and Oregon Cremation Company. Her perspective as one who serves those who have recently lost a loved one adds an important dimension to our board. Nicole lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and spends spare time exploring vegan treats and delving into library books.

If she were a book character, she would be Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, as she identifies with how he fought for the rights of others, taught his children important life lessons, and always held his head high where justice was needed. 

Amy Drews | Artist Liaison & Web Designer

Amy Drews Artist LiaisonAmy has been with Buzzy’s Bees since the beginning. Her artistic strength simply makes everything better. Amy designs and maintains our website and print collateral.  She also serves as the artist liaison for the Give Grief a Voice project, ensuring that the pieces produced are within project parameters. 

Amy lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and two dogs. When not in her studio creating art of her own, she can be found gardening, hiking and skiing on Mt. Hood.

Lisa Reit | Lead Writer, Give Grief A Voice Project

Writer Lisa ReitLisa Reit is an emerging writer living in Portland, Oregon. Amanda’s story was the first one she helped tell for the Give Grief a Voice project. She is proud to travel the country meeting incredible families for Buzzy’s. Lisa is hard at work on her first book. 

If she could be any character in a book or movie she would be Jo from Little Women.

Elisha Palmer | Advisor

Elisha Palmer is the Co-Founder of the Knox Blocks Foundation that was started after her son, Knox Owen, passed away to SIDS at 3.5 months.

She spends her time advocating for our babies without a voice, bridging the gap between the parent loss world and non loss world on her blog Spaces Between You and spending time with her three very busy earth children and husband.

If Elisha were someone in a past life she believes it would be an event planner for the Royal Family. She has a love for planning large events and a slight obsession with the Royal family.

Volunteer Staff

Nancy Petrie, Newsletters & Donor Relations
Megan De Salvo, Social Media