Teamwork is a high priority in our firm. This is enhanced by regular reviews of each trust and monthly staff meetings. A collaborative approach to discretionary decision making is very important. While each staff member has specific duties, we are dedicated to cross training internally and professional training externally.
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, the Inland Northwest Planned Giving Council and the Washington Association of Professional Guardians.
Chief Executive Officer
Finance & Business Development
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.
John Van Engelen
Chief Financial Officer
John joined our firm 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.
Idaho Regional Manager
David brings great depth of fiduciary, financial and legal experience to the role of Idaho Regional Manager and Trust Officer for Northwest Trustee & Management Services. He is recent past president of the Idaho State Bar and is a Bar Commissioner representing the Fourth Judicial District, president of the Boise Estate Planning Council and a past president for the Treasure Valley Estate Planning Council. Prior to joining Northwest Trustee, David led the Boise wealth management office for a privately-owned Northwest regional bank, where he managed a complex book of trust and investment accounts and was chairperson for the firm’s Trust Administration Committee. David began his legal career as a law clerk for a State Court Judge in Ketchikan, Alaska, and is licensed to practice law in Idaho and Alaska. He holds the designations of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA).
David’s goal is to help clients avoid trust or estate planning problems through both common sense and creative solutions. He is adept at working with complex properties and challenging family situations.
Senior Trust Officer
With over 25 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 benefits. Often this includes trips to Alaska where Raelene serves a large number of our clients. 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 and her and her husband enjoy traveling throughout the Northwest in search of the perfect hot spring. They have two daughters who are both in college.
Cam joined our firm in 2010 as In-house Counsel and Trust Officer. A graduate of City University in Bellevue, Washington, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, Cam received his JD degree from Seattle University School of Law and was admitted into the Washington State Bar in November 2006. Prior to joining our firm, Cam served as a litigation associate in a Seattle firm. He brings with him experience in trust and estate litigation. In addition to his legal background, Cam served six years of active duty on a nuclear submarine in the U.S. Navy before receiving an honorable discharge. As In-House Counsel, Cam handles the legal issues relating to trust litigation after coordinating our firm’s efforts with outside lawyers. Additionally, his focus involves real estate management and sales, court reporting for our guardianships and special needs trusts. Cam is a member of the Spokane County Bar Association.
Jeff joins our team as Trust Officer and brings with him 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.
Linda joined Northwest Trustee & Management Services 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 career 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 & Management Services to assist clients across the entire country.
Executive Assistant to Stephen Trefts
Cindy joined Northwest Trustee in 2016 and was promoted from Trust Assistant to Trust Administrator, 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 and her husband (of over 45 years) enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.
With over 25 years of experience in the film industry, Anna joined Northwest Trustee in 2018 and is currently a Trust Administrator. With her vast background in HR, management and the film industry Anna brings a thoughtful and hands on approach to helping with clients. In addition to serving clients domestically, Anna is our lead administrator for our international clients and successfully navigates the various legal, tax, and management issues for those clients.
As a Trust Assistant, Teri supports the trust officers 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 a Trust Assistant, Maren greatly assists our in-house counsel. 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. She then worked for five years as a paralegal with two top attorneys—specializing in guardianship, estate administration and litigation. Her knowledge and expertise are invaluable to our team.
As a Trust Assistant, JoEllen assists David Cooper, Idaho Regional Manager, Attorney & Trust Officer. 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 assistant at Tresco of Idaho which specializes in conservatorships, as well as, trust and estate administration.
Recently graduating from Spokane Community College with Legal Administrative Assistant and Paralegal Degrees, Alexx spent the past few years as a Legal Assistant in a local mediation office. She is currently assisting our in-house counsel and our growing team of Trust Officers as a Trust Assistant. Alexx is passionate about helping people and it shows in her work ethic.
As a Trust Assistant and Legal Associate, Jordyn assists our trust officers 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.
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.
Shirley has been with the company for over ten 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 studied paralegal and business administration in New Mexico and Arizona.
Krista works as our New Client Services Manager & Business Development assisting in all new business affairs. She has specialized and excelled in customer relations throughout her entire adult life. Compassion and integrity are of utmost importance to her. Prior to joining our team, she was fortunate enough to stay at home and raise her two young children.
As an Onboarding Specialist, Susan coordinates the onboarding and closing of fiduciary relationships with our team of Trust Officers, Trust Assistants and President. Prior to joining our firm, Susan was a Paralegal for a Bank and one of the largest law firms in Spokane. She has over 20+ years of experience specializing in Corporate, Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate and Regulatory matters. Susan studied Accounting and Economics at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.
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.
Jaime has worked for Northwest Trustee and Management Services for many years in different roles and currently serves as Trust Accounting Manager. 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.
As the Trust Account 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 firm, Janie was an accountant for a legal firm. A native of Boston, she attended Eastern Nazarene College where she studied Social Work.
As an Office Assistant, Cerise answers phones, schedules appointments, coordinates travel and speaking engagements and performs a myriad of other tasks which keep the office organized and operating smoothly. Cerise grew up in Central Africa and later attended the Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya. She has a B.A. in Music Performance, enjoys teaching therapeutic dancing and has extensive experience running the front-end of businesses.
Rachel works as an Office Assistant answering the phones, scanning, sorting 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 staff, she assisted an accountant as an office manager.
Lisa works as our Marketing Director. She has previous experience as an Organizational Development Manager at Bank of New Zealand in Auckland, New Zealand. She also worked in a similar role at Across South Sudan in Nairobi, Kenya. She has her MBA from Whitworth University in International Management.
As Business Specialist, Andrew’s primary duty is to assist John Van Engelen with accounting related projects, while fielding the occasional curve ball from Greg Bowman. Andrew has a BS in Economics and a BA in Geography, Sustainability and Development and is currently pursuing his MBA at Gonzaga, with a concentration in Finance.
As an Accounting Assistant, Shelley assists John Van Engelen 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.
Tsenguun joined our team as an intern and is currently completing her Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance at Whitworth University. She will resume her position as a staff accountant after the completion of her degree program.