Government Relations, Kaiser Permanente, Portland
Born and raised in San Francisco, Ruth has lived in Portland since 1988. She attended Yale University where she received a BA and M.Phil. in Renaissance Studies. After deciding not to pursue an academic career, Ruth and her husband Todd relocated to Portland. Ruth worked in market research while keeping busy with three daughters. Involvement as volunteer and activist led to running for Portland Public Schools board in 2007, where she served two terms. In 2010 Ruth joined Oregon Opportunity Network (now Housing Oregon) and helped advocate for affordable housing at the local and state levels. She joined Kaiser Permanente’s government and community relations team in 2017, where she coordinates local policy engagement in Clackamas and Multnomah counties, with a focus on housing and homelessness.
Executive Director, National Indian Child Welfare Association, Portland
Dr. Sarah Kastelic (Alutiiq), an enrolled citizen of the Native Village of Ouzinkie, became the executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) in January 2015. Prior to joining NICWA in 2011, Sarah led the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) welfare reform program and, in 2003, was the founding director of NCAI’s Policy Research Center. She began her career at the Bureau of Indian Affairs central office as a child welfare specialist in 1998. She earned a master’s degree and PhD from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where she serves as adjunct faculty. Sarah has served as principal investigator of several national federally and privately funded research projects, partnering with reservation-based and urban Indian communities. She has authored numerous publications, including journal articles, book chapters, and curricula. She is a member of the boards of directors of the Independent Sector, Generations United, and Underscore.
Chief Administrative & Equity Officer, Port of Portland, Oregon City
I serve on the executive team for the Port of Portland as Chief Administrative & Equity Officer responsible for Contracting (including small business development), Equity, Human Resources and Information Technology. I have 20+ years of experience in human resource management and has spent the last 16 years in executive human resource leadership roles with large, global companies such as Vestas North American Wind Technology, Philips North America and adidas-Salomon North America. I have a B.S. in Business and an MBA with an emphasis on organizational development.
Artist, Playwright, Activist, Sarah Greenman Creative, Halfway
Sarah Greenman (she/they) is a playwright, painter, actor, storyteller, facilitator. As an artist and community organizer, Sarah’s work is joyful, inclusive, strategic, and fiercely focused on collective liberation. She is an intuitive creative contractor, tapping on the walls of our lived experience to find weight-bearing beams of truth on which we may build our own work. She is a process junkie, a practical optimist, an eco-spiritualist, and a creative midwife. Situated in the vast and rural, unincorporated wilderness of Eastern Oregon, Sarah is an ear to the ground, listening for the low rumbling of Earth’s call. Her tools are simple yet potent: stories, art, and nature.
Sarah holds a BA in Creative Writing with a Gender Studies emphasis from Mills College. She is also graduate of the Pacific Conservatory Theater (PCPA) where she most recently served as interim Director of Outreach and Education. From 2015-2020, Sarah was Creative Director and then Operations Director for StateraArts, a national nonprofit creating pathways that bring women and non-binary folx into full and equal participation in the arts. Sarah is a certified 'Catalyst Leader and Facilitator' and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. You can learn more at www.sarahgreenman.com.
Judge is a community-oriented leader with exceptional interpersonal skills, excellent verbal writing abilities, who maintains a sense of humor under pressure. Diversity and inclusion are the core principles behind him. His passions lie in connecting and bringing people together through events, writing, storytelling, collaboration, and being a positive philanthropic presence. As a leader, he believes in information and knowledge sharing as tools for empowerment and good decision-making. Most important, fostering an inclusive environment where everyone can be authentic and be fully engaged.
A graduate of Portland State University, Judge majored in Communication Studies and minored in Community Development. At PSU, Judge learned the importance of activism, and giving back to the community. Judge resides with his partner, home designer, Eric Schnell. They enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and entertaining friends at their home in North Portland.
CEO & Executive Director, Our Children Oregon, Portland
Jenifer Wagley is the CEO and Executive Director of Our Children Oregon, an advocacy and research organization committed to improving child well-being statewide so all children and youth can achieve their full potential. The organization was born under her leadership after she successfully led the merger of two historic Oregon organizations, Children First for Oregon and The Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon. Jenifer brings more than 15 years of deep experience in community development, grass-roots power building, and organizational leadership. She was a 2018 recipient of the national Local Initiative Support Corporation Rubinger Fellowship. Jenifer spent her fellowship year working to build bridges across a divided nation. Her time spent writing, researching, traveling the country, and presenting and engaging diverse audiences eventually led her to Oregon. Jenifer is driven by her passion to create a more equitable, healthy, and loving society.
Chief Strategy Officer/ Deputy CEO, Metropolitan Family Services, Portland
I grew up in a suburb of Syracuse, New York. My family was originally from Rome, New York. My father’s family were recent immigrants from Italy. My mother’s family had lived in the central New York region and lower Canada since the late 1700s and were of English descent. Both families were farmers then later factory workers eventually office workers and small business owners. I have an older brother and an older sister. In terms of income, we were a lower- middle class family and experienced the ups and downs of economic stability and insecurity.
After graduating from college I spent some time working in the behavioral health field as a caregiver and an assistant residential services supervisor. My experience working with children and families coping with psychiatric and behavioral health challenges motivated me to go back to school to earn a MSW.
After graduating with an MSW I worked as a school counselor before moving West to Portland. In Portland I was fortunate to get my first supervisor position overseeing a behavioral health residential program. From there I eventually became a Senior Director, overseeing several large residential programs and older adult behavioral health services for the agency. After that I worked for about 3 years as an operations and policy analyst for the Oregon Health Authority focusing on older adult behavioral health, long term psychiatric care for geriatric patients, Health Systems Transformation and liaising with the Department of Human Services. While at OHA my current CEO recruited me to join MFS as the chief strategy officer. Later I was promoted to the deputy CEO.
Executive Director, Casa Latinos Unidos, Albany
Miriam was born in Zamora, Michoácan, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1996 giving her first-hand experience with the struggles that Latino families face. As both a first generation high school and college graduate, Miriam is a strong supporter for equity and inclusion in education. She is also the mother of two young children -- one who is special needs -- and has advocated and promoted special services for children like her son. She is currently a School Board member with the Linn Benton Lincoln ESD and Commissioner of the City of Albany Human Relations Commission. She also ran for State Representative for House District 15 in the 2020 election cycle. In January of 2021, she also became the Executive Director for Casa Latinos Unidos.
Toni Tabora Roberts
Consultant/CEO, Esper House, LLC., Portland
Toni Tabora-Roberts has more than 25 years of experience working in the nonprofit and private sectors in a variety of roles, especially leadership development, program management, communications, community engagement, and organizational development. She founded Esper House, a management, project, and communications consultancy in 2015. She has particular content experience and passion for arts, culture, media, education, sustainability, and social justice. With a strong equity lens informing her work, Toni’s approach with organizations and individual leaders is grounded in team-based collaboration, interpersonal connections, experiential engagement, and culturally responsive, strengths-based facilitation and coaching. She works with diverse groups and leaders including Alliance for Community Media, City Club of Portland, City of Hillsboro, City of Portland (Bureau of HR), HomePlate, Independent Publishing Resource Center, Meyer Memorial Trust, Mt Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, Oregon Metro, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland Homeless Family Solutions, Portland Parks Foundation, Portland State University Graphic Design Dept, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Shaking the Tree Theatre, Unit Souzou, Willamette River Network, XXcelerate. She is a board member (former Board Chair) for APANO Communities United Fund, and is a core member of Arts Workers for Equity. She has previously served with City Club of Portland’s Friday Forum Committee, on the Program Committee with Partners in Diversity, and as Board Vice Chair at Bitch Media. Toni is also a mama, creative, and explorer with her daughter and husband in Portland, OR.
Deputy City Manager, City of Medford, Talent
Kelly Madding currently serves as the Deputy City Manager with the City of Medford. There she oversees Development Services which includes the Medford Urban Renewal Agency. During her 27 year tenure in the Rogue Valley she has held the positions of City Administrator in Rogue River, Talent and Ashland. She worked for Jackson County for 15 years and served as their Economic and Special Development and Development Services Directors. Her niche is planning and development but she enjoys being a generalist in all things local government.
Kelly has been legally married for 3 years and has a young adult daughter. Having lived in a subdivision for most of her life, she moved out into the country 5 years ago. Projects in government can take years to come to fruition so she derives great pleasure seeing her lawn mowed in an hour or the results of chain saw work during a weekend. Finally, her day job keeps her in an office so in her leisure time she likes any activity outdoors, from backpacking to cycling to just hanging out.
Photo Credit: Cherriots
Interim Deputy CEO, Oregon Food Bank, Salem
Chi Nguyen (she/her) is currently serving as Oregon Food Bank's Interim Deputy CEO and, prior to this contract, was APANO's Executive Director. Seeking political asylum, she and her family moved to Portland in 1990. She is a first-generation Vietnamese-American and a proud product of Portland Public Schools. Chi believes in cross-pollinating her private sector experience with public service in order to create shared values. Her public service includes previously serving on King City City Council and currently serving on Salem Area Mass Transit District Board as Secretary and a member of the Governor's Racial Justice Council. In the private sector, Chi is the founder of AutoMedic, Inc. and Zenchi, LLC. Chi earned her MBA from Willamette University with Honors after receiving her Honors of Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University. Over the last 5 years, she serves as Contributing Assistant Professor for Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University while lending her passion to plant seeds of good business through social innovation projects. When not working, the center of her universe are her two children: Alexander (6yo) and Isabel (4yo). They live in a multigenerational household in West Salem, OR.
Chief Financial Officer, 4G Clinical, Beaverton
I was born and raised in Portland, OR. I’m the youngest of four and have three brothers. I’m married to Alex, a firefighter with the City of Portland and we have 4 kids - 3 girls and a boy, ages 7 to 21. I moved to Virginia when I was 19 and lived there for 4 years. After graduating from Portland State, I became a CPA and have been working in accounting and finance for nearly 20 years. I am currently the CFO at 4G Clinical, where I have worked for just over 2 years.
I enjoy all things outdoors - running, hiking, rafting, and backpacking. And I love to read, garden, and spend time with family and friends.
Multnomah County Commissioner, Multnomah County, Portland
Susheela Jayapal has proudly served as District 2 Multnomah County Commissioner since January, 2019. She was born in India, and came to the United States when she was 16, to go to college. An Oregonian since 1994, Susheela has lived in Northeast Portland for over 25 years, and is the mother of two Grant High School graduates. Susheela is a lawyer, whose last legal job was as General Counsel for adidas America; and has also spent two decades as a volunteer community leader/advocate for a number of different community-based organizations.
Susheela’s diverse experiences prepared her for the multifaceted role of a County Commissioner. As a commissioner she, along with other commissioners, oversees the annual budget process to ensure that public resources are distributed in an equitable, sustainable, and compassionate manner.
Cynthia Carmina Gómez
Cultural Resource Centers Executive Director, Faculty, Portland State University, Portland
Cynthia is the Executive Director of the Cultural Resource Centers and faculty at Portland State University. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Master of Science in education. She is a co-editor for the literary journal Kithe and is a Fishtrap: Writing and the West Fellow. Cynthia is a certified Foresight Essentials Practitioner with the Institute for the Future and a member of Portland State’s Futures Collaboratory. She worked over 10 years for the nonprofit Latino Network. She also worked for the non-profit Innovation Partnership and operates her own consulting firm. She served as Co-chair for the Oregon Latino Agenda for Action and as Commissioner with the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs for six years where she also served on Oregon’s Environmental Justice Task Force. In 2015, Cynthia was awarded the Governors' Gold Al and Pat Reser Civic Leadership Award.
Cynthia was born in Camp 52, Arizona, a small migrant community beyond the outskirts of Phoenix and raised in Yuma on the U.S. Mexico border. A native Spanish speaker, Cynthia is also a dual U.S. Mexican citizen. She moved to Portland in 1993 where she lives with her partner and two children. She enjoys birding, cooking, gardening, and documenting the stories of ordinary people's extraordinary lives.
Executive Director, Street Roots, Portland
Kaia Sand became executive director of Street Roots in late 2017, two decades after she worked as a staff reporter for the Burnside Cadillac, the predecessor to Street Roots. In those subsequent 20 years, Sand worked as a poet, artist, community organizer, and university professor, focusing particularly on economic injustice and homelessness — from a magic show she created about the financial collapse to the Right 2 Survive Ambassador Program she co-founded for housed people to learn from people experiencing homelessness. She taught at Portland State University, Pacific University, Willamette University and St. Mary’s College of Maryland; co-founded Vignettes & Verses, a writing and personal history institute; and performed and taught internationally, including in England, Ireland and Brazil. She has widely exhibited her artwork and served in residencies, from a public art commission at the City of Portland Archives and Records Center to the Despina International Artist Residency in Rio de Janeiro. A member of PEN America, she is author of three books of poetry — interval (a Small Press Traffic Book of the Year in 2004), Remember to Wave and A Tale of Magicians Who Puffed Up Money that Lost its Puff — and the co-author of Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry & Public Space. In 2019 she was awarded a Spirit of Portland award by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty; and in 2020, the regional Society of Professional Journalist's small newsroom first prize for Best Column.
Detective, Oregon State Police, Corvallis
Hello, I'm Evan, a life-long Oregonian and resident of the Willamette Valley. I am married with two young children. I'm a graduate of Oregon State University (BS, History) and Linn-Benton Community College (AAS, Criminal Justice). I've been in the public safety and law enforcement profession for 19 years, and I'm currently an investigations supervisor for the Oregon State Police. My free time is spent rowing, reading, gardening, and teaming with my better half to raise two kids to be good humans.
Chief of Staff, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Salem
My name is Stacia Hernandez and I am an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
Director, Jobs, Housing and Economic Equity, Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler, City of Portland, Portland
Originally from Sonoma County, California, Seraphie Allen has a BA in English and Gender Studies from Lewis & Clark College and is close to completing their MBA at Willamette University. In non-COVID 19th times, Seraphie competitively plays and coaches ultimate frisbee. They also enjoy hiking, kayaking, reading, eating, and talking to new people.
With previous experience as an educator, Seraphie currently serves as the Director of Jobs, Housing, and Economic Equity for the Portland Mayor. They are responsible for developing, communicating, and implementing the Mayor’s policy and budget priorities related to American Rescue Plan funding, housing, economic equity, cannabis, human services, education and LGBTQ+ and human rights issues. They serve as a liaison to Prosper Portland, Work Systems Inc. and labor in Portland.
Dr. Terry Lyndon Johnsson
Vice President, Mission & Community Integration, OHSU/Adventist Health, Portland
Dr. Terry Lyndon Johnsson is a native of Portland. He has a unique story that has inspired thousands over the years. He was the first African American from the state of Oregon, to serve in the U.S Air Force Presidential Honor Guard at the White House, for three U.S. Presidents. His story is nothing short of a miracle, considering he was diagnosed with an extreme case of dyslexia as a young man. His full story can be found in his books “For His Honor” & ”Aim High.” Terry has traveled and spoken to 1,000 of young people in all 50 U.S. states and in 67 countries, including the former USSR, sharing fascinating stories of hope. He went on to earn two undergrad degrees, Masters, and a doctorate at the prestigious Wesley Theological Seminary of Washington DC.
Dr. Johnsson was asked to be the Senior Chaplain and Operation Manager of WGTS FM in Washington, D.C.; which is one of largest Christian Radio Stations in the country, and he can be heard locally on the Fish 104.1. Currently, Dr. Johnsson serves as Vice President Mission & Community, OHSU/Adventist Health. In 2017 he founded a non-profit high school mentoring program called Student Healthcare Leaders. Terry was awarded in 2018, the Martin Luther King Junior lifetime achievement award from the city of Portland.
Communications & Engagement Specialist, Meyer Memorial Trust, Portland
Darion is driven by a passion
“I believe having a strong network and support system to be essential to thrive in today’s society. Through my work, I am empowered to give back to the communities that have supported me along the way."
Darion has served on the communications team at Meyer Memorial Trust since 2015. Prior to Meyer, Darion worked on the communications team at Basic Rights Oregon. Following his passions for advocacy, social and racial justice, he has built community and fostered leadership development throughout Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Former board chair for Q Center Portland and Sankofa Collective Northwest (formerly PFLAG Portland Black Chapter), Darion serves as a board member of the University of Oregon's Pride board, a governing board member of the City Club of Portland and host and creator of QTPOCTalk a podcast that focusing or the intersections of race, identity and gender.