Seasoned Talent 

501 Consultants, Inc. is a balanced team of core talent and contracted partners. We have developed strong connections with select brand, marketing, design, direct mail, and organizational development consultants to better serve our clients. Our partners are engaged on an as-needed basis based on project scope, style and requirements.

In-house Team

Vicky Scharlau, President/CEO

Vicky Scharlau, President/CEO

Vicky has 30 years of experience developing and managing organizations, projects and programs across the US and Mexico.  Her skills include non-profit association and project management, non-profit board training, facilitation, strategic planning, organization and project budgeting, grant writing and managing, marketing and communications.  Her range and depth of professional experience have earned Vicky a reputation as a leader, strategist, advisor, and communications specialist. She has a demonstrated ability to implement sound and effective management practices and deliver programs with a refined level of methodology and professionalism.  Vicky’s work experience includes stints with the Washington Apple Commission, Washington State Horticultural Association, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Gerald Dryer and Associates (Madison, Wisconsin), Image Management (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and Wisconsin State Representatives Jim Harsdorf and Dave Paulson.  She has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin in agricultural journalism and agricultural economics and masters of public administration from the University of Washington’s Evan’s School of Public Affairs.


Debbie Sands, Business Manager

Debbie Sands,
Business Manager

Debbie is the Business Manager and responsible for keeping the books. Debbie is well-versed in structuring and implementing systems for non-profits. She produces monthly financial documentation for the Board, processes expense and travel reimbursements, directs the formal IRS tax reporting in coordination with a CPA, and ensures regulatory compliance and insurance issues are managed properly.


Sara Higgins, Senior Consultant

Sara Higgins,
Senior Consultant

Sara has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector.  Planning, building infrastructure, project management, community outreach, and fundraising are among her skill sets.  In addition to regular work with nonprofit boards, Sara has served as a board and committee member for organizations ranging in size and budget.  She also has experience in the broadcasting industry and stage management.   Sara was a Marshall Memorial Fellowship finalist and she earned her BA in Liberal Studies from Seattle University (Magna Cum Laude).


Katlyn Straub, Communications Manager

Katlyn Straub,
Communications Manager

Katlyn recently joined the 501 team from St. Louis, MO. Stay tuned for her bio...


Kate Taylor, Logistics Manager

Kate Taylor,
Logistics Manager

Kate is a skilled manager covering diverse responsibilities including customer service, computer programs, incentive systems, team building, conflict resolution, event planning, strategic planning, organization, budget planning, revenue management, and IT. For over 13 years, she has worked at properties across Washington State such as Great Wolf Lodge-Grand Mound, Campbell’s Resort-Chelan, and Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort-Leavenworth. For this she has been nominated, twice, for Manager of the Year by the Washington State Lodging Association. She earned an Associate Degree at Washington State University in Architecture and Hospitality Management then went on to earn her BS in Recreation and Tourism Management from Central Washington University, where she received the Legacy Award.  Her work ethic, creativity, and leadership experience brings the team additional perspective, to broaden current and future projects and procedures. Kate is the Vice President of the Business and Professional Women of Wenatchee.


Lacey Price, Operations Manager

Lacey Price,
Operations Manager

Lacey brings experience in community engagement, movement building, event planning, marketing, and project management. After receiving a BA in Communications and minor in Business Administration at Seattle Pacific University, Lacey spent five years working at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she helped shape the foundation’s first community relations strategy. She also worked on international community-building, with events in Germany and Qatar to promote the foundation’s global health and development work through the TEDx platform. At the same time Lacey co-created “Party with a Purpose,” an annual movement-building event bringing together 1,000 young professionals celebrating the work of local global health organizations to raise funds. She worked in New Zealand at Craggy Range Vineyards, then was Manager of Events and Member Outreach for the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.


Tess Neshem, Program Assistant

Tess Neshem,
Program Assistant

Tess comes with experience in a variety of professional settings, from project management at a Redmond, WA consulting firm specializing in business development for tech giants, to providing administrative, planning, and writing support for a scientific team working on vaccine and pharmaceutical delivery technologies at the global health nonprofit, PATH in Seattle. Travel and language-learning have always been passions and Tess has lived and studied in Croatia and traveled through Mexico, Guatemala, and Spain. She is fluent in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) and Spanish. Tess graduated from the University of Washington in 2011 with a major in Latin American Studies and a minor in Slavic Languages.


Julie just joined the 501 team from Colorado! Stay tuned, bio coming soon...