Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Oregon for 2024. Pairing serene coastlines and majestic mountains with a thriving economy and booming industries, Oregon is a prime destination for the top women leaders. 

The Beaver State has come a long way from its founding, and while agriculture, fishing, and forestry are still prominent within the state, nowadays Oregonians work in high-growth industries focused on technology and innovation. A few of these industries include high technology, outdoor gear, manufacturing, energy, food and beverages, and business services.

As we celebrate the successful careers of the top women leaders of Oregon, we acknowledge the accomplishments of a major player in the tech space, Phani Vadali. As the Director of Technology of Intel Corporation, the largest manufacturer of central processing units and semiconductors in the world, Vadali brings decades of experience in scaling growth for companies of all sizes.

Next up, we honor Katie Poppe, a leader in the food and beverage industry who has founded multiple acclaimed restaurants. Poppe currently serves as co-founder, owner, and CEO of Blue Star Donuts, a local hotspot with multiple locations and a thriving e-commerce brand.

Among this year’s awardees are leaders serving companies that are also household names, such as Lakecia Gunter, the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President at Microsoft. In this role, Gunter guides the technical vision of the global powerhouse in computer software. 

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Oregon for 2024.

1. Lakecia Gunter
Chief Technology Officer & VP of Global Partner Solutions, Microsoft

Lakecia Gunter currently serves as Chief Technology Officer for the Global Partner Solutions (GPS) organization at Microsoft, the largest partner ecosystem in the industry, empowering partners to drive digital transformation. In this role, Gunter defines the technical vision and strategy for GPS to achieve Microsoft’s mission through partners, enabling partners to build innovative solutions that help customers achieve their digital transformation goals and achieve successful business outcomes. She is at the forefront of helping guide GPS and partners through the next wave of technological innovations and advancements in AI.

Gunter has held several leadership roles at Microsoft. Most recently, she served as VP and GM of the Device Partner Solution Sales group at Microsoft. Before that, she was the VP and GM of the Worldwide Internet of Things Partner Ecosystem, Global Channel Sales. Prior to joining Microsoft, she held several leadership roles at Intel Corporation and currently serves as an independent director for IDEX corporation, and is a member of the Board’s Compensation Committee and Nomination and Governance Committee. 

Gunter has been named to The CRN Women of the Channel list for 2023 and has been recognized as one of 100 Influential Women in Tech to Watch in 2022 by the WomenTech Network. In 2021, Gunter was named to Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Corporate Directors list. She volunteers through numerous community service organizations both locally and nationally, serves on the board of trustees for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, as well as Black Women on Boards. She recently launched a podcast called ROAR with Lakecia Gunter, where she spotlights leaders, industry experts, executive coaches, and successful entrepreneurs from around the globe. She earned an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

2. Xiaomei (May) Zhou
VP of Network & Edge Group & GM of Workload, Validation, & Infrastructure Engineering, NEX Software, Intel Corporation

Xiaomei (May) Zhou is Vice President of the Network and Edge Group (NEX) and General Manager of Workload, Validation, and Infrastructure Engineering (WViE) within NEX Software (NEX SW) at Intel Corporation. She is leading a global software organization to enhance E2E platform quality and capabilities on top of the base platform. Her organization is chartered to accelerate the development of consumable workloads, drive unified DevOps and automation, and provide support to other SW Development Operations within the NEX SW community. Her organization is also responsible for platform benchmarking optimization and customer scaling. 

A strong advocate for women's leadership development, Zhou is the co-chair of the Intel Network of Executive Women (iNEW) board. She champions diversity and inclusion, serving as the executive sponsor for the NEX Software (NEX SW) People First Initiative and the Shanghai Women at Intel Network (WIN). In her capacity as an internal coach, she focuses on developing the next generation of leaders through Intel’s Group Coaching program, leading manager group cohorts, and conducting 1:1 coaching and mentoring regularly. 

Zhou is a certified Integral Coach from the New Ventures West and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from the International Coaching Federation. 

4. Kristin Horak
VP of Operations & Support, Global Payments

Kristin Horak is Vice President of Operations and Support for the Global Payment’s division of Commerce Enablement Solutions software business. Global Payments is a leading worldwide provider of commerce technology services. She leads the company’s efforts to support software solutions that help merchant customers, across the globe, more effectively run and grow their businesses, including point of sale, data, analytics, customer engagement, digital wallet, and stored value solutions.

As a member of the executive team, Kristin leads the business’s operations in North America, as well as the ongoing expansion efforts of operational and support into emerging markets expanding to Latin America, Europe, and Asia. HorakHorak has thrived in the fast-paced, ever-changing landscape of Global Payments for the last 13 years, witnessing expediential revenue growth during that time period.

Over the past 25 years, Horak’s previous experience has spanned many industries with diverse business backgrounds, including retail operations, event marketing, and software solutions. Her love of sports led to event management in both professional and collegiate sports for various Athletic Shoe companies, eventually transitioning into corporate retail for select national brands. Her talent for problem-solving, value engineering, and driving revenue launched opportunities for Horak to lead teams in opening over 1,100 retail stores in 47 states while overseeing the hiring of top talent, training, merchandising, and real estate site selection. She has been recognized for her contributions throughout her career and has received awards, including the CEO Advocacy Award, Outstanding Partner of the Year, and Encore Talent Awards. 

5. Sarah Miller
Partner, McKinsey

Sarah Miller is a partner in McKinsey’s Seattle office and co-leads the firm’s Medicaid Practice in the United States. She focuses on state Medicaid and social services programs, public-sector data, and technology. 

Miller has over 28 years of experience in state and local healthcare programs in government and corporate settings. She specializes in engaging across organizational boundaries to prevent and resolve conflicts, working directly with the highest-level executives across agency lines or departments within agencies, ensuring that common ground can be found in decision-making, and delivering results for residents who need to rely on the services of these mission-critical programs.  

Before joining McKinsey, Miller was COO for technology and the integrated eligibility project director for the Oregon Department of Human Services. She is passionate about helping state agencies solve problems that get in the way of providing services to some of this country’s most vulnerable citizens. Miller is active in her home community and was the founder of a public charter Montessori school in Silverton, Oregon. In her spare time, she enjoys making greeting cards and charcuterie boards.

6. Heather Wills
SVP &  Managing Director, WSP USA

Heather Wills is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director in the Transportation Operations Strategy National Business Line, based in Portland, Oregon. Wills possesses over 20 years of progressive leadership experience in the transportation industry, including many complex and controversial mega-infrastructure projects. 

Megaprojects and programs have many moving parts, Wills strategically pulls the pieces together for her clients and colleagues providing pathways to success. She leads her team and guides the client on these complex projects by emphasizing strategic partnerships and collaboration. She is currently leading a large interdisciplinary team with the Oregon Department of Transportation to bring tolling to the Portland Metro area to create a sustainable funding source and manage congestion to improve the quality of life for travelers. In this role, Wills leads a team of strategic communication and engagement professionals, traffic and revenue analysts, environmental discipline experts, equity consultants, transportation modelers, and government relations specialists.

Wills always leads with heart. She cares about her team as people and professionals, just as much as she cares about project successes. She excels at matching skills and interests and is a fierce advocate for providing “stretch” opportunities and mentoring for team members that provide strategic career advancement. Wills is passionate about collaborative problem-solving, where everyone has a voice and opportunity to add value. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her son and husband down mountains on a mountain bike and snowboard.

7. Tricia Hecht-Glad
First Vice President, Alliant Insurance Services

Tricia Hecht-Glad is a First Vice President of Alliant Insurance Services. She first joined the company in 2016. Alliant Insurance Services is among the largest and fastest-growing insurance brokerage and consulting firms in the United States. Fueled by entrepreneurialism and driven by results, Alliant operates on the belief that more is possible and expectations are meant to be exceeded. Their clients and partners have profound confidence in them to deliver in all market climates through the design and delivery of innovative solutions and services across a broad range of industry verticals.

Hecht-Glad served as the president of Hecht Group prior to its merger with Alliant. In addition to her roles with the organization, she is known for guest speaking engagements, giving hundreds of speeches on motivation, marketing, insurance trends, healthcare reform, eliminating expenses through transparent benefit programs, and the dangers of not owning life insurance. She is an accomplished speaker giving her audience direct, comprehensive, and strategic solutions. 

Hecht-Glad graduated from Portland State University with an undergraduate degree in business administration and from Marylhurst University with an MBA specializing in finance.

8. Lucinda Moulding
Vice President of Employee Benefits, HUB International

Lucinda Moulding is the Vice President of Employee Benefits for the Southern Oregon team of HUB International. HUB International is a leading North American insurance brokerage that provides employee benefits, business, and personal insurance products and services. With over 14 years of experience in employee benefits and having worked on both the agency and employer side, Lucinda has a diverse perspective of today’s rapidly changing health insurance environment. Her experience includes working with clients of all sizes and industries across the West Coast. She understands the unique needs employers have when developing their benefits offerings and works alongside clients to ensure all aspects of their needs are met.

Lucinda specializes in complex employer group benefits, where a keen eye for problem-solving and creative solutions are needed. In addition to her work, she enjoys helping in the community. Lucinda has held several board positions and volunteers with numerous nonprofit organizations, including ACCESS, Hearts & Vines, Youth 71:5, Hearts with a Mission, Living Opportunities, Family Nurturing Center, and Meals on Wheels.

View the complete list of awardees.

10. Georgie Riley
First Vice President, Christensen Group of Marcus & Millichap

Georgie Christensen-Riley is the First Vice President of the Christensen Group of Marcus & Millichap. She first joined the company in 2014 as a senior apartment broker. Marcus & Millichap was founded in 1971 with the goal of being a new kind of company, one driven by long-term relationships and built on a culture of collaboration. 

Christensen-Riley is a top multi-family advisor focused on helping investors buy and sell in secondary and tertiary markets throughout Oregon and Washington. She assists clients with uniquely insightful information. Through leveraging Marcus & Millichap's national marketing platform, she provides investors with access to the industry’s largest inventory of deliverable commercial property, as well as connects them to the largest pool of qualified private and institutional buyers and sellers.

Christensen-Riley specializes in secondary and tertiary markets and has closed apartment deals at record values throughout the Willamette Valley. She was Broker of the Year in 2019 and led the Portland office in the list-to-close ratio. Historically, she has closed ninety-seven percent of her listings and has earned sellers an average of 103% list-to-close value. She has earned numerous accolades during her career with Marcus & Millichap, including the National Achievement Award, and continues to be a leader in the industry. Christensen-Riley graduated from Concordia University with a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing.

12. Andrea Cordova
Executive Vice President, Pacific Bath Company

Andrea Cordova is the Executive Vice President of Pacific Bath Company, the only Kohler walk-in bath provider in Oregon, Washington, Phoenix, and Southern Nevada. Pacific Bath strives to ensure a consistently positive remodeling experience. Cordova started at Pacific Bath in 2021 as the vice president of construction and then assumed her current role in November 2022.

Cordova's work experience includes multiple roles in various companies. She worked as a lead caterer at Eurest and later joined Red Tomato Fresh Catering as a sales and marketing associate. Cordova then worked as an operations manager at Simplified Administrative Services. Before joining Pacific Bath, Cordova held multiple roles at PGM Construction, including business office manager, project and business manager, and managing director. Cordova was also involved with Woman in Environment (WIE) as part of the Women in Environment Mentor Program starting in 2019. 

Cordova earned an Associate's degree in Philosophy and History from Washington State University. She then obtained an Associate's degree in Business Administration and Management from Portland Community College. She also has a Bachelor's degree in Pre-Law Studies from Washington State University Vancouver. In 2016, she obtained multiple certifications, including an Insurance Producer License from The Oregon Insurance Division and an Individual Insurance Producer Certification from ExamFX. She also earned an Associate’s degree in Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington.

13. Brittany Filori
Chief Executive Officer, 51Blocks

Brittany Filori currently serves as the CEO of 51Blocks and White Label SEO, two prominent white-label digital marketing brands in the United States. 

Filori started in the digital industry as an SEO strategist back in the mid-2010s, and quickly worked her way into leadership roles as a mentor. She joined 51Blocks in 2017, where she made waves in the operations space leading as the COO for six years before taking over the brand as CEO in 2023. Filori helped lay the foundation for the brand to achieve multi-million dollar status by 2020 and made an impactful turnaround in the company culture and product offerings. Her human-first and empathic approach to leadership has been a driving force in developing better customer relationships and building a rock-solid team. Additionally, Filori’s passion centers around shining a spotlight on female-led organizations and women entrepreneurs. 

She currently hosts a podcast on Spotify called, "Girl Talk with Brittany Filori," where she talks about feminine mindset, transformation, and success in business. She’s also the author of three digital marketing books, including White Label Digital Marketing: How to Effectively Scale Your Agency for Time and Financial Freedom.

14. Rowshan Reordan
Chief Executive Officer, Green Leaf Lab

Rowshan Reordan is the Chief Executive Officer of Green Leaf Lab, a minority woman-owned cannabis and hemp analytical laboratory established in Portland, Oregon in 2011. Green Leaf Labs expanded in 2019 with a second analytical testing facility laboratory located in Sacramento, California. Reordan was inspired to open Green Leaf Labs after she stopped working as an attorney to help her mother on their small family medical cannabis farm. She was inspired to legitimize the industry and ensure safe cannabis and opened Green Leaf Lab with a commitment to integrity and accuracy in testing. It has grown into a multi-state cannabis and hemp analytical laboratory located in Oregon and California. 

A licensed attorney, Reordan spearheaded the regulation of the testing standards in Oregon’s cannabis industry. These standards were the first of their kind in the medical and recreational cannabis industry and have been used as a model throughout the nation. She was involved with legislative efforts to ensure legitimacy in cannabis safety testing after opening Green Leaf Lab’s flagship location in Portland, Oregon. She was on the legislative testing subcommittee for Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Law and was invited to participate in the legislative testing subcommittee for Oregon’s recreational marijuana program. Reordan has presented at a variety of educational seminars and conferences. She worked in conjunction with the Oregonian and the University of Oregon in educating and discussing the proper direction of legislative efforts concerning Oregon’s cannabis industry, specifically around consumer safety and quality control testing.  

Reordan has been invited to speak at conferences and educational seminars in Oregon and California. She has been named one of Cannabis Business Executives' Top 100 Women in the cannabis industry. She was the president of the Women Grow Southern Oregon chapter. She has been featured in MG and Broccoli Magazine and interviewed by the Oregon Public Broadcasting network.

15. Kelley Mullick
Vice President, Technology Advancement and Alliances, Iceotope Technologies Limited

Kelley Mullick is a Vice President at Iceotope Technologies Ltd. responsible for business development with key OEM/ODM partners and technology alliances across the IT industry to highlight why Precision Liquid Cooling is critical in the edge/cloud markets for data center sustainability and delivers better TCO to the end customer.

Before joining Iceotope, Mullick led Intel’s liquid cooling business strategy where, alongside a great team, she developed their warranty strategy for immersive cooling. Her career spans roughly 20 years of systems engineering expertise, business acumen, and technical leadership in building platforms for the sustainable data center of the future, cloud workload optimization, software-defined infrastructure, and new business models that deliver revenue.

In addition to her technical achievements, Mullick is a champion for women and URM in tech. She developed programs and training delivered to around 3,000 women to aid them in their career progression. She participates in the Open Compute Project technical committees to help drive requirements and standards for immersive cooling in the data center. Furthermore, she is currently serving a two-year board term for the IISEM&S organization. Mullick holds a PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the Ohio State University.

19. Tara Kinateder
Principal, Ferguson Wellman and West Bearing

Tara Kinateder is a Principal of Ferguson Wellman Capital Management. She works with clients in the Pacific Northwest, as well as California, Arizona, Georgia, and Florida.

In addition to working with clients, Kinateder is on the firm's Global Sustainable Investment team and Puget Sound expansion. As an investment professional with over 20 years of experience, Kinateder works with HNW individuals and multigenerational families. She especially enjoys working with women to aid them in streamlining the complexities that can accompany significant wealth. 

Kinateder serves as a Trustee for the Portland Art Museum and the Legacy Healthcare Foundation. Also, she is a board member of Dougy Center and Oregon Business Academy. In 2020, Kinateder was recognized by the Portland Business Journal as one of Portland's "Women of Influence," and in 2017, she co-chaired the Classic Wine Auction, raising a record level of donations for the five nonprofit partners.

20. Beth Erlendson
Founder & Managing Director, Fab Brands

Beth Erlendson is the visionary founder and managing director of Fab Brands. Her strategic marketing experience at major players like TriMet and Nike honed her expertise in building powerful brand identities and comprehensive marketing campaigns. A Pacific Northwest native and Portland State University alumna, her leadership experience includes board positions with the Oregon Executives Association, the Portland Fashion & Style Awards, and the Portland Executive Women's Golf Association.

In an age where consumers have infinite choices, Erlendson excels at helping companies stand out in a crowded marketplace to increase market share, build brand loyalty, and drive sales. As an experienced marketing strategist, having worked as an in-house marketing manager and agency director, she brings a versatile and dynamic history of creating innovative marketing campaigns that attract, engage, nurture, and convert.

Erlendson has built a reputation for developing and executing successful integrated marketing campaigns, using digital and traditional media. Collaborative by nature, she is an effective leader who enjoys inspiring team members to excel and take initiative. As a meticulous project manager, Erlendson can deftly balance multiple projects, budgets, and deadlines, while maintaining an organized and creative approach. Diplomatic and tactful in communications and decision-making, she strives to maintain a sense of humor under pressure, while staying poised and professional.

View the complete list of awardees.

21. Lindsey Diercksen
Founder & President, LD Consulting

Lindsey Diercksen is the Founder and President of LD Consulting, a strategic thought partner that helps clients break down and solve complex problems by working across all levels and functions of an organization. LD Consulting is committed to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion, and integrates using an equity lens in their work with clients. They focus on facilitating clients through strategic design and planning sessions, mapping out organizational readiness for adoption and change, and supporting implementation and end-user adoption.

Diercksen is a strategic thought partner who helps her clients break down and solve complex problems by working across all levels and functions of an organization. Much of her work focuses on facilitating clients through strategic design and planning sessions, mapping out organizational readiness for adoption and change, and supporting implementation and end-user adoption. She has over 10 years of experience in facilitation, program and project management, strategy development, process improvement, operational excellence, and IT implementation within aerospace and semiconductor manufacturing, footwear and apparel, nonprofit and governmental agencies, utilities, and energy efficiency sectors.

Diercksen has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. She also has a certificate in Operations Leadership and Organizational Management from Drexel University. 

22. Heidi J. Ellsworth
Partner & President, RoofersCoffeeShop.com

Heidi J. Ellsworth has worked in the roofing industry since 1993 and has held positions with Malarkey Roofing, Carlisle Construction Materials, and EagleView Technologies. She is currently a Partner and President of RoofersCoffeeShop® and owner of HJE Consulting. She is also one of the founders of National Women in Roofing (NWIR). She served as chairperson for the first two years of the association and in 2020 was awarded the WORLD Award.

Working with both RoofersCoffeeShop and HJE Consulting, she currently focuses on supporting overall marketing strategies, sales success, and content development for companies and associations within the roofing and metal construction industries. With a passion for networking and win-win-win scenarios, she continues to provide consulting and progressive digital advertising opportunities for companies and associations building strong collaborations for business profitability and success.  

Ellsworth was named in Folio: and AdMonsters’ 2021 class of Top Women in Media as a Changemaker. Each year, an elite group of women who have made a lasting impact on their brands, organizations, and markets are recognized for spotlighting the diversity and progress within the media industry. The Top Women in Media class recognizes an impressive who’s who of noteworthy women from the dynamic media community.

23. Tanya Urbach
Partner & Co-Head of Family Office Services, Eagle Bay Advisors

Tanya Urbach is a Partner and the Co-Head of Family Office Services of Eagle Bay Advisors. Eagle Bay Advisors is a family office headquartered at 7 World Trade Center. They inspire individuals, families, and institutions across the globe to make smarter decisions about their financial matters. Urbach is a litigator with an emphasis on financial institution defense and litigation.

During her time in private practice, Urbach defended broker-dealers, investment advisers, registered representatives, and other securities professionals in a wide variety of civil disputes, regulatory inquiries, and enforcement matters, arising out of and relating to violations of state and federal securities laws, violations of rules of regulatory and self-regulatory organizations and financial fraud. She has substantial and diversified securities industry experience having previously served as general counsel to Paulson Investment Company, LLC. As the former Deputy Commissioner of Securities for the State of Vermont, Urbach prosecuted regulatory investigations into securities fraud. As Vermont's securities regulator, she was also responsible for the state's investor education initiatives, registration of securities, licensing of securities firms and their representatives, and overseeing the broker-dealer and investment adviser examination process. Additionally, Urbach proposed and prosecuted through the House and Senate the New Uniform Securities Act, which Vermont ultimately enacted. During her time as a regulator, Urbach was also a member of the board of directors and on the broker-dealer section of the North American Securities Administrators Association. 

She is an adjunct professor at the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, where she teaches Securities Regulation. Urbach graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School with a JD and from the University of Oregon with an undergraduate degree in Chinese.

24. Katie Poppe
Co-Founder, CEO, & Owner, Blue Star Donuts

Katie Poppe is the Co-Founder of multiple acclaimed restaurants, including Little Big Burger, Blue Star Donuts, Boxer Ramen, and Boxer Sushi, opening over 30 locations across Oregon, Japan, and Los Angeles. She has developed several multi-unit and franchise concepts, driven by a passion for high-quality, reasonably-priced food paired with an unforgettable brand experience. She is an industry leader, known for her expertise in brand innovation, marketing, customer experience, strategic planning, leadership development, and partnerships. Her tenacity is evident through her successful navigation of Chapter 11/Sub Ch. V reorganization during the pandemic while pivoting Blue Star Donuts into an omnichannel brand encompassing brick-and-mortar, CPG, and e-commerce.

Poppe has grown three restaurant brands into multi-unit concepts. In 2015, she sold Little Big Burger for around $6.2 million, only five years after opening. She grew Blue Star Donuts to a pre-pandemic peak of 11 locations and around $7 million in revenue and quickly adapted during the pandemic by introducing gourmet Donut Bites in local grocery stores and developing a best-in-class national shipping service. She continues to build the Blue Star legacy of bringing happiness to the world through delicious donuts and stellar hospitality, which now includes flourishing e-commerce and wholesale/CPG departments. Her vision has always been to build a dynamic and purpose-driven brand dedicated to providing a safe, fair workplace with excellent benefits, fostering talent, and helping employees develop long-lasting skills and friendships.

Poppe has been honored as a recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Entrepreneur of the Year for the Entrepreneur’s Organization Portland Chapter, and recipient of Oregon’s Most Admired Companies. She was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and has been a member of EO for over 10 years. She has served on the board of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association for over five years.

28. Ivo Lukas
Founder & CEO, 24Notion

Ivo Lukas is an entrepreneur and angel investor with a track record in building successful businesses. Currently, Lukas is the CEO and Founder of 24Notion. 24Notion is the first integrated marketing/digital PR and lifestyle agency with a special emphasis on giving back to the global communities. With a broad understanding of the art of non-traditional marketing, new media, communications, and social influence, 24Notion ranked No.14 in Corporate Philanthropy - CSR, nominated by the Business Journal Book of List.

As a leader in the entrepreneurship community, Lukas is an advocate and sits on the board of many profit/nonprofit organizations that encourage the empowerment of next-generation leaders and women in technology. Lukas is passionate about leading, nurturing, and mentoring the next generation, especially young girls interested in technology. She is an advocate working to encourage and improve the lives of young girls, helping them gain an entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills. 

A philanthropist by heart, Lukas was asked to lead and speak at the US Department of State on empowering women in the Middle East and North Africa through technology TechGirls. She won several awards, including Female 2.0 Founder of the Year, Innovative Philanthropist, Women of Influence, Huffington Post - Female Empowerment of “Passionistas,” PBJ Innovative Philanthropy Award, and “40 Under 40” by the Portland Business Journal. Most recently, the International Stevie Awards recognized Lukas as “International Entrepreneur of the Year”.

29. Alaiyo Foster
President and Chief Executive Officer, Black United Fund of Oregon

A native Oregonian, Alaiyo Foster fell in love with nonprofits when she was only a child. Inspired by her parents’ insistence on volunteerism at an early age,  A remembers volunteering at the Black United Fund of Oregon as early as age 10. She quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work, education, and justice work. 

This resolve stuck with her through college, leading her to get her undergraduate degree in Black studies with a focus on community development from Portland State University, along with degrees in sociology, education, and community counseling, nonprofit management and development, and a Doctorate in Leadership, along with administration credentials from Lewis and Clark College. Although she has worked full-time since high school, her first professional post-undergrad position was as a classroom teacher and also as a lead counselor at the former Portland Street Academy program of the Urban League of Portland. 

Always having had an affinity for peer-based education models, Foster now has over 20 years of experience locally and nationally in educating, creating, and revamping educational programming. She now heads the Black United Fund of Oregon and is happy spending her days visioning and ushering the organization into its next iteration and displaying that her presence has power.

32. Ashley Thornhill
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Global Innovation Lead, Antonio & Paris

Ashley Thornhill is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Global Innovation Lead of Antonio & Paris, a global brand agency obsessed with finding and injecting humanity into every interaction in order to ignite the love affair between brand and consumer. 

Following a successful career marketing both off and online art and antique auctions for one of the major global auction houses, Thornhill began at Antonio & Paris in 2016. After nearly a decade of managing countless estate sales and significant collections, overseeing complex client projects came like second nature. Thornhill has a hand in every project that A&P undertakes, from consumer apps for AT&T to positioning political campaigns, new product development for Wrigley Gum to re-defining aging for Brookdale Senior Living or launching a fully integrated marketing campaign for Star Trek Beyond in seven countries.

Thornhill graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with an undergraduate degree in the history of art and visual culture.

View the complete list of awardees.

33. Karen Rush
Executive Director, Children's Center

After a 20-year career as a public school principal and administrator, Karen Rush brings her deep knowledge of child-centered, trauma-informed practices to her role as Executive Director of Children's Center. Her passion for the well-being of children drives her vision for elevating the services for children and families when there are concerns for abuse and neglect. Rush is especially interested in supporting staff and building infrastructure to mitigate vicarious trauma in those working to make sure all kids feel safe, valued, and heard.

Rush began her career at Minnesota’s Early Childhood Research Institute directing studies on prenatal exposure to drugs/alcohol, and inclusion of students with disabilities. Along the way, she has also designed therapeutic programs in clinical and school psychology settings, served as an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Oregon, and helped children thrive in the public school setting. After several years of various leadership positions at elementary schools and at the district office in North Clackamas School District, Rush was excited to enter the nonprofit sector and work with community-based organizations to support children and families. Wherever she has served, she has worked to bring about organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Rush graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Child Psychology and holds both a Master’s and a PhD in Education Psychology.

34. Damilola Olajubutu
Founder & Executive Director, Rural Nurture Initiative

Damilola Olajubutu is an unconventional rural development practitioner with a drive to create sustainable solutions to developmental problems in rural and underserved communities. She holds her first and second degrees in agricultural extension and rural development, from the prestigious University of Ibadan, graduating as the best student at both levels. Her exposure to the precarious living conditions in rural communities stirred her passion to create sustainable solutions to the developmental problems in rural areas. Consequently, this birthed the establishment of the Rural Nurture Initiative (RNI), where she currently works as the Executive Director.

In her current position, she leads a team of change-makers to drive development initiatives, conduct research, organize outreaches, and implement projects to promote the actualization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in rural communities. Under her leadership, the organization has helped many rural primary pupils get back to school, provided food baskets to end hunger, given relief materials to ameliorate poverty, executed medical outreaches to improve rural health, and provided portable water to ensure access to water and better hygiene in rural Nigeria.

As a multi-award winner, Olajubutu received the Departmental Prize and ZARD Scholarships for the best graduating undergraduate student in 2016. She was recognized as the best graduating master’s student in 2019, emerged as Union Rise Challenge Winner in 2020, got the RNI Exemplary Leadership Award in 2021, and her NGO (Rural Nurture Initiative) received the Union Bank Enabling NGOs for Success Grant in 2019 and Go-for-it Africa’s Sustainable Impact Award in 2020.

35. Sarah Ross
Senior Director of Contact Center, The Standard

Sarah Ross is the Senior Director of the Contact Center at The Stanford, a provider of insurance, retirement, and investment products and services. She has been with the Standard for 13 years in a variety of customer-focused and operational leadership roles. 

Throughout her career and time at The Standard, Ross has always found herself in roles with a strong focus on customer experience, transformation, strategy, and execution. She has a passion for the customer, as well as those who serve and interact with customers on a daily basis. She is responsible for ensuring that The Standard is delivering on their promise of being there for their customers when they need it most.

Ross loves to challenge herself, make connections with people, and stay organized and balanced. She lives for surprises and thrives in a fast-paced, interactive environment. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, getting outside, traveling, and staying active.

36. Phani Vadali
Director of Technology, Intel Corporation

Phani Vadali is an established technical entrepreneur, executive, and leader who brings two decades of experience scaling growth for numerous Fortune 500 and startup companies, including Intel, Nationwide, Exterro, and Healthsparq. Vadali is a Director of Technology with Intel Corporation. 

She first joined the company in 2016 as a senior cloud solutions architect for the Artificial Intelligence and Analytics Group. Intel’s mission is to shape the future of technology to help create a better future for the entire world. By pushing forward in fields like AI, analytics, and cloud-to-edge technology, Intel’s work is at the heart of countless innovations. As one of the company’s Directors of Technology, Vadali made the move to the Intel Sports division, where she moved their content production into the cloud. She created a groundbreaking technology for the media industry to run their Cloud Operations.

Vadali has spent the last few years, and continues to, on her personal goal to raise the technical bar for female-founded companies and startups. She has identified areas, where most of these startups struggle and has been advising multiple companies to improve their overall technical roadmap and the engineering culture, thereby leading them to raise significant capital and scale. Vadali is very passionate about bridging the funding gap between female founders and their peers. Her goal is to raise the next generation of female technical leaders. She does this by mentoring employees at Intel, and students through coding boot camps. Throughout her career, she has built an inclusive culture in her teams and fostered growth among underrepresented minority groups.

38. Julie Lauka
Director of Cloud Based Accounting & Controller Services, Supporting Strategies

Julie Lauka serves as the Director of Cloud Based Accounting & Controller Services for Supporting Strategies. Supporting Strategies provides outsourced accounting services. Their skilled, experienced professionals use secure, best-of-breed technology and a proven process to deliver a full suite of services, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, bookkeeping, financial reporting, and payroll administration.

Julie is a seasoned professional who leads a team of experienced accounting professionals, catering to clients ranging from startups to lower-middle-market businesses across diverse industries. She excels in providing exceptional bookkeeping and operational support services, which encompass accounts receivable management, accounts payable management, payroll and benefits administration, month-end close activities, and other general accounting and operational tasks. Her primary responsibilities revolve around business management, business development, overseeing client service delivery, and ensuring employee hiring and retention. With her strong leadership skills and extensive expertise in accounting and operations, Julie plays a crucial role in helping businesses thrive and achieve their financial goals.

Prior to her current role, Julie served as a financial accounting consultant for Exectec Financial Services LLC, as well as a controller and membership director for the Oregon Education Association. She earned an associate degree in accounting from Western Business School.

42. Caitlin Carlson
Senior Director of Demand Generation, Thought Industries

Caitlin Carlson serves as the Senior Director of Demand Generation at Thought Industries, an industry-leading enterprise learning platform specializing in customer, partner, and professional training. With a robust background in digital marketing, Caitlin is skilled in lead generation and optimizing funnel conversions. She is known for her strategic acumen in crafting and implementing best practice lead marketing campaigns that consistently deliver against company goals. In recognition of her exemplary leadership and contributions, Caitlin received the "Circle of Excellence" President’s Award from Thought Industries in 2022.

Prior to her current role, Caitlin held positions as a Senior Marketing Manager at KPA and as an Inbound Marketing Manager at Complí. Her career began in public relations and marketing, where she contributed her expertise to some of Portland’s most influential nonprofits, including Mercy Corps, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, and the OHSU Foundation. Beyond her professional endeavors, Caitlin founded a sports photography business, has held leadership roles on various local nonprofit boards, and coached youth soccer at the elite FC Portland Academy.

A two-time U.S. representative at the World Club Crew Championships for dragon boat racing, Caitlin competed internationally with her team in Hong Kong and Italy. Academically, she holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College and a certificate in Digital Marketing Strategies from the Portland State Center for Executive & Professional Education, where she was also a finalist for the Digital Marketer of the Year award.

43. Amira Makansi
Director of Marketing, Stoller Wine Group

Amira Makansi is the Director of Marketing for Stoller Wine Group, a family of wine brands from Oregon's famed Willamette Valley. Makansi oversees all marketing operations across the family of five wine brands, ensuring brand standards are met and guiding guests through the customer journey from new customers to dedicated fans. Collaborating with all departments, she manages advertising, email campaigns, and packaging design, and ensures deliverables are met on time and within budget.

Makansi started at Stoller Wine Group in 2023 as a digital marketing manager and was promoted to director one year later. She previously served Irvine & Roberts Vineyards as a digital strategy manager, where she created and executed a comprehensive, calendar-driven brand marketing strategy for our direct-to-consumer sales channel across all platforms, while directly overseeing the wine club and e-commerce sub-channels. Earlier in her career, she was an assistant winemaker at Peachy Canyon Winery.

Makansi studied history at the University of Chicago and received a Diploma with Honors in History. She is the author of The Paths Between The Stars, a young adult science fiction and fantasy novel exploring the shadows of a young girl's past. Additionally, she authored Literary Libations: What to Drink with What You Read, a guide to pairing famous books with great drinks. She is also a co-author of the Seeds Trilogy, a young adult science fiction series about genetically modified food, which has been optioned for a film adaptation by Big Picture Ranch, an award-winning independent production studio.

44. Sophia Xiao-fan Chang Austrins
Director - Portland Office, Colloqate Design

Sophia Xiao-fan Chang Austrins (she/they) is an architect, artist, and facilitator who strengthens community and culture through design activism. They are the Director of the Portland office of Colloqate Design, a nonprofit practice seeking to design spaces of racial, social, and cultural justice throughout the built environment. 

In her work designing libraries, community centers, resource hubs, housing, installations and exhibits, and spaces for creativity and learning, she seeks to share the power of the built environment with communities who have been left out of the design processes and storytelling; not only because they deserve to create their own futures but also to find the moments of delight and community growth that the act of designing together can create.

As an extension of her service to just community development, Austrins is on the Jade District Steering Committee, working towards place-based, community building and economic development in one of the most diverse census tracts in the state of Oregon; she sits on the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Public Art Committee; is an artist and facilitator with the Living Arts program at the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, using art to strengthen community through experiential and interactive programming around culture and identity; and as co-chair of the National Organization of Minority Architects’ Community Outreach and Engagement in Portland, she organizes youth programming for Middle School students from communities of color to learn how they can make an impact in their neighborhoods and futures through Architecture and design.

47. Nicole Roberts
Executive Director, Jasper Mountain

Nicole Roberts is the Executive Director for Jasper Mountain, a psychiatric, residential, behavioral health organization that works with severely abused and traumatized children ages 4-12. She stands firmly behind the belief that if you can direct your passion towards your career, you’ll never “work” a day in your life. She is motivated and driven by her passion for helping others.

Over the course of her 24-year career, Roberts has been able to make a positive impact with many organizations and has been recognized for her creative ability to turn sales around in multiple organizations, most notably increasing sales by over 300% within a three-year period for one employer. In addition, Roberts achieved “Branch of the Month” at a store multiple times, for the highest percentage of sales over goal in the Pacific Northwest region, an achievement that was a first for her particular store. Roberts was brought on by Goodwill to create and implement a new employee training and development program, which encompassed over 500 employees in two states, and was hugely successful. She has a proven track record of building trust very quickly and rallying both managers and employees around changes that create a more positive, productive work environment, while also creating an air of empowerment and inclusion. In 2018, 

Roberts was awarded the Alpha Beta Kappa honors award for her dedication, personal integrity, and excellence. She has a BA in Psychology from Ashford University and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and Higher Education from Lewis University.

View the complete list of awardees.