- Kelley Weigel, Executive Director
- Aimee Santos-Lyons, Director of Programs
- Steve Mayes, Director of Finance and Operations
- Jen Lleras Van Der Haeghen, RACE Program Director
- Jamee Greer, Community Relations & Resource Development
- Amy Casso, Gender Justice Program Manager
- Owen Smith, Capacity Building Manager
- Yee Won Chong, Senior Strategy Consultant
Kelley Weigel brings a passion for justice to her decades of community organizing – a plus when looking at her resume of front line efforts to fight the right in the Pacific Northwest. Kelley started with the Center in 2002 and has been instrumental in the Center’s multi-issue approach to working for social justice. Organizations credit the Center’s support in advancing their own wins and successes for racial and gender justice.
She is a graduate of the Center’s first intensive leadership program, the Western Institute for Leadership Development. WILD clinched Kelley’s commitment to organizing. She developed skills with Community Alliance of Lane County and then the Rural Organizing Project. Kelley also has worked on ballot measure campaigns proactive and defensive.
Kelley is a lifelong learner and that keeps her feeling fresh in this work. Having a seven year old son also keeps her on her toes.
- Superhero power to fight social injustice? The power to have individuals recognize that small and incremental change is just as powerful as splashy media moments.
Phone: (503) 893-3812
Aimee joined the Center in 2007 and has since helped many grassroots groups to understand and claim their voices in public decision-making. As the Project Manager for Strong Families Northwest, Aimee is working with organizations in Washington to re-frame how to define a family to be more inclusive. In 2011, Aimee helped Idaho's Women of Color Alliance to push through a bill prohibiting female prisoners from being shackled during childbirth. Aimee is also a superstar fundraiser and brought in the most donors during the Center's first online campaign.
Aimee brings almost twenty years of both U.S. and international experience in social development and humanitarian concerns, with a special emphasis on gender equity, reproductive health and gender-based violence.
Educated in the U.S. and the Philippines, Aimee holds a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University. She comes from a large family and has three kids.
- Superhero power to fight social injustice? Read minds like Marvel girl, Phoenix.
Phone: (503) 893-3805
As the Director of Finance and Operations, Steve has been able to help the Center cut costs and implement new accounting systems that streamline our financial reporting work.
Steve joined the Center in 2010. Prior to coming to the Center, Steve was the Financial and Administrative Manager for Oregon Action a state-wide organization dedicated to building new leaders from underrepresented community members. In 2003, he began to focus on organizations devoted to social and economic change. Steve has assisted large and small businesses with fiscal management, technology, high level management and board consulting. He has served as treasurer on several nonprofit boards and currently volunteers for the local performing arts theaters.
In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, relaxing in a mountain cabin, hiking trails and cycling. You can always find him at the Alpenrose Velodrome enjoying cycling events put on by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association.
- Theme song while fighting social injustice? Public Enemy's “Fight the Power” because the song is completely damning the systems of overt power, it’s also a statement of intent of wiping the social injustice slate clean, not only for black people but for all people.
Phone: (503) 893-3807
Jen joined the Center in April 2012 as a Trainer & Organizer. Jen attributes a great deal of her leadership and training skills to Western States Center as she is a 2011 WILD graduate.
Before joining Western States Center, Jen worked at Basic Rights Oregon as the Project Coordinator on collaboration with unions. This project, the first of its kind in the nation, worked to build community understanding and support among unions and the LGBTQ community and to increase leadership skills of LGBT union members.
Prior to BRO, Jen was the Organizing Director at the Oregon Student Association, where she led campaigns to ensure students receive affordable and accessible college education. Jen graduated from the University of Oregon with double major in Ethnic Studies and Spanish.
- Superhero power to fight social injustice? The ability to communicate in any language. I don’t want language barriers to hinder my ability to organize communities.
Phone: (503) 893-3809
Jamee joined Western States Center in 2014. Jamee worked at the Montana Human Rights Network for six years as Organizing Director and Lobbyist. He was part of the Center's VOTE (Voter Organizing Training and Empowerment) cohort from 2009-2013. He was the lead organizer on the campaign to pass Montana’s first LGBT nondiscrimination protections through the Missoula, Helena, and Bozeman municipal governments, and provided technical assistance to similar efforts in Butte and Billings. Jamee served as lobbyist for three state legislative sessions in Montana, working on policy related to LGBTQ rights, reproductive and economic justice, immigration policy, racial equity, expanding access to health care, and countering the far right.
Jamee has experience in HIV/AIDS counseling, testing, and prevention with the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force and was appointed to the Governor’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Council. Jamee has served on the Board of Directors for ACLU of Montana and NARAL Pro-Choice Montana.
- Your theme song while fighting social injustice and why? "People Have the Power" by the poet Patti Smith: because she's right!
Phone: (503) 893-3803
Amy brings two decades of organizing, program, and policy experience to her role at the Center. Born and raised in Oregon, she spent much of the 2000s in Texas as a Senior Policy Analyst for a Latino health and social policy organization where she worked on everything from health equity, immigration, reproductive healthcare, voter suppression and redistricting, to San Antonio’s LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance.
Amy has been committed to capacity building and leadership development by creating transformative spaces that build and support long-term organizing and organizational capacity. As a skilled facilitator and convener she has experience in bring together individuals from a cross-sector of expertise – community members, policy makers, researchers, service providers, and government. She has a long history working toward racial, economic, social, and health justice in an array of capacities with grassroots and national organizations.
Amy holds an M.P.A. from The University of Washington Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and a B.A. from The University of Oregon.
- Superhero power to fight social injustice? The ability to be in to be in multiple places at once- true multi-tasker!
Phone: (503) 893-3806
Owen brings over ten years of organizing and facilitation experience to the Center as Capacity Building Manager, working across all our programs to support trainings and leadership development. Owen is formally the Program Director at Equality Utah, where they worked on LGBTQ nondiscrimination policy. Prior to moving west, Owen worked for Equality Maryland, focusing on both the DREAM Act and marriage equality. Owen has facilitated many trans-inclusive trainings, and has worked to build leadership programs for transgender organizers with support from Gender Justice LA.
Owen believes strongly in community empowerment and engagement. They are a founding member of Baltimore's Team Trans Collective, a group focused on trans-inclusive trainings, and the Charm City Boys, a gender performance theatrical troupe.
- Your theme song while fighting social injustice and why? “Firework” by Katy Perry - I really like this song when thinking about social justice because it speaks to the power in each of us and when we share our stories for ourselves, it can change the world one person at a time.
Phone: (503) 893-3810
Before becoming a consultant, Yee Won was the Development and Communication Director for Western States Center from February 2008 to April 2014. During Yee Won's first four years on staff the number of donors grew by 500%. Yee Won introduced new methodologies, changed the internal organizational culture and revamped the communication strategies at the Center. Yee Won translated these direct experiences into trainings and workshops to help grassroots organizations in various ways including storytelling, using new technology and centralizing relationship building in fundraising efforts.
In 2012, Yee Won presented "Beyond the Gender Binary" at TEDx Rainier in Seattle about growing up in Malaysia, being an immigrant and transgender. Before moving to the Northwest, Yee Won was the Development Specialist of United for a Fair Economy and Development Director of Haymarket People's Fund. Yee Won is currently on the board of directors for Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training.
Phone: (503) 893-3811