Verde Board of Directors
Juan is a loan officer for Umpqua Bank. After growing up in Hacienda CDC’s affordable housing, Juan joined their staff from 2012-2016 -- serving first as Resident Services Coordinator, then as Homeownership Counselor. Juan is passionate about fair and equal housing and believes that everyone deserves a safe and healthy place to call home. Because of his passion for asset building and community development Juan was accepted in to the 2016 NALCAB Colegio Community Economic Development Fellowship Program. Juan volunteers his free time as a community development and Asset Building practitioner for some of the local nonprofits offering his experience as an educator for financial capabilities and first-time homeownership. Juan joined the Verde Board in 2016.
Desirée Williams-Rajee is the founder of Kapwa Consulting. an independent consulting firm that specializes in organization and systems change to build equitable institutions, with a particular focus in the sustainability field. Until very recently, she worked for the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, where in 2012 she became the City's first bureau Equity Program Manager, the first position of its kind in the nation. In her 9 years working in the public sector, she was involved in a variety of groundbreaking equity efforts including the creation of the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights. Desiree was honored by the Obama White House as a Climate Equity Champion of Change in 2016 for her work on the City of Portland Multnomah County Climate Action Plan which has set forth a new model of engagement and policy making for other cities in North America. She is an active member of the community and in addition to serving on Verde board, she was a founding board member for the Center for Diversity and the Environment and established the Environmental Justice Work Group for the Portland African American Leadership Forum in 2016.
Sara grew up in a rural farming community in Southern Oregon, attended high school in Eugene, and settled in Portland when she began her bachelor’s degree at Lewis & Clark College in 1994. As Finance & Operations Manager at Donate Life NW for nearly seven years, Sara brings extensive experience in nonprofit accounting. She served from 2009-2013 as Fiscal Officer on the board of Northwest Oregon Volunteer Administer Association and currently sits on the Finance Committee at Portland Village School. In early 2004 Sara moved to the small town of Las Flores in rural Panama and served three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the sustainable agriculture program. One of her projects was to help her community build a park/basketball court on the small muddy patch in the center of town. Sara joined the Board in 2014.
Peter Finley Fry
Peter’s experiences include land use planning for the Green Thumb site in SE Portland, a 13 acre school horticulture program with greenhouses, irrigation systems, storage facilities, and other nursery facilities. He serves as the Board’s point person for site and land use issues. Peter has been a Board member since Verde’s incorporation in 2005.
Roberto is a native Oregonian. He has over 16 years of leadership experience founding and managing non-profits with a strong focus on real estate development. He has a background in Training, Writing, and Communications for both non-profits and in the private sector. The son of a former farmworker, his ancestors settled in what is now New Mexico in 1550, and his family moved to Oregon in 1950. Roberto joined the Board in 2011.
Jackie has 18 years of experience working in youth programs focused on student success and goal attainment for students of color and under-served communities. She is Executive Director for Airway Science for Kids, an organization that exposes youth, especially those who are socially and economically challenged, to activities that inspire their interest and growth toward higher learning and careers in aerospace, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Prior, she served as After School Program Manager for Self-Enhancement Incorporated, a nonprofit organization supporting at-risk urban youth. Jackie joined the Board in 2015.
Teresa is a graduate of the Lideres Verdes program -- Verde’s annual, culturally responsive training program that builds the capacity of community members to participate in environmental organizing by providing 100 hours of paid training as well as transportation and childcare. She is active in local programs like community cleanups and safe routes to schools and parks. Teresa joined the Board in 2016.
Erica bring a wealth of community knowledge, business expertise and finance experience to the Verde board. She currently works as the Housing Development Manager at Bienestar Housing in Washington County. Prior to her current position, she worked at Hacienda as part of a mentorship program that serves Cully youth. Over the years, she has created long lasting friends in the Cully neighborhood: “Now given this opportunity I feel that I will be able to continue to give and help grow this wonderful community and its members.” Erica joined the Board in 2019.