Archive for the ‘Stars’ Category

2017 Gala | Dancers

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February 15, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

2017 DWTS Dancers

PCRI’s sixth annual Dancing with the Stars Gala will feature four prominent Portland community members (clockwise from top left): Carlos Banks, Tricia Tillman, Kali Thorne-Ladd and Paul van der Salm, each trained by and dancing with professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Read below for more information about the competing dancers:

Carlos Banks

Carlos Banks joined Portland Parks and Recreation in May 2016 as the Teen Coordinator for the East Portland Community Center. Previously, he worked for Self Enhancement Inc. as a workforce coordinator helping to improve economic development and before that, as a high school coordinator. In 2005, Carlos moved to South America to learn Spanish and Portuguese, and to gain a greater perspective on life. While there, he completed a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language course and studied various courses at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Carlos is fluent in Spanish, proficient in Portuguese and hopes to become fluent in yet another language soon!

Carlos grew up in Portland and graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School as well as attending Portland Community College as a part of the Portland Teachers’ Program. During this time, he began working with youth at Jefferson High School and Grant High School – and continues to do so today.

Carlos loves all sports, cycling, traveling and, now, dancing! Carlos and his wife Alejandra have a beautiful 4-year old daughter named Nandi. Carlos also has a 20-year old son, Antonee, who is studying at Western Oregon University.

Tricia Tillman

Tricia Tillman is the Director for Public Health for the Multnomah County Health Department where she strives to improve the health and well-being of communities of color and the health of the overall community. Previously, she served as a program manager for the department, initiating and managing the county’s Health Equity Initiative and the African American Sexual Health Equity Program, as well as serving as a co-chair for the department’s Diversity and Quality Team. Tricia also previously served as Director of the Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion, and has worked in various capacities in maternal, child and community health, coordinating efforts to improve the health of disadvantaged populations in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

Tricia earned a prestigious Women of Achievement Award from the Oregon Women’s Commission, a Martin Luther King Fellowship from Boston University, and a public health fellowship through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.  She is a mother of three teens, board member and co-founder of the African American Outdoor Association, and she occasionally finds time to run, ski, kayak and dance salsa.

Kali Thorne-Ladd

Kali Thorne-Ladd is the Executive Director and co-founder of KairosPDX, a non-profit organization focused on access to quality early learning opportunities for historically underserved children. She is also the Chair of Portland Community College’s Board of Directors, having served on the board for the last 5 years.  She previously worked for the City of Portland Mayor’s Office as the education strategies director overseeing policy and direction for the mayor’s key education initiatives.

In addition to her work in the Portland area, Kali spent over two years in South Africa teaching middle school and developing educational curriculum for rural African Children. She currently resides in North Portland with her husband and two children.

Paul van der Salm

Paul van der Salm is a new star in Portland Banking. He works for Pacific Continental Bank as a Relationship Banking Assistant, providing personalized support for businesses, with a specialty in cash management. Prior to that, he was a Treasury Analyst at Capital Pacific Bank, and he studied business at Clark College.

Son of Dutch immigrants, Paul was given drive for equity at an early age. To serve that purpose, he volunteers as a CASA, providing children in the foster system a voice, as they work together to return the children to a safe, secure home, quickly. He also volunteers his time and energy with Camp Fire Columbia, most recently at digging holes for the rustic new split log benches they have along their camp roads.

In regards to the dancing, Paul admits that while he has done some swing dancing before, he is looking forward to learning new steps as he trains for the Gala. He claims to be “as nervous as a long tailed cat in a rocking chair store.”

When he is not at work or volunteering, Paul can be found playing soccer on one of three teams, cheering on the Timbers, or spending time with his family, as he is the proud uncle to 7 nieces and nephews.

Paul van der Salm | Dancer

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February 13, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

PaulvanderSalmPaul van der Salm is a new star in Portland Banking. He works for Pacific Continental Bank as a Relationship Banking Assistant, providing personalized support for businesses, with a specialty in cash management. Prior to that, he was a Treasury Analyst at Capital Pacific Bank, and he studied business at Clark College.

Son of Dutch immigrants, Paul was given drive for equity at an early age. To serve that purpose, he volunteers as a CASA, providing children in the foster system a voice, as they work together to return the children to a safe, secure home, quickly. He also volunteers his time and energy with Camp Fire Columbia, most recently at digging holes for the rustic new split log benches they have along their camp roads.

In regards to the dancing, Paul admits that while he has done some swing dancing before, he is looking forward to learning new steps as he trains for the Gala. He claims to be “as nervous as a long tailed cat in a rocking chair store.”

When he is not at work or volunteering, Paul can be found playing soccer on one of three teams, cheering on the Timbers, or spending time with his family, as he is the proud uncle to 7 nieces and nephews.

 

Carlos Banks | Dancer

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February 13, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

Carlos BanksCarlos Banks joined Portland Parks and Recreation in May 2016 as the Teen Coordinator for the East Portland Community Center. Previously, he worked for Self Enhancement Inc. as a workforce coordinator helping to improve economic development and before that, as a high school coordinator. In 2005, Carlos moved to South America to learn Spanish and Portuguese, and to gain a greater perspective on life. While there, he completed a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language course and studied various courses at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Carlos is fluent in Spanish, proficient in Portuguese and hopes to become fluent in yet another language soon!

Carlos grew up in Portland and graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School as well as attending Portland Community College as a part of the Portland Teachers’ Program. During this time, he began working with youth at Jefferson High School and Grant High School – and continues to do so today.

Carlos loves all sports, cycling, traveling and, now, dancing! Carlos and his wife Alejandra have a beautiful 4-year old daughter named Nandi. Carlos also has a 20-year old son, Antonee, who is studying at Western Oregon University.

Tricia Tillman | Dancer

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February 7, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

TILLMAN-2Tricia Tillman is the Director for Public Health for the Multnomah County Health Department where she strives to improve the health and well-being of communities of color and the health of the overall community. Previously, she served as a program manager for the department, initiating and managing the county’s Health Equity Initiative and the African American Sexual Health Equity Program, as well as serving as a co-chair for the department’s Diversity and Quality Team. Tricia also previously served as Director of the Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion, and has worked in various capacities in maternal, child and community health, coordinating efforts to improve the health of disadvantaged populations in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

Tricia earned a prestigious Women of Achievement Award from the Oregon Women’s Commission, a Martin Luther King Fellowship from Boston University, and a public health fellowship through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.  She is a mother of three teens, board member and co-founder of the African American Outdoor Association, and she occasionally finds time to run, ski, kayak and dance salsa.

Kali Thorne-Ladd | Dancer

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February 6, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

Kali-Ladd

Kali Thorne-Ladd is the Executive Director and co-founder of KairosPDX, a non-profit organization focused on access to quality early learning opportunities for historically underserved children. She is also the Chair of Portland Community College’s Board of Directors, having served on the board for the last 5 years.  She previously worked for the City of Portland Mayor’s Office as the education strategies director overseeing policy and direction for the mayor’s key education initiatives.

In addition to her work in the Portland area, Kali spent over two years in South Africa teaching middle school and developing educational curriculum for rural African Children. She currently resides in North Portland with her husband and two children.

February 5, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

SerildaSerilda Summers-McGee, Human Resources and Workforce Development Director for the Portland Development Commission, leads comprehensive human resources management and oversees all workforce development priorities in alignment with the commission’s strategic goals. Ms. Summers-McGee held previous roles as the human resources director for the Oregon Department of Education and as talent planning manager at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. She was the first executive director for Partners in Diversity, where she worked with human resources departments at companies throughout the region on strategies to recruit and retain executives of color. She has more than 10 years of experience in government, higher education, and corporate environments with experience across a broad range of HR practices.

Ms. Summers-McGee received a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University, a Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration from Ball State University, and a Master of Business Administration from Willamette University. She is a board member of Meals on Wheels Oregon, Stand for Children, and Willamette University’s Atkinson Business School. In 2014 she received the Portland Business Journal’s Forty Under Forty award for professional excellence, leadership and community commitment. In 2016 Serilda publish a book titled: Change the Workgame: Building and Sustaining a Diverse Workforce, where she coaches professionals on ways to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.

Her husband, Charles McGee, was a competitor in PCRI’s 2014 Dancing with the Stars gala and she’s excited to see this year’s contestants perform.

February 4, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

Tweedie_Andrew_15_smallAndrew Tweedie, Community Affairs Officer for Wells Fargo, oversees Wells Fargo’s philanthropic efforts in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Prior to his role at Wells Fargo, he was the senior director of community engagement at the American Cancer Society in Portland and Director of Development for Our House. In each of his roles, Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as boundless enthusiasm.

Andrew has been involved for several years with Camp KC, which provides a caring, safe annual camp for children whose lives are impacted by HIV/AIDS. He is also a board member for Our House.

Cupid Alexander | Judge

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February 2, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

AlexFR02

Cupid Alexander is the reigning Dancing with the Stars Portland champion. He and Jessi Aillon, his professional dance partner from Fred Astaire Dance Studio, won the judges’ approval at the 2016 gala. Check out the video of their performance here.

Cupid has a deep history in the Portland area’s housing organizations. He is currently a Housing Policy Analyst 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 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.

IMG_9392A former model, Cupid has been featured in national ad campaigns for Nike, Reebok, Columbia Sportswear, Nordstrom, Timberland and the publication “Cosmopolitan”.

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.

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!

Dancers | 2015

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February 13, 2015 · by admin · 2015 Gala, Stars

2015 Gala DancersPCRI’s 2015 Dancing with the Stars Gala featured four prominent Portland community members (clockwise from top left): Pamela Weatherspoon, Gunther Oakey, Jenelle Isaacson, and Ian Parker, each trained by and dancing with professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Read on for more information the dancers shared prior to competing in the 2015 event:

Pamela Weatherspoon—Diversity and Community Engagement Program Manager, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center

Pamela Weatherspoon was born in Southern California and was raised in Southern Oregon. She received her bachelor degree in Communications with a minor in Black Studies from Portland State University.

Currently, Pamela is responsible for Diversity and Community Engagement programs at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. Prior to that, she worked as the Community Relations Director and African American Mentoring Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest.

She is currently engaged in the community in numerous ways including being a volunteer big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, board member of the Make it Better Foundation for the Portland Trail Blazers, advisory board for the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, Commissioner of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and board member of the Eliot Neighborhood Association.

In 2009, she graduated from leadership Clark County and in 2010, she finished a 13-month leadership program with the National Urban League. She also graduated from the American Leadership Forum in January of 2014.

Gunther Oakey—Corporate Counsel, NovaTech

Gunther Oakey is corporate counsel for NovaTech, a private software engineering and automation solutions company where he focuses on contracts, service agreements and partnerships as well as managing outside counsel. This role has given him a broad perspective on legal, business and management issues.

Gunther is also well versed in  public and social issues, having acted as a legislative correspondent for the U.S. House of Representatives and as  a student organizer and campaign office director for MASSPIRG. At MASSPIRG, he recruited and trained students to lobby state legislature and congress on issues including environmental concerns, student loans and homelessness.

Outside of corporate and legislative environments, Gunther is also working with Wiglbot, a Portland company that has developed an interactive educational robot controlled by musical instruments. Wiglbot dances (like the gala stars!) and lights up to help children learn a variety of skills from math, to engineering, to music.

Gunther also enjoys Oregon’s great outdoors and ballroom dance. He’s excited to put on his dancing shoes for this year’s gala and is looking forward to supporting PCRI’s work to provide affordable housing as a tool for families to achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

Jenelle Isaacson—Founder and Owner, Living Room Realty

Jenelle Isaacson is a Portland native and founder and owner of Living Room Realty. Living Room Realty is a full service real estate brokerage and property management firm that serves Portland’s urban neighborhoods and Oregon’s North Coast.  They are the first West Coast real estate brokerage to receive B-Corp Status, a recipient of the Oregonian’s 2014 Top Workplace Award and winner of the 2014 Oregon Ethics in Business Awards.

In 2012, Jenelle was named one of Portland’s 40 up and coming business leaders under 40 by the Portland Business Journal, and in 2013, was one of 25 women who received the Orchid Award for being a woman of influence for her business and civic contributions. Jenelle got her start in business by performing in and managing an all girls punk band. She is excited to bring that energy and creativity to PCRI’s Dancing with the Stars gala.

“At Living Room we are committed to the ideal that each person within our community and on our planet have Living Room. The room to make a fair living and sufficient income, to live a life rich in experience and the ability to occupy a home. The room to exhibit vigor, gusto and enthusiasm and a space for living where there is opportunity for all. I am thrilled to be able to support PCRI because they work everyday towards this vision for our community. I’m thrilled they asked me to dance for this great cause. My Living Room is definitely the dance floor!”

Jenelle serves as Co-chair of the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls Board of Directors. She is an active member of Portland’s Entrepreneur Organization and a mentor for their Accelerator program.  Jenelle is the mother of two daughters and when not working; Jenelle loves; running, swimming holes, impromptu dance parties, skiing, movies and crafting the perfect playlist.

Ian Parker—Producer and Reporter, KATU

Ian Parker is a producer and reporter for KATU, Portland’s Channel 2. He grew up in the Portland metro area and attended the University of Oregon.

After graduating from the University of Oregon, Ian worked as a producer, reporter and weekend weathercaster in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He then moved to Oklahoma City to report full-time, where he was he was honored by the United States Military for his reporting on military issues.

Ian returned to Oregon in 2013 and joined the KATU news team as a producer and reporter. He produces KATU’s Everyday Heroes program.

Ian is excited to show off his currently non-existent, but hopefully soon-to-be-exceptional dancing skills.

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