Tony DeFalco is Verde's Executive Director formerly the Living Cully Ecodistrict Coordinator, coordinating the nation’s first equity driven ecodistrict designed to re-interpret sustainability as an anti-poverty strategy. His expertise in community economic development, environmental protection and sustainability spans 15 years of working locally and nationally in environmental advocacy, coalition building and policy advocacy. As the Living Cully Ecodistrict Coordinator he helped lead redevelopment of a landfill into a park in a low-income neighborhood in Portland. His current focus includes strengthening communities of color and low income communities in deriving economic benefit from environmental investments.
Chi Nguyen - Board Vice Chair
Interim Executive Director of Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) Chi Nguyen is Interim Executive Director of APANO, she began June 12, 2018 and APANO is thrilled to have her on board. She has passion for APANO’s mission, a fierce intellect, and proven leadership skills.
Chi brings a unique combination of business, political, education, and social justice experience, as well as important, specific perspectives key to APANO’s work — as an immigrant and refugee, parent, member of the LGBTQ community, former elected official, and business owner. Most recently, Chi has worked as an entrepreneur, starting the successful, socially-minded company AutoMedic, as well as a city councilor in King City, Oregon. She also teaches at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Chi has a history with APANO, having been an intern six years ago and served as APANO’s keynote speaker for Lobby Day in 2015. She speaks fluent Vietnamese and comes highly recommended by a diverse group of people who have worked with her.
Lee Po Cha – Board Treasurer
Executive Director of Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
Mr. Cha has been with IRCO since 1982 in numerous leadership roles, including as Director of IRCO Asian Family Center, which he helped found in 1994. He because IRCO’s Executive Director in April 2015. A tireless advocate for culturally- and linguistically-specific services for the increasingly diverse children, youth, families and elders living in Oregon, he provides a voice for the community at large by serving on various commissions and boards, including the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services, the New Portlander Policy Council board, A Home for Everyone board, the All Hands Raised board and the Multnomah County Commission on Youth and Families. Mr. Cha is also co-founder of the Coalition of Communities of Color. Additionally, Mr. Cha empowers our diverse African, Asian and Slavic immigrant and refugee community leaders by supporting community building and integration efforts within their communities.
Mr. Cha, who speaks Hmong, Lao, Thai, and English, has also provided extensive direct service to delinquent youth, gang-involved youth, teen parents, youth with anti-social behavior and their families. A former Hmong refugee from Laos, Mr. Cha came to Oregon in 1978 and received his Master of Business Administration from Marylhurst University. He is a well-known cross-cultural trainer and a past president of Hmong American Community of Oregon.
Djimet Dogo – Board Secretary
Director of Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization’s Africa House and Manager of Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization Employment Services
Djimet Dogo is the Director of IRCO/Africa House and Manager of IRCO’s Employment Services. Mr. Dogo has extensive education and training on community organizing, civic management, leadership, and advocacy within diverse communities. His work to effect true community engagement includes a demonstrated history of over 25 years’ experience facilitating collaborative coalition building for refugee and immigrant communities. His many educational qualifications include a Masters of Public Administration from Portland State University and several degrees in Conflict Resolution, Peace Building and Leadership from France, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and South Africa.
Mr. Dogo’s experience and connections with the local African communities was pivotal in the creation and founding of the culturally specific community focal point Africa House in 2006—the only culturally and linguistically specific one stop center targeting the increasingly diverse and rapidly growing number of African immigrants and refugees living in Oregon.
Paul Lumley – Board Member
Executive Director of the Native American Youth & Family Center
Paul Lumley is the new Executive Director of the Native American Youth & Family Center. Paul comes to NAYA after seven years as the Executive Director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. His ability to create and foster strong collaborations has helped CRITFC advance its mission of ensuring a unified voice in the overall management of the fishery resources, and as managers, to protect reserved treaty rights through the exercise of the inherent sovereign powers of the tribes. Paul has had a successful professional career, he has extensive experience working with American Indian and Alaska Native communities throughout the country, and he has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the Native organizations he has led.
Tony Hopson Sr. - Board Member
CEO/President of Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI)
Tony Hopson Sr. founded Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) in 1981 as a one-week summer camp committed to improving collegiate and employment opportunities for high school students. The initial camp served 80 students. In 1988, under the auspices of the Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA), and through a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust, SEI became a year-around program. During a capital campaign that began in 1989, SEI raised over $10 million to build the 62,000 sq. ft. Center for Self Enhancement which opened its doors in 1997. The Center offers a variety of activities and services for youth and families in inner-Portland and is a hub of the community. Self Enhancement employs 120 people.
In 2006, SEI was recognized by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation from New York as one of the premier youth development programs in the nation, and with their support, is replicating the SEI program in Miami, Florida in partnership with Alonzo Mourning.
Tony Hopson Sr. has also been recognized for his activism and community leadership by receiving the State of Oregon’s “Gold Schmidty Award,” the Urban League of Portland’s “Equal Opportunity Award,” the Albina Ministerial Alliance’s “Bridge Builder Award,” Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s “Emerald Award,” the Black United Fund’s “Legacy Award,” the “Aubrey R. Watzek Award” from Lewis & Clark College, the “Community Award” from the Portland Observer Newspaper, the “Living Legend Award” from Willamette University, the “First Citizen Award” from the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, the “Oregon Ethics in Business Award” from the Samaritan Counseling Center, and the “Distinguished Service Award” from the University of Oregon.
Carmen Rubio – Board Member
Executive Director of Latino Network
Carmen Rubio is the Executive Director of the Latino Network. As the granddaughter of braceros and farmworkers from Durango and Chihuahuah, Mexico, her passion is in the advancement of educational achievement, leadership and community development of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and Latinos in Oregon. Originally from Hillsboro, Oregon, she has a career in communications, public policy and community relations.
Carmen has served in the administrations of former Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz, former Portland Mayor Tom Potter, and Portland Commissioner Nick Fish. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon and studied at the University of Washington Graduate School of Communications.
Carmen is a recent fellow of the American Leadership Forum of Oregon and the Robert Woods Johnson Ladders to Leadership program. She is a founding board member of Emerge Oregon, and also serves on the boards of All Hands Raised, Miracle Theater Group, Oregon Latino Health Coalition and the University of Oregon Alumni Association.