Board of Directors
Jilma has over twenty years of administrative and business experience, including ten years at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and subsequently at Portland State University (PSU). She currently serves as an executive vice president on President’s Schlimpert’s Cabinet at Concordia University and oversees multiple operational units. Concordia prepares leaders for the transformation of society and provides a challenging, yet supportive learning environment where intellectual inquiry strengthens our commitment to justice, compassion and moral integrity. Off-campus, Ms Meneses engages the regional community to increase awareness within underrepresented populations that higher education is a tool that breaks cycles of both poverty and discrimination. She drives change and raises awareness. She is also founder, chief counsel, and president of Our Family in Africa, fighting poverty and advocating for orphans.
Ms Meneses received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her Juris Doctor from Lewis & Clark Law School.
As MG’s multicultural engagement practice leader, Maria Elena designs and implements public will building campaigns and programs to increase participation and engagement, change attitudes and behaviors and amplify the power of voice of traditionally hard-to-reach communities. She works internally with organizations to conduct comprehensive climate and organizational assessments that provide guidance on issues of diversity, inclusion and cultural change. She excels at facilitating planning processes and initiatives that bring diverse groups to the table to work toward a common vision.
She brings more than two decades of experience integrating multicultural communication to social marketing, branding, fundraising and organizational development. Her cross-cultural communication experience spans four continents.
Prior to MG, Maria Elena was Associate Publisher for a national women’s magazine. Early in her career, she served as executive director of the Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement, where she started and led LISTOS alternative school and programs for middle and high school retention, youth leadership development, workforce development, prevention education, and mental health. She also worked internationally for more than eight years in marketing, executive education, and economic development.
She holds a master’s in business administration with an emphasis in international marketing from Portland State University and a bachelor’s in languages from Georgetown University. She recently moved back to Portland after opening and leading MG’s Washington, D.C. office for twelve years.
Paulina Menchaca originally joined the Board of Directors in 2011. Paulina is currently an Independent Insurance Agent with Choices Insurance a local agency in Oregon City. Paulina has over 15 years of extensive leadership skills and experience in business development, business operations and customer service. Paulina holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Health Care Administration as well as a Master’s in Business Administration. Paulina was born in Zacatecas Mexico and raised in Pescadero, a small town in Northern California.
Alan has 25 years of accounting and finance experience in a variety of public and private industry organizations. The 10 most recent in higher education; including at the State University of New York and currently in his position as the Associate Vice President of Budget and Finance for Portland State University.
Alan earned a Bachelors degree in Accounting from Clarkson University, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College at the State University of New York at Albany. In his free time he enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, and spending time with his wife and son.
Vice President of Partnerships
All Hands Raised
Fisher & Phillips
Campus president of the Southeast
Extended Learning Campus PCC
Jessica Howard is the campus president of the Southeast / Extended Learning Campus of Portland Community College. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University in Performance Studies and, from Rice University, degrees of Master of Music, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Arts in English. Her graduate work explored the fields of music theory and Cultural Studies.
Prior to moving to Portland with her family in August of 2012, Dr. Howard enjoyed a long tenure at San Antonio College in San Antonio, Texas. There she worked as an adjunct instructor, a full-time assistant and associate professor, an online course developer and a department chair; as the Interim Executive Vice President (over student and academic affairs) and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Howard’s administrative experience also includes being Director of Fine Arts for a K-12 college preparatory school, Saint Mary’s Hall, in San Antonio. While there she also directed choirs and taught AP Music Theory.
Dr. Howard grew up primarily in San Antonio, but was born in Bombay, India and lived as a child in Bangkok, Thailand. She also spent a year abroad during college at King’s College in London, where she sang in the King’s College Choir. She considers her international experiences to be formative, as well as her efforts in the arts. In addition to music, Dr. Howard directed, produced and performed in theatrical productions at Rice University. Her lifelong hobbies, besides artistic endeavors, include reading, knitting and swimming.
Bio Coming Soon…
Victoria Lara is the Founder and CEO of Lara Media, a successful marketing firm in Portland, Oregon since 2000. Victoria was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and attended Chihuahua State University where she received a Degree in Business Administration/Marketing.
Victoria is a prominent leader and advocate for the Latino Community who recognizes the world is rapidly changing and the Latino Community/Population is growing at a steady and consistent rate.
Victoria has been an active member of the community. She currently serves as the President of CAUSA Oregon, board member of Hacienda CDC, All Hands Raised, committee advisor for James Beard Public Market, and committee member of Metropolitan Alliance for Workforce Equity. Aside from being involved in the community, Victoria is a strong supporter of civil right organizations like PCUN and Voz.
In today’s changing society Victoria understands and recognizes the significance of the Latino Voice and the influence made locally, nationally and globally and it’s societal impact.
Competing in this global market, Victoria’s mission and vision is to continue to support her constituents and stakeholders and achieve a universal and mutual understanding, especially from the perspective, voice and point-of-view of a Latina/o.
Victoria’s outlook is to continue to remain conscientious, an effective communicator and positive influential in marketing and advertising for Lara Media.
Victoria is the proud parent to her son Israel and daughter Victoria Maria. Victoria enjoys traveling to learn and understand cultures and different perspectives, healthy living, spending time with her son, meditating on a daily basis, and the outdoors.