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 masters in social work 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.

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.

Nate Drews | Board Member

Nate has been part of the Buzzy’s Bees organization since the beginning and is Hudson’s proud father. He served as Buzzy’s treasurer for a number of years, but now focuses his contribution on chairing the golf committee. Nate has been in the financial services 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.

Kelly Tilford | Board Member

Kelly Tilford Buzzy's Board MemberKelly Tilford joined Buzzy’s Bees as a committee volunteer in 2021, handling key details of Give Grief a Voice family communication and eventually became its project management. She is also active on the Outreach and Development Committees. In 2022 she was appointed to the board. An attorney, Kelly has always been interested in the nonprofit sector. She’s enthusiastic about governance and strategy. Her nickname at her last position was “Bylaws.”

Gina Kornfeind | Advisory Board Member

Buzzy’s Bees was introduced to Gina Kornfeind in 2020 as we were planning the third year of the Give Grief a Voice project. At the time Gina was the support and bereavement coordinator for the Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Program at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. Gina sent us amazing families to participate that made up about 40% of the 2021 cohort.

Since then Gina has served as a member of our outreach committee, a member of the 2023 Event Planning Task Force, and an incredible liaison between families and the project. Gina is currently the Group Coordinator for Good Grief in Princeton, NJ. While picking Gina’s brain for potential board members, she mentioned if asked it’d be hard to say no. We love that Gina is a part of our team. She is an incredible Social Worker, family advocate, and now team member.

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.

Emilia Kirstein | GGaV Program Administrator and Communications Coordinator

Emeila BioEmilia joined Buzzy’s team in June of 2022 and fell hard in love with the organization. Starting as the newsletter editor, Emilia now also assists in managing some of the behind the scenes work at Buzzy’s, from outreach to GGaV families and alumni, to GGaV program and event support, and finally helping coordinate a number of communications channels including GoogleAds and website content. Emilia lives in Seattle, WA (right across the street from fellow Buzzy’s team member Julie!) with her family and cat. In her spare time, Emilia loves taking nature walks, getting dessert with friends, and curling up in a warm sweater with a good book.

In another life, Emilia thinks she might have been an author. She’s still working on that in this life.

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

Alexandria Causey, peer support lead
Megan De Salvo, communications advisor
Dianna Fontes, GGaV gallery tour
Kellie Hines, RN, BSN financial gifts program manager
Gina Kornfiend, MSW, MS, outreach
Nancy Petrie, donor & data management