Kate Kanapeaux, Program & Events Director 

Kate specializes in developing programs that engage communities and grow organizations. She supports the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC) members and the larger community of Northwest defense and security industry businesses with programs that strengthen business growth, our region's economy, and our nation's security. Programs include; training, meet the buyer opportunities, business-to-business networking, and advocacy.  Kate has an extensive background in program management and has worked with clients to develop and launch web-based educational programs, conferences, and new membership offerings. Prior to joining PNDC, Kate managed conferences for an international cybersecurity association. 

Email: Kate (at)

Carley Dirks, Procurement Counselor/Program Manager

Carley Dirks graduated from Eastern Washington University (BA) and the University of Oregon Law School (JD).  Her previous experience includes working as a Contract Specialist for the U of O’s Capital Construction office and as a Procurement and Contract Specialist for the State of Oregon, where she provided advice on procurement laws and technical support in developing solicitations, evaluating proposals, and drafting contracts.  She joined PNDC as Procurement Counselor & Program Manager in July 2014.  Carley assists PNDC members with federal, state, and local government contracting including registrations, certifications, market assessment, researching contracting opportunities, proposal and solicitation review, and more.  She also manages PNDC’s partnership with the Government Contract Assistance Program (GCAP), Oregon’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), through which she provides free assistance to Oregon firms pursuing the federal, state, and local government contracting marketplaces.

Carley is active with the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International and is an avid volleyball player.

 Email: carley (at)

Emily Houg, Puget Sound Events Manager

Emily has coordinated special events and conferences across the United States for government agencies and nonprofits. As Puget Sound Event Coordinator for PNDC, Emily supplies the focus, care and attention necessary for exceptional meeting experiences down to the finest element.  Earning her degree in Hospitality Business Management from Washington State University, Emily has held board positions with the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Professional Meeting Convention Association, and remains very active in the association. She is a life-long student, ever engaging and striving to share her love of the hospitality industry. Downtime for Emily involves cross-fit, wrangling her two rescue dogs and exploring new experiences, most recently rock climbing and skydiving. Equally passionate about food as she is putting together the perfect event, Emily fearlessly experiments in her kitchen and seeks out unique epicurean delights. 

 Email: emily (at)          

Leslie Everson, CPA/Finance Director

Leslie Everson joined PNDC in January 2014 as an independent contractor performing the Coalition’s accounting and finance functions.  Leslie, a CPA, has spent over 20 years working in public accounting and industry, primarily serving small to medium size businesses.  A native of North Dakota, she graduated from the University of North Dakota and then lived in Minnesota and Nevada.  She and her husband, Dave, live in Gladstone, OR and have two grown daughters.  They enjoy traveling and spending time enjoying Oregon’s great outdoors.  Leslie served on the Gladstone School Board for eight years, and also served on the Gladstone Education Foundation Board of Directors.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oregon Society of CPAs. 

Email: leslie (at)

Anna Rymill, Membership & Marketing Manager

The Membership and Marketing Manager is tasked with successfully marketing PNDC events and member announcements through all external communications. In addition, the position is responsible for assisting the Program & Events Director with planning programs to serve the needs of PNDC members.  Anna’s previous experience as the General Manager of the Portland Rock Gym makes her a valuable addition to the PNDC team and a multifaceted position such as this. After graduating college in 2009 Anna made the journey from Detroit, MI to Portland, OR. In her free time, Anna enjoys cooking, traveling, and anything physical. She is an avid rock climber, backpacker, fisher, and general outdoorswoman. She is happiest while outside with her rescue pup, Jens, and her partner, Jared.

Email: anna (at)

Bailey Simpson, Office Manager

Bailey Simpson attended Marylhurst University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 2014.  She has over five years of experience in customer service and joined PNDC in 2016. As the Program Coordinator for PNDC, Bailey assists members with a variety of needs and helps in organizing office affairs. In her free time, Bailey enjoys nothing more than spending time with her family and friends. She also revels in reading a good book, playing basketball and camping every summer. 

Email: info (at)

George Cargill, Puget Sound Outreach

George retired from the Air Force with Madigan/Ft Lewis as his final assignment. Following retirement, George worked as a DoD contractor with TriWest for the TRICARE program for 10 years. He enjoyed a great variety of military assignments from England, Pentagon, Air Force Academy, etc. and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Washington. Currently he is involved with several non-profit organizations supporting the military in the Puget Sound area.  His four children are adults - one with the Air Force at Travis AFB, two in Portland, and one on Bainbridge Island.  George coached youth soccer for many years, and climbed Mount Rainier once and the Columbia Tower Big Climb three times.

Email: George (at)

Meghan Murphy, Puget Sound Regional Director

Prior to joining PNDC, Meghan worked for ten years at the Department of Defense. Her positions included working as the Industry Liaison for the India Rapid Reaction Cell, Analyst for Nuclear Weapons Emergency Response Policy and Planning in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and an Operational Policy Planner for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. She also served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer (Slovakia, 2000-2002), with a focus on NGO development and worked as a recruiter for the Peace Corps. She received a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor's degree in history from College of the Holy Cross.

Email: meghan(at)