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.
Deputy Director Sharon@familyforward.org
Sharon oversees our finances and operations, and provides support to our organizing program. She has more than 20 years of experience working in non-profits and education, with a focus on leadership development, equity, and social justice. Sharon was one of the original founders of Family Forward back in 2009 and has loved seeing the organization grow. When she's not working, Sharon loves to be out in nature as much as possible.
Regional Organizer, Portland Tiffany@familyforward.org
Tiffany is a single mom and former early childhood educator, and volunteering has always been central to her life, from AmeriCorps to SEEDs for Early Literacy. (In fact, she got her start with Family Forward as a volunteer in 2017!) Tiffany brings multiple perspectives of how Oregon’s child care system is failing: As a parent as well as former teacher, center director, and business owner, she understands how heavily the economic burdens of child care weigh on both parents and providers. Tiffany is excited to join our team and continue breaking down barriers and advocating for affordable, accessible child care.
Regional Organizer, Portland Shani@familyforward.org
Shani is a nanny and longtime caregiver of her brother and grandparents, as well as a life-long activist. She is the founder and moderator of the Portland POC Theater Facebook Group, a group dedicated to creating a community of theater artists of color and providing a forum for casting, opportunities for workshops and collaborations targeted for people of color in the Portland area. She is active in the community, currently serving as Policies Chair of the Drammy Committee, Chair of the Individual Membership Committee of the Portland Area Theater Alliance Board, and is also proud to be on the PBOT Bureau and Budget Advisory Committee! She is an accomplished performer who has performed locally and internationally. She received her B.M. in Vocal Performance with an emphasis in Musical Theater from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. (Geaux Pokes!) Shani is excited to put her varied skill set to use to help pass groundbreaking policies like paid family and medical leave.
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.
Development Director Amy@familyforward.org
Amy Hojnowski joined the Family Forward Action and The Mother PAC board in 2013 and then joined staff in 2018. She brings to the organization two decades of advocacy experience on behalf of many progressive organizations like Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, America Votes, MoveOn, National Environmental Trust, and Basic Rights Oregon. As a mom of two young kids, she believes that Oregon has the unique opportunity to create economic equality for all families if we center 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 cross-country in their orange '77 Westy. Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
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.
Operations Manager Danielle@familyforward.org
Danielle has over 20 years experience supporting a variety of legal organizations and small businesses, and began her work at Family Forward in 2011 first as an event volunteer and supports all departments at Family Forward. She is a mom to three boys and one goldendoodle.
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.
Communications Director 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.