Archive for the ‘Stars’ Category

Kali Thorne-Ladd | 2017 Gala Champion

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March 26, 2017 · by admin · 2017 Gala, Featured, Stars

BritForbesPhotography_03_25_17__DSC2015Kali Thorne-Ladd and partner Alex Aillon’s Viennese Waltz earned them the championship trophy for the 2017 Dancing With the Stars Gala.

Kali 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.

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 featured 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.

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.

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.