Meet Christina Nichols

Meet Christina Nichols

Until Feb. 1, 2023, we were Group Health Foundation. This post was written under our former identity. To learn more about our new name, read our announcement here.

A family seated at a restaurant smiling.

Christina, her sons Harrison and Henry, and husband Brent during a trip to Portland.

One of Christina Nichols’ many talents is building connections with people wherever she goes. As a self-professed “Navy brat” who was born in Portugal; grew up in Austin, Texas and eastern Washington; spent time in Utah; and lived in Yakima, Bellingham, Redmond, Seattle, and now Kennewick, Christina knows that while the place she calls home may change, the value of building and nurturing relationships with the people around her remains constant.

“I moved around so much, but I found if I was able to make even a tiny connection – about somewhere someone had been or lived or something they were involved in – I could get my foot in the door and make friends.”

It was this same penchant for relationship-building that led Christina to get a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism and public relations from the University of Washington. During her time there, Christina wrote feature stories for The Daily of the University of Washington.

Christina was also a ballroom dance instructor and a cook at The Meritage Restaurant in Redmond before beginning her career in executive and administrative support. Although life in a professional kitchen was not for her (“really intense”), she did meet her husband, Brent, who was also a cook at the time, later became an executive chef, and now works in food service management.

Most recently, Christina worked as an administrative program coordinator for the Department of Management at the University of Utah. She also has experience at several nonprofits, including Camp Fire Samish, LAW Advocates, and the Utah-Southern Idaho chapter of the MS Society.

When asked what she loves about serving in an executive or administrative assistant role, Christina puts it this way, “When I used to play soccer, I wasn’t the forward. I was the sweeper. I wasn’t the one making the goal, but I made sure the other team couldn’t score. Maybe that’s part of my personality. It’s not as important to me to be the one making everything happen, but I like making sure that that person in front is able to do their job better and more easily. I know that what I do helps.”

As one of two new administrative associates supporting our two vice presidents of programs, Christina is looking forward to working closely with Carmen Berkley and Robert Thompson, her fellow administrative associate supporting Steven Cole Schwartz. Christina serves as an executive assistant to Carmen and will help juggle the program team’s many priorities, track internal and external correspondence, and lead project management for special initiatives.

If you run into Christina outside of GHF, you’re likely to find her with her latest knitting project watching her 14-year-old twin sons, Henry and Harrison, compete at one of their many swim meets. Although she no longer takes to the soccer field, Christina stays active with walks and yoga. She also loves to cook and – to embrace the fall season – recently made a pumpkin chili: “It’s very flavorful, and because I grew up in Austin, my chili does not have any beans in it, just nice chunks of meat.” Other family favorites include vegetarian dishes, European cuisine, sushi, and poke bowls: “We’re food people.”