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N/NE Oversight Committee Members

Dr. Steven Holt

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Dr. Holt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry and Political Science from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. In the 1970’s he was involved in a program which bused African-American kids from their inner-city neighborhoods to predominately white suburban schools. This experience proved instrumental to Bishop Holt’s ability to communicate effectively across racial, ethnic, and gender lines. His professional experience includes a stellar career in retail sales and honed leadership and business skills in managerial positions, one of which was serving as President of an urban clothing company.  He travels extensively as a motivational speaker and worked as an adjunct professor at North Portland Bible College, a teacher at Portland Christian High School, and teaches at Warner Pacific College. 

Bishop Holt also held credentials as a financial adviser and has served as a Field Representative for Promise Keepers, an international men’s ministry. Bishop Holt has continued to lead by finding alternative and creative ways to serve by partnering with other organizations for continued worship expressions for the church, founding the FreshWind/11:45 movement with five other pastors to address the need for mentorship and gang intervention in the Portland metro area, and becoming the Chair of the Oversight Committee to assist with the Mayor’s housing strategy for N/NE Portland. Dr. Holt is also a leading voice to assist the City of Gresham with strategy for serving the growing African American population of displaced people. He is the principle consultant of Try Excellence, LLC specializing in facilitation, training and consultation with an eye on equity, inclusion and diversity.

Aquiles Montas

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"I desire a position that will allow me to put my exceptional experience in Youth Development together with my leadership and community inclusion skills to use. My aptitude for relating to people of all ages and backgrounds has proven to be invaluable in strengthening both communities and relationships. Being both bilingual and bicultural has allowed me the ability to communicate effectively with audiences of various cultures."

Mr. Montas currently works at Metropolitan Family Services; he has also worked at Outreach 360 in the Dominican Republic, at Alliance High School as a teen father mentor, for Multnomah County as a bilingual home care worker. Mr. Montas has a BS from Portland State University in Business Administration and Marketing.

Felicia Tripp Folsom

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Felicia Tripp Folsom is the Deputy Director of the Portland Housing Center, a NeighborWorks homeownership center and graduate of the Achieving Excellence Program at Harvard's Kennedy School. In her professional life, she is busy working on issues involving, affordable housing, social justice, healthcare and educational reform. Currently Ms. Tripp Folsom sits on the board of directors of Children First For Oregon, Innovative Changes and All Hands Raised. When she is not busy serving the community, she is a carpooling mom of two very busy children.

Gabrielle Mercedes Bolívar

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Gabrielle Mercedes Bolívar was born in Portland, Oregon and has spent most of her life living in N/NE Portland.  Ms. Bolívar was awarded an Under-represented Minority Achievement Scholarship at Portland State University for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the Hatfield School of Government at PSU and has spent over 30 years in Social Services and Social Change.

Ms. Bolívar is the Executive Director of Mainspring where she has served for the past 7 years.  She has been actively involved in education advocacy and social justice for several decades.  Ms. Bolívar has served on several Portland Public School and Oregon Department of Education Committees and is currently on the Site Council for Ockley Green Middle School.

Ms. Bolívar resides in North Portland with her husband and their three children who attend their neighborhood public schools.  She recently served on the Jefferson High School Design Committee and will be actively working on the next PPS Bond to modernize Jefferson high school where her two eldest attend school.

Ms. Bolívar is an ultra-marathon runner and has spent many hours volunteering for the PIL track and field in PPS.  She enjoys spending time with her family and their menagerie of rescue animals.

Jilian Saurage Felton

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Jilian Saurage Felton moved to the greater Portland area at the age of five, and it's remained her home ever since. She studied Political Science at Lewis and Clark College receiving a BA in International Affairs in 2002. In 2007 she returned to school to earn her MBA from Willamette University, graduating with honors in 2009. During that same time she began her career in banking, where she gained knowledge and proficiency with nonprofit, government, and affordable housing finance. In July 2017, she left banking to begin work as the Finance Director of the Portland Housing Center.

Jilian serves on several volunteer boards and committees as Treasurer of the Board for Sabin CDC, a Board member and development committee member of Youth Rights and Justice and a mentor with A Family for Every Child. In her free time she enjoys chasing around her children and dog, hiking, fishing, all things science fiction, and exploring the many restaurants in Portland with her husband.

John Washington

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Mr. John Washington has over 3 decades of experience as an entrepreneur, community advocate, cultural responsive consultant, urban developer and national multi-media producer.

Born onto the mean streets of Patterson, New Jersey, he rose through the ashes and rubble of a violent and impoverished community that claimed many of his family, friends and neighbors, to become a powerhouse of inspiration and encouragement. He attended Rutgers University where he was an All-American football player, but the death of his father through substance abuse related illness, Mr. Washington was led to pursue addiction studies at Washington State University, WA and Evergreen College, WA. 

After graduation, he interned at the Olympic Center in Bellingham, WA working with Native Americans through addiction counseling. This experience led him to Oregon where he operated as a consultant to several of the local tribes including; Grand Ronde, Siletz and Cow Creek.  He also worked with Marion County where he designed programming to serve and treat historically hard-to-reach ethnic youth and families in the areas of drug/alcohol and gang intervention. In the 1990s he founded Inside Out Care in Salem, Oregon, a successfully administered treatment based program for this same population.  

In the early 2000s he established Flossin Media, a multicultural media production and marketing agency that specializes in reaching Black and other communities of color through print, video and event production, and outreach, PR and social media management, which he still operates today.  As CEO of Flossin Media he publishes a tri-annual publication called Flossin Magazine and is also an active editorial advisor to outside authors, bringing a cultural responsive perspective to their work. Examples include; “What A City’s For: Remaking the Politics of Displacement” by Professor Matt Hern and the outreach strategy section of the  “Pathway 1000 Implementation Plan”, a displacement mitigation strategy developed by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives. He is the host of two podcast series, Black Beat and PDX Black Rose, where he highlights Black newsmakers from around the City and the Pacific Northwest.

He also serves as the current Executive Director for the Soul District Business Association, working with small business owners and youth entrepreneurs to help them navigate complex governance systems, connect to resources, build partnerships and reinforce their perceptions of capability, significance and influence. In this role he also works as the Outreach Navigator on behalf of the N/NE Community Development Initiative committee, connecting Black and other business owners and residents of color to funding resources for property acquisition and improvement. And he oversees fiscal management of grant funds for the Williams and Russel Project working group.

Mr. Washington has help to guide a number of public art projects including chairing Prosper Portland’s Vanport 2 Development Design Committee where he worked with leadership at the Regional Arts & Cultural Council to provide a culturally responsive lens to community identity. He is currently working on a Soul District branding project with other district partners to doing similar work. Past board affiliations include Governor Ted Kulongoski‘s Juvenile Justice Task Force committee, Salvation Army White Shield and Venture Portland. He is a proud member of the Most Honorable Prince Hall Masons, Coalition of Black Men and NAACP Portland Chapter.

He is a father of 4, grandfather of 2 and has been a foster parent of over 24 Black males for the State of Oregon, many whom still call him “Pops” to this day.

Karin Edwards

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Dr. Karin Edwards, president of the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College has over 30 years of experience in higher education. A native of the Bronx, N.Y., Karin holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Educational Administration, both from the State University of New York at Albany; and a doctorate in Education from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I.

Dr. Edwards got her start in higher education as an undergraduate student, when she worked in the admissions office at SUNY Albany. She followed this with another admissions position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, before moving on to a job as a counselor in the Education Opportunity Program at Skidmore College, also in New York, where she worked with fist-generation, low-income, ethnically diverse students.

After graduate school, Karin took a teaching position with the Head Start program in Sullivan County, N.Y., and also worked as a tutor at the nearby community college. This was her first exposure to the world of community colleges, where she eventually found her niche and, in her words, “her purpose in life.”

Karin moved full-time into community college education with a position as a student development counselor at a branch campus of Orange County Community College in Newberg, N.Y., eventually moving on to become director of the campus. Under her leadership, the campus grew from approximately 500 to 1,200 students, and added a child care facility and a center for advanced technology. This earned her a promotion to Orange’s campus in Port Jervis, N.Y., where she continued to oversee the Newberg campus.

From New York, Dr. Edwards transitioned to Chief Student Affairs Officer at Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut, a position at which she would spend 15 years. She made the trip west to Oregon in 2014, when she took up the helm as president of PCC’s Cascade Campus.

Since coming to Oregon, Karin has immersed herself in the North and Northeast Portland communities, serving on boards, working with civic and community organizations, and partnering with other educational institutions. She is married with two adult children.

Lisa K. Bates, PhD

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Lisa K. Bates, PhD is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Studies in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her research on housing policy and planning is particularly focused on social justice and issues of institutionalized racism in policy design and implementation.

Dr. Bates has emerged in research, policy formation, and planning with a variety of community partners, including ACORN Housing Corporation in New Orleans and Chicago, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the Multnomah Youth Commission, the Portland Housing Center, and PolicyLink. She is part of the Portland African-American Leadership Forum, serves on the boards of 1000 friends of Oregon and Clean Energy Works, and lives in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Marlon Holmes

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Marlon Holmes is a Jamaican born immigrant from a low income family.  He spent the majority of his life living in South Florida.  In 2008, he moved to Oregon where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in history from Portland State University and with a master's degree in educational leadership and policy.  He is currently a high school history and algebra teacher at Rosemary Anderson high school (east campus) working to push community engagement through education. He is married to a Portland native and they have three children. He is a current resident of the Kenton neighborhood in North Portland.

Sheila Holden

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Sheila is a community and economic development aficionado. As Pacific Power’s Regional Business Manager, Sheila works with local government, business, and community leaders as the company’s interface in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. She has experience as an energy and conservation manager, small business and community development manager and district area manager. Sheila believes that how well Pacific Power does is directly related to how well the communities the utility serves are doing.

She serves on various boards that have advanced collaborative partnerships to achieve sustainability, community and economic development initiatives locally, regionally and nationally for more than 25 years. She is a strong advocate for comprehensive community revitalization through public/private partnerships, self-reliance, innovation and sustainable practices. She helped found the League of Utilities and Social Service Agencies, the Community Energy Project, Albina Community Bank, The N/NE Economic Development Alliance, Albina Opportunity Corporation and Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon and the Lloyd EcoDistrict. She is a graduate of Pacific University.

Dr. T. Allen Bethel, Sr.

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Dr. T. Allen Bethel serves as Senior Pastor at Maranatha Church, Portland, OR. He has preached the gospel, conducted workshops and facilitated conferences across the United States and abroad, leading mission teams to Haiti, St. Kitts and Sudan and continued involvement in missions in other areas of the world and as a Ministry Coach. Dr. Bethel is President of the Albina Ministerial Alliance, and involved in the community as an activist and advocate. Dr. Bethel serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for TriMet, President of the board of Living Stone Outreach and on a number of boards and organizations. Among them, the National Association of the Church of God (NACOG), PA;  The International Institute for Christian Communication, and C0-Chair of The Portland African American Leadership Forum, Portland. 

Dr. Bethel has for over thirty years (30) been working as an advocate for housing, jobs, justice and community development beginning in Boston, MA where he served as the Chair of the Parcel 18 Plus developmental Task Force charged with the development of property along the Southwest corridor which included transit, housing, commercial, park and educational development. Committed to building strong and equitable communities in Portland he has continued those efforts of advocacy and development for the last 20 years in Portland.

Dr. Bethel attended Bay Ridge Christian College in Kendleton, Texas, received a B.A. of Theology, Cum Laude, degree from Kansas City College and Bible School, Overland Park, KS, Masters of Religious Education, Gordon Conwell, Center for Urban Ministerial Education (C. U. M. E.), South Hamilton, MA and an honorary Doctor of Ministry from Southern California School of Ministry, Englewood, CA with further study for Doctor of Missiology from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

Bethel has received many awards among them are the Emerald Award from AKA, Inc.; and The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives' (NOBLE) Drum Major for Justice Award. In May of this year this advocacy pastor was named by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon as the Ecumenist of The Year.  

Triston Dallas

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Triston Dallas is an attorney in the Portland, OR area. Mr. Dallas received his B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University in 2009, with a double major in Finance and Marketing, a minor in Psychology, and a certificate in Consumer Behavior.  For his law school career, Mr. Dallas attended Florida A&M College of Law and Lewis & Clark Law School obtaining his law degree in 2013.

Mr. Dallas has mainly focused his practice in the areas of Business Transactions, Contracts, Intellectual Property. Currently practicing disability law as an associate attorney. Mr. Dallas is a member of the Multnomah Bar Association, Oregon State Bar Association, Oregon State Bar House or Delegate member, and the Vice-president of the Georgetown Alumni Associate in Oregon. 

Outside of law and business, Mr. Dallas spends majority of his time with his family and his many nieces and nephews. Mr. Dallas is also an avid photographer, golfer, and middle school basketball coach in the winter, spring and summer. 

Virgie Ruiz

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Virgie is a native Portlander. She is retired from Self Enhancement Inc. She is committed to ensuring Black residents of Portland have safe and affordable housing.