OPAL’s Board of Directors (numbered) joined our staff and youth leaders at our annual retreat in January 2018. We began a strategic planning process, deepened our knowledge of the past and present work of OPAL, and built connections to one another through sharing personal histories. Below are brief descriptions of the people whose guidance oversees the fiscal health and strategic direction of our organization.
Adam Briggs (1) – Treasurer
Adam Briggs currently serves as Board Treasurer for OPAL. He is the Canvas Manager at NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon where his work focuses on recruiting new and activating current members to support NARAL’s work around reproductive health legislation and pro-choice political endorsements.
Nicole Phillips (2)
Nicole Phillips is originally from Richmond, Virginia. She was drawn to Portland because of its reputation for sustainable living. Today, Nic works for Kroger’s Communications Center as a Customer Service Representative. Nic has been transit dependent her whole life, as a steering committee member at-large Nic represents BRU at the TriMet Equity and Advisory Committee bringing her experience using transit to advocate for a more inclusive and accessible transportation system for all.
Irene Schwoeffermann (3)
Irene Schwoeffermann is the public involvement coordinator for the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation. Irene has been active with many community organization focused on civil rights, social justice and sustainability in the African American community.
David Bouchard (4)
David Bouchard, Research and Advisory Committee Chair, is currently studying Political Science at Portland State University. David has had a long interest in public transportation and knows firsthand the importance of public transit for transit dependence folks. Originally from the Delta area in Mississippi, David lived in Baltimore, Maryland before moving to Portland to continue his education. In Maryland, David worked with Blind Industries and Services of Maryland to help blind youth gain life skills to able to live independently.
Nakisha Nathan (5) – Secretary
Nakisha Nathan is the Environmental Justice Organizer at Portland’s Chapter of Sierra Club, and has held organizing roles with Neighbors for Clean Air and as OPAL’s Organizers-In-Training Coordinator in 2016. Her commitment to environmental and social justice stems from her experiences growing up in Panama and in Canada, and has also translated into her work as a Garden Educator for youth throughout SE Portland. She earned her Masters of Arts degree from Portland State University in Educational Leadership and Policy and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Bioenvironmental Science from Texas A&M University.
Keith Scholtz (6)
Keith Scholtz, BRU’s Action Planning Team chair, is a long-time Gresham resident and founding member of Bus Riders Unite. Keith has brought his experience with Public Transit to advocate for better access to transportation for all people, currently Keith is the Action Planning Team chair. Keith has been going to TriMet board meetings wearing transparent Rain Coat as a symbol for the need of greater transparency with the TriMet agency.
Khanh Pham (7) – Chair
Khanh Pham serves Chair of the Board at OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon. She is Manager of Programs and Strategy at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, where her work focuses particularly on housing and climate justice issues.
Tana Atchley (8)
Tana Atchley is the Tribal Workforce Development & Outreach Coordinator at the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, where her work focuses on increasing tribal representation in natural resources and fisheries careers.
Dr. Aaron Golub (9)
Dr. Golub is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University (PSU). He has twenty years of experience working in the advocacy and academic arenas on issues of transportation equity and justice, working both domestically (San Francisco Bay Area, Arizona, and now Oregon) and abroad (Brazil and South Africa). He teaches courses at PSU in the area of urban planning research methods, public transit planning, environmental justice and transportation policy.
Chris Winter (10) – Vice Chair
Chris Winter is the founder and Co-Director of Crag Law Center providing affordable legal assistance to groups promoting conservation issues. His current practice focuses on environmental justice, salmon habitat and water quality regulation, and public land management. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School, where for several years he taught a seminar on forest law and policy.