Leadership

Traci Rossi

Traci Rossi

Executive Director

Traci Rossi

Executive Director

Traci, who was born and raised in Oregon, has over 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience with an emphasis in education, community outreach, and service to girls, women, children, and families. Traci was recently named a 2020 Woman of Influence by the Portland Business Journal. She volunteers on local boards in alignment with her personal and professional commitment to youth success and equitable access to services and systems to foster a more equitable Oregon. Traci currently sits on the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors, The Gray Family Foundation Board, is a founding member of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon Board and an American Leadership Forum Fellow.

Chris Canter

Chris Canter

Chief Development Officer

Chris Canter

Chief Development Officer

Chris was born and raised in San Francisco and has more than 30 years of non-profit Development experience. Most recently, Chris served as the Director of Individual and Planned Giving at Albertina Kerr. He previously served in leadership positions with nationally recognized organizations including Larkin Street Youth Services, New Door Ventures, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. Chris attributes his passion for helping children, youth, and families to thrive to the challenges he experienced as a young adult. In his free time, Chris enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Tannya L. Jenkins

Tannya L. Jenkins

Chief People and Culture Officer

Tannya L. Jenkins

Chief People and Culture Officer

Tannya is a visionary entrepreneur, Business & HR leadership executive, & Diversity expert with over 15 years of dynamic, collaborative & transformational leadership experience. With a strong track record of building, leading, and influencing high-performance work teams, Tannya has the ability to unify the organization, encourage a singular mission-driven mindset, reimagine operations, & work collectively in concert to deliver desired results. Her global experience and perspectives have enabled her to thrive at the intersection of strategic business acumen, organizational design/capability, employee engagement/relations, performance, and diversity, equity, inclusion, & accessibility. In her most recent role, Tannya served as the head of Talent at NWEA. In this role, Tannya was recognized for reimagining, and redesigning business operations, establishing centers of excellence, implementing cost-cutting efficiencies, and diversifying the workforce. 

As a double major in undergraduate school, Tannya earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations-Pre-Law and a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and culture from Michigan State University. She also earned her master’s degree in HR Management & Labor & Industrial Relations from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. In addition to having earned several certifications from some of the world’s finest foreign universities, ranging from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China to Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Tannya is also currently pursuing her Doctorate Degree in Leadership, Innovation, & Continuous Improvement. Within her doctoral studies she is primarily focused on the intersection of Ethical Leadership & Emotional Intelligence, in theory and practice.

As a lifelong learner and a leader of leaders, Tannya believes that to equip and empower future generations, influence paradigm shifts, and add significant value and impact to the world around us, we must never stop learning and we must always maintain our commitment to serving others.

Tannya is a Michigan transplant who currently resides in the greater Portland, Oregon area with her husband (Tony), her two daughters (Paris & Riana) and her son (Little Tony). In her free time, Tannya enjoys, reading, writing, learning foreign languages, traveling, shopping, dancing, swimming, mentoring, serving alongside her sorority sisters in her local community, and going on adventures with her family.

When asked what she appreciates most about Friends of the Children, Tannya shared that as an African-American, born and raised in Detroit, Michigan she knows firsthand the positive impact that organizations, like Friends has had on the lives of people in disenfranchised communities. Tannya shared that she loves the organization’s mission, “12+ years, No Matter What”! Tannya believes her lived experience embodies and exemplifies the powerful positive impact of youth mentorship programs!

Professional Mentors

Yamilet Alas

Yamilet Alas

Friend

Yamilet Alas

Friend

Yamilet was born and raised in Southern California. Yamilet studied Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality at Humboldt State University and then came to Oregon in 2013 for a Master's degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The thing that Yamilet appreciates most about FriendsPDX is the commitment to the holistic betterment of the lives of the youth we walk alongside. In Yamilet's free time, she enjoys cooking, music and cheering on the Portland Thorns!

Paul Boddie

Paul Boddie

Friend

Paul Boddie

Friend

Paul is a proud NE Portland resident. He attended Benson Polytechnic High School and attended Lane Community College, University of Oregon, and Portland State University. He was a Black studies and social science major. Paul appreciates that Friends of the Children—Portland provides an environment to be equitable and inclusive for the youth and families it serves. He also appreciates that FriendsPDX provides space for youth to be fully themselves. Paul enjoys listening to music, watching Oregon Ducks sports, and going to the park with his dog, Canela.

Cayla Concienne

Cayla Concienne

Friend

Aidan Dahler

Aidan Dahler

Friend

Aidan Dahler

Friend

Aidan grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. After high school, he moved to Missoula, Montana and attended the University of Montana. Aidan is really excited to work at a place that is explicitly youth focused and full of passionate people. He says," it’s clear just from the hiring and orientation process that everyone in the organization is hard working and passionate about this work." Aidan loves all sorts of outdoor activities; hiking, rock climbing and backpacking. He also enjoys video games, reading, painting and baking on a rainy day.

Rivu Dasgupta

Rivu Dasgupta

Friend

Rivu Dasgupta

Friend

Rivu was born in Lubbock, Texas and moved to Dallas as a teenager. He's a proud alum of the University of Missouri (M-I-Z!) where he studied philosophy, psychology, and gender studies. In Portland he's found a place to call home, and he looks forward to being here for a good, long while.

Rivu loves the complete and total commitment to youth and how they’re truly at the center of everything Friends of the Children—Portland does.

He really enjoys all vehicles of storytelling. Graphic novels, television, film, video games, books small and large; there’s just so much good stuff out there! He also enjoys hiking with his wonderful partner and his miniature dachshund, Clementine, which is generally how he spends his weekends and summers.

Lidia Delgado

Lidia Delgado

Friend

Lidia Delgado

Friend

Lidia is from Sandy, Utah. She went to school at Utah State University.

In her own words, "I think it is so amazing that Friends of the Children strives to give one on one mentorship to students that need it the most; and that this service is provided for 12 and a half years no matter what."

Lidia loves dancing and getting to know new people. Getting to know and learning from others brings so much energy into her life.

Mary Dunbar

Mary Dunbar

Friend

Mary Dunbar

Friend

Mary was born and raised in Portland. She attended Lincoln High School and went on to Western Oregon University. She appreciates the long term one on one relationships and getting to know the youth she serves on a deeper level. She likes advocating with youth and families to navigate the systems and working with 'cool' people. Outside of FriendsPDX, she likes to spend time with her family, play soccer, kickball, volleyball and travel.

Natasha Durant

Natasha Durant

Team Lead

Natasha Durant

Team Lead

Natasha is from Portland, Oregon. She attended The Evergreen State College and had an emphasis in cultural and ethnic studies: African American Studies. She enjoys being a mom, blogging and baking delicious treats. She is writing a book that the youth she serves have encouraged her to write. Natasha enjoys providing access to post-secondary education opportunities to program youth. She loves the relationships she fosters with the youth in the program and looks at the relationships like sisters.

Warren Edmondson Jr.

Warren Edmondson Jr.

Friend

Warren Edmondson Jr.

Friend

Warren was born and raised in Portland. He appreciates the work that FriendsPDX does to help youth and support those who work here. He likes to play basketball and hang out with friends and family. He loves to watch movies, explore different food spots, and go bowling.

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson

Friend

Sarah Ferguson

Friend

Sarah grew up in the Portland area and went to the University of Oregon, where I graduated with a degree in history. She has been working with young children and youth for the past eight years and have enjoyed every moment. In her free time, she love to dance (jazz and hip hop), play kickball, read and watch her nieces and nephews play basketball and soccer. Sarah can be found watching all of the Duck football games with her family in the fall and getting together for gatherings throughout the rest of the year. Sarah loves being part of the Friends of the Children—Portland team and working with the program youth.

Chooky Fuller-Avalos

Chooky Fuller-Avalos

Friend

Chooky Fuller-Avalos

Friend

Chooky was born and raised In Portland Oregon. Chooky is currently enrolled at PSU and is majoring in psychology with a minor in sociology. Chooky loves to read and tries to roller skate, but her true passion is napping with her animals.

Jena Goude

Jena Goude

Friend

Jena Goude

Friend

Jena is from a little tiny town in Eastern Washington. She went to Eastern Washington University and moved to Portland in 2018. What she appreciates most about Friends of the Children is the dedication to the long term commitment to youth.

Outside of Friends of the Children—Portland, you can find her talking endlessly about her cat, going to shows, and rock climbing.

Ayni Hailicka

Ayni Hailicka

Friend

Ayni Hailicka

Friend

Ayni (“Annie”) hails from the bustling metropolis of Butte Falls, Oregon. Since graduating from the University of Oregon, she’s lived in Istanbul; Denver, CO; Yosemite, CA; and now Portland, OR. During that time, she paid the bills by working in marketing, but spent her free time volunteering with youth development organizations. She’s excited to turn her out-of-office experience into a full-time pursuit with Friends of the Children—Portland where she’ll work directly with youth. Outside of work, Ayni can be found backpacking, practicing yoga, reading, playing the harp.

Mark Heystek

Mark Heystek

Friend

Mark Heystek

Friend

Mark is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned a degree from Aquinas College in international studies and Spanish. He moved to work with the AmeriCorps Service in economic development before transitioning into an AmeriCorps membership role with Partnerships for Student Achievement where he served as a math tutor for at-risk high school students. Mark appreciates the unwavering commitment that Friends and staff have to the youth and is thankful for being able to work in an environment that values social equity. In his free time, Mark might be reading his endless list of non-fiction books, watching an NBA game or feeling over-competitive in a game of chess. One of Mark's favorite things is enjoying the outdoors with loved ones.

Brian Joy

Brian Joy

Friend

Brian Joy

Friend

Brian is from Milwaukie, Oregon. He went to school at Oregon State University. What he appreciates about Friends of the Children—Portland is the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of the youth it walks alongside. Brian is a huge sports fan and enjoys attending college football games and Blazers games. He also spends time with his girlfriend, family, and friends.

Alan Keys

Alan Keys

Friend

Alan Keys

Friend

Alan was born in Michigan, but has been an Oregon transplant since the the '80s. He went to Portland State University. What he appreciates about Friends of the Children—Portland is that he has the opportunity to work with such wonderful young people and to have the chance to be a positive impact in their lives as they grow and learn all of their own great qualities. Outside of work, the things that bring him joy are spending quality time with his family, doing wild and fun things together; nothing beats that for him.

Brittany Leines

Brittany Leines

Team Lead

Brittany Leines

Team Lead

Brittany grew up in Portland, a few blocks away from the new Rockwood office. She went to Parkrose High School and was in the class of 2009. Afterwards, she attended the UO and majored in psychology and graduated in 2013. She appreciates the relationships most at Friends of the Children—Portland. She loves the relationship that she has with the youth, their families, and the other program staff. Many times her job doesn't feel like a job because she's simply making plans with her friends. Outside of work she enjoys spending time annoying her husband, hanging out with the dogs, reading, and getting caught up on her favorite TV shows.

Monica Martinez-Animas

Monica Martinez-Animas

Friend

Monica Martinez-Animas

Friend

Monica (she/her) earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Portland State University. She has become a strong youth advocate through her work with Multnomah County’s Juvenile Justice Department as well as the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Program. As a former Professional Mentor with FriendsPDX, she looks forward to continuing to support youth and families through our unique program that provides youth with amazing opportunities. (Let’s keep supporting youth, no matter what!) In her free time, Monica enjoys spending time with friends, going to concerts, and traveling.

Jay McQueen

Jay McQueen

Lead Friend

Jay McQueen

Lead Friend

Jay is originally from Brooklyn, NY. He attended St. John's University with a degree in sociology. He appreciates his co-workers and being able to have autonomy with the youth he works with to provide the best mentor experience. When he is not working, he loves to watch sports, specifically the Eagles and the Knicks, and read.

Tiffany Oren

Tiffany Oren

Friend

Tiffany Oren

Friend

Tiffany was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She studied psychology and human services and played collegiate soccer during her time at the University of Minnesota, Morris. After college, Tiffany went back to Sioux Falls to begin her work with at-risk youth at a mental health treatment facility. She moved to Denver in 2020 and continued her work with youth mental health. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2021. Tiffany loves FriendsPDX’s passion and commitment to bettering the lives of youth in the Portland area. In her free time Tiffany enjoys playing with her pup, Scarlett, watching/playing soccer, and doing any sort of craft. Tiffany also loves exploring new music and attending concerts when she can.

Joe Parnell

Joe Parnell

Friend

Joe Parnell

Friend

Joe is originally from Norman, Oklahoma and graduated from Colorado State University. He's passionate about social equity, political involvement and working in the community with young leaders. Most of his free time is spent with his husband, Philip and friends, and you can frequently find him with my head buried in a Wonder Woman comic.

Paul "Rock" Rathgeb

Paul "Rock" Rathgeb

Friend

Paul "Rock" Rathgeb

Friend

Rock was born in Philly a proud city at the foundation of democracy and die hard sports fans. Rock volunteered for two years in Colorado through Americorps where he met his lovely wife. He camped out for a grad semester, wrote a thesis on Power of Play In Education, and has a Masters in Education from Goddard College in Vermont. Rock loves being a part of Friends of Children because of the value of being a long term mentor in the lives of youth towards helping them fully thrive. Outside of Friends of the Children—Portland Rock appreciates living in the woods near Mount Hood between two rivers where he can hike, bike, kayak, cross country ski, snowboard, garden, and just being with family.

Janeyry Reyes

Janeyry Reyes

Friend

Janeyry Reyes

Friend

Janeyry was born and raised in Salem by her two wonderful parents. She graduated from McKay High School and pursued her degree at Portland State University. Something she appreciates about Friends of the Children—Portland is its commitment to the youth and their families as well as how welcoming they are. What she enjoys doing outside of FriendsPDX work is hanging out with sister and her dog. Janeyry also enjoys discovering new eating places and hidden hiking trails. All of these thing bring so much joy and energy into her life.

Doug Rogers

Doug Rogers

Friend

Doug Rogers

Friend

Doug was born in the Bay Area and relocated to Portland in ’92. He got his BA at Humboldt state, grad coursework in SPED from PSU. What Doug appreciates about Friends of the Children are the youth, the staff, and the mission. Activities outside of Friends of the Children that bring Doug joy and energy are collecting vinyl and, recently, he’s been getting reconnected to the local DIY music scene.

Greg Shuster

Greg Shuster

Friend

Greg Shuster

Friend

Greg is a first generation college graduate who comes from a Ukrainian-Jewish refugee family. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and originally from Maryland. He moved to Portland after his service where he attended Portland State University and got his degree in psychology. Greg appreciates Friends of the Children—Portland's research-based approach. FriendsPDX is also unique in that from the top down, it feels like a big extended family. He values how the change created from the program and the effect on the community is long lasting, deep, and powerful. Outside of being a mentor, Greg loves to boulder, spend time with his wife and children and play Rocket League.

Annie Speed

Annie Speed

Friend

Annie Speed

Friend

Annie was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and went to school for environmental science in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is currently pursuing her BA in special education through an online university, and has worked in special education for 5 years. Annie was drawn to Friends of the Children—Portland after seeing the love and energy the staff members put into their everyday interactions. The relationships she builds are one of the most exciting parts of her journey here at FriendsPDX. In her free time, she loves gardening, learning about permaculture (utilizing renewable energy sources), playing card and board games with friends, and cooking.

Sania Thomas

Sania Thomas

Friend

Sania Thomas

Friend

Sania proudly hails from the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fly Eagles Fly!!! Her alma mater, Massachusetts College promptly prepared her for a career intersecting the arts and social justice. What Sania appreciates most about Friends of the Children is the long-term commitment to supporting children and families.

Sania and her family are passionate season ticket holders for the Winterhawks and the Portland Thorns. Her hobbies include tinkering and modifying her Jeep wrangler via YouTube tutorials; having intense fetch and tug of war sessions with her tripod yorkie, Jersey; practicing Phase 10 discard dances; and TikTok dog challenges with her forever embarrassed 14 year old, Emilia.

Amy Van Denburgh

Amy Van Denburgh

Friend

Amy Van Denburgh

Friend

Amy attended Northern Arizona University for both her undergrad and Masters degrees. After nine years teaching in South Korea, Palestine, the Czech Republic, Honduras, and Arizona, she spent time at the Oregon Food Bank in nutrition education. Amy appreciates the emphasis on meeting youth where they are here at Friends of the Children—Portland. Now that she has fled the desert sun, she enjoys exploring Oregon with her dog and horse.

Maricela Vidal Gonzalez

Maricela Vidal Gonzalez

Friend

Maricela Vidal Gonzalez

Friend

Marciela was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her family moved to Oregon when she was seven years old. Oregon is where she went to school from 2nd grade all the way through college. She gaduated from Pacific University in 2019 with a Bachelors in elementary education.

What she appreciates most about Friends of the Children—Portland is that instead of putting its primary focus on what obstacles children are facing, they look for resources available to help them overcome them. Additionally, she appreciates how FriendsPDX is there for the children as a support system to let them know that they are not alone and that they have people who care for them and will look after them.

Marciela loves hiking and exploring nature. This is her way of releasing stress and appreciating the beauty of nature itself. She also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, foods, and different traditions. She love spending time with her family, friends, and lovely dog Kiko.

Graylen Walker

Graylen Walker

Friend

Graylen Walker

Friend

Graylen moved out to Portland in her Corolla a couple years ago from North Carolina. She attended UNC Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) for undergrad and UNC Charlotte for her MSW. She loves traveling and had the urge to move across the country after her 2015 graduation. She served as an AmeriCorps member with the MFS non-profit and helped run the SUN program at an elementary school. In her free time, she likes being outside, taking pictures of her cat, and recently joined a dragon boat team!

Michelle Waters

Michelle Waters

Friend

Michelle Waters

Friend

Michelle was born in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. They studied international affairs at Lewis & Clark College and realized they wanted a career in social work. Prior to becoming a Friend, Michelle worked at Portland Homeless Family Solutions as a shelter coordinator and housing specialist to help houseless families obtain housing throughout Multnomah County. Michelle values the youth centered approach at Friends of the Children and loves that they have the opportunity to work and learn through the youth. Outside of FriendsPDX, they enjoy creating art, playing tennis, hosting dinner parties, making smoothies, and outdoor hangs with friends and family.

Program Staff

Alicia Barajas

Alicia Barajas

Program Resource Coordinator

Alicia Barajas

Program Resource Coordinator

Alicia was born and raised in Fresno, California where she studied at the Fresno Institute of Technology. She has a strong appreciation for Friends of the Children—Portland's mission driven work to break generational cycles and empower youth to be successful. In her off time, Alicia enjoys outdoor adventures with her children, reading a good book, and sharing laughter with good friends.

Meghan Buckner

Meghan Buckner

Director of Program Operations

Meghan Buckner

Director of Program Operations

Meghan has been working in the youth development field for 15 years and at Friends of the Children—Portland for almost 10 years. Meghan holds a Bachelors degree in art therapy & child/adolescent development from Miami University of Ohio. Meghan was drawn to this field from a desire to work with youth through an interdisciplinary approach and advocate holistically in all areas of the youths’ lives. In her free time she enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, creating art, and spending time with friends and family.

Anne Byrer

Anne Byrer

Staff Assistant to Program

Anne Byrer

Staff Assistant to Program

Anne was born in Michigan and grew up in Connecticut. In 2001, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from SUNY New Paltz in New York. Her intuitive dreams came true when she moved to Portland in 2004 to live in the beauty of the PNW.

She appreciates Friends of the Children—Portland for its encouragement to bring one’s own unique talents to the organization and its values & dedication to equitable change & positive growth. Anne’s major sparks are creating visual arts (ceramics is her true love!), practicing Reiki, nurturing houseplants, petting all the dogs, and being with nature ~ trees are her favorite!

Briana Dumas

Briana Dumas

Youth Engagement Program Manager

Briana Dumas

Youth Engagement Program Manager

Briana left the San Francisco bay area for the great Pacific Northwest in search of cooler weather, more trees and higher mountains. She attended the University of Puget Sound, the University of Oregon and Portland State University. She wakes up every morning feeling blessed that she gets to do the work she loves and is inspired daily by the youth and families she serves. Briana enjoys gardening, adventuring with her family and dog, Olive Juice, kickboxing and anything that involves being in, on or near large bodies of water.

Alejandra Garcilazo

Alejandra Garcilazo

Program Manager Youth Services and Training

Alejandra Garcilazo

Program Manager Youth Services and Training

Alejandra was born and raised in Umatilla, Oregon and moved to the Willamette Valley to attend Western Oregon University. She studied community health education with a minor in psychology. Honna has always been drawn to working with youth after witnessing firsthand the lack of help youth received in her home town. She loves being a supportive, positive role model in the lives of the youth she serves here at Friends of the Children—Portland. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her son and family, hiking, reading and playing sports.

Sierra Gonzalez

Sierra Gonzalez

Partnerships and Youth Engagement Team Lead

Sierra Gonzalez

Partnerships and Youth Engagement Team Lead

Sierra was born and raised in Carlsbad, California. She moved to Portland in 2015 to attend Warner Pacific University, earning a Bachelors in social work. She is thrilled to be a part of the Friends of the Children—Portland family and is excited to bring culturally specific programming from a restorative perspective. In her free time, Sierra enjoys sleeping, spending time with her cats, and the occasional river adventure.

Kaylie Haas

Kaylie Haas

Youth Engagement Specialist

Kaylie Haas

Youth Engagement Specialist

Kaylie moved to Portland from the Bay Area about five years ago, and is so happy to call the Pacific Northwest her home. She received my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at the University of Portland, where she was able to explore her passion for serving youth and families in the community. When she's not at work, she enjoys doing yoga, hiking, dancing, and singing in a community choir. You can also find her trying all the delicious food Portland has to offer.

Phillip Johnson II

Phillip Johnson II

Direct Service Program Manager

Phillip Johnson II

Direct Service Program Manager

Phillip is from Portland and attended Warner Pacific with a sociology major. He appreciates the relationships with the youth and their families. Phillips loves being a youth pastor and doing things with his youth group. He enjoys working with his wife on her entrepreneurial endeavors. He loves playing with his two girls, writing and creating.

Brian Kay

Brian Kay

Community Engagement Program Manager

Marina Laurette

Marina Laurette

Process and Communications Coordinator

Marina Laurette

Process and Communications Coordinator

Marina retired from the semiconductor industry after a 40 year career. She joined Friends of the Children—Portland at the beginning of 2020 and is thrilled to now be able to use her communications and operations skills to support the FriendsPDX mission. She sings in the Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland and is a board member there too. She enjoys hiking and travelling with her husband, and she loves gardening, cooking, and all kinds of crafting.

Estefania Perez

Estefania Perez

Bilingual Education Program Coordinator

Estefania Perez

Bilingual Education Program Coordinator

Estefania was born in Los Angeles before moving to the Oregon Coast where she spent her childhood. In 2013, she moved to Portland to earn her degree from Portland State University. She appreciates the values, dedication and commitment to the children. She is happy to be a part of an organization that genuinely has a desire and resources to make an impact in their life in a positive way. Estefania likes to get together with people that have similar health and fitness goals, to motivate and hold each other accountable.

Brian Pham

Brian Pham

Associate Director of Quality and Performance

Brian Pham

Associate Director of Quality and Performance

Brian am a proud Portland native. He graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Community Health. Working at Friends of the Children—Portland has been the most rewarding job he's ever had. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and work experience, yet everyone's are all here because of the mission. Outside of work, he enjoys being with family and friends, traveling, and eating all kinds of food.

Wanda Poton

Wanda Poton

Associate Director of Youth Engagement and Future Pathways

Wanda Poton

Associate Director of Youth Engagement and Future Pathways

Wanda has been working with youth for 10+ years and is now leading and supporting Friends at Friends of the Children—Portland. Wanda has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in psychology from Portland State University. Drawn to the field of helping children stems from her experience as being the eldest in her family, caring for her younger siblings and being the first to graduate from college. She enjoys visiting, chatting and cooking for friends and family, exploring various forms of crafts/arts and reading to learn and develop. Wanda’s favorite past time is watching movies with her husband and three little doggies.

Geraldine Sandberg

Geraldine Sandberg

Program Operations Coordinator

Rose Solowski

Rose Solowski

Associate Director of Family and Alumni Engagement

Rose Solowski

Associate Director of Family and Alumni Engagement

Rose loves being outdoors, she's super creative and loves to paint, craft and sew. She loves to read. She has an awesome family- she and her husband have two kids, a dog, a cat and 3 chickens. Rose is also on the board for a local youth baseball organization. She started as a Friend in 2003 and loves this organization with all her heart!!

Ki'ilani Viernes

Ki'ilani Viernes

Associate Director of Program Employee Development

Ki'ilani Viernes

Associate Director of Program Employee Development

Ki'ilani was born and raised in O'ahu, Hawaii. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a BS in applied developmental psychology and minors in psychology and special education. She has a Masters in Education in school counseling from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Ki has been at Friends of the Children—Portland for 11 1/2 years and appreciates the longevity of the commitment made to the youth served. She also appreciates the inclusive work environment - the open, welcoming community FriendsPDX has that encourages folks to be who they are and appreciates each unique person. Additionally, she appreciates the relationships made with the youth, their families, and co-workers. Outside of FriendsPDX, she plays with her dog, Keona, takes pictures out in the community, creates artwork, is in nature, does community service activities and spends time with her niece and nephew.

Development Staff

Lisa Bergeson

Lisa Bergeson

Associate Director of Development

Lisa Bergeson

Associate Director of Development

Lisa was born in southern California and moved to Portland with her family when she was in middle school, eventually earning her degree from Oregon State University. Having worked at the Classic Wines Auction for a couple years, Lisa loved seeing the firsthand impact FriendsPDX makes on the youth in our community. She is impressed with the warmth, kindness and sense of community that resonates throughout every aspect of our donor environment and program development. She loves that in all things, Friends of the Children—Portland puts the needs of the children first. Lisa enjoys quality time with her family, planning fun trips with her girlfriends and spending time in Manzanita.

Erika Brathovde

Erika Brathovde

Advancement Services Manager

Erika Brathovde

Advancement Services Manager

Erika is originally from Spokane, WA, but moved across the state to attend Seattle University where she studied International Studies and Cultural Anthropology. She has been working in nonprofit gift services since 2014 and previously worked with amazing organizations in Seattle! She moved to Portland in Summer 2020 and is looking forward to getting to know the city once everything is open again.

Erika loves Friends of the Children—Portland’s deep commitment to helping children of all backgrounds feel excited and empowered to grow into their best selves. She is also impressed with the wonderful and devoted individuals who work and volunteer at FriendsPDX.

Outside of the office, Erika enjoys dancing, playing games with her husband, and snuggling with her two cats, Chester Copperpot and Leonardo DiCatrio.

Katie Breeden

Katie Breeden

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Katie Breeden

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Katie is an Oregon native and has lived in Portland since 2017. She's been in digital marketing for four years working for various niche industries like sewer inspection equipment and commercial trucking and fuels. Friends of the Children—Portland provides the community-centric and youth-oriented programming she enjoys supporting. Outside of work, Katie loves to read, sew/quilt/collect fabric until she's forced to make a quilt, and spend time with her bunnies Oliver and Olivia, friends, and family.

Kim Christiansen

Kim Christiansen

Grants Manager

Kim Christiansen

Grants Manager

Kim is a native Portlander who graduated from the UO with a journalism degree. Her background includes PR and newspaper reporting. Before joining FriendsPDX, she was a grant writer at Human Solutions for about 6 years. She appreciates the enthusiasm and energy of her colleagues and the 12.5 year commitment to each youth. Kim is a huge animal lover, avid cyclist and enjoys being outside as much as possible - especially in the summer! She also loves to read, watch movies, cook new vegetarian recipes and spend time with friends and family.

Amy Prince

Amy Prince

Development and Operations Coordinator

Amy Prince

Development and Operations Coordinator

Amy is an avid Duck fan and loves college football. She dabbles in a greeting card business using a 1941 Royal Typewriter. She likes to camp with family and friends to get away from it all.

Cameron Spencer

Cameron Spencer

Grant Writer

Cameron Spencer

Grant Writer

Cameron is a native of the Pacific Northwest and recently returned to Oregon after spending the last two years in Lubbock, Texas. He has a master’s degree in biological anthropology from Texas Tech University and a bachelor’s degree in biocultural anthropology from Oregon State University. Before coming to FriendsPDX, Cameron worked with tribal members and law enforcement agencies to identify and repatriate the remains of missing persons. He also worked to advocate for the rights of migrant farmworkers and their families, who often face a myriad of structural inequalities. Cameron was drawn to FriendsPDX for its proven ability to impact youth and the local community while disrupting the cycle of generational poverty. Outside of work, Cameron loves to explore the Pacific Northwest with his fiancé and their friends and travel whenever he gets the chance.

Kailyn Stanley

Kailyn Stanley

Donor Relations Officer

Kailyn Stanley

Donor Relations Officer

Kailyn was born in Seoul, South Korea, and was adopted through Holt International. She attended Warner Pacific College studying human development and family studies with a minor in music. Kailyn’s professional experience varies from offering direct service to youth, to being a relationship and project manager of Fortune 100 accounts at a marketing communications firm, to working at a nonprofit serving youth.

Kailyn values Friends of the Children – Portland's commitment to walking along side youth and the all encompassing, holistic approach of offering support! She enjoys being a Big Buddy at Camp Erin and a Volunteer Facilitator at The Dougy Center. Kailyn enjoys reading, going on nature walks with friends, listening to podcasts, golfing (or trying to!), and watching sports.

Administrative Staff

Joy Fauth

Joy Fauth

Program Facility Coordinator

Joy Fauth

Program Facility Coordinator

Born in Toppenish WA, Joy's family moved to occupied Palestine 17 miles from Gaza when she was eight, in 1964. She moved back to Oregon at 19 and has been here ever since. She went to Oregon College of Education, now called Western Oregon University. Joy LOVES all food, relaxing and camping by loud babbling rivers, and walking on the ocean shores. She appreciates that Friends of the Children—Portland provides early intervention and offers a solution for the long term. It's not a band aid solution.

Audrey Forrest

Audrey Forrest

Director of Operations

Audrey Forrest

Director of Operations

Audrey has been part of fundraising and development in Portland since 2004 and with Friends of the Children since 2012. She focuses on events, campaigns, operations and logistics for the team. Watching Friends work with the youth they walk alongside is truly inspiring and motivates Audrey every day. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys getting outside with her husband, two girls and dog, Olive.

Carliss Holland

Carliss Holland

Interim HR Generalist

Carliss Holland

Interim HR Generalist

Carliss was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from MWSC with a BA in recreation administration with youth sports. She has worked with youth for 15+ years and has a 12 year old son. She graduated in 2017 with a certificate in group fitness. She was a Friend previously for 7.5 years and appreciates the friendships she has made with staff, mentors, families, youth and schools over the years. She loves hanging out with her son, family and friends. She loves to play and watch sports and participate in fitness and working out activities. She likes to listen to music, watch movies, travel and see new places.

Belinda Jiles

Belinda Jiles

Executive Assistant

Belinda Jiles

Executive Assistant

Belinda, who was born and raised in Portland Oregon, has more than 30 years of customer service, administration, and operations experience. After graduation from U.S Grant HS, she attended Alabama State University in Montgomery to complete her studies in Communication in radio and television and to be close to family.

Gratitude in the nonprofit sector is what gives Belinda unspeakable joy, and Friends of the Children—Portland reigns top of the list. Assisting families, and mentoring children by being a positive and pivotal presence for 12+ years are helping to create awesome adults who will be great assets to society in the future.

In her free time, Belinda likes game nights with friends, watching sports, traveling, and being a mini foodie.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

Senior Accountant

Jessica Jones

Senior Accountant

Jessica is a native Portlander and a proud alumnus of both Oregon State University and Portland State University. She enjoys working for organizations that make a difference in their community which is why she is so happy to have joined the Friends of the Children—Portland team! In her spare time she enjoys remodeling her home, reading and going on outings with friends.

Leslye Jubb

Leslye Jubb

Total Rewards Analyst

Leslye Jubb

Total Rewards Analyst

Leslye was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the US at the tender age of 3. She was raised in the Portland Metro area and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration from Portland State University. "Friends of the Children is an impressive organization to me because of their deep devotion and lasting impact. I'm passionate about supporting local businesses that care about sustainability."

Outside of Friends PDX, Leslye enjoys reading books (fiction and non-fiction alike), any form of outdoor exercise such as trail running, cycling, and paddle boarding. "I have an obsession with buying and learning tabletop games because my husband is really smart and the only way I can beat him is when he's on the learning curve." Leslye also loves trying new foods and restaurants and exploring new destinations with her husband and her rescue dog, Loki.

Terry Robertson

Terry Robertson

Receptionist

Terry Robertson

Receptionist

A lover of people, Terry has been with Friends of the Children—Portland since October 2016. She loves that she is able to serve the community that she grew up in and believes that being a local is crucial in making a profound connection with the kids. Whether she is in or out of the office, her goal is to make at least one person smile a day.

Tana Schield

Tana Schield

Accountant

Tana Schield

Accountant

Outside of Friends, Tana likes to feed the goats on Rodney Ave, workout at the Dishman Community Center, and discover chickens in the neighborhood.

Jack Vollert

Jack Vollert

Facilities & Partnerships Manager

Jack Vollert

Facilities & Partnerships Manager

Jack grew up in California. After graduating from Santa Clara University, he moved to Portland. His first job in Portland was a crisis intervention counselor at a homeless shelter in Old Town. He has been with Friends of the Children—Portland since 2000 and started as a Friend. He appreciates the hard work and dedication to the mission at FriendsPDX. He likes cooking and eating meals with his family and is a drummer in a rock trio called Three Finger Jack.

Adam Zahn

Adam Zahn

Accounting & Finance Manager

Adam Zahn

Accounting & Finance Manager

Adam is a native of Grant Rapids, MI and moved to Portland in 2015. He has a master’s degree in accounting from University of Michigan and a bachelor degree in sustainable business from Aquinas College. Before coming to Friends of the Children—Portland, he spent eight years building nonprofit experience as a CPA working at a Big Four accounting firm. Adam is inspired by solutions that are bold and big enough to address systemic problems at the core. The FriendsPDX commitment of 12.5 years, no matter what, is just such a promise that demonstrably works to change lives. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, biking, dance, podcasts, tabletop role playing games, and other activism work.