The Mustard Seed Project was founded by Edie Morgan in 2006. As an experienced long-term care social worker, she found her true mission – help the elders of Key Peninsula age in place.

In 2007, The Mustard Seed Project of Key Peninsula (TMSP) was incorporated to meet the needs of seniors in the community.

Fiscal sponsorship was provided by the Franciscan Foundation, and a generous start-up grant from Catholic Health Initiatives.
In 2011, TMSP became an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization.
A partnership with Catholic Community Services was established next to bring their volunteer driver program to the Key Peninsula.

Over the years TMSP has grown exponentially, thanks to strong community support and engagement in our work.

Today, our staff members, interns, 100+ volunteers, and our partners, provide a wide array of services.

Every year TMSP serves about 800 individuals through an average of 4,000 instances of services.

Now, to complete the continuum of a truly elder-friendly community, TMSP has built the only assisted living home for our seniors on the Key Peninsula. The assisted living home, Mustard Seed Village, gives seniors and their families the opportunity to remain together in the community they love.

Learn More About The Mustard Seed Project


Learn More About The Mustard Seed Staff

Eric Blegen

Eric Blegen

Executive Director

Eric Blegen started as Executive Director in 2018, bringing 20 plus years of nonprofit leadership experience to the role; including experience managing capital campaigns and projects. Building on his interest in connecting people with the resources they need to grow and thrive even in challenging situations, the Mustard Seed Project’s mission of supporting seniors inspires him.

From an early age, he’s been drawn to learning from older folks and has a soft spot for seniors (and soon will be one!), as well as a commitment to ensuring that seniors are treated with respect and honored for their life experiences.

He is a Wisconsin native and has lived in western Washington since 1989, living with his spouse, 10-year-old son, two Chocolate Labs, and 14 chickens in Union, WA.


Maureen Reilly

Maureen Reilly

Operations Director

Maureen joined TMSP in 2015 as the Transportation Coordinator, moved on to become the Office and Facilities Coordinator in 2017 and was promoted to Operations Director in 2018. Maureen has 20+ years of Office and Property Management experience and has a master of Science in Microbiology. She has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents and has many years of experience interacting with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Maureen is the Immediate Past President of the Friends of Key Center Library and the current Board President of Key Pen Parks and Recreation Foundation. She is also a member of the Puget Sound Grant Writers Association. In her spare time, Maureen enjoys working with the alpacas, goats and dogs who inhabit the property she shares with her husband, Jim.


Julie Crane

Julie Crane

Programs Manager

Julie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in human services from Western Washington University. After college, she completed two years of service with the AmeriCorps program, one year with Tacoma-Pierce County Habitat for Humanity and one year with the National Civilian Community Corps based in Denver, CO. Prior to joining the Mustard Seed Project in June 2021, Julie was a social worker at a Skilled Nursing Facility in the Transitional Care Unit.

Julie and her family moved from Seattle to Port Orchard in 2019. In her free time, Julie enjoys doing yoga, kayaking, and spending time outside with her spouse, two daughters, and their dog.


Carolyn Benepe

Carolyn Benepe

Nutrition Director

Carolyn brings 40 years’ experience in food & nutrition to the Mustard Seed Project. She has worked in every aspect of food service, including owning a restaurant, bakery and catering business. Carolyn attended the University of Wyoming, then Colorado State University. She eventually obtained a master’s degree in nutrition & food science and become a registered dietician.

After graduation, Carolyn worked as a Nutrition Educator for Wyoming Cooperative Extension. Later she was the Nutrition Director for the Sheridan Senior Center. In 2016 Carolyn moved from Wyoming to Washington to be near her daughters and their families. Carolyn worked as a Clinical Dietitian at Western State Hospital for five years and at two long-term care sites on the Olympic Peninsula. In 2021 Carolyn moved to Vaughn and couldn’t be happier to call this beautiful place home.

Madysen McLain

Madysen McLain

Volunteer and Transportation Manager

Madysen moved to Gig Harbor in September 2021 after graduating from Washington State University with a degree in journalism. Madysen wrote for two newspapers after graduating, including the Woodinville Weekly and the Reflector. She covered various topics, such as new businesses, sports, and breaking news. Then, she became the campaign manager for a local race this year where she recruited and collaborated with many volunteers.

In her spare time, Madysen enjoys camping, hiking, visiting family in Eastern Washington, and trying out new hobbies like painting and making jewelry. During Madysen's time at WSU, she had the privilege of writing for The Daily Evergreen and leading in her residence hall as a resident advisor.

James Dow

James Dow

Maintenance Manager

James was born in Oregon and relocated to Washington in 2019 with the military. James moved to the Key Peninsula in 2021 and enjoys spending time on his property with his wife, children and dogs. In his spare time James enjoys fishing, hunting, gardening, board games, backpacking and more.

His careers thus far in life have included 20 years as an engineer in the US Navy, logging, and director of maintenance at a local long term care facility.

James is splitting his time between the Mustard Seed Project helping with numerous tasks like wood splitting and delivering, fabricating structures and assisting with senior activities. When not at the Crandall Center, James can be found at the Mustard Seed Village assisting with daily home tasks.

Annette Tatum

Annette Tatum

Finance Controller

Annette Tatum, brings more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of nonprofit and small business accounting and management to TMSP. With a passion for nonprofit work, she has dedicated her career to the nonprofit and education sectors.

She has extensive expertise in accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and analytics. She enjoys strategic planning and implementation to meet organizational and program goals. Community building and inclusiveness are important to Annette and she likes bringing people together and working in diverse groups.

Annette loves the outdoors and is a Pacific Northwest native. She moved to the Key Peninsula with her family in 2019. She and her family enjoy volunteering in the community. On a rainy PNW day, Annette enjoys baking for her family, and curling up with a crochet project and a cat.


Stacy Halgren

Stacy Halgren

Kitchen Manager

Stacy joined the Mustard Seed Project in 2023 as the Kitchen Assistant. Stacy was born and raised on Fox Island and moved to the Key Peninsula in 2017 to care for her mother. It was an honor for Stacy to care for her mother during her final years. It also provided direction for Stacy’s next stage in life; helping our older community members on the KP.

Stacy has 15 years of restaurant and management experience. Stacy also has experience in real estate as a Limited Practice Officer. Stacy’s loves working in hospitality and is excited to be part of the Mustard Seed Project and Café.

Working on a local farm caring for horses, going to the beach and spending time with her dog, Riggins, are a few of Stacy’s favorite things to do.


Naomi Saunders

Naomi Saunders

Office Coordinator

Naomi brings over 30 years of office coordination and management experience to TMSP. She loves connecting people with services, programs, or items they need. This probably explains why she has experience working in a varying array of settings, such as restaurants, libraries, and repair shops. Naomi attended Western Washington University and received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services. While working on her degree she interned with the Suquamish elders and discovered a passion for working with seniors.

Naomi has lived in Washington almost her whole life and still enjoys discovering new places to explore with her husband and their dog. Most weekends Naomi can be found spending time with her family (especially her beautiful grandson!), trying out new recipes, and fussing about with her orchids.

The Mustard Seed Project (TMSP) is an equal opportunity employer committed to principles of the broadest form of diversity. We therefore shall:

Not discriminate because of race, color, age, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, or religion. This covers all areas of employment, recruitment, advertising, hiring, promotion, demotion, lateral reassignment, transfer, layoff, discharge, rates of pay or other compensation, training, or any other benefits. Employment will be solely on the basis of merit and qualification.

Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and shall not knowingly discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. TMSP will consider modifying schedules and other adjustments to reasonably accommodate such employees.

Refuse to engage in or tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment by stakeholders or vendors.
TMSP’s Diversity & EEO policies shall apply to all volunteers and management as well. Any complaint regarding discrimination shall be reported to and handled by the Executive Director or, if the complaint is against the Executive Director, the Board Chair.

“We have met many delightful, interesting and always appreciative people who have made our time on the road well spent.” -Lynne

Services & Programs

The Mustard Seed Project

Our services and programs promote independent living and quality of life for seniors residing on the Key Peninsula


Key Peninsula Senior Ride Program

Key Senior Information Center