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Class XXXIV Biographies

Angela Benton

Retired, Formerly at Fannie Mae, Portland

I moved from Fairfax, Virginia to Oregon in May of 2016 with my husband Jim to pursue our dream of living in Oregon. Since arriving I have become involved with the nonprofit organization Friends of Haystack Rock and currently serve on their board. I am a participant in the Nonprofit Association of Oregon Rural Cohort program, focused on expanding capacity and impact for non-profits. Jim and I are avid hikers and bicyclists. We have been a “Warm Showers" host in Cannon Beach for the last year, opening our home up to long distance bicyclists from across the world looking for a place to stay. That has exposed us to interesting people from around the globe who share the love of bicycling and adventure, and fosters good will towards the U.S. and Oregon.

Prior to moving to Oregon, I retired from a 28-year career with Fannie Mae working in Washington DC for much of that time. I was a corporate officer for 20-years.  My responsibilities involved leading Operations in both the, multi-family and single family business areas. Operations involved purchasing loans, issuing mortgage Backed Securities, paying investors, and collecting funds on behalf of the company. For much of my career at Fannie Mae, Jim was the stay at home parent raising our 2 wonderful kids. An additional benefit of moving to Oregon has been that we are close to our kids; Erin lives in Wenatchee, Washington and Joe lives in Portland. Prior to Fannie Mae, I lived in southern Illinois where I worked as a Registered Dietitian in hospital and community settings.  I have an MBA from Southern Illinois University and did graduate work at Vanderbilt University in the area of Science Education.

Jacob Fox

Executive Director, HACSA, Eugene

Jacob Fox is currently the Executive Director of the Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County. He is grateful for the opportunities he has had to transform organizations and serve low income citizens over his 18-year career as an affordable housing leader.

Jacob started his career as in the mid- 1990's and has worked for three different housing authorities in numerous capacities including resident services, property management, asset management, development and executive management. He also worked for the City of Portland where he directed investments in ending homelessness, affordable homeownership and affordable housing developments using general fund, CDBG, HOME and Tax Increment Financing.

Jacob is active in housing policy deliberation and legislative advocacy at the local, state, regional and national levels. He feels strongly that housing should be a right for all and believes in our ability to create stronger communities by linking affordable housing residents with training, jobs and other supportive services. When Jacob isn't working he enjoys adventures in Alaska and traveling far and wide.

Sybil Hebb

Director of Policy Advocacy, Oregon Law Center, Portland

I grew up in rural Maryland, on farmland owned by my grandmother. She was a college graduate married to a surgeon who ran the emergency room at Maryland General Hospital in inner city Baltimore. My grandmother was a cattle farmer and my parents rented a home on her property. My mother was a teacher and my father put himself through Harvard law and business school. My siblings and I learned how to herd cattle and repair fences, but we also all went to private schools and dancing class. We commuted about 40 minutes to school, and did not have a television, so we were a close-knit family who loved to read and work outside. I am still very close to my siblings and parents. My parents and sister still live on the farmland my grandparents had.                             

After college, I worked for Head Start in inner-city Baltimore. The parents I met at Head Start cared deeply about their children, and wanted desperately for their children to have better lives than they did. In most cases, the parents of my students were my age or younger. I had had immense benefits they had not. My students were bright and engaged and faced incredible obstacles. On one home visit, a parent showed me where a bullet had come into her living room the week before. She and her four-year-old son, my student, had luckily been in another room at the time. My experiences at Head Start prompted my interest in law school, and I followed a friend out west to go to Lewis and Clark. I went to work after law school for a domestic violence clinic at legal aid through an AmeriCorps grant, and have been working for legal aid in one capacity or another ever since then.

Jason Hilton

Vice President of Finance, Northwest Health Foundation, Portland

As Northwest Health Foundation’s chief financial officer, Jason manages an investment portfolio of approximately $70 million and oversees accounting, fiscal and operations management.

Prior to joining NWHF in 2014, Jason worked for Capital Pacific Bank as a Portfolio Manager and Client Relations Officer, rising to a Senior Vice President overseeing a team addressing troubled companies and bank-owned real estate. Following that role, he championed new business initiatives, including mission-related financial products and strategic growth initiatives to further Capital Pacific's mission-related lending efforts. Jason grew up in the small town of Jacksonville, Oregon and attended South Medford High School. He received a bachelor of science in business and finance with a minor in economics from the University of Montana. Jason serves as Treasurer on the board of PHAME.

Outside of his career, Jason helped establish a local non-profit focused on aiding orphanages that rescue children from the sex trade. He enjoys volunteering at the Portland Rescue Mission, fly fishing, and sharing his love of Oregon’s natural beauty with his two young daughters.  

Jeremy Horner 

Second Vice President, Corporate Accounting, The Standard, Portland 

I joined The Standard in 2009 and currently serve as the Second Vice President of Corporate Accounting. I am responsible for investment accounting, operating expenses, financial planning, IT finance and benefits accounting. Prior to joining The Standard, I worked for four years at Deloitte & Touche.

 I am a Certified Public Accountant and have a Bachelor of Accountancy and a Master of Accountancy from Brigham Young University. 

I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My wife, Keren, and I moved to Oregon in 2005. We have three kids and we live in Sherwood, Oregon.

Alex Johnson

Freshwater Solutions Director, The Freshwater Trust, Portland

Alex currently directs revenue generation at The Freshwater Trust, a regional river restoration nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon. In his years there he has led the analysis, development and implementation of some of the first active water-focused environmental markets in the Pacific Northwest. He has deep experience working directly with private and public entities to develop watershed restoration solutions for Clean Water Act compliance or to achieve voluntary conservation goals. Alex is a 4th generation Oregonian and lifelong member of a family farming operation that produces wind, wheat, barley and timber in Oregon and Washington. He and his wife are also partners in a sustainable agriculture project growing coffee, limes, plantains and other tropical produce for local consumption in coastal Ecuador. The two recently welcomed their first daughter and also just began developing a pear, cider apple and timber farm and events space in Hood River County, Oregon. Prior to his work with The Freshwater Trust, Alex spent more than a year planning and building a 16-mile ecotourism trail on the northern coast of Ecuador.

Alex holds a BS in Economics and a Certificate of Markets & Management from Duke University, with a semester spent studying economics at University College of Dublin (Ireland). He attended Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Oregon, and was raised on a hazelnut farm in Tualatin. Passions include reading, writing, travel, playing rugby, running, hiking, snowboarding, and listening to a wide range of music. He is a former Board Chair of the Portland Rugby Club.

Kristen Leonard, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Port of Portland, Portland

Kristen Leonard serves as the chief public affairs officer for the Port of Portland.  Public affairs include a team of experts in communications, marketing, community outreach, research, environmental programs and government relations. She contributes to the leadership of the organization as a member of the executive leadership team.

In 2015, Kristen took a leave from the Port to work for Oregon Governor Kate Brown as chief of staff.  Kristen managed the office of the Governor, supervised daily operations, maintained a legislatively approved budget and acted as chief recruiter of senior staff and agency directors. Previous to the Port of Portland, Kristen spent 15-years representing over 30 clients, as a contract lobbyist and principal for an Oregon-based government relations firm, C&E Systems.  Kristen’s clients ranged from labor interests to environmental projects, human service providers to legal associations.

Kristen worked as associate lobbyist at one of Oregon’s long-time contract lobby firms, The Tresidder Company.  Kristen also served as a government relations consultant for the Oregon Education Association, representing the interests of the union’s 42,000 school employees in the Oregon political process. Focusing her work on campaigns and elections, she has had a key role in ballot measure campaigns, progressive coalition building, legislative campaigns, initiative reform legislation, coordinated campaigns and the advancement of technology in many aspects of Oregon politics. She is a graduate of University of Arizona, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Political Science and Economics. Kristen resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and fifteen-year-old son.

Cobi Lewis

Vice President Community Development, Wells Fargo, Portland

Cobi Lewis is responsible for the company’s activities related to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Under the act, Wells Fargo delivers investments, loans and other financial services to low- and moderate-income communities and individuals, financing to affordable housing developers, first time home buying programs and agencies, and loans and technical assistance to small business owners, as well as providing financial education to communities and in partnership with other nonprofit organizations. Additionally, she also works to understand the credit needs of the communities where Wells Fargo has operations and develop partnerships with nonprofit agencies there to meet those needs. Cobi, in partnership with her Community Relations team, also manages philanthropy, team member engagement, volunteerism and a small part of Government Relations.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Lewis worked at the global nonprofit One Economy Corporation; based in Washington, D.C. Lewis served a variety of roles during her years at the organization, and prior to leaving served the important roles of Vice President of National Programs and Sr. Director of National Community Impact. With her work at One Economy and commitment to STEM education, Cobi served for many years as a STEM consultant for NASA.

Lewis is extremely active in the community and has sat on many boards across the state, currently she is on the Board of Directors for the Black United Fund, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, University of Oregon’s Presidents Diversity Council and the Institute for Metropolitan Studies at Portland State University. 

Lewis attended the University of Oregon, and is a proud Duck supporter. She is an avid reader, and proud mother of three.

Ed Madison

Professor, University of Oregon, Eugene

Ed Madison’s multifaceted career in media and journalism began as a high school intern at the Washington Post owned CBS television affiliate in Washington, D.C. during the height of Watergate.  He is an assistant professor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), and has affiliated faculty status with the College of Education (COE). Madison’s research centers on how journalistic learning methods can enhance overall student achievement. He is the author of Newsworthy: Cultivating Critical Thinkers, Readers, and Writers in Language Arts Classrooms” from Teachers College Press - Columbia University (2015).   

Madison is also founder and executive director of Media Arts Institute (MAI), a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit organization committed to inspiring and educating digital learners and aspiring media professionals. MAI works in partnership with the SOJC and COE to facilitate UO’s Journalistic Learning Initiative. JLI uses journalistic strategies to empower student voice and academic success through a collaboration between UO’s School of Journalism and Communication and College of Education. It is a coalition of researchers, educators, community members, philanthropists, nonprofit organizations, corporate partners, government agencies, and allied stakeholders working together.

Madison is also an Apple Distinguished Educator and an Adobe Education Leader. 

Hector Miramontes

Director, International Relations, City of Portland, Portland

Hector currently serves as the International Relations Director for the City of Portland. Héctor has over 15 years of experience working on national, state, and local campaigns aimed at advancing progressive social change and government policy. He has previously worked in the Office of Government Relations in the Salem office and in the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Héctor contributes a global perspective to local issues: he has traveled to Asia, Europe, and Latin America; speaks English, French, and Spanish. 

Héctor was raised by a large community of extended family and family friends and spent formative years of his life in both the United States and Mexico. His single mother of four and his grandmother mama-Lipa – two resilient and powerful women – continue to play a strong role in shaping his life. He enjoys spending time with his three siblings who also live in Oregon.

Héctor holds an MBA in Sustainability from Presidio Graduate School (Bainbridge Island/Seattle); a French Language and Francophone Culture Certificate from the Sorbonne; and BA from the University of Oregon in American Ethnic Studies with minors in History and Business Administration. Héctor is currently involved in organizing The Regenerative Business Summit in Seattle, WA September 25-25, 2017, which will bring together a highly-curated set of business owners and leaders with a stake in six value-adding business streams, to work with the principles, concepts and methods of regeneration to disrupt their industries and business. 

Susannah Morgan

CEO, Oregon Food Bank, Portland

Susannah Morgan joined Oregon Food Bank as CEO in November 2012. Under her leadership, Oregon Food Bank has launched an ambitious strategic plan that includes transforming the organization to focus on fresh foods, health and community activation. Prior to moving to Oregon, Susannah was as executive director of Food Bank of Alaska for more than a decade.

Susannah is also active in Feeding America’s national anti-hunger movement. Feeding America recruited her to lead a national team that established Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas. Susannah also represented Feeding America in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and chairs Feeding America’s Western Region. 

Susannah received her bachelor’s degree in Japanese Language from Carleton College, earned a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of California, Berkeley, and received her M.B.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University. Susannah and her partner, Dr. Jocelyn Krebs, live in NE Portland with their two sons: Rhys, 7, and Frey, 4.

Kelley Minty Morris

Klamath County Commissioner, Klamath County, Klamath Falls

Elected in 2014, Commissioner Morris is committed to improving economic opportunities in Klamath County, making county government more effective, and fostering a greater connection between the local university, Oregon Tech, and the Klamath Basin. Commissioner Morris was appointed by Oregon's Governor to serve as a Trustee for Oregon Tech and was selected by her colleagues to Chair the search committee for a new University President in 2016. Kelley was also elected to the Board of the Association of O & C Counties and was selected by her peers across the state to co-chair the Association of Oregon Counties Health and Human Services Committee and was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to serve on the Southwest Oregon Resource Advisory Council for the Bureau of Land Management. Commissioner Morris is passionate about health and serves as the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Blue Zones Project. The Blue Zones project incorporates both built environment and policy changes to improve community health outcomes.

Kelley graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pacific Lutheran University with a BA in Communication and Business. Kelley moved to Klamath Falls to start her 12-year journalism career as a reporter and anchor for KOTI-TV. She went on to work in television in Upstate New York as well, before returning to Klamath County to begin a new chapter in public service. Kelley spent 5 years as the Communications and Outreach Manager for the non-profit Citizens for Safe Schools before running for elected office. Kelley shares her Klamath Falls home with her husband Dean and their puppies, Jesse and Christian. When she's not attending meetings, you can often find Kelley hiking, running, in a yoga studio, or at a Cross-fit gym.

Berk Nelson

Senior Advisor, Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland

I have lived in all four time zones in the United States at one point or another. I was born in Hanover, New Hampshire but moved to Los Angeles, CA when I was three years old. I began playing hockey shortly thereafter which drove my choice to enroll at Phillip s Academy Andover and continue playing at a high level. I then earned a partial scholarship to Colorado College where I played Div. I played hockey for four years, earning a trip to the Frozen Four.

After graduating from Colorado College, I worked as an EMT for American Medical Response for two years. After those two years, I enrolled at the University of California, Davis and earned my J.D. I practiced law in Los Angeles, focusing on civil litigation and criminal defense law. For nearly nine years I handled civil claims, contract disputes, mediations, and immigration law.

Currently, I am the Senior Advisor for Mayor Ted Wheeler. My focus areas include Livability, Cannabis regulation reform, and Police accountability. I have concentrated Public Health and Safety policy for all residents of the City of Portland. This includes providing shelter, making the sidewalks accessible, and ridding public areas of biohazard and waste. Working within city government has provided a unique perspective on how the City works and the knowledge and insight I have gained with the different challenges we face as a society is invaluable.

 Gerardo Ochoa

Assistant Dean for Diversity & Community Partnerships, Linfield College, McMinnville

Gerardo Ochoa (He, Him, His) is Assistant Dean for Diversity and Community Partnerships at Linfield College in McMinnville and Portland, OR. As Assistant Dean he leads efforts to diversify faculty and staff and uphold a culture of inclusivity and belonging.  Mr. Ochoa holds formal appointments to the President’s Diversity Advisory Committee and the College’s strategic planning and budget councils. In addition, Mr. Ochoa is a co-author and independent consultant of Path to Scholarships®, a college readiness curriculum.  Since 2006, he has worked with thousands of diverse students from urban and rural high schools, community colleges, private colleges, and state universities on college access and affordability.  He consults with higher education institutions on the inclusion of Latino students, best practices to engage and serve undocumented students, and teaching strategies that draw on talents and address the needs of first generation students.

Mr. Ochoa is a board member of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.  He is an active member of the Beaverton School District’s Budget Advisory Committee, scholarship chair of the César Chávez Leadership Conference, and Scholarship Toolkit contributor with the National Scholarship Providers Association.  He is a member of the Oregon College Access Network (OrCAN), National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Harvard Alumni Association, and Toastmasters International.  He was honored as Administrator of the Year by Linfield College in 2010 and received the OrCAN Superstar award in 2013. Mr. Ochoa holds an Education Masters from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minor in Latin American History from the University of Oregon. 

He is a current participant in the Senior Leadership Academy sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Academic Leadership Institute.  He is a regular education writer for the Somos Timbers Magazine and a diversity blogger for LinfieldMix.  Gerardo is a proud father of a recent college graduate, and lives with his wife and their five-pound yorkie named Mambo.

Karin Power

State Representative – District 41, Oregon Legislature, Salem

Representative Karin Power grew up in a small town in New Jersey and went to Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts before moving to the west coast. She's spent time in Geneva, Washington, D.C., Boston, Seattle, and Portland before making her home in Milwaukie. Rep. Power and her wife live in Milwaukie with their baby, four chickens, and two rescue dogs. In her other job, Rep. Power is Associate General Counsel for The Freshwater Trust. She is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School. Rep. Power is committed to progress for our environment, for stronger communities and better schools, and for equity and equality. She puts her years of environmental law experience to work by advocating for cleaner water and air in our communities, and protecting Oregon's strong environmental heritage. As a new mother and first time homeowner, Rep. Power knows how crucial stable housing and public education are to building successful families and communities. Rep. Power is also the first LGBT woman elected to serve House District 41. She understands how important it is to make our government more accessible, and champions equitable policies both for the Oregon we are today and for the generations yet to come. In addition to her work in the Oregon Legislature and at The Freshwater Trust, Rep. Power is a board member of the Oregon Food Bank and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. In her spare time, she's working on fixer-upper projects for her new (old) 1920s house, and finding out which funny faces make her baby son laugh the hardest.

Representative Power was elected to office in November 2016. Prior to her election, she served as a Milwaukie City Councilor, Chair of the Regional Wastewater Treatment Capacity Advisory Committee, and as Chair of the Island Station Neighborhood District Association.

Brian Prawitz

President/Owner, BP Media Solutions, LLC, Roseburg

Brian Prawitz spent 25 years as a news and sports announcer at radio stations in Missoula, Montana, Seattle, Washington and two stops in Roseburg, Oregon. Brian was the voice of Oregon Duck baseball for the first six seasons after the program was restarted in 2009. He has been named the Oregon Association of Broadcasters Oregon Sports Announcer of the year three times. He also worked in the Marketing office at Seven Feathers Casino Resort before launching his own marketing firm, BP Media Solutions, in 2015. BP Media works with small businesses and non-profit organizations in the Umpqua Valley.

Brian has served on several boards around Roseburg, including the SMART Reading Program, The Homeless Transition Action Group, Umpqua Valley Youth Orchestra, and more. He is currently the Vice-President of the Roseburg High Booster Club, and is assisting the organization in transitioning into a Foundation. Brian was elected to the Roseburg City Council last November. Brian and his wife, Jannie, have three daughters from 22 to 16 years of age.

Dr. Reginald Richardson

Deputy Director, DHS, Salem

Dr. Reginald Richardson joined OHS in June 2015, after a nationwide search for a new Director of Self-Sufficiency Programs. Ten months later, Director Clyde Saiki asked him to take on two critical leadership positions simultaneously. From March 2016 to November 2017, he served as both the OHS Deputy Director and the Interim Director of Child Welfare. Today, Dr. Richardson is the OHS Deputy Director.

Dr. Richardson came to OHS from The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Illinois where he was vice president for evaluation and clinical services. He also served as a clinical lecturer in the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies at Northwestern University. He has taught at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels; authored several publications, and provided social work consultation to a variety of organizations. He maintains licensure for clinical social work and direct child welfare services.

Dr. Richardson brought with him a passion for helping people reach their potential; new energy for strengthening and creating partnerships that support the people we serve; and a problem-solving and outcomes-focused approach to his work in OHS.

Kimberlee Sheng

Executive Director, Black United Fund, Portland

The Black United Fund assists in the social and economic development of Oregon's underserved communities, while building understanding of ethnic and culturally diverse groups.  The Black United Fund utilizes education and grassroots grant-making as the mechanism for achieving their mission.  In conjunction with the Board of Directors, it is Kimberlee's goal to increase college access and acceptance to higher education for minority and underserved student populations, and to insure families receive wraparound supports (distributing workplace giving funds to nonprofit partners) to provide services and build family resourcefulness. 

Prior to joining the Black United Fund of Oregon Kimberlee served as Director of Fund and Program Development for Pathfinders of Oregon- a nonprofit organization with the mission to the break the cycle of criminality. Pathfinders accomplishes this work through cognitive restructuring programs offered throughout the State's prisons and through prevention programming offered in the East community neighborhood of Rockwood.

Her previous experience includes directing a national youth digital literacy program with One Economy Corporation; program administration and project management with the Meyer Memorial Trust; program replications/expansion and management within the National office of Friends of the Children; and human resource coordination within Nike' s Global Community Affairs. In addition to Kimberlee's local and national influence she has also worked globally on service projects in Kenya, Africa and Oaxaca, Mexico with an emphasis on youth education attainment and family health stabilization within the cultural context of those regions. 

Kimberlee received her Bachelors of Social and Behavioral Science degree from Linfield College. She received her Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Global Leadership and Management, and an Advanced Master's Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Portland State University. Kimberlee is a founding member and has served in leadership with the Women's Foundation of Oregon, and currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Program Committee Chair for Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington.  Additionally, she is a recipient of the Coretta Scott-King Humanitarian Service award. Kimberlee, or “KimPossible” as she is known to some, has been married to her high school sweetheart for more than 23 years, is the mother of two children, and an avid runner.

Judy Strand

CEO, Metropolitan Family Service, Portland 

Judy is the Chief Executive Officer at Metropolitan Family Service where she has been instrumental in designing and delivering innovative programs that address complex social issues and needs in new ways. Throughout her career, she has built partnerships with businesses, education, healthcare and government to create cost effective models that produce long term gains.

As a seasoned social service leader, Judy brings nonprofit social service sector expertise forward to address critical needs in education, health, and economic development in our community. Judy serves on the Oregon Governor's Commission on Senior Services, is on the Ways to Work Board for the national group, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities as well as the CEO Leadership Council for the Alliance. She is a member of the All Hands Raised Partnership Council, Portland, Oregon. Judy is also a member of the Leadership Team of Successful Families 2020 in Portland, OR, a five-year transformational inter-agency effort to eliminate childhood poverty through a focus on cultural disparities, supported by the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.  In February, 2017 Judy joined the Multnomah County SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) Coordinating Council.

Patti Zavala

Prevent-Net Site Coordinator, Todos Juntos, Canby

Patti Zavala was born in Tala Jalisco Mexico and at 12 years old, moved with her family to Canby, Oregon.  This move served as a catalyst for her drive to work in support of Latino youth going through transitions. Her first-hand experience in the challenges involved in transitions during the tumultuous teen years has given her the compassion and empathy to help and improve the lives of Latino students and communities.

For the past 8 years, Patti has worked as a Site Coordinator for Todos Juntos, a small non-profit whose focus is on working with at-risk youth in rural Clackamas County, Oregon. In addition, Patti serves as a member of the Hispanic Interagency Networking Team, a group of professionals committed to providing culturally relevant services and resources to Latinos in Clackamas County. 

Patti has honed her professional skills through years of working with various other organizations such as Oregon Child Development Coalition, Juvenile Assistance Corporation, Tutors-To- You, and Catholic Charities. In these positions, Patti has served the Latino community through, tutoring, counseling, teaching, mentoring and developing curriculum and resources for students of various ages. She is continuing her own education and will finish her degree at PSU in Psychology and Social Science within the year. 

In her free time, Patti enjoys exploring the beautiful state of Oregon through hiking and photography. She also enjoys traveling to different parts of the world to learn about people’s culture and try the local cuisine.  

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