Archive for the ‘Stars’ Category

April 1, 2014 · by admin · 2014 Gala, Featured, Stars

2014 DancersPCRI’s 2014 Dancing with the Stars Gala featured five prominent Portland community members (clockwise from top right): Ashley Korslien, Charles McGee, Jennifer Williamson, Ifanyi Bell, and Kelly Russell, each trained by and dancing with professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studio.  Read more about the 2014 Gala here, including the featured dance by Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and Metro Councilor Sam Chase.

Ifanyi Bell—Producer, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Ifanyi Bell is an Emmy Nominated producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting and has been creating digital content there since 2011.  A native of Northeast Portland, and a graduate of Lincoln High School, Ifanyi left the Pacific Northwest on his way to a now 10 year career in public media.

Ifanyi’s work covering music, fine arts, books, food and everything in between set the standard for content created for OPB’s Arts and Life web site and pushed the envelope in regards to what is creatively possible at OPB. He has leveraged his community roots and connections to help foster and support community among artists of all types.

In his spare time, Ifanyi is an avid fair-weather cyclist and all around athlete. When he is not on his bike, on the court, or on the field, he enjoys writing and photography.  Covering arts and culture in Portland has given Ifanyi the opportunity to see the way the city and the neighborhoods have evolved and changed over the years, and enjoyed supporting PCRI in its efforts to ensure a positive and equitable community for all Portlanders.

Ashley Korslien—Reporter, KGW Newschannel 8

Ashley Korslien, reporter for KGW Newschannel 8, grew up in beautiful Big Sky Country and is a proud University of Montana Grizzly! Ashley lives and breathes the news, but is most passionate about the people in her community. While working in Montana, Ashley founded a non-profit that helps military veterans and their families in times of need. She is happy to report that several years later, “Angels in Camo” is still going strong! In 2011, the Montana National Guard awarded Ashley the highest honor a civilian can receive. Ashley was given the Distinguished Patriot Medal for her dedication to Montana’s military families.

Ashley’s love for journalism led her to establish a scholarship her senior year of college. The “Professional Promise Award” goes to one broadcast journalism student at the University of Montana every year. Ashley hopes her scholarship will inspire others to give back.

When Ashley isn’t working, you can find her cheering on her Montana Grizzlies, reading, skydiving and trying to teach her two furry children new tricks.

Charles McGee—President and CEO, Black Parent Initiative

Charles McGee, President and CEO of The Black Parent Initiative (BPI), has a unique passion: To create the ultimate community. Named among the most influential African Americans in Oregon and honored as one of Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2012, Charles has a lot to say about leadership, education and public service.

Continuing on the path of his passion, Charles and his close friend Johnell Bell co-founded the Black Parent Initiative in May 2006 as a community-based, culturally specific, family organization. BPI is committed to addressing significant life changes faced by low- to moderate-income Black families in the Portland area by facilitating parent training, informational meetings and support groups to assist parents in providing safety, security and participating in the growth and development of their children.

Charles McGee is the last of five children who all live in inner North/Northeast Portland.

Kelly Russell—Professional Benefit Auctioneer

For PCRI’s Dancing with the Stars gala, Kelly Russell, professional benefit auctioneer, was excited to step in front of the lights in a different role, dancer!

As an accomplished benefit auctioneer, Kelly is an energetic performer who insists every guest have a great time supporting their favorite organizations. A firm believer in FUN, she enjoyed the opportunity to have fun while supporting the families who benefit from PCRI’s housing and services.

With her recent engagement to marry fresh on her mind at the time of the gala, she aimed for her dance steps to dazzle the dance floor at the gala as well as light up her reception along with that infectious smile! LET’S DANCE!

Jennifer Williamson—Oregon State Representative

A 4th generation Oregonian, State Representative Jennifer Williamson knows Oregon is a very special place. Born and raised on a farm in Washington County, Jennifer was taught very early the value of both hard work and education.

Representing Southwest Portland’s District 36 in the Oregon House since 2012, Jennifer first entered the world of politics by accident. While attending the University of Oregon, proposed cuts in financial aid Pell grants and work-study programs threatened to end her academic career before it had really started. Unwilling to let go of her dream of a college education, she became an education activist. This path led her to Washington D.C. to work for Senator Mark O. Hatfield to ensure all Oregonians have access to higher education. She went on to receive her law degree, cum laude, from Willamette University.

Jennifer practiced law in Portland at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. She worked at Portland State University as the Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs. And she served on Superintendent Susan Castillo’s executive team at the Oregon Department of Education.

Jennifer is married to Paul Loving, a business attorney. They live in NW Portland with their dog Hamilton. Jennifer’s stepdaughter is a student at the University of Oregon.

April 1, 2013 · by Events Team · 2013 Gala, Featured, Stars

2013 DancersPCRI’s 2013 Dancing with the Stars Gala featured five prominent Portland community members (clockwise from top right): Simone Brooks, Jill Nelson, “Timber” Joey Webber, Katherine Cook, and Adam Zimmerman, each trained by and dancing with professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studio.  Read more about the 2013 gala here, including a featured dance by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and First Lady Nancy Hales.

Simone Brooks—President, Brooks Staffing

Simone Brooks, President of S. Brooks & Associates, Inc., better known as Brooks Staffing, is committed to providing employment solutions for employers and applicants that enhance and diversify the workforce, and provide jobs for the community.

Simone served as a Resident Board Member for Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) before transitioning into the role of community Board Member.  Simone served from 1999 to 2007.  She knows from direct experience how vital access to affordable housing is to accessing economic security and eventual prosperity.

Simone is the mother of two wonderful children Kaeshon and Sadella Adams.  While Simone loves to watch ballroom dancing, dancing in the 2013 gala was her first experience under show lights.

Katherine Cook—Reporter, KGW Newschannel 8

Katherine Cook is a reporter for KGW NewsChannel 8 and has been with the station since the summer of 2007.  Her news writing has earned several first place awards from the Oregon Associated Press and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. She was also nominated for a Northwest Regional Emmy for Sports Reporting in 2011 and is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

A native Oregonian, Katherine is passionate about her community and telling the stories of those who live in it.  She is thrilled to take part in the Dancing with the Stars gala knowing that her part will help make a difference in the lives of many deserving families.

Katherine grew up in Portland and attended Reynolds High School. She earned degrees from Mt. Hood Community College and Western Oregon University, where she ran track for the Wolves.  In her spare time, Katherine enjoys running, hiking, painting, playing the violin and is an avid sports fan.  While the gala was her first venture into ballroom dancing, Katherine is no stranger to a dance floor.  She started taking ballet lessons at age four and continued on-and-off through college.

Jill Nelson—Founder and CEO, Ruby Receptionists

As Founder & CEO of the nation’s #1 best small company to work for according to Fortune Magazine, Jill Nelson has led Ruby Receptionists to ten straight years of double-digit growth and created more than 100 jobs in the Portland community since launching Ruby in 2003. The highly acclaimed virtual receptionist company serves over 2,100 businesses across the U.S. and recently won the prestigious Lighthouse Award for ranking on the Portland Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Companies list for five consecutive years.

When Jill is not at the office, she’s helping other business owners through Entrepreneurs’ Organization; she has held multiple board positions and mentored many small business owners through the EO Accelerator program. In addition to her passion for business, Jill keeps busy staying fit through dancing, weight-training, and running, and in the fall, you’ll catch her at every Oregon Ducks football game, cheering on her alma mater.

In 2010, the Portland Business Journal honored Jill with an Orchid Award for her service as a female business leader who is deeply involved in the community. She is delighted to have the opportunity to help others in need through the PCRI Gala.

Joey Webber—aka Portland Timbers icon Timber Joey

You’ve seen Timber Joey sawing a log at Portland Timbers soccer matches, but guests at the 2013 gala had a rare chance to see him cut a rug at the Dancing with the Stars Portland gala!

While Joey, a Philomath, Oregon, native didn’t have his trademark chainsaw in tow at the gala, he’s no stranger to competition, participating in state forestry and timber competitions.  He ranked in several events including pole climbing, jack double bucking, fire hose relays, axe throwing, log rolling and hot saw operation. He was also a competitive rugby player and bare-back bronco rider prior to representing the Timbers, which he’s done since 2008.

PCRI is a big fan of the Timbers, even before their Major League Soccer debut in 2011.  We’ve cheered on the team as part of group benefit nights, and are proud recipients of funding from the Portland Timbers Community Fund.

Adam Zimmerman—Executive Vice President, Craft3

Adam Zimmerman was named by Portland Business Journal as one of the city’s movers and shakers in the Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” honors for 2013.  He earned that honor while serving as  Executive Vice President at Craft3.  Craft3 is a bit unusual, they are a non-profit company that makes investments in economic, environmental and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities.  Craft3 makes loans to companies, non-profits and even individuals that are making the northwest a more resilient and sustainable region.  For his part, Adam manages marketing and consumer lending at Craft3.

Mr. Zimmerman is originally from Milton-Freewater, but has spent time living all over Oregon, including stints in Eugene, Coos Bay and Myrtle Point.  His various service engagements have ranged from the Coos County Fair Board to an appointment by Governor Kitzhaber to the Oregon Growth Board.  Oh, and for the record, he’s a Duck.

Talking about favorite ways to pass time outside the office, Mr. Zimmerman describes the fun he has in a music class he attends with his kids.  “It’s about dropping your inhibitions, singing, dancing, and being silly.”  He brought this same enthusiasm to the gala, though with a bit less singing and a bit more dancing.

April 20, 2012 · by Events Team · 2012 Gala, At the Gala, Stars

PCRI’s Premiere Gala Benefit was an exceptional—and exceptionally successful—evening, raising over $80,000 to enrich the affordable housing and resident service programs PCRI provides.  These are invaluable tools to help lower-income families achieve stability and self sufficiency.  Check out these photos of our featured guests and dancers, First Lady Cylvia Hayes and Governor John Kitzhaber (and no, he wasn’t in jeans!).  Be sure to check out the front page feature in the Oregonian too!

Click on any of the thumbnail images below to view the full-size photo.

Photos by Izzy Ventura.

April 1, 2012 · by Events Team · 2012 Gala, Featured, Stars

2012 DancersPCRI’s Premiere Dancing with the Stars Gala featured five prominent Portland community members (clockwise from top right): Brian Stewart, Deborah Kafoury, Melvin Oden-Orr, Trisonya Abraham, and Stephanie Torres, each trained by and dancing with professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studio.  Read more about the 2012 gala here, including a featured dance by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes.  Note: the dancers’ biographies (below) were provided by each participant for the 2012 gala; the information may no longer be current.

Trisonya Abraham—Founder, TTM Management

Trisonya Abraham is one of the truly elite female women’s basketball representatives in the world today and has been diligently serving clients in professional sports since 1996.  She is fully licensed by both the Women’s National Basketball Player’s Association (WNBPA) and also by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and has served well over 100 WNBA players during her career.

A 1990 Speech Communications graduate from Long Beach State University, Trisonya was a co-captain of the 1989 NCAA National Championship “49er” Volleyball team, earning All-Big West and All-America honors. She was selected to the USA Volleyball National B Team in 1988. Her collegiate career was followed by highly successful professional stints in Belgium and Italy.  In 2011, she and her 1989 NCAA Championship Team were inducted into the Long Beach State University Hall of Fame.

Trisonya continues to keep TTM Management, the agency she founded in 1996, on the cutting edge of professional basketball world-wide.  She and her company are renowned in the basketball community both in the United States and abroad.

Trisonya works from her home-based Portland, Oregon offices and is readily available to her clients 24 hours a day. She and her husband, Michael, have four children, Amirah, Michael, Jr., Tiana and Amari.

Check out Trisonya’s tango HERE.

Deborah Kafoury—Multnomah County Commissioner

Deborah Kafoury, former Multnomah County Commissioner for District 1, is passionately committed to the county’s efforts to end homelessness, provide affordable housing, and ensure a safety net for all those in need in our community.

Prior to being elected to the Commission, Deborah served as N/NE Portland’s Representative in the Oregon Legislature from 1999-2004, including her role as House Democratic Leader.  In her free time, she serves as President of the Duniway Elementary School Foundation.

Deborah is married to Nik Blosser and they are the parents of three children.  The closest she comes to dancing most days is watching her six-year-old daughter’s ballet class.

Check out Deborah’s swing HERE.

Melvin Oden-Orr—Principal Attorney, Oden-Orr Law

Melvin Oden-Orr is the principal attorney with Oden-Orr Law.  Prior to founding Oden-Orr Law, he served as corporate counsel with TriMet and the Portland Development Commission.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1993 from UCLA and is a 1996 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a recipient of the esteemed Rickert Award.

Melvin has also served as an adjunct professor at the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College.  He currently serves on the PCRI Board of Directors.  Melvin returned for the 2013 gala as Master of Ceremonies.

Check out Melvin’s winning Cha Cha HERE.

Brian Stewart—Vice President and Community Relations Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Brian Stewart is Vice President and Community Relations Officer for JPMorgan Chase & Co., overseeing grant making responsibilities for Oregon, SW Washington and Idaho.  His career spans over twenty-five years in the banking industry with a majority of that time spent in the community development field.

Brian has served in a variety of capacities for local area not-for-profit organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH), Neighborhood Partnerships and is the immediate past Chair of the Portland Housing Center.   He has also led the Oregon Bankers Association’s Community Involvement Committee and served as Chair for the Homeowner Education Collaborative of Oregon.  His work within the community led to his being named an “Outstanding Industry Ally” by the Oregon Opportunity Network.

Mr. Stewart is married to Mary, his lovely wife of 20 years and they have two children, Libby and Alex, who have been involved in a number of local theatrical and dance productions.  For the past seven years, Stewart has performed in cameo roles for the Classical Ballet Academy’s rendition of The Nutcracker.

Check out Brian’s Foxtrot HERE.

Stephanie Torres—Director of Events, Portland Business Journal

When she’s not moonlighting for PCRI or Tony Starlight’s, Stephanie Torres was the Director of Events for the Gala’s Media Sponsor, the Portland Business JournalTHE place for business news in the greater Portland area. She produced the organization’s 30+ business events each year from awards events like Oregon’s Most Admired, 40 under 40, CFO of the Year, Women of Influence and Fastest Growing Private 100 Companies, to the 12 monthly talk-show style Power Breakfasts, to the Sustainable Business Oregon network series.

Stephanie is grateful to be with her Domestic Partner of 4 years, Cindy and 11 year old son, Cai.  She is thrilled to be dancing for this worthwhile cause!

Check out Stephanie’s Rumba HERE.

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