Speakers

Jaime Arredondo

Keynote Speaker

Jaime Arredondo is a proud immigrant from Las Ranas, Michoacán, Mexico, and a former farmworker. Today, he is the Executive Director of the Capaces Leadership Institute and has over 16 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. Some of his favorite roles have included: tour guide, smiles provider, peacemaker, convener, agitator (with a smile), storyteller, wannabe graphic designer, handy person, and community builder. In 2011, Jaime was recognized by Shelterforce, the oldest community, economic development magazine in the nation, and selected as one of six under 36 young leaders in the country.

Jaime loves to give back to Oregon and his communities. He serves on multiple boards including:

  • The Collins Foundation- Trustee
  • Western Oregon University Board of Trustees -Vice-President of Board
  • PCUN- Chairman of the Board
  • Oregon’s Youth Development Council- Council Member
  • Ecotrust- Board Member
  • Centro de Servicios Para Campesinos- Board President
  • Chemeketa Community College Presidents Community Leaders Advisory Committee-Member
  • OCF Latino Partnership Projects Northern Willamette Valley Committee- Member
  • Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network Steering Committee- Member

On his off days, Jaime enjoys running, spending time with family, volunteering, and watching sports. His favorite foods are mole and sandwiches. Jaime has been happily married for 12 years to his beautiful wife and is the proud father of two daughters.

Melinda Avila

MC

Melinda Avila currently is the Equity Strategy Director for the Early Learning Division, Owner of MÁS Consulting, founder of the one and only Bilingual/Bicultural Mental Health Crisis Team that is currently serving the entire State of Oregon, appointed to the Latino/a/x Advisory Board for the State of Oregon, and is on the Board of Directors for Latino Network.

As a granddaughter of immigrants who eventually became US citizens, Melinda learned perseverance and the necessary life skills to succeed. Her passion for Social Justice led her to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and Master of Social Work from Portland State University.

Melinda has spent the last 30 years dedicating her life to social and systemic change. She has served on several boards and has been an elected official. She has volunteered to lead empowerment groups targeting Latina high school students and professionals; mentored foster children; has helped hundreds of students reach their educational goals; and was also recognized for her accomplishments at Portland State School of Social Work 50th Anniversary.

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