Marilou Carrera, RN, MPH | Senior Grants Consultant

Pronouns: They/She

Based in Portland, Marilou is a health equity advocate by day and art adjacent by night. Her experiences as a Filipina and Japanese person who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, as well as her time practicing as a registered nurse, advocating for communities of color, and promoting public health have long persuaded her of the importance and imperative of sharing stories. They co-developed Elemental Eating, a storytelling platform that alchemizes ancestry, diaspora, and story through food; recognizes and honors complex, diasporic histories and origins; explores tangled and evolving relationships to food; transforms and communes through eating and storytelling; and combines the sacred and mundane. Marilou continues to partner with creatives for equity and social justice around Portland.
Marilou will be working to support our Grantmaking Committee, compile all the data they’ll need to make decisions, develop and improve materials, and adapt MRG’s processes so that we can make our Spring grants with as little disruption as possible.

Se-ah-dom Edmo | Executive Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Se-ah-dom Edmo, Shoshone-Bannock, Nez Perce & Yakama, is MRG’s Executive Director. She brings deep experience in community organizing for racial and social justice work across the nation. She is co-editor of the Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes for Two Spirit and LGBT Justice in Indian Country and American Indian Identity: Citizenship, Membership & Blood. Prior to joining MRG  served as the Sovereignty Program Director at Western States Center where she was the coalition convener of Tribal History: Shared History (Senate Bill 13, 2017) in Oregon – this law established and funded teaching of Indian History and Sovereignty in K – 12 Schools across the state. A hallmark of her career has been fostering relationships and collaborations between tribes and organizations that do social, racial, environmental, and economic justice work across the region. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of Oregon Recovers and is an ALF Senior Fellow. She lives in Portland with her husband James and their children Siale, Imasees and Miyosiwin, as well as her parents, Ed and Carol Edmo.

Se-ah-dom’s ancestors are from Celilo, a fishing village along the Columbia River and one of the oldest known settlements in the West.

Profile of Kristie

Kristie Kolesnikov | Systems Assessment Consultant

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

While finishing her master’s degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Nonprofit Management, Kristie Kolesnikov will be helping MRG for the next 10 months with a technology and systems overhaul as part of her capstone project. Starting with an in-depth assessment of our current capacity, she will be developing a plan and timeline for us to transition to more robust, efficient and secure platforms.

Kristie comes to MRG Foundation with more than 10 years of experience as a project coordinator, office manager, and cat herder. She works full time at Portland State University as the Executive Assistant to the Dean and Office Manager in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and she holds a Non-profit Management Certificate from the University of Washington and a BS in Civic Leadership and Women’s Studies from PSU.

In 2016, Kristie completed her McNair program doing research on emotional intelligence and healthy masculinity, and received the Linda C. Hummer scholarship for the 2015-2016 year. In her spare time (!) Kristie is the co-chair on PSU’s Commission on Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE), serves on the Diversity Action Council, is an Advisory Board member for the Student Community Engagement Center, and is an elected board member for the Services for Students with Children.

Outside of her many work, academic, and civic responsibilities, Kristie can be found spending time with her family — husband, 12-year-old son, one-year-old daughter — running, and reading.

photo of Jude Perez

Jude Perez | Office Administrator

Pronouns: They / Them / Elle

Jude Perez is a versatile professional that brings a deep understanding of non-profit operations, systems, and fundraising to the table. Prior to joining MRG, Jude was part of the Community Cycling Center’s development team where they took joy in grant writing and coordination, database management, and systems creation. Jude’s social justice journey began as an LGBTQI+ rights advocate and grassroots activist in Texas and California, and continues to this day with a broader scope including racial justice, art in activism, education, gender, and income equity.

Jude started in January 2019.

Photo of Violeta at a march.

Violeta Rubiani | Grants Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Born and raised in Paraguay—and an Oregonian since 2000—Violeta has dedicated her professional career to improving access to opportunities, services and programs for all Oregonians through her work in the government and non-profit sectors. She comes to MRG from Meyer Memorial Trust, where she worked as a Program Associate with the Building Community Portfolio. She is also a 2017 graduate of Unite Oregon’s Pan Immigrant Leadership and Organizing Training (PILOT).  A passionate advocate for social and environmental justice, Violeta has given her time and expertise to many organizations and causes, both in the US and her native Paraguay. These days, she serves as Board Chair of the ReBuilding Center and is a member of the Metro Parks & Nature Equity Advisory Committee.

When not trapped underneath her 12-pound cat, she can be found hiking trails with her partner, learning about various things—often all at once—and spending inordinate amounts of time thinking about how to fix the world.

Violeta started in February 2019.

photo of Lindy Walsh

Lindy Walsh | Finance and Operations Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Lindy brings to MRG more than 30 years of experience in non-profit finance and administration.  She served on the MRG Board of Directors, Grantmaking Committee and has volunteered and worked for organizations that have received funding from MRG for much of her work life.  Prior to joining our team, Lindy worked at the Community Cycling Center, Partnership for Safety and Justice, and River Network.

Portrait of Dena

Dena Zaldua | Development Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Ella

As a bilingual, bisexual, Jewish, Latina daughter of an immigrant, Dena Zaldúa’s passion for social justice is both very personal and the driving force behind her 20-year career working mostly in philanthropy with non-profits and educational institutions. She has found a home for her calling to bring about a just and joyful world in her work as the Development Director for the MRG Foundation. As Development Director, Dena is honored to manage the fundraising programs of MRG, working closely with donors, board, staff, and volunteers to raise the funds to be granted to the radical, cutting edge, and grassroots social justice grantees of MRG.

Before joining MRG, Dena was the Operations Manager for the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon. Prior to that, she was Development Director at Parenting Now and Associate Director of Development at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Dena also works as a consultant to help individuals, groups, and organizations check their race, class, gender, and other privileges and learn how to truly walk the talk of equity and justice. Dena earned a BA in Art History and Women’s Studies from Williams College, and is a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Williams College Latinx and Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Alumni Associations.

Dena lives and works remotely in Eugene with her son.  Dena started in March 2019.