Terri Sorensen is the Chief Executive Officer of Friends of the Children, a national nonprofit that is breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Friends of the Children pairs children facing the greatest obstacles with a salaried, professional mentor (called a Friend) who stays with each child from as early as age four through high school graduation – 12+ years, no matter what.
As the national CEO, Sorensen is responsible for carrying out the vision, mission and strategic direction for the national network. She works closely with the National Board of Directors, a diverse and well-respected group of 25 public, private and nonprofit leaders from around the country.
Over her 17-year tenure with the organization, Sorensen has led record-breaking fundraising efforts, bringing in over $100 million to the organization. Since becoming CEO in 2012, Sorensen has led an ambitious national expansion campaign, growing the organization from five to 22 locations in just eight years, and quadrupling the number of children served. She has also diversified funding streams, growing the network-wide operating budget from just $7.5 million in 2012 to $33 million in 2020.
In her role as national CEO, Sorensen sets the priorities for the network, ensures the organization is financially sustainable, and oversees Friends of the Children’s program implementation, research and evaluation, branding, fundraising and expansion efforts. She leads a national team of nearly 30 staff members and provides leadership for more than 375 staff across the country. Prior to being appointed national CEO in 2012, Sorensen served as the executive director of Friends of the Children – Portland, the founding chapter, for 12 years.
Under Sorensen’s leadership, Friends of the Children has become a national leader in evidence-based practice for its rigorous research and evaluation efforts. This includes participation in a Longitudinal Randomized- Controlled Trial, a Social Return on Investment study by the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon and a Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success feasibility study. Sorensen also oversees annual third-party evaluation of the network’s program data.
In 2019, Sorensen wrote an article for Stanford Social Innovation Review on the organization’s successful scaling efforts. Her work has led to national recognition for the organization in The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, CBS News, NPR, Governing Magazine, The Chronicle of Social Change and dozens of other national media outlets.
Sorensen was selected as one of the first leaders for the Business Journal’s Leadership Trust. She was also selected for Results for America’s Moneyball for Government Nonprofit All-Star Team and the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community. She has served on numerous boards of directors and received an Orchid Award for the 25 Most Influential Women in Business by the Portland Business Journal. In 2019, the organization was awarded the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.
Sorensen holds a B.S. in accountancy from the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri—Columbia and is a Certified Public Accountant. Previously, she was controller for the American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter, held key managerial positions with Sprint Corporation and worked in public accounting for Ernst & Young in Kansas City, MO.
Carmi Brown has worked in the human services field for the past 18 years, with most of her work being in the area of child welfare. She has held various positions within the public and private sector including; Dependency Case Manager Supervisor, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Assessor, Therapist, and Training Supervisor. Carmi began her work with Friends of the Children in 2014 as the Program Director of our site in Tampa Bay, Florida. She joined the National team as Chief Program Officer in 2018. She holds a master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida.
A Florida native, Carmi lives in Tampa with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She is a member of several civic organizations where she has held a number of positions. She currently serves on the Hillsborough County Children’s Services Advisory Board and she is very active in her church.
Erinn Kelley-Siel joined Friends of the Children in January 2016. Erinn is leading the Friends of the Children national expansion and scaling efforts, with a plan to be in 25 cities by 2025. Driven by our $50M expansion goal, Erinn is working to build awareness of Friends’ innovation and impact, and also supporting leaders across the network to cultivate strategic partnerships with local, state and national policy thought leaders and public agencies.
Before joining Friends, Erinn’s career focused on human services and healthcare policy and administration. She served as Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services for four years and before that was the Assistant Director of Children and Family programs. In that time, she led several major reforms, including the safe and equitable reduction of children in foster care and the streamlining of program service delivery. Focusing on system innovation and shared accountability for results, Erinn has dedicated her career to helping individuals and communities reach their full potential through aligned partnerships with schools, employers, community leaders, Tribal nations, and faith-based organizations. Erinn’s past experience includes serving as Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Health and Human Services Policy Advisor, working as an attorney at Stoel Rives, LLP, and clerking for the Oregon Supreme Court. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Texas A&M University, and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Abby Weast joined Friends of the Children as the Chief Operations Officer in June 2018, after over twenty years of leadership experience in operations and finance. After graduating from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Abby spent four years as an Army Engineer serving in Germany. When she returned to the US, she spent 12 years working for Frito Lay across multiple functions in both operations and finance. While there, she earned her MBA from Cornell University. In 2012, she joined Nike – working as a financial reporting director. Abby has also served on the board for the Portland non-profit LifeWorksNW since 2015. The focus of her career has been building high performing teams to deliver value to key stakeholders. She lives in Portland with her husband, Aaron. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with their dog, going to Timbers and Thorns soccer matches, reading, and traveling the world.
Benjamin Carlton is an actor, activist and social entrepreneur. He received his M.B.A. from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University before moving to Miami to pursue a career in accounting. in 2013, while in Miami he co-founded the iconic BMe Community, a national movement of community builders that are led and inspired by Black people. BMe Community was founded on the principles of valuing all members of the human family, recognizing black males as assets, and building more caring and prosperous communities together. Under his leadership, BMe has influenced national policy and committed millions of dollars to local community leaders around the nation. BMe's 300+ Fellows have raised over $300 million, earned 67 major national awards and helped over 2 million families secure educational, economic, human rights, health and wellness opportunities.
Benjamin along with the BMe team has trained the world's leading authorities about asset-framing, storytelling, and narrative change. Some of these entities include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Obama Administration, Deloitte, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. The central premise of asset-framing to identify people by their contributions rather than their costs and then engage them in living out their aspirational identity for themselves and society.
In 2016, Benjamin decided to practice what he preached and came out as a gay minister in TheRoot.com that generates national discussion. The TEDx speaker took his message of authenticity on the road and encourages his audiences to live their best authentic lives every day. Benjamin has more than 10 years of experience in social innovation, public relations, equity and inclusion and as an executive director. He advocates for a better American and fights for the rights and fair treatment of Black and LGBTQ communities. His pioneering work in community building earned him a Miami Fellows Fellowship with the Miami Foundation and AT&T Emerging Leaders Fellowship and recognition from the National LGBTQ Task Force. Benjamin resides in Los Angeles.
Angela Groves joined the National Team as the Director of Strategic Impact and Grants. Given her previous success as Executive Director of the Klamath Basin chapter from 2013–2017, Angela’s work with National will focus on grants for new chapters. As the first Executive Director of the Klamath Basin chapter, Angela grew her position into a full-time role, increased revenues by 100%, led development of the first multi-year strategic plan for the chapter, expanded the number of youth served by over 70%, and raised capital funds to renovate the Kids’ Clubhouse, managing the project from conceptualization through completion. She also served on the executive committee of Klamath Promise, was Chair of the Community Police Advisory Team, and coordinated the Youth Development Network of over 100 Klamath Basin community members working in youth-service organizations. Prior to her role as Executive Director, Angela served as a Friends of the Children board member. She graduated from Portland State University, and is a Leadership Klamath and Ford Institute Leadership alumnus. Angela currently resides in La Pine, Oregon.
Eric Gabrielson grew up in Washington, D.C., and attended the University of Virginia where he studied History and English. After graduating from college, he was snatched up by Nike to work in their Sports Marketing Department. Eric had found his dream job and was even able to work with the community service project at Nike, P.L.A.Y. (Participate in the Lives of America’s Youth) where he helped start P.L.A.Y. CORPS, a peace corps for sports. After four years with Nike, Eric started working for Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon in 2000. He worked on creative campaigns for Nike, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and ESPN. Wieden + Kennedy then asked Eric and his new wife to move to Amsterdam and head up Coca-Cola in their office abroad. After two years, they returned home to Portland and Eric continued to be affiliated with Nike and Wieden + Kennedy. Shortly thereafter, Eric met Duncan & Cindy Campbell and Doug Stamm and was introduced to Friends of the Children. His commitment to Friends can be seen through his time, money raised, and connections to the organization. Eric has served on the Board of Directors for Friends of Children–Portland for over ten years, a position he has held with great pride. In 2016, Eric accepted a position as the CEO of The Campbell Foundation to help carry on Duncan & Cindy Campbell's legacy. Now as named Chief Expansion Officer for Friends of the Children, Eric works with philanthropic and community leaders focused on bringing our model to communities across the country.
Sarah Beiderman joined Friends of the Children in 2012 to work with both the Portland chapter and National Office. In 2013 she helped establish the national endowment and played a lead role in creating the business plan that won the 2014 Social Impact Exchange’s national business plan competition. As Director of Innovation, Sarah manages large projects and facilitates connections across the network to leverage resources and support growth. Her work is focused on supporting our expansion and engaging key partners to support our youth. Prior to Friends, Sarah managed the SPACES World Artists Program, an international residency program for experimental, contemporary artists engaging with communities in Cleveland, Ohio. She served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Artists’ Organizations and Joyful Noise Neighborhood Music School, and on the advisory board of the National Performance Network’s Visual Artists Network. Sarah holds a B.A. in art history and religion from Oberlin College, and an M.B.A. in nonprofit management from the University of Portland.
Cheryl Jones is our Chief People Officer in Human Resources. She supports new chapters in hiring and developing strong and sustainable HR practices. Cheryl Jones joined Friends of the Children with more than 16 years of Human Resource experience with a global staffing firm. Her experience includes implementing creative solutions to streamline processes, and directly improving individual and group performance and productivity. She has a people first approach and is passionate about the employee advocate perspective in implementing tools, programs and strategies. She began her career as a social worker in Louisiana, and transitioned to staffing when she moved to Portland in 2000. The transition from social work into staffing enabled her to help people in Portland, and later nationwide, expand their skill sets and find work. Cheryl volunteers locally as a Court Appointed Advocate (CASA) for Clackamas County. As a CASA she helps local children in foster care by working with the child, parents, guardians, social workers, and therapists to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the court system. She also serves as Vice Chair of Bridging Voices, Portland’s only Queer/Straight Alliance youth chorus. She holds a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University.
UC is a Human Resources Generalist for Friends of the Children. UC currently lives right outside Dallas, Texas. She lived in Portland for 12 years and worked at the Portland Center for Performing Arts for six years. She oversaw the “Summer Arts on Main” program, which sponsored free arts/crafts activities for children in the Portland area. She relocated to Dallas and worked as a Director for Spa Nordstrom at Galleria, Dallas. During that time, she also attended and graduated from University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Business Administration concentrating in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources (OBHR). She worked in the financial sector as a Benefits Analyst for the next two years.
UC loves to eat, listen to audiobooks/podcasts, and watch British mysteries. She is also a practicing Stoic. Her favorite professional quote is: “95 percent of my assets drive out the gate every evening. It’s my job to maintain a work environment that keeps those people coming back every morning.” – Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS
Susan Walsh focuses on the long-range sustainability and policy development plans to advance the mission of Friends of the Children. She oversees data and evaluation, including the longitudinal RCT study of the Friends model. Susan is committed to ensuring that holistic, individualized K-12 support for high-needs children is an essential priority for public and private sector investment. She currently serves on the Board of The Children’s Institute. Prior to joining Friends, Susan served as Executive Vice President of The Campbell Foundation and as Executive Director of Committed Partners for Youth in Eugene, OR from 2001-2011. In addition to her non-profit work, Susan was an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon, teaching both undergraduate and graduate students about youth development. Susan holds a B.S. degree from Georgetown University, a law degree from Villanova University, and a doctorate in special education from the University of Oregon.
As National Director of Programs, Spencer Hill leverages over 17 years of experience working with underserved youth to oversee the training of program staff throughout the Friends of the Children network. He also works with chapter staff on their Program Performance Scorecard outcomes, and ensures the Friends of the Children model is implemented with fidelity. Spencer actively participates as a member of the leadership team on policy development and implementation, ensures sustainable programming, and plans strategically for the future needs of the network. Through his expansion work with the network, he has strategically partnered with agencies such as child welfare, school districts, and rehabilitation centers, committed to greater impact for their community. He serves as a board member to Project 48 which ensures that foster children have access to high quality essential items as they transition into care within the first 48 hours. He also serves as a My Brother’s Keeper Ambassador, connecting young black men to mentorship opportunities within their community.
Spencer originally joined the Portland Chapter of Friends of the Children in 2011 as a full-time professional mentor – a Friend – to eight elementary-age youth. In 2017 he became a Program Manager, overseeing eight Friends and 70 youth. During his tenure at the chapter, Spencer managed School Selection and other large-scale impact projects, and coached the adolescent basketball team. He also contributed to the community by sharing about Friends of the Children through speaking engagements, and built relationships with key partners such as Nike, Brand Jordan, Under Armour, the Portland Trail Blazers, and BEN (the Black Employee Network).
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Spencer attended Central Catholic High School and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Interpersonal Communication with a minor in Black Studies from Portland State University. Spencer lives in Portland with his fiancé Julie, son Jayden, and puppy, Zoey. Outside of work, Spencer has his own production company, specializing in hip hop and soul/pop music.
Erica Reid has a personal mission of “serving youth, supporting families, and strengthening communities.” For nearly 15 years, she has devoted her career to educating and empowering both youth and adult learners in a variety of settings including homes, preschool classrooms, and college lecture halls.
Erica recognizes the major impact communities play in individuals’ lives; therefore, she seeks opportunities that align with her values and serves a significant need. Erica has served as a preschool teacher, Parent Educator, Family Support Specialist, and Interim Director of Family Education Services. In 2018, Thompson became an affiliate of Friends of the Children, and Erica was selected as Friends-Charlotte’s first Program Director. Her extensive work with caregivers is critical in supporting the expansion of Friends of the Children’s 2Gen model in her role as National Director of Programs.
Erica is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. She is a member of numerous social and civic organizations and resides in Charlotte, NC.
National Board Liaison/Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer
Heather Schefter joined Friends of the Children in 2015 as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and National Board Liaison. She works with the National Board of Directors and coordinates all national committees and taskforces. Previously Heather supported the lead of a $12.5M non-profit, administrated two non-profit ministries, and was a legal secretary for a personal injury attorney. Heather studied the paralegal field at Portland Community College and received an A.A. degree in theology from Portland Bible College. She and her husband have four children, ages 13-21.
Kelsey Riordan joined Friends of the Children in April 2019. She was raised in Monterey Bay, California, and attended University of California – Santa Barbara, where she graduated with a degree in Global Studies. Kelsey has spent most of her career working for non-profit organizations in various roles, including customer service, event coordination, project-based work, development/fundraising, and administration services. Since moving to Portland, Oregon in 2016, Kelsey has enjoyed exploring the great Pacific Northwest’s outdoors and food scene. She loves attending live events (whether music, sporting, or community events), traveling, playing Spades or Euchre with friends, and spending time on the coast.
Originally from the Midwest, Mary Geissler is a graduate of St. Norbert College and has spent 15+ years honing her writing and project management skills within various positions. In 2013, she turned her focus to the nonprofit sector and began working with a consulting firm that served various nonprofits across Minneapolis-St. Paul. Once fully immersed in the fundraising world, Mary discovered her passion for cultivating partnerships with foundations and corporations through grant writing. In 2015, she transitioned to a grants manager role at Neighborhood House, a multiservice agency in St. Paul, where she worked to alleviate food insecurity, help families access safe housing, support immigrants in earning their GED, and give children in underserved communities the education they need and deserve.
In August 2018, she and her partner fled old man winter’s icy grip and moved from Minneapolis to Claremont, California. Prior to joining Friends of the Children, Mary worked within Claremont McKenna College’s Office of Institutional Philanthropy. She’s incredibly excited to apply her passion and talent to Friends of the Children's lifechanging programs. In her free time, Mary enjoys hiking, live music, exploring new restaurants, going to the beach, and snuggling with her pups.
Sydney is originally from Philadelphia but has lived in a variety of different cities across the country, recently landing in Salt Lake City, Utah. After earning her Master's Degree in Education from Teacher's College at Columbia University, she quickly realized that youth-serving nonprofits have the unique opportunity to support children's social-emotional development in ways the bureaucracy of public schools often cannot. She first fell in love with mentoring her first year out of college when she served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Greater Philadelphia. After a brief stint as a classroom teacher, teaching 7th grade Humanities in New York City, she returned to her love of mentoring, first becoming a Program Director for a school-based mentoring program, and then continuing on to work with the Florida state affiliate of the National Mentoring Partnership at the United Way of Palm Beach County. Prior to joining Friends of the Children, Sydney was the Grants Manager for the large Denver-based non-profit, A Precious Child. Sydney is excited to merge her two professional passions, mentoring and writing, to improve outcomes for youth across the country. In her free time, Sydney enjoys snowboarding, hiking, camping and anything else that lets her enjoy the outdoors with her hound dog, Breck.
Robin Nielson-Cerquone lives in Missoula, Montana. Robin grew up in Havre, Montana, before leaving the state for her undergraduate degree at Carleton College in Minnesota and a master's in Journalism from UC Berkeley. During her college summers, she happily pumped gas and changed oil at the gas stations in Yellowstone National Park. After her grease monkey career came to an end, Robin's work life has involved writing of all kinds, including stints as a technical writer, a provider of web content, and all-purpose writer of reports, surveys, and grants. Robin's most recent jobs include Accreditation Coordinator for the Missoula City-County Health Department, where she led cross-sector collaborations and wrote reports and grants for work on community issues, and the Center for Children, Families and Workforce Development at the University of Montana, where she currently works on policy and grants.
Michelle Charbonneau joined Friends of the Children in August 2020 as the National Director of Technology Solutions. Michelle has over 20 years of hands-on experience in technology as a business process analyst, systems and database administrator, web developer, engineer, product owner and project manager. Michelle’s experience spans public and private institutions in healthcare, education and finance. She got her start in technology at Oregon Health and Science University and she was an Associate Director in Information Technology at Portland State University. Michelle was most recently an IT Operations Manager for a rapidly expanding global financial firm. Michelle attended Reed College before transferring to Portland State to complete her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and continue graduate studies in Engineering & Technology Management. Michelle enjoys international travel, camping in the Pacific NW, hosting exchange students and supporting Children's International Summer Villages with her family.
Database, Project Implementation and Grants Manager
Emily Nestor joined Friends of the Children in 2018 as Database Implementation and Project Manager. Emily grew up in Greensboro, NC, and attended NYU where she majored in English before attending Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, for her JD/MBA. She has diverse experience interning at a variety of law firms, working in marketing for a green energy company, and running business development for an enterprise software startup in Santa Monica, CA. She is passionate about giving back and feels thrilled to be involved in helping Friends track and manage their expansion fund through Salesforce, helping the expansion team in their donor and prospect management, and supporting grant compliance and reporting.
Lucas Paris joined Friends of the Children in 2021 as a Video Marketing Intern. He is a Hispanic, queer media enthusiast with a background in content creation with a focus on video production. Lucas graduated from Oregon State University in 2018 and since then has been freelancing in the Portland area. He's worked with companies like Red Bull, Yakima, POIC, Worksystems, KEEN and many others, but is excited about having an opportunity to focus on nonprofit work, since that's where he's wanted to land since he started making content.
In his free time, Lucas enjoys biking around, taking film photos, watching indie movies, and escaping to the coast. Lucas is excited to learn all he can from the great work that's happening at Friends of the Children and to bring his knowledge of video into the mix.
Holly Huillet joined Friends of the Children in 2010, initially working with the Portland chapter and then working Nationally in 2013. Holly manages our ETO program database across the network, as well as managing data collection for all chapters participating in the longitudinal study. Prior to Friends, Holly was the Project Coordinator for the Walk of the Heroines project at Portland State University, and was also the Credit Manager at Davis Wright Tremaine. She received a BS in both Sociology and Women’s Studies from Portland State University. Holly lives in Milwaukie with her cat and dog, and her youngest daughter when she’s home from college at NC State. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with both her daughters and her two grandchildren.
Erin Wellington was born and raised in Fullerton, California, but moved up to Oregon to attend college at Oregon State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology. After college, Erin worked in education with the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry and the Vancouver School District. Erin first learned about Friends of the Children while working for The Campbell Foundation as Duncan Campbell's Executive Assistant. Erin transitioned to working for Friends of the Children as the Administrative Support Specialist. In March 2019, Erin became the National Database Specialist and assists the National Database Manager. Erin and her husband, Eric, are enjoying the many blessings of being parents to their newborn son, Emmett.
Susan Dearborn is the National Controller. Sue began her career working as an accountant for a small non-profit in Vermont. Her journey then took her to Honduras for two years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, working with female micro-entrepreneurs. After Honduras, Sue worked with Jewish Vocational Services teaching refugees how to start businesses, after which she joined the audit team of Grant Thornton, performing audits of private and public companies with a concentration in non-profits. Sue moved to Portland in 2002 and has spent the past 15 years raising her three daughters while working part-time with small businesses. Sue is heavily involved in her North Portland neighborhood school’s P.T.A. and auction committees, and is Treasurer for the North Portland Soccer Club. Sue is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.A. in Accountancy from Saint Michael’s College.
Rachel Howell joined Friends of the Children in August 2018 as a Senior Accountant. After graduating from University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting Control Systems, Rachel spent a year teaching English in South Korea. She then moved back to Texas where she worked for Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. as an internal auditor for five years. After earning her C.P.A. license, she moved to Portland in 2016 and worked for Isler Northwest, LLC as a staff accountant. Rachel lives in Southeast Portland with her husband. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, hiking, and traveling.
Hania joins Friends of the Children as a Senior Accountant with over 12 years of experience in the accounting and auditing fields. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Hania started her career path as an external auditor with KPMG and Ernst & Young. During this time, she studied for her CPA and earned her license in 2007 from the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy. Afterward, she moved to the field of financial accounting when she joined the team of Aspire Academy.
Hania believes that her practical experience along with the professional qualification she obtained has not only given her a thorough knowledge of auditing and accounting practices but has also taught her to communicate well with a diverse array of people, possess strong work ethics, and effectively interact with teams and management.
Hania lives in Lexington Kentucky with her husband and three kids. She loves spending time with family and friends and enjoys the beauty of nature.
Carly LaPorte-Fuselier has called Portland home for the last 16 years and in that time specialized in insurance and patient accounts for various dental offices in the city. Carly recently finished her bachelor’s degree in accounting and is now working for Friends of the Children as an accounts payable specialist. She loves supporting her community by volunteering at her kids’ schools and at the Oregon Food Bank. Carly and her family love to get outdoors, living room dance parties, board games, and cooking together.
Gabriel Casarez joined Friends of the Children as a Staff Accountant in 2021. Gabriel was born in Hillsboro and has lived in Oregon his entire life. He is the youngest in his family and the first in his family to attend college. Upon graduation from Portland State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Gabriel worked at an art supplies company in Beaverton as an Accounting Assistant. In 2016, he joined a produce company as an Accounts Payable Specialist and was promoted to Staff Accountant in 2019. In addition, in 2017 he studied and earned his license to become a notary public. In his spare time, Gabriel enjoys spending quality time with his family, cooking, baking, listening to audiobooks, reading, watching television shows/movies, going to the beach, and traveling to Mexico to visit his family.
I was born and raised in Hawaii and moved to the PNW in March of 2018 to continue my education and explore. In 2018 I joined a produce company and learned the ropes of the accounting world. I have held an accounts payable specialist position for over three years and my passion for the field led me to wanting a bachelor’s degree in accounting. I am currently in my second year at Portland Community College and plan to transfer to a university after obtaining my associates degree. In my spare time, I enjoy chilling at the coast with my dogs, hanging out with my family and friends, exploring new places, and finding good coffee shops!
Ariane Le Chevallier (pronounced Air-ee-un Le-Che-vol-yay) has spent her 15-year career raising awareness to inspire action around some of our nation’s most pressing social issues. Her areas of expertise are in strategic communications, media relations, messaging, content marketing, social media, and thought leadership. Her career is rooted in Washington, D.C. where she spent more than a decade working for some of the nation’s largest foundations and nonprofits. Prior to joining Friends of the Children, Ariane was a media relations strategist at academic medical center Oregon Health & Science University where she was brought on to raise the national profile of the university. She generated media coverage in hundreds of national, state, and local media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, NBC, CBS News’s 60 Minutes, and NPR. Before relocating to Portland in 2013, Ariane managed state expansion communications for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign in Washington, D.C., generating more than $2.5 million in media coverage. Ariane also spent six years at issue communications firm GMMB where she worked extensively with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among other national organizations on dozens of communications initiatives. Ariane received her B.S. in Mass Communications at the University of Utah. She enjoys exploring Oregon with her husband, son, and their dog Max, and occasionally blogs about parenting and family life.