2022 Statewide Leaders Gathering

2022 Leaders Gathering Presenter Biographies

Plenary and Breakout Session Presenter Biographies 

Gabriel Barrera-Fields Fellow (Building Community Through Arts and Culture): Gabriel is a Mexican American/Chicanx visual artist with a BFA from Pratt Institute. His artwork is rooted in advocacy, social justice, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) youth mentorship. Mentored by BIPOC women in the field, his social justice commitment grew during his twenty-year scenic art career. He currently operates ScenicG, a business providing services in art/design, workshops, facilitation, and mentorship. 

Kelley Beamer-Executive Director, Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) (Building Resilience for our Lands, Waters and Communities): Kelly has more than 15 years of experience developing strategic advocacy campaigns to advance land conservation. Prior to joining the COLT, Kelley served as the advocacy and outreach manager for the Cascadia Green Building Council, where she implemented statewide public awareness and advocacy campaigns, and managed a branch network in Portland, Bend, Klamath Falls, and Eugene. In her free time, you will find Kelley fly fishing or hiking with her husband Paul and their dog Lucy. Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts in Environmental Policy from American University, School for International Service. 

Natasha Bellis-Conservation Director, Deschutes Land Trust (Building Resilience for our Lands, Waters and Communities): Natasha is responsible for identifying and carrying out the land trust’s conservation projects. Natasha holds an M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School with a certificate in environmental and natural resource law. She is an active member of the Oregon State Bar. Prior to joining the land trust, Natasha restored streamflow to Oregon’s rivers and creeks with the Deschutes River Conservancy and The Freshwater Trust. Natasha lives and works in Bend and enjoys exploring Central Oregon by bike, skis, and boat with her partner and two kids. 

Jay Bowerman (Partners in Giving and Building Community): Jay Bowerman served for nearly 30 years as the executive director of Sunriver Nature Center before returning to biological research focusing on amphibian ecology. He is the author of more than twenty journal papers ranging from amphibian deformities to leeches. Jay now focuses on mentoring young scientists while continuing his field research. In 2022, Jay was inducted into the U.S. Biathlon Hall of Fame as a member of the Olympic relay team that finished 6th in 1972. Jay and his wife Teresa stay involved in a variety of local cultural events such as the Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Bend Science Station. Jay and Teresa are also quite happily busy as active grandparents. Their adult children and their families are also active in grantmaking and community work. 

CarlaDean Caldera-Fields Fellow (Building Community Through Arts and Culture): CarlaDean is a Culture Bearer and Advocate of the Northern Paiute. As a scholar and teacher since 2000, she has shared her love and knowledge of Northern Paiute Bands cultural legacies. Of the Tuhudyatuka Numu – Deer-Eater Band of Northern Paiute, Watah Family-Silver Lake, Oregon, her work is dedicated to Our Elders who came before and who are here now so that Our Ways will live on through futuristic learning and teaching. 

Jean-Marie Callan-Senior Research and Learning Officer, OCF (Tracking Oregon’s Progress (TOP) 2023: What makes a healthy, thriving community?): Jean-Marie joined OCF in August 2021. Her work involves directing, conducting, and disseminating research to help advance learning and inform OCF’s priorities, activities, and operations. She works on OCF’s Tracking Oregon’s Progress (TOP) research series exploring issues that matter to Oregon, and advances evaluation activities across a variety of OCF programs and initiatives. Through her work to date, she has enjoyed learning about diverse areas of OCF’s work: supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, parenting education, community engagement, scholarships, summer learning, and more.  She grew up on the southern slopes of Mt. Tabor, and today can often be found walking its trails or watching the sun set over Portland from its upper reservoir. 

Mirna Loreli Cibrian, Program Officer,Latino Partnership Program, OCF (Students and leaders talk Black and Latinx/o Student Success): Mirna Loreli Cibrian is inspired by love, something she believes to be a cornerstone to transform communities and overall human connections. Mirna Loreli’s commitment and passion to address social and racial justice was shaped by her experience as a Mexican American. She immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1991 and was the first in her family to graduate from high school and go onto college.  In her current role, Mirna works towards building intentional relationships with Latino/x-led and Latino/x-serving nonprofits and other partner leaders in Oregon with the purpose of helping the Latino/x community thrive. In her free time, Mirna Loreli likes to be surrounded by nature and is always curious to know people’s favorite camping spot! 

Jenn Columbus-Philanthropic Advisor & Regional Director, Northern Willamette Valley, OCF (How Women View and Affect Philanthropy): Jenn works closely with donors in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties to create charitable plans that connect them with their favorite organizations and interest areas. Jenn's background includes nonprofit grantwriting and development work for early childhood and literacy organizations. 

Bobbie Conner-OCF Board Member, Pendleton: Bobbie is the director of Tamástslikt (Tah-MAHST-slickt) Cultural Institute, the tribally-owned museum on the Umatilla Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon.  Bobbie is Cayuse, Umatilla and Nez Perce and is enrolled at the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla. She is the Vice Chair of Eastern Oregon University’s inaugural Board of Trustees, is on the Ecotrust Board of Directors, and serves on the Tribes’ Land Acquisition Committee and the Wallowa-based Tamkaliks Celebration Committee. She also served on the Board of Directors for the American Alliance of Museums from 2008 to 2014. 

Kimberly Cooper-Board Chair, OCF: Kimberly has more than 25 years of professional experience in leadership roles in high-growth environments. For the past 15 years, Kimberly served as President and CEO of management consulting company Fortuna Group. Previously, she was Chief Operating Officer of a top-ranked strategic communications company. She has held key positions on various nonprofit boards in education, science, health-care, and international issues, and now makes investing in people and places her full-time focus. 

Brandi Crawford Ferguson-AD of Philanthropy & McKenzie Community Liaison, McKenzie River Trust (MRT) (Two Years after the Fires: Rebuilding Hope): Brandi has served with MRT, a regional land conservation nonprofit, since 2009 and grew up hiking through the woods on weekends with her Dad, scouting Forest Service timber sales. As a daughter of a logger and granddaughter of a logger, Brandi likes to say she is the third generation in her family working in natural resources on the McKenzie. After the Holiday Farm Fire swept through the McKenzie Valley in 2020, Brandi's deep roots and the strong relationships she built through her work with the Trust, she began connecting urgent needs with resources in town and continues to work alongside fire affected community volunteers and partner organizations to help rebuild a thriving and more resilient community on the McKenzie. 

Amy Cuddy-Philanthropic Advisor and Regional Director, OCF (How Women View and Affect Philanthropy):  Amy is passionate about Oregon – its people, places and partnerships – and about OCF. Since 2003 she has worked for OCF in research, donor relations, grants and scholarships, and development. Currently she has the privilege of assisting donors in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake Counties in creating charitable funds to support the causes they care about. Amy’s background includes experience in marketing, tourism and the arts and an MBA from Yale. She is the proud mother of two grown children, who were born and raised in Southern Oregon. Amy enjoys hiking, traveling, learning new things and meeting new people. 

Adam Davis-Executive Director, Oregon Humanities (Facilitated Conversation by Oregon Humanities: Reflecting and Reconnecting-Community in Oregon): Adam has been the ED for Oregon Humanities since 2013 and directed the Center for Civic Reflection before that. Davis has trained thousands of discussion leaders across the country, edited books including Taking Action and The Civically Engaged Reader, facilitated hundreds of community and workplace discussions, and hosts The Detour podcast and moderates onstage conversations with community-builders, officeholders, and authors. He currently sits on the boards of the High Desert Partnership and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago, and he used to lead wilderness trail crews in the Pacific Northwest. 

Amanda Dellinger-Community Relations Director, SquareOne Villages (Innovative Solutions to Oregon’s Housing Crisis): SquarOne Villages is a non-profit formed in 2012 to create democratic communities with homes that are permanently affordable and environmentally sustainable. Amanda leads fundraising, events, communication, and PR for the organization and is especially passionate about equity work. Amanda and her spouse began building their own tiny house back in 2016 and enjoyed living in it for four years before buying a home in 2020. She believes tiny homes are one part of a solution to the very complex housing crisis we are in – from serving the unhoused to helping low-income households become housing secure. 

Amy Drake, Program Officer, OCF (Two Years after the Fires: Rebuilding Hope): Amy is committed to making connections to improve her community, and she cares deeply about making Oregon a better place for all. A Southern Oregon resident since 2011, Amy’s background includes community engagement and development work for small nonprofits. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history, with a master’s degree in museum studies. In her free time, Amy enjoys swimming, biking, and running in the Southern Oregon outdoors, while supported by her husband and two cats. 

Dr. Ernesto Fonseca-CEO, Hacienda CDC (Innovative Solutions to Oregon’s Housing Crisis)Hacienda CDC is the largest housing and services social organization in the NW. Ernesto brings his passion for community development and a belief in the power of connecting families to opportunity. Raised in a poor but loving family in central Mexico, Ernesto took the initiative to gain a foothold in this country by working in kitchens and restaurants as he pursued a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Ernesto’s own story reflects the potential that can be unleashed by investing in our communities.  Ernesto has two kids, Emma, 16, and Emiliano, 14. Ernesto enjoys hiking, camping with his wife Susan and kids, photography, and politics 

Rutila Galvan-Executive Director, Better Together Central Oregon (Students and leaders talk Black and Latinx/o Student Success): A proud immigrant from Mexico, Rutila grew up as a migrant student in California’s San Joaquin Valley. After 10 years in the private sector, she recognized that her heart was pulling her in a different direction. Rutila moved to Central Oregon in 2005 and has worked for several education-focused organizations throughout the years. Rutila was recruited to serve as the Director of Family & Youth Partnerships for Better Together in the Spring of 2020. This role brought passion, experience and skills full-circle and put her in a position to help bridge the huge gaps in academic success for students of color throughout Central Oregon. 

Carlos Garcia-Senior Program Officer for Environment and Donor Impact, OCF (Building Resilience for our Lands, Waters and Communities): Carlos supports donors in environmental grantmaking and directs the Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative. Previously, Carlos was a senior philanthropic advisor for the San Francisco Foundation, a philanthropy advisor at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and associate director of philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy. He holds the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® professional designation and is a 21/64-certified philanthropy consultant to multi-generational families. Carlos also served as chair of the board of the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), a national organization of nearly 200 funders.  

Jonathan Garcia-Chief of staff, Portland Public Schools (PPS) (Students and leaders talk Black and Latinx/o Student Success): Jonathan serves as the Chief of Staff for Portland Public Schools, the largest K-12 school system in Oregon. An extension of the Superintendent, Jonathan manages the operations of the office, including serving as the executive liaison to the Board of Education and overseeing the District’s Communications, Government Affairs, Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement teams. He serves as President of The Fund for PPS, an independent nonprofit organization.  He has earned multiple professional accolades, including being named to the 2018 Forbes' “30 Under 30 in Education” list and selected as a 2020 NextGen Pahara Institute Fellow. Jonathan sits on the Board of Directors for the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation, Futuro Media Group and Arte Publico Press. 

Anne George-Senior Donor Relations Officer, OCF (Building Resilience for our Lands, Waters and Communities): Anne works with individuals, families and groups to achieve their philanthropic goals by connecting them to research, resources, and organizations to enhance their impact in their communities and beyond. Anne is delighted to be part of a team and community that work toward having a positive impact on the lives of Oregonians. She served for many years in higher education in international programs and advising offices, as well as working in the international development field in both the United States and Central Europe.  When out of the office, Anne enjoys the sun and snow of Central and Eastern Oregon with her husband and young daughter. 

Jason McNeal Graham-Fields Artist Fellow (Building Community Through Arts and Culture): Jason is a multiethnic, multimedia, multivitamin artist living in Central Oregon. Writing, painting, and music are his three main channels. He was recently selected for the group exhibition "Black Matter,” curated by Tammy Jo Wilson. His work in music and writing has been featured on TEDx, NPR, the NBA, and several other three letter acronyms. Graham (who often presents as MOsley WOtta) was an invited resident scholar at Goddard College, a skittish alum of Diverse Intelligences Summer institute, and a humble brag Slam Poetry Champion for the State of Oregon. Graham is finishing his tenure as Bend, Oregon’s first Creative Laureate, the third such position in the nation.   

Darrell Grant -“Jazz & Story” (Monday evening dinner entertainment): Internationally recognized-recognized Portland Jazz pianist/composer Darrell Grant presents an hour of jazz piano and personal stories that highlight the connection between music and place. Blending jazz classics, new arrangements and his distinctive original compositions, Grant offers a glimpse into what makes Jazz in the Pacific Northwest unique.   Dedicated to themes of hope, community, and place, Grant’s compositions include his 2012 Step by Step: The Ruby Bridges Suite honoring the civil rights icon. The Territory. which explores the geographic and cultural history of Oregon. And the 2021 chamber opera Sanctuaries, which addresses gentrification and displacement in Portland’s historically Black Albina neighborhood.  

Nick Green-Executive Director, Grant County Digital Network Coalition (Innovative Solutions to Oregon’s Housing Crisis):  Nick is the former city manager for the city of John Day and is currently the executive director of the Grant County Digital Network Coalition, Grant County’s public broadband consortium. Nick also serves as the rural representative on the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council (OBAC). During his six-year tenure as John Day city manager, he raised over $30 million in public investment capital for housing and community development projects, including over 100 new home lots – a 25 percent increase in housing capacity – and the site for Oregon’s first 3D printed concrete homes, which began construction this fall. He resides in John Day with his wife, Morgan, and two children, Kaden and Penelope. 

Julie Gregory-Senior Philanthropic Advisor & Regional Director, Central & Eastern Oregon, OCF (How Women View and Affect Philanthropy): Julie joined OCF after a career practicing law in the private and public sectors in Virginia and Oregon. She helps individuals, families, businesses and organizations throughout central and eastern Oregon create charitable funds to support their passions. Julie is inspired every day by Oregonians who support their communities with innovative and creative thinking sparked by an extraordinary generosity of spirit. 

Anna Hayes Levin-Advisor, Ned and Sis Hayes Family Fund (Partners in Giving and Building Community): Anna, along with her brother Peter Hayes, is an advisor to the Ned and Sis Hayes Family Fund of Oregon Community Foundation, a donor advised fund that focuses on supporting regenerative human and ecological communities in Oregon, western Washington and the Columbia River basin. Anna grew up in Portland and lives in New York, where she has been a lawyer in private corporate practice, a community planner and a neighborhood advocate. She served on New York’s City Planning Commission until June 2022.  She has also been a trustee of Reed College and is currently a trustee of Hudson Guild, a settlement house in New York’s Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods. 

Amy Houghtaling-Founder & Director, Family Academics Community and Enrichment for Success (FACES) (How Women View and Affect Philanthropy): Amy is an active community volunteer, small business owner, and enthusiastic OCF advocate. She served a four-year term as Mayor of the small rural town of Falls City in Polk County, founded and directs the FACES Afterschool Program, serves on several local and regional boards, and represents OCF in the Northern Willamette Valley through service on the Leadership Council, Community 101, and GO Kids. Amy and her husband Art recently established a donor advised fund in their estate plan that will allow their daughters to continue giving charitably to the local causes and organizations that are meaningful to their family. 

Mark Jackson-Co-founder and Executive Director, REAP Inc. (Students and leaders talk Black and Latinx/o Student Success): Mark brings over thirty years of youth direct service, nonprofit management and organizational leadership experience with collegiate credentials in Sociology, English, Black Studies and Communications to this work.  Mr. Jackson is best known for his passionate work in the areas of youth advocacy, DEI, mental health, education equity, leadership, coalition building, policy advocacy, and project management.  His passion for student voice and leadership is what underscores Mark’s unwavering commitment to empower culturally diverse students to meet their potential while challenging system leaders and educators to engage beyond implicit and complicit biases. 

Kristin Kelley Monahan-Owner & Founder, Kelley Nonproft Consulting (Two Years after the Fires: Rebuilding Hope): Kristin formed Kelley Nonprofit Consulting (Kelley NPC) in 2006, offering a full suite of services to help clients in the philanthropic, community nonprofit, and government sectors dream and achieve big, bold visions. Taking a servant leadership style approach, Kelley NPC’s team of ten, based throughout the state, is happiest working behind the scenes ensuring the spotlight is on the work of Kelley NPC’s 25+ ongoing clients and the communities they serve. Current clients include OThe Ford Family Foundation, Business Oregon, POIC+RAHS, The Black United Fund of Oregon, High Desert Partnership, Oregon Community Foundation, and many more. 

Kirsten Kilchenstein-Chief Philanthropy Officer, OCF (Partners in Giving and Building Community): With decades of nonprofit leadership experience, she guides a dynamic team committed to helping individuals, families, foundations and corporations turn their values and vision into action through personalized giving vehicles and strategies that achieve community impact and leave a lasting legacy. Kirsten joined OCF in 2011 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in conflict resolution and is a trained mediator. She is also a 21/64-certified philanthropy consultant to multigenerational families. 

Daphne Lara Luna-(Students and leaders talk Black and Latinx/o Student Success): Daphne grew up in Central Oregon where she attended all her years of public school. A recent graduate of Oregon State University and the daughter of immigrant parents, she has navigated the experience through the eyes of a first generation student. Her work in programs such as Avanza, Ganas, Juntos, and many other programs has fueled her passion in equitable education opportunities in ways that span beyond classroom and lecture halls in hopes that more students will have the access to resources to achieve their goals.

Sarah Grace McIlveen-Director of Philanthropy, OCF (How Women View and Affect Philanthropy): Sarah Grace considers it an honor to work with donors to help achieve their philanthropic goals and believes generosity and gratitude fuel positive change in the world. In 2020, she joined the Oregon Community Foundation bringing a 13-year career in fundraising to her work. She partners with people in the Portland area to help strengthen Oregon by assisting in the creation of individualized charitable giving plans. 

Jason McNeal Graham-Fields Artist Fellow (Building Community Through Arts and Culture): Jason is a multiethnic, multimedia, multivitamin artist living in Central Oregon. Writing, painting, and music are his three main channels. He was recently selected for the group exhibition "Black Matter,” curated by Tammy Jo Wilson. His work in music and writing has been featured on TEDx, NPR, the NBA, and several other three letter acronyms. Graham (who often presents as MOsley WOtta) was an invited resident scholar at Goddard College, a skittish alum of Diverse Intelligences Summer institute, and a humble brag Slam Poetry Champion for the State of Oregon. Graham is finishing his tenure as Bend, Oregon’s first Creative Laureate, the third such position in the nation. 

Lisa Mensah-President and CEO, OCF:  Born and raised in Oregon, Lisa joined OCF following an illustrious career that has taken her from working on rural poverty with the Ford Foundation to serving as an Under Secretary for Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, managing a $215 billion loan portfolio, to most recently leading Opportunity Finance Network. Lisa serves on the Board of Ecotrust, as well as the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, Bank of America National Community Advisory Committee; Morgan Stanley Community Development Advisory Committee; Capital One Community Advisory Council; and Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women Advisory Council. She also sits on the boards of Fidelity Bank of Ghana and Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa-USA and the Gaia Impact Fund Advisory Council. Born in Oregon, she is the daughter of an immigrant from Ghana and a former Iowa farm girl. 

Crystal Meneses-Cohort 1 Fields Fellow (Building Community Through Arts and Culture): Crystal is an interdisciplinary creative who activates community music and art through activism and spiritual care. Learn more about her work and arts nonprofit at activateartsnow.com. 

Gustavo Morales-Executive Director, Euvalcree (Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Early Childhood): Gustavo has the honor and pleasure of working with amazing and passionate people. In turn, he works to ensure that his team and community have the resources they need to address existing and developing issues so that they may create a brighter future for their community.  Gustavo was appointed by Governor Kate Brown to serve as both a Commissioner for the Oregon Advocacy Commissions – Commission on Hispanic Affairs and as a Board Member for the Oregon Cultural Trust. In addition, he serves as a Board Member for Rural Development Initiatives.  

John Moriarty-Senior Program Officer, OCF (Two Years after the Fires: Rebuilding Hope): An East Coast refugee who settled on the West Coast more than 35 years ago, John served as a Peace Corps volunteer with a nonprofit conservation organization in Chile before moving to Eugene in 1994.  John believes nonprofit organizations are a crucial part of the social fabric and deeply appreciates the opportunity to serve as a liaison between OCF and the organizations working in support of their communities. When he's not at work (and occasionally even when he is!) John enjoys hiking, backpacking, sea kayaking and traveling, not to mention a good book. 

Laurie Mootz (Partners in Giving and Building Community): Laurie was born in Portland and graduated from University of Oregon with a BS in Geography. Laurie is a long time 4H horse leader and volunteer for the DOJ on a Citizens Review Board. She serves as chair of the Coast Fork Fund, a donor advised fund at OCF, and is on the selection committee of Coast Fork Scholarship Fund.  Laurie is also on the board of the Yarg Foundation and chair of their Healthy Family Committee. Laurie has six children and she and her husband Chuck live on a ranch south of Cottage Grove where they manage their timber by selective logging and raise cattle, hogs and chickens. Laurie also has a large garden which consumes a lot of her spare time. 

Kimberlee Salmond-Director, Research and Learning, OCF (Tracking Oregon’s Progress (TOP) 2023: What makes a healthy, thriving community?): OCF is proud to have one of the largest internal research teams among community foundations nationwide. The team’s work informs OCF priorities, activities, and operations through evaluations that help understand the impact of grantmaking and other philanthropic efforts; internal reflection on foundation practices and policies; and original research on topic areas, regions and populations relevant to OCF and donor priorities/interests, all grounded in principles of equity, relationship building and collaboration, and learning and inquiry. Kimberlee supports a culture of learning at OCF and continues to explore her (relatively) new home state, which includes many food-related adventures and walks with the family dog, Frances. 

Marie Simonds Executive Director, Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA) (Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Early Childhood): Marie joined WRCA in 2012. Prior to joining WRCA, Marie was the Executive Director of the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation where she led scholarship fundraising efforts for students while also the SWOCC Head Men’s and Women’s golf coach. 

Kali Thorne Ladd-Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Institute (Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Early Childhood): Prior to joining the Children’s Institute, Thorne Ladd was the co-founder and executive director of KairosPDX, a culturally specific organization dedicated to eliminating educational opportunity and achievement gaps for historically underserved children. Through that work, and as a visionary leader in multiple capacities in the region, Thorne Ladd has a long track record of working to transform early learning and healthy development for children and families in Oregon. This has included serving as the chair of the board for Portland Community College, serving on Governor Brown’s Early Learning Council, and serving on the board at the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation based in Portland. Thorne Ladd has also worked on education strategies in the mayor’s office in the City of Portland and at the Oregon Department of Education.  

Jerry Tischleder-Senior Program Officer, Arts and Culture, OCF (Building Community Through Arts and Culture): Jerry oversees Oregon Community Foundation’s statewide arts and culture programs. He is a curator, producer and artist who has supported hundreds of artists and projects as the founder of the Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance, the founding director of the ArtsHub@Artists Rep, the curator of the Frontier Series, and as a member of Hand2Mouth Theatre. He is a graduate of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University and received a two-year fellowship for emerging theatre leaders funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group. He currently co-curates a small family museum of children’s art with his two young daughters. 

Sharita Towne-Fields Artist Fellow (Building Community Through Arts and Culture): is a multidisciplinary artist and educator based in Portland. Born and raised on the West Coast of the US along Interstate 5 from Salem to Tacoma and down to Sacramento, Sharita is a true granddaughter of the great migration. She is most interested in engaging local and global Black geographies, histories, and possibilities. In her work, a shared art penetrates and binds people–artists, audience, organizers, civic structures, sisters, cousins, and landscape–in collective catharsis, grief, and joy. Sharita holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MFA from Portland State University, and was recently appointed Program Head of the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s MFA in Visual Studies. 

Lisa Tynan-Program Director, Oregon Child Care Alliance (OCCA) (Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Early Childhood): OCCA is a project of the Portland-based Neighborhood House. Lisa brings many years of small business leadership, management, and teaching experience to the Oregon Child Care Alliance. She comes from a background in both education and finance and previously founded and sold her own Montessori preschool in Bend, where she currently resides. Lisa has an intimate understanding of the ins and outs of the childcare industry. She is an Oregon Master Trainer, an instructor and advisor with the Central Oregon Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and is passionate about helping childcare providers achieve their goals. 

Jody Ward (How Women View and Affect Philanthropy): Jody grew up in Corvallis and attended Oregon State, where she met her late husband Jan.  The Ward family owns J. L. Ward Co., a property development company, which has developed Tillicum Village, Mountain High and other large residential areas in Bend.   Jody and Jan established a donor advised fund in 1995 at the urging of former OCF board member Bob Chandler.  Jody has served on multiple Central Oregon boards and is currently serving her second term on the Central Oregon Leadership Council.  Her favorite board is Art in Public Places, an organization responsible for placing wonderful public art in Bend’s iconic roundabouts.  Jody has a particular passion for supporting children and families, the arts, and organizations she has come to know in Central and Eastern Oregon. 

Max Williams-Past President and Senior Advisor, OCF: Max Williams’ career has been fueled by a passion to make a difference in the state he loves and calls home.  Max believes in philanthropy’s unique ability to deliver “innovation capital” into partner investments while leveraging partnerships with government agencies to scale up impact for Oregon children and families. Since assuming his role as OCF president and CEO in 2012, Max has helped generous, civically-minded individuals, families and businesses transform their philanthropy into sustained, community-driven impact — doubling the Foundation’s endowment in seven years. By convening disparate stakeholders and investing in research and innovation, OCF has become not only the state’s largest public charity, but also an integral part of Oregon’s ecosystem for good. 

Owen Wozniak- Land Transactions Program Manager, Land Trust Alliance (Building Resilience for our Lands, Waters and Communities): Owen leads the Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative and supports other land capital regranting programs. Before joining in 2019, he was a project and program manager for The Trust for Public Land. Based in Portland, Oregon, Owen is president of the board of directors of the Intertwine Alliance, a coalition of 150+ public, private and nonprofit organizations working to integrate nature more deeply into the metropolitan region. He is also author of several outdoor guidebooks, including Discovering Portland’s Parks, published in 2021 by Mountaineers Books. 

Dr. Ruth Zúñiga- Executive Director and co-founder, Raíces de Bienestar (Two Years after the Fires: Rebuilding Hope): Dr. Zuniga has a Ph.D. in clinical and community psychology with a rural and indigenous emphasis from the University of Alaska. Dr. Zúñiga serves on several boards of directors and advisory boards of Latinx community-based organizations in Oregon. Dr. Zúñiga has been teaching, researching, consulting, and presenting on the subject of Latinx mental health and wellness and program evaluation for 10 years. She has been providing culturally grounded mental health services for over 15 years in the areas of resiliency, immigration, healing and trauma informed care, chronic disease management, and overall mental health concerns. She is a licensed psychologist and serves as a senior health advisor for the Oregon Health Authority in the Covid Response and Recovery Unit.