Our People

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People are the heart of the Foundation. From our enthusiastic members, to our esteemed Legacy Circle, to our visionary Board of Directors, to our dedicated staff, we are an organization of women for women. 


Jessica Arzate
Jessica Arzate
Jessica Arzate is the Senior Director of Impact at Greater Than (formerly “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Oregon), an education nonprofit working in partnership with the Reynolds School District. As a member of the leadership team at Greater Than, she drives decisions and strategy for the organization’s Impact Model. In addition to her leadership at Greater Than, Jessica serves as the first elected Latina on the Multnomah ESD School Board for Zone 4 (East Portland) and as Co-President on the inaugural School Board Members of Color Caucus with the Oregon School Board Association.
Pooja Bhatt
Pooja BhattVice Chair Position 1
Pooja Bhatt (she/her/hers) is an experienced policy professional driven by a sense of cultural humility, curiosity, and belief that individual people, institutions, and systems must operate in ways that allow historically under-resourced communities to determine and actualize what they need to thrive. As a Senior Policy Advisor for Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Education Policy Advisor for Governor Kate Brown, she translated her values into action through policy levers and funding to remove barriers and close opportunity gaps, and by creating more inclusive work environments in the public sector. Her 15+ years of professional experience is rooted in Oregon, and has taken her to India to support the efforts of security guards organizing to create better working conditions for themselves. Pooja earned a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan, with a focus on social policy.
 Mar Chavez
Mar Chavez
Mar Chavez is a financial analyst who has a passion for health equity and justice. Mar’s expertise is in finance and analysis and she enjoys creating stories through data visualizations and interactive dashboards.

Originally from the Central Coast of California, Mar comes from a working-class Chicanx family and was the first in her family to graduate high school and pursue higher education. Mar earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Master’s degree in Finance, both from Portland State University. In addition to her experience as a financial analyst, Mar has worked many years in front-line healthcare positions including reproductive and sexual health, and with elders with special needs.

Mar has lived in Portland, OR, for the last 13 years. In her downtime, Mar enjoys hanging out with her wife and two chihuahua mutts. She also loves to play guitar and ride bikes.
Shadiin Garcia
Shadiin GarciaChair
Shadiin Garcia is Chicana and Laguna Pueblo from New Mexico and has lived in Oregon for 16 years. She has worked for over 20 years as a teacher, as a public school administrator, researcher, a policy analyst, Indigenous education leader, and as a consultant. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Yale University in English with a specialization in education; a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and a PhD in Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education from the University of Oregon. She is currently an Executive Vice President at the Metropolitan Group.
Laura Rodriguez
Laura RodriguezSecretary
Laura Rodriguez is a first generation Cuban-American. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University and a Master’s degree in Social Work in Community Organizing, Planning, Policy and Administration from Boston College. Laura is currently pursuing a PhD from Portland State University. Her research will focus on improving health care systems’ ability to provide equitable services to children who have special needs and who hold multiple intersecting marginalized identities.

Laura’s professional experience includes service coordination, supervision, program management, full-scale program direction and management, and systems analysis. She has had the privilege of working with multiple populations, including run-away homeless youth, homebound elderly, and children/youth with special health care needs, in addition to spending several years in the reproductive health field. In her free time, Laura likes hiking with her wife and their dog, and is obsessed with watching foreign detective dramas.
Brook Shelley
Brook ShelleyVice Chair Position 2
Brook Shelley lives in Oakland, CA with her cat Snorri, and works for Slack. Her writing has appeared in Queer Quarrels, The Toast, Lean Out, Transfigure, and the Oregon Journal of the Humanities. She speaks regularly on queer and trans issues, and is also on the board of Basic Rights Oregon.
Luhui Whitebear
Luhui Whitebear
Luhui Whitebear (Coastal Chumash) is an Assistant Professor for the School of Language, Culture, & Society at Oregon State University (OSU) and serves as the Center Director of the Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws on campus. She received her PhD in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies with a graduate minor in Queer Studies from OSU. Prior to starting her role with the Cultural Resource Centers at OSU in 2013, Luhui served ten years as the College Advising & Scholarship Coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Corvallis School Board, Region 4 Director of the Oregon School Board Member of Color Caucus, and a board member for MMIW USA. Dr. Whitebear is a mother, poet, and activist that is passionate about disrupting systems of oppression and creating positive change in society.


Deborah Steinkopf
Deborah SteinkopfInterim Finance DirectorThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Deborah Steinkopf is an experienced nonprofit professional with 30+ years working for social change in both salaried and consulting capacities. Deborah has also served on a variety of nonprofit boards, government advisory committees, and coalitions. She served as a topic advisor for the development of the Count Her In report in 2016. Deborah has worked for organizations supporting people living with HIV/AIDS, survivors of domestic violence, people experiencing homelessness, and immigrants and refugees. Currently, Deborah provides consulting services to Oregon nonprofits. Her consulting practice includes interim executive staffing, executive coaching, fund development planning, grant strategy, board training, and stakeholder engagement projects. As a collaborative partner, Deborah helps build organizational capacity, scale programs, assemble effective staff teams, and secure public and private funds to support the work. She is a member of Grant Professionals Association, Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and Willamette Valley Professionals Association and occasionally is a guest lecturer on government funding for Portland State University’s Certificate in Fundraising Program.
Marilou Carrera
Marilou CarreraInterim Grants ManagerThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Marilou Carrera (they / siya / she) is a health equity advocate, community health practitioner, and cultural worker. Their experiences as a Filipina and Japanese person who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, as well as their time practicing as a registered nurse, advocating for communities of color / community-driven decision-making, and promoting public health and reproductive justice have long persuaded them of the importance and imperative of sharing power, sharing stories, and centering communities to influence policy and affect systems change.

Martha Lawrence
Martha LawrenceAdministrative Support SpecialistThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Martha has been a high-level assistant supporting C-suite executives for over 20 years within both the corporate and non-profit sector. Particularly skilled at interpersonal verbal/ written communication and client relations, she has additional experience in recruiting, customer service, fundraising and donor management.

Upon graduating from Boston College, Martha relocated to California for many years, spending 17 years in San Francisco and 5 years in San Diego. She recently moved back home to the Greater Boston area, currently residing in Salem, MA with her boyfriend and 2 spunky cats. Martha is a creative, flexible and innovative team player with a great sense of humor.

Former Board Members

  • Verna Bailey
  • Lynne Bangsund
  • Kaaren Beaver
  • Alice Bergman
  • Anne Booth
  • Dorothy Boothe
  • Coventry Boucher
  • Sirius Bonner
  • Nancy Bryant
  • Leslie Cable
  • Joanne Carlson
  • Valri Chiappetta
  • Susan Corey
  • Dotti Cowart
  • Kim Cunningham
  • Kim Curtis
  • Nicole Deering
  • Nancy Delbrueck
  • Mary Edmeades
  • Kris Elliott
  • Marna Elliott
  • Lura Elsen
  • Julie Falk
  • Joan Foley
  • Marybeth Fossati
  • Trish Gallus
  • Linda Girard
  • Cathie Glennon
  • Linda Kilham Goebel
  • Michele Goodman
  • Nancy Graham
  • Sharon Graver
  • Brenda Grootendorst
  • Karen Holce
  • Joan Horstkotte
  • Lynnette Houghton
  • Beth Hutchison
  • Cobi Jackson
  • Jean Josephson
  • Mary Kalafatis
  • Stephanie Knight
  • Carolee Kolve
  • Molly Kreuzman
  • Laura Krum
  • Hazel Larpenteur
  • Catherine Lingas
  • Priscilla Wold Longfield
  • Laura Luthi
  • Christine McClave
  • Marcella McGee’
  • Lora R. Meyer
  • Austin Moller
  • Ginny Morthland
  • Katy Neill
  • Karen Nelson
  • Anne Noall
  • Susan Palmiter
  • Lynne Parker
  • Sandy Patchin
  • Carol Petersen
  • Jeanette Pippin
  • Dana Plautz
  • Lee Ragen
  • Diane Redd
  • Debby Rhoades
  • Daneal Louise Richards
  • Mary Roberts
  • Traci Rossi
  • Amy Sample Ward
  • Jeannie Santos
  • Molly Schank
  • Laurie Pickett Schulte
  • Elinor Shanklin
  • Kimberlee Sheng
  • Rita Silen
  • B.J. Simmons
  • Barbara Spence
  • Molly Spencer
  • Carrie Stevens
  • Christy Stockton
  • Sue Sullivan
  • Chris Swanson
  • Gale Swanson
  • Jeanne Teisher
  • Mary Kay Tetreault
  • Deborah Thomas
  • Julie Vigeland
  • Sue Walcutt
  • Beth Warner
  • Megan Wentworth
  • Cheryl Wideman
  • Barbara Wilkinson
  • Janet Williamson
  • Kathleen Wilson
  • Kathy Wilson
  • Lynda Wonacott
  • Sonia Worcel
  • Charlene Zidell
  • Marilyn Zook

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