Senior Policy Advisor/Housing, Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland
Cupid Alexander is currently the Senior Policy Advisor with a focus on housing in the office of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. Prior to joining Mayor Wheeler’s office, Cupid worked as a Senior Housing Policy Analyst with the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) after joining the bureau in 2015. As a member of the policy team, Cupid has overseen the development and implementation of the Bureau’s North/Northeast Housing Preference Policy, lead the development of the racial equity plan, worked as the bureau’s district liaison to Northeast Portland, and worked to help develop and staff both the Stakeholder Advisory Board and the Bond Oversight Committee associated with the General Obligation Bond. Prior to joining PHB, Cupid worked for the Department of Housing Services of Washington County from 2003-2015. Cupid earned his high school diploma from Portland’s Wilson High School, played college basketball at Western Oregon University, and graduated with his Bachelors in business from Warner Pacific College. He also earned both his Graduate degree in Real Estate Development and his Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University. In addition to his work experience, Cupid has a vested interest in volunteerism and bettering the city of Portland. He has served as a board member of The Re-Building Center, and the Trail Blazers “Make It Better” foundation Professional Board. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and the President of the Urban League of Portland’s Young Professional’s Chapter. In his spare time , he can be found reminding his kids that he is better than them at basketball, working on his house, traveling, reading, or enjoying one of Portland’s various local ciders.
Owner, Roseburg Rental, South Umpqua Rentals, Roseburg
Since I was a child I have had a strong desire to help other. I was the guy that got along with almost everyone, a people pleaser if you will. In 1986 I met my future wife Greta, and as young adults we began our family in 1989. We’ve got two sons, Kyle is 28 years old and mildly autistic, and Ryan 26 years old who has a family of his own now and working in the family business. From 1989 through 2003 I worked as a professional mechanic, the majority of those years working for Roseburg Public Schools. In 2003 I quit that job and started a business repairing equipment for others out of a mobile work van and the garage at home. Today that business has grown to include 2 equipment rental locations and a self-serve carwash that we purchased to provide a job that gets our autistic son out of the house. Professionally my efforts also extend to the community through involvement without City Economic Development Commission, County Partnership for Economic Development and participation at a high level with the American Rental Association, a 10,000 member rental business owners organization.
Managing Director, PFM Assets Management LLC, Bend
Lauren has been with PFM since 1995 and currently manages the firm’s West Region asset management and investment advisory group. For some context, PFM’s asset management business provides independent, objective and well-informed investment advice and portfolio management for public sectors, charitable institutions and other institutional clients. Lauren’s responsibilities include assisting public agency clients with the development and implementation of long-term strategies to meet their investment objectives. Lauren provides training to clients and is a frequent speaker at association conferences around the region. She is a member of the Oregon Government Finance Officers Association (OGFOA) and the national GFOA.
Senior Vice President, Community Impact Officer, Heritage Bank, Portland
Kristen is a Senior Vice President, Community Impact Officer at Heritage Bank. She brings high energy, sound idea and small business experience to support the needs of her clients. She specializes in serving non-profit organizations, including some of the region’s leading organizations whose missions focus on a broad range of sustainability and social justice issues. Active in the community, Kristen also serves on the board of the Oregon Law Foundation, Business for a Better Portland and the Jessie F Richardson Foundation. She is also a member of the EarthShare OR Finance Committee, and a co-founder of the Portland Corporate Sustainability Collaborative. Kristen holds a degree in international economics from University of Colorado Boulder with a minor in business administration. Her ideal day would be one spending time outdoors with her daughter and dog.
Vice President, Claims and Provider Operations, Cambia, Portland
Diana (Dee) Cruz is currently a Vice President of Operations at Cambia Health Solutions. She has 18+ years of leadership experience in Finance, Operations and Quality Assurance roles. Dee is a Six Sigma Black Belt and has an accomplished track record in service delivery, business process improvement, and operating expense management. Dee is from the Mission District in San Francisco where her family lived after emigrating from Mexico. Growing up, she gained a passion for social justice issues including equity and access to affordable healthcare and housing. Dee is new to Portland and passionate about giving back to the community. Dee serves on the Board of Familas en Acción, which provides navigation and support to Latino clients in the Portland area that have chronic illnesses. Dee has a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and is on the Community Engagement Board of Stanford Alumni’s Women’s Impact Network (WIN). When not working, Dee enjoys spending time exploring Portland with her spouse and teenagers, following the SF Giants and Golden State Warriors, crafting and listening to Hamilton and a variety of podcasts
Chief Operating Officer, Self Enhancement Inc., Portland
Libra is an Award Winning Speaker and Community Leader. Libra stands 6’5” tall (without heels). Her tall stature parallels her "heighten" perspective on circumstances, situations, and issues. As a former pro athlete and business owner, Libra champions elite personal behavior. She uses her education and experiences to cultivate effective goal setting that is manageable and sustainable. In addition, over 20 years corporate experiences enable her to relate to multiple levels of business professionals. Libra’s education includes a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, Masters in Business Administration, certification as a Life Coach, as well as several speaking credentials through Toastmasters International. Libra is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the second largest minority agency in Oregon called Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI). SEI provides culturally specific services for underrepresented youth and families in the Portland area.
City Manager, City of La Pine, Oregon
I grew up with one foot in rural Clackamas County and the other in the Portland-Metro area; my parents divorced when I was four so the next fourteen years consisted of an every-other week rotation of differing geographic , cultural, and socio-economic conditions. That diversity of experience shaped me significantly, influencing for the better who I am and how I act and lead. I graduated from Oregon City High School with honors where I played football and was a district champion long and triple jumper. With an interest in towards public service but a cautious and keen approach to the cost of higher education, I took part-time classes at Clackamas Community College while enrolling full-time at Portland State University. During my first two years at PSU I had the varying experiences of being on the track and field team, working a summer in Alaska processing salmon, and interning with Senator Wyden in his Portland Office.
I was a commuter student at PSU for five years until I graduated cum laude with degrees in political science and psychology. During my last three years at PSU, I worked in Reynolds School District as part of their implementation of the AVID Program curriculum; I coached track and field at Oregon City High School, and also worked in PSU’s University Studies Department as a peer mentor/teaching assistant. After graduation, I served a year in an AmeriCorps position in Vancouver, Washington with nConnect-a nonprofit focused on STEM education and career opportunities. Upon many hours of contemplation, I then chose to attend Carnegie Mellon University to earn a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management- knowing I wanted to experience a different part of the United States to then come back to Oregon. During my first year in Pittsburgh, I worked with a nonprofit called Local Government Academy while also volunteering with the Heinz Journal. During my second year in Washington D.C., I worked at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in their Center for Sustainable Communities while completing coursework in the evening. For the past three years, I have worked with the City of La Pine-Oregon’s newest city in one of Oregon’s fastest growing counties-first as the Assistant City Manager and then as City Manager. Although a small city, as an organization we have grown significantly over the past three years and have brought planning, implementation, and capital projects to fruition. I am involved in Oregon City/County Management Committees on Communications and Next Generation. I recently was appointed to the Central Oregon Community College Budget Committee representing Zone 7 (Southern Deschutes County and Northern Lake and Klamath Counties). Previously I served on the nonprofit board of the Upper Deschutes River Coalition. In my spare time I enjoy almost all outdoor activities, spending time with family, listening to podcasts, and learning more about history.
Associate Director, Bridge Meadows, Portland
Renee joined Bridge Meadows in June 2010 after having moved from Los Angeles, CA. Renee obtained her MSW from UCLA in 1993, specializing in Child Welfare. Her experience with child protective services, child abuse treatment, and foster care services provided a well-rounded understanding of the child welfare system. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she provided mental health services, workshops and program management to county and community based agencies focused on child abuse and neglect. In 2000, Renee entered the HIV/AIDS field and devoted the next 9 years to managing and providing psychosocial services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Renee’s work focused on mental health needs of women of color and youth impacted by HIV/AIDS. In 2002, while continuing her work in the HIV/AIDS field, Renee became an entrepreneur, fulfilling her dream of developing and opening a life style boutique focused on delight and inspiration. Over the next 6 years, these experiences broaden her understanding of building a brand, managing growth and creatively exploring areas of growth. Renee’s work with Bridge Meadows allows her to blend her passion of social service and entrepreneurship.
Field Representative for U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, United States Senate, Portland
My name is Jagjit Nagra. I was born in India, in a tiny, rural village named Attiana. My journey to America is an interesting story in and of itself, but I will share more of what happened after I arrived. I grew up in Oregon, attending Beaverton and Sunset High Schools, Portland State University for my music degree in Classical Guitar, and Lewis & Clark Law School for my Juris Doctorate. My father passed away when I was a teenager, leaving me isolated and confused. I spent my young adulthood “living life” in that I struggled to find my place in this world. It was during this time, that I learned of my values of social justice because my personal struggles allowed me to understand how society treats you when you are the most vulnerable. Having learned some crucial life lessons, I decided I wanted to help those who were lost and/or could not help themselves, despite their best efforts because social rules, written or unwritten, did not allow them to do so. After music school, where I learned how to improve my focus and concentration abilities, I dove into law school. From law school, I further refined my social justice lens and decided that working as a lawyer would not provide me with the satisfaction of knowing that I am working for a grand social change. Working for various social justice organizations and the US Senate, has reinvigorated me with a unique purpose to make this world a better place for my family, my future daughter, and all those I may come into contact with.
Executive Director, ACCESS, Jackson County
I was born and raised in Southern California and attended private catholic schools, including an all-girls high school. I did my undergraduate at University of Oregon in Eugene. I moved home the day I graduated. I started out my career in healthcare crisis communications. Met my husband on a blind date, had two kids, and we moved to Northern California so I could take on an administrative role opening a brand new hospital in a town of 3000, it was fun for me but a difficult transition for the rest of the family. We then moved to Bend, Oregon and spent 10 years in the snow as I ran an area agency on aging and a rural healthcare network. My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and we now take care of both my parents. My eldest is a recent grad of Western Oregon University and got their dream job of working in a museum here in Medford. My youngest is a music education major at WOU. I have a rescue dog named Wallee. I have no time for hobbies but I love to travel in Europe.
Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, NW Natural, Portland
Mr. Palfreyman is NW Natural’s Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Before joining NW Natural in 2016, he was with Lazard, Freres & Co, one of the world’s preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, serving as a Director in Lazard’s Power, Energy & Infrastructure Group from 2009 to 2016. In that position, he provided strategic and financial advice to corporations, institutional investors, private equity funds and government clients globally. Prior to Lazard, Mr. Palfreyman was an associate in the Infrastructure Investment Banking Group at Goldman Sachs in New York. He has also held various positions in finance, strategy and business development at both Apex Learning and Accenture in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Palfreyman graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Master of public policy (MPP) from The University of Chicago Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy. He serves on the Board of Trustees for World Oregon and on the Board of Directors for CASA for Children of Multnomah, Washington and Columbia Counties. Mr. Palfreyman resides in Portland, OR, with his wife and two children.
James Alan Parker
Deputy Director, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Portland
Mr. Parker is an enrolled citizen of the Chippewa Cree Nation. He has lived in Portland, Oregon for over ten years after living in Washington D.C. and serving in a management role for one of the oldest native serving non-profits in the U.S. He currently acts as the deputy director for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, a regional policy and advocacy organization serving over 50 tribes across the northwest. Additionally, he directs the operations for the Oregon Native American Chamber, a non-profit dedicated to providing economic and educational opportunities for Native Americans in Oregon and SW Washington. Upon moving to Oregon, he founded and served as owner of J. Alan Enterprises, LLC, an innovative business based on over fifteen years of experience within the information Technology. His clients included tribes, government agencies, tribal organizations, and small business across the northwest. Mr. Parker is a husband and proud father of three children who continually motivate him to support his community and provide an example of honesty and integrity in his work and family life.
Strategic Sourcing Manager, Oregon Food Bank, Portland
I am passionate about social, environmental and food justice; I’m committed to building the Beloved Community here in Portland and across the world. I live in the Foster-Powell community in Portland with my husband and feline family. Having the privilege of growing up on a fourth generation mid-scale vegetable, cherry and seed farm in the upper Willamette Valley, I have been working in agriculture since childhood. I have served on the Board of Directors for Friends of Zenger Farm and Farmers Ending Hunger; and am currently serving on the OSU Food Innovation Center Advisory Board and Oregon’s Land Conservation and Development Commission. Professionally, I work as the Strategic Sourcing Manager for Oregon Food Bank (OFB), forging partnerships with companies across the food system-from processors, distributers, grocers, farmers, ranchers, fishers, and more. Prior to OFB, I worked for Oregon Department of Agriculture where I spent a year as a Domestic Trade Manager and three years running the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for Oregon. My previous work also includes ten years in the private sector at Celilo Group Media, a publishing and marketing firm focused on growing sustainable businesses (e.g. Chinook Book, Sustainable Industries).
Nancy Ramirez Arriaga
Building Community Program Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust, Portland
Nancy Ramirez Arriaga is driven by hope, which is reflected in her personal and collective commitment to transform and thrive. Born and raised in Mexico and an Oregonian for more than 20 years, Nancy’s outlook, as well as her commitment to social justice, was shaped by her binational experience. For Nancy, nonprofits have been places to build community and vehicles to support social justice. Over 16 years, she contributed to the sector in various capacities, including as strategist, developer, director, adviser, consultant and board member. Her specialty: intercultural capacity building and balancing the art and science of designing tailored change strategies. Nancy joined Meyer Memorial Trust in 2016, just as the foundation was intentionally refashioning its grant making to focus on equity. As a program officer in Meyer’s Building Community portfolio, she relishes the opportunity to support leaders, risk-takers, innovators, community builders and the organizations that engage them. Nancy holds a M.A. in Leadership and Organizational Development from Saybrook University, and a B.A. in Administration of Justice from Portland State University. She also studied at Universidad Latina de América in Morelia, Mexico, and received political training at Harvard University. Nancy serves as Board President for the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.
Executive Director, National Policy Consensus Center, Portland
Thirty years ago, I received a postcard that read, "There is no problem that cannot be improved through the pooled wisdom of the people affected by it." I had penned that message at a conference months before when asked to record one of my deeply held truths. Born as the third child and the only girl among my three brothers, and one of the few Jews in the small, mid-west town where I grew up, it is small wonder that I am instinctively drawn to “holding the middle”, and to using that role to deepen connections, heal divides, or simply build a critical mass needed to get stuff done. My professional career reveals a pattern of holding that middle for an increasingly broader circle of community. I began by helping individuals as a volunteer high school and undergraduate crisis counsellor, where I learned how skills to really listen and help people find their own solutions. As a master’s student I was appointed director of the University of Oregon Crisis Line, a graduate teaching fellowship position normally reserved exclusively for Ph.D. candidates, I found my passion for teaching others the skills for helping others. While treating youth in a psychiatric hospital after I graduated, I determined that sustainable improvements were made only when treatment expanded to their families. This led me to study systemic family therapy, learning to look beyond the presenting problem to impact what was broken in the system. I went on to become the supervisor of Harry’s Mother, a 24-hour residential, runaway shelter and family therapy program and while there helped pioneer the first parent-adolescent mediation program in the Northwest. Eventually leaving Harry’s Mother after seven year to raise my two sons, now aged 26 and 23, I worked as a private practice mediator. Over the next 16 years, my work evolved in complexity from work place conflicts, to cross agency issues, and eventually to cross sector problems, sometimes including hundreds of stakeholders at a time. My work inevitably led me to the National Policy Consensus Center. I was instantly smitten by this relatively new Center whose mission to advance the concept of “collaborative governance” deeply aligned with my own calling. Over the past 12 years that NPCC has been my home, I have served in various roles and leadership capacities: project manager, director of its conflict resolution program, initiator and director of the training and internship programs, and director of their collaborative implementation program. During that time, I was honored by The Oregon Mediation Association with the Brian Johnson award for excellence in the field of public service. And two and a half years ago, I was proud to be hired as part of a national search to replace the founder as NPCC’s Executive Director. As public discourse is increasingly characterized by polarization and deep political divides, I am more committed than ever to stand in the middle as force for fostering understanding, community, and appreciation for the strength and resiliency that comes from bringing our differences and resources together. If holding the middle characterizes my career, it is balanced by a need to move during my time off. A recovering soccer mom (both our sons went on to be recruited to play at D1 colleges), I am an avid hiker, enjoying international inn-to-inn adventures, a runner, and a 20 year practitioner of hot yoga. My husband and I are looking to celebrate 29 years of marriage and excited for our next chapter. A lover of learning, I’ve taken on two courses of study. I am enrolled in a PhD program in Public Administration and Policy as PSU and a two year course culminating in my bat mitzvah in 2020.
Austin Smith Jr.
Wildlife Biologist, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs
I am a Native American Indian born and raised on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon. I am the second oldest son with three younger brothers, one older brother, and two older sisters, I graduated high school in 2004 from Madras High. I enlisted at the age of 17 into the armed forces, and served in the USMC for a four enlistment with a 6 month extension to my contract after my second deployment to Iraq. After separating from active duty in the military, I took a short break to readjust to civilian life and in the winter of 2010 I enrolled in community college part time courses with a path of general studies. After figuring out what I wanted to major in I obtained two associate degrees and transferred to Oregon State University-Cascade campus. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and Conservation Technology. During my school year I worked as a seasonal wildlife technician for the Warm Springs Tribes wildlife, parks and enforcement department. I obtained 5 years of seasonal work and eventually was hired on as a full time biologist for the tribe. My current work consists of timber sales, project assessment with an interdisciplinary team and game management for subsistence harvest on and off reservation. My goal is to eventually become manager of the Wildlife Department and incorporate what I have learned from school and research projects on and off the reservation to aid in the preservation and practice of tribal sovereignty hunting treaties.
Executive Director, The Building Owners and Managers Association of Oregon, Portland
Susan Steward has served as the Executive Director of The Building Owners and Managers Association of Oregon (BOMA OREGON)since October2005. As the Executive Director of BOMA Oregon, Susan actively focuses on responsibly representing and promoting the interests of the commercial real estate industry through effective leadership, advocacy, and linking real estate professionals to the information, accredited education, research, advocacy and networking opportunities needed to succeed. Steward represents BOMA Oregon members in local, regional and statewide committee efforts related to sustainability. She invests countless hours to sit on committees, attend hearings, meet with officials and influencers, and deliver written comments as necessary to be sure the interests of BOMA Oregon members are considered when new policy changes or codes are under discussion. BOMA Oregon is a sustainability leader, providing educational training for members both technical/operations side, as well as the business side, to help members understand how investing in sustainability projects will ultimately increase the value of their asset. Steward won the 2010 Advocate award from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. Understanding the importance of being a reliable resource, Steward has earned her LEED Green Associate Accreditation from the USGBC.BOMA Oregon currently advocates for building owners representing over 50 million square feet of commercial real estate throughout Oregon and SW Washington.
County Commissioner, Clatsop County Oregon
I was born and raised in Michigan of working-class, upwardly-mobile parents, from a family of believers in education and civic involvement. I am a life-long learner: BA, humanities, from Michigan State; MSW, Social Group Work, from the University of Michigan; certification as a professional life coach from the International Coaching Federation; graduate of the OSU/AOC County College. I've taught Psychology as adjunct faculty at Clatsop Community College. I'm currently an elected county commissioner and have worked on dozens of campaigns for people and causes. I've volunteered on boards and commissions for many good causes and still do so. I've worked in both public and private sector in three states (Michigan, Alaska, and Oregon). I understand that the real work of everything is always done by somebody, and the real cost of everything is always paid by somebody, so I ask “Whose cost? Whose benefit?” I also ask, “How can I make your job easier, because my job is to make your job easier.” That's the heart of teamwork, I think. My greatest joy is in creating and nourishing positive and productive human relationships, on an interpersonal and community-wide level in political, spiritual, and artistic ways. I look for the gold in each person and speak to it. I follow where my heart leads me, and it led me to ALF. Here I am. Let's do good, have fun, make the world a better place together.
County Road Manager, Association of Oregon Counties, Salem
Brian Worley is the County Road Program Manager at the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC). Established in 1906, AOC is a statewide organization representing Oregon’s 36 counties. The County Road Program (CRP) was established in 1990 as a cooperative program with the Oregon Association of County Engineers and Surveyors (OACES). Its purpose is to enhance county transportation and public works operations through the development of management programs and shared technical assistance. Brian has been with AOC since March 2017 with over 10-years of experience in state and local government. Before coming to AOC, Brian served as the public information officer for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Brian has worked in numerous positions in the Oregon State Senate, including leadership staff roles in the Senate Majority Office, and providing technical support in the successful passage of Oregon’s legislatively adopted redistricting maps in 2011. Brian is a third generation Oregonian from North Portland, attending Lincoln High School and Oregon State University earning a degree in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems. Brian is a proud Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America) and enjoys cooking, gardening, camping, hiking, and traveling. Brian currently lives in the Lents neighborhood of Southeast Portland with his wife Heidi and two cats Merlin and Musubi.