Board of Directors
Adelante Mujeres has a talented and dedicated Board of Directors.
Veronica Grave, President
Veronica was born in Mexico and migrated to the US in 1998; she has been living in Cornelius since 2004 and always wanted to be involved in the community. She had the opportunity to volunteer with Adelante Mujeres and loved the enthusiasm and passion of the members to help women and their families through education. Veronica currently works at Intel as a software engineer.
Jacqueline Alarcón practices family law at Yates, Matthews & Eaton P.C. in Portland. She is a proud Salvadorian and one of a few handful of Latina lawyers in the Portland, Oregon legal community. As a native Spanish speaker, Jacqueline’s background has served to expand her worldview teaching her the proper skills for cross-cultural communication. Jacqueline obtained her undergraduate degree from Willamette University in Politics and French and graduated from Willamette University College of Law in 2010.
Arturo Caro Gomez was born in Mexico and raised in Southern California. He graduated from Albion College and did post graduate work at the Universidad De Guanajuato. Growing up in a family of educators and advocates, there is a deeply rooted commitment to give back to all struggling communities; and especially to empower women to succeed in all facets of society.
Miguel Cholula is a member of the Hillsboro School District’s Bilingual Student Services team. As a community member of Washington County, he has a passion for cultivating our county’s potential by creating the next generation of leaders. Miguel is a wonderful soccer coach and is passionate about getting girls into sports.
David Dorman is a retired administrator from the Forest Grove School District. Currently he is an adjunct professor with Lewis and Clark College in the Graduate School of Education. Prior to his career in education, David spent 20 years in the retail industry in Washington DC and California. He has an undergraduate degree from Occidental College, an MBA from Stanford University and a MED from Portland State University. David believes passionately in the importance of education, equity and empowerment and is honored to serve an organization dedicated to these goals.
Marco Espinoza is originally from Peru and has lived in Oregon since 1990. He has an MBA and has worked as a Financial Analyst for over 15 years. He currently works at Portland General Electric. He volunteers as a board member at Adelante Mujeres because he shares the same mission and vision regarding women in our communities. As the son of retired school teachers, Marco knows the positive influence education can have on women, their families, and our whole society.
Michelle Kosta coordinates the Family of Friends mentoring program through Trillium Family Services and has worked in youth-development for the past six years. She has traveled the world as an international volunteer in Argentina, Peru and Mexico and most recently served at the day laborers center with Voz Worker’s Rights Education Project in Portland. She was drawn to Adelante Mujeres by a shared devotion to empower Latina women to find their voice and she’s thrilled to work with such a dedicated and engaged staff and board of directors.
Jon-Michael Kowertz has a strong desire to support small business success and his role as an SBDC business advisor is a perfect fit. His position allows him to contribute to the Washington County business community by increasing the visibility, awareness, and accessibility of SBDC advising, programs, and educational pathways. Jon-Michael spent nearly five years working for the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce helping small businesses start and grow, most recently as Vice President of Business Development. Jon-Michael is active with MercyCorp NW as an instructor among other groups. And beware Ducks and Beavers, Jon-Michael is a Tiger having studied at the University of Missouri - Columbia.
Jilma Meneses currently serves as Concordia University's Chief Operating Officer. She has over twenty years of administrative and business experience, including ten years at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She works in partnership with the dozens of other departments and student groups and provides executive level leadership on diversity and equity related efforts. Off-campus, she engages the regional community to increase awareness within underrepresented populations that higher education is a tool that breaks cycles of both poverty and discrimination. She drives change and raises awareness. She is also founder, chief counsel, and president of Our Family in Africa, fighting poverty and advocating for orphans.
Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas is a writer and a photographer with an interest in social justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity. A graduate of Oregon State University, Octaviano holds an MA in Contemporary Hispanic Studies from the School of Language, Culture & Society. He has worked in youth development and community development related projects across Mexico and the United States. Octaviano has been actively involved with various boards and committees in and across the Portland metropolitan area.
Melanie Stagnitti has over 20 years of Human Resource experience working for various public high-tech companies in the Portland area, most recently with Intel. She is an Oregon native; however, has lived in Santiago, Chile and traveled throughout South America where she developed an appreciation for Latino culture and language. She is committed to promoting education, enhancing her local community of Forest Grove, and supporting the empowerment of women, all of which are encompassed in Adelante Mujeres’ mission and programs.
Leroy Feigelson is a retired Intel Finance Controller. He has a B.S. degree from Oregon State University and a MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois. He believes that everyone should have the opportunity for a quality education and to be valuable members of their community. He has seen how Adelante Mujeres pursues, with passion, making this a reality for many. He states,"it is an honor in be part of such an impactful organization."
Carlotta Sanchez The bulk of my work and educational experience was in Sacramento, CA where I was born and raised. My education choices lead me to work at the Sacramento Police Department and then on to contractual investigations. I found my heart to be with helping people in other ways and in 2006 I began my journey with a new search in what I like to call Human Social Work. I began my career journey in the elder care realm and worked with several companies in executive management for 7 years. My current career journey has brought me to Dress For Success where I help women become self-sufficient through job seeking and retention. I know whatever I do- it will always be to help people at the local community level in order to have a global effect.
Veronica Dujon is an Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Portland State University. She teaches, conducts research and publishes in the areas of environmental sociology with a focus on conflicts over declining natural resources; the impact of globalization on people’s well-being; the role of women in the global economy; and the tensions between national development strategies and forces of globalization. One of her major research interest areas is how to build sustainable societies that are inclusive of all people and in which people thrive.
Interested in joining the leadership of the Board of Directors of Adelante Mujeres? Contact Virginia "Gini" Petersen, Director of Development and Outreach, to learn more about our values and expectations.