Staff and Board of Directors
Board of Directors:
Lauren Norris, President
Lauren is from Portland, OR. She has a Masters degree from the Institute of Non-profit Administration at Lewis and Clark College. She worked as a development and community organizer for a number of non-profits before her 10 years as a community organizer at the City’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement. She has been working for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability since 2006. Lauren has volunteered in Guatemala since 1993, working in a variety of community development and health promotion programs with the Mayan Quiche and Tzutuhuil communities. She spends much of her volunteer time in Portland fundraising for these Guatemalan projects and for Voz.
Peter Parks, Vice President
Peter is retired from Portland ILWU Local 8, longshore workers union. He has also been a member of the Machinist’s Union, working at Cummins Northwest as a diesel mechanic for 14 years. He has been involved in social justice and workers rights issues for many years, working with Portland Jobs with Justice, PCASC (Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, participating in labor delegations to Venezuela/Colombia and Mexico), and Voz. He is a co-chair of the Immigrant Rights Committee of Portland Jobs with Justice. Peter is married, has two adult children and a golden retriever.
Lynn Thompson, Treasurer
Lynn Thompson is a consultant for organizations experiencing growth and change. She has 34 years experiencing running nonprofit agencies and owning businesses. She is a winner of the Women of Influence award, Portland Business Journal’s highest honor for women in business. She has edited and written numerous chapters and books on youth, families and politics. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas. Lynn grew up on the Texas/Mexico border and is no stranger to immigrant struggles.
Margarita was born in Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the United States at the age of five. As a daughter of working class parents, she grew up with passion for human and worker rights. Margarita graduated with a BA in American Ethnic Studies from Willamette University in 2012. Her undergraduate education provided Margarita with the language she needed to name and discuss many of the injustices she saw in our society. Margarita’s passion for justice contributes to her investment in the work VOZ does.
Is a retired attorney and long time Quaker activist who has volunteered with VOZ for the last few years as a wage claim advisor, with a hiatus in 2011 and 2012 when he and his wife served as Peace Corps volunteers in Botswana.
Linda Monk, originally from NY, has lived in Idaho and Oregon since 1962. She has a Bachelors degree from the University of Idaho and a Masters from Lewis and Clark. She is retired and previously worked in a variety of mental health clinics and school settings as a counselor. Since 1998, Linda has been involved in fundraising and supporting Los Romeritos, a child care center and music program for at-risk children in Guatemala City.
Day Labor Committee:
Luis Chacon, President
Luis came to the MLK Jr. Worker Center in 2011. He is originally from Mexico City, where he studied psychology and criminology and worked as a supervisor in a grocery store. From what he makes working in the US, he is paying for his son’s studies in Mexico.
Jose Luis Espinoza (Pepe), Vice President
Jose Luis is originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico and he arrive to Portland, Oregon for the first time on the year of 2011. Jose Luis has experienced in plumbing, interior painting and cooking. Jose Luis vision for the worker center is to create a space where the workers have a complete involvement to open the worker center 7 days to increase more jobs per week.
Pablo Rodriguez is a single father who supports his son’s university finances with a part time job and by being a day labor. He has many ideas the he wants to contribute to the MLK Worker Center the will help his mates by being part of the Day Labor Committee.
Gilberto is originally from Yucatan, Mexico. He currently is a member of the Day Labor Committee with a vision of accomplishing a reconstructed building for the MLK Worker Center.
Daniel is an activist who supports the supports the Latino struggles such as race and immigration discrimination. In the years of 2012-2013 he was the president of the MLK Worker Center Day Labor Committee and now is back in the committee.
German Rubio is originally from Colima, Mexico. He is a member of the Day Labor Committee with a vision of having the MLK Worker Center be more noticeable by doing lots of marketing.
*As the newest members of the Day Labor Committee, biographies are currently unavailable.
Romeo Sosa, Executive Director
(503) 381-0848 or (503) 233-6787
Romeo is an indigenous Mayan organizer born in Guatemala. Romeo has significant experience in grassroots organizing, leadership development, and strategic planning. He has worked as a rural researcher and indigenous rights organizer, developing Popular Education materials in Guatemala’s rural communities. He also worked as an advocate for displaced survivors of war at la Organizacion de Servicios de Solidaridad in Mexico. Romeo uses art as a tool to communicate the relationship between immigration and globalization and to demonstrate the economic injustices present in rural communities. As past Director of the St. Francis Church dining hall, Romeo coordinated volunteer programs, directed events, and supervised staff.
Ignacio Paramo, MLK Jr. Worker Center Director
(971) 570-8521 or (503) 234-2043
Ignacio Paramo has been supporting, advocating for, and working within his community of immigrant Latinos in the Portland Metropolitan area for 15 years. Previously, Ignacio worked as an employment specialist facilitating workshops on navigating employment processes and career development. Ignacio also has 10 years of experience as a case manager ensuring stable housing, health, and employment for our communities. Ignacio first came to Voz as a volunteer with the Immigrant Rights Promoter Project and then transitioned into the Organizer position for the next four years.
Juan Sop, MLK Jr. Worker Center Coordinator
Juan emigrated to the Unites States from Guatemala when he was 16. He began seeking work at the MLK Worker Center in 2008 and has stayed involved ever since, serving on the Executive and Day Labor Committees and ultimately getting hired as the Worker Center Coordinator in 2014.
Ranfis Villatoro, Workforce Development Coordinator
(971) 242-9964 or (503) 233-6787
Son of immigrant parents from El Salvador and Guatemala, Ranfis has been working with immigrant populations in Oregon for the past 4 years with a background in fundraising and event coordination. Ranfis began organizing as the Eugene Organizer for CAUSA Oregon in 2009 and was last the Grants and Communication Manager with CAPACES Leadership Institute in Woodburn. He received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Oregon enjoys spending time with his partner Jess, baby Noah, and their dog Vincent.
Yolanda Sandoval, Internal Organizer
(503) 863-9890 or (503) 233-6787
March 2014 Yolanda Sandoval became the internal organizer with Voz. She is originally from Mexico City and a dreamer who qualified for DACA. Yolanda has been involved with Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MEChA), Oregon Dream Activist (ODA), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCACS), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Metropolitan Alliance for the Common Good (MACG), organizing within the Latino community.
Justina Johnson, Development Director
(530) 519-6920 or (503) 233-6787
Justina has joined the Voz team as the new Development Director, bringing her background in fundraising and development from extensive experience working with a variety of non-profits in northern California. She has recently relocated to Portland with her family, and she has a degree in English Literature from California State University, Chico.
Jessica Heman, Bookkeeper
Jess came to VOZ having previously worked as a farm day laborer. She was homeless for 6 years when she was younger before she earned her undergraduate degree in environmental science and sustainable community development. Right now, she’s working on an MBA degree while doing book-keeping at VOZ. Jess is passionate about financial transparency and resource efficiency to support social justice movements.