About Us

Our Mission

The Northeast Community Center Association (NECCA) is a nonprofit neighborhood organization. We improve the quality of life of residents in northeast Spokane, with emphasis on social, health, economic, educational and recreational needs.

Committed to this mission, the Northeast Community Center works to:

  • Promote a community center atmosphere that honors human dignity through respect, compassion, and justice.
  • Assess and respond to the quality of life issues.
  • Empower all individuals through support, advocacy, and services.
  • Facilitate and support the work of service providers who are meeting identified needs in the area.
  • Promote and coordinate collaboration among community members.
  • Provide responsible and effective management of the Center and its resources.

The Neighborhoods We Serve

blue map of northeast Spokane

Northeast Spokane encompasses eight neighborhoods with their own neighborhood councils set up through the City of Spokane. They are:

The Hillyard Community Campus

After a year of planning, The Hillyard Community Campus was launched with the opening of the new Shaw Middle School, Lisa Mattson On Track Academy, and Hillyard Library Buildings in 2021. One major accomplishment was having the traffic calmed on Cook Street between the schools and Community Center, in order to give the students better access and a safer community. The campus includes:

  • The Northeast Community Center
  • Shaw Middle School
  • Lisa Mattson On Track Academy 
  • New Tech Skills Center 
  • The Hillyard Library

This campus was made possible through collaboration with many partners who saw the value of having connected community in Northeast Spokane.

Hillyard Community Campus Sign lit up at night in the snow | Northeast Community Center

Our History

  • Dec 28, 2022

    1980: Field of Dreams

    Citizens of Northeast Spokane convince city officials that one central
    location for many services would benefit the neighborhood.

  • Dec 28, 2022

    1982: Grand Opening

    NECC opens its doors with six agencies under one roof.

  • Dec 28, 2022

    1992: Head Start

    Head Start opens classrooms in the center,
    offering more options for neighborhood families.

  • Dec 28, 2022

    1994: The Library

    The Hillyard Branch of the Spokane Public Library opens on the campus of NECC.

  • Dec 28, 2022

    1999: Childcare Expansion

    The center expands its childcare wing by 8,400 sq. feet
    to include more classrooms, a kitchen, and a playground.

  • Dec 28, 2022

    2012: Expansion & Community Garden

    The center's new renovation is complete, creating a new third floor for dental, a new medical office, and basement. 

    The one acre Community Garden at Andrew Rypien Field opens, where neighbors can grow their own fresh foods.

  • Dec 28, 2022

    2018: The ZONE

    The ZONE Spokane moves into the center, and eventually becomes
    part of the center itself, offering programming to area families.

  • Dec 28, 2022

    2023: Behavioral Health Clinic

    The center acquires the vacated Hillyard Library space, and to renovates it into a behavioral health center operated in partnership with MultiCare. 

Our Board of Directors

alvaro figueroa



Alvaro Figueroa Garcia (he/him/his) is the Commission Specialist at Avista Corporation. He helped create implicit bias & microaggression training, works with nonprofits providing services for LGBTQ youth, and has advocated for zero tolerance of bullying in public schools.

In addition to serving as Board President, Alvaro also sits on the Revenue Generating Committee, and has previously served as the Treasurer.

Alvaro holds a Bachelor's Degree in finance and economics, with a minor in Spanish, and an MBA from Eastern Washington University. He is completing another Master's Degree in organizational leadership.

eric owens

Vice President

Eric Owens NECC September 2021_8x10 Crop

Eric Owens is a partner with Salyer Owens Kerr Design Studio. Eric received his degree in Architectural Studies from WSU, and went to work in Spokane with a passion for creative design and sustainable construction solutions. He happily puts his talents to use for the benefit of the community center and the neighborhood residents.

Betty J. Craipo

Secretary & Past President

Sarah Me and a Camaro 2017 Cropped

Betty J. Craipo (she/her) is a nearly 30 year resident of the Minnehaha Neighborhood, whose children enjoyed Cooper, Shaw, and Rogers to the fullest. After serving as a Spokane County Public Defender and on the Criminal Justice Information Hotline, Betty now chooses to represent Student Services within Bigfoot Central at Spokane Community College.

Betty has served on the NECC Board since 2014. She shares her legal know-how and community-building dedication, while promoting mission engagement. Betty has focused her attention on developing and maintaining the Spokane Community Court Northeast, The ZONE, and The Hillyard Community Campus.

matt sonderen



Matt Sonderen is a leader for the application of technology strategies with NECC. He is also the co-owner and Director of Quality Management for Sonderen Packaging, and is a judge for Greater Spokane Incorporated's AGORA Awards for Business Excellence.

sean bresnahan

Board Member


Sean Bresnahan has been a board member since 2007, and has a strong interest in ensuring dental care access for low-income families. Sean is VP of Loan Product Management for Umpqua Bank.

eric christiansen

Board Member


Eric Christiansen is an owner and Certified Financial Planner with Quantum Financial Planning. He serves on the Revenue Generation Strategy Team, and was instrumental in establishing an endowment for NECC.

dr. brian davenport

Board Member


Dr. Brian Davenport is Director of Community Engagement at Eastern Washington University and a career educator, as a former professor and high school teacher.

jarren long

Board Member


Jarren Long is a resident of the neighborhood, with an interest in emerging technologies and social services. He serves as the Team Leader for Technology Applications at NECC. He is the President of Books N' Bytes, Inc., and Senior Application Engineer for Travis Pattern and Foundry.

holly renga

Board Member


Holly Renga has lived in Northeast for 30+ years, and joined the board after retiring from the medical field. She shares her wisdom with us, and helps seniors navigate the confusing aspects of the area. She also supports The ZONE, supporting our community's families and schools.

Mackenzie DeGon

Board Member

John Dickson

Board Member

paul hamilton

Member Emeritus


Paul Hamilton passed away in August of 2023. He was a remarkable individual who dedicated an incredible 28 years of his life to NECC. His unwavering commitment, boundless passion, and profound love for our community have left an indelible mark that will be felt for generations to come.