Meet the Friends of the Children National Team.

Terri Sorensen

Terri Sorensen

Chief Executive Officer

Terri Sorensen

Chief Executive Officer

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

Carmi Brown

Chief Program Officer

Carmi Brown

Chief Program Officer

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

Erinn Kelley-Siel

Chief Officer of Expansion and Policy

Erinn Kelley-Siel

Chief Officer of Expansion and Policy

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

Abby Weast

Chief Operations Officer

Abby Weast

Chief Operations Officer

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.

Eric Gabrielson

Eric Gabrielson

Chief Expansion Officer

Eric Gabrielson

Chief Expansion Officer

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.

Mary Rennekamp

Mary Rennekamp

Chief Development Officer

Mary Rennekamp

Chief Development Officer

Mary Rennekamp serves as the Chief Development Officer for Friends of the Children. Mary joined the Friends of the Children network in 2011 and has worked as a fundraising professional for over 15 years in both New Orleans and Seattle. She came to Friends of the Children – Seattle as the Development Director with an extensive and successful background in building diverse and sustainable fundraising programs focused on individual, corporate, and foundation strategies. After working in larger organizations ranging from arts to global health, Mary was drawn to Friends of the Children because of the powerful mission, the direct impact, and the tremendous potential to grow to serve more youth in our community and now across the country. Mary currently lives in Seattle, Washington, and serves on the Board of Directors of Seattle Works, on the advisory committee for Amara’s STAR Mentorship program, and on the visioning task force for Washington State Opportunities Scholars to launch their new Pathways Scholarship supporting graduates focused on apprenticeships and vocational training programs.

Benjamin Carlton

Benjamin Carlton

Chief Officer of Equity - Interim

Benjamin Carlton

Chief Officer of Equity - Interim

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.

Susan Walsh

Susan Walsh

Director of Research and Strategic Impact

Susan Walsh

Director of Research and Strategic Impact

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.

Spencer Hill

Spencer Hill

Director of Programs

Spencer Hill

Director of Programs

As National Director of Programs, Spencer Hill leverages over 16 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.

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 puppy, Zoey. Outside of work, Spencer has his own production company, specializing in hip hop and soul/pop music.

Ariane Le Chevallier

Ariane Le Chevallier

Strategic Communications Advisor

Ariane Le Chevallier

Strategic Communications Advisor

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.

Sarah Beiderman

Sarah Beiderman

Director of Innovation

Sarah Beiderman

Director of Innovation

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

Cheryl Jones

Director of Human Resources

Cheryl Jones

Director of Human Resources

Cheryl Jones is our Director of 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.

Angela Groves

Angela Groves

Director of Strategic Impact and Grants

Angela Groves

Director of Strategic Impact and Grants

Angela Groves joins the National Team as the Director of Strategic Impact and grant writer. 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.

Michelle Charbonneau

Michelle Charbonneau

Director of Technology Solutions

Michelle Charbonneau

Director of Technology Solutions

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.

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson

National Manager of Marketing and Online Fundraising

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson

National Manager of Marketing and Online Fundraising

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson joined the National Team in April 2019 as our Digital Marketing Manager. With over twelve years of experience in digital marketing and communications, we are excited to leverage her expertise. She became our National Manager of Marketing and Online Fundraising in May 2020.

After graduating from Portland State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration – Marketing, Ashlan spent four years at Coates Kokes, a full-service advertising agency. From there she transitioned to Fred Meyer Jewelers corporate marketing and eCommerce departments. In 2017, Ashlan started working as an Enterprise Account Manager at Logical Position, a digital marketing agency located in Lake Oswego prior to joining the team at Friends. In June 2019, she received her master's in Strategic Communications from the University of Oregon.

In her spare time, Ashlan supports her community by volunteering on two local nonprofit organization’s boards of directors: Betties360, an after-school youth empowerment program for girls, and AMA PDX, the local chapter of the national American Marketing Association.

Emily Nestor

Emily Nestor

Database, Project Implementation and Grants Manager

Emily Nestor

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.

Holly Huillet

Holly Huillet

Database Administration Manager

Holly Huillet

Database Administration Manager

Holly Huillet joined Friends of the Children in 2010, initially working with the Portland chapter before working with National in 2013. Holly oversees data management for all sites and plays a significant role in ensuring data integrity across our National network. She also manages data collection for all chapters participating in the RCT 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 B.S. from Portland State University.

Susan Dearborn, CPA

Susan Dearborn, CPA

Controller

Susan Dearborn, CPA

Controller

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.

Heather Schefter

Heather Schefter

National Board Liaison/Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer

Heather Schefter

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.

Rachel Howell, CPA

Rachel Howell, CPA

Senior Accountant

Rachel Howell, CPA

Senior Accountant

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.

Mike So

Mike So

Senior Accountant

Mike So

Senior Accountant

Mike So joined Friends of the Children in early 2020 as a Senior Accountant. He was born and raised in Hong Kong, before moving to the U.S. He has lived in Oregon for more than 20 years. After graduating from Portland State University with the B.S. degree in Accounting, Mike worked in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. The most recent non-profit organization that Mike worked for was the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette where he was a Senior Accountant for almost 13 years. Mike and his wife live in Gresham and they love going to the Vancouver, B.C. once a year to have the fantastic Asian food there. He volunteers with various organizations that serve the homeless population, and he likes playing badminton, swimming, traveling, and listening to music.

UC Nwaekwe

UC Nwaekwe

Human Resources Generalist

UC Nwaekwe

Human Resources Generalist

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

Ednaly Jimenez-Gomez

Ednaly Jimenez-Gomez

Accounts Payable Specialist

Ednaly Jimenez-Gomez

Accounts Payable Specialist

Ednaly joined Friends of the Children in June 2018 as the Accounts Payable Specialist. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Business Administration with minors in Spanish and Economics. At the University of Oregon, Ednaly helped manage a multibillion-dollar budget and participated in organizations to promote social justice. She is excited to be using her degree to make a difference in the world. Ednaly enjoys live music, traveling, and watching soccer games. She also loves to go on random adventures and is always willing to try new foods.

Mary Kashmar

Mary Kashmar

Grants Developer

Mary Kashmar

Grants Developer

Mary is our Grants Developer and supports our network by researching prospective funders for our organization. Mary has worked in nonprofit development/fundraising for almost 30 years, with an emphasis on youth and families. Mary was the lead on a successful $6 million capital campaign in Southern California to build a much-needed community health center, raising over $5 million from private foundations. In her five years as Development Director of CASA of Santa Cruz County, Mary helped expand the organization’s revenues by 10% every year. She worked closely with the program team to gain a fuller understanding of the needs of children and youth in foster care and served as a volunteer CASA Advocate for five years for a then-16-year-old girl, with whom she is still connected. She also worked with a CASA organization in Maryland and helped them grow their development efforts. Mary worked with a Zuni youth organization, which gave her insight into the particular needs of Native American youth, where she wrote grants and expanded their marketing and P.R. efforts to bring more resources to the organization. Mary was also a volunteer member of Soroptimist International service organization for 13 years, committed to their mission of supporting women and girls with academic scholarships and awards.

Mary and her husband recently made another leap in their lives’ journey, moving from California to Tucson, Arizona. They love the “desert feel,” and living close to Mary’s daughter. Mary likes nothing better than to curl up with a book (or 2 or 3), undoubtedly a result of her B.A. in English from California State University, Pomona.

Erin Wellington

Erin Wellington

Database Support Specialist

Erin Wellington

Database Support Specialist

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.

Kelsey Riordan

Kelsey Riordan

Administrative Support Specialist

Kelsey Riordan

Administrative Support Specialist

After graduating from University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and the opportunity to live in Spain for a year, Kelsey was able to explore project-based and customer service roles in both the non-profit and corporate spheres.

In the two years before joining Friends of the Children, Kelsey served All God's Children International on both their Business Services and Advancement teams, while growing her passion to give children the opportunity for a better future.

Carly LaPorte-Fuselier

Carly LaPorte-Fuselier

Accounts Payable Clerk

Carly LaPorte-Fuselier

Accounts Payable Clerk

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 a part-time accounts payable clerk. 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.

Emi Fujita-Conrads

Emi Fujita-Conrads

Database Specialist

Emi Fujita-Conrads

Database Specialist

Emi Fujita-Conrads is excited to be temporarily rejoining Friends of the Children to assist with database management. Three years ago, she worked as the Database Specialist for the Portland chapter before transitioning to her graduate school program. Emi is currently a PhD Candidate in the Social Research Methodology division at the U.C.L.A., where she works as a graduate researcher and teaching assistant. In these roles, she conducts evaluations with campus support programs and community colleges as well as teaches introductory research design and statistics courses. Her research interests include using evaluation for program improvement and methods for conducting social justice focused and culturally responsive evaluations.

Julia Pham

Julia Pham

Marketing Intern

Julia Pham

Marketing Intern

Julia Pham comes to us through the Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI) Program. Julia is originally from Viet Nam, and is the youngest of six kids. Currently, she’s studying Journalism, Advertising, Business Administration, and Legal Studies at the University of Oregon.

Although her passion is within the fashion and beauty magazine industry, she’s excited to be a part and learn from a company that has an inspiring mission.

She’s looking forward to making an impact with Friends of the Children, and to increase awareness of our amazing program that builds relationships with vulnerable youth.

Some fun facts about Julia, she’s a big fan of The Hobbit series, is a bear lover, and genuinely believes water has a different taste. She has not figured out which water brand makes the best water yet, but will let us know when she does.