Dancers | 2016

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March 21, 2016 · by admin · 2016 Gala, Featured, Stars

2016 Gala DancersPCRI’s fifth annual Dancing with the Stars Gala will feature four prominent Portland community members (clockwise from top left): Cupid Alexander, Lori Medak, Mayra Arreola and Carla Bunting, each trained by and dancing with professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Read on for more information about the competing dancers:

Cupid Alexander – Housing Program Specialist, Portland Housing Bureau

Cupid Alexander has a deep history in the Portland area’s housing organizations. He is currently a Housing Program Specialist for Portland Housing Bureau and the Vice President of Community Development for National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Cascade Chapter as well as serving as Secretary of the Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter. He serves as the Vice President of the Urban League’s Young Professionals, and is currently a board member of both the Trail Blazers make it better foundation Board of Professionals and the ReBuilding Center.  Prior to working for the Portland Housing Bureau, Cupid worked for the Washington County Department of Housing Services and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A former model, Cupid has been featured in national ad campaigns for Nike, Reebok, Columbia Sportswear, Nordstrom, Timberland and the publication “Cosmopolitan”. We couldn’t help but share one of his Nike ads, wondering if he’ll have next year’s bragging rights …

Cupid is a strong believer in community and economic empowerment. While we think he’ll be a natural, he nervously admits he may need the most help learning the dance, but says “I’m all in for the community, and PCRI is one of the agencies that houses many and does good work.”

Cupid is a proud graduate of Wilson High School and attended Western Oregon University, Fisk University, and Warner Pacific College were he was a collegiate basketball player and earned a Business degree. He additionally attended Portland State University where he earned both a graduate degree in Real Estate Development, and a Masters in Public Administration.

Lori Medak – Vice President, Manager, Commercial Group, Fidelity National Title, Portland

Lori Medak is the Vice President and Manager of the Commercial Group for Fidelity National Title, Portland. Passionate about closing commercial real estate transactions including many affordable housing developments, Lori has closed all product types with a wide range of complexity in more than 19 years in the title and escrow services profession. With a tremendous amount of experience in multisite, multistate portfolios, tax credit and bond financing structured transactions, she uses this experience in teaching classes for commercial clients to ensure smooth and successful closings.

In addition to her designation as a Certified Escrow Officer through the Oregon Escrow Council, she is proactive in working to provide value to clients with Fidelity’s business development and client service organizations. She believes in the strength of her branch and its team.

She enjoys all athletic activities, watching college football and basketball, wine tasting, walking, and spending time with family including her son. A native Portland resident, she studied finance at Linfield College in McMinnville.

Mayra Arreola – Director of Community Collaborations & Investment, United Way of the Columbia Willamette

Mayra Arreola is the Director of Community Collaborations & Investment for the United Way of the Columbia Willamette. She leads UWCW’s efforts to make community impact a reality by managing investments, building critical relationships, understanding needs and opportunities, fostering collaborations across sectors and giving United Way a visible presence across our four county region.

Previous to her role at UWCW, Mayra worked in rural communities across the state of Oregon focusing in community building through leadership development and small business enterprise primarily with the rural Latino population.

Mayra holds a Master in Public Administration by Portland State University and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon, a council member of the Oregon Housing Stability Council with the Oregon Housing & Community Services State Agency, a member of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME) Advisory Board, member of the Strategy Team for Social Venture Partners Portland and a member of the Latina Associates for Collaborative Endeavors (LACE) with the Non Profit Association of Oregon.

Carla Bunting – Teacher, Mill Park Elementary School

Carla Bunting is an elementary school teacher at Mill Park Elementary in the David Douglas School District. She specializes in working with students for whom English is a second language. She was the winning bidder in the live auction during the 2015 gala, earning her a spot in the competition for the 2016 Dancing with the Stars Portland championship. At left, Carla and husband Phil Bunting grace the 2015 event’s red carpet.

Carla and her three sisters were all cheerleaders in high school. While she hasn’t danced since then, her favorite TV shows are So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars. Originally from Long Beach California, Carla attended California State University Long Beach and moved to Portland with her husband and two children in 2008. She enjoys snowboarding, theater, traveling and the great outdoors.

We’re thankful for Carla’s help making past gala’s a roaring success and we’re looking forward to seeing her moves on the dance floor at this year’s gala!

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