Roberta Phillip-Robbins, J.D. | Executive Director

roberta@mrgfoundation.org

Roberta comes to MRG from local government where she worked as a policy adviser and program expert on racial and social justice issues. She is a native of Trinidad & Tobago who arrived in New York City with her family as an undocumented immigrant in 1989.  Roberta left teaching high school Biology to pursue her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with the goal of positively affecting the lives of young people and families through systems-change. As MRG’s Executive Director, Roberta will serve as a passionate and determined advocate who strives to live and lead wholeheartedly. Outside of MRG Roberta enjoys exploring the beautiful Oregon landscape with her partner and daughter.


Edith Casterline smiling at the camera with art in the background

Edith Casterline | Office Manager

edith@mrgfoundation.org

Edith first heard about MRG Foundation in 2002 while reading a newspaper article about MRG’s work that made her think, “What a great place!” She joined MRG’s staff soon after and is now the longest-serving member of MRG’s team. Edith manages our database, accounting, and internal operations and enjoys working behind the scenes in support of the great work of MRG grantees across Oregon. When not at MRG, Edith keeps busy as a parent, activist, and artist. Edith lived in Japan from ages 9-18, and likes to return as often as possible to visit family.

 


Ranfis Ginnettino Villatoro looks at the camera

Ranfis Giannettino Villatoro | Grassroots Giving Director

ranfis@mrgfoundation.org

The son of immigrant parents from El Salvador and Guatemala, Ranfis brings a deep passion for social justice along with deep professional experience to his work at MRG Foundation. Ranfis has served as both an organizer and a fundraiser at Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project, Causa Oregon, and CAPACES Leadership Institute. As the Grassroots Giving Director, Ranfis works with our dynamic volunteers and leads MRG’s events and grassroots fundraising work. If you want to start making a monthly gift or help organize some of the best social justice parties in Oregon, talk to Ranfis!


MRG Capacity Building Director Stephan Herrera

Stephan Herrera | Capacity Building Director

stephan@mrgfoundation.org

With more than 14 years of experience across Oregon’s social and racial justice movements, Stephan brings a thoughtful analysis, deep passion, and incredible skills to MRG. Stephan most recently served as Urban League of Portland‘s Organizing Director. Prior to his time at the Urban League, Stephan managed the Sylvania Diversity Grant Fund and supported the retention of students of color at Portland Community College. Stephan was a founder and former chair of Portland Black Pride. As Capacity Building Director, Stephan leads MRG’s Capacity Building Initiative, providing training and multi-year funding to help grassroots social justice groups grow to scale. Learn more about Stephan’s background and passions!


Esther Kim | Program Associate

esther@mrgf.org

Esther is a recent arrivant to Portland from Salt Lake City, UT where she was a long-time youth, student, and community organizer with the Voices of Diversity, Asian American Students Association, Queer Students of Color, and Organization of Chinese Americans. Her work centers queer and trans folks of color, fats, femmes, sick and disabled folks, poor and working class folks, immigrant and diasporic identity, non-coastal organizing and the abolition of the prison industrial complex. As the Program Associate, Esther provides administrative and project support for Grant Making, Development, and Communications; and oversees the Travel and Critical Response grant programs. In her down time Esther plays ukulele, make textiles, and likes to go for soaks at the local hot springs.


Brooks Nelson | Finance and Operations Director

brooks@mrgfoundation.org

Brooks has lived in Portland since 1986 and been involved in a variety of social justice issues over the last 30 years. His work has focused on queer rights, economic justice, anti-domestic and sexual violence, unlearning racism and other related issues.  Brooks brings experience in both corporate and nonprofit management to MRG and is excited to get other folks excited about finance and operations. Outside of work he is a woodworker and videographer, most recently sharing his award-winning documentary Switch: A Community in Transition, with audiences across North America.


Carol Tatch | Major Giving Director

carol@mrgfoundation.org

Since moving to Oregon in 2007, Carol has served in fundraising roles with increasing responsibility, including at the Hoyt Arboretum Friends Foundation, Marylhurst University and, most recently, at Mercy Corps. Carol has a passion for social and racial equity in Oregon and is excited to work at MRG, where she can put those values into action. As MRG Foundation’s Donor Relations Director Carol provides the strategic vision and leadership for MRG’s major donor program and cultivates individual gifts that have transformative impact on MRG and the communities with which we work. If you’re interested in starting a donor advised fund or learning more about our donor services, contact Carol!


Alison Wandschneider looks at the camera

Alison Wandschneider | Communications Manager

alison@mrgfoundation.org

Raised in a family of community organizers, Alison’s passion for social justice began at an early age. She comes to MRG Foundation with extensive experience in nonprofit and social enterprise communication rooted in her work at Hacienda CDC, Adelante Mujeres, and, most recently, Maya Traditions in Guatemala. With a passion for bridging the nonprofit and for profit industries, she further developed and deepened her skills at Pinchot University in Seattle where she received an MBA in environmental sustainability and social justice. Joining MRG in 2015 as the communications manager, Alison oversees MRG’s social media, direct mail, media relations, and communications strategy. When not at work you can find her either in the garden or the kitchen enjoying the season’s bounty.