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Class XXXVIII Biographies

Christy Aleckson

Owner/Financial Advisor,Single Point Financial Advisors, Inc, Beaverton

I was born in Pendleton, Oregon and moved to Soldotna, Alaska at the age of 5. Alaska was my dad's dream. My parents both grew up in Portland. My mom's family is Oregon Trail Pioneers, while my dad's came out from Minnesota in WWII to work in the shipyards for the war effort. I have very strong ties to Oregon and consider myself an "Alaskagonian." Alaska made me extremely independent, but I believe I would have been that way regardless of where we lived. I like to figure things out for myself and be self-reliant because we had to be. My parents and one sibling (older brother) still live in Alaska. My dad built the house we grew up in and they still live there today. My brother lives about a mile away. I came back to Oregon for college (Stanford didn't accept me) and stayed. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were here and it was second home. I have built a strong and growing financial planning practice and been recognized locally and nationally for my work. I have also volunteered a significant amount of time on boards of organizations to help advance their missions. In my non-work time, I like to spend time with my dog, a 12-year old pitbull, and two cats, visit friends, try new restaurants in Portland, travel, go see my family in Alaska, movies, reading, and always doing projects at home. I am equally energized by people as I am by solitude.

Aden Bliss

Chief Financial Officer, The Ford Family Foundation, Roseburg

I was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon. I did my undergraduate work at Stanford University and my graduate work at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. I worked for a few relatively unfulfilling years in the for-profit sector (financial services and healthcare) before pivoting into the non-profit sector. I worked for ~10 years in the education sector before moving into philanthropy. Prior to joining The Ford Family Foundation in 2015, I was the CFO at the Blue Shield of California Foundation.
 
At The Ford Family Foundation, I'm responsible for overseeing the Foundation’s administrative operations, including accounting and finance; grants and contract management; human resources; information technology; and facilities. I am also responsible for monitoring and administering the foundation’s investment portfolio.
 
I live in Roseburg with my wife Meredith, children Eliza (8), Miles (6) and Andrew (4) and our new Labradoodle puppy Rosie.
 
 
Lilia Caballero
 
Cultural Outreach Coordinator, City of Medford / Police Department, Medford
 
I was born in a border town called Ciudad Morelos, Baja California Mexico. I grew up in the next border town of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora Mexico with five siblings. I did all my schooling from 1st -12th grade in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora Mexico. Moved permanently to the USA many, many years ago. Have three grown children and seven grand-kids I adore.
 
I still go back to Mexico quite often to visit my father and siblings. I lost my mother almost five year ago. I like to read (a lot), enjoy staying physically active by running, hiking, walking and biking.
  
 
Sophorn Cheang
 
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Governor Kate Brown, Happy Valley
 
Sophorn Cheang is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Office of Governor Kate Brown. She serves as the organizational leader in the Governor’s Office who drives the development, implementation and integration of best practices, the provision of resources and recruitment strategies to increase access, equity and community engagement to State Government. Previously, Sophorn served as Director of Asian Family Center and Senior Manager for the Community Development Department at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO).
 
Sophorn has over 10 years of extensive experience in promoting wellness, equity, social justice, and self-sufficiency through education, advocacy, collaboration, and empowerment for immigrant and refugee communities, as well as communities of color. Her career and personal interest involve around education and community engagement locally and internationally. It is her passion to be part of the solutions to help both local and global communities to grow and foster hope. In her free time, Sophorn serves as the Executive Director for the Golden Leaf Education Foundation, President of Building Power for Communities of Color and Treasurer of Red Means Help. Sophorn holds an MBA from Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
 
 
Sean Edwards
 
Partner, Village Family Capital, LLC., Lake Oswego

Sean is an experienced finance executive and community leader specializing in strategic planning, leadership, governance, business valuation, analysis of key financial business drivers, and capital structures.

Sean is an equity Partner in Village Family Capital LLC (“VFC”). VFC focuses on investing and stewarding consumer branded companies in Oregon and SW Washington with a focus on growing and scaling local companies. Prior to joining VFC, Sean was an SVP with Bank of America and Bank of the West / BNP Paribas in Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, where he advised commercial clients on all aspects of their capital structures and business activities while in credit and relationship management roles. At VFC, Sean assists in running all aspects of the firm; including investor relations, investment review and due diligence, investment management, and fund operations. Sean is focused on assisting management teams and boards on the strategic direction of the VFC’s partner companies to drive growth and equity value in these companies. In this capacity, Sean serves on the Board for Jacobsen Salt Co., and is Board Chair for Killer Burger LLC.  Sean is also Board Chair for Walsh Trucking Co. LTD. 

Sean holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance and a minor in Macro Economics from Oregon State University (“OSU”). Sean was a graduate of a formal commercial credit training program early in his career and completed the Leadership Certification Program at Bank of the West / BNP Paribas. Sean is active in the community and is the current Board Chair for the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, an active Board member of Financial Beginnings Oregon, a mentor for Xxcelerate, and mentors students with the OSU College of Business.

In his free time, Sean enjoys golfing, running, cooking, traveling, and woodworking.

 

Sarah Foster
 
Director of Health and Social Policy, Oregon Business Council, Portland
 
Sarah Foster is the Director of Health and Social Policy for the Oregon Business Council, a roundtable of more than 40 business community leaders focused on public issues that affect Oregon’s life and future.  OBC's core work is policy analysis, policy advocacy, and coalition building among business, public, and community leaders on behalf of statewide, equitably shared economic prosperity. Before transitioning into this role in 2020, Sarah was the Executive Director of the Oregon Healthiest State initiative, a cross-sector movement that supported community led health transformation efforts across Oregon.  She has her Master's in Public Health and her Master's in Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sarah enjoys working at the intersection of health equity and social policy and was recently awarded the Portland Business Journal's 40 under 40 award. Sarah grew up in rural Ohio and spent much of her formative years on a farm across the street from her parents’ school where they were both public school educators. This seeded her passion in rural vitality and equitable community building.  When Sarah is not working, you can find her exploring the trails of the PNW with her rescue dog, cooking and sharing yummy food with her friends and family, or reading her way through the weekend with a space opera or historical fiction.
 
 
Debbie Frank
 
Founder, The Right Promotions, Portland

Debbie Frank found her way to Portland ten years ago. After growing up in Mobile, Alabama, she received her degree in political science from University of Pennsylvania. Her diverse career spans from running press operations for a Congressional campaign in MN, to helping start a statewide non-profit in TX to executing PR and sales programs for social venture and internet companies in CA and NY. She currently runs a corporate gifting company called The Right Promotions.

Locally she is serving her sixth and final year on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, after taking part in its allocation and women's philanthropy committees. She also proudly served on the board of the Entrepreneur Organization, Portland Chapter from 2016-2018. This January in England she completed her masters in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis and Time Line Therapy. She loves to travel both domestically and abroad (when not in the middle of a pandemic), to explore hiking trails in the Gorge and to indulge in Oregon produce.

 

Erin Graham

Chief Executive Officer, OMSI, Portland

Erin Graham was appointed president and CEO of OMSI beginning in June 2020. She previously served as OMSI’s chief operating officer and has worked in various roles at OMSI for nearly a decade. As COO, Erin led the development of OMSI’s next five-year strategic plan (2020-2025) and the successful implementation of OMSI’s previous five-year strategic plan. She is deeply committed to addressing equity and inclusion in STEM institutions and in our community. With experience in strategy development and activation, employee development, community engagement and fundraising, and operations management, Erin is looking forward to building on OMSI’s successes and embracing new challenges in this next chapter of the organization’s story. In her previous role as vice president of development at OMSI, Erin led significant year-over-year increases in annual contributions to the organization while simultaneously launching OMSI's first capital campaign in 20 years to build Camp Gray in Newport, OR.

Before joining OMSI, Erin led development efforts for Business for Culture and the Arts. She also worked as an executive in the private sector, serving as director of operations and in-house counsel for Broadjam, an innovative musician-focused technology company. Erin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and a JD/MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In her community work, Erin recently chaired the Board of Trustees for the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) where she led the development of a new 10-year strategic plan for the organization and the hiring and onboarding of a new executive director. She has volunteered for numerous local nonprofit organizations, providing strategic planning, fundraising and operations expertise.

 
Greg Holmes
 
Food Systems Program Director/Southern Oregon Advocate, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Grants Pass
 
I have interdisciplinary bachelor's and master's degrees. I worked from 1985 thru 2002 in the energy policy field, mostly as an independent contractor. In 2002 I became the Southern Oregon Planning Advocate for 1000 Friends of Oregon, working on many diverse issues ranging from housing to transportation to preservation of farmland. Personal passions and professional opportunities collided in about 2011 when I started working on food systems issues (the intersection of food security and food economy), which allowed me to create the Food Systems Program in 2015. I was a co-founder and former Chair of the Rogue Valley Food System Network (RVFSN), and a co-founder and in the leadership of the Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN). I currently serve as Vice-Chair of that organization.
 
I have also been involved in running a tradeshow in the book industry since the early 1990s; I am a Master Gardener who has far too many raised beds for a hobbyist; and in 2013 I rode a bicycle from New Brunswick, Maine, to Seattle, Washington.
 
 
Travis Joseph
 
President/CEO, American Forest Resource Council, Portland
 
Travis was born and raised in Springfield and is a fifth generation Oregonian. Growing up, he played competitive sports and worked through high school and college for the family business – a gym in Creswell. Travis earned a bachelor’s degree in History/International Studies from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
 
Travis has served as the president and CEO of the American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) for five years, a Portland-based trade association that represents the forest products industry in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California. AFRC advocates for responsible and sustainable management of public forests in the West.
 
Before joining AFRC, Travis worked for Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-4) in Washington, D.C. for nearly a decade. He advised DeFazio on environment, energy, and natural resources issues and worked on the House Natural Resources and Transportation & Infrastructure Committees focusing specifically on Oregon and Pacific Northwest priorities. Travis lives in Portland with his wife Demi and their dog Wally.
 

Antonio Lara

Chief Marketing Officer, Lara Media Services, Washougal

Chief Marketing Officer, Lara Media Services LLC (LMS). 2003 - Present. 

My responsibilities are:

- To grow the LMS portfolio, by providing strategic guidance as part of the agency’s leadership team, 
- To manage clients' marketing, community engagement, and PR campaigns. 
- To raise LMS brand awareness by implementing Public Relations and Marketing tools.
- To build the agency's corporate reputation among key audiences, such as current clients, prospective clients, partner agencies, media, and the public in general. 

Additionally, I serve and have served as a board member of VOZ, Workers Rights Project, Portland'5, Building Power for Communities of Color (CCC, 501c4) Portland City Club, as well as in many committees at various community organizations around the city.   

 

Kitty Miller

Chief Administrative Officer, Home Forward, Portland

I am an African American, cis female currently working as Home Forward's Chief Administrative Officer. As the CAO of the largest affordable housing agency in the state of Oregon, I lead business operations and manage the financial performance for Community Services, Human Resources, Talent and Organizational Development, Contracts, Procurement and Education and Systems alignment.

Prior to my current role, I was an internal Training and OD consultant which allowed me to design, develop and implement programs that leveraged organizational learning and build core skills in areas such as Diversity and Inclusion, EI, Conflict Resolution, Change and Performance Management. I also hold certifications in Facilitative Leadership, Proscar Change Management, the Hogan, and the Center for Creative Leadership Benchmark Assessment.

Eddy Morales

Gresham City Councilor, City of Gresham, Gresham

Eddy Morales is a Gresham City Councilor, treasurer for the Democratic Party of Oregon, a board member for Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, a small-business owner, and political advisor with twenty years of experience in community organizing. Morales is also the founder of East County Rising, a community organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement among underserved populations in East Multnomah County and supporting candidates and elected officials who advance equitable policies. 
 
 
Margaret Salazar
 
Executive Director, Oregon Housing and Community Services Agency, Portland
 
Margaret Solle Salazar is Executive Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, where she oversees the state’s efforts to build affordable housing, open the door to homeownership, prevent and end homelessness and housing stability.  

Prior to joining OHCS, Margaret served in various leadership roles over a 10-year career at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she led national initiatives to preserve and revitalize affordable housing for hundreds of thousands of families. 

Margaret began her career as a foundation program officer working with grassroots community-based organizations working for social, economic and environmental justice in the San Francisco Bay Area.  As a housing advocate, she led a successful grassroots campaign for just cause eviction in Oakland, California in 2002.  

Margaret grew up on a small family cherry orchard in Hood River, Oregon. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Brandi Tuck

Executive Director, Portland Homeless Family Solutions, Portland

Brandi Tuck grew up in Coral Springs, Florida and attended the University of Florida. She has degrees in both Political Science and Philosophy, with a minor in Organizational Leadership for Nonprofits. In 2005, Brandi moved to Portland and began working at the Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force conducting outreach for and creating public policy for federal nutrition programs.

In 2007, Brandi founded Portland Homeless Family Solutions (PHFS) and has worked as the Executive Director ever since. PHFS empowers homeless families with children to get back into housing – and stay there. Last year, PHFS helped over 1,100 kids and parents end their homelessness for good. Under Brandi’s leadership, PHFS has grown from an annual budget of $78,000 and a staff of four to an annual budget of over $3million and a staff of over thirty. PHFS has been recognized as one of Oregon’s Top 100 Nonprofits to Work For every year since 2011, earning 3rd place in the mid-size nonprofit category in both 2017 and 2018. Brandi is proud to have opened the first and only shelter in Oregon designed using trauma informed design and architecture, which is shown to produce better outcomes for shelters – things like shorter shelter stays and greater success moving into housing. Some of Brandi’s favorite parts of her job include leading an amazing staff, dismantling systems of oppression within her own organization, fundraising, strategic planning, and building community partnerships.

In her spare time, Brandi loves to hike and backpack throughout the Pacific Northwest, and she stays active through lots of yoga and Pilates. Brandi loves to read and has been part of an all-women’s book club since 2008. She is a huge fan of live music, and you can often find her at concerts with her community of friends. 

 
 
 

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