Our Staff

These are the people who work hard and smart to carry out Family Forward Action’s bold but achievable mission to create a caring economy in Oregon that really works for all of today’s families.

Luann Algoso
Communications Director
Luann@familyforward.org

Luann is a scholar turned artist-activist who has been working in activist spaces in Portland and Southern California. She is originally from Anaheim, California and moved to Portland in 2010 to finish her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies at Portland State University. After completing her undergraduate degree, she went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution also at Portland State University with the thesis titled, “Comedy as a Platform for Marginalized Voices: Asian American Women and the Disoriented Comedy Showcase”. Luann is a Filipina American and is on a lifelong journey to dismantle colonial identity. Luann’s communications expertise is within digital organizing and campaign strategy, which she uses as a supplement to grassroots, community organizing efforts.

 

Elisa Andrade
Regional Organizer, Salem
Elisa@familyforward.org 

Elisa is a first generation immigrant from Mexico City, Mexico and has established deep roots in the U.S. Growing up in the small town of Silverton, Oregon her initial work in nonprofit was her involvement with Silverton Food Bank and Silverton Together as a young volunteer. Elisa has drawn inspiration from her mother’s involvement in the Latina farmworker and immigrant organization Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas. An organization she holds dear to her hart to this day and one she continues to support as a lead member of the organization. Elisa has invested much of her time to serving immigrant families having worked for PCUN Service Center as a Partially Accredited Representative, approved by the Board of Immigration Appeals to represent immigrants before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. More recently she continues to assist low income families and immigrants in the Salem area as a Resource Navigator for Mano a Mano a sister organization of PCUN with in the CAPACES network. She is a proud mom of three: two boys 3 yr., 10 month old, and a 10 year old stepdaughter. 

 

Sharon Bernstein
Deputy Director
Sharon@familyforward.org

Sharon leads our education and workplace programs and manages our finances. Sharon’s experience as a parent has solidified her understanding that we can’t make social change through individual decisions alone — we must work together as a movement. Her passion for social justice drives her work. Sharon is the mother of two young boys ages 6 and 9.

 

 

Lili Hoag
Political Director
Lili@familyforward.org

Lili has worked in policy and public affairs in the UK, focusing on inter-generational care patterns and work-life balance policies across Europe and North America. She holds a masters in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and has been a researcher and a lobbyist.  A native Oregonian (Eugene), she is interested in using her understanding of national and international policy to frame the work we do in our state to make positive change for families.

 

Amy Hojnowski
Development Director
Amy@familyforward.org

Amy Hojnowski joined the Family Forward Action and Mother PAC board in 2013. She brings to the organization two decades of advocacy experience on behalf of many progressive organizations like Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, America Votes, MoveOn and National Environmental Trust. As a mom of two young kids she believes that Oregon has the unique opportunity to create economic equality for all families if we prioritize the needs of moms and women of color in our policymaking. Before becoming a mom, Amy and her husband visited 17 countries around the world and once spent 6 months traveling around the U.S in their bright orange 1977 VW Westy.  Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

 

Nichi Linder
Organizing Director
Nichi@familyforward.org

Nichi is a long-time feminist who believes strongly in the power of grassroots movement to create real social change in our communities.  When women, particularly women of color, are lifted up, we all win. She has dedicated her professional career to creating positive change that betters the lives of Oregonians.  With nearly a decade of experience in the reproductive rights & justice movement, Nichi is well-versed on what it takes to win. She’s an activist, a mother, an aspiring gardener, and a dedicated social justice warrior who knows learning never stops – and the fight for justice is worth it.

 

Kate Newhall
Policy Director
Kate@familyforward.org

Oregon policy spaces for over 15 years — in the legislature, for the Bureau of Labor and Industries, and in many other settings.  She has developed a wide range of policy experience, including: legislative work, government agency operations and management, policy research, media relations, advocacy, voter outreach, campaign management and fundraising.

 

Danielle Nichols
Operations Manager
Danielle@familyforward.org

Danielle began her work in 2011 as a volunteer, leading a reading action group with local parents from her son’s school. She comes from a writing background a BA in Creative Writing and over 10 years of legal and administrative experience. She recently declined admission to law school to find a more workable solution to work-life balance for her family, joining FFO to help do the same for other Oregon parents. Danielle is mom to three boys, ages 13, 10, and 7.

 

Andrea Paluso
Executive Director
Andrea@familyforward.org

Andrea is a social worker turned community activist and fervent policy wonk. She has worked in public education, community health clinics, and in international development. She has master’s degrees from Columbia University in social work and public health and a work history in public policy and nonprofit program management. Andrea hopes that our work will inspire and help parents, employers and policy-makers to create the kinds of policies that work for today’s families.  Andrea is the mother of two kids, ages 6 and 8.

 

Melanni Rosales
Campaign Communications Strategist
Melanni@familyforward.org

Melanni is dedicated to using her background in strategic communications to help improve the well-being of women and all working families. Having worked on statewide electoral and legislative campaigns, as well as with nonprofits, political organizations, public-sector organizations, and socially responsible businesses, she develops and oversees integrated communications strategies that emphasize coalition and community building.