by Brian Metz
After a career in data programming, analysis and education, Ann Wunderlin is leaving the University of Washington, the Seattle Women’s Chorus – and the country. A briefing in New York, followed by another briefing in Berlin will see her off to the city of Kulob, the third-largest city in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan. There, under the title “Logistics All-Around,” Wunderlin will begin her work with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) building and reinforcing healthcare infrastructure.
Ann started with SWC as a second alto nearly two years ago, her first show the 2015 Hallows concert “Spirits Rising.” Among the many things she says she’ll miss – her girls, her friends, food and family – the community of the Chorus is something she’ll miss the most.
“It’s a family. I can be shy, and it took some time to figure out my place here in this chorus. Now I can easily chat up a stranger.”
Ann’s volunteerism started when she was a child. She and her best friend went through their neighborhood one Labor Day weekend, gathering hundreds of dollars for Jerry’s Kids. Grown up and a mother, she served on the Board of her children's school, directed fundraising for various non-profits, contributed support to Seattle’s Global Visionaries Foundation and donated website and accounting consulting services to several small businesses. Ann’s involvement with volunteerism and philanthropic work continued with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, managing the Logistics department for the US Library Program, and for the last nine years as Executive Director for the Lake Union Crew Outreach Foundation, working with Seattle volunteers and locals building facilities for communities in Lesotho, Peru, Haiti, Nepal and Zimbabwe. Her decision to join MSF was driven by a desire to travel, to partner with local communities and volunteers from around the world, living in the community as a full-time participant.
As “Logistics All-Around,” Ann and a group of six MSF staff, working with local people, will be building healthcare infrastructure to reduce sickness and death among children and their families affected by HIV/AIDS. The project has been in progress for two years, and Ann will be coordinating construction, motor pool, supply chain, IT, finance and HR.
Ann will be singing with her chorus sisters one more time before she leaves; A Woman’s World will be her last show. In fact, she flies out immediately after the final matinee on Sunday, March 19 to begin her new adventure.
Asked if she’ll come back when her mission to Tajikistan is over, her instant response was “I hope they’ll have me. I love this.”
Though she’ll miss these voices, there will be different voices, in a different language, but singing the same song of giving and service.
To see some of the projects Ann Wunderlin has worked on with the Lake Union Crew Outreach Foundation, go to http://lucoutreachfoundation.org/photo-gallery.html